Access to water and electricity have topped demands by Mandera residents in public participation forums preceding the formulation of the 2021/22 county budget.
In Mandera East, residents urged the county government to allocate funds for street lighting in the estates and paving of roads.
Mr Ali Noor Sheikh, a local, said cases of insecurity were on the rise within estates since they have remained in darkness.
The most affected estates in Mandera town include Bula Central, Bula Mpya, Township, Geneva and Neboi.
“Our county has to allocate funds in this budget to open up roads and put up security street lights to help deal with petty crimes happening in darkness,” he said.
In Koromey, residents asked for the provision of clean water for their estates.
Mr Billow Hassan Mohamed, another resident, said the water bowsers were charging Sh3,500 yet the county has funds to provide enough water to every home.
“We need piped water in this budget because, in the past financial years, money has gone to other sectors,” he said.
In Mandera North, residents asked the county government to put more money in the water sector for both human and livestock use.
And in Lafey, residents demanded improvement of the health sector, accusing the county leadership of neglecting Lafey Sub County Hospital.
Persons Living with Disabilities in Mandera County also demanded consideration for budgeting of their activities in the 2021/22 budget.
Mr Noor Adan Hussein, the PWDs’ Spokesperson, said the Mandera County Government has to ensure their rights are considered.
“We need funds to start businesses and other life-supporting initiatives for ourselves and that has to come starting this year,” he said.
According to Mr Hussein, PWDs in Mandera have not been getting what belongs to them in the past.
“We want to be part of the development process in Mandera. We are only being supported by the national government but nothing has been forthcoming from the county government,” he said.
County Chief Officer for Economic Planning and Statistics Fartun Bulle Ibrahim said the Governor Ali Roba administration has begun the budget-making process and that all views will be considered in the final draft.
“The process is still ongoing and we shall incorporate all the inputs from the public participation, departments and ministries for the final draft,” she said.
She said the final draft from the executive will be sent to the county assembly for approval before implementation of the same.
Ms Ibrahim said that during the forums, the public has the opportunity to review the previous year’s budget and make recommendations.
“We are in the process of identifying loopholes in the previous budget so that the new budget covers all that was missed as identified by the public,” she said.
Mandera has budget estimates for the 2021/22 financial year at Sh14 billion, according to the county chief officer for economic planning and statistics.
The county expects to get Sh11.2 billion from the national treasury as an equalisation fund and fill up the budget with donor funds and local revenue.