The Big Four Agenda is a four-point plan by President Uhuru Kenyatta, outlining what his government will focus on during his second term of office (2017-2022) to improve the living standard of Kenyans. They are: food and nutrition security, manufacturing, affordable housing, and universal health coverage.
The president had promised to dedicate energy, time and resources to ensure the success of the projects. The agenda will ensure an ordinary Kenyan is employed or has a reliable source of livelihood, owns a home, has enough food and is able to access universal healthcare.
Affordable housing: Affordable housing implies the development of adequate, standardized and well-spaced, house with continuous supply of clean water and electricity. The houses are to be located in decent environment and be reliable and available to both low class, middle class and upper-class in the society. Housing is a basic need after food and this it’s fundamental to human. The constitution recognizes the right to accessibility and adequate housing and reasonable standards of sanitation in article 43 (1) (b). The president target to have established attest 500000 houses units by 2022. The houses should be affordable enough to enable the occupants meet there basic needs.
Food security: Food security exist when all people at all time, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutrias food that meet their dietary needs and food preference of an active and healthy life. Food as a basic human want is an essential factor for consideration on a developing country.
Manufacturing: It plays an important role in driving economic development by stimulating and sustaining high productive growth, boost g employment opportunities both for skilled, semi-skilled, and hence build competitiveness through export
Universal health coverage: It is that by 2022 all persons in Kenya will be able to use essential service they need for their health and wellbeing through single unified benefits package, without the risk of financial catastrophe.
Effect of COVID-19 pandemic in the relation of the big four agenda
To the affordable housing COVID 19 pandemic has got effect in the following ways:
- The pandemic has caused recession to both the government and contractors.
- It has made importing of the required materials for establishment of proper housing more difficult
- COVID 19 has caused reduction of labour forces and disruption of supply chains which is expected to translate to longer development periods.
- It also lead to slowdown in building approval as most of the government offices were closed for long
- It led to reduced funding to the sector due to the general risk aversion during the pandemic.
- Little to no collection as land registry was close hence bank and mortgage buyers not releasing funding in time.
To food security COVID 19 pandemic had the following effects
- It has led to the disruption of supply chains, chronic and acute hunger rise due to various factors including conflict, social economic conditions, natural hazards climate change and pest.
- Widespread increasing in food insecurity, affecting vulnerable household in almost all the area.
- Led to reduced consumption thus lower show in calorie intake and compromised nutrition threatening gain in poverty.
To manufacturing COVID 19 had the following effect:
- The pandemic aggravated the drop in manufacturing output in the subsequent quarter’s pf the year 2020.
To universal health coverage COVID 19 had the following effect:
- The risk of COVID 19 ha diverted the attention of the government from UHC to the sailing of the COVID 19 left potholes ensuring safety.
- The health workers have been exposed to dangers of fearing to handle equipment due to COVID 19.
Kenya’s limitation to recover from the social-economic shocks of COVID 19.
Kenyan economy mostly relies on import and export yet COVID 19 minimizes movement of goods outside and within the country. This led to loss of customer connection. Kenya depends on agriculture as main source of income. Recession caused by COVID 19 has led to rise of the country’s economy making agriculture dormant and difficult to practice, because the cost is high and unfriendly. The country’s economic decline has led to more loans from various investors and nations. Achieving the big four agenda by 2022 when the country has no resources enough to sustain daily activities is dimly impossible. Most of the development contracts are given to foreign investors which profits their mother country instead. The country has inadequate personnel, manpower and trainers in various fields such as engineering and medical sectors. Rapid growth in population especially in towns makes achievement of the big four agenda difficult to achieve by 2022.
Remedies and Way Forward
Agricultural inputs should be available and cost friendly to boost agricultural sector. The boost in agricultural sector has a positive impact in the country’s economy.
The government should initiate contracts with local investors within the country to plough back the profit within the country.
The government should create awareness in career guidance to motivate yearly intake on various sectors such as medicine, this increases personnel’s in those sectors
For rapid growing population, the government should educate on importance of planning for basic wants of a family.
By Newton Omondi is a student at Embu University