Residents of Laikipia County have reason to breathe easy following Sunday reassurance by President William Ruto that the end of perennial banditry was finally in sight.
Parts of Laikipia County fall in a belt of infamy in areas repeatedly flagged off as disturbed to suspend civilian liberties to allow for security operations to hunt down notorious bands of heavily armed bandits who have resisted and defied civil authorizes for many decades.
However, President William Ruto said on Sunday the end of the bandit menace in Kerio Valley and environs was finally in sight.
They have disturbed people in this region for many decades but I want to assure you their end is finally in sight. I committed to Kenyans that my administration will end the bandit menace in Kerio Valley, and I will make sure I discharge this commitment he said when he addressed an interdenominational thanksgiving meeting at Iten, Elgeyo Markwet County.
To back up his resolve to confront the menace that had made Kerio Valley synonymous with destruction of human life and economic stagnation, President Ruto announced deployment of permanent military installations in Kerio Valley as guarantors of permanent peace.
This ensures no community or sections of communities will re-arm themselves against their neighbors once forced disarmament announced by Defense CS, Mr Adan Duale, is complete.
The President also announced a cabinet resolution that current Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) on the ground will not leave the area until complete pacification between warring communities was achieved.
Among other drastic measures taken is to relocate Moi Military Training Barracks to Kerio valley on a permanent basis in addition to budgetary resources allocated to build schools, open up roads, build bridges and other infrastructure for rapid mobility of security forces and stimulate economic development.
The people of Kerio Valley in Baringo, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot I assure you my administration will decisively make banditry in this region a thing of the past reassured the Head of State.
Laikipia neighbors Baringo and Samburu Counties and banditry menace has constantly spilled over across borders through incursions by warring groups and displaced and threatened civilian populations flee into Laikipia for safety of their families.
Constant incursions into Laikipia not only provoke ethnic tensions but also had disrupted multi-billion large scale commercial farming and tourism enterprises in the county since 2016, not to mention loss of civilian and security personnel lives.
On its part, the County Government of Laikipia, has invested heavily on education of youth to give them alternative pathways to earn decent livelihoods as incentives to draw them away from temptations to offer their labor to risky banditry activities.
This financial year, the County government of Laikipia has allocated sh 10 million for Vocational Training scholarships for youth to acquire employable skills.
These are in additional to 60 full high school scholarships to bright but needy students in each of the 15 Wards of Laikipia. Last week the County Government partnered with Ol Pejeta Conservancy in securing some Ksh18.2 million in full scholarship for 116 students joining form one this week.

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