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Pastoral Communities Request For Cross Border Technical School

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Mark Sagal, one of the elders and resident of Rupa Sub County in Moroto district, said establishing a Technical school along the border of Turkana and Karamoja would help to cement the current peace that the two communities are enjoying.
13 Jan 2021 08:13
Karimojong and Turkana pastoralists at the meeting last week.
The three pastoral communities of the Karimojong, Turkana and Pokot of Kenya have appealed to the Kenyan and Ugandan governments to establish a technical institution along the border to serve their children.

The issue came up during the cross border peace meeting between the Turkana of Kenya, Tepeth, Matheniko and Pokot of Uganda held in Namorupusi in Loima Sub County in Turkana County in Kenya. The peace meeting was supported by Turkana County government and attended by the governor of Turkana county Josphat Nanok and the Karamoja Affairs Minister, John Byabagambi.

Mark Sagal, one of the elders and resident of Rupa Sub County in Moroto district, said establishing a Technical school along the border of Turkana and Karamoja would help to cement the current peace that the two communities are enjoying.

He said the school would benefit the children of both pastoral communities to help them get skills for survival. “Since we handed over our guns to Uganda government, we have lost appetite of cattle rustling and we are now enjoying peace with our brothers the Turkana,”he said.

Peter Lopuke, another elder from Takwal in Loima location, said a technical school was the only institution that would help to lift the education level of the pastoralist’s children. “We are no longer in bad terms with our brothers the Karimojong, the only challenge we are left with it’s the Pokot of Kenya. If the Kenyan government could also remove guns from Turkana and the Pokot like what Uganda did we will be in peace,” he said.

Jeremiah Losia, another elder from Namoruputh said the course that should be introduced in the technical school must be of interest to pastoralists such as animal health and crop production. Both Nanok and Byabgambi told the pastoralists that their demands will be implemented.

"Let us first wait for Uganda to finish her elections all what you’re requesting are important programs geared towards development," said Byabagambi. The Karimojong and the Turkana were long-term enemies but are now working together and have promised to stop bickering and concentrate on development projects.

More than 8,000 Turkana pastoralists with over 90,000 head of cattle, donkeys, sheep and goats are currently grazing in Uganda following the drought that affected their region last year. However, the challenge remains on the side of Kenya between the Turkana and the Pokot who are killing each other on daily basis as a result of cattle rustling.

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