ADDRESS INSECURITY AND RESPOND TO CLIMATE CHANGE

PRESS STATEMENT

PREAMBLE

The NCCK Baringo County Coordinating Committee met here at Full Gospel Churches of Kenya, Marigat, Baringo County on March 20, 2024, to reflect on issues pertaining to the security of the county that has affected Baringo North, Baringo South, and Tiaty constituencies. We also took time to discuss the effects of climate change on the people of Baringo and how we wish the government would respond.

End Banditry Attacks in Baringo

Over the years, Baringo County in the constituencies of Baringo North, Baringo South, and Tiaty have known no peace. This has been characterized by the killing of 16 people since January by armed bandits. The latest incident was a police officer, Simon Kandie, 40, who was shot dead while on leave, herding his goats in his Sibilo home, Baringo North. Over 300 goats were driven away.

The insecurity status is very worrying and we are concerned by the escalating insecurity in Baringo County and the ensuing humanitarian crisis more specifically in the locations of Kagir, Chemoe, Yatya, Kosile, and Sibilo. We are disturbed by the Increased number of households displaced from their homes with thousands of people have fled their homes in Mukutani, Sibilo, Koiboware, Ng’aratuko, Kagir, Yatia, Arabal, Loruk, Kapsebeiwa, Akoroyan, Chepkewel, Koroto, Rondinin, Rormoch and Kosile in Baringo North and Baringo South and are currently putting up in temporary structures in Mukutani, Sibilo, Sutiechum, Biretwonin, Koroto, Chebarsiat, Kipcherere, Marigat and Mogotio. We are disappointed that there has not been a deliberate attempt to provide a long-lasting solution as required by the law to the residents of these areas despite various pledges and promises; we are fully aware of our constitutional right to security, protection, and the obligation of the government to observe, protect and fulfill the bill of rights especially the right to life. ; and recognizing that security is a pre-requisite of peace, cohesion, and tolerance we do hereby state as follows;

1) That the church has always and will continue to promote peaceful coexistence and adherence to the rule of law through the preaching of peace, cohesion, and tranquillity among communities.

2)That so far the insecurity situation is reaching worrying and alarming levels. Tens of lives have been lost one being a person living with disability, hundreds injured, thousands of persons have been displaced, and the victims are psychologically traumatized. Business has also come to a standstill, including learning in schools whereby, a factor that will contribute to the vicious cycle of conflict.

3). That so far these matters have been brought to the attention of both National and County Governments through the media, delegations, and petitions but so far very little has come out of it. The Government has been inconsistent in its response to the frequent attacks on people in various parts of the County.

We call upon all the concerned stakeholders to take appropriate action to alleviate the situation.

The government;

  • To speedily offer humanitarian support to displaced victims including women and children who are mostly affected by skirmishes.
  • To take stern action against politicians and individuals having a hand in violence either directly or indirectly.

That Security Agencies:

  • Strengthen security and quell attempts of attacks and counterattacks in the region and focus on systemic disarmament of the affected communities
  • Expedite investigations and bring to book the perpetrators of the recent killings without any political interference.
  • Inform the public, promptly and adequately, on the progress of the investigation and the actions taken to ease the tension being witnessed currently.
  • Allow access and provide security for humanitarian agencies and media for humanitarian support and openness in the entire process  

That citizens especially the aggrieved communities:

  • Remain calm, desist from speculations, and allow time for investigations
  • Keep vigil, and cooperate with security agencies by proactively sharing information on any suspicious activities

All community leaders including political leaders, church leaders, and council of elders:

  • Restrain from making utterances that could plunge the community into inter-ethnic violence and instead encourage patience, tolerance, and cohesion.
  • Desist from issuing unwarranted ultimatums that only create more animosity rather than solving the problem at hand.
  • Initiate measures to address the immediate plight of the affected including providing food and shelter for the displaced persons, medical attention for the injured, and all the necessary support for the bereaved families.

As the church, we commit to:

  1. Continuously sensitize our members by peace messaging through the pulpit.
  2. Fundraise for food relief and medical support to aid the displaced families.
  3. Holding a multi-stakeholder dialogue forum between the community members, community leaders, political leaders, and the church toward finding a lasting solution to the persistent insecurity in Baringo.
  4. Carry out missions and evangelism activities in Tiaty and affected constituencies.

Respond to the effects of climate change

We believe; that God is the creator and protector of nature, that leadership emanates from God, that our environment is the source of our livelihood, that it is our collective responsibility to conserve and protect our environment, and that climate change is a result of harmful human activities and actions. To change the climate change narrative in Baringo County, we call out to the county government and all stakeholders to implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in response to the effects of climate change;

Mitigation Strategies

  • Prioritize land reclamation and restoration
  • Restoration of forest cover by tree planting and growing
  • Planting of root grass in soil erosion-prone lowland areas
  • Integration of Agro-Forestry in our farms
  • Use of alternative sources of energy rather than charcoal e.g. Biogas
  • Implementation of the charcoal burning ban
  • Building gabions and using terraces in our farms to reduce soil erosion

Adaptation Strategies

  1. Full implementation of the Baringo Climate Change Act 2022
  2. Lobbying and advocacy through petitions and memorandums to the duty bearers to implement the Act
  3. Climate change financing
  4. Initiate accelerated funding for adaptation initiatives to match the speed and intensity of the climate impacts already upon the county
  5. 5% of the county budget allocation to climate change interventions
  6. Reinvent Agricultural methods/technologies
  7. Conservation agriculture and climate-smart agriculture
  8. Upgrading livestock breeds and curb over-grazing
  9. Training communities on kitchen gardens
  10. Harvesting and storage of rainwater
  • Improved livestock keeping and farming

Conclusion

We urge all Kenyans to promote peace, love and tolerance. Let each one of us play our part of being peacemakers as we are inspired in Matthew 5:9;

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”

Signed on this 20th day of March 2024 at FGCK Church, Marigat by:

Bishop Samuel Lepeliaini

NCCK Baringo CCC Chairman.

April 2024
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