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Tana River struggles to hire ‘below average’ locals




Tana River County Governor Major (Rtd) Dr Dhadho Godhana. PHOTO | FILE 

The Tana River County government is facing a unique dilemma: it is unable to hire locals despite the administration’s will to do so.

The devolved unit, headed by Governor Dhadho Godhana, says the prevailing situation is due to an acute shortage of skilled manpower in the area, forcing it to outsource staff from other counties in order to fill key positions.

Speaking at a funeral service at the Kenya Methodist Church in Hola yesterday, Mr Godhana said his administration was keen to fill recently advertised positions but found that most applicants have below average academic eligibility.

“We have tried to restrict employment to locals but surprisingly, our people have no requisite qualifications for respective opportunities,” he said.

Mr Godhana said the situation has forced Tana River County to outsource in order to hire staff that meet its expectations despite most of its youth seeking employment.

“We have to build the future of our County by hiring people who understand the weight of the responsibility they are going to handle, but we are in a dilemma because we don’t have them,” he said.

Further, he said his administration has gone as far as securing positions for natives by advertising fewer numbers than actually required so as to give them top priority, an attempt that has failed since most do not come close to meeting the required threshold.

He recounted how the previous administration also suffered the same problem, forcing it to hire unskilled personnel hence the many mistakes and misappropriation of funds.

“…We can not walk the same path, we desire better,” Mr Godhana said.

With 56 percent of its population lacking formal education, Tana River County is placed at a disadvantage compared to its neighbouring counties.

It is also among Kenya’s poorest and most marginalised counties along with Lamu, Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Turkana and West Pokot.

Mr Godhana urged residents to seek education in order to claim the positions in future. In the meantime, he said, the administration will contract skilled staff from outside the county in order to keep the system going.

Veteran professionals in the county have since planned a meeting to discuss how to revolutionise the number of skilled staff and reverse the situation in a bid to place the county on a path of progress.