Garissa region launches street light project ahead of Ramadan
Saturday, July 06, 2013
Kenya’s northern county of Garissa, bordering the war-torn Somalia, has embarked on a street project to fight terrorist attacks ahead of Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The 315,000 U.S. dollars project, which comes less than two weeks to the holy month, was launched on Sunday in Garissa to forestall possible terror attacks coinciding with the key religious event.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony at the Garissa bus park, where the first lighting pool is to be erected, Garissa Governor Nadhif Jamaa said the streets lighting program will enhance security since the criminals behind the hurling of hand grenades in the town in the recent past were mostly carrying out their criminal activities and escaped arrests enveloped in the darkness.
The six-month project is to enhance security to main streets, alleys, places near main mosques and locations within the central business district, which have been dogged by deadly terror attacks in the recent months. It is co-funded by the Kenyan municipal program and county government of Garissa.
“I am glad to see this project taking off, it has been one of the wishes of my County government to light up the town to address the recurrent insecurity in the town, so that the residents can carry out their businesses at night without any fears of been pounced onto them by criminals hiding behind the darkness,” the Governor said.
Jamaa said, the Holy month of Ramadan is approaching and the locals’ Muslim faithful needs to conduct their night long prayers, without a fear of attacks from marauding criminals or sympathizers’ of terror groups taking advantage of the absences of street lights in the town to conduct their heinous acts.
He further asked taxi operators and other public service vehicle operators and those with business stalls built along the main roads in the town to get out and move to their designated places at the Garissa Bus Park, before the county government cracks the whip and forcibly drive them into Bus park market noting that their hazard presences in the town is compromising security.
The town was rocked by terrorist attacks that have claimed both the lives of civilian and security officers. The attacks were reportedly launched by Al-Shabaab in southern Somalia, which is linked to Al-Qaida.
Kenya security intelligence holds the Islamist militia responsible for deadly cross-border incursions in its northern region and abductions of tourists in the coastal archipelago region.
“To spruce up out town and guarantee security to its people and visitors, we need to pull out the shanties and makeshifts stalls since they are an eyesore that gives a bad look to our town and a hide out for thugs,” Jamaa said.
“I am kindly appealing to all owners of such structures in central business district area to demolish them and relocate to the bus park where we have built 265 permanent stalls for their use; before we come to destroy them,” added Jama.
The county boss called on locals to closely work with the security agencies in the area by volunteering useful information to them, saying the lull that was currently being experienced was as a result of the cooperation between members of the public and the security agencies.