Tuesday, July 29, 2008


We have written much about life in Northern Kenya, a remote vast of land that borders Somalia, Ethiopia and the Indian ocean and we ain't going to explain more for the time being. Just think for yourself a scenario of the type of life majority of our people reside in these forgotten lands.

From the era of the british colonial system through to Kenya's independence in 1963 and In Kenyatta, Moi administration, The Somali people of Northeastern Kenya have been marginalized severly because of their ethnic and religion in terms of education, basic infrastructure like heath facilities, roads, power, public utilities, housing and governance.

Both government primary and high schools remain few, Many of the school teachers are un-trained and have no colleges/Universities degrees unlike other parts of the country meaning that, they have less skills than their counterparts from universities. We used to call them UT's. They form the majority of our teachers.

The few teachers, who went to colleges/Universities normally apply for transfers to other parts of the country relatively complaining of hot weather, as if weather is a punishment from us. The schools have no books, learning materials and laboratories unlike the rest of the country. Many schools in down kenya, especially in Central, Rift valley enjoy 5-6 laboratories and their learning institutions are supported, supervised by the Ministry of education unlike ours. Again, It is a must for the students to sit for the Kenya National Examination with the rest of the country if they are to proceed for university or employment in the country.

There was a time when the government managed to introduce Nomadic schools under the Arid Lands department of the office of the president in conjuction with the Ministry of education but failed because there was no vision. The educational situation in NEP remains the worst in the country and the province is always the last in National examinations.

The quota system for joining universities has not been applied properly. Many bright students have been left out joining universities and hence end up in colleges and polytechnics. If it was applied as it was intended, many students from NEP will have joined universities and hence became more productive.

Foreign Scholarships to the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, India, China have not been availed to people of North Eastern Kenya and bureaucracy at the Ministry of education headquarters in Nairobi has never been checked. Many deserving students of NorthEastern Kenya miss out of these lucrative scholarship opportunities and todate no MP from NEP has ever talked and is willing to talk about that.

Health facilities are rare in a region prone to diseases like TB, Kalazar and malnutrition. You may find one remote health centre in a radius of 400 km which has no medical equipments, no nurses, but some ordinary volunteers with few jerrycans of pain killers.

In a region with over one million livestock heads, to find a veterinary centre is a nightmare let alone slaughter houses. The Kenya Meat Commission has been established far from the region and people from NEP have difficulties marketing their animals for sale. We are always promised at election time.

Roads are impassable and the few conecting NEP to Nairobi like the Nairobi-Isiolo Highway ends up in isiolo. It doesn't get further into NEP. The other one, which is called the Garissa Highway, was built by the Saudi Government grant to Northern people through the Government of Kenya.It ends in Garissa.The remaining roads in the province are man made roads in bushes.

Governance and immigration is worse. The people of North Eastern Kenya, being first class citizens of Kenya, are normally treated as if they are second class citizen just because they have their kinsmen from Somalia.Other kenyans are not treated that way.
The Massai's or the Luo's of Kenya who come from Tanzania and Uganda respectively can obtain Kenyan Passports without any documentation, unlike Kenyan Somalis have who must bribe Immigration officials to obtain the same.

To prove how government officials think of Kenya somalis, as recent as 2005, The Current Justice Minister, Martha Karua, had the guts to claim that NEP Kenya somalis are just "refugees" and no one has told her to substantiate. If Somalis are not Kenyans, what about the Gikuyus, The Luhyas and the Luo's? Are they also refugees from Congo and Nigeria?

Insecurity has always been a weapon of the Kenyatta and Moi administrations. Companies have been advised not to invest in these insecure places. I remember once, The Colgate/Palmolive East Africa did a marketing presentation at Garissa primary school in around 1984 to market colgate toothpaste and soaps only to refrain from going further in the north and securing the market. Reason, they recieve infavourable reports about NEP as a place not worth to invest in.

For the past 20 years now, Somalis of NEP Kenya have changed the way they deal with the government. Many families have taken their children for education and development is appearing. The people have resolved to work together as brothers and overturn that kind of marginalization. Many private schools, heath centres have opened and people are now "rarely" relying on the government.

Oil, gas and Mineral deposits has been said to be available in NEP kenya but few companies have made substantial explorations here. We invite any company to come and do some prospects in NEP. Tourism is a potential business also in Northern Kenya where wildlife animals are plenty. The people are freindly and the weather is always warm, a perfect summer enjoyment.

In short, That is the usual image of NEP Somalis who suffer in miseries and despair through arranged marginalization. With that kind of Image in mind, It is ONLY when elections are called or there is a referendum do politicians including the President and the government appears from no-where to claim that NEP is valued to them and remind us being part of Kenya.

How do you want us to say " TUNAVIJUNIA KUWA WAKENYA"........????

It doesn't come out of the mouth.