By Kevin Anyonge
In Kenya, the political drums can be heard by the young and old, campaigns have been accelerated all over as leader’s cris-cross the country by flying or diving in high-end vehicles to sell their pledges to the voter.
Political Leaders have launched their manifestos to lure their support from voters, I am going to do a breakdown on the National Super Alliance (NASA) manifesto on how they have involved the Kenyan child in their promise if they cling to power.
I will peg the evaluation of the manifesto in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Convention of the Rights of the child (CRC)
Today 40% of children completing primary school proceed to secondary school, 10% are not completing secondary school whereas in primary school enrollment drops by almost 20% between class 7 and 8 translating to a low turnout for those joining secondary schools. The NASA manifesto has envisioned to maintain close to 100% primary school enrollment to ensure the challenges of infrastructure and quality remain, NASA has said that its government will ensure delegating school infrastructure to the counties by giving conditional grants. Achieving universal secondary education within the next decade, they will arrest high school dropout rate by implementing free secondary education, expanding secondary school infrastructure with a target of closing the gap between primary school leavers and form one places in the next five years, expanding teacher training capacity to ensure maintenance of the appropriate teacher student ratio.
With all this to be done with the next five years when the NASA team will assume power, they have however not stated clearly the source of funding that will see this program being fully implemented without delays. It’s also not clear if the cost of accommodation is included in the funding.
Scrapping of school fees up to secondary is a dime in an ocean, however the NASA Manifesto failed to explain how they would acquire funds to facilitate this school fees free program, this would put a smile on parent and more to the orphaned who could not raise the fees. With this in progress it has no catered for all groups of people like people with disabilities, the SDGs state Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. The manifesto to the disabled children has bypassed how it would ensure they get proper education by having special school for them, we cannot assume when it was stated free they were included, because the constitution of Kenya recognizes them as special group of people.
The NASA team will transform sports by working with stakeholders to transform and strengthen the legal and institutional arrangements of sporting infrastructure including of government agencies, sports associations and all sporting cultures for the youth.
The child factor has not been included in transformation of sports, in the CRC we see there is development and participation rights. Our children need playgrounds also to develop mentally, physically and interact with their peers.
Without playgrounds our children will not develop for example in our major towns some schools have no fields for play whereas as in the estate children are surrounded with buildings and the child (Children) due to circumstances they play in balconies which makes their life at risk. You will also find our children along corridors where there is there is a health hazard you will find poor drainage and leaking sewage posing a great danger.
Security and Peace
In ensuring Kenya is peaceful and secure, NASA plans to develop a National Peace and Security framework with the capacity to address causes of conflict and violence, including structural ones that affect Kenya, Peace building with communities and between communities will be important pillar in the framework. Develop joint efforts and shared responsibility between the national and county levels of government.
In fostering peace and security they have relatively explained how they could ensure Kenya is safe with this they can relate well with the SDGs goal of to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies. However the structural protocol to ensure their pledge is well implemented is not clearly stated. This will work well with protection, survival and development of the CRC.
To deal with corruption they plan to fight corruption from the top, from the presidency and the cabinet. All elected members shall abide by a specific code of conduct Article 11 of the NASA Coalition agreement and therefore leaders elected under NASA shall not do business with the government either directly and indirectly, the will be no toleration of conflict of interest between public and private affairs, disclosure of financial interests and members and appointees will take up take up moral responsibility for misconduct, failing which they shall stand dismissed.
Corruption is a menace that is eating away our country’s integrity, fighting this corruption has not been well taken care of since dismissal cannot bring end to it, it will just make an individual camouflage around or being indirectly involved by using proxies, if they could speak of a law or regulations that could completely wipe away corruption.
Half of the Kenyan population is undernourished meaning they eat less than what is deemed adequate calories that a person needs per day hence consuming 25% less than the minimum requirement for a person to be healthy and productive.
NASA has identified that that chronic hunger undermines both physical and intellectual development of children as well making them more vulnerable to diseases. They cited that the country suffers from episodic food deficits due to droughts and unpredictable weather.
In upholding the dignity of every Kenyan and that of a nation, a hunger free society is their pledge and they deliberate to deliver by;
- Progressively expanding income transfer programmes (presently limited to the elderly and households with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) to the critically food poor.
- Uplifting the critically food households out of poverty through agricultural productivity interventions that is, empowering the households to feed themselves.
- Establishing a National Food Security Council. The council will continuously advice government and keep the public appraised of the state of food security. This will ensure that the future, no government will get away with passing the buck when it has caused a national food crisis.
- Thee NASA government will, in the spirit of cooperative governance, share the strategic food reserve function between the National and County governments, because County governments are on the ground, they are better placed to respond quickly to food shortages than the National Government, which is better placed to coordinate importation and movement of food from surplus to deficit areas.
- Kenya Integrated food security plan.
In line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, in the NASA manifesto they have explained how they will ensure Kenya is hunger free through agriculture and food reserves.
NASA is determined to realize universal health coverage by establishing a National Universal Health Service Fund to be funded by the public for curative health services and a minimal basic health insurance contribution by citizens.
The Nasa Manifesto has scanty and shallow information which is vital to the growth of a nation socially, political and developmental. Taking a look at the currently they started free maternity to ensure infant mortality rate is reduced. The Manifesto has not dealt with specifics regarding health which include;
- Building a cancer center across the country to reduce the number of Kenyan seeking treatment in foreign countries which is costly.
- How they will continue the free maternal program
- The issue of our school children specific for the girls who cannot access sanitary towels.
Their explanation towards health cannot realize the SDGs goals of Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages and the goal of to ensure access to water and sanitation for all.
Kevin is a journalist with Mtoto News
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