Hundreds of residents from Buuri East Sub-County, Meru County on Thursday benefited from Huduma Kenya mobile outreach program known as Huduma Mashinani, a citizen Centred mobile outreach program that was initiated to bring services closer to the people.
During the outreach programme, the services that are usually provided at the actual Huduma Centre are also provided during the initiative in a move that has worked to the advantage of the sick, elderly, and other minority members of the community.
Speaking during the exercise held at Kiirua Technical Training Institute, Buuri East Deputy County Commissioner Ms Josephine Njenga thanked the centre for taking such an initiative which she said would enable residents to access service and cut on the cost of transport to Meru town where Huduma Centre is located.
“Through this initiative, we are sure that we will reach more and more people who for one reason or another other are unable to go to Meru town Huduma offices. They will still access government services right here in their villages and the high number of people turning up here today means they are responding well to the initiative and that’s a plus for the government,” Ms Njenga said.
She added that the initiative was also an indication that the government was keen to take services down to the people in rural areas and be at par with other Kenyans.
“We want to move from the past where people come out crying to the government that they are not getting services. The current government will be bringing crucial service to your doorsteps and you will only be required to come out and receive them,” said Ms Njenga.
She cautioned the residents against giving out bribes to be served, adding that it was every Kenyan’s right to receive government services free of charge and that for those charged, one was expected to get a receipt after the payment.
Huduma Centre manager Mr Peter Mutiso said the services that were taken to the people included issuing of new identity cards and replacement of the lost ones, National Health Insurance Services (NHIF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), issuance of birth and death certificates, police services, and health check-up services among others.
He urged those who were able to access the Huduma centre at Meru town to make good use of the centre now that the service time had been extended to 7pm.
“The government is using a lot of resources to deploy staff as well as incurring other expenses to have this centre running. It is therefore wise to make good use of it or else the resources will be diverted to other areas that are in need,” said Mutiso.
He added that they were ready and willing to visit other identified local areas in order to ensure residents were served to their satisfaction.
The programme came as a relief to mothers with young children who turned up in large numbers for registration of their children’s birth certificates.
“The exercise could not have come at a better time for us as we are faced with a double challenge of travelling all the way to Meru town at a time when there is a sharp increase of fare due to increased fuel prices,” said Ms Doris Kagendo.
Another service that attracted many people was free healthcare where locals were screened for various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and eye disorders and also given free medicines for minor ailments.
By Dickson Mwiti