Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta have signed a Memorandum of
Understanding on a joint cross-border integrated programme for sustainable
peace and social economic transformation for Turkana, West Pokot and Karamoja.
The two leaders signed the MoU in Moroto on Thursday evening.
The move to sign the memorandum started on August 31st, 2018 in Nairobi and a
number of meetings have been held by technical and political leaders in
collaboration with UN Country teams, IGAD and Development partners.
The meetings recommended the development of the MoU and
framework aimed at economically empowering the local communities through a mix
of social-economic transformative programmes.
Through the MoU both communities on the Kenya and Ugandan
sides can now harness opportunities for better co-operation, close coordination
and peaceful coexistence.
The initiative is also envisaged to bridge isolation
gaps and improve livelihoods and socio-economic conditions for sustainable peace
Eugene Wamalwa, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of Devolution, says
the MoU is going to facilitate peaceful coexistence between the pastoral
communities across border.
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The Karamoja Affairs Minister, John Byabagambi, says the
peace agreement is an aid to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals,
SDGs across the two counties.
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The MoU has already facilitated procurement of vehicles
especially for security, ambulances and solar panels for the communities across
Karamoja, Turkana and West Pokot rate among the
underdeveloped sub regions in Uganda and Kenya amid vast resources especially minerals.
Statistical evidence indicates that Karamoja poverty levels
stand at 62% of the total population, far above the national average of 21.4%.
Besides, 70% of the population is food insecure below the national food
insecurity average of 37%.
In Turkana and West Pokot, the Kenya National Bureau of
Statistics puts the regions at 68.4% of the population below the poverty line,
compared to a national average of 36.1% (KIBHS, 2016.)
The report also
indicates that many households in the region suffer from low availability and
access to food and water resources; resulting in high levels of chronic and
acute food insecurity and malnutrition.
Both regions are characterized with low literacy and high