The Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) conference is set to kick off on Wednesday and will bring together twelve Governors from marginalized Counties. Speaking to the press, West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said the main agenda of the conference is to come up with various ways on how to open pastoral regions which have been marginalized for decades.
The West Pokot Governor said the Counties had a variety of resources that were untapped and the conference will help in the process of looking for potential investors. “The three-day event will provide the platform to deliberate on strategies to unlock and harness the enormous potential Northern Kenyan has for the prosperity of its people,” he said.
He said they’re pushing the national government and other development partners to help them in funding the projects they’ll identify to help boost the economy in the regions. “We want to ensure these Counties are at par with other regions in the country. We shall come up with a roadmap on how we shall use available resources in the region to ensure we improve the living standards of our people,” he said.
He also pointed out that another key agenda that they’ll discuss is how they’ll be able to end cattle rustling in the region. He said cattle rustling in pastoralist communities has been a major hindrance to development and as leaders, they will come with up with measures to ensure the communities don’t engage in the vice which scares away investors.
He said they want to ensure communities in the region learn to share available resources without conflicts. The West Pokot Governor said marginalized Counties in the past had been blackmailed with negative publicity and it’s the time to prove to the world that the region had the potential to produce. “Negative publicity has tarnished the image of our region and as leaders, we have agreed to bury the hatchet and focus on developing our respective Counties,” he said.
Counties under FCDC are West Pokot, Isiolo, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Turkana, Mandera, Samburu, Lamu, Wajir, Baringo and Marsabit. Other Counties which have been invited are Elgeyo Marakwet, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and Nandi.
Lonyangapuo disclosed that he had invited neighbouring Counties to the forum so that they can learn and acquire skills from the conference. Leaders from Kwen, Bukwo, Moroto and Amudat districts in Uganda have also confirmed they’ll attend the conference that will be held at Kishaunet showground.