MWANANCHI DO NOT UNDERSTAND

Translate policy documents to vernacular languages for more impact, lobbies say

Civil society groups say ordinary mwananchi does not understand the complex policies developed by technocrats

In Summary

'The end result is that the mwananchi who is the end beneficiary is not only unable to understand the policies and cannot claim to own it. It defeats the whole purpose of having it in the first place'

Northeastern regional NCPD coordinator Moses Ouma at Lantern Hotel in Garissa town on Wednesday, December 4, 2019
THINKTANKS: Northeastern regional NCPD coordinator Moses Ouma at Lantern Hotel in Garissa town on Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

 

Garissa civil society groups want population policy documents translated into vernacular languages so the semi-illiterate people can understand them.

Garissa civil society group chairman Khalif Nunde said most government policy documents are written by technocrats who often fail to simplify the contents.

Speaking at a Garissa hotel on Wednesday, said it is difficult to implement policies meant to help mwananchi when the ordinary man cannot understand it.

“The end result is that the mwananchi who is the end beneficiary is not only unable to understand the policies and cannot claim to own it. It defeats the whole purpose of having it in the first place,” Nunde said.

He was speaking during a stakeholders meeting organised by the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD).

Khalif said the Constitution provides for public participation in the development of such documents and that it was high time government ministries think of simplifying their programmes.

Northeastern regional NCPD coordinator Moses Ouma agreed with the group and said there was need to mobilise resources in order to develop such documents in vernacular languages.

“If we can be able to mobilise resource towards developing those documents in Somali language and then widely share, then we shall be able to make a lot of impact,” Ouma said.

He said simplified documents will enable mwananchi to demand intervention measures from both the county and national government, including addressing high mortality rate and ending women deliveries at home.

Ouma called for a sustained campaign by stakeholders among them clerics, civil society organisations and elders to educate mwananchi on pertinent issues touching on population and health.

“As we all know, a healthy population translates to a healthy workforce which contributes to the economic growth of a country.  This again translates into reduced crime rate among the youth because they are not idle,” Ouma said.

 

edited by peter obuya