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35,000 birth certificates issued in Narok County

Narok County has issued 35,000 birth certificates since the launch of the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) program in June 2019.
Speaking at his office Friday, Narok County Civil Registrar Ken Nyamweya said during the RRI program that ended on August 1st, Narok County received 45,074 new applications for birth certificates.
“Despite the RRI program ending, normal operations are still going on and we are still receiving hundreds of birth certificate applications,” said Nyamweya.
According to Nyamweya, the department is however facing several challenges that they are trying to overcome.
“The major issue we are facing is that majority of the residents here in Narok do not come to register their children within the required period of three months after birth. I would like to encourage them that as soon as they have given birth, they should come to our offices with the documents indicating the birth of a child from either the hospital or the assistant chief if it is home birth and apply for the certificate early enough,” he said.
Printing of birth certificates booklets from the government printer has also been delaying which has contributed to backlogs.
The department also lacks enough staff to help speed up the process. This especially becomes a bigger problem for the few staff available at the offices when people give false information or provide false documents because a lot of time is spent trying to verify the documents from various sources.
“A child is supposed to be registered in the County where he or she was born. We have been having many parents who come to register their children here yet they were born elsewhere so we do a lot of verification of documents and this takes time,” he said.
And in a bid to improve on their services, Nyamweya said the department is looking for a vehicle that support mobile registration for those who are not able to access offices.
Accordingly, they have also requested for enough certificate booklets from the government in order to avoid another backlog.
On June 28, 2019,  Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i launched a one month Rapid Results Initiative programme in an attempt to clear the backlog of about 1.3 million applications for birth certificates countrywide.
While launching the RRI program, Dr. Matiang’i said the Civil Registration Department had documented only 64.1 per cent births and 41.9 per cent deaths, which meant 35.9 per cent of births and 58.1 per cent deaths had not been registered.
“Birth registration is the starting line for the government’s policy and planning. Some Kenyans cannot easily access government services, other children have not been registered on National Education Management Information System (Nemis) just because they do not have birth certificates, and we have set about taking the burden off our people,” said the CS while launching the program.
At the same time, students require birth certificates for registration under Nemis, which is the digital registration of all students who are given a unique identification code that can be used to track their progress at all levels of education.
Meanwhile, registration of births is also done for easier planning and rendering of government services to members of the public.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku / Joseph Kariuki

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