H.E the Governor Benjamin Cheboi has dismissed reports appearing in sections of the press and doing rounds in social media claiming manipulation of donors to locate all drought resilience projects in Barwesa and Bartabwa Wards in Baringo North.
Tenders for the implementation of six water projects in the two wards were recently advertised in the media by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and fisheries triggering debate of resource allocation within Baringo.
In a rejoinder however, the county government rubbished the allegations saying it has since 2013 followed to the latter the constitution and all laws governing equitable distribution of resources in Baringo.
Speaking in his office during a ceremony to distribute fish fingerlings to various groups from the county, Governor Cheboi said the story appearing in a leading newspaper was done just to incite county residents adding that it lacked proper background and facts on the Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods programme funded by African Development Bank (AfDB) in the Horn of Africa Region.
Cheboi clarified that the process that informed the establishment of DRSLP projects which he launched in November 2013 within two wards started way back in 2011 long before the existence of the county government when the then District Agriculture Officers responded to a call for proposals for funding by AfDB.
'Their response satisfied all the conditions for funding, key among them being an existing community irrigation scheme with room for rehabilitation and expansion,' he said.
At the time of writing the proposal Cheboi said, Baringo North District as it was called that time had Kiboi as the only functional community irrigation scheme within the then Barwessa division.
He revealed that further, the call for proposalsrequired that the other projects which include livestock infrastructure, pasture demo plots, access road and water structures be located not far from each other for the project to create a maximum impact and spin-off benefits to the area residents.
'I fail to understand how some of us can blindly criticize donor funded projects, even threaten to go to court to stop the developments which are beneficial to our people. The beneficiaries of the projects can as well go to court to defend what they have rightfully been granted,'said Cheboi.
The Governor pointed out that this will free additional resources to develop other areas and attract other donors who will help bridge gaps in county government’s budget and fast track the development agenda.
While terming individuals peddling incorrect information as dishonest, Cheboi said they must stop the culture of selfishness. He called on residents to shun such stories and embrace support from development partners wherever their interventions may be located as it would in the long run benefit all county residents.
The county boss said his government is fully committed to supporting AfDB and all development partners working in Baringo, adding that they will in future continue seeking to comply with all reasonable conditions for funding from donors for the benefit of county residents.
'If a (development) partner wants to set up a coffee processing plant today, I will show him a place along the Tugen Hills, not Tiaty. If he wants to help us set up a milk processing plant, I will direct him to the highlands of Baringo in Eldama Ravine. If they want to set up a meat processing factory, I will not hesitate to take him to Tiaty or Mogotio now!' Cheboi said.