As part of a comprehensive strategy to support the Government of Kenya address migration challenges, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organized two community forums in Garissa County, with an aim of strengthening community engagement on border management and security.
The Barazas held from 27-28 February, were attended by 250 and 150 community members from Waberi and Iftin locations, respectively.
The meetings were facilitated by IOM, the Border Management Secretariat (BMS) and the Garissa Border Management Committee (BMC) comprising members from Customs, Immigration, National Police, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Anti Counterfeit Agency, National Intelligence Service, National Registration Bureau, Kenya Defense Forces and Administration Police. Each agency was tasked with presenting their roles in border management to the community.
The Head of Customs in Garissa County and Chairman of BMC, Mr. David Olela, stressed the need for continuous engagement with the community to ensure a two- way communication that will lead to enhanced border security.
The Garissa Assistant County Commissioner, Mr. Peter Masaa, emphasized importance of synergy in the matter of border management and community participation in securing the borders in Garissa County.
Mr. Tom Anyim from Department of Immigration Services, encouraged the community to be vigilant especially on issues related to human trafficking and smuggling which has become rampant in the county.
Julius Ituamwari from the National Registration Bureau encouraged the community to report any illegal issuance of identity cards.
“An Identity Card is your right as a citizen and is accessible to all who follow the procedure and set standards in its acquisition,” he said.
Mr Ahmed Abdi from the Kenya Bureau of Standards and Anti-Counterfeit Agency urged the residents to be on the lookout for counterfeit and smuggled products.
Mr. David Gachoki, an official from BMS, spoke on the structure and function of the BMS and its work to ensure border management is coordinated and information shared among agencies.
The training was held under the auspices of a Community Revitalization Program (CRP) undertaken by IOM in Garissa County and funded by the Government of Japan. The program is currently being implemented in the three Sub-Counties of Dadaab, Fafi and Garissa Township with the following components: Livelihood Support, Community Policing and Immigration and Border Management.