Chesogon Market on Marakwet/West Pokot Border Reopens

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By Isah Asesa

DP Ruto presided over the reopening of Chesegon Market along the once volatile border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties

DP William Ruto and West Pokot governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo at the ceremony

Deputy President Dr William Ruto is today expected at Chesegon at the West Pokot/Elgeyo Marakwet border for the reopening of the market.The development seeks to reunite the Pokot and Marakwet communities.

This is after leaders from the bandit-prone West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties embarked on a series of peace meetings in Kerio Valley.

For the last couple of weeks, youths drawn from the two counties have been clearing bushes around the market ahead of its official opening today.

Insecurity in the areas has led to killings of hundreds of people and theft of cattle from the two neighboring communities.

 

 

 

Members of the Marakwet and Pokot communities arrive for the celebrations

For close to three years, Chesegon, which is situated at the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties, suffered a spate of bandit attacks.

Lives were lost from both sides, others maimed, cattle stolen, revenue lost and several other losses.This is one of the biggest markets in the region which brings together traders from as far as Tiaty in Baringo.

According to local leaders, the market drives the region’s economic muscle since it accommodates people from diverse places, the market provided ready consumption of locally produced wares.

Chesogon Market in Kerio Valley reopens after it was closed for 5 years because of banditry

Those from the highlands bring fresh produce from their farms while those from the lowlands, who are largely pastoralists, bring their animals for sale.Learning has been interrupted in the area after families fled the volatile border due to attacks.

Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen and his Sigor counterpart Peter Lochakapong said the opening of the market will restore order in the region.

North Rift Kenya leaders at the peace celebrations to reopen Chesogon Market on the border of Marakwet and West Pokot

“We are also looking forward to form joint SACCOs for the two communities and a cooperative society besides buying water pumps for reformed cattle rustlers to encourage farming and foster peace and cohesion among the warring community,” said Mr Bowen.

Mr Lochakapong raised concern that relentless insecurity in the Kerio valley region was steadily locking the region into a warzone making investors shun the area as others already in operation have deserted their projects.

“Kerio valley is one of the productive regions in the country but without peace, all is futile. We are focused in opening up the region and develop and enable the residents enjoy what God gave them because they have all known battles for decades,” he said.

When the market was closed due to the sprawling insecurity, the economy was hurt.At that moment, there was drought that hit arid and semi-arid areas.

There was no free flow of goods and services, these people from the dry areas starved as those from highlands stared at huge losses.

Fresh produce from their farms lacked market.ENDS

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