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State, WB in Sh8.5b plan to improve Asals

The government in collaboration with World Bank has set aside Sh8.5 billion to sink water pans, boreholes, construct markets, establish slaughterhouses and insure livestock in pastoralist areas.

This is part of a wider programme to develop and improve the lives of pastoralist communities. At the same, Deputy President William Ruto has asked leaders from the pastoral communities to work together to address challenges that hinder development saying that problems such as insecurity, female circumcision, school dropout and early marriages can only be addressed if leaders work together irrespective of their political affiliations.

Speaking during the closure of a two-day Pastoralists Parliamentary Group (PPG) meeting in Mombasa yesterday, he said some cultural practices portray pastoralists negatively.

“People view pastoralists as people who have denied their children an opportunity to go to school, people who are riddled by poverty or conflict. We need to change this perception,” he said. He urged leaders to dedicate their time in addressing such issues with a view to competing with Kenyans in other parts of the country.

Ruto also asked leaders to ensure resources allocated to their respective counties are used well. Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dulo said the primitive cultural activities such as cattle rustling and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) had given the community a bad name.

She said they were carrying trainings on leaders on conflict resolution as the only way to solve the challenges facing their people. National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale said the Jubilee administration is committed to resolving challenges facing the pastoralists.

“The Jubilee administration has greatly helped solve the problems facing pastoralists in this country more than any other government,” said Duale. Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda urged leaders from the pastoral areas to work together to eliminate challenges hindering the development of girl-child including female circumcision and early marriages.

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