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KenGen to revive social activities in West Pokot

By Irissheel Shanzu | October 30th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

KenGen Board of Director’s chairman Joshua Choge at a past function.

The Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) plans to revive community projects along the Turkwel corridor in West Pokot.

The development comes after the National Assembly Committee on Energy visited the Turkwel power plant last weekend and held discussions with KenGen’s management, local leaders and residents from Pokot and Turkana communities.

During the meeting, the company agreed with the leaders to revive the Turkwel Gorge Club, which has been in disuse for many years.

KenGen Board of Director’s chairman Joshua Choge said the project was only possible because of improved security in the region.

“Now that there is peace, we are starting with the club, which is in a deplorable condition. We will carry out our corporate social responsibility to uplift the lives of people residing within the power-generating plant,” said Mr Choge.

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Nearly 10 years ago, KenGen suspended some of the services it offered to residents after armed bandits carried out several deadly attacks.

The company was forced to move some of its staff to Kitale town while other personnel were transferred to various power stations in the country.

Choge said all employees who had been relocated would return to Turkwel.

“Many structures and equipment were vandalised during the time of insecurity. We shall renovate the houses to resume normal business for those staying in Kitale and working in shifts,” he said.

“This is a new beginning. We want to revive annual cultural events, where we will have morans, athletics and beauty contests. Residents will also get a market for their products.”

The director revealed that the company would build structures in schools around the power plant, as well as provide residents with water and relief food during drought.

KenGen, he said, would connect power lines and piped water to villages and schools in Riting, Lorogon, Loyapat, Lonyangalem, Ombolion, Kases, Takaywa, Karon, Lorogon and Kaprokor, where residents had lived for more than 30 years without the basic amenities.

Energy committee chairman David Gikaria urged residents to resolve their problems peacefully for the sake of development. He said inter-marriage would be one way of bringing about harmonious coexistence.

Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto urged KenGen to fast-track projects that would benefit residents financially.

“Security has been beefed up in the area and we asked KenGen to come back and continue with their operations. Security is good because the Government has deployed security forces to protect the lives and property of KenGen staff and the local communities,” said Mr Moroto.

Embakasi South MP Julius Mawathe called for unity among neighbouring communities and said there was need to arrive at a permanent solution to insecurity.

“Let us shun tribalism. Engaging in conflict chases away business and employment,” Mr Mawathe said.

Paul Lolem, a resident, said they were tired of being marginalised. “We have reformed and need development. We need our children to be sponsored with school fees and scholarships.”

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