Magazine / Gender Matters
Monday, 05 Jun 2017 19:33 EATabdirahmancajab@gmail.com
Wajir women representative Fatuma Ibrahim, who is also eying the Tarbaj constituency parliamentary seat, today celebrated her iconic achivements as the first woman elected leader from the county. In programmes that tackled developmental chal;l;enges in all the six sub-counties, Ms Ibrahim used the Affirmative Action Fund to empower women throughout the county.
The fund, which is like constituency development fund, is available to women reps from each of the 47 counties, establsihed to deal with affirmative action projects targeting women, youth, persons with disability and elderly persons. It is like a revolving fund with no interest on the loans granted to women and youth projects. The funds are not to be returned by loanees but the beneficiaries are expected to use it for long term sustainability.
Ms Ibrahim, who is popularly known here as Wama, said it was her responsibility to ensure these funds were well utilized to empower women economically, and she was optimistic that those had benefitted would always remember to give back to society as well. She said the beneficiaries of the funds came from the six sub counties of Wajir. She today distributed Sh7 million cheques for the different groups.
Mr Abdishakur Sheik Abdikarim, the county coordinator of National Government Affirmative Action Fund, said that in addition to the cheques, his office also gave out 60 donkey carts and 20 donkeys for poor and vulnerable persons. He futher said that last week they had distributed 50 pieces of sewing machines and another 50 wheelchairs.
"Two weeks ago we distributed Sh4 million busury fund across the six sub counties," he said, adding that another Sh4 million will be given out for students in colleges. The bursary target mostly girls to improve girl child education in the county. The organisation has also built milk sheds for Cagtalahel whose construction is ongoing, along with the one at Tula and water piping program in Leysayu.
At Doqsa, the fund is drilling a borehole while special toilets for special needs students has been built at Wajir Girls Primary School. He said they had distributed 30 car wash machines to different youths in the county and 60 water tanks of 2,000 liters each to agricultural groups. Last year,the fund distributed 18 team uniforms for three football clubs from each sub-county.
On health, the fund did HIV sentisition program for different groups which targeted 450 residents, the manager said. To spur commerce, he said they had constructed six market shades across the county and provided a computer to Catholic Rehabilitation Center. They have also successfully purchased 50 crutches for the disabled and 100 Polio boots given to the Catholic rehabilitation center. The team is targeting drugs control program for next year.
Mr Abdishakur said the fund was being run by committees across the six sub counties, with the following being the members:
On her part, Ms Ibrahim said they had utilised the funds in a way that more people benefited. She said that, although she was now running for a constituency seat, "I have to fulfill my responsibility as women rep".
The MP has worked entirely for the people of Wajir regardless of their ethnic background. She said CDF targets only constituency level but her fund for the women rep was for the entire county.
Cleared last week to run for the Tarbaj seat on an ODM ticket, Ms Ibrahim is widely expected to clinch victory given her work over the last fine years.
She is a strong supporter of teh NASA coalition and its presidential candidate Raila Odinga and believes her party will win majority of the seats in Wajir as happened in 2013 elections.
Abdirahman Rashid Farah is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County