A Sh6 billion programme to address insecurity and improve the living standards for residents of Baringo, Laikipia, Samburu, and Isiolo counties is slowly taking shape.
In 2017, leaders from the four counties met to discuss ways of alleviating poverty and dealing with perennial insecurity. It is when the Amaya Triangle Initiative (ATI) was birthed.
In May 2021, Governors Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia), Stanley Kiptis (Baringo), Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu) and Mohammed Abdi Kuti (Isiolo), the Ministry of Interior and the ATI secretariat prepared a joint proposal.
The initiative is a joint programme by the national government and the counties to address the root causes of insecurity and improve the quality of living by providing education, vocational skills, incentives and infrastructure that enable the communities to diversify to sustainable livelihoods.
Governor Muriithi, who also serves as the chairperson of the initiative, said already, the four counties had each received Sh100 million from the national government to boost the education sector.
“The Sh6.5 billion Amaya Triangle Initiative soft security program is a very important agenda because it will ensure lasting peace and prosperity in the four counties,” Mr Muriithi said.
He noted they are targeting to have at least 10,000 youths joining technical training institutes in the next one year as this will deter them from engaging in cattle rustling activities.
Mr Muriithi gave the example of Lonyiek secondary school in Laikipia North, which is now serving the people of Laikipia and Tiaty Constituency in Baringo County.
“We have seen a reduction in cattle rustling in the region. The students have dropped guns for education. Over 200 of them have enrolled in the school,” he said.
The Ministry of Interior will support the programme through a conditional grant issued to the county governments of Laikipia, Baringo, Samburu and Isiolo over a three-year period in the 21/22 and 23/24 financial years.
It was agreed that each of the counties will receive Sh500 million per year, adding up to Sh2 billion annually for all.
The four counties further signed a memorandum on ‘Cooperation for Peace and Development’ to jointly address the root causes of insecurity by undertaking coordinated community empowerment and security development coordination.
In the program, the ATI counties have partnered with the national government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Foundation and World Bank to mobilise resources.
Samburu governor Moses Lenolkulai noted that a lot of achievements had been made so far, which has seen cases of cattle rustling reduced.
“We have dug over 50 dams so far which have seen the pastoral communities get water for their livestock. Boreholes have also been sunk with the help of the National Drought Management Authority where residents are also getting water for irrigation,” he noted.
ATI chief executive officer Virginia Wahome said projects to be initiated will occur concurrently in all four counties.
“We have laid a well-set program to ensure all these projects take place in all the four counties. Once we get the funds, the issue of insecurity will be brought to an end in the next five years,” she said.