Laikipia County Assembly Ratifies Amaya Triangle Initiative Agreement, Isiolo To Follow Suit

The County Assembly of Laikipia has made unprecedented move of ratifying a socio-economic bloc bringing together Laikipia, Baringo, Samburu and Isiolo counties raising hopes of long-lasting security and prosperity of the region.
Co-operation for Peace and Development popularly known as the Amaya Triangle Initiative was formed in the aftermath of invasion of private ranches and attacks that led to the killing people and wanton destruction of property.
After the 2017 General Election, Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi mobilized the region governors, senators and MCAs to form the bloc as a response to the insecurity that characterized the region which slowed down its development.
This was to be achieved by having the county government implement targeted projects such as water, infrastructure and education sectors simultaneously to minimize resource-based conflicts.
The initiative seeks to transform the region by unlocking the potential of beef, leather and tourism sectors by carrying out simultaneous projects across the four counties to eliminate that are often triggered by pastoralists in search of water and pasture.
On Tuesday, Laikipia MCAs unanimously adopted a report of Cohesion and Legal Matters Committee that had been tasked to look into the memorandum of understanding signed by the governors of the four counties.
This is an exciting milestone in the efforts to transform this cattle-rearing region into an economic powerhouse by ensuring peace among the pastoral communities after months of consultations and public participation, the chairman of the committee Mr George Meshami said.
Ratification of the bloc by the Laikipia County Assembly brought to an end months of negotiations, canvassing and lobbying among the regions leaders. It gives the bloc a legal basis to engage and seek resources.
The Isiolo county assembly is also expected to ratify the document sometime next week.
This is no ordinary feat since most inter-county economic blocs are mere agreements between the governors that lack no legal basis. We are the first intercounty bloc to achieve this feat, said Ms Virginia Wahome, the Laikipia director in-charge of the initiative.
According Ms Wahome top of the initiatives priorities is to consolidate efforts to initiate transformative projects in the entire region to promote peace. Top this agenda is improving transport and communication infrastructure to boost trade, tourism and security in the region.
This includes the opening up of a road network that connects the four counties and the revival of the Nairobi-Nanyuki railway and extending it to Isiolo to link up the city to the Lapsset Corridor.
Water for production is also a priority project for the bloc, with the member-counties committing more resources to boreholes, dams and water expected to be put up to enable communities transition into modern livestock farming.
Solving the water shortages is expected to reduce pastoral community movements, the single biggest cause of resource conflicts. The regional bloc is banking on feedlots farming to transform livestock keeping into profitable venture and to cushion pastoralist communities from the effects of climate change.
We are at a point where we welcome anything that promises to bring lasting peace and prosperity in the region, the county Assembly Majority leader Mr Peter Thomi said. Residents of his Githiga Ward have borne the brunt of bandits from Baringo County.
Rumuruti MCA Joseph Suge, urged other county assemblies in the bloc to ratify the agreement, saying it will promote uniformity in development and therefore minimize inter-county conflicts.
He said accelerated development in Laikipia County alone cannot guarantee stability, as immigrant herders and invaders from the neighbouring counties remain a constant threat to Laikipia.
Thats why we are pleased that the County Assembly of Isiolo is in the final steps of ratifying the agreement, he said.
Ratification of the agreement by the four governors has been a lengthy process as the secretariat had to engage each county assembly to come onto common ground in terms of understanding of the agreement before endorsing it.

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