Isiolo county leaders claim that crucial government processes such as census, general elections and the ongoing huduma namba registration leave out many pastoralists who move to far places in search of water and pasture for their animals.
Isiolo governor Mohamed Kuti, Women MP Rehema Jaldesa, Isiolo North MP Hassan Odha and his Isiolo South counterpart Abdi Koropu, the leaders noted that carrying out such procedures coincided with harsh climatic times hence omitting many herders from the pastoralist communities from the region.
Dr. Kuti challenged the national government to ensure that the clerks charged with the registration responsibilities reach out to all Kenyans wherever they are, in order to ensure fairness during distribution of various government resources.
He also called upon Isiolo residents from pastoralist communities to disregard age old beliefs that counting the number of children or livestock would bring a bad omen and ensure that correct figures emerge from every household both for the huduma number and the impending population census.
He argued that such beliefs were to blame for the County government woes, as the devolved government is the second last in terms of annual resource allocation from the national exchequer despite being one of the largest in terms of land mass.
The governor added that many residents shied away from giving out the correct number of children and spouses during the last population census ten years ago, while others refused to take part in the exercise entirely.
He urged Isiolo residents to ensure that they turn up in large numbers during all government processes in order to rectify sentiments that were echoed by the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in charge of labour and social protection Abdul Bahari who also hails from the county.
Bahari noted that the national government was committed to ensure that all Kenyans get registered despite some hardship areas lacking crucial services such as mobile network and electricity to recharge the registration gadgets.
He noted that the details in all documents required during registration such as ID number and NHIF were already with the government, hence members of public should not worry about where the details would end up to. He said that the most important thing was to turn up in person for biometrics to be taken.
Isiolo women Member of Parliament Rehema Jaldesa said that leaders from the region initially had reservations regarding the Huduma number registration exercise, for fear of further marginalisation if people from the pastoralist communities continue being left out since some even cross over to Ethiopia during dry spells like now. She however noted that they were now convinced that the exercise would not disadvantage the region and asked all Kenyans to take part in the exercise.
Rehema nevertheless took issue with the need for a marriage certificate when enlisting spouses, adding that most marriages in the region were carried out very casually, hence there is no documentation for them. She also said that some men had more than five wives while the application form has only five spaces for the names of spouses.