By Cyprian Nyakundi
Lomut and Nyang’aita are in Sigor constituency of West Pokot County. The place is inhabited by the Pokot people whose main occupation is animal rearing though some of the community also engage in subsistence farming. The area is generally arid with loose and almost sand soil with scattered vegetation of shrubs and acacia trees. The rains are very scarce in this area and when they come they do not last for long.
There are many different factors in this region that are impacting on the conflict and causing it to escalate. The Pokot community are largely pastoralists and rely on the availability of pasture and water for the survival of their livestock which is their means of livelihood. These resources are scarce and are under increasing pressure because of droughts and climate change. The Pokot graze their animals and cross into Turkana territory and vice –versa causing tension among the two communities since they depend on the same resources. Cattle raiding is a constant source of tension amongst the two communities as both are the victims and perpetrators where many lives and livelihoods are destroyed.
SCCRR for the above reasons has been holding a series of workshops in the areas of Lomut and Nyang’aita with the intention of equipping people with the skills to establish a long lasting peace between the communities.
Since the beginning of the workshops the tension within this area has reduced with the participants of the workshops equipped with resourceful peacebuilding tools to solve the ongoing conflicts. Peace committees have been set up in the two places that is Nyang’aita and Lomut to coordinate these efforts. The peace committees have organised meetings in different places in Turkana County such as Lokori, Kapedo Akulo and Lokichar with the collaboration of the local leadership of the two communities.
As these meetings continue, SCCRR is working to make sure that communities are equipped with the necessary peace building technical skills to ensure that the peace efforts are embedded with a sound and sure foundation.