The residents of Manyatta and Nyalenda A&B settlements’ in Kisumu have emphasized that, there is need for transparency and accountability in the implementation of proposed projects by the County Government of Kisumu.
This will allow for optimum deployment of resources to address issues of water and sanitation, health and infrastructure in their respective settlements. This came up during the accountability forum meeting organised by Pamoja Trust in the area.
In attendance were community members composed of men, women, and the youth of different age groups from Manyatta and Nyalenda A&B and Pamoja Trust staff members who coordinated the sessions. The community members appreciated the work Pamoja Trust has done to improve water and sanitation in their areas and at the same time pointed out areas where water is still a thorny issue like Kona Maji. Furthermore, politicization of noble project and youth violence was strongly condemned.
Rosemary a resident of Nyalenda Settlement states,”We should appreciate Pamoja Trust for the water and sanitation project which has benefitted the larger population.”She however noted that they still have unresolved issues with their leadersespecially on access of funds from the youth and women fund.
To address the transparency and accountability issues within the settlements in Kisumu ,Mercy Mukeni the Program Manager at Pamoja Trust suggests that the residents of Kisumu County should get angry enough and hold their leaders to account as despite the huge borrowing by the National Government the lives of many Kenyans is not improving positively as expected .
Despite the challenges that came with devolution, there have been notable changes in terms of development in their settlements. Mr Ochieng Odundo from Manyatta B settlement states,” Manyatta B, life has changed for the better because of the fruitful engagements between the residents and MCA Mrs Nereah Akello which has led to successful water and electricity connection within the settlement.” He therefore called upon members of the community to engage and make good use of their leaders especially MCAs and Governors to achieve their development aspirations.
Lack of useful public participation by the community members’ in development projects was faulted on clanism especially between the Kasanga and Kanyakwar communities and community members’ prioritization on handouts rather than concrete issues of development.
The leaders may not have answers for all the problems faced by the people in the various settlements’ .Therefore, the community members were urged to be part of the solution to their own problems. Barrack, a resident of Nyalenda settlement encouraged community members to form a culture of active participation in development forums within their wards.