British High Commissioner Jane Marriott made her first visit to Mandera town yesterday as part of a North East Taskforce in support of stability and development in the region.
Marriot was accompanied by the Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and was received by County Governor Ali Roba.
The visit to the region cements the UK’s commitment to long-term stability and development in counties bordering Somalia.
During the one-day visit, the High Commissioner launched the county’s first-ever sustainable urban economic plan, a Kenya-UK partnership that will provide jobs, and livelihood opportunities, including for youth most vulnerable to violent extremism.
Marriott said through the North East Taskforce, they are supporting long-term stability and development, tackling the drivers of instability as well as the symptoms.
She says the economic development is key to building security and stability in Mandera County and the North East region amid the COVID-19 pandemic, locust invasion, security and instability threats and realities of climate change continue to affect vulnerable communities.
The program aims at building resilient urban centres in reducing the negative impacts to the threats which she says Through North East Taskforce, they are supporting long-term stability and development, tackling the drivers of instability as well as the symptoms.
Wamalwa said he was privileged to launch the Sustainable Urban Economic (SUED) Programme which the government will be undertaking in collaboration with development partner.
He said the launch of the 10 billion shillings program to support 12 municipalities will economically attract investments with key infrastructure for value chain targeting urban centers Mandera municipality emerged first among the 12 municipalities being supported by the SUED program.
The visit was part of the UK’s joint North East Taskforce, working with the Government of Kenya to tackle the drivers of instability in the region.
The High Commissioner also visited several UK-supported projects in the town, including the Mandera County Hospital and Mandera Secondary School.
The visit comes after the UK’s Secretary of State for Defense, Ben Wallace MP and Kenya’s Minister for Interior Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, signed a refreshed Security Compact to strengthen our fight against terrorism and promote security and stability in the region.
Mandera county Governor Ali Roba said insecurity remains one of the greatest challenges saying it is derailing development in the region.
He welcomed the support from development partners saying it will go a along way in opening up the region.
Roba lauded the high commissioner for being the first to visit the region despite the security threats.