In the Matter of Forgotten Villages in Kiamariga Sub Location in Salama Ward of Laikipia County - this was the title of the petition presented to the County Assembly of Laikipia by affected residents of Kiahuko and Githuri Villages in Kenya.
The affected residents demanded education, healthcare and security services from the County and National government. Residents have to travel 6km by road, and then cross the Mutara River to access schools and hospitals. The road becomes impassable during the rainy season and school children are forced to skip school for two to three weeks each year.
These two villages have the lowest number of registered voters in Salama Ward and this has led to their marginalization by elected leaders.
Direct Public Participation
After a film screening by InformAction (IFA) Central Team, and during a community discussion afterwards, the struggle by the community to access the most basic services was evident.
IFA met and re-energized them, gave them hope and courage through a Direct Participation strategy which observes the County Financial Budget Cycle to identify the appropriate points of intervention.
IFA helped the residents to draw up a petition, which they presented on the 19th of February 2019 to the County Assembly of Laikipia. The 28 community members formed a Community Action Team (CAT), and hired two vehicles to travel a distance of 80km to the County Assembly of Laikipia, at a cost Ksh 600 per person.
By directly petitioning the County Assembly, the community sought to take up the mandate they had once bestowed on to their Member of County Assembly (MCA), who had ignored them and their plight, and now represent themselves on the floor of the assembly through the petition.
Their petition will be mentioned in the County Assembly on 28th February 2019, where the petitioning community members will be invited to the public gallery for the mention of their petition. Their demands will then be given to the respective Committees to process and prioritize, while setting aside the necessary funds.
The beauty about Direct Participation is that the petitioners can physically follow up on their petition with the respective Committee Chairperson.
Direct Public Participation is necessitated by absent and disinterested leadership, marginalization and most importantly tokenism at Public Participation Forums.
Story by InformAction Central Team