How to Unite Kenyans Using the Jamii Bora Initiative (Jambo Homes). In Kenya we live today, there are so many problems that we face as a society. These problems appear so complex and complicated when tackled from an individual perspective. But if they are tackled with neighbours and friends, they seem too easy and light.
Some of these problems are;
- Domestic violence (Husband and wife problems)
- Widows and widowers inheritance problems
- People living with disability problems (PWD)
- Insecurity problems (Harassment by goons and sect members)
- Juvenile delinquency and truancy among our children
- Lack of development in our areas
- Moral, social and societal degradation due to disunity among the people. etc
The above listed are just those that I can remember but many more problems exist.
The Nyumba Kumi Initiative is a very good model of how to unite society. It has all along be used to tackle the security problems, but this model can also be replicated to all other aspects of our life! We have to be our brother’s keepers in all our aspects of life.
So let us agree that we need the Nyumba Kumi Initiative to continue operating. But while we are at it, we can add some more roles and scope to it, so that on top of the security problems, we can solve many other problems amongst us.
When we expand the mandate or operations of the Nyumba Kumi Initiative, this means that we will need to remove the numerical no. 10 (Kumi) limitation in the name. This is to make the entity to be formed to be more vibrant, operational and recognizable by the governmental and non-governmental entities.
Let us call this new entity the Jamii Bora Initiative. This entity takes its formation and operation structures from Nyumba Kumi.
So, let also say that the homes that will belong to one Jamii Bora be called a ‘Jamii Bora Home’. This phrase Jamii Bora can be abbreviated to ‘Jambo” from (JAMii BOra). A JAMBO Home can have between 50-100 homes.
Benefits of the Jamii Bora Initiative (Jambo Homes)
Now, the residents will use these JAMBO Homes to caucus, debate, brainstorm and bond together so that when members get into problems, they have their immediate neighbours who will come to their rescue.
The JAMBO Homes will act as the demand side while the other state and non-state actors act as the supply side of the economics in Kenya. This means that when the government and non-government entities want to supply goods and services to the common mwananchi at the grassroots level, the JAMBO Homes will come in handy.
These JAMBO Homes will be given a boost by the National Addressing System because each home will be identified easily.
Domestic violence is on the rise in our society. This is because the perpetrators know they can go scotfree because people just don’t care about their neighbours anymore. It is everybody for himself, God for us all. When these JAMBO Homes are formed and given the mandate to become our brother’s keeper, as stipulated in the Act of Parliament, it can become a good deterrence to domestic violence and also a means of enhancing communication between the couples.
Since we want JAMBO Homes to be a conduit for solving our problems, we would like their existence to be anchored in the law. Therefore there should be a discourse for public participation where views and ideas from the public are collected and collated. The findings will then form a bill that will be introduced in parliament and eventually form an Act of Parliament.
The reason that they need to be anchored in the law is that it is through the JAMBO Homes that the government, NGO’s parastatals and any other entity will make sure that goods and services they offer reach every person even in the village in a structured way.
For example, if the government is recruiting for the NYS, Police Service, KDF or for National Census or immunisation, they may say that each JAMBO Home countrywide has a slot. In this way, it will be easy for people to know that recruitment is fair and they have not been discriminated upon or some regions are being favoured.
Another example, If the government wants to connect electricity or water to every household in Kenya or part of Kenya, it will be very easy to do so. This is because the JAMBO Homes members will have collectively done their part as advised by the government and what will be left for the government to do is to do the final connection.
There are some of the benefits and we all know in our hearts that unity is strength.
The salient tenets of this Jamii Bora Initiative is that;
- The formation of the same is not government-driven but people-driven as outlined in the Act of Parliament.
- The act of parliament will cap the number of member homes to not be e.g. less than may 50 families and not more than 100 families. The exact number can be gotten through public participation.
- The membership has to be from that same geographical area. For you to belong to a JAMBO Home you must have a physical home or business there.
- The JAMBO Homes will be formed in such a way that they fit perfectly in the Sub-location (or whatever name it is called in the new constitutional dispensation). This will help them to fit in the subsequent formal governance structures like location, wards, sub-counties, counties up to the national level.
- These JAMBO Homes will therefore become the basic units through which the government and other non-state actors will be targeting in distributing its goods and services.
- A person can belong to several JAMBO Homes as long as the other families or members acknowledge him/her. This can be so because one can have several businesses or families in different areas.
- There will be no remuneration of the JAMBO Homes officials. This is because the JAMBO Homes are neither income-generating entities nor government-funded. They are voluntary entities just like the current Nyumba Kumi Initiative leaders.
So, now that we have understood the JAMBO Homes, let us explain other greater benefits of adopting and joining them.
The JAMBO Homes members will be able to face common problems together such as
- Kenya Power electricity connections,
- Jointly requesting for services during public participation forums
- Enforcing moral, educational and societal ethics among members
- Coming together in aid of a member in need
- Jointly fighting a common aggressor e.g. if there is an industry emitting waste to their area they can fight it easily. etc.
For kenya to develop socially, the Jamii Bora Initiative is the best way to go. For additional ideas, feedback and opinions, you can write them in the comments section below.