The North and North Eastern region of Kenya has for long been considered under-served and is performing below national average. The road networks are poor to non-existent; electricity access is at 7 percent; only 45 percent of households have access to safe water and only 26 percent have access to improved sanitation.
To reverse the history of marginalisation, the FCDC Governors Forum hosts quarterly meetings in its member counties. This way, they are able to meet and interact with the people of that particular county, in addition to visiting key projects in that particular county.
In September 2018, all the Governors convened at Kishaunet Grounds in Kapenguria, West Pokot County for a two-day meeting and conference, as a follow up to the deliberations in the Naivasha retreat in July 2018.
Objectives of the West Pokot meeting
- To discuss common challenges and opportunities for the FCDC region;
- To discuss with key stakeholders ongoing infrastructural projects;
- To discuss emerging interests in the ASALs and way forward to safeguard interests of pastoralists;
- To explore new partnerships and admit new members to FCDC.
Key stakeholders were also invited to make and respond to concerns raised by the FCDC leadership. The World Bank Group was invited to present on the NEDI project; KENHA on the NETIP project; Rural Electrification Authority (REA) on the KOSAP project and other interventions; and Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) on the Equalization Fund. These presentations are summarized in the sections that will follow the key highlights from the FCDC leaders.
Critical issues raised by the Governors
On education: “Our schools cannot produce 100 students who qualify to join university; we suffer explosive unemployed population that is generally idling coupled with threats from cross-border over resources and the global challenge of radicalism and terrorism which is spreading in the region. I would like to request the FCDC counties to expand and adapt adult education using ECD classes in the afternoon, in order to change our illiteracy levels and take charge of transforming our region.” — H.E Capt. Ali Ibrahim Roba, Mandera Governor & FCDC Chairman
On Peace and Cohesion: “As we continue pursuing the spirit of collaboration and speaking in one voice, let’s also remember that creating a peaceful environment for our people is one of the main reasons we have formed this economic block. Without peace, there is no development. Therefore, we need to implore our people to embrace peaceful co-existence and lets all join hands in finding a lasting solution for our peoples by bringing to an end cattle rustling and other forms of violence including violent extremism.” — H.E Mohamud A. Ali, Marsabit Governor and FCDC Vice Chairman
On opportunities in the region
“As a region, we have been so blessed with recent resource finds, such as the oil and water in Turkana, minerals in Mandera, West Pokot, coal in Lamu, gas yet to be exploited in Wajir, and above all, almost all of the wildlife is found in our region. As leaders, we shall defend the rights of our people to ensure they reap the maximum benefits from these resources. We shall work together with government and other partners to bid goodbye to marginalisation.” — H.E Mohamed Abdi, Wajir Governor
On livestock production: “Livestock is the production mainstay of all of the FCDC regions. It is important that we make sure that our livestock is well protected and of good quality for human consumption locally and internationally. Our meat will soon be processed once our abattoirs are operational. We want to create disease free zones, develop primary identification systems and undertake regular vaccination for our livestock. All these require huge investments, and we call upon our partners to join us in this endeavor.”—H.E Prof. John K. Lonyang’apuo, West Pokot Governor
On livelihood diversificationH.E Alex Tolgos, Elgeyo Marakwet Governor
“I urge my colleagues to tap into the potential of our people and diversify livelihood options to complement our primary source of revenue. Agribusiness and irrigated agriculture, ICT, sports, and entrepreneurship are some of the areas that empower our people, particularly the youth.” We need to ensure that our people are able to produce enough food to feed their families, so that hunger, malnutrition and child mortality become a thing of the past in the FCDC region.”