The following is a more detailed report on the needs discussed at the Kasarani Community Needs Assessment Forum. The information gathered from the forum will be used to create SMS-based questions and outreach to gain additional insights from the community and provide all political aspirants with an understanding of the community’s priorities and needs. The below report is written by Jackie Njeru:
This is a report on the five top issues that were discussed as the priority issues by the stakeholders that were invited to the forum, for presentation to their aspiring political leaders during the political debate. These stakeholders were drawn from the Baba dogo and Korogocho areas of Kasarani Constituency, by the Sisi Ni Amani Leadership Team in Kasarani.
The top five issues in order of priority were:
- Health Care
- Good Governance
During the previous pre- forum meetings the stakeholders highlighted the security concerns that affect them. They stated that the top most priority issues in terms of security that should be addressed are;
- Street lighting in all the areas should be increased. This will enable the community to see persons committing crimes; it will discourage persons with ill intentions from idling around dark corners for too long; street lighting will encourage the community response to crime as they will be able to see the person(s) committing the crime and the victim(s); it will also improve the development of small scale businesses (mama mboga, vendors for various items) in the areas to thrive as they will have a sense of safety, especially in the early evening.
- Police reforms and community policing initiatives should be carried out. Police should be re- trained and their system of work reformed to ensure that they are dedicated to public safety in maintaining law and order. These reforms should see to it the police have improved communication skills and be more ethical; frequent police transfers to avoid complacency; police undergo a vetting process; that the areas of Baba dogo and Korogocho have 24 hour patrols with supervision from their superiors
- Create job opportunities in the areas for all (youth and old), to reduce insecurity. Idle Minds are the devil’s workshop. If there is employment of the people in these areas the crime rates will reduce substantially since there will be less idlers.
- The area/ community elders should start initiatives for community policing that will have an efficient reporting mechanism that will enable them to point out culprits of crimes in the area even if they are members of the community.
- There should be response to security concerns by the relevant government agencies including the planning of housing in these areas which contributes to insecurity.
- Daytime security should also e improved because there are incidences of grievous crimes committed during the day.
- Transparency in bursary allocation should be enhanced. Education should be compulsory for all school going children and all parents should be fined for denying their children a chance to get an education.
- More schools should be built and the number of teachers increased to improve the quality of education especially in public schools. These should include special schools for children with special needs. Textbooks in schools should also be increased
- Primary and secondary Education should be completely free for the needy, orphaned and children from difficult backgrounds.
- Polytechnics should be established for class eight drop outs in all the constituencies and wards
- Subjects like music, art and crafts, Business Education should be reintroduced because they help a lot in equipping drop outs with life skills such as carpentry, cooking, tailoring among others
- Feeding programs should be improved and should be well balanced to avoid malnutrition in children
- 8-4-4 system should be shortened and improved in order to improve the quality of education
- Corruption in the funds meant for schools should be stopped through forming community committees
- Social amenities like toilets, clean water, and electricity in schools should be looked into and improved to ensure the environment that our children learn in is suitable for them.
- There should be an emphasis in early childhood education as it forms the foundation of any child to be successful or not!
- All private schools should be registered by the Ministry Of Education, thus ensuring that students and parents do not lose out because of de-registration.
Top priority issues are
- Talent empowerment to the youth since they all can not excel through learning. Some have great talents and gifts which need to be nurtured.
- Secondary education be completely free
- Transparency in bursary allocation
- More schools and teachers and classes should be introduced including special schools
- Poor and needy children should be able to access education easily.
- Have public hospitals and maternity wings that are affordable and operate 24 hours with adequate drugs and qualified staff. These should be well equipped with facilities for all.
- Subsidize health financing and affordable health insurance for all.
- More preventative drugs and measures for various illnesses and diseases especially those that are water borne and air borne.
- Eliminate quakes and unprofessional / unqualified private practitioners. Have clear control policy on drugs. Nurses should be re-trained to improve on their etiquette and communication skills
- Child nutrition education should be improved and the government should come up with measures that create awareness on the same. birth certificate issuance to be improved for orphans
- Adequate and well equipped hospitals for the disabled in the community.
- Ambulances in each kijiji to improve health care service delivery.
- Scandalous persons must not hold government positions/ public office and any office bearer named in a public scandal must step aside for further investigations whether guilty or not. Further, grass roots vetting to be done for leaders to be in position before election, they should also declare their wealth.
- Clear guidance and score-cards on how to monitor leaders. failure to meet the stipulations of the scorecards shall attract a vote of confidence from the public
- The leaders to be accountable and transparent. They must have clear strategies to involve citizens in policy making and decision- making at all levels
- Leaders should organize regular meetings with citizens to monitor develop progress and ensure public participation in development issues. This will also provide a platform for the leader to report back to the community on development progress.
- Leaders to be transparent and accountable. They should also have qualifications for office they hold
- There should be free water that is clean for all to use
- Compulsory sewer/ drainage system in all buildings should be ensured with tough penalties to owners who do not follow the laid down procedure in construction
- Environment conservation should be increased though initiatives such as tree planting
- Consider the disabled in construction of buildings to ensure that the buildings are disabled friendly.
- Increasing awareness on environmental cleaning in the community and supporting community initiatives that are aimed at environmental cleanliness
- Use of dangerous chemicals in heavy and light industries should be prohibited or the disposal of the same should be improved as the toxins emitted by these industries cause air borne and water borne diseases/ complications/ illnesses
- Noise pollution should be checked into.
Some of the solutions brought forth by this group were: the relevant government authority should ensure buildings are approved according to required standards; the community is sensitized on proper use of facilities available to them and on ways to safely improve their environment (awareness creation); to improve access of safe clean water there should be installation / replacement of worn out pipes ; GOK/NCC /NEMA should ensure community are told their rights