• Lamu West MP says state has continued to discriminate against Lamu
• He wants state to increase allocation to county to bring it to the level of others
Lamu has lagged behind in development since Independence due to neglect and marginalisation by successive regimes, Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama has said.
Lamu was among the worst-hit regions by the Shifta war in the 60s, which left hundreds dead and thousands displaced. Muthama blames this squarely on laxity of the government to prioritise security back then.
Speaking in Lamu town on Wednesday, Muthama said the government has continued discrimination against Lamu. "This has made the county vulnerable to security threats including from al Shabaab militants."
He wants the national government to give special consideration to Lamu during the allocation of funds so as to help bring Lamu to the levels of top-performing counties.
Muthama said it was through adequate resource allocation that development projects will be achieved.
He said the government would have done more to stop the perpetrators of the Shifta war before too much damage was done.
It, however, chose to look the other way or do very little, leaving residents at the mercy of the warmongers, he said.
"The resultant situation was a general lack of development as residents spent their time running for safety while the rest of the country worked to develop and improve their lives."
Muthama said such situations are the reason Lamu is now counted among the poorest counties.
“Lamu is where it is because of what previous regimes subjected it to. If Lamu had received the necessary support, we would be competing with likes of Nairobi, Kiambu or Mombasa in matters development," he said.
The MP termed it"unfortunate" that the county has "faced a lot in terms of historical injustices yet the government was doing little to end the same".
County leaders have numerously complained that the county continues to receive the least amount of funding from Treasury despite being immensely in need for more since devolution kicked off in 2013.
“The funding coming to Lamu needs to be increased as the government knows there is a lot we need to climb up the ladders of marginalisation and deprivation,” Muthama said.
He also asked the government to speed up completion of the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor project which is poised to be a massive employer not just at the coast region but also Kenya, East and Central Africa.
“It should have been done by now. The government can decide to ensure it's completed in the shortest time possible with plenty of resources."
Edited by R.Wamochie