The prolonged battle between the Kericho County Government and the United Kingdom-based tea firms over the deployment of tea harvesting machines is far from over after massive job losses due to the introduction of mechanization.
Kericho County Governor Eric Mutai has now formed a task force comprising an 11-member committee chaired by Richard Too to address the issue. The task force aims at coming out with recommendations on the social and economic impact of the current and emerging challenges on the residents of Kericho, such as mechanization by the multinational tea companies which has rendered thousands of casual labourers jobless. It has started receiving submissions from the members of the public within the county pertaining to the multinational tea firms that occupy the large chunks of land within the County with James Finlay, Ekatera Tea (formerly Unilever) among others that owns an estimated 200,000 acres in Kericho. The task force has also started engaging residents around the County in Kipkelion East and Kipkelion West Sub-Counties where the public got a chance to air their views at Tuiyo Market, Kedowa Market and Londiani. At the same time, the task force will hold public participation sessions for residents in Kericho East Sub-County at Kericho Green Stadium and called on residents of Belgut and Bureti Sub-Counties to turn out in large numbers to share their views on January 9-10 at Litein Municipal Hall, Sosiot Social Hall, and Seretut Dispensary. In addition, the task force Chair assured residents that all their views will be considered in the final Taskforce report. “This is a very significant process and we appreciate that residents are concerned and coming out to air their views and grievances which will help us draft recommendations that will give a way forward and a lasting solution to the issue” said Too. The task force is mandated to analyze the roles of different stakeholder segments and make recommendations on how they can collaborate among themselves and with the county government to develop the tea sub-sector. ADVERTISEMENT. SCROLL TO CONTINUE READING. The 11-member working party is also tasked to review challenges facing the multinationals and other tea sub-sector stakeholders within Kericho County and make appropriate recommendations.
Source: Capital Digital Media