Former CNN hero and humanitarian Umra Omar has declared interest in the Lamu Gubernatorial seat in the 2022 General elections.
The acclaimed conservation strategist gained global recognition after winning the CNN Hero of the Year in 2016 for her efforts in offering lifesaving medical services for those living in remote areas.
Speaking to The Nation, she revealed that her campaign framework would be centered on three main issues: the healthcare system in Lamu, educational reforms, and unity among residents.
An undated image of Umra Omar.
“It’s time that we have young voices at the forefront in these elections, it’s time we have women taking prominent positions as well in order to move the development of Lamu Couty even further than it is. There’s a need for leadership within Lamu to be taken to the next level,” she stated.
Omar said that her position as founder of Safari Doctors – a company that provides healthcare services for people in remote areas, has helped shape her perspective towards the plight of Lamu residents. She has been working at the grassroot level in Lamu for six years.
Further, she advocated for change within the political system and conversations surrounding policies and constitutional amendment bills. According to Omar, her passion and desire for transformational change is the tool needed for robust development within the county.
Born in Mombasa County, Omar spent her early childhood in Tchundwa, Lamu island. She briefly studied at The Agha Khan primary school before her family relocated to the United Kingdom.
She soon moved to Ohio after receiving a scholarship at Oberlin College where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and psychology.
After completing her coursework, she returned to Kenya with hopes of changing the lives of patients through medical care. This birthed Safari doctors which currently reaches hundreds of patients every month, primarily women and children.
The humanitarian has also received accolades such as World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2019, UN in Kenya Person of the Year in 2017, Africa Leaders 4 Change Award in 2017 and OkayAfrica’s Top 100 women in 2017.
Vendors selling on the streets in Lamu