A high-power Breakfast meeting of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Networks across the Country held at a Voi City Hotel this morning brought together various Taita Taveta Sectoral managers and their stake-holders under one roof to discuss elusive strategic coordination of County development.

Today’s breakfast meeting, hailed as a harbinger of future public-private sector co-operation which has hitherto been bedeviled by mutual suspicions between Government and the civil society, , is part of a planned series of week-long activities, set to climax with a grand ceremony, including exhibitions and a conference, at Voi Sub County’s CDF Hall nick-named “Dan Mwazo Hall”, on Friday featuring keynote speakers on various matters of governance, private sector engagement in development, civic education, public participation and human rights.

Among the participants were County Executive Officers for Devolution, Education, Lands, Agriculture and Sports, as well as a representative of the County Commissioner whose contributions impacted on the vexing questions of human-wildlife conflicts, gender-based violence, education, water, land, governance and, food security that form the very basis of the non-governmental organizations’ existence.

Other participants included representatives from the Red Cross, Rotary Club of Voi, ActionAid, World Vision, Taita Taveta University, The Association of Kenya Elders, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Sauti Ya Wanawake, Mazido, as well as various Media Houses.

Speaking during plenary session, the County Executive Officer for Sports, Culture, Youth and Tourism Hon Bigvai Mwailemi commended the organisers of the colloquium, led by Ezra Mdamu, Sadiki Ridhiwani, and Beatrice Mjomba among others, for mobilizing the stake-holders around the critical issues of development. He lamented, however, the high rates of unemployment among Taita Taveta youth which have resulted in negative consequences.

Other notable challenges cited in the County’s war against poverty eradication include budgetary constraints, unnecessary wrangles and, low civic education.

Responding to various queries and anxieties raised by some participants, the Ward Administrator for Wundanyi, Abedi Malusha who doubled up also as the Governor’s representative upon the departure of the County Ministers who were scheduled to attend to other pressing engagements this morning, appealed for constructive dialogue among all stake-holders.

On a more positive note, however, the organisers praised not only Taita taveta County’s enviable resource-filled corpus, with high potential for exploitation but, also, the growing interest shown lately by international institutions including Rotary International, the United nations, Unicef and, the World Bank.

Duncan Mwanyumba,
Voi City, Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Duncan Mwanyumba is a practicing Advocate of the High Court of Kenya currently based in Voi City, former Coast Province of Kenya, a cultural enthusiast and, the serving President of the Rotary Club of Voi.