By Joel Mzanta
Members of the Lamu Youth Assembly have urged the current county government administration to adhere to their election pledge of creating job and business opportunities for youths in a bid to tackle spiraling unemployment levels in the coastal county.
Speaking to the media after their first sitting today at the former Lamu County Assembly building in Amu Island, Lamu Youth Assembly President Habib Ali Shee demanded that Governor Issa Timamy’s administration start making good its pre-election pledge of facilitating jobs and tender opportunities for youths.
“A lot of youths are currently jobless and even those who have a foot into doing business are being stifled by the prohibitive license fees that they have to pay to the county government,” he stated.
He further welcomed the nomination of the Governor as the Chairman of the Blue Economy committee among the Council of Governors. This development gives Lamu County a chance to benefit from Blue Economy centered funds and grants that the national government has set up in a bid to improve the country’s inland and ocean fishing sector.
The national government in conjunction with the European Union has from last year pumped Kshs 3.5 billion to finance hundreds of Blue Economy related projects in the six coastal counties.
Habib, who was accompanied by other members of the Lamu Youth Assembly, stated that there is need for more Blue economy courses to be added at the county TVETs to offer vital skills to the local youths so they can take up jobs at the Lamu Port, which was commissioned last year.
the sentiments echoed by the Lamu Youth Assembly Speaker Mohammed Skanda who further urged the county government to lobby the national government to pump in more funds towards the LAPSSET project in a bid to enhance its viability for Lamu residents.
“LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority (LCDA) needs to address the 600 scholarship opportunities that the Kibaki administration promised Lamu youths,” Skanda said.
The CBO official also said that the county government needs to also address the lack of stadiums in the county, despite there being regular funding towards the sports sector.
“Lamu’s footballing talent is wasting away because we lack a regular football league that scouts can come and see our gifted players because we lack stadiums,” he said.
Barsuba representative Mohammed Kitete on his part said that Lamu Youth Assembly will play an active role in putting all elected leaders to account for their election pledges especially those made towards the addressing the plights of youths.
“Lamu Youths form the biggest voting constituency, and their needs have to addressed especially when it comes to affirmative action opportunities,” Kitete said.
He urged the county government to expand its enterprise fund initiative of giving grants to youth groups in order create business opportunities for more youths within the county.