State sends officers to counties to speed up birth certificates

A parent in Nyeri displays a newly issued a birth certificate. file PHOTO | NMG
A parent in Nyeri displays a newly issued a birth certificate. file PHOTO | NMG 

The government has dispatched officers to counties to step up the online application of birth certificates, which will see the period of obtaining the documents cut from two months delays to 20 minutes.

Director of Civil Registration Services Department Janet Mucheru on Monday said the officers will arrived in counties will support the initiative.

The process had been tested and rolled out successfully in Nairobi.

Ms Mucheru admitted that the department had been experiencing an acute challenge in the supply of birth certificates.

“Coming at a time when mop-up registration exercise is on, the shortages have resulted in huge backlogs of applicants, which have not been fully processed,” she said.

The department is currently undertaking a mop up registration exercise for registration of children who were previously not registered.

The exercise started in February.

To deal with backlogs that may arise in the future, Ms Mucheru said the Ministry of Interior plans to link registration of births to maternal and child health care.

This will enable children without birth certificates to be registered when they are undergoing immunisation.

The government, she said, will also require that enrolment in schools is pegged to pupils having a birth certificate.

Education Principals Secretary Bellio Kipsang recently alluded to this move when he told the media that although it was illegal to stop any child from registering in schools, there will be a campaign to ensure all children reported with the registration documents.

“This is the best way to ensure that our NEMIS data has all document,” said Dr Kipsang.

Ms Mucheru stressed the need to tie school enrolment and the registration of the Kenya National Examinations Council tests to possession of birth certificates.

The new automated system has been credited to the registration of one million children in the NEMIS system over the last one week in public schools alone.