Inside Politics

Azimio pledges to reopen Kenya-Somali border to bolster trade

Monday, June 27th, 2022 01:05 | By
Martha Karua
Raila Odinga's running mate Martha Karua. PHOTO/File

Azimio One Kenya Alliance presidential leader Raila Odinga yesterday promised to reopen the Kenyan-Somali border if elected in August saying the two countries can still benefit from cross-boundary trade. 

The border has been closed for the last three years due to the rising attacks by insurgents residing in the neighbouring country. 

Speaking during a campaign event in Habaswein, Wajir, the candidate said they will look to boost trade between the two countries that has often been hampered by the decades-old instability in Somalia. 

“We will reopen the Kenya-Somali border so that we can get sugar, rice from the neighbouring country without any problems,” said Raila.

When the Jubilee government closed in 2019, it also blamed it for encouraging the sneaking of contraband goods to the country. 

The presidential candidate also said they will formulate insurance policies for the pastoralist communities, who reside in most of Northern Kenya, to cushion them against massive losses when their livestock die from destructive droughts or floods. 

“We want to introduce livestock insurance so that when your cattle, goats or camels die you can be compensated,” he said. 

Often the pastoralists count losses that amount to millions of shillings due to natural disasters, mostly from delayed rainfalls or floods and previous administrations have tried to force them to sell their livestock before they were wiped out by droughts. 

“I am aware many people have lost their livestock and have not been compensated. We will make sure that all those affected will be compensated,” Raila promised. 

He said under his government pastoralism will be a source of wealth not poverty.

The Azimio team has spent the last four days pitching their bid in the Northern regions and have traversed Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir and Garissa as they seek to consolidate the support of the locals. 

Raila’s running mate Martha Karua said the Azimio administration would be the best to handle the perennial challenges facing the region promising to guard against laxity in delivering what they have promised.

“As a mother, I will be reminding Raila daily about our promises. Our youths have lost hope because they do not have any opportunity to improve their lives. The Azimio government will bring economic revolution and improve the lives of our people,” said Karua, 

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