For decades gun shots reigned supreme in Kapturo , along the borders of Baringo North and Tiaty constituencies . Gunshots was order of the day and communities living in where Pokot and Tugen communities could not afford to see each other eye to eye. Not now , in one unique way to broker peace deal in the area ,
For decades gun shots reigned supreme in Kapturo , along the borders of Baringo North and Tiaty constituencies .
Gunshots was order of the day and communities living in where Pokot and Tugen communities could not afford to see each other eye to eye.
Not now , in one unique way to broker peace deal in the area , livestock keepers have now turned to farming as an alternative route to seek elusive peace .
This has seen the two communities to come together after elders agreed that the warring communities farm together and bury hatchet they have had for decades.
Millet farming among the two communities is considered sacred crop in Kalenjin community , millet grains also in the community is used in a ritual to seek forgiveness by old grandmothers who conduct special prayers to appease gods during dry spell.
In the special prayers called ‘‘soisso” conducted by few individual grandmothers normally followed by songs , gods according to them obey their prayers and amazingly rains from nowhere befalls.
The old women in the community pour millet along the roads leading to their sacred devotions during their special prayers.
Not all grand mothers are allowed to conduct the special ritual but only women who are considered holy and for instance women who are rich in culture.
For those women regarded ‘‘ unholy ‘’ ,historical injustices in their families or themselves force them not to be enjoined in the special rituals.
The ritual among the two communities is slowly fading due to massive campaigns against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which old women in both ethnic sub tribes despise the western culture for much interference with their culture.
After the communities lost their livestock , lives and displacement of families in 2012 , they reached into an agreement to stop further deaths and animosity with their neighbors .
Peter Yator the area chief toldRift News that the area was a war torn and property of unknown value were vandalized but through frequent peace meetings held , the community has afford peace through millet farming .
He said through combined efforts of the two communities the farmers decided to till a 60 acre land to plant the crop together as one way to fight hostility which has in turn successfully raised the economy of the area.
Middle aged mother Salina Yator from Tugen community revealed that mothers are agitators of cattle rustling therefore there was need to embrace elusive peace at that time through them in the deal which has worked in the volatile borders of Tugen and Pokot communities.
She said women in the area are now seeds of peace for the families in the area have lived peacefully after the reaping big from the farming .
MrsYator however said the new venture has enabled families pay school fees for their sons and daughters comfortably .
Moto Lorianga an old man from Pokot confirmed that since the planting of the millet they have lived in peace and the last gunshot it was heard in the area was in the year 2012.
Ann Kasavuli a missionary based in the area said the peace efforts are bearing fruits and locals have embraced education and modernity .
‘‘ We urge communities to abandon retrogressive cultures in the society for they are route course to past cultures like cattle rustling.Government should also take responsibility in realizing peace to aid the two communities welcome development to the area.
Efforts in the North Rift region has brought peace after a peace caravan led by Tecla Lorupe in 2014 and reformed warriors .
Leaders from NOREB region led by Governor Benjamin Cheboi lauded the initiative saying warring communities in North Rift have lived in peace.
He said county governments in the area are working to make their counties rich through farming activities and has also been welcomed by colleague Governors.
‘‘ We intend to reverse the cattle rustling trend in warring communities to cattle rearing .Through the spirit of bringing the vice to an end ,leaders must remain committed to negotiate peace in the region ,’’ Rift Valley Regional Cordinator Wanyama Musiambo told chiefs during peace meeting at Kenya School of Government in Baringo.
Photo : A woman harvests millet in Kapturo in the border of Baringo North and Tiaty where three years ago the area was battle zone