From my observation, Makueni County has been in the good books for sometime. It is one of the counties that has a very active website.However, there are a few but critical social issues that i feel have to be addressed promptly. During one of the sessions the youth talked about drugs and gender based violence. The tonations expressed how deep this issue are affecting the lives of the youth in this county. Children have grown up and are still being brought up in violent environments. Women suffer in silence because there are factors that hinder them from getting justice. A woman is forced to stay in an abusive marriage because the man is the sole breadwinner of the family so she cannot leave without clarity on how she will survive with the children, it is difficult to to report and follow up cases because family members influence the process and culture binds her to that marriage on the basis of having children. Drug abuse, especially alcohol is a major factor contributing towards this type of violence. Children who grow up in such an environment suffer psychological torture including those whose mothers have walked out of such marriages because they miss the attention of both parents. Some have to live in extreme poverty because the mothers are not economically empowered. The children have difficulty in concentrating in school because they are not settled. Most people are also not aware of the procedures on how to go about such cases legally.
Drug abuse is another critical issue in Makueni.The youths are hooked to commonly abused drugs such as alcohol and bhang. This affects s the general well being of these promising young people. Every sector in Makueni County has a critical role to play starting from the individual citizens. They have to accept that these are critical issues that need serious and immediate attention. The citizens hence have to be one anothers keeper. The administrators have to craft a way on how to engage the community, religious leaders, health sectors and other social institutions on how to find solutions through mutual contributions from all these sectors.
By Irene Asuwa, Volunteer Organization of Africa Youth-Kenya