By STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Hiiraan Xog, An NGO has partnered with government agencies to help Garissa residents obtain birth certificates and identity cards.
Haki na Sheria head of programmes Bare Kerrow yesterday said residents have been facing problems in getting the documents since many are not aware of the procedures to follow.
“Getting citizenship documents,including IDs, birth certificates and others, has been a major problem.
These diffi culties are historic for thecommunities living near the Kenya-Somalia border,” he said.
This problem was worsened by the problems in Somalia and influx of refugees into Kenya, making the authorities put stringent requirements on Kenyans living in the region to acquire the documents.
Kerrow spoke while issuing birth certificates to residents in Bula Sambul in Garissa town.
He was accompanied by Garissa civil registration offi cer Patrick Ngutia.
Kerrow said the organisation has been helping residents in filling the birth certificate and IDs forms.
Demand for birth certificates has been high owing the government’s requirement that every child should have personal identification number (Pin) for registration in respective schools.
He said they have also assisted the civil registration office with computers and deployed a clerk who will help in the speedy production of the certificates.
“We have paralegals whom we deploy to educate the communities and support them to prepare the necessary documentations during registration of birth certifi cates and IDs,” Kerrow said.
“Ran and came here. We have talked to national offices, we requested for food donations which no doubt we will get,” Galgalo said.
He said he has talked to the Kenya Red Cross Society and the regional office will assess the situation.
He urged well-wishers, including the local businesspeople and elected leaders, to support the families with food, clothing and bedding.
Galgalo spoke to residents at Sofi a slum in Athi River, Mavoko subcounty.
He was accompanied by Athi River deputy county commissioner David Juma and county security team, including regional police commander Samuel Mukindia.
He further warned parents to warn their children against colluding with criminals from other counties in committing crime. “Warn your children if you love them so they do not get killed,” Galgalo said.
In April, many parents in Northeastern were struggling to get birth certificates needed to register pupils in the National Education Information System.
Hundreds of parents were lining up at civil registry offices in Northeastern and there were claims of bribery among officials who were taking advantage of the huge demand to extort parents.
Kerrow said there were few service providers in Northeastern.
A birth certificate is required for pupils’ data to be captured in the National Education Information System.
Pupils are allocated unique PINs which are used to track their progress and enable the ministry distribute textbooks, funds and deploy teachers.
At the time, Kerrow had said Garissa was the worst aff ected because Dadaab, Balambala, Fafi and Lagdera subcounties did not off er services and depended on the main offices in the town.