Machakos, November 16TH 2016: Orphans, older vulnerable women and people living with disabilities are groups most likely to be left behind as the government implements the sustainable development goals unless it finds ways to address salient problems they face, a grassroot forum organized by the SDGs Kenya Forum, HelpAge International and the Catholic Dioceses of Machakos held in Kangundo, Machakos County on Wednesday disclosed.
Participants at the Forum noted that although the government strives to provide bursaries and cash grants to needy orphaned children, older persons and the persons living with disabilities, the systems used to meet their needs has many assumptions and loopholes that victimizes or leave out needy cases.
According to Florence Syevuo the National Coordinator SDGs Kenya Forum, sustainable and people-owned and led development is key to ending poverty in all its forms in the 47 counties in Kenya.
Speaking at the Forum, Syevuo noted that “The Leave No one Behind” dialogues offer collection and implementation of grassroots-felt needs.
The Forum urged all levels of government to be inclusive in the planning and implementation of the sustainable development goals, particularly on those goals that touch on ending poverty in all its forms, access to water, access to health for all, sustainable education and food security.
According to participants at the Forum, among the grassroot communities, women and gender issues are still pertinent. The Kangundo residents disclosed that issues of access to water, food insecurity and security of women are priority. “Women are raped as they go to fetch water or firewood since water points are far from their homesteads.
Among children who live with disabilities, many are being excluded from schools because their parents opt to take children they consider normal to school and decide to hide or leave behind those with disabilities.
They urged the government to involve more women in positions of power and administration. “Where women have been involved in administration, there have been positive responses,” said Ms Roseline Kihumba, HelpAge International network and partnership advisor.
Adopted in September 2015 during the 70th United Nations General Assembly, the SDGs comprises of a set of 17 goals provides a framework for development actors to collaboratively advance various issues such as environmental sustainability, clean energy, education, food security, alleviate poverty, peaceful and inclusive societies, advance gender equality, health including sexual and reproductive health and rights and also address inequalities.
The SDGs also address cross cutting areas that aim to realization of sustainable development globally: economic prosperity, social welfare, political development and environmental sustainability.
With its broad inputs, the 2030 Agenda, opens access and inclusivity to ensure no one is left behind and that all development actors prioritize on beneficiaries as key actors.
SDGs Kenya Forum provides a national space for a more structured and coordinated CSO engagement with government officials, citizen and development partners to share concrete suggestions for implementation of the 2030 Agenda and implement strategies for involving all actors including the media, academia, private sector fostering citizen mobilization for collective action.