The Principal Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Dr. Eng. Karanja Kibicho has said the pilot bio-data registration for citizens under the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) in 15 Counties will start on 18th of March this year.
Mr Kibicho said 15 Counties and 40 sub location have been identified for the pilot phase in an exercise that will run for five days adding that bio data Kits have already been delivered to the sublocations in readiness for the exercise.
Regions expected to roll out the test initiative are Nairobi, Uasin Gishu, Baringo, Marsabit, Embu, Makuni, Kisumu, Kisii, Wajir, Busia, Kajiado, Kilifi, Nyandarua and Kiambu.
The Principal Secretary said ones the pilot exercise is completed, the government will analyse emerging issues before embarking on full national roll out of the exercise scheduled for March 1st 2019.
The national exercise would run for 45 days and there after spent three months to check and validate the data.
The kits, he noted, will remain at the sub-location offices for the continuous registration of news births.
Mr Kibichu said the bio-data registration would enable the government to provide proper planning for the attainment of the universal health care, food security, infrastructure among other developments.
The Principal Secretary said individuals would be free to change or review their personal data from time to time based on changing variables to provide up-to-date images and information.
He said all citizens including infants would be registered. However, he said no bio data will be taken for infants and children below 6 years because they were still developing.
The Principal Secretary added that citizens living in foreign countries will be given opportunity to register online.
He noted that the government is conducting the bio data registration exercise on the strength of Registration of Persons Act. He however made it clear that, a bill aimed at strengthening bio data registration has been prepared.
He said citizens do not need to travel to their rural homes for the registration as people can be registered at their present location.
Mr Kibicho said the government will invest between sh 5-6 billion in the entire exercise. He said amount will cover the cost of the kits and allowances for the officials recruited for the exercise.
He clarified that the government will not involve taking of DNA samples of individuals pointing out that the government has no logistical capacity to store DNA samples.
“Where will the government get a store for over 50 million specimens?” he said amid laughter adding that the exercise will not involve taking body samples.
President Uhuru Kenyatta last month issued a directive requiring every individual to be provided with a unique number known as a Huduma Number.
According to the President, the integrated population registration system will be the authentic single source of truth on personal identity in Kenya.
The Head of State said: “to enhance the progress made by the Integrated Population Registration System, my administration will complete a central master population database which will be the authentic ‘single source of truth’ on personal identity in Kenya”.