The Counties of the former Western Province of Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and the neighbouring County of Trans Nzoia like the rest of Kenya are faced with huge developmental challenges, problems of transforming the lives of residents from the ravages of poverty, disease and ignorance into an industrialized middle income region providing quality life in a clean and secure environment. Yes, that’s what Vision 2030 envisioned.
We are now close to 11 years from 2030 but Vision 2030 is no longer being discussed is the Big Four Agenda. Kenya envisioned in Vision 2030 was where the ordinary Kenyan would have a great monthly income but the question remains, what is the average monthly income of an ordinary family in the Counties of the former Western Province? Which County has done the financial mapping of its citizens since 2013 so that it can track whether there is positive progress in increasing the monthly annual income of the majority of its residents, citizens from one year to another or not?
West FM postulates that given each part of Kenya has unique and common problems with other parts of the country in the pervasiveness of poverty, disease and ignorance, time is ripe for our region, the Counties of the former Western Province to state our unique problems and design the practical solutions to those problems.
The workable formula to problem-solving from tested past precedents is to first state the problem clearly, unambiguously in full on one side. Next, is to propose the solutions from our perspective to the stated problems and how those solutions will be implemented as people from the region. Where we have deficiencies, shortfalls to those problems we must research carefully from other societies that have grappled with overcoming poverty, diseases and ignorance. And if we can’t crack it with research, knowledge from the rest of the universe, we must then ponder who can we ask, who has successfully overcome those scourges of poverty, poor health status and ignorance to assist us to unlock the solutions to those problems.
The tragedy is that for too long we start from nowhere in addressing the challenges we face or we do not go for the structural causes of the problem and only run around, prescribing temporary solutions to our problems while the disease festers on underneath.
Is it possible for us to reduce our problems into ten distinct thematic areas and equally focus on ten possible solutions and have that framework reduced to our diverse mother tongues and so that from the top to bottom as a region our energies, resources and time are laser-focused on how to achieve solutions, answers to the problems that undermine the human dignity of too many of our people?
The ball is in your court as an individual to start with yourself, family and then our communities. We cannot wait for magic from yonder to address, solve our problems. Even the national government, the donor community will only effectively partner with us if we own our problems and design our solutions and they come in to harness, facilitate our solutions. The patchwork, erratic, unstructured approach to solving the problems our region cannot transform the region. It only postpones the hour of reckoning. Our region cannot be transformed through the force of gravity and in complaining about the problems, rather than purposefully unleashing solutions to defined problems.