The UN Uumanitarian Agency (OCHA)
The UN humanitarian agency (OCHA) is set to launch a 6.1-million-U.S.-dollar border security project to help boost resilience building in Turkana, northern Kenya.
The funds approved by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security will help strengthen human security in the border communities of Turkana region which has faced perennial conflicts as a result of cross border raids by militia from neighboring countries.
“The Human Security Trust Fund project is focused on strengthening the resilience of the dominant livelihood in the face of natural disasters and other shocks, while providing alternative coping mechanisms through coordinated, sustainable interventions in the livelihood, food security, education, child labor and health sectors,” OCHA said in a statement released in Nairobi on Monday.
Rampant insecurity has forced Kenya to establish an army base along the Kenya-Ethiopia border in Todonyang, Turkana County to curb rebel militia attacks and asked Ethiopia to establish the same on its side of the border to allow the security personnel to tighten surveillance and address security issues as they arise on the ground.
Several Kenyans including security officers have been killed by the Ethiopian militia since May last year in cross border attacks linked to militiamen from the neighboring country.
It has forced hundreds of Kenya’s Turkana families to move away from the rich fishing grounds along the shores for their safety to Lwarengak, 14 km away.
Kenya has made demands to the Ethiopian administration in bid to restore peace at the border. The East African nation has demanded the withdrawal and disarmament of the nearly 500 Merrile militia at Natapal, an Ethiopian security post at the border.
The militia is accused of staging attacks on the Kenyan side to force officer and Turkana villagers move away from the fertile fishing areas.
The vast region suffers from a ‘climate change-migration- conflict-nexus’ where recurring, severe drought cycles lead to increasingly frequent out migrations of pastoralists within Kenya or across the border, in search of water and pasture for livestock.
The project which will be launched in Nairobi on Wednesday by Minister Ibrahim Mohamed Elmi; the Minister for State for Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands together with the UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator, Aeneas Chuma and the Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Kenya, Toshihisa Takata.
The project will target the most vulnerable of the Turkana Central population as well as selected neighboring cross-border communities by providing opportunities to interact in a peaceful manner through joint training and the establishment of joint markets and trade opportunities.