The North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) Bill that was presented to the County Assemblies after a few months of signing the cooperation agreement among the 8 Governors will soon form the basis under which the Bloc will get legal backing.
This was the statement of Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya on Thursday at Kitale town during a Peace Summit hosted by Noreb that aimed at bringing together public and private sector stakeholders in the North Rift region to discuss and deliberate on a road map for sustainable peace and development in the region.
According to Governor Natembeya, NOREB Bill 2023 which is being adopted and ratified by the various county governments, will provide a lasting solution to conflicts that have been threatening peace across the region to realize a peaceful, prosperous and cohesive region.
“I believe that we have a responsibility of calling this insecurity menace to a stop if we unit as Noreb, and the support from the national government,” said Natembeya
“The problem will never be owned by anybody unless we own it ourselves because it is our region that is continuing to be affected and left behind economically” he stressed
Natembeya advocated for a full-time commitment urging the bloc to confront the issue as a unit to resolve it.
On his part, West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin said there was a need to open up conflicting areas to necessitate development and to see residents shift from old ways of doing things to modern.
Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Eng John Barorot said Noreb has what it takes to address the banditry issues calling on the county assemblies to ratify the bill for them to work on the journey of bringing an end to conflicts.
“Let us have a coordinated walking of a talk because it’s time to act” advised Barorot
Deputy, Governors from Transnzoia, Turkana, Samburu, Nandi, West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties reiterated that it was time to talk, walk and act peace noting that counties need to have peace strategies and peace-responsive budgets to help in steering initiative.
NOREB which has been in existence for more than five years without a legal framework seeks to build on the competitive advantages of the different economies of the caucus through fostering intra-regional trade as well as taking advantage of economies of scale from the various counties.
Noreb CEO Dr Godfrey Chesang, Senior Government officers from across the region including CECMs Martha Cheruto (Trade) and Dr Abraham Serem (Environment), and Religious leaders were among the dignitaries present.