Have you ever wondered why most Taita Taveta County locals live in abject poverty yet the county is endowed with vast natural resources that would transform their lives significantly?
Again, are you surprised that the county has countless professionals in various fields that could use their expertise to convert the Godly given resources to riches yet only a few are willing to work for their people?
Think about it this way. For those who were brought up in the villages would agree, as a teenager we all dreamed of a sense of waiting for real life to start once we moved away from the rural area. We thought everything was happening elsewhere, that towns were focal points of economic growth, innovation and paid employment.
We all yearned to leave for the city (Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, you name them). We all wanted to ensure that our generations don’t go to the same schools we went to. We thought urban residents had better access to education and other better opportunities. Many people still think that’s the case.
Now, this is the reality. We have all run to towns…neglected our villages in the name of searching for greener pastures. We have left our women to be assaulted as was the case in Taita Taveta County, where we heard of claims of women who had to undergo the ordeal of having their private parts searched at the mines. We have left our land to be grabbed by non-locals who are well connected yet locals keep fighting for the small plots left under their names.
These last two weeks, I worked from Taita Taveta County courtesy of my employer, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and got the privilege of attending a public inquiry into the mining sector, specifically to ascertain the veracity of human rights violations in Taita Taveta County.
It pains me to listen to the narratives from my motherland.
Woe unto you County professionals, you have left our mothers to die in hospitals for lack of enough medical staff in our public hospitals. For your information, we were ranked among counties with high maternal deaths in the country according to a report released by Ministry of Health. We are also leading in recording high numbers of defilement and early marriages for underage girls. Our girls have been turned into prey by male predators! Who will fight for them?
Another horror story here…Imagine losing your child because of fighting for your land! Why should one of our own lose life because of property rightfully his? All this, I believe, could have been solved if our learned friends would be there for our mothers and fathers we left back in the villages.
Politicians have taken advantage of my folks back home. I have heard about that, too many times it sickens me. I am a member in almost all Taita Taveta Groups and you know I get tired reading about the issues that get posted there every day.
The Politicians, they say, promise heaven on earth. Too bad the rhetoric is always the same year in year out! My folks still walk long distance in search water. Nothing much has changed yet we keep on voting leaders every general election.
We used to sail high in education. During my time, I remember we produced some of the best students who joined National Schools and always made this County an envy of many. My parents, my aunties and uncles despite going to school barefooted and on empty stomach, they always produced exemplary results (they made me believe that. Ha ha, all parents tell us so). Now, we lead from the bottom because our siblings do not have role models. We are busy working to make ends meet in urban cities and have no time to go back and mentor those behind us!
Time has come to join hands as Taita professionals to help our county. Let’s go back home and replenish what was taken from us. Let’s rebuild what was destroyed and stop them (whoever they are) from grabbing what rightfully belongs to us as Taita’s.
As election nears, let’s not allow our people to be once again lured into voting leaders who do not have our interests at heart. We will have ourselves to blame if our parents, siblings and neighbours continue to languish in poverty after next year’s polls. It is our turn to set the agenda and vote in leaders who will forge our county forward.
Blessed is the Land in Taita Taveta County.