Heavy downpour on election eve coupled with long drought affect turnout in Garissa

A heavy downpour experienced on the election eve coupled with the prevailing drought was to blame for the low voter turnout experienced in 5 of the constituencies of Garissa County in the just concluded repeat presidential polls.

The most affected constituencies were Ijara and Fafi where election materials had be flown by a helicopter as the roads were completely cut off and rendered impassable by the heavy rains that pounded the area for several hours on the elections eve.

Fafi constituency is yet to submit its final results because voting is taking place Saturday in Muftu polling station which has been delayed due to security threats posed Al-Shabaab militia.

In Balambala, Lagdera and parts of Dadaab that have borne the brunt of the ongoing drought forcing hundreds of pastoralist to cross over to neighbouring counties, war torn Somali and Ethiopia affected the turnout.

Lagdera and Dadaab posted the lowest turnout of 1,723 and 1,992 respectively votes cast. This translated to 7.7 percent voter turnout for Dadaab that has 25,762 and Lagdera with 20,547 registered voters’ turnout was 7.96 percent.

The two counties are NASA perceived strongholds further compounded the turnout.

President Uhuru Kenyatta got 1,635 votes in Lagdera, Balambala 4,384, Garissa Township 15,434, Ijara 5,934, Dadaab 1,877 and Fafi minus Muftu polling station Uhuru had garnered 8,457.

National assembly majority leader Aden Duale who on Friday last week also attributed the low turnout to the heavy rains and the drought said the repeat poll was unlike the August 8th elections where governors, senators, women reps, MPs and MCAs mobilized voters to vote for them and their preferred presidential candidates.

Duale who is the Garissa Township MP regretted that some of the voters saw no need to vote since President Uhuru Kenyatta had no competitor after NASA candidate Raila Odinga opted to withdraw from the race.

Source: Kenya News Agency