By S Bundotich
My Kalenjin people we are in dire straits: the maize produce is rotting in granaries and maize farming is now a direct ticket to poverty, our tea is deemed not competitive, rivers from mau are drying up, milk prices dropped for the first time in history during dry season, cotton farming in Kerio valley is dead, pineapple farming in Kilifi is booming but slowly dying in Bomet, you play zero role in the economy of Nakuru county (the richest in RV) and you have been pushed to periphery, wheat farming in Uasin gishu and Keiyo is dead.
Kalenjins now consume imported wheat even in Eldoret the home of wheat farming, majority of our youth (95%) are jobless facing bleak future, Eldoret town is slowly being taken over by our sisters and brothers from western and Central Kenya.
The Kalenjin nation has been reduced to politicking and waiting for alms, our leaders are only telling you every day that your future and lifeline is all about DP aka “tiipi” and 2022 and are mum about your economic well being. Where did we go wrong?
The so called milk regulations are meant to give a kiss of death to small scale dairy farmers myself included. The drafters want to give a monopoly of purchase/sell of milk to processors. With this kind of stupidity and selfishness am no longer suprised why agricultural produce from Tanzania and Uganda are dominating our markets. Jubilee government is now running on “737 max 8 automobile ”
Meanwhile the pastoralist communities in Kitui, Mwingi, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Isiolo, Marsabit, Moyale, Tana River, Kajiado, Narok, Laikipia changed their lifestyle way back and adopted a hybrid system for survival.. They embraced partial urbanization but continued rearing cattle through use of technology albeit with commercial mind and famine is now a thing of the past in these regions. But in parts of Baringo , West Pokot , and most parts of Turkana the old school traditional thinking is still prevalent since 18th century… That is why a man will have 50 cows but his family is starving.
The local leaders especially MPs lacks courage to tell the people the truth for fear of being voted out…after all poverty leads to political allegiance. What is being described as famine in North rift is nothing but a retrogressive (sorry for the strong term) state of mind by the affected communities. I wish the money being raised could be used to educate them to accept the reality that change is inevitable in 21st century.