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Mandera Residents Reject International Airport Project

A section of Mandera residents are up in arms over the proposed construction of a multi-million international airport in the region by the County government.

Elders in the region say the construction of the airport by the county government will disrupt their way of life.

Mohamed Hussein a former chief of Omar Jillo location said on Wednesday that pastoralists at the 40kms by 25 kms piece of land will be displaced.

Hussein said no public participation was done before county officials ordered them to vacate the area.

He said residents depend on pastoralism as their way of earning livelihood and would resist with all means any plans to chase them from the area.

“The airport will only benefit a few people especially the contractor and county government officials, we did not ask for it and it is time the executive rescinds on the decision,” said Hussein.

Ahmed Mohamed a resident of Libehia town said they will fight for their rights at all costs if the county evicts them from the area.

The county government in 2013 initiated the mega project in Wargadud with the governor Ali Roba being on  record saying the airport will be one of the key drivers of the county economy.

Roba said farm produce and animal products in the region will be processed and exported outside the country to earn the region foreign exchange.

The project was relocated from Wargadud to Libehia after residents refused to be relocated from the area.

By Dickson Githaiga

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