The MDGs are to be attained by the year 2015 as outlined in the Millenium Declaration in the year 2000 at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Kenya as a country did also participate in this Declaration and as usual committed herself to achieve the highlighted objectives. As a country, we have made great strides in attaining the MDGs. However, due to various externalities and poor governance, the attainment of some MDGs still remains a mirage.
On the first MDG, i.e. to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, the past governments and the government of the day have faired on poorly to attain this goal. Year in year out, the ASAL regions are usually affected by widespread hunger which has often led to malnourishment and death. The perennial hunger problem is arguably used as bait by politicians to gain political mileage at the expense of our fellow Kenyans.Irrigation initiative programmes if not backed by effective political goodwill will remain redundant and the cycle will continue.However,the recent launch of the A Million Acre Scheme by President Kenyatta is a good move towards eradication of hunger.On poverty,we are not doing well either.Recent World Bank statistics point out that 45.9% of Kenyans are living below the poverty line.This is contrary to the 25% which is to attained by 2015 according to the MDG.This clearly indicates that the gap between the rich and the poor is very wide.Score:3/10.
As a country,we have done well in terms of achieving universal primary education which is the second MDG.I give much credit to our ex-President Mwai Kibaki whose brain child,the Free Primary Education(FPE) programme has really been an impetus towards achieving this goal.However,the various bottlenecks under this include insufficient human capital(teachers),and shortage of basic facilities and equipments such as books,good classrooms etc.The successive govts should thus ensure the enlisted challenges among others are addressed to the latter.Score:7.5/10.
The third MDG is to promote gender equality and empower women.As a nation,we have so far performed above average in terms of reduction of gender disparity at primary,secondary and tertiary levels of education.More so,the ratio of literate females to males has really improved.This has been effectively backed by the Constitution Chapter 4,Article 27 and Clause 3.With this comes the famous 1/3 gender rule.Coupled with the above,there has also been a significant increase in the number of seats held by women in Parliament at the national and county levels.This has again been guarded by the Constitution which created 47 positions of Women Representatives to represent all counties.Also a good number of women have been elected and nominated to Parliament.However,we are still yet to see an elected woman Senator and Governor.Score:6.5/10.
The other MDG is the reduction of child mortality rate(CMR).This is an area we are doing badly.In East Africa,we are only better than Burundi whose CMR is at 104/1000 compared to Kenya's 73/1000 according to UNICEF September 2013 report.Uganda's CMR is at 69/1000,Rwanda 55/1000 and Tanzania 54/1000.However,this is a reduction from 115/1000in 2003 according to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey.This high CMR implies that children dying under 5 years is due to diseases such as pneumonia,malaria and diarrhoea especially in the marginalised areas and regions.The Ministry of Health,to be specific,has a lot to do to lower this rate.Score:3.5/10.
MDG 5 is concerned with the improvement in maternal health.Kenya's Maternal Mortality Rate(MMR) by 2003(KDHS), was at 414/100000.The year 2010,our MMR was at 488 deaths / 100000 livebirths.However,the move taken by the Jubilee Govt to offer free maternal healthcare is a positive move that demographic experts have already noted that it will significantly reduce the MMR.The rural folks however,still find it quite challenging because of poor roads to access the health centres and also living far away from such health facilities.This thus calls for improvement in the state of the rural access roads and also the establishment of health centres in each ward countrywide.This is in fact attainable since the health services have been devolved to the county govts as enshrined in the Constitution under the Fourth Schedule on the Distribution of Functions between The National and County Govts Part 2 of the County Govt s.