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REMARKS BY FRONTIER COUNTIES DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL CHAIRMAN H.E. ALI ROBA DURING A HIGH LEVEL STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION ON GARISSA INTEGRATED SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN OCTOBER 1, 2019 AT THE TRIBE HOTEL-NAIROBI

@M6lys Written by  Tuesday, 01 October 2019 07:35 font size decrease font size increase font size
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Host Governor Brother Ali Korane, Senior officials from Garissa County Government, Delegations from partner counties, Partners from the National Government Private sector partners Officials from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to be part of this very important high-level stakeholder consultation seeking to create an inclusive and responsive Garissa Integrated socio-economic Development Plan.

As the Chairman of Frontier counties Development Council, it is important to note that three of FCDC counties—Garissa, Wajir, and Turkana have been hosting refugees for over two and half decades, with attendant and exacerbated impacts on the environment, natural resources, infrastructure, economy, and service delivery for the hosting communities.

As FCDC Counties we believe in an innovative approach which is inclusive of both refugee and host populations. It is my hope that the discussion and resolutions here will be in tandem with the Socio-Economic Blue Print for the Frontier Counties Development Council marshal plan.


Ladies and gentlemen,
The county governments are now responsible for delivering basic services including early childhood development, health, agriculture extension, water and sanitation, and environmental services.

Because of the challenges of climate change I urge discussants to pay great attention to interventions that will improve the resilience of our people, and our counties from the negative impacts of climate change.

Experts from World Bank and UNHCR have severally argued that capacity of the three refugee hosting counties, Garissa, Turkana, and Wajir, are relatively weak. Our counties need support to deal firmly with the attendant challenges and without compromising the conditions of host populations who are ranked as the poorest across Kenya.

Refugee camps are not simply places where temporary protection and primary assistance are provided, but also places in which political and social production occurs.

Kenya has many success stories of refugees who have ventured into productivity within the refugee camps. We may need to use such case studies and replicate them.

It is time we looked at refugee camps with a different lens. These camps host people who have abilities to add value to our county and national economies. Before fleeing their home countries some of these displaced persons were respected pastoralists, trained professionals, business people, owned homes, and supported families. Such an unfortunate scenario can befall anybody. We do not have to condemn our brothers and sisters to camps and deny them opportunities to grow themselves and grow our county economies too.

Refugees provide a ready market, they push the growth of urban settlements and they have expenditure on goods and services. Together we can harness the potential and role of private sector in our counties hosting refugees.

With these many remarks I wish you fruitful discussions and I look forward to recommendations that will better our counties that host refugee populations.

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