Leaders from pastoralist regions have resolved to consolidate common issues and present them to the national government as a bloc. This was arrived at after a two-day Pastoralist Leadership Summit themed ‘Fostering peace, Security and enhancing socio-economic development of pastoralist’s counties’ that was held in Garissa County which brought together leaders of 15 pastoralist counties in Kenya. Addressing the press, they resolved among other things to speak with one voice together as a vibrant strong progressive community and help each other tackle issues that are of concern to their people.“We are pastoralist and that is what binds us together. We are the forth force. We have resolved to move as a team and speak in one voice. No political outfit will be able to ignore us,” Mandera Governor Ali Roba said. The leaders said they will oppose any attempt to either merge or reduce counties.
Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale, the patron for Pastoral Parliamentary Group said leaders from pastoral zones will defend devolution and won’t allow any constituency or ward to be altered in boundary review. Governor John Lonyang'apuo took issue with Treasury’s move to release ‘little doses’ of funds as restricting development in the counties. “When the law says these monies should be disbursed every month and you wait until like four months, what development do you think will be realised in these counties?” he said. Governor Prof. Lonyangapuo further said they will also push for increase of devolved funds up to 70per cent saying many Kenyans are spread in the counties. On education, they resolved to propose a bill to establish the National Council for Nomadic Education in Kenya to give a legal framework to champion for education in the pastoralist counties. They further resolved to develop a coordination mechanism to enhance effective implementation and accountability of education and training programmes. On census, they resolved to ensure that the Kenya Bureau of Statistics designs and implements an appropriate methodology to enumerate all the residents of the pastoralist zones. The leaders resolved to invest in ensuring that communities come out in large numbers during the census exercise.
This they said will be done by mitigating issues to do with pasture and water which have over the years made it impossible for most pastoralists to be counted since they have either crossed over to other counties or countries. They resolved to ensure that KBS reviews the benchmarks of census in other countries with pastoralists population. The summit brought together governors, MPs, senators, MCAs, community leaders and development partners