Huduma Namba is meant to ensure that Kenyans match international standards, by not walking around with multiple identification documents to access government services.
The Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary (CS), John Munyes speaking when he launched the exercise in Lodwar on Tuesday, said the presence of local herders in the neighbouring Uganda and long distances that registration clerks cover to power their registration gadgets were some of the factors that might hinder Turkana County from realizing its registration target.
Accordingly, there are more than 30,000 Turkana pastoralists who have moved into the neighbouring country in search of water and pasture after recent drought in the region.
“There is also need to buy solar panels to charge the gadgets in addition to moving the registration clerks near the border,” Munyes said.
Area County commissioner (CC), Muthama Wambua said 217,000 people had registered as at Tuesday morning saying the number was below half of their target.
“As a county we are supposed to register 27,000 people every day,” Wambua told reporters after the launch.
He cited challenges such as misinformation for the slow uptake of Huduma Namba in the county citing instances where the ongoing registration had been mistaken for the biblical 666 and simply dubbed, “namba ya shetani.”
The CC also refuted claims that non locals had been hired as registration clerks saying only ICT experts were not from the locality.
He appealed to leaders to appeal to members of the community who migrated to Uganda to come back so that they can receive identity cards and be listed.
Wambua added that process of vetting locals to get identity cards has started to ensure those without the vital documents or birth certificates are not locked out.
Meanwhile, religious leaders among them bishop Boniface Lokuruka from the Lodwar pastors fellowship were given time to demystify the registration drive and correct the misinformation.
“Every person is given a unique Huduma Namba unlike the end times prophecy on 666 which will be same for every person,” Lokuruka explained.
The Turkana Central Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Alexander Mativo said they had registered 49,000 people so far against a target of 100,000.
During the function, youth and women leaders as well as elders also drummed up support for the exercise.
“Now that we have seen out cabinet secretary who is also our own registering, we have no doubt the numbers will go up,” said Peter Ejore an elder.
By Peter Gitonga