Youths at the troubled Kerio Valley region are being engaged in sporting activities to promote a peaceful co-existence among neighboring communities, courtesy of the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA). Under the Aror teams society, the youths have been engrossed in football and volleyball matches for the last two months.
The new approach will help eradicate retrogressive practices like cattle rustling and banditry in the region.
KVDA Managing Director Sammy Naporos said that the initiative uses sports in order to establish social interaction between warring communities that have experienced conflicts as a result of the dominant culture of cattle rustling.
He said that the authority has initiated development projects on irrigation in Sigor, Lomut, Tot, Chepkuk ,Kamusuwet and Rogocho.
“We need permanent development so that peace can be realized among communities and clans. We need quick development. Sport is a universal language that can be understood by all. Its intrinsic values such as teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and the rules of the game are understood all over the world thus can be harnessed in advancement of solidarity, social cohesion and peaceful coexistence,” he said.
The MD who called on area residents to embrace peace, said there is a need to diversify sports use for peace building.
Speaking during the final matches held on Sunday at Kipkener primary school, Naporos said that they are promoting youths to help them improve talents in sports and enhancing development. “Many youths are idle since they lack meaningful income generating projects and this has led to most regions to experience insecurity,” he said.
The events organizer Mr. Geoffrey Rotich said that sports has helped many youths in the area who were marginalized to end cattle rustling. He said the sports activities help engage youths and promote peace in the region where cattle rustling was rampant.
KVDA Director Dr. Joseph Rotoi said that as an authority they value sporting activities as it gives youths from different clans and tribes a platform to play together. “Peace is paramount and we should keep youths busy to eep them from engaging in criminal activities,” he said.