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Economy

Street families to obtain IDs in new registration drive

Street families at the globe cinema roundabout
Street families at the globe cinema roundabout in Nairobi: This will be the first time that street dwellers will have access to identification cards, enabling them to participate in the electoral process. FILE PHOTO | GERALD ANDERSON  

Street families will for the first time have access to acquiring national identity cards as the government steps up efforts to increase voter registration.

According to the Principle Secretary for Interior and Coordination, Dr Karanja Kibicho, the State - through the national registration bureau - will take the registration process to street families including those that dwell at dump sites.

This will be the first time that street dwellers will have access to identification cards, enabling them to participate in the electoral process should they decide to register as voters.

However, the drive will not be an easy one as the largest percentage of the street dwellers lack necessary documents required in the registration process.

Usually, for one to receive a national ID, they need a birth certificate and a copy of a national ID of either parents, documents that they may lack since many have been born and raised on the streets.

However, the process may necessitate some changes in the methodology and documentation used to determine ones citizenship.

Dr Kibicho said that the ministry is looking to use a different formula to prove the citizenship of street families.

“Most of these people are born and raised on the streets and so were their parents meaning they lack documents like parents’ identification cards or birth certificates. This has barred them from getting State recognition yet they are genuine citizens by birth,” said the Principle Secretary.

The registration is also expected to help in allocation on funds which is mostly based on the population of an area with the PS saying that the street families have been enslaved by poverty and lack of fair opportunity.

“These people are practically living in slavery without a place to call home,” added Dr Kibicho.

The registration is expected to kick off at the Dandora dumpsite in Nairobi later this month and will extend to other sites which street families have turned into their homes.

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