By Faith Rono
The Pokot region has for years been synonymous with tales of bloody cross-border battles with its Marakwet neighbours over grazing land.
The vast semi-arid land also has a history of clashes with the Pokots in Karamoja, Uganda over livestock.
However, West Pokot County is now building a profile for its business opportunities as communities find a way to co-exist peacefully.
And Lelan Highland Dairy Ltd, a milk cooling plant located on the Cherangany Hills, nearly 70 kilometres from Kapenguria town, is the reason for the changing fortunes.
This area has been classified as part of arid and semi-arid land (Asal), yet temperatures remain moderate with a canopy of indigenous trees covering the hilly terrain.
The other striking thing in the area is the large number of modern pedigree breeds of Friesian dairy cows grazing calmly as residents transport yellow jerricans full of milk to Lelan Dairy using donkeys.
The plant was set up in 2008, after the Marakwet and Pokot communities agreed to invest in livestock to improve their livelihoods rather than engage in cattle rustling, Lelan’s board chairman Kenneth Lomaibong, told Business Beat. More....