Since Kenya’s independence Kamkunji constituency which was first represented by one of Kenya’s founding fathers, Pan- Africanist and statesman Tom Mboya, has never had a woman Member of Parliament (MP).
Maureen Arua Alago an Early Childhood Education tutor wants to make history by being the first woman MP for Kamkunji constituency.
Born at Pumwani maternity hospital and grew up in California estate in Nairobi’s Kamkunji constituency Maureen, touched by the poor state of the area affected by poverty, poor healthcare and sanitation, radicalization, crime and illiteracy.
“It’s a high time a woman was given a chance to show the difference in the constituency’s leadership which has been governed by men all along,” she said.
She says:”It is my dream to make Kamkunji constituency a hub for business, trade, education, science, arts, culture, innovation and health care.
As a woman with practical respect to human rights and all religious backgrounds, Maureen believes that the youth, women and children of Kamkunji deserve equal opportunities and access to social amenities despite of creed, political affiliation or background.
“This manifesto by definition is my public declaration of my principles and intentions; for contesting to humbly serve as a Member of Parliament for Kamkunji constituency in Nairobi County,” she declared.
My vow is therefore to;
I envision to make Kamkunji, a safe, clean and developed constituency that can provide opportunities for herself and all her children.
My mission is to engage with my constituents in ensuring Zero tolerance to corruption and misuse of public resources in a bid to restore public confidence in administration of local Government. I will ensure improved, faster and transparent accessibility to public information, services and resources that will be utilized in accordance to the provisions of the laws of Kenya towards the improvement of life.
1. Education, Literacy and Information sharing
Education is the foundation of any organized society and ensuring quality education will be at the core of my focus. Towards this end, I will work with the other education sector players to improve the overall education infrastructure and also ensure that we have the requisite teacher-to-student ratio.
To promote education for all by ensuing that there is a fair distribution of bursaries for the less fortunate , introduction of a scholarship proramme and school feeding initiative so that the poor can access learning.
2. Employment for the Youth
The biggest challenge for the youth and more specifically the people of Kamkunji Constituency is finding gainful and sustainable employment that can cater for the rising cost of living.
Create employment and empowerment opportunities by starting job creation programmes and a fair distribution of available jobs.
Access to basic healthcare in Kamkunji is still a challenge to majority poor and increasingly, the low income earners who have to juggle to make ends meet and face the demands for high cost of living.
I will ensure an increase access to affordable healthcare especially to women and children. Make sure that health facilities are well equipped with medical equipment, drugs and medical personnel.
Come up and push for legislation and health policies that will ensure that Wanjiku (common mwananchi) gets quality health care.
4. Public Security & Crime
I would like to emphasize my commitment in ensuring tight security and discipline observed at all times by the police force and other agents of security in a bid to bring them closer to the people.
The police will no longer be used a tool to harass the public but instead, every police station within the constituency will be required to know their neighborhood as well as fostering a good working relationship with the people they serve. Without justice, there’s no peace.
Ensure that there is a proper lighting system and enhance community policing and Nyumba Kumi initiative
5. Business & Economy
The backbone of any human settlement is the economy and I will work in close collaboration with local businesses to develop business development and growth.
I will promote urban agriculture by starting an egg bank project among the groups as well as ensuring that free spaces are used by introducing hydroponic type of agriculture hence encouraging groups to use free spaces to produce food.
I will institute table banking to provide cheap loans for women and youth to start and maintain business.
6. Art & Culture
We need to duly invest in the creation of new art exhibitions and cultural shows including theater, dance and film. We shall work on a corporate level on the documentation and preservation of our history through institutionalized documentation of events.
Above all I will put in place policies geared at expansion and growth of youth groups through drama and music industry so that we tap into the overflowing talent exhibited by our youths so as to make them engage in more productive activities.
Towards this end, we will periodically engage in talent search initiatives and consequently network our talented youths with performing centers, events and promoters that will ultimately bring out the best of their talents
Will closely work with the metropolis planning personnel, the environmental ministries and other stakeholders towards ensuring that our residents enjoy the required threshold of safe, healthy and environmentally friendly living.
I will lead monthly community clean up exercises in each ward to restore a clean dignified environment
Ensuring proper sanitation and availability of water in all areas of the constituency.
Promoting sports activities among the youth by ensuring we have enough and well maintained sports facilities both outdoor like stadiums and indoor like halls.
I will set up sports academies in Kamkunji and lobby for sports-based scholarships and support existing sports programmes.
Will upgrade existing playgrounds in the constituency to acceptable levels to host various sports disciplines.
With the commercialization of sporting activities and more opportunities for professional athletes outside the country, many young Kenyans are engaged in sports as a way of keeping fit, earning a living and improving their standards of living.
Based on this realization, will come up with a well-coordinated sports sector that can be able to improve the sporting skills of the youths to provide alternative sources of employment thus benefiting the welfare of the unemployed young people.
9. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
I am exuberantly committed to adopting non-discriminatory policies that embrace equal opportunities. This will be evident in the employment opportunities created and distribution of resources. Our womenfolk will not only be empowered through initiatives, some of which are ongoing but I will also ensure that women and Youth are integrated into administrative and elective positions in our constituency.
The second born child to the late Walter and Ruth Oyuga schooled at Racecourse Primary School before joining Asumbi Girls’ High School before completing her Kenya Certificate of Secondary (KCSE) in 2003.
Tragedy struck in her family, a week after receiving her KCSE results that she lost both her within a pan of one week and was unable to pursue college education despite passing her exams with flying colours.
She took over the roles of her parents by taking care of her siblings by providing for them before later joining Dean’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) College and graduated with a Diploma.
Maureen who is married Julius, later pursued further education and attained Diploma s in Travel and Tourism Management, Computer Applications and Customer Service.
She has been involved in various community development projects in Kamkunji by being involved in empowerment, championing for the education of young girls who drop out of school due to teen pregnancies, mentoring boys’ in this crime prone area where many have been radicalized by terrorist group Al-Shaabab and has been a mother to many motherless children.
As a qualified teacher, she has taught in different learning institutions including Savanah Junior Academy, Happyland schools, Mwatate Academy, Unity Primary, Eastleigh High School as a trainee, New pumwani primary as head of preschool and lastly United States Education Center.
“Early childhood care and education (ECCE) nurtures caring, capable and responsible future citizens,” according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO.)
Maureen wants to use her early childhood teaching experience to nurture and care for Kamkunji into a model constituency to develop and uplift the living standards of its constituents.