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Survey reveals four leading fears Kenyans grapple with daily

By Graham Kajilwa | December 22nd 2016
Mark Ekomwa a pastoralist and his son helplessly looks at his starved sheep succumbing to hunger pangs in Kibish area as drought continues to hit parts of Turkana County. Some hearders have started crossing over to South Sudan and Ethiopia in search of pasture and water for their livestock. Hundreds of livestock have died from the prolonged drought. PHOTO BY JOAN LETTING 26.11.2016

Hunger, corruption and the high cost of living are the most serious problems facing Kenyans, according to a survey released by Ipsos yesterday.

The survey, conducted between December 17-19, shows that 17 per cent of Kenyans across the country barely have enough to eat due to drought.

It further found that Kenyans were overburdened by the high cost of living and bogged down by the effects of corruption.

It rated corruption as the second biggest concern across the country, at 16 per cent. Nairobi residents considered graft the most serious problem (25 per cent) while North Eastern residents were the least bothered by vice (12).

"Nairobi is the headquarters of the National Government and most of the media are here. So the residents tend to be more informed on corruption issues than those in other regions," explained Ipsos Research Analyst Tom Wolf.

The National Youth Service (NYS), Afya House and Eurobond scandals, which all happened during Jubilee's rule, were mentioned by 84 per cent, 37 per cent, and 22 per cent of Kenyans respectively as the leading scandals in the country.

Other scandals the respondents remembered were Youth Fund (six per cent), followed by corruption in the counties, Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), cases around the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission, police recruitment and Anglo-leasing.

When probed further, only half of Kenyans believe President Uhuru Kenyatta is honest in his fight against corruption, the survey claimed.

However in the fight against graft, 66 per cent of Jubilee Party supporters believe Mr Kenyatta is determined to fight corruption. However, 62 per cent of Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) supporters think otherwise.


In the survey, only 29 per cent of CORD supporters have been impressed by the President's efforts.

"Of course corruption incidents have become synonymous with governance. Voting in Kenya is a question of how more of a politician's candidature is based on his tribal identity than on his performance," said Wolf.

According to the polls, half of Kenyans would still vote in Kenyatta despite the numerous graft scandals.

During the governance and accountability summit held in October, the President made it clear that the fight against corruption is not his responsibility but that of the agencies mandated by the law.

The study further indicated that Kenyans lack adequate food and the situation is expected to get worse, going by the predictions of the United Nations.

According to the survey North Eastern is the most affected by hunger at 26 per cent followed by Coast (22 per cent), Eastern (20 per cent), Nyanza (20 per cent), Rift Valley (18 per cent) and Western (18 per cent).

Residents of Central are also affected by food shortage (nine per cent) and also Nairobi (five per cent).

Some 13 per cent of the respondents from across the country felt unemployment is the most serious problem especially in Nairobi and Rift Valley. The problem was of  least concern in North Eastern (eight per cent).

Poor road network is a headache in Central region (10 per cent) but a non-issue for Nairobi (one per cent). Both Nairobi and Central are the two regions grappling with insecurity at ten and eight per cent respectively.

While tribalism is a menace across the country where Central, North Eastern, and Western recorded the same prevalence of four per cent as it is nationally, in Nyanza no case of ethnicity was cited.

There were also no land issues in Central and Nairobi which was not the case in the Coast (six per cent). Lack of water is a big challenge at the Coast (seven per cent).



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