Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Kenyans relieved after Wajir and Mandera trend for health, not al Shabaab

Saturday July 14, 2018

Wajir and Mandera trended on Twitter on Friday and it was not because of a terror attack.

These two are among counties most targeted by al Shabaab terrorists who aim at civilians and police.

They have been attacking Kenya since troops went to Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping mission.
Otieno Mfalme said he thought al Shabaab had attacked a police station or on non-local teachers.

"Wajir and Mandera are fine and trending positively. Congratulations,” he said, adding he was glad he was wrong.

Non-local teachers in counties have been killed in several attacks in the past raising concerns about security.

There was a fierce debate by officials including Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion, Interior CS Fred Matiang'i, outgoing Salaries and Remuneration Commission chair Sarah Serem and MPs.

The counties trended today because of a polio vaccination campaign, the grand goal being to eradicate the disease by the end of 2018.

Immunisation will go on until July 15 in the two counties and Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, Garissa, Isiolo, Meru, Lamu, Kitui and Tana River as well.

The terrorists have also left Kenya scarred with gruesome attacks on quarry workers.

In Lamu, they live in the vast Boni Forest, which they flee into after staging attacks.
The government once considered bombing the forest to flush out the militants but activists and some residents said the forest was important for livelihoods and conservation purposes.

Bombing, they said, will not permanently solve the problem.
Better healthcare is just one of the primary needs for counties in parts of Kenya including northeastern.

The country has plenty to do to change the narrative, as noted by Twitter user Lee Makwiny.

"We must change the narrative to a positive one," he said as the discussion went on in the morning.

The government's options include securing the counties, ensuring food security, developing infrastructure, taking steps to mitigate the effects of natural disasters such as floods and celebrating their cultures, as was the case in Turkana.

During the 11th Marsabit-Lake Turkana Cultural Festival, Deputy President William Ruto promised medical equipment, Sh30,000 grants and loan facilities for all technical training college students, Sh230 million to rural electrification in Marsabit and the construction of several roads.

Following a survey by Ernst & Young in 2016, it was said that: "Overall, the narrative of 'Africa rising' is real and promising. Nonetheless, future prospects will be highly dependent on the decisions and actions of today, and especially those relating to the quality of governance."


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