Donors pledge $1 billion for development in northern Kenya

Saturday December 16 2017

Governors

Governors from northern Kenyan meet with donors in Kitale. PHOTO | LUCAS BARASA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By LUCAS BARASA
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Donors have pledged 1.1 billion US dollars for development in eight counties under the the Frontier Council Development Corporation, the new FCDC chairman Ali Roba said.

Speaking after governors from the counties met World Bank and UN agencies officials during the Council of Governors retreat in Kwale, Mr Roba said the funds will be used for building of Isiolo-Mandera road, fibre optic connectivity, water, agriculture and livestock production and health.

"The design of project has been done and implementation will start next year," the Mandera governor, said.

UNDERDEVELOPMENT GAP

The other governors who held talks with the donors were from Isiolo, Marsabit, Lamu, Garissa and Wajir. Only Tana River Governor Dhado Godhana from the initial seven FCDC counties was absent.

The donors included World Bank officials Abdu Muwonge, Annette Akinyi Omolo, UNDP's Tim Colby, Pete Vowles of Department for International Development (DFid) and UN resident coordinator Siddharti Charterjee.

"The donors have shown great interest of working with FCDC to breach the underdevelopment gap," Mr Roba said.

During a meeting at the sidelines of CoG meeting, Mr Roba was named FCDC chair with governor Mohamud Mohamed Ali as his deputy. Former Isiolo deputy governor Mohamed Gullet was retained as head of secretariat for six months while Dr Ible Farah is to continue as executive director for three years.

MARGINALISED COUNTIES

Turkana County was also included in FCDC which seeks to mobilise resources, coordinate and champion growth in the formerly marginalised counties.

Mr Roba said the governors agreed to work together to lobby for programmes to change locals lives including improving water infrastructure, food security and livestock production.

He said President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto had also shown interest to support FCDC as was the World Bank, EU, USAID, DFid and Arab organisations.

The Mandera governor who was only governor from the initial seven FCDC counties re-elected in August vowed to push for the development of region.

The frontier counties have suffered fragility, instability, poverty and insecurity despite have immense potential for development.

It is because of these reasons that governors from the region came together to accelerate social economic development especially in advancing peace and growth.