The Waata, a minority community with members spread across eight counties, is demanding recognition by the Kenyan government.
Waata, a historic hunting and gathering community, has its members concentrated in Marsabit, Isiolo, Wajir, Mandera, Lamu, Tana River, Kilifi and Kwale Counties.
Speaking to the press in Malindi, members of the community claimed to have been marginalised in all spheres of the economy for decades despite the constitution advocating for recognition of marginalised tribes.
The Community spokesperson Mr. Jilo Notu, formerly a KNUT official in Malindi, urged the government to give them preferential treatment as is similarly given to other marginalised groups such as people living with disabilities and women.
“We are pleading with the government that in the coming census we be recognised as a tribe and not bundled out as others,” Notu said adding that their population is more than 13,000.
Mr. Bashani Soso who leads the Waata group of professionals said that the Kenyan government had disobeyed the constitution by disregarding article 56, 100 and 174 which advocate for recognition of minority tribes and their inclusivity in government.
Among the programmes the community is asking the government to engage them in include affirmative action, special opportunities in educational and economic fields, special opportunities for access to employment, develop their cultural values, languages and practices