Baringo county seeks to allocate land for military camp

Plans to set up a military camp in Baringo county are at an advanced stage.

Last week, top Ministry of Defence officials held talks with the county government officials to finalise the arrangements.

The meeting was attended by the Ministerial Ad Hoc Committee on Military Lands chair Brigadier Foustine Sirera, Col George Otieno, Governor Benjamin Cheboi and County Lands Executive, Arch Reuben Rutto among other officials.

Rutto disclosed that the military is seeking 1,000 acres of land in Mukutani, Baringo South, and Loyamorock in Tiaty to establish a permanent camp, paramilitary training field and aircraft space.

He said the military was eyeing land within the volatile Mukutani, Loyamorock, and Saimo Soi which has been a buffer zone for bandits.

“The presence of the military will help in solving protracted banditry crisis, a committee from KDF and the county government have been selected to compile reports and present it within a month,” he said.

Rutto said the Lands Department will conduct public participation and engage leaders to agree on allocation of land for the military. The process of allocating land for the establishment of the training centre started in 2019.

Rutto regretted that bandits had destroyed property in Baringo South and Braingo North and a military base in the area would end the menace.

“The establishment of the military base in Mukutani and Loyamorock will result in restoration of peace and harmony in the region and improve lives of the local people,” he said.

Governor Cheboi emphasised that the decision was critical for national security and safety of locals who have been displaced and others killed because of banditry.

“We have a responsibility to navigate these discussions with integrity, transparency and inclusivity,” Cheboi said.

Defence Principal Secretary Patrick Mariru in a letter dated March 27, 2024, and addressed to Baringo county government indicated that engagements between Ministerial Ad Hoc Committee on Military Lands showed that the Kenya Defence Force was occupying and developing Mukutani Forward Operation Base which was developed to help stabilise the security through collaboration with the National Police Service.

“The ministry is yet to formalise the ownership of the camp which has undergone several infrastructural developments. Following the change of government in the county, the committee must engage the current administration to complete the process,” said the PS.