Residents of the Former North Eastern province will soon find it easy to get national ID cards if a motion tabled by Wajir South MP Hon. Abdullahi Diriye is passed by Parliament.
Hon. Diriye said that the Immigration department has made it difficult for the residents of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera Counties to get the important document by imposing unnecessary restrictions and extra requirements such as vetting in all stages of issuance.
Despite the fact that each year thousands graduate to the mandatory age of registration, the registration process is not constant and when done, those who register have to wait for many months if not years to get the IDs.
Lack of this all important document makes thousands of youth in the region to miss out on numerous opportunities each year such as employment and voting in elections.
Hon. Diriye said that there is a clause in the bill that will compel the government to issue IDs with residents who find themselves locked out because they are also registered as refugees. Such people will have their names expunged from refugee records.
Diriye added that such people were forced by harsh economic conditions to register as refugees in order to get food rations given to the refugees by aid agencies in the camps.
“During droughts and famine, residents have no option but to flock to refugee camps and register as refugees in order to get fed by humanitarian agencies” he said.
He is calling for understanding of the situation since most residents are illiterate of the repercussion of such actions until they are denied IDs for appearing in the refugee database.
He expressed optimism that his bill will find the light of day as he has always been highlighting the plight of the residents.