Kenya to Enhance Internet Connectivity in ASAL Counties, Starting with West Pokot

West Pokot – The Kenyan government, represented by Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo of the Information, Communications, and The Digital Economy Ministry, has announced a major initiative to roll out internet connectivity in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties, beginning with West Pokot. This initiative aims to establish digital hubs in every ward of West Pokot, enhancing the residents’ access to online business opportunities.

According to Kenya News Agency, Speaking at Kalicheba during a charity race organized by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) in collaboration with Rotary International and the Ministry of Health, Owalo emphasized the government’s commitment to this digital expansion. The race, themed ‘Running for Neglected Diseases,’ saw the participation of Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo. The government plans to distribute computers to technical institutions and provide free internet to ensure that remote residents can access government services.

President William Ruto’s administration is dedicated to fostering national unity through sports and other initiatives, as highlighted by Owalo. The charity run aimed to raise awareness for neglected diseases, which affect over 25 million Kenyans but receive little global health attention.

Brenda Tuwei emerged as the winner of the charity run, which was held at St. Comboni Girls’ primary school in West Pokot County. The event saw participation from hundreds, including children and adults, in a 10-kilometre road race to bring attention to neglected diseases.

Omollo, who graced the event, called on leaders from warring countries to collaborate in resolving conflicts and emphasized the importance of education, noting the detrimental effects of frequent conflicts on school attendance in the North Rift region. He also stressed the significance of universal health and addressing neglected diseases.

The event also featured discussions on the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and hypertension, with West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin urging regular health checks and utilization of health facility investments. He also highlighted DNDi’s 20th anniversary and their achievements in developing treatments for neglected diseases.

The charity run, which started at 6.50 am around St. Comboni Girls’ Primary School Kacheliba road, included prominent figures like French Ambassador Arnaud Suquet and DNDI Executive Director Luis Pizarro. Enos Kales from West Pokot and Brenda Tuwei from Elgeyo Marakwet were crowned the winners of the 10-kilometre charity run focused on neglected diseases prevalent in the region.