Serjeant-at-Arms, ring the Quorum Bell for 10 minutes.
Order, Members. We have the requisite numbers. Serjeant-at-Arms, stop ringing the Bell.
Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table: 1. Annual Report and financial statements of Chemelil Sugar Company for the year ended 30th June 2022 from Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development. 2. Reports of the Auditor-General and financial statements in respect of the following institutions for the year ended 30th June 2022 and the certificates therein – (a) Thika Technical Training Institute. (b) Nairobi Technical Training Institute. (c) Kisiwa Technical Training Institute. (d) Keroka Technical Training Institute. (e) Shamberere Technical Training Institute. (f) Bushiangala Technical Training Institute. (g) Karen Technical Training Institute for the Deaf. (h) Nyabera Vocational Training Centre. (i) Nyang’oma Vocational Training Centre. (j) Obange Vocational Training Centre. (k) Chwa Vocational Training Centre. (l) Sianda Vocational Training Centre. (m) Akado Vocational Training Centre. (n) Lung’a Vocational Training Centre. (o) Mariwa Technical and Vocational Centre. (p) Withur Vocational Training Centre. (q) Karateng’ Vocational Training Centre. (r) Belgut Technical and Vocational College. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(s) Nachu Technical and Vocational College. (t) Taveta Technical and Vocational College. (u) Okame Technical and Vocational College. (v) Webuye West Technical and Vocational College. (w) Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology. (x) Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology. (y) Sunset Hotel Limited.
The first Question by the Member for Butula, Hon. Joseph Oyula, will be deferred.
So, we will have the next Question by the Member for Emuhaya, Hon. Omboko Milemba.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I rise to ask the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) the following Question: Could the Commission –– (a) Explain why money for funeral expenses is no longer paid to teachers or their dependents after bereavement under the new medical scheme with AON Minet? (b) Explain the scope of Group Life and Last Expense medical covers provided for teachers under AON Minet? (c) Enumerate measures it has instituted to expedite operationalisation of the medical scheme for teachers under AON Minet? Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Members, if you want to intervene, press the intervention button. Before we move on to the next Order, allow me to recognise students and pupils from the following schools: In the Speaker’s Gallery, we have Umoja Tulwet Secondary School from Kuresoi North Constituency, Nakuru County; and Firm Foundation Academy from Kasarani Constituency, Nairobi County. In the Public Gallery, we have Ndere Boys High School from Gem, Siaya County; Chepkolon Green Highlands Academy from Ainamoi Constituency, Kericho County; Kamasat Primary School, Marakwet West Constituency, Elgeyo Marakwet; and Carlo Liviero Primary School from Manyatta Constituency, Embu County. Let us welcome them to observe the proceedings of the National Assembly. I will indulge the Member for Marakwet West, Hon. Timothy, to welcome not only students from Marakwet West but all of them in the galleries.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to welcome students from various institutions. I welcome them to Parliament, the august House.
A special mention to Kamasat Primary School in the Public Gallery, which is my alma mater. It holds special memory in me. I was in that Public Gallery in 1996, when I was in Standard Four. At that time, the Hon. Speaker was a Member of Parliament in this House. I encourage them to learn from the proceedings in the Chamber.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Thank you, Member for Marakwet West. On behalf of the National Assembly, I welcome all the pupils and students.
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Kassait, what is out of order?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, Hon. Milemba directed his Question to… How I wish he listens to me.
Hon. Omboko Milemba, this point of order concerns you. Take your seat now and listen to Hon. Kassait.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, the Question by the Hon. Milemba was directed to the TSC. Our Standing Orders do not have room for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TSC to come and answer questions on the Floor of the House. Can I be in order to ask that the Question be directed properly, or Hon. Milemba can drop it and approach the TSC in person?
Order, Hon. William. I will help Hon. Omboko. We have an addendum to the Standing Orders that allow questions to the independent commissions to be responded to in the committees. So, it is in order. Next Order.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 97(1) and notwithstanding the resolution of the House on Wednesday, 15th February 2023, this House orders that each speech in a debate on any Motion introduced by an individual Member be limited in the following manner— a maximum of one-and- a-half hours with not more than 10 minutes for the Mover in moving and five minutes in replying and a maximum of five minutes for any other Member speaking, including the Leader of the Majority Party and the Leader of the Minority Party; and that priority in speaking be accorded to the Leader of the Majority Party, the Leader of the Minority Party and the Chairperson of the relevant Departmental Committee, in that order.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, Members will note that the House Business Committee (HBC) has put in place efforts to facilitate individual Members’ Bills by scheduling them in the afternoon sitting, every Wednesday, to allow the House to consider Motions by individual Members on Wednesday, morning sitting. Usually, we take three hours to consider these The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Motions. That means the whole morning session or the afternoon session is taken up by only one Motion, therefore, making it difficult for us to process the many Motions that we have. The House considers individual Members’ Motions every Wednesday morning, which has been allocated three hours each. Currently, we have 25 Motions before the House. If each Motion takes almost three hours, that is almost a day or a Sitting. It will be very difficult for us to finish these Motions. In the wisdom of the HBC, it was decided that Motion time be reduced to one-and-a-half hours and speaking time be reduced too, so that we have more Members speaking and more Motions processed. I would like this House to concur with the HBC so that we can fast-track more Motions and process business faster. This will accord the House time to consider and conclude all the pending business. Some Members bring amendments in their Bills and they take two to three years to process. I wish to request Hon. Chepkonga to Second.
Hon. Samwel Chepkonga.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Indeed, we agreed as HBC on the need to fast-track the Motions that have been pending in this House. I second.
Put the Question.
Is that the mood of the House? However, before I put the Question, I will give Hon. Omboko and Hon. Makali Mulu a chance to speak.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for this chance. I support this Motion. We noticed that the new Members are very active and we want to congratulate them. They have many Private Motions. To accommodate all Members to exercise this power and contribute, it is better that we reduce the time for the Motions and time of speaking. This will give more Members a chance to contribute and be felt by their constituents on the ground. I thought I should speak on this and support the Motion.
Thank you, Hon. Omboko Milemba. Let us have Hon. Makali Mulu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I want to support this Motion. It is important that we thank Members who have taken the initiative to table Motions in this House for debate. However, if you look at majority of these Motions, you will find that they are just urging the Government. I hope this Motion is specific to Motions and not Bills. I want to encourage HBC to start prioritising Bills. I have been in this House long enough and wish we could reduce time even more, so as to allow more time for Bills. I have a Bill which has been pending since March. I have not got a slot. When you see Motions urging the Government here, it becomes a talk shop. We have Private Members’ Bills which can be debated. They would add value. I support and urge the HBC to reduce the time further to 45 minutes so that people can do serious business.
Thank you, Hon. Makali Mulu. I can confirm that the limitation is on Motions and not Bills.
Hon. Members, before we move on to the next order allow me to recognise, in our Public Gallery, students from the following schools: Ol Kidogoye Primary School from The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Kilgoris, Narok County; and, Karumandi South Primary School, Gichugu Constituency, Kirinyaga County. We welcome you in the National Assembly. Next Order.
This is a continuing Motion. We have a balance of 13 minutes. Hon. Mnyazi was on the Floor but she is not in the House. So, I will give the chance to the next Member. I know many Members have pressed intervention buttons to speak. Some of them have already contributed to this Motion. If you want to speak on this Motion, press the intervention button and then I will pick your name from there. Hon. Abraham Kirwa, have you spoken to the Motion?
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I have contributed on the Motion. I want to donate my time.
You cannot donate your time because you have already spoken to the Motion. I give this chance to the Member for Kanduyi, Hon. John Makali.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to also weigh in on this Motion brought by my good friend Hon. Toroitich. First, cancer has claimed many lives in this country. It is the third largest ailment that claims the lives of our people. It is good that the Member has brought this Motion so that we can establish a Fund. The Fund will assist our people towards early detection and treatment of cancer and work on means to ensure that this ailment is prevented. It is heartening that in today’s Order Paper, there is a Bill that will deal with issues of cancer. We have established a National Cancer Centre but it is not adequately funded. We pray that, moving forward, we will appropriate sufficient funds in this House to enable the National Cancer Centre to be fully operationalised. Cancer comes in many forms. Most people in rural areas sell their properties to ensure that their cancer patients are treated. We have not crossed the rubicon yet. The establishment of a fund to assist our people get adequate, appropriate, and accessible treatment would be a The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
welcome idea at this time and age when most Kenyans are travelling outside the country, specifically to India, to get treatment. We are sending a lot of capital to India towards treatment of cancer. If we get the Fund established, we should be able to tackle this menace. I wish to thank the Member for moving this Motion. As we debate the Bill at Order No.12 in today’s Order Paper, we should be able to inculcate this Fund in that Bill. This way, we can deal with the cancer menace that has claimed many lives, made many families destitute, and caused a problem in our society. I support this Motion wholeheartedly. Thank you.
Thank you, Hon. Makali. I now call up on the Mover to reply. Hon. Timothy.
The Motion is time-limited, Hon. Pukose. We had three minutes for debate and 10 minutes for the Mover to reply.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, did you say 10 minutes?
Yes, you have 10 minutes, but you can choose to donate some.
Very well, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I wish to donate one-and-a-half minutes each to Hon. Donya and Hon. Phylis Bartoo.
Clerk-at-the-Table, please, note that the Mover is very economical with the minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Health issues are very important to our people. The types of cancers that exist worry us a lot. Doctors indicate to us that you should have a routine check but of different types of cancer. It is sometimes difficult. For example, blood cancer requires one to go for a blood cancer test. There is also colon, prostate, and breast cancers. Among all these cancers, breast cancer may be the easiest one to detect because women are advised to be testing themselves. But what about those people who have no information on these cancers and how they should be handled? I support Hon. Timothy Toroitich that we should also have cancer awareness on what our people need to know about the cancers. Some people believe that you should not eat certain foods so as to avoid getting cancer, but at the end of the day they find out that they have cancer despite the fact that they have taken instructions of not eating particular foods. Let us support this Motion. We should also make sure that we set aside enough resources towards creating awareness about this monster. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Thank you, Hon. Donya. Hon Bartoo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I thank the Mover of the Motion, Hon. Toroitich for bringing this timely Motion to support the fight against the cancer menace. We agree that cancer has become a problem in our society. It has impoverished families. We are at a stage where when people are diagnosed with cancer, they just give up and wait for fate. It is very difficult for families who have cancer patients. In my constituency, we receive calls every other day for support. People request us to talk to hospitals to waive bills or even release bodies for burial because the families cannot afford bills. This Motion is very timely. We need to have the Fund so that we have continuous sensitisation and awareness creation to members of the society on the dos and don’ts as far as cancer is concerned. It will also assist people to get advice on diet and also cater for the best practitioners The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
to deal with the cancer problem. How I wish we established a centre in every constituency and provided resources so that there is continuous testing, sensitisation and awareness creation until such a time when this problem is fully addressed. My time is up. Thank you, Wakili and Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, Hon. Nimrod Mbai has been on my neck. Allow me to donate one minute to him.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I will be very brief. I thank my friend, Hon. Toroitich for the Motion and for the thought of donating a minute to me. Cancer is a national disaster in our country. The only possible cure for cancer is early diagnosis. Villages do not have hospitals with facilities for testing cancer. The National Cancer Centre, if established, should devolve its services. The government should work with county governments to get, at least, a room for the Centre in every constituency. This way, our people can be supported to go for testing for early diagnosis. Late diagnosis means death while early diagnosis gives a possibility for one to be cured. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
I take this opportunity to sincerely thank Hon. Members who substantively contributed towards this Motion. The Members supported this Motion in substance, letter and spirit. I sincerely, from the deepest part of my heart, thank them. The Motion speaks to the issue of cancer in this country. The overwhelming support or the 100 per cent support this Motion got means that, indeed, cancer is a menace. As I said, it is an equivalent of a death sentence. I gave the harrowing statistics of cancer in this country. The current statistics indicate that almost 100,000 people are diagnosed annually with cancer in this country. Out of the 100,000, the mortality rate is 90,000. We lose to cancer, 7,500 people per month. Per day, we lose 250 people and per hour 10 people. Cancer is a national disaster that we must combat. Of special mention, when contributing, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Gladys Boss and Hon. Wamuchomba mentioned the Pest Control Products Board in this country. They pointed out that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has banned 267 pesticides. However, those pesticides are still sold in this country. The Board has not done anything to ban them. Of interest to mention is that there was a recent cancer screening in Uasin Gishu County. It is reported that the majority of people who were diagnosed with cancer are farmers because they are the direct consumers of farm products, which is a consequence of the banned pesticide products. I also call upon the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock to look closely and analyse the Pest Control Products Board so that they can ban the products that have been banned by the European countries and the WHO. That is the biggest challenge. Those products are still on our shelves and this House must do something so that they are expunged from our shelves. Hon. Temporary Speaker, what is the way forward? As we speak, I have already drafted a legislative proposal so that we anchor this Fund in the Cancer Prevention and Control Act. We have very substantive legislation on cancer in this country. However, the problem is that we do not have enough funds to fund the National Cancer Institute. This House must be deliberate and intentional in creating this Fund. I shall propose an amendment to the existing legislation so that we anchor the Fund in an Act of Parliament so that it can realise its objectives. This Institute must also be resourced so that they conduct research. Our National Cancer Institute was modelled... The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Your time is up Hon. Toroitich. Under Standing Order 253 we will defer the putting of the Question on this Motion.
Before we move on to the next Motion, allow me to recognise students, in the Speaker’s Gallery, from the following schools: 1. Janeiro Junior Academy, Rangwe Constituency, Homa Bay County. 2. ACK St. Luke Academy, Thika Town, Kiambu County 3. Chebunyo Christian Academy, Chepalungu, Bomet County. We also have a visiting delegation from St. Petersburg University, Russia in the Speaker’s Gallery. Allow me, on my own behalf and that of the House, to welcome them to the National Assembly. I will indulge Hon. Omar Mwinyi to welcome the visiting delegation from Russia and also the visiting students into the House.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker for according me this opportunity. I would like to welcome the visiting delegation from Russia. The head of this delegation is non-other than Bolottoeva Svetlana, the Head of Special Projects Department at St. Petersburg University in Russia. She is accompanied by Sokhina Kristina, a specialist in language testing at St. Petersburg University. With them is Vorontsova Irina, the Deputy Head of Admissions Office for International Applicants. You are welcome in this honourable National Assembly.
Hon. Mwinyi, speak through the Chair.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I wish to welcome them into this Chamber and to the Republic of Kenya. Let them enjoy the warm weather that we have. The good people of Kenya are ready to welcome them wherever they will be visiting. We also welcome the students in the Chamber. We urge them to work hard so that in future they also find themselves in this House either as Members of Parliament or Cabinet Secretaries. Thank you very much and feel welcome
Thank you very much, Hon. Omar Mwinyi. Before we move on to the next Motion, under Order No.14, it is important to note that it will be affected by the Procedural Motion that you have already passed. It will have a maximum of one-and-a-half hours of debate. The Mover will have a maximum of ten minutes to move and five minutes to reply. Every other speaker, including the Leader of Majority Party and the Leader of the Minority Party will have a maximum of 5 minutes. Next Order.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, aware that, Article 53 of the Constitution provides for the rights of children, including the right to free and compulsory basic education; further aware that, Section 22 of the Persons Deprived of Liberty Act and the Childcare Policy The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
provides for the care of a child whose parent is deprived of liberty, until the child still require parental support; further recognising that majority of these children often suffer from emotional distress, social stigma and economic hardships; cognisant of the fact that all children should be accorded a means of maintaining their relationship with their incarcerated parents; noting that, children have restricted economic resources available for their support which in turn negatively impacts their lives; this House therefore urges the Government, through the State Department for Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs, to develop and implement a programme for the care of children above the age of four years whose parents are under lawful custody. Hon. Temporary Speaker, we are alive to the fact that many times families fight and it may lead to the death of one of the family members. When death occurs, one will have to be jailed for the killing or something related to that. My question is: when that happens, what happens to the children? Sometimes the children are very young and vulnerable, between 0-18 years. In cases where both parents are arrested and jailed, what happens? Article 53 of the Constitution of Kenya indicates that every child has the immediate right to free and compulsory education apart from the rights to health and the other rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. We must protect children when such things happen. It is welcome and a possible initiative that the Government intends to give stipends to village managers. It also intends to extend registration for the Inua Jamii Programme of registering the vulnerable in society—the young children, orphans, and the old in society who are over 70 years old. It is in line with this that we seek the support of Government to look also at children of incarcerated parents. That is so that they can be part and parcel of those being registered and supported under this programme.
With those few remarks, I call upon Mheshimiwa Ng’elechei to second.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I stand to support the Motion on development and implementation of a childcare programme for children whose parents are in lawful custody. At times when parents are taken into lawful custody and some of them are single, they leave their children with no one. At times they leave their children with relatives who cannot stand with them or who accuse them of various offences. These children may end up being mentally tortured and suffer stigmatisation and accusations by members of public for mistakes they have not done but their parents. In as much as they might be innocent and young, some people might not take good care of them. They look at them through their parent’s lenses. They might be isolated, stigmatised, and demonised. We end up bringing up crooked people in society—people who may end up being criminals because they have been brought up already labelled criminals while they are not. It is their parents.
With those few remarks, I second the Motion.
Members willing to speak to this Motion can indicate. Hon. Abraham Kirwa.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to support the Motion on development and implementation of a child-care programme for children whose parents are in lawful custody. It is unfortunate that parents in custody have children at home. When this happens and nothing had been put in place to ensure those kids are catered for, the children end up suffering. They have no one to provide for them in terms of food, finances, clothing and other things. As The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
such, the relatives who are now responsible tend to either torture or neglect these children. The children are left just like that. Some programmes should be put in place as we talk about looking for funding. We should look beyond funding, depending on the number of years the parents will be in custody. Some of the offences committed by the parents might have resulted to life in prison. Some offences may cost 20 years or 30 years in jail. By the time they come out, their children would have grown up. If no one provides for their education, these children suffer. Some might end up in the streets or become thugs. The Government should step in and provide a system, not only money, where these children visit their parents in custody and continue having a relationship with them. The Government should also provide programmes to feed these children and some to provide their school fees. Although the Government might not have all the funding, there has to be a system where these children are catered for. This is a Motion each of us should seriously look into to ensure that the leaders of tomorrow, who are these children, are taken care of. I stand here to support the Motion. I thank the Member for bringing it forth. I support the Motion.
Member for Lang’ata.
Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity. I stand here to support the Motion. I have the famous Lang'ata Women Prisons in my constituency. Anytime you walk into that place, you will see children that live with their parents in prison. You can tell that there is no programme or funding the Government has put aside to cater for children of incarcerated parents. It is very sad when we talk of single-parents. Immediately a parent goes to prison, it renders the child an orphan because some of the sentences maybe life imprisonment. That is a direct separation of children from parents. Even if they get a chance to visit their parents in prison, I can tell you that what the children go through is not something you can wish even on your worst enemy.
This Motion is not one to be discussed and left here in Parliament. We request that the Committee involved visits prisons and get first-hand experiences of what these children go through. We are speaking about children living with their parents in prisons. Let alone those who are out here not knowing when their parents will get out of prisons. They are left wandering on the streets of Nairobi. You wonder why we have too many street children in all urban areas. It is because they have nowhere to go. They have no one to turn to. The Government must put up a programme for children of incarcerated parents.
I stand here to support the Motion.
Thank you. Before the next speaker, allow me to recognise pupils and students in the Speaker’s Gallery. They are from Upper Hill Academy from Bureti Constituency in Kericho County. In the Public Gallery, we have pupils from Dr Steury Memorial Primary School, Bomet Central Constituency in Bomet County. On my own behalf and of the House, we welcome you to observe the proceedings of the House.
The next chance goes to the Member for Bureti, Hon. Kibet Komingoi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor about children whose parents are in lawful custody. Before that, I thank visitors of Parliament from a variety of schools, especially the school from Bureti. They are most welcome in this Chamber to see what is going on. Their coming here will inspire them a great deal. I urge the students to study hard and become responsible citizens of our nation. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, with regard to the Motion before us, we recognise that sometimes stuff happens in life leading to incarceration of parents. I want to thank the Member for Konoin for bringing to the attention of this nation, the plight of children whose parents are in prison. They suffer as a result of mistakes of others, for example, parents, brothers and sisters who may have committed crimes that led to their incarceration. So, they are unable to provide, tend or take care of their children. The question is: what plans does the Government have in order to take care of these children so that they grow to become responsible citizens of our nation? We know there is a social protection programme being carried out under the Ministry of Interior and National Administration. It is on correctional services and is meant to take care of children who are four years old and below. When they turn five years what happens to them, especially for those whose parents are serving longer sentences in prison? The proposal made is that the Government should take up the duty of protecting, schooling and defending these children in the society. They should be given an opportunity to become responsible people who can participate in the development of this nation. This Motion has come at a time when we need to discuss and put ideas together so as to expand the social protection programme. We have to increase funding of correctional facilities in the nation so that these children do not get criminalised or become disadvantaged like their parents in custody. I support this Motion and beg that as we think through it, we provide additional funding to either the correctional services or the social protection programme under the Ministry of Labour. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Thank you. Member for Kitui West Hon. Edith Nyenze.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me an opportunity to support this Motion on maintenance of children after parents are lawfully put in custody. If the family structures were working, we would talk about immediate family members taking care of such children. The family unit has really broken down and that is why we are talking about the Government coming in to take over maintenance of these children from four years. The Departmental Committee on Social Protection should come up with legislation to support this Motion on how children can be protected through fostering, adoption, or setting up centres for them. The relevant ministry should follow-up on how these children are treated, especially if they are adopted by some family members. The best thing would be not to put them in one place but have them brought up in a family way, where they grow like other children with love from extended family members. They should ensure there is strict follow- up and report on how they are treated. Some funds should be set aside for maintenance of these children by providing proper medical care and education as they wait for their parents to be released from custody. Hon. Temporary Speaker, with that I support.
Thank you. Member for Sotik, Hon. Francis Sigei.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. From the outset, I want to thank the Member for Konoin who is also my neighbour for sponsoring it. Children are very vulnerable. The first thing that comes to my mind is about children taken in custody with their mothers. This really worries me because from the word go, they undergo a lot of problems. I support this Motion and ask the Government to ensure that these children are given proper attention when in custody, especially in terms of healthcare, social The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
support and orientation on life. You can imagine the kind of life in prison and a small child growing there in a very difficult and awkward situation. When it comes to those left behind by their mothers, it is worrying because nowadays, even the extended family system cannot support children during hard economic times. I urge that we come up with legislation on how to enhance the social protection measures given to these children. We want them to become good citizens of this country. The best thing is for the Government to have deliberate measures on what to do for these children once they are out. They may not get the special support from the extended family system. I support this Motion because of the psychological shock on these children. We need to support them and if we do not, these children will be stigmatised for the rest of their lives. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I support this Motion. Thank you.
Thank you Hon. Member. The next chance goes to the Member for Mwingi West, Hon. CNN.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me an opportunity to add my voice on this Motion. From the outset, I want to thank Hon. Brighton for bringing it because he understands the plight of children left by their parents in custody. I would like to remind this House that children are our treasure and future. Any society that takes care of children strengthens the nation. They are also the fabric of our society. Some of these children live in a violent atmosphere when their parents are in custody. They undergo several challenges in terms of medical care, lack of food, basic necessities and insecurity. That is why we should have social protection welfare, similar to that of the elderly. So, these funds can be taken towards their education, food security, and clothing. I do not want to dwell too much on this because it is a straightforward Motion. I support. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Thank you. Before we move on to the next speaker, allow me to recognise in the Speaker’s Gallery, pupils from Ritaya Primary School from Ndaragwa Constituency, Nyandarua County. Join me in welcoming them to observe the proceedings of the House. The next chance will go to the Member for Kipkelion West, Hon. Hillary Kosgei.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support the Motion by the Member for Konoin Constituency, Hon. Brighton, on children who are deprived of their liberty because of the circumstances their parents found themselves in. Sitting in the Departmental Committee on Social Protection, it has come to my attention and that of the Committee that the whole world is pumping resources to secure the vulnerable members of their societies, including the deprived children. In our laws, there are those children we call “circumstantial children” who are born when their parent are incarcerated and are in prisons. They have a right to education from age one to four. However, the programme on circumstantial children does not cater for the other many children who find themselves orphaned or their parents fought and are in prison and they were left vulnerable. We are, therefore, calling for the amendment of the Bill to include such children. We are also asking the Members of this House to support the State Department for Social Security and Protection under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection with finances so that it can expand programmes of this nature up to and including, developing special schools for free education for children under this category and cater from childhood up to the time they attain 18 years. There are many circumstances that lead to such situations but we ignore them most of the time. Time has come for us, as a nation, to make sure that we leave no child behind as we plan for the progress and development of children who are lucky to have parents. I, therefore, support this Motion and urge the House to consider additional funding to the State Department for Social Security and Protection towards this endeavour. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you. Member for Makueni Constituency, Hon. Suzanne Kiamba.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to make my contribution on this very important Motion. First and foremost, it is important to realise that every Kenyan matters, more so children who find their parents in custody and are denied opportunity to grow up in families like other children. If you go to some of these areas, you will realise that there are families which have cycles of people going to jail. One of the circumstances is when a child is born and finds a very harsh environment where the parents are in custody, and some of them have to grow up seeing their mothers jailed. I even wonder whether when people are jailed with their children they should serve full prison terms because those are two people serving a jail term of person. It is important that we provide some funds so that such children, who are our treasure, can be brought up in a manner that is healthy and make them productive to this nation. I was very happy when I heard one of the Hon. Members talking about how sometimes we contribute so much to the hardware. Everybody wants a road. Everybody wants a school. Everybody wants this Government to spend money on structures that we can see. However, when we do not improve the value of people and the social fabric, we lose a lot. The issue of children of parents in custody is one of the areas where we are losing a lot. As a nation, we are as strong as our weakest link. Even if we continue to grow in families with a very big per capita income, but we have very weak areas where children are neglected, then we will have cyclic issues of families that continue to have people going to jail. This is because as you grow up having found your mother in jail, you also start appreciating evil because of that environment. This is a very important Motion and we need to support it. The other point I would like to put across is the psycho-social trauma. When the only guardian you know as a father or mother is in custody, and you are left on your own, the psycho- social trauma that affects such children sometimes denies them opportunity to ever become anything. This Motion is timely, and we all need to support it. When we support it, we support our nation, including the weak and vulnerable. That way, as a nation, we will advance because every Kenyan matters. I strongly support this Motion and thank the Member who has brought it.
Member for Changamwe Constituency.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. First and foremost, I would also like to congratulate the Member for Konoin Constituency for bringing this Motion, which aims at addressing a problem that is in the society. It is a fact that parents are a vital portion in our upbringing. They provide warmth, love, guidance, assurance and ensure proper upbringing of children. In life, the mother is practically the one who plays the most crucial role in children’s upbringing. Most families these days are degenerating into single parenthood. Fathers are becoming less responsible and the burden is being left on mothers. You find that those who are being imprisoned are mostly the mothers. Such scenarios begin with simple cases in the villages - cases which could be dealt with by village elders or local chiefs. However, most people end up reporting such matters at police stations. Unfortunately, our police officers are not trained to try and solve simple problems. Sometimes they even take advantage of such situations to seek money. If you do not part with money, then your case ends up in court, and sometimes you are given a sentence which is not commensurate with the crime that you have committed. In this regard, I urge the Provincial Administration, especially now that we have passed the Bill, to pay village elders to try as much as possible to advise the communities to try and The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
use alternative dispute resolution methods so that we do not have simple cases that can be sorted out by village elders ending up in court and perhaps leading to imprisonment. Hon. Temporary Speaker, when addressing this challenge, I want to give an example of a philanthropist in Mombasa by the name Hasu or famously known as Mombasa Cement. He feeds between 3,000 and 5 000 people in a day. If such a person can undertake such an activity, I believe the Government can do even better than that. Perhaps using the same administration, where we have chiefs and village elders, something can be done so that in case a parent is imprisoned, funding can be in place to make sure their children are well taken care of. I would also urge that judges and magistrates should sometimes also take time to visit the prisons and interview prisoners so that they can review their cases to make sure that those whose cases are found to be of lesser criminal activities are released to go and join their families so that they can provide the much-needed guidance to their children. We live in difficult times today where even getting money for daily sustenance is a challenge. If a mother is incarcerated for six months, it poses a big challenge to the young children who are left behind, and who are important to this nation. We believe that a nation is built by its young people. We look forward to such children growing into proper and responsible adults. I urge this House and the Government to take this Motion seriously and ensure that funds are set aside for families which find themselves in this situation as well as all the areas that we have addressed.
I thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me this opportunity.
Thank you very much. Before I give the next contributor an opportunity, I would like to recognise the presence of students of Olooltoto Boarding Primary School from Narok North Constituency, Narok County in the Public Gallery; and Karua Primary School from Laikipia East Constituency, Laikipia County in the Speaker’s Gallery. They are welcome to follow the proceedings of the House this morning. Next is the Member for Teso South, Hon. Mary Emaase.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I also join my colleagues to contribute to this important Motion. As a mother, it breaks my heart every time I see a child suffering or dropping out of school because the parent was jailed for one reason or the other. Every day we see children becoming homeless because their only dependents have been jailed our hearts cry out to them. When I saw this Motion proposing the establishment of a fund to protect such children, I had to speak to it. As alluded to by the Mover of this Motion, Section 53 of the Constitution advocates for the rights of children to be protected from abuse, violence and any form of violence. It is every child’s right to grow up in a conducive environment where there is love and trust – in a home with someone they can trust, look up to, confide in and get counseling from. Children need to grow up in an environment where they can become responsible citizens. If a child loses counsel, guidance and support, then we are likely to lose a generation. Those children born of parents who find themselves in prison deserve to be protected and provided for like any other child. With those remarks, I support the Motion and urge all my colleagues to support it.
Member for Busia County, Hon. Catherine Omanyo. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. This Motion is close to my heart. For instance, I basically raised myself. The absenteeism of parents has a negative impact on a child. It is not easy for the child if their parent is incarcerated or in conflict with the law where they are either suspects, victims or convicts. All these cannot allow one to be a good parent at that time. I fully support this Motion by the Member of Parliament, whom I respect. The sponsor of this Motion speaks for many people who are suffering in silence. In such situations, children need a lot of assessment and monitoring. Parents in prisons need the freedom to go and see their children any time. A child who is born in prison, or lives in prison with the parent is not a prisoner. It is only the parent who is the prisoner. Many children who find themselves in prisons or with their parents in prison live in fear. They also have anger outbursts because they cannot do anything about their situation. Being left alone with nowhere to go makes them anxious and bitter. Psychologists can easily pick this up. The rest of us give such children names. I have been called names before, but very few people who care and matter to me took time to understand why some of these things happened to me. Children raised with the fear of losing a parent to prison, or with limited access to their parents live in a very difficult environment. Sometimes they do not even understand what is going on. It is the Government’s responsibility to build an establishment for parents in prison. We are mostly looking at mothers, but we also have fathers who are left with children and can be imprisoned. We must have an establishment that ensures that those imprisoned with their children can still have space to be parents and for the children to interact with them. We have treated or seen people in prison as rogue, unapproachable and as people who should be feared. If the children see how prison wardens treat prisoners, they grow up missing something. If not well-counseled, such children grow up very rebellious because this is what they see. They find it difficult to even fit in outside prison life. We should have schools, social amenities and a home away from home for children living in prisons. We should keep in mind the fact that a child who is in prison because they were arrested with the mother or father…
Member for Gilgil.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Allow me to add my voice to this Motion. I congratulate Hon. Brighton Yegon for bringing it to the House. This Motion covers even wider issues that should be open to debate and national conversation. Children do not make an application on where they want to be born. Last week marked the end of the International Breastfeeding Week. If you are arrested and you are breastfeeding, do we have mechanisms to ensure that the child breastfeeds for six months to two years as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to boost their immunity? Hon. Temporary Speaker, when Hon. Moody Awori was the Cabinet Secretary then, serious rafts of reforms happened in the correctional facilities. I want to join Hon. Phelix, famously known as Jalas of Lang’ata to say that this issue should be forwarded to the Departmental Committee on Social Protection or the Departmental Committee on Labour. These committees should pay a visit to the correctional facilities so that they can establish the number of children languishing with their parents in jails. Such children are deprived of basic needs. They do not get education or enjoy a comprehensive medical care, which is a constitutional right under Article 53 of the Constitution. To the President and to the Power of Mercy Committee, we have many offenders who are in our correctional facilities today. Some of the women jailed are hardcore criminals, but most of them were incarcerated for petty offences. So, even when we are doing pardons, these are the people we should consider first because we would want to unite them with their families. As it has been said by many Members, gone are the days when we used to be sure that if you leave your child with your extended family, they would be safe. That is no longer the case today. How many incidences have we seen of defilement, incest and sexual abuse The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
propagated by members of the family? That way, this broken family unit then sends such children to the streets, where they become even more vulnerable not only to diseases and abuse, but also lack education and medical cover. Such children’s rights are constitutional and are even provided for internationally. This Motion is quite heavy. I hope the Member for Konoin can pick it up either through an ad hoc committee or with the existing committees in this House so that they conduct a fact- finding tour of all the correctional facilities. As Hon. Makali Mulu said earlier, at the end of the day, and as seen in the previous parliaments, these Motions may end up here. We urge the Government - yes - but in terms of deliverables, who does the follow up of these Motions? This also goes to the Committee on Implementation. How many Motions have we assented to in the 13th Parliament? How many are in the process of being implemented? Does it need to be a Bill? How do we hold that person to account in this House in terms of implementing these Motions? It calls to a bigger responsibility on the Committee on Implementation, the Departmental Committee on Social Protection, and the Departmental Committee on Labour. All of them must work hand-in-hand to ensure that such children, who are very important persons in this country are not left behind. Under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Programme, we said that we are not leaving any one behind yet no one speaks for vulnerable children. Children cannot be members of Parliament to sit in this House when they are minors. It is us to speak for them because we are their parents and hence representing them. Even if they do not vote, we are their voice. I hope this can be truncated to a bigger agenda that can constitute a fact-finding mission so that we can tell what correctional measures can be taken. More importantly, this House’s Committee on Implementation must table reports on the already churned out many Motions and Bills that have been assented to so that we can know how far we have gone with their implementation. With those remarks, I support the Motion and, once again, thank Hon. Brighton Yegon.
Thank you. Next is Hon. Abdul Haro, Member for Mandera South.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me an opportunity to put my voice and contribute to this important Motion on the development of implementation of a child care programme for children whose parents are in lawful custody. I must take this opportunity to thank Hon. Brighton Yegon for coming up with this very timely and most welcome Motion at a time when we know that a lot of things are happening in our societies all over the world in relation to children, their rights and welfare. The arrest of a parent can have significant impact on a child, especially if it happens in his or her presence. We live in a society where children face a lot of challenges. We talk about the drug menace and sex pests who are lurking around in all our villages and societies. Looking at this Motion, safeguarding children of arrested parents has a lot of importance. They have a lot of benefits to the child, for example, in supporting their immediate and future physical, emotional and psychological well-being. It also helps in maintaining the continued relationship between a child and the parent, especially if the programme takes into consideration the visits and the kinds of coordination between how a child and the parents can keep communication with each other even though the parent is in custody. This impacts on the child's development, especially in relation to how the child will in future view the police force. If the arrest happened in front of a child, it might have some lifelong impact on the child to the effect that it can also determine how the child will view the police and law enforcement in general as they grow up. Looking at the prayer that Hon. Brighton has made, that, we urge the Government, through the State Department of Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs to develop and implement a programme for the care of children above the age of four years whose parents are The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
under lawful custody, we should not urge, but rather, this House should compel the Government, through the State Department of Social Protection, to develop and implement a programme for child care. I am a pastoralist, and we normally say that today's calf is tomorrow's cow. Therefore, a child of today is going to be the future President of this country or a Member of Parliament or Senator or Cabinet Secretary. Therefore, safeguarding the future of such a child now means developing a better future society for Kenyan. Thank you, for the opportunity.
Thank you. Next is Hon. Andrew Okuome of Karachuonyo.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to this Motion. I want to thank Hon. Yegon for bringing it up. The beginning of a child’s life on this planet shapes their future. It is, therefore, important that the nation takes care of such a child. The mistakes and offences that a parent commits, whether the parent is a father or a mother, should not be allowed to affect the life of this child forever. A child not only learns from the parents, but also from the society. What happens at home shapes the future of a child. A child begins to see someone within the community as his or her role model. It is usually the norm that a child is taken to prison with the mother, and not with the father. If a child is sent to prison together with his or her mother, who will the child have as a role model? Will it be one of the jail birds in prison? Allowing the child to go through such kind of situation is a failure on the part of the nation. It is failing everybody. I, therefore, support the idea of creating a programme that will make the child continue with the normal experience of growing in life so that a child can find a more effective, useful, beneficial and productive life when they mature. It is important that we compel the Government, as my colleague mentioned, to come up with a programme that can be practical for the life of the child and not make the child see the horrors that happen in jail. If children are allowed to go through that experience, they will be part of the bad things happening in jail.
With those remarks, I support the Motion.
Thank you. Hon. Shakeel Shabbir of Kisumu East.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
I strongly support the Motion by my brother, Hon. Brighton Yegon. The childcare programme proposed, especially after the fourth year, is one that has been recommended and looked at everywhere in the world. As Kenyans, we are always the first to go and sign the so- called United Nations declaration on this and that. In 2020, the United Nations Rules on Treatment of Women Prisoners and their Children was signed by us. It was never rectified. We just signed. We all signed and did nothing about it. We also signed the African Charter on Rights and Welfare. If put together, those rules are very important. Children of prisoners, either men or women, mother or father, suffer emotional distress and stigma. Those whose parents are in prison are vulnerable and are highly invisible group that is exposed to very many other things. They are exposed to sexual harassment and name calling, and their whole spirit is broken. The spirit of such a child is already broken when they see their mother incarcerated. The child’s spirit is further broken with stigma when they live with their mother in prison. Their rights remain unacknowledged in our criminal system. Hon. Temporary Speaker, you are a lawyer. The rights of children are never considered when judges give sentences. Sometimes children are not even brought out. They are immediately taken to children’s homes, where they are further traumatised and misused. Such The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
children grow up with distaste and disgust for the system. They will fight us and the system for no reason other than the fact that they were treated like dirt. They were treated like they were not required.
My investigation shows me that there are nearly 2,000 children currently in Kenyan jails. I might be wrong, but even if they are 200, they are still many. I want to urge my colleagues that we need to have an investigation. We need to ask the Committee to go and identify every child who is accompanying their parents in prison. We need to know whether that prison has a school. In my constituency, I have Kibos Prison. Kibos Prison School is one of the best schools in the area. However, it has never been heavily supported by the prison authorities because they say they never have much funds. The Ministry of Education also has this stigma attached to it. They do not give much thought to a school in a prison. They also post teachers with mediocre characters to such schools.
As I said, children’s rights are not acknowledged in the system and, therefore, we need to have some clarity. The clarity in law and…
Member of Parliament for Samburu East, Hon. Lekumontare.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for this chance. I also want to support this Motion. When parents are put in lawful custody, families suffer, especially children. There will be a lot of disorientation for the children. It is very important for these children to be taken care of. The Government needs to take care of the needs of children whose parents are not there. Nobody is left to take care of these children’s needs including schooling. When parents are not there, the growth of their children is negatively affected. This is a very important Motion that we really need to work on so that the Government has an obligation to take care of children whose parents are in prison. The Government of Kenya has tried to take care of even orphans. These children, whose parents are missing, are almost like orphans, because some people will go to prison for very many years. All those years really matter to that kid. It is a very important Motion to be implemented. We want to work on it. We have lost too many children because of this. It is good for this House to work on it and support it, so that our children who are left by parents, some who are jailed for years, get help. With those remarks, I support the Motion.
Thank you. Hon. Fatuma Mohammed of Migori.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for this opportunity.
I commend and support this Motion by saying that children are our future.
Hon. Tindi Mwale, my board shows that Hon. Fatuma was ahead of you in terms of logging in and asking for time. Just bide for your time. Go ahead, Hon. Fatuma.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Today, we have children sitting in the galleries and they need to know that they are our future. We value them most. The Kenyan Government needs to take it seriously to consider the situation of children who are in custody with their parents. Some of the parents are innocent, others are not. The bottom line is that a parent in jail is going through emotional stress. That emotional stress is streamed down to the child because they do not understand why they are The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
confined in that room where the mother is. I urge the Government to take this matter seriously because you will find that it is mostly women who are in custody with their children. Luckily, when fathers are jailed, they leave their children to be taken care of by their mothers. Studies show that before children attain the age of six years, their brains are empty, so whatever they are exposed to will stay with them all their lives until they reach our age or that of our parents. We need to take that period very seriously and help children under the age of six years to grow.
Apart from the mother being taken care of, the child needs emotional support. There are many counselors who can counsel those children. They need psychological help so that they can understand that the situation they are in is not permanent, and that being in custody is not their fault. The Government should not just be urged to do something. The ministry concerned should take the matter seriously and help those children so that when they get out of custody with their parents, they can live a decent life knowing that the incarceration was not a life sentence.
Some children in jail get sick and do not get proper treatment. There are conditions that need proper treatment such as asthma. During the cold season, mothers may not have warm clothing for themselves, and children suffer even more. Breastfeeding mothers need to be given more care because their children need to be breastfed, and the mothers need different foods from those taken by other women in prison. It is not just children in prisons who have been neglected. Prisons in general have been neglected. Children and parents should be taken care of. You may have made a mistake, but prisons have been put in place for correction, not judgment. One should not die in prison in a desperate situation. Prisons are institutions for correcting bad behaviour. A child should not be made to feel that their parent is a prisoner because they were bad. They will grow up thinking that their parents are bad. Children need psychological help more than anything else. That must be accompanied by education. A child needs to be given an opportunity to go to a proper school in prison, so that when the child comes out, their life can be normal like that of any other child. I am very sure that children in prison are unable to watch us as we deliberate in this House. However, when their guardians go to visit them, please help the children to know that there is a God, that this country cares for them, and that their parents are in prison, but when they come out, God willing, they will change their character. The child should know that he or she is not imprisoned, and it is their parent who is imprisoned. I pray that those children will come out of prison one day and one of them will become the Woman Representative of Migori County, a governor, the president of Kenya, a CEO, or a director. For children whose mothers are in prison, encourage those who are in school with you and let them know that they are good children, and that their parents are good people. They just made a few mistakes, and they have to be corrected. When they come out, they will be good people.
Well said. I wish to recognise the following students in the Public Gallery: Pupils from Mangoto Primary School from Maragwa Constituency in Murang’a County; and students from Kituro High School from Baringo Central Constituency, Baringo County. They are welcome to follow the proceedings of the Assembly this morning. Hon. Tindi Mwale.
Asante sana, Mhe. Spika wa Muda. Nitaanza kwa kumpongeza mwenzangu, Mhe. Brighton Yegon, kwa kuleta Hoja hii muhimu sana inayopendekeza kutengeneza mikakati ya kuzingatia jinsi ambavyo watoto ambao wazazi wao wamezuiliwa kizimbani watanawiri na kuishi maisha mema yasiyo na ubaguzi. Nitaanza kwa kusema kuwa kisheria, mtoto anapaswa apate basic needs ambazo ni mavazi, mahali pa kuishi na chakula. Mzazi ndiye anapaswa ashughulikie mahitaji hayo. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Utapata kuwa mzazi anapozuiliwa, mtoto anakosa yule ambaye atashughulikia mambo ya mavazi, chakula na mahali ambapo ataishi. Ninampongeza mwenzangu ambaye ametuhimiza tuanzishe mikakati na miundo misingi ambayo itazingatia masilahi ya watoto ambao wazazi wao wamezuiliwa kizimbani kisheria. Tukitaka Kenya inawiri katika miaka ijayo, lazima tuzingatie miundo misingi mizuri itakayowasaidia watoto ambao watakuwa viongozi, wafanyikazi, walimu na madaktari wa kesho katika nchi yetu ya Kenya. Serikali inapaswa izingatie jinsi ambavyo watoto wa wazazi ambao wamezuiliwa magerezani watasaidiwa ili waende shule. Kama ni wagonjwa, lazima tujue jinsi ambavyo watapata matibabu. Pia, tujue ni vipi watapata masomo na chakula. Ninaiunga mkono Hoja hii ya mwenzangu ili watoto ambao wazazi wao wamezuiliwa wapewe kipaumbele.
Thank you. Member for Wundanyi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I join my colleagues in supporting the Motion brought to the House by Hon. Brighton Yegon to develop and implement a childcare programme for children whose parents are in lawful custody. This Motion is timely. As a country, we have laws that protect the rights of children, women, and other people who are in lawful custody. Therefore, this House stands a chance to improve the legislative infrastructure of this country. Many prisons in this country allow children under four years old to join their mothers when they are in lawful custody. Therefore, they provide some minimum basic early childhood development programmes that may not compare to what we have outside the prisons. We know that the Kenya Prisons Service is doing something about it. This Motion speaks to children above four years old, who cannot join their mothers while they are in custody. We must support the development and implementation of this programme so that our women in prisons know that even if they are serving their lawful terms, the children that they leave behind can access basic education and are protected. We know that children whose mothers are in custody face discrimination. They are traumatised because they are mocked by their fellow pupils in school. They are told that their parents are not there because they are in prisons. Therefore, if they are not taken care of psychologically, they are greatly affected. Parliament has a responsibility to come up with laws that will protect those children, so that they can grow up to be responsible citizens who are not traumatised. They should get education without depending on relatives whom, on many occasions, do not take care of them well. In my constituency, there is a prison that is home to many women, some of whom have children who are below four years old. The children are in a school that was started by the county government some years back. However, there are many other children who are at home, and are suffering, vulnerable and facing serious risks. Such children do not get supportive structure and family that would support them. Therefore, when the mother is taken into custody, the child also follows her. Luckily, we have one officer from the prison, Senior Superintendent Justina, who recently won the African award for always trying to ensure that such children do not fall into the hands of predators and suffer when the mother is in lawful custody.
I am also reminded that the United Nations (UN) has adopted 70 rules that give premier to women who are in custody. Those rules advise legislators, the legal system and the judiciary so that as they pass judgement against women, they remember that they fall into different categories of people. Therefore, they should give them lesser sentences or years in prison, so that they can get out as soon as possible and rejoin their families. I support the Motion. I urge this House to support women, particularly those who have children in lawful custody. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you. Member for Samburu County, Hon. Lenguris.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this important Motion in the life of our children. We know that children are our responsibility and that of this nation. When children are separated from their parents, they go through a lot of stress and challenges. They need a lot of care when they are still young, especially at the age of four and below. When they are separated from their parents, they suffer a lot because there is no one to take care of them. Children belong to the society in the African tradition. However, there are many changes nowadays. They depend entirely on their parents. Once they are separated from their parents, they go through a lot of problems because no one is there to take care of them. They suffer a lot of social problems, and lack of care, economic power and support. Some of them drop out of school because there is no one to take care of their education. They also suffer because no one is there to take care of their medical requirements. I thank the Member who thought about this kind of support for our children because they belong to the society and the nation. We always say that our children are the leaders of tomorrow. I support the Member who brought this Motion. I urge the State Department for Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs to come up with programmes to support the children when they are separated from their parents. We also understand that most of the parents get into unlawful activities as they struggle to provide for their children. Those who start burning charcoal are sometimes arrested in the forest. They engage in unlawful activities to provide for their children. I thank the Member who brought this Motion which I support. The State Department for Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs should come up with programmes that can support our children spiritually, economically and education-wise. They should also provide their needs in the absence of their parents. I support the Motion.
Member for Suba South.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support this Motion, which urges the Government to develop and implement childcare programme for children whose parents are incarcerated. I would like to speculate that our dear colleague, Hon. Brighton Yegon, was probably inspired by Matthew 35-39 in the Bible which says: I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me. I would like to make some suggestions that should go on record as part of what should form that childcare programme. Firstly, I propose that in developing it, the Government or the State Department concerned should establish a foster care programme for the children whose parents are incarcerated. There should always be somebody standing in loco parentis with respect to those children. The first point of call should be the other parent, if it is one parent who is incarcerated. The second one should be a close relative, foster home or childcare home. There should be very clear guidelines as to how those processes should be handled in case one or both parents are incarcerated. Secondly, I propose that the Government considers establishing a special bursary scheme for children whose parents are in prison for purposes of their education. I once had the opportunity to be the first person to conduct a Harambee in Kamiti Maximum prison for my friend who had spent 18 years there. His children became of age. He needed money to educate them at the university. The late Commissioner Isaiah Osugo, may God rest his soul in eternal The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
peace, and I went there and raised quite a bit of money. Fellow prisoners and prison staff also contributed. We were able to educate his children. One of them is an engineer today. I urge that we should establish a special bursary for the education of children from vulnerable families. Termination of parental rights should not be there. Children should continue to visit their parents in prison. After post-release, there should be a way of uniting them with their parents, connecting with them and giving them psychosocial support. Finally, the programme should also have a component of training of the caregivers or social services providers who will be taking care of these children in the absence of their parents. With those few remarks, I support the Motion.
There is a Member whose card is not working. I have been told she was among the first people to be here. If your card is not working, it is good to let the Clerks-at-the-Table know. That chance is yours now.
Hon. Paul Mwirigi, she has been here since the time I sat on this Chair. Order Hon. Rindikiri. You must not speak on every Motion. You cannot stand from your seat to tell Hon. Temporary Speaker that you have not spoken. It is not done that way. You are a seasoned Member. You know how it works. Hon. Makilap, you cannot walk in now and claim you have not spoken. It is not done like that.
You should come in, log in your card and then you will have your chance, when your time comes. You cannot rise from your seat to say you have not spoken. Go ahead, Hon. Member.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to support this Motion by the Vice-Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock. Before I do that, I take this opportunity to welcome the students from Manyatta Constituency in Embu County who are seated in the Public Gallery. Feel welcome and remember that discipline, hard work and the right attitude towards your education is key. Today’s Motion was brought by the Vice-Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, Hon Brighton. Discipline, hard work and the right attitude are important in one’s education. When we talk about mothers and fathers in custody, they could be single mothers or fathers who have left behind children of the ages that we have been talking about in this House. Others could be in custody whether they committed offences or not. We are here as Parliamentarians to look at the modalities that can be used to ensure that these children are supported. These children go through a lot of challenges like ridicule from their neighbours, emotional stress, stigma, trauma and lack of proper parenting from their parents who are in custody. They also lack role models that they can turn to, notwithstanding the psychological effects. These are children who need a lot of counselling. Just like we have the Inua Jamii Programme that takes care of the vulnerable children and the elderly, the Government can come to the rescue of these children and incorporate them in the programme because they are vulnerable. As they think about setting up a fund to educate these children and take care of their needs, the first thing that should be done is to incorporate them in the next upcoming registration exercise of the Inua Jamii Programme so that they can benefit from that fund. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
As I finish, allow me to say that this Motion is long overdue. It has come at the right time when these children need to be supported by the Government. When their parents are not with them, they are exposed to suffering and a lot of pressure. I support.
Thank you. I wish to recognise pupils of ACK Mukangu Primary School from Manyatta Constituency, Embu County; and Mutumu Boarding Primary School from Maara Constituency, Tharaka-Nithi County, seated in the Public Gallery. They are welcome to follow the proceedings of the House this Morning. I will give this chance to the Member for Manyatta.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I take this opportunity to launch an official complain. Normally, I like seating here and this microphone has not been working for two weeks. So, I have shifted my seating position. The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Department can check on that. I want to thank you for recognising the schools that are here. Among them is a very young school called “ACK Mukangu Secondary School in my constituency, Manyatta Constituency. It has a lot of potential and budding to be a leader in education. However, it is a day school in our constituency, in our county and in our country. I am happy we are debating a Motion on the implementation of a child care programme for children whose parents are under lawful custody. Let us not forget that many schools, especially day schools that serve our young people have a problem of school fees that we solve through the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) as Members of Parliament. In my constituency, I made history by giving Ksh53 million in bursaries. It is the highest that can be given to our schools to ensure they all benefit. I saw a very good act by the Director of Mt. Kenya University last week when they were conducting their graduation ceremony. He waived all the pending school fees for students who had cleared university and had not picked their graduation certificates. I call upon all the principals in day secondary schools and those in charge of public universities to waive school fees of those…
Hon. Member for Manyatta, we had a Motion that you are debating. You are completely out of order. Next time you are given a chance, debate the Motion on the Floor not your own Motion. Your time is spent. You had only a minute. This chance is for the Mover of the Motion to reply. Hon. Brighton Yegon.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Before I reply, I want to give one-and-a-half minute to Naomi Waqo, the Deputy Majority Whip, Farah …
These are Hon. Members. So you call them Hon. Naomi and Hon. Farah.
Hon. Naomi and Hon. Farah will have one- and-a-half minutes; Hon. Yegon of Bomet East, one-and-a-half minutes; and Hon John Paul Mwirigi, one-and-a-half minutes.
Hon. Members, one-and-a-half minutes please.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. May I also appreciate Hon. Brighton Yegon for allowing me to have a minute out of his time. I support the Motion. It is timely and important in our society. It is true that children go through emotional distress and social stigma. As we all know, in the African context, once your parents are imprisoned, people feel that you have also committed the same crime and they run away The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
from you. So, this will help them. The other hardship that children go through is economic hardship. The support that they used to get from their parents is no longer there. Giving them this support will encourage them. Maintaining the relationship between parents and children… So, I support the Motion and congratulate Hon. Yegon for coming up with this important Motion.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I want to join the other speakers in congratulating Hon. Yegon for bringing this timely Motion. The Children Act is very categorical. It says the very best interest of the child comes first. When a parent commits a crime and he is incarcerated, there is no collective punishment. The children are not supposed to be punished. In other developed jurisdictions, they have what we call adoption and foster cares. If you study them very well, in both cases, they do not work that well. First, adoption in the African sense is non-existent. Your father is your father regardless of your economic conditions or who brings you up or not. Second, foster cares in other parts of the world are purely commercial. Hon. Yegon, I would appreciate if you add me one minute. You know, this is the former Speaker. Any way…
I wish he accepted in principle. By the way, he has said yes. Foster care does not work. We want to allow the relatives of the people who are incarcerated to take care of those children and bring them up in the spirit and traditions of the African customs and culture. The State should come in and support that by giving a stipend to care givers to allow them to take good care of the children. It should also have social workers who can monitor and see that the stipend is not spent in chang’aa or busaa, but in the best interest of the children. The emotional distress can be taken care by uncles, aunties and immediate relatives and not anybody else. This Motion is very good and timely. I want us to move in as Africans and as Kenyans and take care of our own. I know of a lady who is an administrator right now and works with the Government as a civil servant, specialised as a District Education Officer (DEO). Everywhere she goes, she picks up children to help and you cannot believe the kind of results that are out there. You will see engineers, lawyers and doctors who were picked up from squalor and later ended up realising their full potential. I urge all Kenyans to take care of their relatives. I urge the Government to have a system that takes care of our children for posterity of our nation.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker for giving me the opportunity to weigh in on this Motion. I will not spend much time. Normally, we find in our societies children whose one of their parent killed the other parent and are incarcerated. The children are left destitute. We need the government to identify one of the family members to take care of these children by giving them a stipend to ensure they are okay and educated. We need to see these children succeed like any other child in our society. I can see that time is limited. This Motion is very important, and I support it. Thank you very much.
Asante sana, Mhe. Spika wa Muda. Ninajiunga na wenzangu kumpatia hongera Mhe. Yegon kwa kuleta Hoja hii kwa wakati unaofaa. Kila mtoto wa taifa hili yuko na haki. Ni haki ya kila mtoto kuwa na malezi bora, elimu na afya. Ijapokuwa kuna wazazi waliozuiliwa gerezani, haimaanishi mtoto asipate haki yake. Ni jukumu la Serikali katika Idara ya Ulinzi wa Kijamii kuchukulia suala hili kwa uzito sana na kuhakikisha kwamba watoto wamepata haki yao na elimu bora. Hawa watoto ndio watakaokuwa viongozi wa taifa hili kesho. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Asante sana. Ninaunga mkono.
You can now proceed.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, there are two other Members, Hon. Donya and Hon. Muthoni Dorothy, to whom I want to donate one minute each and then remain with two minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support Hon. Brighton. When we discuss issues of children, they feel they are not left behind. I have seen children from Kisii, including St. Vincent De Paul Boys Primary School, walking into Parliament. It is good to have them in the House. See how beautiful and smart they are.
Discussing issues that touch on children is the most important thing. Who does not want to be loved? Starting with Members of the House, love is very paramount in totality. We are discussing how we can bring up children with good morals. We assure them that there are people who think about them 24 hours a day. Hon. Brighton, this is a good Motion. We support it and congratulate you for thinking about the welfare of our children. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
(Hon. David Ochieng': Let us have Hon. Muthoni.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise also to support Hon. Brighton. This is a very timely Motion. Every child's right is to enjoy life and be taken care of in the best way possible. We must develop a framework to ensure that children whose mothers and parents find themselves in lawful custody are not left to fate. We must develop regulations to ensure that guardians provide the children with a safe space to grow emotionally, psychologically and lovingly. I am saying this because a child does not understand where the mother goes. A child above five or six years needs to be connected more to the imprisoned parent. This is the time when…
Hon. Brighton, remember you only have one minute left before you proceed. You thought you had eight minutes when you only had five. I wish to recognise, in the Speaker's Gallery, students from St. Vincent De Paul Boys Primary School in Kitutu South, Kisii County. We also have pupils from Baringo Primary School in Kuresoi North, Nakuru County and St. Nicholas Primary School, Imenti Central, Meru County. They are welcome to follow the proceedings of the House this morning. Hon. Yegon.
During the discussion of the Motion, we realised that most of these children are in circumstantial situations. They found themselves in such situations because the father killed the mother, the mother killed the father or their parents have been jailed for one reason or the other and have found themselves in a situation where they cannot continue. We need to develop special schools for such children to manage their The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
trauma. Most of them are psychologically traumatised. The children that we see on our streets are a result of this. I will come up with an amendment Bill to enhance the social protection measures and to add something to the correctional kitty. Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Thank you. Hon Members, the time for this Motion is spent, and the Question will be put at the next available time for a decision. We now move to Order No.15.
Hon. Machua Waithaka. Is he in the House?
Yes. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, aware that Article 43(1)(a) of the Constitution provides that every person has the right to the highest attainable standard of health including the right to health care services; further aware that the relationship between health and education plays a significant role in school attendance rates; concerned that the negative effects of poor sanitation such as parasite infestations, particularly among school children lead to anaemia, stunted-growth and other salient problems which in turn lead to low school attendance and impact education standards; recognising that according to research, school-based deworming is one of the most cost effective interventions that provides a huge range of holistic and social benefits, such as increased school attendance and healthier kids who do better in school, while utilising already existing school structures in administering deworming treatments to school pupils; recalling that previous programmes conducted by the Ministry of Health in partnership with a non-governmental organisation called Evidence Action have only been piloted in a few selected counties and that the deworming efforts have been uncoordinated and dependent on external support with no clear policy or budgetary framework. Now, therefore, this House urges that the national government, through the Ministry of Health, develop a national policy on deworming school-going children as a crucial part of mainstreaming healthcare access in the country. Hon. Temporary Speaker, intestinal parasitic infection is regarded as a serious health public problem and amongst the most common infections affecting human beings in the world. According to WHO worms infect more than one-third of the world’s population. When Kenya started this programme in 2009 only in some parts of the country, there were about 5 million children suffering from intestinal parasitic infections. In 2021 alone, a total of 2.1 million aged between 2 and14 years were successfully dewormed by the Ministry of Health in the Western parts of Kenya. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Standards, Economic Survey 2022, we have a total of 10.3 million students in primary school and a total of 3.7 million in secondary schools. This, therefore, means that we have a clear policy on how to do it. We can actually deworm more numbers and, therefore, ensure more children have access to affordable health care. Article 43 of our Constitution guarantees a right to the highest attainable standards of health which is a state of complete physical, mental, social and emotional well-being and not merely being without disease. The objective of this Motion, therefore, is to ensure that the Ministry of Health comes up with a clear national policy that will see that school-going children are dewormed on a regular basis so as to keep them safe while at the same time ensuring that The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
they stay focused in their studies and that intestinal worms, which are common to children are got rid of. Deworming means getting rid of the intestinal worms which are categorised as roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms. These worms in school-going children cause many problems such as anaemia, stunted growth, impaired cognitive development, poor and short memory and all these lead to low school attendance. According to WHO, it has been proven that deworming increases school attendance by 57.5 per cent. Regular deworming programme will, therefore, reduce absenteeism in our schools. It will also reduce class repetition and above all increase test scores and other learning outcomes. In a ripple effect, this will keep our children focused in school. Deworming treatment will, therefore, improve not only the health and concentration in school for children but will also set them for a very bright future. We cannot develop as a country without a well educated human resource. Quality education is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that were developed by the United Nations in 2015 to act as a blue print through which the world will become a better place. It is, therefore, important to put in place measures that will keep our children in school. Deworming is one of those measures. Education is the fulcrum of all other sectors. It is impossible to achieve our agenda as a country if we do not remove educational barriers that we are currently facing such as intestinal parasitic infections. It should be remembered last year during our First Session, the House approved the development of a School Feeding Policy, a Motion that was introduced by Hon. Elsie Muhanda. Should the Ministry of Education implement it, it means that students in all our schools will be able to have a meal in school. While we appreciate it, it is important also to ensure that our students are dewormed regularly to ensure that they are in good shape and health. While in Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) yesterday in Nyeri, the President indicated that we will be having community health promoters who will be going to every village to make sure that our people are healthy. If this Motion is passed, which I believe will be, it shall marry very well with the one that the President is proposing so that we have many health promoters together with the deworming programme in our primary schools. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I beg to move the Motion. I would like to ask Hon. Dorothy Muthoni Ikiara, to second.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to second this very important Motion. I want to thank Hon. Machua Waithaka for bringing this on the Floor of this House. Kenya is a country that is developing. The fact that a majority of our infrastructure including sanitation is not very well taken care of translates to the problem that we are having of deworming. Intestinal worms are primarily transmitted through contaminated soil or physical matter. In rural, pre-urban and informal settlements, there is inadequate sanitation. Human waste and faeces can contaminate the environment including the soil and the water that our children take on a daily basis. children playing or walking bare foot in contaminated areas, can easily contract the worm by ingesting the eggs or the larvae of the worms. It is very evident and research has it that Kenya showed that school-based mass deworming decreases absenteeism of our school-going children by 25 per cent. It is important to note that when school-aged children go to schools, they have no boundaries. They use the same facilities, they walk bare-footed, they do not regularly wash their hands and hence this problem is very prevalent in our schools. Based on this, it is important that children are regularly dewormed so that they can stay in school for a longer period. One important aspect of regular deworming is that it ensures that the retention of our children in school is maximised and the time of going to hospital is also reduced because very few children will go to hospital because of contracting worms. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, it is very evident because the Corona period…
On a point of order, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Points of order are asked for using a very simple process. You press the intervention button then I will see you. I cannot see you. What is out of order?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for being gracious. I think the machine is not working. The Speaker’s Rules provide for the manner in which a Member should dress while in this Chamber. The Member for Mogotio Constituency just walked in very casually dressed in a manner that is not decent and that does not represent the manner in which Members should dress. Because, Hon. Temporary Speaker, you do not have eyes, I want to bring to your attention that the Member for Mogotio is inappropriately dressed. I seek your kind indulgence because this is not the precedent of Members elected in this House.
Where is the Member for Mogotio?
I will give this chance to the Member who was on the Floor of the House to finish her contribution and second the Motion. Then we will deal with the Member for Mogotio.
Thank you for your protection, Hon. Temporary Speaker. Before I was interrupted, I was saying that it is scientifically proven that we had lesser hospital visitations during the Covid-19 period because there was regular washing of hands with soap and water. Based on that evidence, we know that hygiene is key to very many things. I want to say that the school-based deworming programme is an effective and cost effective programme that is easy to implement. It also offers a reliable evidence-based data on how the government can contribute to this policy change. The national policy on deworming school-going children will ensure that stakeholders undertake detailed planning to support a successful roll out of the deworming campaign and maximize the number of children dewormed on a yearly basis. It will provide all the relevant ways for stakeholders at every level—the district level, sectoral level and cluster level—to ensure there is clear guidance on their roles and responsibility when this exercise is being undertaken. If there is a national framework on this programme, implementing partners are well involved, and resources availed, it is important to note that this programme will be very regular. We will ensure that school-going children return to school. I want to underscore the fact that there is a deworming programme in schools even today. However, we do not maximize or attain a level that can help achieve intended results because it is not regular. I support this Motion and say it is very timely. It is the very high time this House supports this important Motion so that a proper deworming programme is put in place in our schools. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I second.
Thank you very much. Before I propose the Motion for debate, Member for Mogotio, the Hon. Speaker made a Communication regarding dress code sometime in March this year. I would like to read for you part of what the Speaker communicated. The Speaker communicated that proper dress code for men means a coat with a collar, a tie, a long-sleeved shirt, a pair of long trousers, socks and shoes or service uniform. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I can clearly see that you are, indeed, very well dressed. However, your smart dressing does not meet the Rules and the Speaker’s Communication because I can actually see your vest at the neck from where I sit. You could talk to Hon. Kaluma or Hon. Otiende. They will tell you how to wear what you are putting on today in a manner that meets our Rules. Therefore, I order that you exit and get properly dressed then come back.
Member for Mogotio, I want to proceed with the business of the House. Just for the record, you did not have the collar. That is all you need to have and you will be properly dressed. Member for Mogotio, there are too many tailors down Embassy House and around the area. You could get there then you come back. Order, Member for Mogotio.
Hon. Rindikiri Mugambi of Buuri Constituency.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. I wish to say that the health condition of our children, particularly those in rural areas and in slums, need to be taken care of. Worms enter our bodies through many different ways including through the food we eat, playing in contaminated conditions both in schools and outside schools, and through the skin. This is a very important Motion because it seeks a deliberate intervention from the government through the Ministry of Health. It is true that we have had uncoordinated programmes in the past. Therefore, this Motion is coming at the right time. We need to have a deliberate policy to address deworming. Deworming is not among our school-going children only. It is also for people like us. I also went for deworming a month ago. Deworming is a serious medical intervention among our population. We have not focused on it for a long time. We have had various focuses on diseases like tuberculosis, small pox, chicken pox and others. This has been neglected. Therefore, if we have this policy in place, it will address the issue of the health workers, medical supplies and equal distribution. We should also involve other sectors of the economy because we want to know the kind of foods supplied to our schools. Some foods are not very safe and carry diseases including worms. This policy once put in place will address the issue of sanitation in schools. Some children go to deplorable washrooms that are not conducive in a school environment. Water is also in short supply and its quality has never been checked. Preparation of food falls below standard hence worms get into the food, water and hands of our children.
It is high time the Government came up with a policy. I thank the Government for joining together with county governments and bringing services closer to the people. The Kenya Kwanza Government has agreed in every 100 people in the constituency, a health services officer is attached. They will be carrying out examinations of various condition affecting the population which can be eradicated. I am aware a Bill will be brought to Parliament on a food safety authority which will control the quality of food.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I want to thank my friend Machua for bringing this Motion and urge Members to support it because it directly affects the children in the gallery. We need to take care of… The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Member for Buuri, we wish to join you in welcoming pupils from the Catholic Church Mission, Mitoone Primary School, Buuri Constituency, Meru County. Take your seat, Member for Buuri. We have students from Kinyach Primary School, Baringo North Constituency, Baringo County; Father Martin Boyle Primary School, Tinderet Constituency, Nandi County and Olbutyo High School, Chepalungu Constituency, Bomet County. We welcome them to the House this afternoon, to follow the proceedings. I request the next speakers to join me in welcoming the students. The Member speaking next is Hon. Mohammed Adow of Wajir South Constituency.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I rise to support the Motion by Hon. Machua Waithaka because it very smart, timely and deals with the problem afflicting many societies in this country. Deworming children is not only an intelligent and smart move but linking it to education situations is a smarter idea because of the benefits of large-scale deworming.
This could be the magic bullet we have been looking for to obtain a healthier society. Many times, school going children bring some of these nasty worms with them, pass on to their parents, siblings and the community they live in. That is why I believe this is a great idea and if put into motion will result into healthier children and societies. This is because worms cause a number of ailments like stunted-growth in children and many other problems which affect their learning. It also means more wages for millions of casual labourers who might have contracted worms from their children. That is why there is research that supports mass deworming for children which is working in many places. I am in support of this Motion.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Hon. Naomi Waqo, Member for Marsabit County.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to this very important Motion touching the lives of our school going children. I also want to thank Hon. Machua Waithaka, MP and congratulate him for thinking about the future of our children, which is quite important to all of us.
The children in the gallery can see we are concerned about their future and for those who have advanced in age - their grandchildren. We know very well that thread worms in school kids spread very easily. They are common in every school and when children have colds it spreads very fast from schools to the homes and affects the entire family. This has been happening for many years. We also know this because growing up we were affected by these worms. Some of us did not have the opportunity to go to hospital and get proper treatment but through the grace of God we are here today. Many children are in this state today and this Motion should be implemented. Worm infestation causes anaemia in children who lack enough food. It also affects their growth and other silent problems affect their education. The only way to have a healthy society is by taking care of our children. If they are unhealthy their future and dreams are shattered. We should give this all the attention it deserves and specific health workers can be identified and sent to various schools to work with them and ensure deworming is done on timely basis. So, our children do not suffer from worms. We also know very well that majority of our schools especially those far from cities or in rural areas are not very developed. Where I come from children are exposed to many challenges because schools lack good structures and facilities like toilets which are in a deplorable situation. This means children can easily get diseases. School facilities must be improved and health workers attached so they can deworm on timely basis. The Ministry of Education must put enough money for the children. Parents must also ensure hygiene is maintained like cutting finger nails, taking regular showers and encouraging children to maintain cleanliness. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
If one child gets sick at home, the parent has a responsibility of making sure the child is treated. Hon. Temporary Speaker, I support this Motion. If we want a healthy society, a future and good performance from our children, we must give this the good attention that it deserves. Thank you.
Thank you. Member for Igembe North, Hon. Taitumu
Thank you, I rise to support this important Motion on deworming of school children.
Worms are a common problem in our country, not only to school going children, but also grownups. It is, therefore, important for the well-being of our people. Deworming boosts children’s immunity, control infections and also increase nutritional uptake
Join me in welcoming students of Mbauini Secondary School, Lari Constituency, Kiambu County. They are welcomed to follow our Proceedings this Afternoon. Member for Mombasa, Hon. Zamzam Chimba.
Asante sana Mheshimiwa Spika wa Muda. Mimi kama mama, ninaunga Hoja hii ya leo mkono ili watoto ambao ni vipenzi na roho zetu walioko shuleni, waweze kupata dawa za minyoo. Ninakumbuka tukiwa wadogo, tulikuwa tunapewa dawa ambazo ungeketi vibaya, ungepata mnyoo ambaye ni mdudu mrefu tena wa kutisha ametoka. Tulikuwa tukilia siku hizo lakini kwa sasa, mambo yameendelea kiteknologia na madaktari wanafanya kazi yao kwa kasi. Kuna dawa nzuri ambazo watoto wakila, wale minyoo wanasagwa ndani ya tumbo ilhali mtoto anakaa vizuri. Elimu ya watoto wetu imetatizika kwa sababu watoto wengi wanatoka katika familia maskini na hawapati lishe bora. Watoto wanapoenda kucheza kwenye mchanga, wanakula matope na maisha yao ni duni... Naibu Spika wa Muda, wazazi wao wanashindwa hata na senti za kuwanunulia dawa za minyoo maanake wanaishi katika maisha ya uchochole; mama anashindwa, anunue chakula ama dawa ya minyoo?
Unapata watoto wanakuja shuleni wakiwa wamefura tumbo, wametokewa na mashilingi kwenye uso na kujikunakuna na kutatizika kusoma. Mtoto kama yule, hawezi akasoma vizuri na kwa hivyo, ile hali inafanya damu ikosekane mwilini maanake, wale minyoo The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
wananyonya sana hali inayofanya tumbo ifure. Kila wanapoingiza chakula kwenye tumbo, minyoo wanang’ang’ania hiyo chakula; na ndiposa, unapata mtoto akiwa na afya mbaya, nywele nyekundu na kila unapoangalia sura yake, achekwa na wenzake mpaka wanapata ile
shuleni maana wenzake wanamuona kana kwamba si mwenzao.
Ninaunga Hoja hii ya leo mkono kuwa shule zetu kupitia Wizara ya Afya, zinaweza kutoa hizi dawa ili watoto wapelekewe shuleni, watumie, ndio wapate afya nzuri ya kuendelea na masomo yao vizuri wakiwa na furaha, ili na sisi tutoe madaktari, marais, viongozi na watu wa tajriba kubwa kwa Taifa hili kwa sababu mtoto atakuwa amestawi katika elimu, a mefocus darasani na matokeo yatakuwa mazuri. Sehemu kubwa ya Bajeti ya Taifa hili imekuwa ikienda kwa vitu ambavyo si vya kusaidia sana. Kama mama ambaye ako na watoto sita, wakati mwingine ninapotelea Bungeni ama kazini mpaka ninasahau kuwadeworm watoto wangu kwa sababu niko mbioni nikitafuta hali ya maisha.
Watoto wakienda shule, iwe ni shule ya kibinafsi au ya Serikali, ninaomba wachukuliwe kwa usawa. Kila mtoto shuleni apewe hii dawa ya minyoo. Tunaomba hizi dawazipelekwe kwenye shule zote maanake wanaambukizana hayo maradhi shuleni na akikuja nyumbani, anaambukiza wenzake. Kwa hivyo, inakuwa ni kitu kinachoendelea kwenye jamii. Ni furaha yangu kama mama nikiona wanangu waking’ara na kusoma kwa bidii. Watoto hawapaswi kuwa na minyoo katika shule ili Taifa hili linawiri kuanzia kwa watoto mpaka sisi wenyewe. Kama mama anayesimamia Kaunti ya Mombasa, ninapigia pondo mjadala huu wa leo. Watu kule nje wanasema mimi ninachapa Kiswahili hapa; ninawaambia kuwa watu wangu wa Mombasa wanafuraha nikizungumza nao kwa lugha ambayo wanaielewa zaidi; sio kuwa sielewi Kingereza, lakini ninazungumza lugha yenye watu wangu wanaielewa Zaidi. Kwa hivyo, wana Mombasa, huku Bungeni, tunasukuma Hoja hii ya dawa za minyoo ziletwe kwenye shule zetu ndiposa watoto wasome kwa furaha. Asante sana, Naibu Spika wa Muda.
Very well said, such a graphic description of the worms and how they affect the body. This chance goes to the Member for Turkana, Hon. Cicilia Ngitit.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute to this Motion. Secondly, I would like to thank the Mover of this Motion for bringing it in such a timely manner. This is a Motion that should be supported by all mothers and fathers because a child is a product of the two. The Member who moved this Motion must have had an encounter with the holy spirit of God. This is because, some of us who come from the North encounter other problems like poor feeding, lack of water and other diseases and hence we become vulnerable. Hon. Temporary Speaker, in fact, according to research in this Report, the worst numbers are from the Northern region. Some of these problems are perpetuated by other issues. For instance, lack of water. Worm infestation go hand in hand with poor hygiene, and there cannot be good hygiene without water. In our regions where there is no water, it becomes a riddle to tell people to maintain hygiene.
Secondly, there are detergents. Washing your hands without a detergent is just like inciting germs or worms. In the North, cases of malnutrition are mostly caused by worms’ infestation. Anaemic cases, impaired development, poor school performance and all these evils that come with worm infestation are manifested in pupils from the Northern region of Kenya. All these are pointed towards lack of water. Most of our schools lack water. I also want to talk about the treatment that has been suggested by the Member. There is need to start deworming programmes. As a mother, I have been deworming my children after The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
every three months. After every three months, you are supposed to deworm children. As the Member for Mombasa said, we forget our duties as mothers because of our busy schedules. Therefore, deworming programmes should be started in schools after every three months. Medications for deworming are very cheap for this Government to afford, and should be biased towards the regions that are really affected. The Government can do a detailed research on the most affected areas and come up with efforts to address the problem.
There is also another suggestion by the Member; improved sanitation and hygiene. This starts with installation of water. In our areas, water is a problem and, therefore, if one wants to address such matters, they should first supply water and then detergents. In doing so, we will achieve the hygiene and sanitation to address the worm menace. On health education, this should include barazas and public gatherings to teach our parents how to cut the nails of their children, how to wash hands before eating and all that. When I was in school, we were taught how to wash hands. Washing hands is not just what we think it is. There is a procedure. There is a way someone is supposed to wash hands starting from one point to another so as to eradicate germs in our hands. Hon. Temporary Speaker, there is also the nutritional support. Most of these children that have been infested by worms are not well nutritionally. So, for the Government to intervene, there is need to work out a nutritional support programme that can include school feeding programmes that are so deliberate in balancing…
Give her one minute.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for the extra minute. I was concluding. The last point is about nutrition. The Government can work out a nutritional support programme that is so deliberate and biased on sorting out malnutrition that has been caused by worms. While there are too many malnutrition cases, the ones caused by worms can be sorted out in a specific way. I know nutritionists and officers who deal with sanitation issues understand all these. With those few remarks, I want to again thank the Member for this Motion. It is like he had the Northern region in mind when coming up with this Motion.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker.
Thank you. Hon. Members, join me in welcoming students from Githure Primary School, Gichugu Constituency in Kirinyaga County and pupils from Kiamanyeki Primary School from Mwea Constituency, Kirinyaga County. They are welcome to follow our proceedings this afternoon.
The Member for Samburu, Hon. Pauline Lenguris.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for giving me this chance to add my voice to this important Motion that seeks to take care of our children. Children are the most vulnerable to worms’ infestation because their immunity is developing or yet to develop. Untreated worm infestation prevents our children from healthy growth. Worm infestation has caused poor nutrition among our children. It has also reduced the capacity of our children to concentrate and learn because if they have been infested by worms, they miss school and stay at home or go to hospital to seek treatment. Why are we saying it is important to deworm our school going children? Deworming in schools will help increase the little ones’ nutrition uptake and management of infections like anaemia, which is a very serious disease that affects children with worm infestation. It also helps in reducing worm infestation that occurs in the community. You know that once a worm infects one child, it is easily transmitted to many other children in the community and even to the parents. And as one of my colleagues has said, we come from different regions in this country. There are regions that children suffer because of lack of nutrition. They also suffer because of poor The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
sanitation and lack of water to take care of their hygiene. Therefore, these conditions mostly predispose our children to worm infestations. It is also important to deworm our children because it lowers the chances of hospitalization and admission to hospitals. This is because once these children are infected, they miss school to go and seek treatment. We have also been told here that some parents cannot even afford to buy medicines for deworming, leave alone hospitalization of the children. The suggestion by the Mover of this Motion is very important. We have seen most of our children suffering; they miss school because of worm infestation. We have also seen signs of worm infestation whenever we visit our children in schools. And our children and even teachers might not know these signs. Many of them have sore and painful tummies. Some of them have lost weight and are irritable. There are some who will tell you that they experience nausea while others have seen blood in their stools. Some pupils will present poor immunity. Therefore, this kind of programme will help in improving the health of our children. It will also help with the retention of our children in school. Studies have shown that once this programme is rolled out in schools, it will help in reducing absenteeism by 25 per cent. If we introduce this kind of programme in our schools, many of our children will be retained in school. We also want to encourage the Ministry of Education to take care of the nutritional value of our children. As it has been said by one of the Members here, some children do not even get food at home. We encourage the Ministry to provide nutritional value in terms of the school feeding programme. Deworming should be started in all schools. We hope that this House will set aside a budget for this programme to be rolled out in all schools. As I conclude, I also encourage the Ministry of Health to roll out this programme. It should incorporate it with the Universal Health Care Programme that is going to be rolled out in the whole country. It should ensure that this programme is introduced in all schools and will be done as recommended.
Thank you. Let us have Hon. Jackson Kosgei.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I wish to congratulate the Member of Parliament who has introduced this Motion on the subject of deworming of our children. Apart from it being a constitutional right for our children to access the highest level of health facilitation possible, it is also a moral right that parents and institutions of Government participate in building a strong future generation.
It has been said that the present generation is a trustee of the future generation. Deworming of our children is part of the health facilities that should be given. As my colleagues who have spoken before in support of this Motion, I think the two ministries concerned; The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health should converge in expanding the services. They can also involve the Ministry of Interior and National Administration so that children from all over this country, especially in areas which are marginalised or disturbed by banditry to access such services.
We also have another population. In our country, we have about 720,000 or so refugees from various countries seeking asylum or trying to find a peaceful environment. The ministry, in conjunction with WHO, should make sure that children growing up in those places access the same services.
With that, I support the Motion.
Thank you. Member for Mumias East.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I want to begin by thanking the Mover of the Motion. As we know, deworming is one of the key issues that affect most children in the rural schools which we represent. If this kind of deworming is not The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
done, our children become prone to even chronic diseases. I believe that by moving forward and implementing this programme for all the children in our institutions, it will be a major boost in enabling them to concentrate in class. Lack of deworming will affect the performance of children in our institutions.
As Members of Parliament, as much as we are supporting this Motion so that we can facilitate the Government to implement the deworming programme, we also need to make sure that all our primary schools are well-equipped to facilitate learning. As a Member of Parliament, I should be more focussed on the issues of health concerning our children such as putting up toilets in our schools. The National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) Board should allow Members to even construct more toilets in their institutions. This will boost the health of our children even as we ensure the Government deworms them.
Hon. Temporary Speaker, I support the Motion fully. Thank you.
Member for Embu County.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker, for the opportunity. I also rise to add my voice to this important Motion that has been brought to the House by Hon. Waithaka. I wish to state that it is the right of every person to access good healthcare. When we talk about this Motion on National Policy on Deworming of School Going Children, this is not only about the school going children, but even grown-ups and Members of this House. When was the last time you dewormed yourself? It is stated that both children and adults should, at least, deworm every six months. That is to say twice per year. When I stand to support this Motion, I know that as much as it is the right of every one of us to access good health care, the most vulnerable children are those in the rural areas, especially in the slums and very poor institutions. That notwithstanding, the issue of deworming cuts across. It is not a respecter of the poor or the rich. Our children whether in the rural areas, slums or in the villages, mingle with the upper-class children in their schools. They will also be affected. As we task the Government to ensure that this programme is rolled out in our schools, we also need to have water in the schools so that there can be handwashing culture in our various schools whether in the rural or urban areas because the issue of deworming cuts across. I know failure to deworm leads to poor concentration in school. Their feeding, immunity and nutritional uptake will be compromised. I want to support this Motion by stating that the Government should set aside some budget to ensure this deworming exercise is carried out across all the primary schools in the country. In our homes as parents, we need to take the first responsibility to ensure that our children and our parents go through deworming exercise, at least, after every six months. As I finish, Hon. Temporary Speaker, I want to state that the Deputy President yesterday in Sagana State Lodge indicated the need to incorporate community health frontiers. When this programme is rolled out, it can help in the villages to administer deworming. Therefore, I wish to support this Motion on this programme of deworming to be established through the Ministry of Health and to be rolled in our schools. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Speaker. I support.
Before the Member for Kwale takes the chance, let me recognise and welcome pupils from Aiyebo Primary school, Baringo North Constituency in Baringo County; Karunga Primary School, Gilgil, Nakuru County; and and students from Nzukini Secondary School, Masinga Constituency, Machakos County. They are welcome to follow our proceedings this afternoon and in future. The Hon. Member for Kwale.
Asante sana, Mhe. Spika wa Muda kwa kunipatia fursa hii. Mimi ninaunga mkono na kumpa kongole mjumbe mwenzangu Mhe. Machua Waithaka kwa kuleta Hoja hii mbele ya Bunge hili. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hili ni swala ambalo ningependa lishabikiwe na wabunge wengi, waume na wake katika Bunge hili. Tunatambua kuwa kuna shida kwa sababu ya umaskini uliokita mizizi katika jamiii zetu Kenya nzima. Ninapigia upato sehemu yangu ya Kwale nilikotoka. Eneo lile la Kwale au gatuzi la Kwale lina sehemu za uchochole na umaskini mwingi kwa jamii zilizoko pale. Nikimwangalia mtoto wa shule ambaye mzazi hawezi kununua hata kiatu, je ataweza kumuondoshea minyoo ama kumfanyia deworming yule mtoto wake? La hasha, haiwezi. Ningependa huu mpangilio ambao tunaulilia sana upatikane wa wanafunzi kufanyiwa zoezi la kuondoa minyoo au kufurushwa kwa minyoo. Ni bora jambo hili liweze kupatikana katika shule zote za Kenya. Tukiangalia shule nyingi pale Kwale ninakotoka, hata maji shule hazina. Wanafunzi wanapotoka pale tunajiuliza mikono yao hua wamejipanguza na nini au wamefanya nini. Anatoka pale mtoto anakwenda kula chakula, matunda ambapo hajasafisha wala kuosha mikono yake ipasavyo. Mhe. Spika wa Muda ninaipigia upato na ninaunga mkono Hoja hii. Taifa hili kupitia kwa Wizara ya Afya tuweze kuwafanyia watoto wetu shughuli hiyo, watoto wa miaka kumi kukuja chini, ni jambo ambalo litatuvutia sana sisi Wabunge. Litatujenga na pia tutaweza kudhibiti afya ya watoto wetu. Ukiangalia unaweza kuona mtoto amekonda kabisa, unafikiria ana maradhi gani ambayo yanamsibu lakini ni sababu ya kuwa afya yake haijaangaliwa na tunajua mtoto mdogo lazima aweze kutibiwa minyoo ndio apate afya nzuri kwa maisha mazuri. Ndio kesho na yeye aweze kusimama mbele ya Bunge hivi, aweze kuwa mtu mkubwa au Gavana lazima apate afya mzuri. Ninamuunga mkono aliyeleta Hoja hii iweze kuratibiwa na kufikiriwa na Serikali yetu ya Kenya. Asante sana. Ninaunga mkono Hoja hii.
Asante sana, Mhe. Fatuma Masito. Hon. Members, the Mover of this Motion will be called upon to reply the next time it is slotted in the Order Paper.
Hon. Members, the time being 1.00 p.m. this House stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2:30 p.m.
The House rose at 1:00 p.m.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Clerk of the National Assembly Parliament Buildings Nairobi The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.