Nakuru county residents have been challenged to fully be part of the county budget process.
Speaking during a zoom meeting on the essence of public participation in matters budget,Francis Shinali from Nakuru Residents Association said citizens’ participation is key.
The online meeting with community members was organized by Nakuru based Reproductive health Youth Friendly Environment (RHYFE) in partnership with KELIN Kenya to sensitize citizens on importance of participating to ensure adequate allocation towards development in various sectors amon them reproductive health services.
He said,the effectiveness of the whole budget process depends on the input of the citizens.
While noting that a section of MCAs have playing games with budget process,the good governance activist said this should be addressed by citizens being vigilant.
“Members of the public should be vigilant and take part in matters budget. They should also follow up on projects including those that are stalled or are indicated as ongoing yet nowhere to be seen on the ground” he said.
He decried the teenage pregnancies,drugs and substance abuse,mental issues and lack of access to quality comprehensive reproductive health services as key issues that should be addressed I’m budget process.
With adequate allocation,Shinali believes matters Reproductive health and issues around the same will be addressed.
“We need to start thinking on how to address teenage pregnancies,drug abuse,lack of access to quality comprehensive reproductive health services.This we can through airing our proposals during budget process so that we can have these in our facilities” he stated.
Sentiments echoed by Vincent Omollo from RHYFE.
Omollo reiterated that public participation in the budget process is key and should bring on board all stakeholders.
“We need all stakeholders so that we can consult and make our society a better place” he said.
On her part Linder Kroeger from KELIN Kenya who spoke during the online meeting calling on residents to give priority to matters health.
She notes that Sexual Reproductive health services can be achieved if the community embraces the same to ensure comprehensive services are accessed by all.
“This is not my meeting but just to remind each one of us that we have a role to advocate for Reproductive health rights” she said.
Sentients echoed by Martin Lunalo from RHYFE.
According to Lunalo, community should be proactive.
“It is time as community we play role on the budget issues to ensure enhanced service delivery and that national values are adhered to in decision making” stated Lunalo.
The zoom meeting came at a time when Nakuru residents are in the process of submitting their proposals on 2021/2022 Budget.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic,the goverment banned physical gatherings.
It is for the reason that the County government of Nakuru issued a notice to residents requiring them to submit their memoranda to subcounty or ward,they can also do so through email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to county secretary via postal address 2870-20100.
Wilkister Akinyi from Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) on her part urged locals to ensure they take part in the whole budget cycle.
“The decisions made in the whole process affects the outcome as well as development at ward level.So it is upon us to be keen on the budget cycle” she said.
The Tuesday’s Zoom meeting courtesy of RHYFE in partnership with KELIN Kenya is a plus to residents as action plan was reached through various subcounties representatives to come up with memoranda.
The memoranda will then be subjected to review before submission to county before 8th April 2021.