Naomi Waqo addressing her constituents in Sessi in Moyale township. PHOTO/MARGARET KALEKYE

Marsabit Woman Representative Naomi Waqo has decried what she described as ‘discrimination’ in the issuance of identity cards to her constituents.

The MP says local administrators have made it impossible for those who have attained the age of 18 to get the identification document. She lamented the suffering youths have been undergoing for lack of IDs particularly those living in the border town of Moyale.

"Our children were born and schooled here, yet they cannot get an ID after attaining the age of 18," she said.

Speaking in Sessi in Moyale Township, the National Assembly Deputy Chief Whip especially accused area chiefs of making unnecessary demands that deny residents the crucial documents including birth and death certificates.

She appealed to the area Deputy County Commissioner to take charge and ensure deserving Kenyans are not frustrated by his officers who allegedly ask for bribes.

The lawmaker has been leading a relief food distribution exercise for vulnerable households in the county's four vast constituencies.

Each of the 6000 vulnerable households gets 18 kgs of Maize, 6 kgs of green gram, 2 kgs of rice, 2 kgs of Maize flour, and 2 liters of cooking oil.

The food was donated by the Child Welfare Society of Kenya (CWSK), an organization that promotes the welfare of children.

In the Asal county of Marsabit, the agency has reached 24,000 children who have been affected by the biting drought.

CWSK representative Jane Mwangi, the lead coordinator of the exercise, disclosed that the agency is targeting hunger-stricken children under the age of 18.

So far, thousands of families in Turkana, Baringo, Isiolo, and Nyeri counties have benefitted from food aid by the agency which has scaled up efforts in response to the community needs of drought-hit populations, particularly children.

Ms. Mwangi says the agency has endeavored to support learners through the school meals program.

"We want to ensure the welfare of children who are our priority as per our mandate is taken care of both in school and at home," she said.

Emergency levels

More than half of Marsabit's population is facing starvation with women, children, and the elderly being the most affected.

The situation has reached alarming levels with 30,000 children under the age of five battling malnutrition.

The County Drought Coordinator Henry Mustafa called for more support from humanitarian agencies to complement government emergency intervention measures in tackling the drought situation that has killed more than 80 percent of the livestock in the region.

The ongoing drought, the worst in 40 years, has affected 23 counties; out of which, 10 are under the alarm drought phase.


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