Sankuri Assistant County Commissioner George Koleshi has urged NGOs operating in Garissa County to conduct public participation before undertaking any development projects in the area.
Speaking when he officially opened the NGOs week in Sankuri today, Koleshi said the NGOs should be sensitive to the needs of the citizens by involving them at every stage of any project implementation.
This, he noted will ensure that the projects ‘achieve maximum benefit’.
“There is need for NGOs to conduct public participation exercises. This is to ensure that the needs of the citizens are prioritized before the projects are implemented. This way, we will have relevant projects for sustainable development in the area,” Koleshi said.
Koleshi further said NGOs have a bigger role to play during the Covid-19 pandemic by ensuring they supply facemasks, water points and sensitize the communities on social distancing.
The North Eastern region NGOs coordination board representative Joseph Mutemi asked NGOs to ensure compliance to laws governing them among them filing of their annual tax returns.
Mutemi said the board does not interfere with NGOs activities. “Our mandate is to ensure that all NGOs comply with the law,” Mutemi said.
“I want to ask NGOs not to shy away from coming forth and initiating development programmes. As a board, we are not here to intimidate you but to ensure proper compliance of the law and coordination,” he noted.
The coordinator said that devolution should not stop NGOs from initiating and funding development projects.
“They should instead work with both national and county governments to facilitate service delivery and uplift the lives of citizens,” he added.
Organizations present during the event were North Eastern Youth Development (NEYD), Al-IHSAN Peace and Development organization, Kesho Alliance, Pastoralists Girl Initiative, Action Aid and Woman Kind Kenya. They later donated more than 400 facemasks and reusable sanitary pads for North Eastern Youth Development children home.
NGOs week is set to begin on April 12 but those in the North Eastern region started its week early to avoid clashing with Ramadhan that starts on April 13.
By Erick Kyalo and Jacob Songok