NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21- Sarah Okali is a Police Constable based at the Nakuru Police Headquarters and just like many other officers, she knows the true definition of congestion – a tale of officers sharing poorly furnished houses where they reside with their families.
She has been living a life deprived of space and privacy until seven days ago when the National Police Service (NPS) leased houses for them, as part of the ongoing modernisation reforms.
“It was stressful to live away from my family,” a visibly excited Okali who was among other officers who received housing units in Nakuru told Capital FM News on Thursday.
She’s among 80 police officers from Nakuru’s Central Police Station, who have benefited from two bedroom house units. “I feel honoured and appreciated in my service to the country.”
Besides modern furniture, Okali and her colleagues will enjoy DStv services, hot bath, clean water and space in their new houses.
The house shortage in the police service remains but with the new development, Nakuru Police Chief Joshua Omukata said the situation is changing.
“The situation has been deplorable mostly for our junior officers,” he stated while pointing out that improvement in the police welfare will boost morale in ensuring law and order prevail.
“Motivated officers means the country will be secured even more,” he said.
National Police Service Spokesman Charles Owino on his part said that reforms in housing will bridge the ever widening gap between police and members of the public.
“Most of these houses being leased for police are within estates. In such places a police post will be constructed to ensure security is tight for both the officers and the surrounding communities,” he stated.
Police housing has all along been known for congestion and leaking roofs, a situation the government wants to rectify through investment in the sector.
In the 2016/2017 financial year, the government committed to invest heavily in the security sector with special focus on improving welfare, mobilisation and modernisation of the security forces in the country.
According to the budget estimates released by the Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich last month, Sh124 billion was allocated to Defence and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) while the Interior Ministry was given Sh140 billion.
Rotich stated that the continued project on street lighting has also helped reduce cases of crime, a project he indicated will be spread in all parts of the country.
He said the Police Command and Control Centre was already up and running and police training facilities expanded, to allow the recruitment of more officers.