In 2000, Kenya joined other countries in adopting the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With just 5 years to go before the 2015 deadline, much more effort is needed to ensure that Kenya achieves these crucial goals
The country is abuzz with hopes of a new dawn following the passing of the new constitution in last week’s historic referendum. Every Kenyan, whether they voted Yes or NO, has a right to celebrate in the great moment for every single citizen as we reclaimed our image on the international scene. After President Mwai Kibaki promulgates the new constitution on the 27th of August and the celebrations of a new dawn have died down, it will be time to get down to business of implementing the new law.
Of utmost importance to the Government will be protecting the Economic and Social Rights of millions of Kenyans as enshrined in Chapter 2 clause 43 of the New Constitution. Millions of Kenyans are still wallowing in abject poverty surviving on less than a dollar a day, more than 450 women are still dying daily during delivery and infant mortality rates (under 1 year ) still stands at a high of 81. According to UNICEF while free Primary Education programme has increased gross enrolment rates to over 90 per cent nationally, poor children can still not afford to attend school with 9 out of 10 children from poor households failing to complete their basic education.
Can Kenya really win the war against poverty? Yes We can! In a document titled What Will It Take to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals? UNDP says “Progress towards the MDGs is heavily influenced by the choice of strategies and policies as well as how they are implemented.” You just have to look at the national budget 2009/2010 to see that indeed the Government did set out ambitious Ksh 22 billion Economic Stimulus Package ESP. The ESP as outlined by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was one of the Government measures aimed at spurring economic activities at grassroots levels following the global economic crisis. The Jury is however still out on whether the ESP has achieved its targets.
In 2000, Kenya joined other countries in adopting the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which include goals poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, environmental degradation and the Global Partnership for Development. With just 5 years to go before the 2015 deadline, much more effort is needed to ensure that Kenya achieves these crucial goals. Just maybe, the new constitution is our accelerated path to achieving the MDGs
Mwangi Waituru is the national Co ordinator of the Global call To Action Against Poverty, a growing worldwide alliance consisting of national coalitionsof campaigns to end poverty