Elgeyo Marakwet joins frontier counties' economic bloc

Governors Ali Roba, Moses Lenolkulal and Alex Tolgos at the Frontier Counties Development Council conference held at Kishaunet show ground in Kapengeruia. 

The Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) has accepted request by the county government of Elgeyo-Marakwet to be included in the economic bloc.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba who chairs the Economic bloc has said the request by Governor Alex Tolgos to have his Elgeyo Marakwet county included in the pool had been accepted.

FCDC bloc is a shared platform created by County governments of Lamu, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, West Pokot and Turkana.

These Nine counties are listed as the most marginalised regions in Kenya where historical neglect has resulted into glaring inequalities between them and the rest of the country.

Addressing the second Day of an ongoing Governors' FCDC conference at Kishaunet Show ground in Kapenguria, West Pokot county on Wednesday, Governor Tolgos said his county shared the same characteristics with those under FCDC and it was for that reason that it should be included.

"I am here today as an observer and I have already presented the request to be included in this bloc because this is where we belong," Tolgos told the meeting attended by at least 10 Governors, Devolution Principal Secretary Micah Powon, Members of parliament and development partners.

Tolgos said Elgeyo Marakwet was one of the 'closed' districts right from the colonial era, and suffered from under-development over the years.

"In fact, some of the offices we occupy in Iten Town were built by ASAL projects, a confirmation that the region was classified under Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL)," said the Governor.

Responding to the issues raised by Governor Tolgos, Mr Roba said the request had been accepted, adding that Elgeyo Marakwet joined Samburu county which secured the greenlight to join the network recently.

The chairman however said the meeting at Kapenguria was an annual event meant to review the achievements of the bloc.

Some of the counties still faced challenges such as insecurity associated with cattle rustling and banditry, drought, outdated cultural practices among others, noted Governor Roba.

The bloc enhances the benefits of devolution process in their respective counties by serving as a catalyst and trigger for sustainable development.

Other Governors present in the meeting included Mohammed Abdi (Wajir), Moses Kasaine (Samburu) Mohammed Kuti (Isiolo), Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia) and the host Prof John Lonyangapuo among other leaders.