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Politicians warned against encouraging families to have very many children

By Silah Koskei | Published Wed, April 20th 2016 at 14:24, Updated April 20th 2016 at 14:29 GMT +3
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago addressing residents of Eldoret

Politicians have been cautioned against encouraging locals to give birth to too many children for the sake of getting more votes.

Most elected leaders including Uasin Gishu governor have always publicly maintained that women should stop misusing family planning because the region is still lagging behind economically for lack of skilled labour.

Speaking in Eldoret, North Rift National Council for Population Development Regional coordinator Moses Ouma said it is unwise for leaders to promote their selfish gains at the expense of the current hard financial times.

"The same leaders are busy encouraging families to have more children but do not want to address pressing concerns such as poverty levels and minimal budget funding going to counties," he explained.

He maintained that leaders should not politicize children issues but work towards empowering them to access basic education.

"The county budget and local revenues are not enough to warrant a huge population, as per our research it is surprising that there is a 3.8 per cent increase annually of population which translates to 38,000 people against the backdrop of inadequate basic facilities," he noted.

Ouma was categorical that those in question are the youth who make 50 per cent of those who face unemployment; making calls for more children become a risk in sharing resources.

"It will be a challenge to save and invest if we campaign for more children without setting key structures that will be able to meet the increase, siring kids is not bad but it has to be with a plan," he added.

He further expressed concern over the massive use of productive land by most families for settlement saying it poses a risk in food security.

In January this year, Governor Mandago was critical that family planning is not about siring kids but focusing on spacing pregnancies.

"The key thing is not the number of kids. I don't understand why people are stopping at two kids, yet they are still energetic and can provide for more kids. The important thing is for the women to space their pregnancies," he said.

Mandago added that the county's economy is still lagging behind for lack of skilled labour and thus the need for more children.

"Look at most countries such as China, their large population has made them grow very fast and currently boast of sufficient labor and resources," he said.