Insecurity affects Kainuk
BY ROBERT KARIUKI
Kainuk trading centre and its outskirts have become dangerous places to live in. More worrying is that insecurity is scaring away potential investors in the area. Kainuk trading centre is the gateway to Turkana County and is recognized by visitors and tourists.
Ng’irong’otuk village on the outskirts of Kainuk, Lobokat ward, has existed since time in memorial. But the village population today is lower than the population during the 1990’s and early 2000s.
This reduction in population is partly attributed to violent deaths blamed on insecurity. Today, Kainuk trading centre is marked by an uneasy calmness. The centre has a potential to grow, but residents say that it is trapped in insecurity, which eats away at its potential.
Breadwinners contributing to economic production are perishing, leaving behind a vulnerable population that cannot sustain itself. Ng’irong’otuk village is dominated by graveyards more than human settlements.
If no actions are taken Ng’irong’otuk village or as it is now known ‘Village of death’ will soon be a memory to many, with children becoming orphans, mothers widowed and youths lonely because their friends and colleagues succumbed to enemy bullets. The residents plead to Government for protection and disarming communities, preventing highway robberies and ambushes, and flushing out Pokot bandits in Turkana County.
Mary Ng’ilimo, a resident of the village who also holds a position at the Kainuk Maendeleo ya Wanawake organization took me on a guided tour recently.
She pointed to the graves that exist in the village some of which have overgrowth, with thickets and shrubs.
“The mother arrived home late in the evening and she headed to the river to fetch water, after fetching water she went back to the house and started preparing supper for her husband and children. When the food was ready she sat outside the house and began eating as the rest took their meals from inside the house. Moments later suspected Pokot bandits paid a deadly visit to the home and killed the entire family, the spot am standing on right now are their graves,” Ng’ilimo narrated. She added: “What we are witnessing right now is a revolution of cattle rustling,
Pokot and Turkana communities are no longer doing cattle raiding, they are now fighting for the discovered resources and minerals and this is far more dangerous.” The Pokots who were flashed out of Uganda settled inside Turkana territories and they have formed 12 kraals in
Kaarun. This is where they drive livestock stolen from Katilu, Kalemung’orok, Kaptir, Kaakong and Kainuk, Ng’ilimo explained.
According to Ng’ilimo the number of residents who have lost their lives since 1992 to early 2014 are 32 people and those who have lost their lives since July last year to date are 30 people including 2 children. Daniel Ekuwom says that nowadays, the bandits aim at killing people and not stealing cattle. “They are no longer looking for livestock; they are now after killing people and making others suffer. The villagers fall asleep only when the river is filled with water that’s when the bandits can’t crossnly a few of them will have the courage to pass through Kainuk Bridge to come raid the village. The bandits kill anyone whom they come across be it a child, an elderly person, a youth or even a male or female adult, they don’t care,” Ekuwom explained.
Another elder, Mzee Kericho said,
“The only disease we are suffering from is the bullet syndrome. No grave in this village belongs to a person who succumbed from a disease like Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS or even Malaria; they are all victims of frequent raids and attacks. The population of Kainuk is greatly reducing while the government is doing nothing but watching.
It is even worse inside this village because we are registering a high death rate, so we keep wondering where we will go from here because as we can see we will soon be forcefully evicted.”
If no actions are taken Ng’irong’otuk village or as it is now known ‘Village of death’ will soon be a memory to many, with children becoming orphans, mothers widowed and youths lonely because their friends and colleagues succumbed to enemy bullets.
The residents plead to Government for protection and disarming communities, preventing highway robberies and ambushes, and flushing out Pokot bandits in Turkana County. Lobokat ward MCA Nicodemous
Aguman is not only worried about the safety of his ward residents which also includes Ng’irong’otuk village but also the supply of basic needs to the people.
According to Aguman, the region is surrounded by bandits from all corners and soon it will be difficult for the residents to survive, as the supply of food will be cut off.
“If the government does not take any action in the shortest time possible we will hear cases of people dying due to
starvation and diseases. Right now we are A grave covered with matress. surrounded. It’s hard for residents to fetch water or even do agricultural activities.
So both the county and the national government should do something about this because we as local leaders and as a leader I have tried but I have not been successful,” said Aguman.
He added, “It will be difficult for parents to take their children to school because the community depends on agriculture,
livestock keeping and small business ventures, all the livestock have been stolen and highway robberies makes it hard to
transport goods from Kitale so sooner or later we will have no activity taking place in this region and the big issue is that the national police reservists have been killed too who could offer protection to the residents while in their farms.”
Recently at the burial of an administration policeman in Kainuk, Turkana south MP Hon. James Lomenen said there have been meetings with leaders from both sides to come up with resolutions.
“The other time we had a meeting with all the leaders from the northern part of Kenya and we passed resolutions which were to spearhead the restoration of peace.
But the feedback is the exact opposite in fact the situation has worsened,” said the legislator.
“We went ahead again and called another meeting at the Aturkan hotel in Kitale. We involved church leaders from the catholic and Anglican churches, the governors, senators and MCA’s from both communities were in attendance, we passed resolutions again but it was the same story because we are still witnessing raids in Kainuk, Kaptir, Loyapat and Katilu,” Lomenen lamented.
The leaders now claim that the national government should take over as they have tried rescuing the situation but efforts are fruitless.
Recently, Pokot bandits destroyed and stole construction materials from an upcoming Sh. 100 million Eco-lodge being constructed by the ministry of tourism, trade and industrialization under the Turkana county government. The state of insecurity is killing development besides reducing the population.
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