Al Shabaab menace, lack of employment for the youth and lose of livelihood for the herders have been cited as challenges facing devolution in Garissa County area Governor Ali Korane has said.
Korane said that the Al-Shabaab menace has scared away potential investors and continue to be a threat now and in the future.
The governor said that despite the county boosting of over 400 kms of river Tana water frontage and reliable underground water, security remain a major concern.
He said no investor can put his or money in a project like irrigated agriculture without being guaranteed security.
“If insecurity can make you lose your investment, then no one can come here,” he said.
Speaking at a Garissa hotel when he met the Swiss ambassador to Kenya Ralf Heckner and a delegation of UN implementing agencies representatives led their resident coordinator
Siddharth Chatterjee today, Korane said his administration is ready to engage them in supporting their programmers aimed at uplifting the well-being of area residents.
On drought, Korane said that the persistent recurring drought in the area has created a group of destitute herders who have no alternative source of livelihood.
“As people lose their sources of livelihoods and in the absence of alternative sources of income, our people have settled in poverty villages that have no social infrastructure, no water no school,” he said.
Korane said the group depends on food handouts from the government or donors.
The governor said these are the groups his administration will target in finding alternative sources of livelihood for them.
The governor attributed the massive environment degradation by the over 600,000 refugee in Dadaab camps the Kenyan government has been hosting for the past 27 years.
Devolution principal secretary Michael Bowen the national government is committed to ensuring that devolution ‘works in this country’.
Bowen said the national government has released over shs 1 trillion to the counties and the figure is set to increase.
He said a total of shs 368 billion will soon be relased to the counties by the national government.
The PS said the Jubilee administration consideration the uniqueness of Northern Kenya as created a state department for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands area.
The Swiss ambassador on his part hailed devolution saying its behind the turnaround of the country’s economy.
He said Switzerland was ready to work the counties in order to promote devolution.
The delegation that has already toured Lamu county will also tour Wajir, Isiolo, Marsabit,Tana River and Mandera counties that are members of the regional economic bloc. The bloc main aim is to enhance and realize development goals for the 7 frontier ASAL counties