Kenya makes progress in poverty alleviation unlike regional neighbors

Written By: Claire Wanja/Statement


Kenya has made modest progress in reducing poverty over the last decade, compared to other regional neighbors, according to the Kenya Gender and Poverty Assessment report 2015/16.

As per the report, poverty rate in rural Kenya fell from about 50 percent in 2005 and 2006 to 38.8 percent in 2015, reflecting a decline in the rural poor population from 14.3 million to 12.6 million.

School enrollment rates have increased at all education levels driven by a rising rate among children from poor families, while health indicators have also improved significantly over the last 10 to 15 years.

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Speaking at the Kenya Poverty and Gender Assessment meeting on Tuesday, Principal Secretary (PS) State Department for Planning, Dr. Julius M. Muia assured that the government will register afresh Kenyan citizens during the coming census.

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“We will use technology like smartphones in the upcoming census which will enhance data collection for effective planning,” said Muia.

He added that better and timelier data will be required to closely monitor progress towards poverty eradication and shared prosperity, to inform future programs and policies.

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Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) Executive Director, Dr. Rose Ngugi lamented that women are denied endorsements as a form of networking, which iskey for development in the country.

“Networking should be looked up in endorsement where one should be able to have information access most especially to the women,” said Ngugi.

World Bank Country Director, Felipe Jaramillo said that within Nairobi, poverty is highly concentrated in informal settlements, where living conditions are far worse than conditions in both the rest of the city and in similar settlements in other major African cities.

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“Nearly a third of residents in informal settlements in Nairobi are poor, compared to just nine percent of the population living outside those areas,” said Jaramillo.

The director noted that the residents in informal settlements face severe deficiencies in housing quality, access to services, environmental safety and health conditions.

Meanwhile, the report indicates that health services can improve human capital especially among the poor people.




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