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February 20, 2019

Pastoralists want census carried out in wet season

A boy herds goats in a dry grazing fi eld /FILE
A boy herds goats in a dry grazing fi eld /FILE

Northern Kenya pastoral communities have warned that their constituencies will not take part in next year’s national census if it’s held during the dry period.

They said yesterday that most residents would be left out. They move in search of water and pasture, and sometimes travel long distances away from their homes.

“We have the numbers, but most of our people move around to other areas, thus end up being counted elsewhere,” Garissa Township MP Aden Duale said.

He said 115 elected leaders from the pastoral counties will unite to make sure the census is conducted when there is pasture in their land so everybody is counted. 

The National Assembly Majority leader spoke in Samburu county. Samburu East constituency could be scrapped in the next IEBC boundary review if it fails to meet the population quota to be calculated based on next year’s census. Some constituencies will be merged and others created to maintain the 290-constituency figure provided by the Constitution.

Samburu East MP Jackson Lentoijoni urged the IEBC and the Kenya National Bureau of Statisitics to understand their way of life. 

“The IEBC should consider our weather patterns to understand when our people are within their constituencies,” he said.

Lentoijoni said doing away with the constituency could result in unnecessary political conflicts that could be avoided.

“We’ve been working harmoniously with other representatives. If they scrap some areas, we’ll be forced to look for votes in the next constituency. I’ll go to the North and be an enemy of my brother Musa Lentoimaga as I’ll be seeking to unseat him,” he said.

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