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Safeguard Dignified Livelihoods – Upper Eastern Region

Safeguard Dignified Livelihoods

Press Statement

Preamble

The 14th Regional Conference of the NCCK Upper Eastern Region, comprising of delegates from Isiolo, Marsabit, Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties, has been held here at Gitooro Pastoral Center, Meru, on 7th and 8th May 2024. The theme of the of the Regional Conference was “Dignified Livelihoods, Resilient Communities (Galatians 6: 9)”.

The Regional Conference considered the meaning of the scripture recorded in Micah 4: 4

Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken.

Recognizably, it is God’s will that all people have dignified lives. It is therefore the mandate of all institutions to build resilient communities by enabling all people to have dignified livelihoods. Towards this, we share the following message and recommendations with the residents of Upper Eastern Region and the entire nation.

1.         Rebuild the Livelihoods of Flood Disaster Survivors

It is with great sadness that this Regional Conference has taken time to pray for the families of the more than 250 Kenyans who have lost their lives in the ongoing floods disaster. We have also prayed for all those who have been injured or otherwise physically affected, as well as those who have lost their houses and livelihoods due to the floods.

While appreciating the efforts by the government to rescue those who have been marooned and those displaced, we call upon all Kenyans to participate in providing assistance to our brothers and sisters. We call upon the government to intensify the provision of relief and emergency accommodation to the affected families to bring their suffering to an end. Further, the national and county governments should come up with clear and enforceable strategies to relocate citizens from location that are at risk of flooding. No Kenyan should be affected by flooding year after year.

On our part, we are working though our congregations to collect materials and funds to provide relief and support to those caught up in the emergency. Financial donations can also be sent through the NCCK Paybill number 519900.

2.         End the Doctors’ Strike

On the back of the flooding disaster, there is an emerging outbreak of waterborne diseases, with the Ministry of Health confirming 34 cases of cholera in Tana River County. The risk remains high as the floods have contaminated water sources with sewerage and other wastes.

There is however a great danger facing Kenyans due to the ongoing strike by doctors and other medical workers. It is obnoxious that the strike is now in the 8th week without a solution in sight. This must be brought to an end, and we call upon the doctors and the national and county governments to engage in meaningful dialogue to end the crisis. The officials on both sides should take responsibility and step aside if they are unable to bring the suffering of Kenyans to an end.

3.         Address Alcohol, Drug and Substance Abuse

The residents of Upper Eastern Region counties continue to suffer greatly from the ravages of alcohol, drug and substance abuse. What is of concern is that the government, at both national and county levels, seem powerless to stop the production and sale of illicit brews and drugs.

The result of this lethargy by the governments is the destruction of lives of the youth and middle aged men and women. Families have been impoverished as productivity has dropped below minimum, leading to massive suffering.

Since government officials know who the producers and distributors of the illicit substances, we demand that decisive action is taken against them without further delay. The cases of suspects being arrested and released in unclear circumstances should not be heard of again.

On their part, we call upon the Judiciary to ensure speedy prosecution of the alcohol and drug related cases. Do not agree to unnecessary delays, and take action against any persons who interfere with witnesses.

This menace will only end when perpetrators are punished and seen to be punished, taking into consideration the wisdom God has shared in Ecclesiastes 8: 11

When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.

On our part, we remain committed to preaching and counseling our people so as to reduce the demand for abuse of alcohol, drugs and substances.

4.         Reconstitute the IEBC for Electoral Dignity

As provided in the Constitution of Kenya, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is a crucial body responsible for overseeing elections and validating nominations to governance positions. It is also the body mandated to undertake the review of electoral boundaries.

We therefore find it a major injustice that the country has gone for more than one year without a properly constituted Commission. Of major concern is that the process that was ongoing to recruit the IEBC commissioners was stopped on account of political debate and deal making.

We call upon His Excellency President William Ruto and all concerned stakeholders to set politics aside and facilitate completion of the process.

Further, we urge the Attorney General to seek an advisory from the Supreme Court of Kenya on the next course of action following the lapse of the constitutional deadline for review of boundaries.

5.         Dignify NADCO Reforms by Making them People Driven

Following the eruption of crisis and violence after the 2022 General Elections, the leading coalitions set up the bipartisan National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) to restore peace. However, the report that the NADCO submitted to Parliament went beyond addressing the political dispute and recommended major changes in the Constitution and electoral laws.

On account of the impact that the proposed reforms will have on the lives of the citizens, we call upon Parliament to make the process people driven by:

One, publish the NADCO report in a way that is accessible to all Kenyans, and

Two, have the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee visit all counties to receive the feedback of the people on the proposed reforms

On our part, we have committed to use our structures and platforms to educate the people on the reforms proposed through the NADCO report and related Bills of Parliament.

6.         Use Electricity Safely

The records held by Kenya Power Company indicate that more than 60 people have died in electricity related accidents so far this year. This is a rate higher as compared to the 130 who were reported to have died in year 2023. If this trend holds, more people could perish this year.

We now appeal to all Kenyans to exercise safety when using electricity, taking into consideration that most accidents arise from illegal connections, faulty wiring in houses, and operating beneath power lines. To not take unnecessary risks, and we strongly recommend the following:

One, only engage licensed electricians to do wiring in your houses;

Two, ensure that electricity supply is connected by Kenya Power and Lighting Company itself; and

Three, avoid putting any buildings or businesses underneath powerlines

On our part as NCCK, we will continue to use our platforms and structures to educate people to use electricity safely.

7.         New Regional Leadership

This Regional Conference wishes to inform all that we have elected a new team of officials who will hold office for the term 2024 – 2027. These are:

Chairperson:               Rev Dr Nicholas Nteere

Vice Chair:                   Rev James Kimathi

Hon Treasurer:           Bishop Japhet Gikunda

Women Rep:               Jocyline Kagendo

Youth Rep:                  Boniface Mwiti

PWD Rep:                   Pst Francis Lemore

Conclusion

We conclude by remind all of us that God created a good earth and we can have dignity and resilience if only we follow the will of God expressed in Genesis 2: 15

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

May God bless the NCCK Upper Eastern Region and the entire nation.

Rev Dr Nicholas Nteere

Regional Chairman, NCCK Upper Eastern Region

July 2024
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