By Yussuf Ali Korrow
Garissa marks 54th anniversary of Mashujaa Day with optimism, despite the County going through a period of serious drought not witnessed for many years.
As an independent Country, Kenya marks its first 54th years, Garissa county resident are reflecting on perceived neglect and negative attitudes by past governments, but with renewed hope in devolution.
Governor Nathif Jama Adam led the people in celebrating the country’s Mashujaa day in style. He delivered messages of freedom, peace and development for the people of Garissa and announced various achievements his administration has undertaken since the inception of devolution four years ago.
Jama said, it was a call of duty and appreciation of the constitutional requirement, which his government, from the assumption of office in 2013, formulated a clear strategy of devolution for many sectors in the county amongst health services with the ultimate goal of leaving behind a legacy of ‘Health is Wealth’ for the people of this great County. Something he said necessitated huge investments in the sector including establishment of appropriate healthcare infrastructure in the remotest parts of the County.
“I am indeed gratified that our investments in the sector are paying back in a big way and, at this juncture I would like to pay tribute to our Healthcare department which has lately been making headlines in both the local as well as the international media for all the good reasons.” Jama said.
In one of the high profile achievements, the Balambala Sub-County hospital in Garissa recently conducted its first ever cesarean Section successfully following the inauguration of the theater at the hospital in May 2016.
Jama call the achievement, simply historic and marked a new beginning for the people of Balambala who since independence had not known such a development.
“That indeed is the promise of devolution as the people of Balambala can now access such quality service closer to them.” The Joyous Jama added.
Garissa County was earlier this month rated the overall best performing county with the most enhanced healthcare service delivery practices.
The County scooped the prestigious award against 46 other counties, parastatals and departments for its efforts to increase deliveries in health facilities. The “Best Practices Awards ‘that was given by the Ministry of Health (National Government) to the County for major innovations that had the effect of increasing skilled deliveries from 36 per cent in 2013 to 45 per cent in 2015. The initiatives also brought about a marked reduction in maternal deaths within the County.
Local leaders and the Resident who spoke during the celebration at Garissa primary sport Ground attacked the National Government for lack of support towards the drought mitigation process in the county terming the lack of action as a betrayal of the highest order.
“It is unfortunate that as we celebrate this Mashujaa Day and highlight our developmental successes, the North-East region as a whole is going through a period of serious drought not witnessed for many years.” Peace chairman Mr.Dagane Falir said
In another hard hitting statement echoed by Governor Jama, The county boss said that, the county resident are extremely disturbed that the National Government which has a much bigger budget for these kinds of natural calamities has been very lukewarm in its response. Noting that drought is not a devolved function.
“I wish to take this opportunity to reiterate our call on the national government to make immediate interventions to complement our efforts as a County.”
Meanwhile, Governor Jama declared that his administration will be doing everything within their capacity to mitigate the negative effects of the natural calamity on his people by trucking water to all parts of the County and also by giving out food aid to as many villages as possible.