A report on the state of health and education among minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya has been launched.
The report aims at addressing the challenges that the minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya have been facing towards realization of quality health and education services.
Speaking in Nakuru on Thursday during the launch of the report, Ogiek Peoples Development Program(ODPP) Director Daniel Kobei, this will go a long way in pushing the national government to speed up the process of securing the lands of the Endorois, Sengwer and the Ogiek communities.
He added that there is need for government to implement the decisions of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights, the African Commission on Peoples and Human Rights and its own laws for example the Community Land Act.
“The report is now a tool that we shall be using to push for better services as indigenous and minority” said Kobei.
According to Kobei, the Ogiek of Kuresoi should be supported in their quest to convert their freehold title deeds into a community title to stem the loss of land through land sales as well as the Sengwer of Embobut land rights in the forest glades to be recognized, respected and fulfilled and a joint management plan for Embobut forest.
The report that was developed after a research among the minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya also recommends that OPDP and other Civil Society Organizations to ensure the participation of the communities at all the stages of the budget making process both at the national and county levels as required by law.
The report recommends increasing the number of dispensaries and availability of maternities in all the community areas and the upgrading of at least one dispensary to a health centre in all the community areas (Laboot, Sandai and Mangai).
It further recommends an 4wd Ambulance in Chepkitale, Kapolet, Embobut,Sasimwani and Mochongoi and Awer areas to enable speedy response to emergencies.
In Education, there is need to increase the number of ECDs and place them in the villages to reduce the distance young children walk to ECDs centers in primary schools.
The report also recommends provision of at least one secondary school in Chepkitale and Mangai for Mt. Elgon Ogiek and Awer respectively while building of boarding school is recommended to the families that move from one place to another
Researcher and Consultant Kanyinke Sena while presenting the report also indicated that there was need to increase the ratio of teachers to pupils as well as government to ensure that there is plenty supply of books and laptops.
“Teachers should be trained to use government issued tablets. OPDP and CIDP Could partner with universities to teach ICT kills to teachers and students in Ogiek, Endorois, Sengwer and Awer territories” said Sena.
The challenge of lack of technical institute and colleges will be addressed if the government will ensure provision of at least one technical college/polyethnic in Chepkitale, Embobut,Laboi, Mangai and Mariashoni and enter partnerships with neighboring institutions including universities to create a quota for students from marginalized communities.
Human Rights defender Gitahi Githuku whom spoke after the launch of the report lauding OPDP for coming up with the document.
He called on the minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya to read the report and join in advocating for its implementation.
“This is a milestone in the lives of minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya. They now have a tool that they can use to push for their rights” said Gitahi.
Sentiments echoed by Winny Muinde from SDG Kenya-a consortium of CSOs that have been pushing towards realization of Sustainable Development Goals.
While noting that Health and Education are among the United Nations 17 SDGs, she called on minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya to use the report in realization of the same.
“As you all know Health and Education are among the UN 17 SDGs and therefore we are proud of OPDP for the report that will inform the services they get” she said.