Connect with us


Quality concerns hover over impending census





More by this Author

The August 2019 census might be seven months away, but politicians are already divided over its resultant effect on the county resource allocations.

Governors have already thrown in divergent views, with those from Mt Kenya calling for a foolproof census that they say will right the wrongs of the 2009 population headcount that was marred by controversies.

Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki told the Nation that in 2009 some regions were “allowed to just quote figures of children they had without any proof at all”.

Mr Njuki said the census should be a confirmation of the data by the registrar of births, and that “no one should be listed if they do not have a birth certificate, the most basic form of identification and numbering of population in Kenya”.

“We are not looking at this as an opportunity for us to get what is not ours. We are looking at it as a way to right the wrongs that were made in the 2009 census.

“Because you cannot use population census to favour some communities that are supposed to be politically correct to you, and you cannot punish people for being truthful about their number of children,” Mr Njuki said.

Governor Njuki was reacting to claims by the Frontier Counties Development Council that they were targets of the census, with a view to “reduce our numbers.”

Isiolo Woman Rep Rehema Dida famously coined the ‘when they are in bars, we are in our bedrooms’ phrase to support her stand that the household number in those counties was higher than those in other areas.

“We believe not even half of our population was counted in 2009. People are making threats that we are counting trees and other things,” Mandera Governor Ali Roba told journalists in Nairobi.

But Mr Njuki wants the argument to be about getting the precise number of people in each county.

“What we are saying is remove interests from this process. Let us just have a family that has two children listed as two, with proof and those with nine listed as such. We have no problem. We just want verifiable data,” Mr Njuki said.

The census will be conducted in August and is expected to cost Sh18.5 billion and employ over 200,000 personnel.


A total of Sh8 billion has been earmarked for personnel recruitment, training and allowances, with Sh3 billion set aside for smartphones fitted with special software.

In comparison, the 2009 census had 6,000 senior supervisors, 22,000 supervisors, 115,000 enumerators, 100,000 village elders and 45,000 security personnel.

The census and its resource allocation is a subject that has also been raised by Amani National Congress Musalia Mudavadi, who in a detailed New Year statement called for involvement of key stakeholders and the procurement of appropriate technology to ensure accuracy.

“Accurate census conducted transparently and with integrity shall ensure just and fair economic planning and development. A rigged census will continue to perpetuate the economic and political injustices,” Mr Mudavadi said.

Mr Mudavadi described the census as both a legal and political process that must be done right, citing the 2009 census which he said was “a good example of a flawed and inconsistent process that left the county hanging on the cliff-top of uncertainty”.

“In 2009, the Department of Planning ‘nullified’ census results in eight districts on the account that there were inconsistencies.

“The results of the census were in excess of about one million people from the estimated figure. The residents of the affected districts went to court.

“The court questioned the process. We therefore have been living and using a faulty population estimate,” Mr Mudavadi said.

The census is expected to exorcise the demons of the 1999 and 2009 disputed results, which have been used for planning and resource-allocation policies, a perennial source of political disputes over perceived lopsidedness.

This first ever digital census using tablets that transmit data to a central database as they are captured in the field on census night, will eliminate human data entry.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics has already conducted a seven-day pilot census – between August 24-31, 2018 – in Kwale, Kilifi, Makueni, Nairobi, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Mandera, Kericho, Busia, Kisumu, Kisii and West Pokot counties.

The results of the pilot will help plan the August exercise.


Continue Reading


Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard




Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.


However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Continue Reading


Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard




President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

Continue Reading


Drastic life changes affecting mental health




Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.


Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

Continue Reading