LAISAMIS SUB COUNTY. LOYANGALANI WARD.
Marsabit Lake Turkana cultural festival was started in 2008 as ELMOSARETU cultural festive purposefully to unite the four rival communities of Elmolo,Samburu ,Rendille and Turkana who live in Lake Turkana Basin. Every year since 2008 the fifteen communities living in Marsabit county have been opening up their societies to rest of the world at around this time of the year.
This year’s annual Marsabit-Lake Turkana Cultural Festival from 28th to 30th June 2018 at the remote Loiyangalani town on the shores of Lake Turkana. The event rich in cultural heritage and features traditional dances, food,art,fashions, boat races, Marathons, football and parade of traditional tools and equipment spiced up this year’s breathtaking event.
This year’s exceptional moment ushered in dignitaries from within counties and across the border since its inauguration, among the dignitaries are the deputy President H.E William Samoei Ruto, Speaker of the Senate Hon Ken Lusaka, Governor Mandago of Uasin Gishu County, H.E Governor Josphat Nanok of Turkana County, H.E Ali Roba of Mandera,H.E Dr Kuti of Isiolo county and council of elders of all communities led by Borana supreme leader Abba Gada.
Loiyangalani, which is a multifaceted magnet for tourism, was icon of opulence for three days as tradition and culture mingle with a clear burst of color as each community chanted to their traditional special songs.
With a theme Promoting Tourism, cultural diversity and inclusiveness, the event featured unique performance and cultural traditions of 15 ethnic groups living in Marsabit county.
Speaking during the event deputy president emphasized on the importance of cohesion and unity among communities and noted that such cultural event marked by diversity and heritage can be harnessed to enhance economic activities of different communities.
” We have a great opportunity in this Marsabit Lake Turkana cultural event to turn the fortunes of the people of this county in a great deal and make sure that they benefit from this celebration in a way that enhances their economic activity” He observed.
The DP also congratulated the people of Marsabit county for harmonious coexistence and hailed the event as a reality of Kenyan dream of peace,love and unity.
” Our dream as government is to unite all communities in Kenya and I have seen that dream as a reality in this cultural event ” The DP said.
The DP also promised that the national government will boost tourist sector in the area by improving the Laisamis Loyangalani road as construction has already begun on the first 20KM. He assured the county government of Marsabit that the national government will partner with them in organizing next years cultural event.
CS for devolution Hon Eugene Wamalwa observed the unique and diversified multicultural society of Marsabit county
“Marsabit county is the largest county in Kenya but from what we have witnessed today, Marsabit county is the melting pot of culture in Kanya” Said the CS
Governor Mohamud Ali noted that for peace and prosperity to be achieved across the globe, diversity must be harnessed and embraced.
” We cannot therefore have peace anywhere if we don’t accept and harness diversity. We cannot achieve development and economic growth if we do not embrace diversity ” He said
The county boss further underscored the remarkable and unique importance of understanding and preserving county’s cultural diversity.
” Marsabit, our Multi-cultural and multi-lingual diversity has become our common identity. To us, losing any of our diversity therefore means losing our unique identity as a county” Said the county chief.
Further the county boss called on national government to diversify its tourism sector by investing in rich culture and heritage to meet its target and boost the nation’s economy
” The potential of Loyangalani if tapped properly is not only useful to Marsabit county but it can also contribute to the economy of the nation as whole” He said.
On the delayed disbursement of equalization fund,Governor Mohamud observed that there is a deliberate move by certain leaders to shortchange the ASAL counties by alluding to pockets of marginalization in their area’s.
“That is a self inflicted Marginalization which is a human made. Ours is a natural disaster which must be addressed so that our peoples life will be uplifted and brought to par with the rest of the nation. Equalization fund was anchored in constitution so that this area which has been neglected for years can develop “
Turkana Governor H.E Josphat Nanok called for a concerted effort from both national and county government in preserving Lake Turkana which has been endangered by human activities.
” UNESCO has just declared lake Turkana as one of the endangered Lakes , we need to cooperate at both levels of government so as to preserve and strengthen this lake” He said.
Governor Kuti congratulated Governor Ali for respecting the rights of minority, inclusiveness in his government and giving priority to the cultural diversity of different communities in his county.