Members of the Budget and Appropriations Committee alongside elected officials from the county, conducted a significant public participation exercise to identify the core needs of the people of Marsabit at the grassroots level.
Under the chairmanship of Hon. Ndindi Nyoro, Hon. Joseph Lekuton (MP Lisamis), Hon. Kitilai Ole Ntutu (MP Narok South), and County MP Hon. Naomi Wako, among other local leaders and elders, convened in Loiyagalani to ensure that the citizens’ voices are heard and actively included in decisions that affect their requirements.
This groundbreaking public participation initiative is being recognized as the first of its kind since Kenya gained independence. Local elders emphasize that Marsabit County is a unique region, presenting distinct challenges such as its vast yet sparsely populated terrain, security concerns, diverse ethnic groups, and high illiteracy rates, which pose obstacles to efficient service delivery.
The community is calling for concerted efforts from both the National and County governments to foster the development of the area. Residents of Loliangalani have urged the upgrade of local health centers and the construction of new schools, as well as the refurbishment and proper staffing of existing ones.
Residents decried the state of neglect in existing schools and poor infrastructure which have contributed to the low academic performance of students in the region. Furthermore, they expressed the need for the National Government to establish institutions of higher learning, including colleges and universities, as well as technical institutions (TVETS), to cater to those who were unable to pursue education further due to the lack of such facilities within the entire county.
Regarding water resources, residents are calling for the construction of dams to harness the floodwaters originating from neighboring Ethiopia. They believe that harnessing this water will revive agriculture and enhance food security in the county. Additionally, the Elmolo community has called for the construction of a bridge to facilitate ease of movement during periods of Lake Turkana overflow.
Lack of police posts in major towns and areas prone to conflicts is a significant security concern for the county. The community has appealed for the deployment of additional officers and the establishment of more police stations to address these security challenges effectively. They have also requested that the government allocate funds to assist victims of violence and tribal clashes, helping them recover and rebuild their lives. Additionally, a proposal has been made to establish sub-county birth certificate registers to eliminate the need for individuals to travel long distances to Marsabit town to obtain this essential document.
While addressing the meeting of Hon. Ndindi Nyoro announced that a budget of Ksh 100,000,000 has been allocated for priority projects that the community will determine through the public participation process. He further informed the gathering that the Government has plans underway to employ an additional 30,000 teachers for the Junior Secondary School (JSS) program, with Marsabit County being given due consideration for this recruitment drive.