Nairobi — Dotting mothers, dedicated fathers and eager youths braved the unforgiving sun on Saturday to attend the Kibra Bursary Open Day with hopes of walking away with part of the Sh6 million that has been set aside from the Constituency's Development Fund (CDF) to educate those in need.
Several tents dotted the DC grounds with chiefs, CDF committee members and religious leaders all on the ground to vet those in genuine need of school fees.
A total of 99 bursaries were set aside for each of the five wards in the constituency with each child walking away with between Sh7,500 and Sh15,000 of the money.
Bursaries for day secondary school were pegged at Sh7,500 while students in secondary boarding schools, universities and tertiary institutions got Sh15,000.
"Today we are hoping to distribute Sh6 million of the CDF bursary and we hope to give a total of 495 bursaries by the time we finish today. We are however working towards getting to 550 bursaries at a later date," said local MP Ken Okoth.
However going by the large number of those who turned up for the open day and given that they were supposed to share a paltry Sh6 million Okoth admitted that the allocation would not be enough to sustain the education needs.
Some of those who went with hopes of securing their children's future left empty handed.
"I appeal to the national government to make sure that constituencies with high poverty levels such as Kibra get more CDF allocation but I am also appealing to the private sector to come out and help because what we are giving is not enough," he said.
The constituency also hopes to come up with merit scholarships, build more secondary schools in the area and set up a polytechnic, all in the spirit of investing in education so as to lift the area's poverty index.
Okoth further urged the government to make budgets that factored in the needs of the poor arguing that it was necessary to educate Kenyans.
"We need to make budgets that are people friendly and that consider the poor and not just the rich because spending money on education is an investment," he argued.
The MP decided to run an open process together with other leaders in the area so as to reduce any chances of an unfair process in addition to reducing the anxieties that would be involved if the process was done behind closed doors.
The open day was also meant to remove any middlemen from swindling desperate people into parting with some cents under the guise that they would qualify for the bursaries.
"People wanted an open bursary process because they didn't think bursaries were getting to them. They did not want any brokers or something like that," explained the legislator who was accompanied by his colleagues Aghostinho Neto (Ndhiwa MP) and James Rege (Karachuonyo).