By Agwanda Saye
A Kisumu based Civil society charged with promotion of use of alternative dispute resolution mechanism for peaceful co-existence Uhai Lake Forum Organization is now engaging youths in useful ventures as away of reducing insecurity and has also brought on board elders within the luos and Kalenjins fighting over cattle rustling.
The organization which is now based a long the volatile Kisumu and Kericho Counties has also brought on board elders from where the two communities have been fighting over cattle rustling which has resulted into seven people being injured, fifty seven houses being burnt down and five hundred households being displaced have died resulting to who works in the region to bring the elusive peace among the warring communities have now organized meetings among elders from both sides to address the insecurity situation. Tom Onyango the Co-coordinator of the organization that is being funded by Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFORD) said they have identified elders they been engaging in the past and will organize for peace meetings across the border.
“The locals say that the absence of jobs is the reason for the rice in criminal activities that has seen the rise in cattle rustling sparking conflict in the region” Onyango said. But elders in Nyakach are now calling upon the national and the county governments to create employment to the youths and offer soft loans for business start up to make them become self reliant. John Rasare, an elder from Nyakach said the national government needs to assist county governments to earmark projects that could engage the youths in the country. Rasare said that a free and secured society is for the government to invest in its youths who are believed to be the strength of every economy. The locals now want the county governments to establish a youth databank to help develop policies and services geared for young people. “Lack of job opportunities has been blamed for the youths engaging in criminal activities, including engaging in cattle rustling and the government should address the social, economic and security challenges facing the youth. “He added Onyango who led the organization to the ground that was hit with clashes further announced that they are mooting plans to establish community peace committees along the troubling Nyakach-Kericho boarder. He said that in the wake of skirmishes in the area that has led to the killings of six people, the committees should strive to incorporate the youth, women and other interested parties drawn from the border. “The conflict along the border is an issue that has taken the government along time to bring to end and should now resort to home grown solution by involving the locals themselves,” he said. Onyango said they had organized more forums within these areas and have identified peace ambassadors who will work closely with the communities to create awareness on the need to co-exist peacefully.
He also says that youths should maintain peace and learn to live with harmony with each other “As a civil society we will strive to ensure our people live peacefully and put the government on spot over the creation of more jobs for our youths,” said Onyango.