Turkana and West Pokot elders in Loima have resolved to use Loya Market as the sole designated area for animal trade in a bid to ensure safety of animals and traders from bandit attacks and promote peaceful coexistence between the two neighbouring communities.
The resolution which was witnessed by Turkana County Officials and representatives of the Turkana chapter Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry KNCCI), was arrived at after a day-long meeting in Loima in which area chiefs and sub-chiefs from the two communities participated.
Acting Chief Officer for Trade, Gender and Youth Affairs Mark Amiyo, lauded the move saying it would contain bandits and other peace disruptors, who were using bushes and nearby smaller markets to trade in stolen animals and escalate the volatile situation even further.
Amiyo said his department was ready to guide the process of turning the resolutions into market-use by-laws to create a cordial business environment, where fear of bandit attacks will be minimal or non-existent.
Amiyo specifically termed the clause on the formation of a joint market committee with Pokots and Turkanas to manage the affairs of the market and act as the entry point of conflict resolution as welcome and in tandem with sound market management practice.
Joseph Losuru, a vice chair of Turkana Chambers of Commerce said that the disruption of peace had denied traders the benefit of using Loya Market despite its facilities and proximity to customers.
Losuru noted that the resolution to deny animals suspected to have been stolen and thorough vetting of traders was a step in the right direction for the growth of trade and industry in the cross border area.
Other resolutions reached include issuance of movement permits for animals traded at the market, documentation of all transactions and the involvement of elders in permitting the sale and purchase of camels.
The county Ag. Director of Trade Wilson Ejiye, Joseph Areng of APAD, Albert Nadia and John Ekuruchanait from the county KNCCI, Turkana also attended.