By Reuben Olita
The county Government of Busia Department of Sports, Culture and Social Services in collaboration with the National Youth council (NYC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) held a two day meeting with the aim of finding out the opportunity for young people and how they can be involved throughout the process.
In her opening remarks, the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in the department, Dr. Janet Manyasi revealed that when she took over the mantle of leadership in the Department over a year ago statistics given to her were appalling and there was need to help the youth urgently.
“Poverty is one of the components that has affected our youths in Busia County and this has led to human trafficking from the county to other counties or other areas which needs to be addressed with immediate effect,” she said
She called upon NYC and UNDP to fast track the Busia Youth Policy which will go along way in helping the 65 percent youthful population in Busia realize their dreams and the County Government will invest in the youths since various structures will be laid out in the policy.
The UNDP focal point person who is also the Chief of Staff, Robert Papa thanked UNDP for working with the county in every aspect, revealing that 77 percent of youths are poor and 87 percent of women are poor too; the combination of a youth who is a woman and poor is high.
“We need structures, policy and legal frame work that will ensure the youths are empowered. They also need to be equipped to help in skills transfer ; people need to change the notion among the youths that agriculture is for the poor and involve them,” Papa advised.
He further said radicalization among youths must be stopped by the community/ society sitting down and discussing on ways to stop crime and drug abuse among the youths.
“Youths must be involved in decision making and elect them in the county assembly and effective partcipation in the different programs will help them,”he said
Viridiana Wasike of NYC revealed that the functions of NYC Act 2009 is to act as a voice to the youth, promote and popularize National Youth policy, and policies affecting the youth, mobilize resources to support and fund youth programs and intiative, regulate and coordinate activities and intiatives relating to the youth among others.
Mary Njoroge of UNDP said they came to support the County Government and will organize a five-day workshop to allow the youth air out their views on the policy.
The two organizations promised to help the county in formulation of a youth policy before end of March 2022.