AMINA AB­DALLA: AM­BI­TIOUS SQUAT­TERS’ DAUGH­TER

She holds the his­toric land ques­tion at the Coast close to her heart. She says it pains her to see peo­ple liv­ing for decades on parcels of land from which they are even­tu­ally evicted.

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - BRIAN OTIENO @Yo­bramos4

Never one to with­stand op­pres­sion, Amina Nassor Ab­dalla quit her job with an in­ter­na­tional com­pany be­cause of sec­tar­ian dis­crim­i­na­tion.

“I worked for seven years for the com­pany, and I was never pro­moted de­spite help­ing it achieve ISO cer­ti­fi­ca­tion twice,” she says.

“I used to take new­com­ers through ori­en­ta­tion and they would then end up get­ting salary higher than mine. I could not take it any­more.”

As the daugh­ter of a squat­ter, she holds the his­toric land ques­tion at the Coast close to her heart. She says that it pains her to see peo­ple liv­ing for decades on parcels of land which they are even­tu­ally evicted from.

She has not per­son­ally lived through this dev­as­tat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

But she hopes she will never have to live through it.

She has al­ready started a cam­paign of her own to en­sure those who have lived for more than 12 years on a piece of land get ti­tle deeds.

“I imag­ine my par­ents will die squat­ters on land they have lived in their en­tire lives be­cause they have no ti­tle deeds,” she says.

Thus she has set her eyes on the Kilifi South par­lia­men­tary seat.

This is be­cause she is dis­heart­ened when­ever she goes back home and finds lit­tle change in terms of de­vel­op­ment.

“The level of ed­u­ca­tion is ret­ro­gress­ing in­stead of pro­gress­ing,” says the mother of three, not­ing this is marked by the dis­mal per­for­mance in the na­tional ex­ams.

“That is one of the fac­tors push­ing me to go for this seat be­cause I want to ef­fect some pos­i­tive changes.”

She re­grets that is­sues con­cern­ing youth and women have not been cham­pi­oned by lead­ers in the area.

Un­em­ploy­ment is ram­pant and com­pa­nies have taken ad­van­tage of the des­per­a­tion to pay ab­so­lutely min­i­mal wages.

Lev­els of ig­no­rance are also very high among women.

This has made many miss out on gov­ern­ment de­vel­op­ment funds.

“Some Uwezo Funds have come to the con­stituency. But the bet­ter part of the money had to be re­turned to the cen­tral gov­ern­ment be­cause many groups did not qual­ify to ac­cess the funds,” Ab­dalla says.

She has ini­ti­ated the Mama Amina ID Mi­taani where she spon­sored the Kilifi South reg­is­tra­tion of­fice to move to the grass­roots to en­sure youth ap­ply for and take up IDs.

Farms in Chasimba and Mwarakaya wards in Kilifi South are fer­tile but lack of tech­nol­ogy means farm­ers rely solely on rains, which of­ten fail.

“If we can get some ir­ri­ga­tion from our na­tional gov­ern­ment, these ar­eas can feed the whole county,” she says.

“I IMAG­INE MY PAR­ENTS WILL DIE SQUAT­TERS ON LAND THEY HAVE LIVED IN THEIR EN­TIRE LIVES BE­CAUSE THEY HAVE NO TI­TLE DEEDS. ”

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