Some Lamu county leaders are opposed to the recently launched three-year family planning implementation plan, terming it a plot to kill an already low population.
Last month, the County Health Department launched a Family Planning Cost Implementation Plan (FP CIP) to address low contraceptive use and poor family planning in the region. The plan highlights strategies to be used to accelerate the county’s contraceptive prevalence rate from the current 43 per cent to at least 46 per cent by 2020.
Yesterday, some local leaders and residents led by nominated MCA Amina Kale said they opposed the plan. She said women should be encouraged to give birth to many children as long as they observed proper and healthy spacing.
Kale said there was a need for Lamu’s population to grow to ensure adequate resources trickled down from the national government as opposed to now, where the county receives the least budgetary allocation from the Treasury mainly due to the low population.
The MCA proposed that every family should be encouraged to have at least six children.
She cited countries like Canada which had a high aging population and a low youthful population due to imposed family planning. It has been running advertisements even in social media asking for youthful immigrants to work in its
“Family planning is not an issue at all, it’s not for everyone. For a county such as Lamu, where budgetary allocation still depends on the current low population, there is need to grow the figures. People should be encouraged to give birth. That’s the only sure way we can get adequate funding fromthe national government.Thereafter we can talk about family planning,” Kale said.
Family planning in Lamu, according to Is’haq Khatib, the executive director of Coastal Indigenous People’s Rights for Development Lamu chapter, is unnecessary since the region’s population is made up of minority communities such as the Bajuni, the Sanye and the Boni.
Khatib said family planning in such a situation could easily lead to such communities
He said many administration and leadership posts in Lamu have been taken up by outsiders on grounds that Lamu lacks capable people, one of the many prices the region has paid for being ‘small’ and having minorities for most of its population.
“Family planning will mean Lamu forever remains on the minority side.We need to overcome that stereotypical tag and that can only happen if people are encouraged to give birth and not otherwise,”said Khatib.
In the 1960s,Lamu witnessed a spate of Shifta fighting during which the majority of the indigenous populations fled to other counties and countries, leaving behind a
Lamu historian and cultural custodian Mohamed Mbwana says the Shifta war was a major blow to the region’s population.