Kenya: This Is How the President’s Big Four Agenda Performed in 2018


opinion

The year 2018, which ends tonight, has been full of drama, achievements, handshake and corruption but, at a glance how did the President’s ‘Big Four’ agenda fare?

Universal health coverage (UHC) has been fairly implemented with several counties working towards realising the Big Four pillar. Makueni County first surprised the nation with its Sh500 a year per household health plan.

Then recently, the child and mother care facility in Nakuru County, with a ultramodern newborn unit, were launched by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. The 250-bed hospital, named Margaret Kenyatta Mother Baby Wing, will aid in maternity healthcare for residents.

DEMOLITIONS

A campaign to sensitise Kenyans on the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has been quite a success with sensitised many people registering for the medical cover across the country.

Kisumu, Nyeri, Machakos and Isiolo counties were enrolled for piloting of the UHC programme by the government to make health services affordable to all. Cancer awareness, drug and substance awareness and polio immunization graced the year.

To the contrary, the food security pillar has been riddled with financial scandals. With maize as the staple food for Kenyans, the latest NCPB scandal has rendered farmers helpless. Over Sh1.9 billion went missing and there were reportedly irregular and unauthentic purchase of maize from external sources at the expense of farmers.

The fall army worm and unfavourable weather is threatening to render agribusiness unviable. ‘Mercury sugar’ has killed sugarcane farming with imported sugar posing unhealthy competition to Kenyan firms.

Affordable housing performed poorly. There have been more demolitions than construction of structures. Many Kenyans have known the pain of spending nights in the cold. The nation’s housing plan has left a lot of questions than answers.

MANUFACTURING

Demolitions at Kibera saw churches, schools and residential areas brought down to pave the way for construction of a road.

Lastly, in manufacturing, Kenya has shown positive growth. This was helped by incorporation of technology in manufacturing, government incentives and introduction of small-scale manufactures.

The Export Processing Zone (EPZ) has not only provided job opportunities for many unemployed graduates but also led in balancing rural development and distribution of economic power. Most home utensils are being made in Kenya, as are roofing equipment.

Steel and cement have boosted the living standards of Kenyans in 2018. Social corporate responsibility was evident from manufacturing sector as a way of giving back to society.

Let’s move back to drawing board, 2018 was a fair year, 2019 is around the corner.

PATRICIA M. KOMBO, Makueni.

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Publish date : 2018-12-31 07:01:06

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