By Gedhia Mamo
It was a great experience working with the county Government of Marsabit for 4yrs. The experience was first hand, the challenges were real. We somehow got to form the foundation of a government,(y’all dont understand how toughit was).No one had worked in the same setup before coz hey, it was the FIRST County government since the devolved system in Kenya was initiated.
But you know what, we did it. We did great. I say WE coz, we were a TEAM. We believed devolution was our independence as a marginalized region (Northern Kenya) and so we put our all into it. Ask any of my colleagues, we didn’t take our annual leaves for four years because every second was required.
It takes serious minds to form a government. From having no offices and thus operating from the corridors of the County Commissioner’s premises,(this space wasn’t even enough for CC’s staff). To having not even drafted plans of how to take off, to very few or zero staff in most areas….no form of structure, no assets….let me stop there…..in short, WE STARTED WITH NOTHING.
We worked on how to set out departments, drew the organograms for them, got a few assets, renovated facilities to serve us as offices, built facilities, employed staff….by the 2nd year, WE HAD A FACE.
I appreciate the very professional and administrative skills of our head, H.E. Amb. Ukur Yatani. We managed because our head knew we could and we needed to, for the residents of Marsabit.
It was an awesome experience working with the communities in my home County which is the most culturally diverse in the Country. I enjoyed every bit of interaction with the beautiful culture of Dasanach, Elmolo,Somali, Konso, Wayu, Sidama, Sakuye,Burji, Gabra, Rendile, Borana, Samburu, Turkana, Garre….. all indigenous of my beautiful County.
I enjoyed the beautiful tourist attractions and sites from my home-Moyale the town on the mountain, to the aabo mountains of Sololo, to the seven hills of Torbi, the lava rock desert diid galgalu, the magical lake paradise, marsabit forest-home to ahmed the legend, goff chopa, bongole, Ogicho craters, amazing Ngurunit, Korr the clear/white rocks filled town, amazing south horr, awesome Loiyangalani, the Southern Island, Sibiloi, petrified forest, koobi fora the cradle of mankind to East Africa’s only true desert the Chalbi. I love my County.
The knowledge gained through this experience is immeasurable. The friends made and networks created are uncountable.
However, so are those that I crossed lines with, in not so nice ways, those that felt in someway, somehow, I or my actions didn’t please them. My apologies. It was all in the line of duty. Nothing personal. If you misjudged me, I accept your apologies in advance. If you just hated me coz, “damu zetu hazipatani”……pole but they say, If you want to please everyone, sell ice cream, dont lead. Unfortunately, I am the latter.
My docket was tourism….great stuff achieved, incuding-Bongole resort, annual Mr/miss tourism, Marsabit festival, represented County at all exhibitions, Loiyangalani bandas, curio market, hosting rhino charge, tourism bill….so much more……
Congratulations to those coming in as they take over and proceed from where we reached. It is not an easy task but luckily for you, everything is set and you can focus on making the structures, systems and facilities operational.
My plea to all the leaders is, keep the peace, tighten the cohesion. Above all, serve all the residents of Marsabit with equity without discrimination of any sort. For me now, to other tasks as I continue to serve my people, the residents of my Marsabit in other capacities that God places me. God bless Marsabit, God bless Kenya.