LAMU, Kenya, May 24 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has said business and tourism in Lamu are on the recovery path from the past wave of terrorism and violence in the county.
She commended Lamu people led by their Governor Issa Timamy for the unity of purpose they demonstrated in the wake of the insecurity challenges that hit the county in 2014 and their commitment to build and sustain peace.
“It is obvious that your efforts are bearing fruit, and that business and tourism are steadily recovering”, the First Lady told Lamu people and Timamy when she handed-over the 40th fully kitted Beyond Zero Mobile Clinic to the County.
A wave of insecurity and violence that culminated in the Mpeketoni killings two years ago hit world headlines when terrorism nearly brought down business and tourist operations in Lamu County.
This insecurity challenge, said the First Lady, discouraged many people from venturing in Lamu, either for business or leisure in a county that largely depends on earnings from tourism.
She said the return of security in Lamu was not only good news to the county but the whole country which to a large extent depends on tourism.
The clinic sponsored by Britam was received by Governor Timamy at the Mokowe Secondary School grounds.
The First Lady promised that the Beyond Zero Campaign will partner with the County Government to raise money to buy an boat ambulance to serve the several islands that are part of Lamu County and where large populations of people live.
She said her contribution to Kenya was by seeking greater investment in healthcare, particularly in the health and vitality of mothers and children.
“I truly believe that health is the bedrock of everything good we want to see in this county, and in our country-economic growth, peace, unity and security,” she said.
The First Lady recognised the amount of work by the Lamu County Government in liberalizing healthcare services for the local people including in maternal healthcare and HIV/Aids.
She also praised the upgrading of the maternity wings in some hospitals in the county to include fully equipped maternity theatres, newborn units and ultra-sound rooms.
The First Lady also lauded the ongoing construction, renovation and refurbishing of more health centres across the county and the special attention given to the shortage of medicines, beds and staff.
She thanked the County First Lady Dr Hajara El-Busaidy for the diverse and innovative investments in health and being a strong supporter of health initiatives in the county.
On the Beyond Zero’s three year journey, the First Lady said she was particularly humbled by the massive support she has received from Kenyans of all walks of life including individual donors, corporates and other philanthropists since the initiative was launched.
Lamu now joins 39 other counties that have so far received an equal number of fully kitted mobile clinics that supplement other government initiatives enabling Kenyans at the grassroots to easily access healthcare services especially mothers and children.
The mobile clinics also serve as immunization centres for children besides providing emergency delivery services for mothers. HIV/AIDs testing and minor surgical operations are also available at the mobile clinics.
The First Lady described the clinic to Lamu County as a symbol of unity that comes when Kenyans cooperate towards a shared future, and a shared cause.
“This clinic really attests to the goodwill that we, as citizens, have towards one another. That goodwill needs to be seen more and more across this country,” she said.
She said the clinic should help to cultivate unity among the people of Lamu.
“I hope that as we leave this unit here, it will foster greater unity among Lamu residents too,” she added.