• MCAs said many factors should be considered in allocation of funds.
• NCDP engages county assembly to consider demographic indicators in making county budget.
The National Council for Population and Development has engaged leaders for support to address demographic indicators to curb the high level of poverty in Garissa.
Regional population boss Moses Ouma said issues related to health and environment are not addressed properly.
Speaking at a one-day sensitisation workshop on Friday, he urged the local leadership and religious leaders to help in educating the community.
The workshop held in Garissa town was attended by members of county assembly Health, Budget and Planning committees and key representatives from line ministries and departments at national and county levels.
Some of the challenges that hinder economic growth include high poverty levels, high mortality levels, low literacy levels, high unemployment levels and limited resources among others.
The contraceptive prevalence rate in Garissa stands at 5.5 per cent while over 60 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line.
Ouma said the council’s main concern was to have a quality population, adding that not much has been included in the Annual Development Plan by the Health ministry and planning department.
“That is why there is a need to interact with MCAs being the legislative arm. If they include these issues in the county budget they will be able to attract resources from the county coffers,” Ouma said.
“When you are poor, you have no economic alternatives in life. That is why we want to engage all the relevant stakeholders to make sure the issue is addressed."
County assembly Majority leader Mohamed Gabow said the house took issue with what he termed as "fundamental contradictions" on the issue of the population which the government uses to allocate resources.
“On one hand the government is saying that resources will be allocated based on population while on the other they are talking about things like family planning,” Gabow said.
"There are so many parameters that should determine resource allocation in a balanced way," he added.
Gabow urged the council to "think outside the box" and push for issues that will spur economic growth including TVET institutions where the local population can gain skills and contribute to the economy.
Patrick Okelo from the Finance and Economic Planning said the department has put in place all the plans that will ensure the CIDP is implemented.
(Edited by R.Wamochie)