The government is working with multiple partners in efforts to flatten the Covid-19 curve as well as pushing hard to ensure that lives and livelihoods are protected.
To this effects three government ministries together with donor organizations on Thursday converged at the Kenyatta International Conventions Centre (KICC) to flag off donations to be used in the fight against Covid-19.
Speaking at the event, Ministry of ICT, Innovations and Youth Affairs Cabinet Secretary (CS) Joe Mucheru said that the government has come up with innovative ways to protect livelihoods during these hard times with the Kazi Mtaani initiative using the mobile payments technology so that the youth can receive their money in a safe way.
Mucheru said that so far over 200,000 youths have benefited from the Kazi Mtaani project while in the Inua jamii there are over 1.2 million beneficiaries and these are significant interventions the government in undertaking directly to communities helping them continue with their livelihoods and support the local economy.
Speaking on the innovations that are coming up as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mucheru said that as a ministry they have set up an ICT advisory committee so that they can look at the innovations and the committee will be tabling the report very soon.
“I am told that we have over 400 credible innovations that as a country we can use both to fight Covid-19 and for the future so that even from this pandemic we can emerge as winners. As we continue working with our neighboring countries and the world at large we as Kenya are leading from the front in terms of innovations and we have seen the ministry of health analyzing these innovations and giving us the advice that we need,” explained Mucheru.
The CS said that Kenyans need to adhere to the advice of the health ministry because if the numbers of Covid-19 cases spike and increase then we will be in a worse situation.
“I saw on social media a few young people in a club flouting the given guidelines against Covid-19, the young people should know that they are the carriers and they will take the disease to the elderly and other family members who have other vulnerabilities,” said the CS.
Mucheru called on Kenyans to take advantage of the free time that they have to plant at least one tree or more depending on one’s capability insisting that this will help the world become a better place as it emerges from the pandemic.
Ministry of Public Service and Gender CS Prof. Margaret Kobia said that during this Covid-19 pandemic crisis there has been an increase in gender based violence cases.
“Girls are staying at home longer and we have seen an increase in defilement cases, some of which have been to court, early pregnancies and domestic violence. World over the cases of domestic violence have increased by an average of 30 percent and that should worry us knowing how domestic violence can reverse the gains achieved in gender equality,” said Prof. Kobia.
She explained that her ministry has a helpline 1195 where people can call when they start noticing possibilities of violence where they can be given counselling.
“It is said that only 20 percent of the domestic violence cases are reported and therefore I call upon the community that as we are fighting to flatten the Covid-19 curve we also need to flatten the curve on domestic and gender-based violence because when people find themselves in such situations they become counter reproductive as it erodes their confidence while some spend time in hospitals,” said Prof. Kobia.
She explained that the youth are the most mobile segment of society and could be the ones infecting people most and there is need to target and protect them much as the elderly are being protected.
Ministry of Labour and Social Protection CS Simon Chelugui said that said that Kenya has one of the highest old age dependency in the world of 81 percent while old age poverty stands at 51 percent which affects many development indicators including financial inclusion and there is need to protect this special group.
“Our rural life mode of transport is the bodaboda and even in the informal sectors of our economy and as such they remain the riskiest point of contact and with these donations we are launching today we will be contributing positively towards flattening the curve,” said Chelugui.
Others present at the event were the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Boda boda safety Association of Kenya (BAK) who donated sanitizers, face masks, girls’ dignity kits which include undergarments, sanitary towels, sterile gloves, a plastic draping sheet, a clamp, soap among others.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a