BY WINSTONE MUSISI
A group of elders from the Deputy President William Ruto’s backyard in the North Rift Region have petitioned President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and ensure the stalled development projects in the region worth billions of shillings are completed before he exits from office in 2022.
The elders noted that the affected multi-billion shillings flagship projects spread in six counties comprising the vast region were on
verge of turning into wide elephants if he (Uhuru) does to intervene on time for their speedy completion.
Speaking to the media in Eldoret town today, the elders, drawn from Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Baringo counties requested the President to tour the region and assess for himself the status of some of the stalled projects.
Corruption is to blame
Led by their spokesman Sammy Kilach, regretted that rampant corruption was to blame for stalling of the mega projects that were intended to uplift the living standards of the local residents.
According to the elders, the differences between the president and his Deputy could also have contributed to the stalemate of the
“We ask the president to openly engage with the people of Kenya and especially with the residents of the bread basket of the country and tour the region to assess the state of desperation and impoverishment of the people and to know first-hand that all the plans he promised to execute since 2018 have not taken route here,” said Kilach.
The elders have now called upon the Head of State to put aside their differences and focus on matters developments that will be his legacy.
We don’t know what happened to Uhuru & Ruto
“We acknowledge President Kenyatta as the leader of this country. We do not know what might have contributed to their differences with his deputy since that remains between them. Whatever their issues are, they should not affect the development of the nation,” argued Kilach.
William Cheruon, former Meteitei civic leader in Nandi county, said that over the previous years, the region has felt marginalized when it comes to development projects given that other regions like the Nyanza and Central regions are progressing well.
“Nandi County has suffered challenges of poor roads. Kobere-Timboroa roads were launched years ago but are yet to be completed. The same problem has been witnessed on the Cheptiret-Olessos road as well among other roads within the region, “said Cheruon.
Among projects which the elders demand accountability from the leaders are the construction of the multi-billion shillings Arror and Kimwarer dams in Elgeyo Marakwet to open up irrigation and water supply to the counties of Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot.
We need stalled projects completed
Other projects include: construction of Koitalel Samoei University in Nandi County, fertilizer factor which was set to be constructed in Uasin Gishu, Construction of a level 6 hospital in Eldoret, resettlement of decade-old squatters in Kimwani, Chemelil and Kimondi in Nandi as well as some victims of 2007 post-election violence.
Others are construction of roads in Nandi county and compensation of residents affected by the construction of the Eldoret bypass.
Another elder, Daniel Chebwai, urged the government to consider the agriculture sector
“The North Rift is among the breadbaskets of the country. We urge that enough resources be deployed in the ministry of Agriculture in order to support the farmers and boost the economy,” said Chebwai.