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Garissa Governor calls for more municipalities

Garissa Governor Nathif Jama has asked counties to create municipalities as a way of devolving services closer to the public and also to attract more investors to develop the towns.

Speaking during the swearing-in Ceremony of Dadaab Municipality board members that was held at the County Headquarters, Jama said that municipalities attract support from donors, which leads to rapid development of the towns.

“The way forward for the counties is through the municipalities. That is where the action is supposed to take place and where a lot of funding is supposed to go. We believe that by creating these municipalities, we are also devolving counties further,” Jama said.

Mr. Jama, who has already seen the elevation of Masalani town to municipality status, said now, with the creation of Dabaab municipality, Bura East in Fafi constituency is next on the line.

“I feel extremely happy that we are proceeding along this course, and I have no doubt the value of what we are doing will be realised sooner rather than later. I have no doubt that money will flow there so that we can also limit the rush of people from the sub-counties to Garissa offices. We will ensure that our municipalities are going to be active and work smoothly,” he said.

Dadaab MCA Mohamed Abdi Farah said the elevation and conferment of the area to the level of municipality will also serve as a catalyst for growth and development and the delivery of urban services that will promote the socio-economic status of the area and create numerous job opportunities for the local people.

“Today’s event is particularly historical and close to my heart as the area MCA. It gives me a sense of happiness and excitement knowing that Dadaab will now be autonomous in terms of resource mobilisation and revenue collection and also be able to get grants and funding from the Kenya Urban Support Programme,” Farah said.

Farah promised to work closely with the board members, encouraging them to address the challenges facing the residents, including garbage collection, roads, and drainage.

The swearing-in of the board members, which included Mr. Abdullahi Omar Musa (Chairperson), Ms.Zeinab Abdi Hussein (vice chairperson), Mr. Mohamed Abdi Ali (Municipality CEO), and five others, was presided over by Garissa Chief Magistrate Mr. Stephen Mbungi.

Among the functions that will be performed by the municipality are promotion, regulation, and the provision of refuse collection and solid waste management services. Others are the promotion and provision of water and sanitation services and infrastructure (in areas within the Municipality not served by the Water and Sanitation Provider).

The status will further attract investors, and residents will enjoy more development in infrastructure, agriculture, drainage, education, and other social amenities.

According to the Urban Areas and Cities Act of 2011, a municipality must have a population of 70,000 to 249,000. Additionally, it should have an integrated development plan and demonstrable capacity to generate sufficient revenue to sustain its operations.

It should have sufficient space for expansion as well as the capacity to effectively deliver essential services to its residents, among other requirements.

By Erick Kyalo

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