Objects of devolution contemplate provision of security as a way to spur development

A recent employment evaluation survey has revealed that the hotel and catering industry in the Coast region is set to suffer more job cuts after tourist number

failed to improve following months of security-related challenges. In Mandera and Wajir counties, the education and health sectors are in paralysis after hundreds of teachers and health workers from other parts of the country declined to resume work after the Christmas break fearing for their safety following an Al Shabaab attack that killed close to a hundred people in Mandera last year. These two case scenarios point to one thing—that development suffers where peace and security are not guaranteed. One only has to look at neighbouring Somalia to understand why peace and security are paramount. One of the main objectives of devolution under the Constitution of Kenya 2010 is to promote social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya.

But a look at the current situation in Mandera, Wajir and several counties at the coast region reveals that social and economic services such as education, healthcare and employment opportunities cannot be delivered because of insecurity. This leads us to one question—how will these counties meet this objective of devolution when insecurity continues to hinder the provision of basic social and economic services? In view of the foregoing, it is clear that security is the most proximate service that counties in the coast and north eastern regions of Kenya stand in need of. But since security is a function of the national government, what happens to these counties when the national government proves to be incapable of providing this very basic service effectively? The answer lies, once again, in the devolution objective of providing proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya. And governors, as the main drivers of the objectives of
devolution, are in a position to provide security in the most proximate manner.

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