The national government is keen on using the Affirmative Action Fund to transform the lives of the vulnerable in society by strengthening their social and economic security.
Marsabit Woman Representative Ms. Naomi Wako said the fund resonates well with the Kenya Kwanza administration’s bottom-up economic transformation agenda (BETA), which advocates for the socio-economic empowerment of the lowly in society.
Speaking on Wednesday at the stalled Marsabit Stadium project grounds, when she presided over the distribution of water tanks to sixty women groups in Saku constituency, Wako announced that 24 groups would be getting financial grants worth Sh2.4 million.
Through the fund, cheques worth Sh2.4 million were also presented to secondary school principals to fund the education of 206 orphaned and vulnerable students. The disbursement brings to 700 the number of needy children assisted through the fund this year to a tune of Sh4.8 million.
Wako noted that availability of water remains a big challenge for Marsabit residents and asked the beneficiaries of the 5,000-litre capacity tanks to take advantage of the forecast El Nino rains to harvest rainwater.
She said that 40 tanks of similar capacity have been dispatched to Loiyangalani sub-county to prepare women groups in the area ahead of the rains.
The legislator urged the youth and women from the county to form and register groups in order to be able to access financial support from the government through the fund and other kitties like the Hustler and Uwezo funds.
“The targeted groups of the population can only be reached through the structured formula of group formation and that is why we are encouraging those who do not belong to registered groups to do so,” she pointed out. The endeavour was to improve the livelihoods of the poor, including persons with disabilities.
Devolved grants are normally geared towards enabling members to start small income-generating activities for job and wealth creation.
During the function that was also attended by the area Deputy County Commissioner, Mr. David Saruni, residents complained of lack of drugs at public hospitals.
Wako described the situation at the public health institutions across the county as appalling, saying it had exposed the residents to untold suffering.
She noted that the National Treasury had released funds to the county government on time and as such, it was not acceptable that procurement of drugs was not being done. “Monies disbursed to counties belong to the public meant for service delivery and I am challenging the leadership to be accountable,” she said.
By Sebastian Miriti