I was born and raised in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. I can strongly say I am familiar with how people live and the struggles they go through. According to UN-HABITAT, 60% of the population in Nairobi lives in slums, meaning people can’t afford basic needs like health care, sanitation, clean water, good education, and proper housing. Even among the 40% who make up the middle class, many are only barely living. It’s important to note that the majority of those in the slums are youths and children. The Kenyan government has not shown any commitment to improve the livelihoods of its people.
What happens to the slums dwellers? What happens to Kenya if the population is unable to tap the unused resources to develop our country and ourselves? It is important that every person is involved in the growth of the country. The government should give equal opportunities to every child and youth, irrespective of where they come from, because they are our tomorrow. It is high time the Kenyan government put in place smart policies to strengthen the human capital of our society. In addition, with county governments in place, each county leader needs to provide what is needed to its young citizens to enable growth in those areas. This means investing in the education, health and work opportunities of individuals, allowing them to reach their full potential, regardless of their age, family background, or where they come from.
Kenya has the resources needed for sustainable development as well as the population to take advantage of these resources. However, we lack a well-educated and well-cared for people who can fully utilize the opportunities available. In order to see a positive change, the government must invest in the potential of the human person.
By: Winnie Eywa Ngota, intern at WYA Africa