Tana River county is found at the former coast province. It is a forgotten county, it only comes to the limelight when there’s clashes, conflicts or something negative to get the attention of kenyans. The 2012 tribal clashes in Tana Delta still remains in the minds of many people. A such some from upcountry fear to visit the county; because according to them it’s a volatile region that’s not safe for them.
Tana River was left behind right from the colonial time. Most of the developed counties today benefited to some degree from the British government. The colonialist invested much on some regions as opposed to others. They built schools, hospitals, roads, railway and introduced new crops such as tea, coffee among others. Unfortunately Tana River never had any of those apart from the now dilapidated structures left by the missionaries.
Therefore comparing Tana River with other counties is a grave mistake. The regions participated in forming the first African government are now developed. Politics of allocation of resources was tribal driven (even to date) and the few elites of that time championed only for their own regions.
However, the past cannot shape the destiny of tanarians. Success and development can only be realised by exploiting all the available opportunities.
Now let take a critical look on the opportunities that can give prospect and future to Tana River. The following are the resources that when tapped the story would change.
First, Tana River has natural resources, that is vast land which is uncultivated, beautiful scenery in Kipini for tourist attraction and to crown it all the longest river in Kenya-river tana. These are useful to any economy when are well exploited. Infact the year 2013 according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics revealed that Tana River was among the counties with the highest amount of resources needed to pull poor people out of poverty. In that regard, agriculture should be given a priority, the fishery sector and tourism as well.
Secondly, human resources. Here we are unfortunate. As a matter of fact kenya Demographic Health Survey of 2014 listed Tana River as among the counties with high rates of teenage pregnancy leading by 28 per cent with Narok having the highest rates. This has paralysed education more so for the girl child. A such the large population of Tana River is composed of unskilled and semi skilled labour. Even the few experts available especially the doctors seek green pasture out of their own county.
Therefore Tana county government need to come up with strategies on how to retain their own bona fide professionals to increase the number of experts in the region.
Thirdly is capital. This refers to equipment used in the production of final goods, such as assembly lines, trucks, heavy duty machinery, factories, etc. The county should invest on this. Infact the mango factory should be revived back.
Fourth is the powerful one which doesn’t require much of the government involvement and that is entrepreneurship. Those who practice this are known as entrepreneurs. The marshaller of resources, the persons or groups that marshals resources in the production of final goods and services.
This goes in line with talents. It is about practicality. Moreover it’s a universal principle that economic development is stirred by entrepreneurs in a population.Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford among other are epitome of what entrepreneurship is all about. They were talented individuals who didn’t play little of their passion. Rather they exercised their potentials to the fullest.
In Kenya the likes of James mwangi(CEO of Equity) should be emulated. Tana River people should learn how to produce many of such men.
They shouldn’t wait for investors rather they should practise investment themselves, create employment for their fellow tanarians. Government get motivated when its citizens are productive. Infact funds are invested in a productive population. Think of something that aims at helping the public and see how donors will pump their money into your project.
In conclusion polytechnics should be taken seriously; they are more practical in the real life than the classroom theories. People should learn to be problem solvers and nothing, I say nothing that can impede economic development.
Do you have an idea that takes into account the public interest, implement it. Transform your county, you and me are the agents of development.