The Lamu Council of Elders has launched a special door-to-door campaign to mobilise residents in the county to participate fully in this year’s population and housing census.
The census is slated for the night of August 24-25.
Addressing journalists at their Baraza La Lamu office on Monday, the elders led by their Chairman Sharif Salim, said they h arrived at the decision to have the one week door-to-door campaign to remind locals about the forthcoming census and at the same time encourage them to ensure they are counted during the exercise.
According to the elders, Lamu's population needs to rise so that the county can have a higher allocation from the National Treasury in coming years.
Since devolution started in 2013, Lamu has been getting the least allocation compared to the rest of the counties.
The elders said they are hoping that the 2019 population and housing census will change the norm by ensuring an exact number of Lamu residents is established so that the region gets its rightful share of the national cake in future.
Mr Salim called on Lamu leaders to also be at the forefront in campaigning and mobilising locals to take part in the census.
GO BACK HOME
He advised the leaders to also criss-cross the region and urge residents, including those living outside the county, to travel back home for the tally.
“We’ve launched a one-week door-to-door campaign to sensitise and encourage locals in Lamu to ensure they are tallied during this year’s census. There's need for the Lamu people to embrace the census so that our population can rise and enable us get a higher allocation from the National Treasury. We’re aware that the little funds allocation to our county is based on some factors, majorly Lamu’s population as reflected by the 2009 census.
“We believe once the exact population is established, our county will be able to get the rightful share to enable development take place in this region. I therefore appeal to all of us to come out and be counted come Saturday night,” said Mr Salim.
The secretary-general of the elders’ council Mohamed Athman urged residents who reside on other counties and countries to go to Lamu and be counted.
He said Lamu has many people who were not accounted for during the last census since they either reside in other counties or countries.
Mr Athman said it is the high time that such people ensured they are included in the 2019 census to enable proper planning.
He also called on the government to ensure residents in far flung islands that are considered not easily reachable are this time round reached for the census.
“Some places like Mwongo-Shariff, Mkokoni, Kiunga, Ishakani, Madina, Basuba, Mangai, Mararani, Milimani, Bahamisi and other parts of Lamu East are very hard to access. There is need for the government to ensure people in those areas are counted. Even if it will mean extending the census date, it will be fine provided they’re covered,” said Mr Athman.
His sentiments were echoed by the group’s Secretary Abubakar Shelali who called on the government to ensure security is provided in areas prone to terror attacks in the region.
“I call on the government to strengthen the security of this region so that the census can take place uninterrupted. I also appeal to Lamu people to turn up in large number and get counted,” said Mr Shelali.