• Government says more than 10,000 birth certificates are to be issued in 30 days, backlog of 5,000 to be cleared in a week.
• Mombasa county commissioner Achoki blamed lack of crucial paper and faulty printing machines.
A free birth certificate registration drive was launched on Monday in Mombasa.
It is expected to last for a month and more than 10000 birth certificates are expected to be issued.
A backlog of 5,000 certificates will be cleared in the first week of the programme, Mombasa county commissioner Evans Achoki said
While launching the program outside the Birth Certificate Offices in Mombasa, Achoki urged residents to take advantage of the the30-day grace period.
The drive is a relief to parents of schoolgoing children as they cannot enrol the without the crucial document. School heads send them home if their birth certificates are not registered in a data bank.
The launch follows reports of corruption at the offices serving residents from the entire island and parts of Mombasa mainland.
Frustrated clients seeking birth and death certificates have been reporting very long delays.
Yesterday, Achoki said a certificate would take three days to process. Some residents said they have been waiting for birth certificates for more than one year.
“They tell you that they have your contact and they will call you when it's ready,” a Likoni resident who has been seeking the certificate of her son told the Star on condition of anonymity.
Before the launch yesterday, the Star had been following up on claims of rampant bribery and bad customer relations in the offices of Immigration and the death and birth certificate assurance offices.
But Achoki blamed delays on lack of crucial documents that print the certificates and faulty printing machines.
"We have added more manpower in both our offices at Bima Towers and Changamwe. Added staff will help ease the burden " he said.
(Edited by V. Graham)