Hubbie Hussein Al-haji was the County Executive Committee member in Garissa County having held two different departments for the period between 2013 and 2017. She was first in charge of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation for Garissa County, she later held the same position in the department of Health Services; this follows the devolution of service from a national government to a regional government called counties in Kenya. The devolution (Decentralization) transfers political, administrative and Fiscal powers to the regional government.
This places Ms Hubbie in a critical position of ensuring that every member in the society has a sustainable livelihood hence a food secure county. The docket of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation was the docket with the biggest challenge; it had the responsibility of feeding a county that has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. During her tenure several policies have been passed and initiative taken to attain the objective of the ministry.
Under the Health docket, Hubbie was responsible for delivering health services to the residents of the county. During her tenure Garissa County was ranked as the best County in Kenya in the area of maternal and new borne health, due to enhanced referral mechanism and the established. The staff of the department also appreciated her exemplary leadership by organizing a party for her and giving an Award.
Ms. Hubbie is a former Executive Director, and a founding member of Womankind Kenya (WOKIKE). It was founded in 1989 as a welfare society by local Somali pastoral women who were committed to improving the living standards and the level of decision making of their fellow pastoral women and the girls in the North Eastern province. The organization particularly targets women and children, the most vulnerable members of the society; it addresses issues of Education, Health, Agriculture and livestock management (food security and livelihood), water and sanitation, campaigns and advocacy, women empowerment through civic education, emergencies interventions and women IGA programmes. It works with the pastoral communities at large to identify core problems in order to find solutions to their own problems.
Through her work at the organization, she has been instrumental in helping the community develop and institutionalize unique, innovative approaches to eradicate poverty, human rights abuses and empower women to foster community sustainability. Her dream is to see all girls in the region enjoy access to education at par with boys and ensure gender equality for all. As a human rights activist, she has engaged with communities to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other gender-based violence through community dialogue and capacity building. She has endlessly confronted, local and national authorities on the rights of women and girls especially cases of rape, gender violence, women’s property rights. Ms Al-Haji is very well known among the law enforcement officers and other government officers for her role in challenging them on human right abuses. She has been involved in raising the level of consciousness of the indigenous people to demand for their rights and service from the duty bearers. Al-haji is known to have challenged the government on the historical injustices metred against her people by the subsequent governments after the colonial government, especially on massacres in North Eastern region.
Ms Al-haji is also known to have challenged her own community on gender disparities especially in education. She has played a major role in building the capacity of women and girls to increase their participation in politics, economic and social development. As a human rights defender Ms Al-haji has faced many challenges including threats, insults and assaults by the government and the community but this has never deterred her from advocating for human rights and representing the voiceless members of her community.
Ms. Hubbie is also a former member of the Pay Review Board of the Kenya Armed Forces (Kenya Defence Forces) for the year 2009 to 2012. The major responsibility had to continuously review and assess the work condition of the Kenya military personnel and recommend favourable working conditions.
Ms. Hubbie is also a former member of the famous Bomas of Kenya delegates for the Constitution Review; she was an active member of the legal committee, which was then chaired by Prof. Kivutha Kibwana (Current Governor of Makueni County). She played a critical role in looking in to a devolved governance system, the major focus by then was federalism.
Ms. Hubbie has been an active member of the women movement which agitated for affirmative action and women political representation, this agitation lead to the 2/3 Gender rule which is now captured in the constitution of Kenya where no single gender should have more than 2/3 in any elected or appointed positions or institutions. She has also been an active delegate of the Commission on the Status of Women sessions that is held annual in New York. She has contributed effectively to several discussion topics in these sessions.
Ms. Hubbie is also a former Board of Director of Garissa Water and Sewerage Company (GAWASCO), which is a water company that provide water services to the whole of Garissa. While in this organization Ms Hubbie was task with the responsibility of assurance that there is portable water at every household – a great result had been achieved.
In addition to the above Ms Hubbie was the first and only female animal health experts in the region in the 1980s, she rose to head the depart of livestock at the District level, this is a notional government position which is highly prestigious specially those years.
Ms Hubbie’s efforts have been recognized both nationally and internationally where she has been able to fight for the human rights of the indigenous people. Ms Al-haji has conducted research on various topics including a gendered analysis of water management practices in the Masalani Division of the Ijara district of Kenya, the impact of traditional harmful practices against Somali women in Northern Kenya, and a base line survey on human rights and female genital mutilation.
In 2006, she was awarded the Ralph Stone Memorial Award in recognition of her leadership in difficult circumstances and exemplary performance. In 2010 the President of Kenya awarded her with the prestigious award of the Order of the Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS) and also the UN Human Rights Office recognised her efforts along with the two other people in Kenya for their outstanding performance in Human Rights advocacy.
Ms Hubbie is an expert in Sustainable Development, Livelihood and food security as well as Gender and Human Right