Factors contributing to poverty in Kenya
Discuss about the Poverty in Kenya and the possible solutions to eradicate it.
Poverty comes as a result of many factors that hinder people from working so as to earn for their upkeep weather is it primary or secondary Ochieng Ogello & Munguti, (2016). Poverty slows down the progress of a country in every way since this generation is money centered in that one can actually do very little minus money. It is common in most upcoming countries as a threat for progress especially the African countries BULUT & ABDOW, (2018). A government should always have an agenda on how to eradicate poverty and starting from the word go not just mentioning it yet they take no action for example supporting its citizens. Well, in Kenya, a great percentage of individuals are termed poor because of lacking to cater for the primary needs leave alone the immediate secondary. The government has put strategies on how to curb this problem but it is still a major challenge since colonial time. Covington, (2015)
The estimated number of Kenyans living below the poverty line is actually half the population which is a total of nine million, International Monetary Fund, (2010). So many people sleeping angry or going the whole day without food, others living in the streets, drought leads to low produce or no produce at all, beggars are all over the streets most of them being lame, deaf, half or totally blind or the injured ones, diseases like cholera, malaria, typhoid and dysentery that are caused due to poor hygiene Nyangena, (2018). The most recent threat being floods that has led to homelessness, people have lost their property and left poor due to heavy rains. Although some effects of poverty is actually natural like floods, most of them are human caused and it is upon the citizens and their leaders to come together and partner up in fighting poverty in every way possible. Yuan, (2015)
Some major causes of poverty in Kenya include a limited diverse economy whereby the majority depends on Agriculture industry which is very unstable due to unpredictable weather patterns and many regions being arid therefore not suitable for growing casual or domestic crops for use. Thurlow, (2011) If crops are doing good, poor government policies paralyses the agriculture sector and those famers that depend on selling their crops so as to cater for their families needs are affected negatively a great deal for example maize famers who take their produce to cereal boards are given so little money in exchange that can barely match their expected returns since the cost of buying the hybrid, fertilizer, labor cost, chemicals used to kill parasites and that for harvesting is extremely expensive compared to the returns. They end up in great losses and this leads to poverty in turn Mutinda, (2017). The arm of government dealing with Agriculture is corrupt and this should be dealt with immediate effect so that farmers can enjoy their struggle.
Effects of poverty in Kenya
The second cause is lack of opportunity majoring in joblessness. So many qualified individuals are jobless Kagotho, (2014). This is be caused by poor system of education whereby students do a wide variety of subjects usually in primary education and secondary education that ends up not helping them in future. Instead of focusing on what one likes, values and think it will work for them, several people are specialized in one field which happens to be congested upon job seeking. Students should be given an opportunity to choose what they like to do and develop a carrier out of it. School fees are relatively high therefore poor families lack opportunity to take their kids to good schools which in turn would have opened their minds to think of better ways of dealing with the problems of poverty International Monetary Fund, (2010).
The government should ensure that the money given out for schools is properly used so that every child can get access to quality and affordable education. Culture is also a hindrance to education in some communities that do not value the education of women as they believe that women are an asset when given for marriage. On the other hand, women could actually be a source of inspiration whenever they get access to good education, they can influence the society at large and change the way of thinking of a people positively International Monetary Fund, (2014). Educating the community so that they can embrace change and value their children regardless of their gender will bring some change.
Government corruption is destroying people’s lives take for example the funds given to build schools, hospitals, youth development fund Argent & Begazo, (2014). Those in power misuse these funds by using them to benefit their selfish ambitions leaving those in need hapless with little faith of a better tomorrow Ezez, (2018). It is quite difficult to reduce the rate of poverty if the government money is not used well. Tribalism, nepotism and bribery are major forms of corruption in Kenya. Some Kenyans are given jobs because they belong to a certain tribe while others are denied because of their tribe. Others are given certain services because they have relatives in power. All of this is not correct because all citizens are the same and should be treated equally at any given circumstance, time or place regardless of their tribe or if they have a famous relative or not and also if they are rich or not Ochieng Ogello & Munguti, (2016). Those found practicing tribalism or nepotism hence abusing their office should face the law.
Strategies to eradicate poverty in Kenya
Kenya being one of the most highly populated countries, the available recourses is not sufficient to satisfy the needs of all the Kenyans BULUT & ABDOW, (2018). Some people will get while others will miss. The fact that it will be scarce due to high demand by the citizens will lead to destruction of natural resources for example cutting down trees to get land. This will lead to drought when rain catchment areas are destroyed like the Mau forest Covington, (2015). People should be encouraged to plant trees whenever they cut down so as to foster reforestation and avoid the problems of drought.
Congested housing due to high population like the Mathare slums where people have no access to clean water end up contacting diseased like cholera, typhoid that has a power to kill within few days. High population also encourages theft take for example in an estate where people are congested, it is rare to detect thieves and this gives them a good environment to steal from fellow countrymen International Monetary Fund, (2010). The government should build houses for people living in congested areas since it has enough land to curb this.
.Poverty itself is a challenge and if not dealt with it causes bad effects like increase in fraud. People steal so as to meet their needs (Nyangena 2018). Some rob banks, shops, supermarkets and other people’s houses while those who cannot afford the cost of formal education become illiterate and lack exposure to the outside world and opportunity to change their lives and those of the people around them Yuan, (2015). Illiteracy causes people to fight unnecessarily since they lack the skills of solving conflicts and may end up killing each other in the process. It increase death rate due to lack of access to good health care and some die due to hunger since they cannot afford to buy food. A poor people are easily swayed by inconsiderate politician. They get brain washed and bribed to vote wrongly for irresponsible leaders who end up not giving back to that particular society and the country in general upon being in office Thurlow (2011)
Some possible ways to eradicate poverty is by controlling birth rate by teaching married couples on family planning whereby they can use contraceptives so as to bring up manageable families that they can be able to give basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, good healthcare, formal education among others Mutinda, (2017). This will curb the issue of high population rate in Kenya. Also, introducing entrepreneurship so that people can come up with business ideas hence creating employment for others that will help improve their living standards so that they can get good health care and good education forums can be created where young people can be taught how to be entrepreneurs and starting their own businesses by giving them capital which they can refund later when they start earning Kagotho, (2014). Dividing them in workshops so that they can share their minds with fellow youths on business they would like to start will work out well since they all have different thinking and different points of view at the same time International Monetary Fund, (2010)
Organizations such as the peace forums should be introduces in schools and colleges to boost political stability and acceptance of people despite of their diverse backgrounds International Monetary Fund, (2014). Young people are the leaders of tomorrow and this will help them know how to live with others peacefully, appreciate the fact that they come from different communities and tribes and learn to stay together and be just Kenyans as a tribe Argent & Begazo, (2014). A peacefully country will attract foreign investors and this will help boost the economic status by creating employment to people and paying taxes hence reduce poverty. It will also attract tourist since Kenya has very beautiful natural parks with different species of wild animals. These tourists pay a lot of money to visit the parks hence also improving the economy of Kenya Ezez, (2018)
The government should also aim at Industrializing different areas. This will lead to better infrastructure like better roads for transport, good hospitals among others Ochieng Ogello & Munguti, (2016). Industrialization creates job opportunities for the many jobless youths; reduce idleness that may lead to theft, rape cases and begging BULUT & ABDOW, (2018). Also encouraging people to use proper environmental strategies for example planting two trees whenever they cut one down so as to increase rain catchment and prevent soil erosion will help improve agriculture both in arid and semi arid areas of Kenya Covington, (2015) Providing employment opportunities for young people especially will help eradicate poverty since it will reduce overdependence on their guardians or parents. Example of such job opportunities include online jobs like writing, marketing and at the end of the day, youths could also be investors, pay their college fees and some can also help their parents in a way may be not so greatly but the little they have will fix some domestic challenges that is buying food, paying rent and so on.
If the education system could be changed in Kenya and other countries that have similar education system as ours, students could focus on their areas of interest early enough so as to produce quality outcome International Monetary Fund, (2010). For example if a particular student likes electricity stuff, he or she should start as early as in primary school. Focus on it and at the end of the day produce exemplary results since doing what one loves is giving it the best shot and best results afterwards Nyangena, (2018). Why would one need to study many subjects in school and specialize in none? It makes them unable to understand and know what they could do best hence ending up doing a shoddy job or being stressful due to not fitting in a particular job. Lack of motivation and morale in performing tasks is one major result of not specializing in one’s field of interest Yuan, (2015)
Political instability that was evident in Kenya during the post election violence of 2007 and 2008 led to a massive destruction Thurlow, (2011). People were left homeless with destroyed properties. This affected economy status greatly. People took advantage they killed other people from different tribes in cold blood, burn their houses, steal from their shops and raped them. This is so sad the fact that they couldn’t identify each other as brother and sister and Kenyans but let tribalism divide them Mutinda, (2017). Allowing political leaders to divide citizens is dangerous because they operate behind the curtains in that since they stand for different political parties, they defend their parties on stage, criticize other parties and tarnish their reputation whereas when those leaders come together, they eat, laugh and share ideas without the consent of their respective supporter. Politics has always been termed as being a dirty game and indeed it actually is a dirty game Kagotho, (2014). Wise people that love progress for their country should never allow to be divided and create enmity among them politically. They will end up in the vicious circle of poverty when it’s too late to come out.
As an individual, I have been affected by both the expensive school fees challenge and the education system International Monetary Fund, (2010). Having qualified to join university but a private one which turned out to be very expensive to pay for, I ended up in a technical college that the fee is relatively low and much affordable. Perusing Information Communication and Technology which I actually enjoy is helping me out a great deal. If only I could be able to start in primary school, I believe by now could be a prolix Ezez. (2018). The fact that we have to take so many course work like; Biology, chemistry, history, Christian religious education, Mathematics, English , Kiswahili, Agriculture and many more that tend to be of very small impact now is devastating. The government of Kenya should look into this issue with keenness so as to help students specialize in their areas of interest. I look forward to helping the community improve technology and create job opportunities for my fellow young people so that they can be independent as early as now Argent & Begazo, (2014)
The government and its citizens should come together and put a lot of effort in eradicating the mass poverty since it everyone’s right to access good healthcare, housing, job opportunities, good education and living a good satisfactory life without depriving others their rights as well. This can be achieved by ensuring corruption is reduced in every sector.
The problem of youth unemployment is facing many upcoming countries greatly. Majoring the discussion on Bhutan, a tiny city located between China and India is facing a great challenge of youth unemployment (Ezez. 2016). This is majorly caused by lack of necessary skills to perform specific tasks by youths who leave school to seek jobs instead of studying therefore they have very few choices of jobs. The skills acquired in schools not only give them job opportunities but creates confidence in them that is needed to deal with customers, clients, fellow workers and employers. Firms are employing skilled personnel so as to meet their visions and mission at their given time(Lam 2014). Youths who lack the required qualifications end up jobless. The second major reason for unemployment of youths is due to so many people applying for better jobs even when they already have one. This causes competition between them and those who have no jobs at all. Those with jobs should aim at creating employment for others to reduce the problems of unemployment, be investors and give capital to help those with small businesses expand them and those without start one. (Drukpa 2018)
Unemployment causes young people to committing crime like stealing due to poverty, involvement in drugs, die prematurely, , social media abuse, insecurity and apathy (Drukpa 2018). People steal so that they can buy food, clothing and pay rent for those who live in tenant houses. Some do drugs to get money in the process they become drug addicts and this changes their character and behavior. They end up not fitting in the society. They tend to lack a sense of judgment and pick unnecessary fights which may lead to them killing one another bringing about premature deaths (Lam 2014). They lack motivation whereby one may have really worked hard in school but upon seeking jobs, they get disappointed due to unemployment to unskilled individuals. Idleness comes as a result of not involving oneself in constructive activities hence many youths end up wasting time on social Medias and may end up committing cyber crimes in the process to cone people off their possessions. The government should provide employment even to the unskilled youths to keep them off such temptations of life. (Ezez. 2016)
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