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Turkana, West Pokot County discuss harmonization of rangeland units

Turkana, West Pokot County discuss harmonization of rangeland units

Turkana

Wednesday April 3,2024

KNA By Peter Gitonga

The Counties of Turkana and West Pokot have partnered with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the National Government to constitute a participatory rangeland management committee forum to discuss the harmonization of rangeland units grazing plan.

The meeting, held at Alale in Pokot North Sub-County, aims to develop by-laws to guide offenses and penalties that would uniformly apply to all offenders in case of a breach.

Additionally, the forum provided a way forward on contested areas and, approaches to mapping out grazing areas during wet and dry seasons based on grazing patterns.

Turkana county Director for Livestock Production, Bobby Ekadon, expressed optimism that the discussions would provide a more holistic response to the need for a more effective grazing plan for the neighboring communities and allow for rangeland regeneration.

“A participatory approach in the development of the grazing plans based on the community needs and interests will strengthen unity and enhance pasture and livestock productivity,” he said

He also said there was a need for the larger community to validate the developed by-laws and focus on the registration of the rangeland units going forward.

Loima Deputy County Commissioner, Peter Mutiso, urged the rangeland committee members to embrace the spirit of peace and development through managing and sharing scarce resources.

His Pokot North Counterpart, James Ajwang, appreciated GIZ and the two County Governments for organizing the workshop which he said has enabled residents to understand the concept of rangeland management.

He also reiterated the National Government’s support of the initiative as he called on the committee to use the good relations to implement rangeland management.

For the sustainability of peace between the regions, Turkana Director for Peace Building and Conflict Management, Titus Lokorikeju also called for the closure of the illegal livestock market in the Lopuke border area.

This, he said, is a hub for criminal activity involving livestock theft hence the need for one common market livestock trade.

GIZ Technical Advisor, Francis Ekaru, pointed out that the participatory discussion will help bring to an end the perennial issue of conflict over grazing land among the communities.

The grazing planning workshop ended with the joint rangeland units committees developing a grazing plan and harmonized by-laws charting a course for instituting the plan.

The committee was also urged to continue providing educational meetings to the larger portions of the community to create awareness of the efforts to restore land productivity through holistic grazing practices.

The harmonized by-laws will regulate and improve the management and usage of rangelands in the three Sub-Counties.

Going forward, the communities will now have a framework where they can manage their rangelands and protect grazing areas to enhance the productivity of pasture and their livelihood.

The seven units drawn from Pokot North, Loima, and Lokiriama Sub-Counties consist of Lokiriama Urum, Lobei Lorengkippi, Lokitonyala, Kalapata Soity, Ulukuse Kotaruk, Akoret Tomkwo Kalya and Chemorongit rangeland units.

The meeting was also attended by sub-county administrators and chiefs (Loima, Lokiriama Lorengippi, Pokot North), the Director for Livestock Production (West Pokot County), the Ag. Deputy Director for Veterinary Services (Turkana County), Ward Administrators (Lokiriama, Lobei/Kotaruk and Alale), Assistant County Commissioners (Loima and Alale) and Livestock Production Officers.

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