The government through the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) is set to review the population policy in the country which was lastly done in 2012.
Speaking during a one-day consultative forum held in Narok town Monday, NCPD Technical Services Director Mr. Peter Arisi Nyakwara said the population policy development process once completed will bring on board all issues that have emerged over the last eight years when the policy was last reviewed and help in improving Kenyans lives.
Mr. Nyakwara said public participation was key in developing the policy as enshrined in the Constitution 2010, adding that Kenyans were free to give their views through the county commissioners’ offices by February 2021. NCPD teams will be moving to all the 47 counties to gather views from members of the public.
To this end, Mr. Nyakwara called on Narok residents to give their views to help in developing a revised version of the Population Policy for National Development.
On his part, Narok County Commissioner Mr. Evans Achoki said the current Population Policy was developed in 2012 way before the formation of the county governments, hence the need to have devolution structures captured in the new population policy.
“When the document was developed, the country’s population was only 37 million people but the number has since increased to 47 million according to the latest census report, hence the need to review the policy and take in the needs of these increased citizens,” Achoki said.
He asked residents to volunteer information on key areas such as Health, education, environment and agriculture to be included in the policy in order to improve their living standards.
Achoki said once developed, the policy document will help in planning for the future generations and termed it vital in achieving vision 2030 and other government development goals.
During the consultative forum, participants drawn from all stakeholders in the county including business people and civil societies welcomed the initiative saying Narok County had been considered as a marginalized area but such forums will help in having the needs of the residents captured in future development programmes.
During the deliberations, what came out clear is the need to have the residents reap more from the tourism and agriculture sectors which are the mainstay of the county economy.
The residents also want the health and education needs of the county taken into account as the county lags behind in the two sectors due to socio-cultural issues.
For instance, education and health of the local girl child is compromised due to cultural issues such as female genital mutilation and early marriages, while uptake of pre-natal and post-natal services, immunization and use of contraceptives was among the lowest in the country, thus compromising health status of many of the residents.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku