Mandera county has rolled out a housing programme to put up 2000 houses for the most vulnerable, governor Ali Roba has said.
The programme started two years ago as a way to help those adversely affected by the tribal clashes. In an interview with the Star newspaper in Mandera town, Roba said that the 757 permanent houses have already been done and handed over to their owners.
“When we finally managed to bring peace we had to address the challenges of the people that had been displaced and whose houses were burnt. We decided to do an elaborate plan for housing. Roba said that the county plans to do an additional 2000 units for the most vulnerable in the 7 sub-counties.
“This is an agenda which we will continue with in the next 4 years. We want to see to it that we help this group by cushioning their lives a little bit.” The governor says the biggest challenge remains limited resources and competing needs.
Some of the areas that were worst hit were Rhamu and Banisa sub-counties.
“We would have wished to do more units to cushion our population which is big but unfortunately we have limited resources against competing interests from virtually all sectors which are in dire need of attention because of neglect from successive governments before devolution,” said Roba.
The water sector, infrastructure, education, livestock agriculture among others are all in dire need of attention hence the need for a delicate balancing. Roba observed that the state of underdevelopment in the devolved sectors has proved to a big challenge. He said that the key impediment to the project and the economy of the region remains the closure of quarry sites.
“The ban on quarry activities by the government has tremendously affected us because the price of a lorry of quarry stones has moved from Sh18,000 to Sh33,000 because there is no quarry. The contractors now says it is no longer tenable in terms of cost,” said Roba.