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Residents are upbeat as government services come to doorsteps

Hundreds of residents from Imenti South Sub-County, Meru County, benefited from Huduma Kenya mobile outreach programme, dubbed Huduma Mashinani, designed to bring government services closer to the people.

This comes after a directive by County Commissioner Fred Ndunga a month ago, that the centre should engage in the programme initiated to give Kenyans access to government services at their convenience by extending services from the current physical locations to the grassroots.

Speaking during the exercise held at Mitunguu market, Imenti South Deputy County Commissioner Ms Mary Mwangi 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.

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 Mwangi.

She also 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.

The 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 was extended to 7 pm in order to prevent a possible shutdown of some of the departments.

“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 and who said they were unable to get the service before since it had turned out to be an expensive affair for many who had to travel all the way to Huduma Centre in Meru Town to enlist.

“The development 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 biting fuel shortage,” said Mr David Mbaabu.

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.

“I came here for an eye check-up and it is our wish here as elderly people that more of such camps are held regularly to save us from the agony of travelling far and wide in search of healthcare,” said Mr Julius Kirimi a resident of Mitunguu area.

By Dickson Mwiti

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