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Majority of Murang’a families lack savings

Research conducted by National Council of Population Development (NCPD) on family situations in Murang’a, has revealed that 50 per cent of families don’t have any savings.

The situation according to the study is occasioned by high rate of unemployment particularity among the women and youth.

Launching a report of the research which was done in March last year, NCPD Director General Mohamed Sheikh said those currently employed are in skilled and agricultural sectors.

He noted that lack of savings indicates increase of poverty rate in the county.

The meager earnings he said, has affected the culture of saving in families adding that the situation has also contributed to shrinking of family sizes.

“There is a high rate of shrinking of family size in Murang’a. Nuclear families currently stand at 62 per cent. Many people are not interested in having more children,” stated the director general in a forum which was attended by leadership of Murang’a County government led by Governor Irungu Kang’ata.

He continued “the study was looking at social wellbeing of a family as we are aware the family is the foundation and fundamental unit that holds our national society together. We wanted to find out since independence how the family has changed.”

Some of the apparatus the study looked at is family communication, health, conflicts, and employment and job opportunities among other key factors touching on family.

He further said only 30 per cent of Murang’a families have a health insurance cover, calling for an intensified lobby to have locals get registered to NHIF.

“Majority of Murang’a residents, according to the research, face a challenge in accessing affordable health care since they don’t have an insurance cover,” he added.

Sheikh further said alcoholism has also become a burden in many families as in 45 per cent of the families, there is a person addicted to alcoholism.

Governor Kang’ata on his part said the county administration is working to solve some of the issues that were highlighted by the study.

“Through a programme dubbed Kang’ata Care, we are registering more poor families to NHIF. Already 20, 000 destitute families have been registered and now enjoy enhanced health cover.

The County assembly has agreed to allocate more funds in the next financial year so that we register another 10, 000 families under Kang’ata Care. My administration is also working to end maternal death by encouraging expecting mothers to deliver in hospitals,” said Kang’ata.

Kang’ata said teenage pregnancies which are on rise are leading to maternal death since some expecting girls avoid visiting medical facilities.

The county assembly speaker Johnson Mukhua underscored the importance of the study saying it will enable the assembly to allocate funds to areas of priority.

“With the study we can now plan well on allocation of resources and give priority to issues which need urgent response. The study can also be used by the national government in allocating more resources to Murang’a,” he added.

By Bernard Munyao

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