How Huduma Mashinani expo is taking services closer to Baragoi

Samburu North MP Eli Letipila (in a pink t-shirt) at one of the tents during the Huduma Mashinani expo at Baragoi, Samburu County, last Saturday. [Michael Saitoti, Standard]

Immaculate Naserian, 38, lives in Baragoi, about 106 kilometres from Maralal town in Samburu County.

The village is isolated, and when the floods come, the local community is completely cut off from basic services. The mother of six points to the hot midday sun and says, “We face many difficulties here. Clean water is hard to come by, and there is never enough food.”

Despite the difficult conditions, Naserian is proud of her village. She doesn’t want to move closer to Maralal town where services are more accessible. “This is my home. I’m happy here. Why would I want to move away from my home?”

Naiserian didn’t get the opportunity to go to school as there wasn’t one anywhere near her village until recently. “I’m happy my children will learn how to read and write, something I was not able to do when I was growing up.”

Naiserian is grateful that the Huduma Mashinani outreach programme (intervention including immunisation, nutrition monitoring, deworming, treatment of diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory illness, antenatal care, banking, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) among others) has been brought to her village, enabling her to access government services by all departments.

USAID Nawiri Programme supports nutrition, immunisation, deworming, treatment of diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory illnesses, and antenatal care, while Huduma provides government services like NHIF, and KRA, among others.

Motorcycle tax

If it weren’t for the Huduma Mashinani expo, she would have walked or hired a costly motorcycle taxi all the way to Maralal town for an NHIF card.

Since independence, the residents of Baragoi had never received services like registration of birth, NHIF, KRA, and banking, among others.

Research conducted in the county by the USAID Nawiri Programme highlighted that the people were undergoing transport challenges to get services in Maralal town 106 kilometres away. USAID Nawiri, through the Huduma Mashinani programme, partnered to bring all the needy services to the people in two-day services by all departments.

Nasieku Lesoloya, an official staff with USAID Nawiri, in charge of private sector and marketing, said they conducted the first expo in Samburu North constituency, which brought services closer to people.

“The big challenge that we have realised is that people are not aware of their needs in terms of service delivery, and people are not informed as per their needs, and that is the reason we have brought the services to the people and the impact of the expo will be realised later,” she said.

David Rotich, another official in charge of livelihood and marketing, said research revealed that the people in the area were not aware of their need for financial services like banking NHIF, KRA, and how to acquire loans. Samburu North MP Eli Letipila admitted that the people in the area were facing a unique situation in terms of accessing government services.

“Most of us are pastoralists and have been facing serious challenges in terms of access to government services. From the terrain to the high cost of transportation, it has been extremely difficult to access government services,” Letipila said.

According to Huduma Centre Manager Henry Kasaine, they work with other agencies and leaders to bring services closer to the people.

Issac Misoi from Suppa Sacco said the institution has partnered with State agencies to bring services closer to the people of Baragoi.