There were celebrations on Wednesday in the border town of Arabia in Mandera county, after it was elevated to a subcounty.
Arabia borders Somalia and it is 100km from Mandera town.
It was one of the first settlements that greatly prospered in the 1980s and 1990s, but later stagnated as a result of terror attacks perpetrated by al Shabaab militants.
However, over the past one year the situation has changed for the better, with no major incidents being reported.
Arabia’s elevation to a subcounty means services will be brought closer to the people.
Speaking during the colourful ceremony, Mandera East MP Omar Maalim thanked the national government for finally fulfilling its pledge by elevating Arabia to a subcounty.
“This is a historic day and an achievement as services from both the national and county governments will be brought closer to the people,” Maalim said.Residents of Arabia celebrate its elevation to a subcounty on Wednesday
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Maalim said although the government has done a lot to improve security in the region, there is need to post more National Police Reservists to the area to complement police efforts.
He urged residents to cooperate with security agencies by volunteering information that would help end terror attacks.
The lawmaker also called on security agencies to build a good rapport with wananchi by treating sensitive information when it is availed to them with confidentiality.
“For more than 10 years, the county has lost so many lives to al Shabaab attacks. The government must remain proactive and eliminate the militants from the region,” he said.
He was accompanied by Deputy Governor Mohamed Arai, Northeastern regional commissioner Nicodemus Ndalana and regional police commander Rono Bunei.
Arai said the county will operationalise all subcounty offices for all departments of the county government.
Ndalana urged parents to keep a close eye on their children, whom he said were at greater risk of being lured into joining terror groups.
The subcounty administration headed by deputy county commissioner Solom Kitai will be responsible for the coordination, management and supervision of government services.