Garissa Governor Ali Korane today identified five key areas of strategic co-operation with Britain in fostering social-economic development in the county.
Speaking today when he hosted the British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott who visited Garissa on a working visit, Korane called on the UK government to partner with the county in the areas of health, water, urban services, livestock, agriculture, youth and gender.
“Your coming here today has presented a very unique opportunity for our people to better ourselves since the UK has a special relationship with the people of Garissa,” Korane said.
The governor said the intervention by UK was needed now more than ever following the national government’s move to hook the county’s seven months’ development budget to cater for pending bills inherited from the previous government.
“The impact of this is that most of the projects which we had started have now stalled. We cannot take over completed projects because we are yet to pay the contractors,” he said.
“We ask you to come on board and assist us in completing these projects since they are in key areas like health and water which impact on the lives of many residents,” Korane noted.
Korane regretted that the Al-Shabaab terror group continue to pose a major security to the county with their bases just across the border.
He said the high unemployment levels amongst the youth in Garissa left them susceptible to radicalization and recruitment by the Al-Shabaab.
“We need to collaborate on programs to ensure such vulnerable youths are engaged in other ways so they do not fall for the charms of these terrorists,” he said.
Korane said the re-opening of Garissa University after the 2015 attacks where 148 people perished most of them students was testament to the resilience of the people of Garissa not to be cowed by the Al-Shabaab.
On her part, the envoy said her government would continue to support and expand on the many programs it was running in Garissa county among them the promotion of the girl child education, nutrition, reproductive health and community based peace and security program.
Earlier, the envoy visited Garissa University and held discussions with the University administration. She later paid her respects to the 148 departed souls, killed in 2015, at the memorial site.
Marriott also visited the upcoming Orahey market which is being constructed with the support of the UK government under the World Bank Kenya Urban Support Programme.
Present were Principal Secretary, State Department of Devolution Charles Sunkuli and Abdul Bahari, Chief Administrative Secretary Devolution and ASAL.
Also present were County Commissioner Mwangi Meru, County Secretary Abdi Sheikh , finance CEC Issa Oyow.
by Jacob Songok