The Rush for Birth Certificates

Mt. Elgon sub-county has been hit by acute shortage of birth certificates since the beginning of this year.

Area civil registrar, Sammy Ogado, said there has been a shortage of the registration materials for the past three weeks after the national government delayed in providing the same as requested.

We have been waiting for the certificates for the past three weeks, the lapse has already created a huge back log with over 1000 applicants waiting for the essential documents, Ogado said.

The remarks by the registration official follows an outcry by the members of the public who claimed that they have been incurring extra costs frequenting the offices at the sub-county headquarters in Kapsokwony to confirm if their documents are ready.

I have been to this office more than three times in a bid to obtain a birth certificate for my child only to be turned back each time with the same story that the documents have been dispatched from Nairobi and would be arriving any time soon, lamented Tom Kemboi.

Residents who have to travel from far flung areas of the sub-county including those from Cheptais district complained bitterly claiming they were incurring over S,000 for every trip they made in search for the document.

The Registrar said his office was not to blame as he noted that the problem is being experienced in other sub-counties countrywide.

He further noted that demand for the birth certificates had significantly shot up as it was required during the registration for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations.

He however appealed to the applicants to be calm even as he promised to initiate measures including working overtime and on the weekends to ensure that pending applications are cleared upon the arrival of the documents.

Meanwhile in Bureti County Hundreds of birth certificate applicants jammed the Bureti registration offices to get the document.

Bureti sub County registrar of Births and deaths Mr. Alloys Omwenga said his office has since ran out of the birth certificate printing papers and the only thing they are doing is to give those seeking to register for national examinations registration numbers of the documents they expect which they take to schools to be used in the registration exercise and later on come back to be issued with the original birth certificates.

Omwenga said that birth certificate applicants have being turning up in hundreds daily for the document which is required in schools before standard eight candidates register for the KCPE examinations.

Elsewhere, Parents and guardians seeking birth certificates for their primary school children have pleaded with the ministry of education to extend the registration deadlines as it was taking long to acquire the vital documents.

The parents, who have jammed Nyahururu based Registrar of Persons offices in a bid to beat the February 20th deadline, to have their children registered with the education ministry, have decried the slow process taking them two to three weeks to get a birth certificate.

We fear that our children will be locked out in the exercise as the process is sluggish and mered with corruption, noted Grace Wanjiku a parent.

Area Education Officer Justus Musyoka confirmed that the requirement to have the children get a unique identifier through the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) had necessitated the jam.

Source: Kenya News Agency