Marginalized communities have nothing to smile about on Madaraka day

Elders of the Boni community PHOTO COURTESY

Lamu,KENYA:The marginalized communities of the Sanye,Boni,Somali and Orma in Lamu county say they still have nothing to celebrate about even as the country marks 54 years of independence this Madaraka day.

The communities who occupy the Bargoni,Pandanguo,Pangani,Dide Waride and Chalaluma villages in Lamu East said they are still marginalized even by the current government and as such have missed on so many services and goodies from the government.

They said its unfortunate that they still don’t have meaningful representation in the county and national governments despite the efforts they have made to acquire education.

They feel there is need for the governments to have them fully included in development matters and treat them equally to other community across the country for them to gain the feeling of belonging.

“Let those who have gained anything for the 54 years celebrate Madaraka but not us.We are Kenyans but other than our word,there isn’t much to prove it.Governments treat us like we don’t exist.We cant get even bursaries for our children because we aren’t represented.Our children miss out on vaccines like polio and the rest and we wonder if our kids are puppets.Its unfortunate but no one seems to care,”said Dika Mohamed.

Dokota Ali an elder from the Boni community said no single person from the community has ever possessed a title deed for their lands since independence and that the community’s land rights have been openly stifled.

“Frankly we have nothing to smile about.Kenyans out there have title deeds for their lands but for us that’s a distant dream that possible might never come to be.Surveys have been done all over Lamu but not on our lands.They look the other way and we cant do anything.Grabbers are taking all our lands but how do we protect them?,”said Dokota.

They called on the county and national governments to ensure the community also gets to be resprsented in governance to make them feel part of Kenya.