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We Can Choose our Friends Not our Neighbors

Neighbors certainly help each other in many small ways every day but sometimes we’re reminded of just how powerful neighbors can be, especially in times of need. Natural disasters have a way of making people depend on their neighbors in a way nothing else does and this lessens the burden. Neighbors can come with all kinds of personalities. Some are quiet and unobtrusive and don’t cause any problems. Others clearly have some kind of superpower, playing loud music at the wee hours of the night. Whether they’re kind or cruel, they are our neighbors and we have no choice but to love and live with them in peace.

Gone are the days when people treasured Neighbors. During my early age in Kapedo, we could know at least 100 neighbors within our village and beyond. Coming from a pastoralist community it was the norm to look after livestock when off-school. One day as I played with my childhood friends the cattle wandered to the land of Mzee Leitich and feasted on his maize. I went home in the evening and froze to the point of death imagining the beating I would receive from my parents. I found Mzee Leitich already in our homestead with my Dad and I knew that evening would be the worst of my life. To my surprise, I was called and Mzee Leitich told me I was pardoned and never to repeat the mistake again. Two days later the goats of Mzee Leitich strayed to our farm destroyed our crops and this too was resolved amicably. Since then I learned the importance of co-existing peacefully with neighbors.

No human being is self-sufficient, and we need each other to weather the unending storms of lives. They either choose to live together as neighbors or perish as fools.

Moyale a town in the border of Kenya and Ethiopia for decades has been a war zone. The clashes have been as a result of communities fighting over resources that if shared equitably it is enough for everyone. Furthermore, the Ethiopian government enter Kenya and attack Kenyan citizens accusing them of harboring Ethiopian rebels. A town that was opened into a business hub by the LAPPSET project has been deserted following prolonged conflicts. Hardly a week pass by without Gunshots filling the air. Its only buildings with bullet holes that are seen and people have run for safety. The security personnel are the ones seen on the streets and roads patrolling but even with their presence safety is not guaranteed. It is imperative that the locals of Moyale surrender the vicious fights and choose to live as neighbors. They should learn that the war does not benefit anyone but results in the loss of innocent lives, casualties, and destruction of property. No human being is self-sufficient, and we need each other to weather the unending storms of lives. They either choose to live together as neighbors or perish as fools.

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