The National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) has embarked on collecting views from members of the public across the counties in a bid to review population policy to make it more responsive to national aspirations.
The revising and updating of the current population policy will make it more responsive to new development agenda and underline it with the population issues that have emerged during its implementation in the past 8 years.
Speaking in Homa Bay town during a county consultative forum for the revision of population policy, Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lilan said the review will strengthen integration of population issues into development planning at all levels of government.
“Its successful review will also ensure prudent and equitable resource allocation to spur economic growth,” he said.
He added that a sound population policy would ensure a common national vision and harmonized sectoral efforts to achieve desired well-being for Kenyans.
Lilan reiterated that the exercise must be aligned to new development frameworks with special focus on the big four agenda which should be incorporated into the policy.
He said the new policy should be harmonized with sustainable development goals based on the 2019 population census results.
The administrator who was accompanied by the NCPD Assistant Director Francis Kundu further said that for any meaningful development to be realized, communities must be incorporated in the decision making and policy formulation process.
At the same time, Lilan expressed the government’s commitment to developing population policies and strategies which addresses unsustainable population growth rate.
He said the current population policy passed in 2012 was aimed at managing population growth to a level which the available resources can sustain.
On his part, Kundu said that their main objective was to interact with the representatives of the local communities and gather their views on the ongoing population policy review.
During the deliberations, the stakeholders raised an alarm over high rates of teenage pregnancies in the county and called for the issue to be incorporated into the policy with stiff penalties for perpetrators.
Other issues which were also raised include rural urban migration among the youths which has caused congestion and pollution in Homa bay town. The stakeholders called on both the national and county governments to develop rural areas so as to provide job opportunities for the youths and curb migration.
They also proposed that the fishing industry be supported by the national government to make it more vibrant and provide employment opportunities.
Among the officials in attendance were Nyanza South County Population Coordinator Rose Wakuloba and Dr. Andrew Mutuku from Population Research Institute in the University of Nairobi.