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North Rift counties pledge to team up to grow wealth

By By TITUS TOO | June 19th 2013


Counties in the North Rift have announced plans to team up to exploit investment opportunities in the region and foster development.

The region has untapped potential in various sectors, including tourism, agriculture and mineral wealth, whose exploitation can be jointly undertaken to improve livelihoods.

Nandi County Deputy Governor Dominic Biwott said the counties would, for instance, explore setting up an abattoir in Eldoret Town that will process beef products from the region for local and export markets.

“Pastoral regions, including Turkana and West Pokot, have adequate livestock,” he said.

“We are close to the Eldoret International Airport, which we can utilise to export the products. The establishment of more universities and other institutions has also created a huge market for beef.”

Biwott made the remarks at his Kapsabet office in Nandi when Standard Group Chief Executive Officer Sam Shollei paid him a courtesy call yesterday.

Shollei affirmed that Standard Group would support the development agenda of the counties, saying it has media platforms that lay emphasis on devolution units, and urged county managers to utilise them to tell their stories.

He also challenged counties that share the same development agenda to form clusters that would drive development. “The North Rift, for instance, has a lot of potential. You will achieve much more if you pull together rather than duplicate development agenda.”

Counties in the North Rift region adjacent to Nandi include Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo/Marakwet, West Pokot, TransNzoia, Baringo and Turkana.

Biwott added that the Nandi County government team has been fully constituted — 10 members of the county executive were sworn in last week — and is ready to work.

He, however, decried the teething problems that have affected the implementation of devolution. “Nandi County will get Sh3.8 billion for devolved governance, but the funds are being released in bits, making it difficult to plan effectively.”

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