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Mandera leaders have accused the national government of not taking the Kenya-Somalia border wall project seriously.
They said that despite resources being provided for the project, there is no ongoing work.
They now want the project fast-tracked to enhance security in the border county.
Mandera Governor Ali Roba said since the project started 18 months ago, only a few poles have been erected on a stretch of 1.8km.
‘It has taken one and a half years to do that stretch. It is likely to take a century before they complete the entire 360km at the pace at which they are doing the border fencing,’ Mr Roba said during the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Mandera’s Moi Stadium.
He added: ‘We have demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that the illegal access by terror groups has always happened in this areas along the border.
« We have made frantic requests that at least 30 kilometres from Border Point One be expedited to improve the security of this town.’
The governor said for a long time, the county has bore the brunt of terror attacks with the six people losing their lives in the latest attack that happened last week.
He said insecurity has been compounded by the fact that the town does not have a reliable power supply.
The county boss also attributed the terror activities to the erratic power supply saying terrorists have been taking advantage of the cover of darkness to plan and commit evil.
‘We urge the president, Ministry of Interior and the management of this project to ensure they provide enough resources and enlist the services of the private sector and contract this work so that it is done expeditiously otherwise we are unlikely to see any meaningful progress,’ Mr Roba said.
Township MCA Feizal Abdinoor said during a visit to the county recently, President Uhuru Kenyatta assured that power would be upgraded.
‘There are frequent power outages in Mandera. While outages in other parts of the country are advertised, this is not the case with Mandera. We want to be treated as equal and Kenya Power should treat us the way they treat other Kenyans,’ Mr Abdinoor said.
Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia steered clear of the border issue only warning that Al-Shabaab sympathisers will be dealt with ruthlessly.
He said some business who have been paying taxes to the militia group to volunteer to authorities before they are arrested.
« Even if you did out of fear, come to us and we will know how to deal with you. Those accommodating Al-Shabaab should also be warned that their days are over.
« There has also been an influx of people from Somalia in this town who are responsible for the attacks. Be patriotic and report them,’ said Mr Shisia.
The administrator, however, noted that parts of Sheikh Baru, Kamor and Fino are still notorious in security matters and asked the locals to collaborate with security authorities.
‘When Jubaland in Somalia is working to improve their security we should also do the same.
« We want to demystify the belief that Mandera is a haven for terror activities,’ said Mr Shisia.
Copyright 2016 actualité africaine