REPORTS FROM THE
to engage in dairy
farming to put food on table
than 15,000 liters of milk is going to waste daily
affecting the livelihood of about 3000 farmers
REPORT BY XINHUA Correspondent
(Xinhua) -- When Kapsait milk cooling plant
was established in Lelan area West Pokot County in
northwest Kenya three years ago it presented an
opportunity to the residents to eliminate poverty.
locals moved away from keeping traditional cows to
dairy breeds to earn income from the plant. For the
past years, there have been good returns from the sale
of milk delivered to the plant.
proceeds have enabled many of the pastoralists to send
their children to school. Power shortages has hit the
milk plant and left farmers to count losses.
used to walk to the bank smiling but things have
changed. Our milk is going to waste due to lack of
power at the plant. We have been forced to feed the
milk to the dogs since there is no market,”
lamented Solomon Akura.
of the residents turned to dairy farming to arrest the
ravaging poverty in their families.
fall down of the plant will reverse the economic
gains we have realized. It calls for urgent
intervention from the government,” says County
Representative David Moiben.
to Moiben, more than 15,000 liters of milk is going to
waste daily affecting the livelihood of about 3000
last month, the plant has shut down due to blackouts
as a result of heavy rains pounding the area. Besides
the blackout, the road to the area has become
impassible closing down markets to farmers. Bridges
along the Kapenguria-Lelan have been destroyed and
washed away by floods.
trucks are unable to access the area to collect
milk. The road is mud and impassible. We appeal to
the Kenya Power to address the blackouts,” Moiben
are now stranded where to take our milk since the
cooling plant is not operational and this is a big
loss to farmers,” he said.
complained that they have been discouraged arguing
that the plant had transformed their lives.
depended on the milk plant to earn income and we are
discouraged from dairy farming. We don’t have any
other source of living,” said a farmer John
manager Philip Ruto said the problem is as a result of
a less voltage power that cannot run the chilling
plant since the machine require a three phase voltage
power instead of the one phase power installed in the
said the problem has been worsened by frequent
lightening. “Our operations have been grounded by
power failure and we don’t known when the problem
will ease,” said Ruto.
Pokot senator Professor John Lonyangapuo who visited
the facility urged the Kenya Power Company to urgently
restore the electricity and end the predicaments of
said most of the farmers in the region depend on milk
as a source of income and the power failure has
jeopardized their efforts to make ends meet.
want the government to put long term measures to
solve power problems in the region. This is a big
loss to the farmers of this county,” said
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