Turkana: Kenya, Uganda pastoral tribes battle for scant grass and water for cattle.
Drought has been blamed for a rise in raids along Kenya’s and Uganda’s shared border, as pastoral groups vie for scarce pasture and water for livestock.
This month alone, one guy was shot dead by raiders presumed to be from the neighboring country, and four individuals, including two ladies, were injured by gunshots during an attack near the Nakitong’o border.
Peace pacts signed by community members at the recent Turkana Tourism and Cultural Festivals – Tobong’u Lore hosted at the Ekalees center in Lodwa, however, are anticipated to restore tranquility.
A pregnant mother was among those hurt in the Nakitong’o attack on December 2. She is being treated at the Lodwar County Referral Hospital.
Augustine Kai, director of Lotus Kenya Action for Development Organization (Lokado), stated that insecurity cases have been on the rise since October.
“Drought has boosted raiding incidents due to pasture and water pressure,” Mr. Kai explained.
He claimed that the Kenyan side was the most affected by the drought, which forced pastoralists to flee to Uganda with their animals. Kenyan and Ugandan representatives met during the Tobong’u Lore festival to strengthen ties and discuss problems.
Representatives from three Intergovernmental Authorities on Development member nations, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, signed a 10-point peace deal in the presence of DP William Ruto at a Tobong’u Lore side conference in Lodwar.
“The agreement, whose three parties are Turkana in Kenya, Dassenach and Nyangatom in Ethiopia, and Karamoja in Uganda, is based on the belief that continuing cross-border friendly relations may avoid unnecessary loss of life,” Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok stated.
The treaty was the result of prior diplomatic and bilateral discussions, as well as government-led peace initiatives, which were first held in individual countries and then on the sidelines of past Tobong’u Lore celebrations.
Mr. Nanok stated that the accord will enable the installation of a one-stop border point at Todonyang and Lokiriama, the construction of the Moroto-Lodwar-Todonyang transnational road, and the construction of a cross-border bridge connecting Kibish and Kangaten.
Longolei Ngisaja, a kraal elder in Nakitong’o, said the raids had become more regular, but that “we cannot respond because we still need our neighbors; we do not have enough water and pasture in our area.”