, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – A national survey on the progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) indicates that majority of Kenyans are happy with the strides made by the government to increase access to education and gender parity in the last three years.
The Synovate poll shows that 75 percent of Kenyans have access to primary education, while half of the respondents feel that poverty has increased in the same period.
“Of course the free primary education programme has enabled poor families to enroll their children in State primary schools at minimal expenses,” explained Synovate Managing Director George Waititu.
The government initiated an implementation process in 2002, and in July 2003 a report on the feasibility of the MDGs in Kenya revealed that some goals were easily achievable.
Progress on women empowerment follows closely behind, with over 70 percent claiming that it has increased over the past three years.
The study titled Understanding the Reality in the ‘Other Side’ was conducted through Computer Assisted Telephonic Interviews (CATI) among 1,500 adult Kenyans between September16 and 20.
Poverty alleviation is the first of the Millennium Development Goal adopted by 189 countries in September 2000 among other objectives, with a commitment to achieve them within a decade and a half.
One in every two Kenyans feels access to water and sanitation, slum conditions and the environment are all in bad shape, according to the survey.
"Half of Kenyans claim that poverty has increased in the past three years. It is therefore no surprise that 38 percent of Kenyans would prefer that the government focuses on poverty and hunger as a matter of topmost priority," the report reads.
Overall, the government gets a slightly above average score on poverty reduction in the last three years.
According to Mr Waititu the improvement in rating is due to the government efforts to achieve the MDGs through allocation of funding to relevant sectors such as infrastructure, education, health and agriculture.
However, the survey say that the most Kenyans feel the county is losing the war against HIV/AIDS, with One in every two Kenyans saying that HIV infections have increased, over the past three years.
The government scores highly on its efforts to cut down on it measures to address malaria and infant mortality, with at least for six in every ten Kenyans (59 percent) who think that Malaria infections have declined over the last three years.