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Lamu leaders voice support for BBI initiative

Leaders in Lamu have urged the national government to ensure that the BBI process does not exclude the 2010 constitutional gains that marginalised communities benefited from.

            Speaking to KNA Tuesday, ODM Lamu point man Rishad Amana stated that the BBI should enhance the socio-economic gains of formerly marginalized areas such as Lamu, Tana River and Wajir counties which he said have gained immense inclusivity under the current Constitution.

            He said that even as the country gears towards constitutional amendments under the BBI initiative that would improve national unity, counties such as Lamu should not be side-lined or swallowed whole in the process that could redraw county boundaries in a bid to reduce the strain on the national budget.

            “Counties such as Lamu have long been sidelined and it is only recently that it had its first tarmacked road,” Rishad stated, adding that the BBI steering committee needed to take into consideration that it is through the formation of counties that Lamu has gained prominence in the national stage.

            “Lamu should, in any case, have a larger slice of the national cake in order to catch up with the rest of the country,” he proposed.

He further noted that even in terms of government appointments, Lamu had been left behind even in its own backyard with professional locals yet to be appointed in the LAPSSET Board.

            “The national government’s massive funding to the tune of Sh11 billion annually for the construction of the Lamu port should also translate into locals having at least representation on the LAPSSET board in order to promote inclusivity for all in government projects,” he added.

            Lamu Women Representative Ruweida Obo also added her voice to the BBI initiative stating that she supports the process for its political goodwill on inclusivity.

            “The BBI initiative will aim to uplift marginalized communities such as Lamu, where the majority of youths have yet to be exposed to opportunities that come with the national cake, such as jobs at the Lamu Port,” she said.

            She said that the process would facilitate a redistribution of the national cake adding that more resources would be disbursed across previously marginalized areas to ensure inclusivity.

            Separately, Members of the County Assembly led by majority leader Abdalla Baabad have also stated that the BBI initiative would be supported by the local assembly on grounds that it promotes inclusivity for all Kenya.

By Amenya Ochieng

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