All through May and June, county Assembly Reps debates have been taking place in Baba Dogo, Bangu, Koch and Huruma.
Debates have been well attended, app 200 members of the community each time.
Aspirants are always briefed on what is expected of them at these debates, whereas the audience are informed of the role of the County rep before the debates start.
The areas of concern from the community the debated upon…in the 4 communities, main issues were:
- Youth unemployment and problems that arise from that such as drug & alcohol abuse, thug for survival, loitering and general insecurity.
The few police personnel available are not able or willing to deal with the high crime rate.
- Unhygienic Environment arising from uncollected garbage that has turned into mountains causing a huge danger to the residents. Raw sewage draining into rivers that are used by both children, adults and animals further compounds the matter.
- Education: Schools available were ill equipped, overcrowded and understaffed leading to children performing poorly in their academics and learning no life skills and exploring their talents. The cycle of poverty is perpetrated.
- Poor Governance: Residents were unhappy that leaders once elected became unavailable and were not transparent and accountable in their governance. Tribalism, nepotism and corruption are a big factor in the operations of the public offices. Particularly in getting bursaries, Kazi kwa vijana jobs, committee positions etc
- Poor Health facilities; those available had insufficient staff ,drugs, equipment and did not operate 24hoursMaternity health care was singled out as being particularly lacking; there are no ambulances to help in emergency situations.
The aspirants were engaged in discussions on how they propose to solve these concerns. The communities are getting empowered by realizing and understanding what is expected of their leaders, and by engaging them prior to election. Come election time they will gauged each aspirant and will vote from a point of knowledge.
More residents should attend these forums and empower themselves further on how to elect leaders who can actually address their concerns.