Waste Ksh.7.36 billion counting them but probably they will be dead before you know their Total, why bother?

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They came to this world, they lived and then they die of hunger. For the Kenyans facing starvation, to survive you have to be fitter than the fittest man on earth(is that Usain Bolt).? The government of Kenya in my opinion seems to have a misplaced priority. Take a look at the forth coming census, it sounds so good.? For proper policy formulation and achievement of vision 2030, the government needs to know the number of Kenyans.?? According to Minister for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030, Wycliffe Oparanya the entire implementation of the census will cost approximately Ksh.7.36 billion ($98,133,333).

Wow, we are going to use 7.36 billion to just count people in a country where 10 people over the last two months died of hunger? ?Some of the people being counted might even die before the tally of the census? is known and in that case what would be the need in the first place. ?I am not saying we should not do the census but there is a cheaper and more efficient ways of doing it. It is a fact that, the technology has changed the way we do work and now everything and everywhere it is all about computers. The reason why the government can?t take advantage of the technology to carry out this excise is beyond my pay grade.

It is simple, and it does not need a rocket science, it does not need millions to buy the software or the technology, actually you can do it even on a Microsoft Office Software..Excel or Access. ?Kenya is divide into sub locations which is the smallest government administrative unit. Anybody from the village would tell you that in a sub location, the sub-chief knows even? a month? old born child. So if that is the case, the government should give the sub-chief the duty of counting people within their sub-location.? Buy a computer, and? hire someone with reasonable education background and some basic knowledge of computer to be stationed in sub-chief?s office. The work of the person is to enter the details of the villagers into a database which can be maintained even on an excel worksheet.

As of 1999 census there were 6,612 sub locations country wide. Due to population growth and the madness? at which Moi and Kibaki governments? increased the number of administrative units, in particular districts, the number of sub locations probably might have increased by 50% since then.

Sub Locations

Sub Locations

6,612*1.5=9918 sub-locations

Currently with Ksh.20,000 you can get a very good PIV computer? with unbelievable great specifications. To buy computers for each sub- location one would need:

9918*20,000= Ksh. 198,360,000

Assuming the excise would take a moth, to hire data entry clerk, being paid a salary of 20,000 for the month

9918*20,000= Ksh.198,360,000

Total for the sub-locations= 198,360,000*2=ksh.396,720,000

Let just assume that there are other costs, may be buying flash disks, transportation of the computers, and generators for places without electricity.

So we should put the cost of registering people on the sub-location level at Kshs.500,000,000

Back to you Mr. Minister did you say the census will cost 7.36 billions?? As I have said already you do not need a rocket science here, even excel spreadsheet or access database can be used to help you save:

7,360,000,000-500,000,000=Ksh.6,860,000,000

So how many dying Kenyans can the government be able to feed with Ksh. 6860000000 in a month?

An average family in Kenya in the rural area would probably consist of Father, Mother and four children, so that is 6 people per family. Such a family ?on average uses 2kg packet of Unga? for 3 days.? That will translates to 10 2kg of packets of unga? in a month. To be realistic the same family will not just eat ugali alone, they would need to buy mboga, or omena or nyama once in a while.? Let assume that ksh.150 will be enough to buy mboga for the family each day. As I write this I have just checked that a packet of unga in? Tuskeys supermarket retails between Kshs. 82 and Kshs.87. ?For the sake of? not ?being caught off gourd due to inflation I will take the higher side and work with Kshs.90 as the cost of unga

So for one? month feeding a family of six would take:

Unga??? —6*10*90=Ksh.5400

Mboga—6*75*30=Ksh.4500

Total—-5400+4500=Ksh.9900

Now let look at how many families will be fed with the money government is misusing for a whole month:

Number of families =6860000000/9900=692929.3

How about looking at it in terms of people, remember we assumed that each family consists of 6 people

692929.3*6=4,157,575 People

The government can use 7.36 billion for census, in carrying out the same census and feeding 4,157,575 people for a whole month!!!

Now if you think my data is far fetched look at this statement from http://www.christiantelegraph.com/issue6301.html

Calvert, an International Mission Board missionary, lives outside Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. He partnered with Baptist Global Response, an international relief and development organization, to deliver nearly $500,000 worth of flour and cooking fat to women between May and July.

The money, provided by Southern Baptists through their World Hunger Fund, was enough to feed 180,000 people for one month — at a cost of $2.70 each.

So the cost of feeding one person per month is $.2.70 which translate to? 2.70*75 =Ksh. 202.50

How about Ksh. 6,860,000,000? =6860000000/202.5= 33,876,543 people for a whole month? Unbelievable!

Instead of appealing for food aid from the same international community which we don?t want to lecture us on how to govern ourselves, we should start by saving cost here and there. Apart from census there are numerous fuel guzzling vehicles which Mr.Uhuru Kenyatta Mininister for Finance directed the government officials to surrender during his budget speech. ?From the discussion which followed it is apparent that nobody did return any vehicle. ?Government can sell ?the unnecessary vehicles at the same time save cost on the fuels used by the government officials just as Mr.Uhuru had directed.? How about the bloated cabinet? I had written something on this one and you can read it here.

Seriously if the Government observe some of these small cost saving measures, it could even be possible to end up with ksh.24billion, the government is looking for to feed its people. And on top of that ?Alfred Mutua will not need the dead people to send him sms.

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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