By Ali Abdi
Everything is against them. Neighbours are their deadly enemies while the Government has forgotten them and the environment now threatens their very existence.
Marginalised within North Horr and the larger Marsabit County, the Daasanach, one of the smallest Kenyan tribes is crying out for justice, pleading with government and the international community to come to the peopleâs aid.
The Daasanach, who reside in Illeret village, claim that there is a deliberate move by their Many Illeret villagers donât have identification papers and this makes transacting any official business difficult. [Photo: George Mulala /Standard]
Many Illeret villagers donât have identification papers and this makes transacting any official business difficult. [Photo: George Mulala /Standard]
"powerful" Gabra and Turkana neighbours to influence government officers not to give them national identity cards, without which they canât vote or transact any business.
A few who have national IDs only brag of the old generation type that allowed them to vote in past general elections and the 2005 and 2010 referendums. But these have become obsolete and are no longer valid.
Longaiye Loitabua, 65, has been following up his retirement benefits from the Fisheries ministry for 12 years now. Because he still holds the old generation identity card, the conclusion of the transaction has been going on at snail pace.
"I was asked to get a new identity card. But I have not even managed to apply for it. No government official comes here and I cannot afford to travel to Marsabit town,ââ said the old man when The Standard team recently toured Illeret area with officers from the Marsabit Catholic Diocese.
Loitabua has four children and his first born, Keresa, 41, has no ID but the other three do â because they were lucky that when they were in high school Immigration officials issued students with the vital document.
"They got it while in secondary school in Marsabit town. Keresa applied for his ten years ago but he is yet to receive any communication about the process."
A neighbour, Nyaro Arilale, who was born in 1962 and did not vote in the 2010 referendum because officials said her old generation ID expired in 1997, is not, therefore, a registered voter. At Telesgaye village on the eastern shores of Lake Turkana, hundreds of locals say they feel they are not part of Kenya because there is nothing to identify them as Kenyans.