West Pokot youth are eyeing 1,200 new jobs as the county plans to open Tukumo abattoir by end of this month. The Tukumo Kenya Meat Commission slaughter house seen as the economic driver of West Pokot and nearby counties is almost complete, with final touches being done on animal dens and lagoons.
“The abattoir will provide employment to about 1,200 youth, while more residents will get a chance to sell their animals,” said the county executive for livestock, fisheries and veterinary services Josiah Cheruiyot.
Tukumo slaughter house is also expected to pave the way for livestock keepers to export to Uganda, Somalia and Tanzania regional markets, besides delivering meat to the North Rift and Western regions.
“It will offer investment opportunities in meat canning and distribution of meat to hotels, economic activities expected to spur growth,” said Mr Cheruiyot.
About 1,200 animals will be slaughtered in the abattoir per day. The first phase of construction is complete, the county chief officer in charge of livestock, veterinary services and fisheries, Christine Akuto said. “The principal secretary for livestock has been contacting the county government and the project coordinator,” she added.
The abattoir is one of the Economic Stimulus Programme projects launched by the Kibaki administration in 2012 to benefit pastoralist communities. Slaughter houses are set to be constructed in Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa and Lokichoggio.
The government set aside Sh1.5 billion for the five abattoirs, which are expected to meet 40 per cent of the country’s demand for beef and mutton.
Mr Cheruiyot said to ensure the abattoir does not trigger a rise in cattle rustling, the county government is putting up structures to curb sale of stolen animals. “Owners of animals need to present movement permits and health certificates from vets,” said Mr Cheruiyot.