I have been busy for the last couple of months going round the country mapping and profiling Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in 15 major towns in Kenya. It is amazing what Non Governmental Organizations and Community Based Organizations(CBOS) are doing on the ground The database of all the CSOs mapped so far is at over a 1000 and now I am back again to the towns to form Local Urban Forums in all the towns. As I go back I hope that these forums will emerging sectors such as governance, gender and vulnerable groups up the ladder since most of the CSOs seem to concentrate on the other sectors and not the two.
I have noted that people have no clear-cut knowledge on what gender is. Most people know that gender is ensuring that the girl Child’s rights are not violated. There is inadequate involvement of the women in planning. Women still think that governance is a man’s issue to tackle. The youth also lack in civic engagement and most of the governance issues are not gender sensitive. Weak structures of implementation is clear that in most towns the policies do not get implemented fully. The society members on the other hand have experienced societal fatigue, they have lost the zeal to continue working on the pressing issues. Project duplication by the key actors has also caused neglect of the major issues at hand. The stakeholders’ laxity in following up projects has also caused neglect of the governance issues affecting the people of Mombasa. Poor networking has also caused most CSOs and the relevant stakeholders a lot of insight on the key governance issues.
There has been minimal debate on the way forward by and I hope this will act as a catalyst. After all, whose town is it?