18 Apr
  • By Edith Shiku
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Why is There Massive Rural to Urban Migration by Murang’a Youth?

For Murang’a County to grow and develop the sectors of agriculture, education, health, infrastructure and tourism .Its young people need to continually give their time, skills and resources towards their growth. However statistics have shown that most young people on completion of their secondary school education leave Murang’a County for urban areas in other Counties. The move is usually either in pursuit of higher education or in search of job opportunities .DadaPower in conjunction with Shujaaz FM during one of the Vijana Dialogues sessions sort answers on why this is the case by engaging the young people present for this activity in a debate.

The debate had some youth passionately defend the idea that there were opportunities to be explored in Murang’a County. This group insisted that one could make a decent wage by living and working in Murang’a County. The other half were totally opposed to this idea and argued that for a person hailing from Murang’a to make it in life they had to either migrate to the metropolitan or other counties with “better infrastructure” in pursuit of their dreams or they were doomed to fail.

At the end of this discourse those in support of living and working in Murang’a carried the day with some caveats. It was argued as follows:

  1. Agriculture

Investment in the agricultural sector in Murang’a County is something that could be explored further. Murang’a despite having both good soils and climatic conditions that can support farming the sector is still struggling. The residents of the county do not see it as a viable source of income and farming has over the years been done in small scale to feed families and not to make money. If the farmers are well equipped with farm equipment, fertilizer and a ready market found for their products. Many young people can stay in Murang’a as farmers and earn an honest living.

Farming would help alleviate poverty, stop deaths caused by drought and utilize the land resource. The government would however need to construct feeder roads from villages to town centers to avoid spoilage of food while in transit to towns and find markets for the farmers products .Farmers would also have to be incentivized with products such as farming insurance.

  • Health

The number of hospitals in Murang’a County is not proportionate to the number of people in the County.Subsquently there are not enough health care providers to serve its population. If the County government increased the number of hospitals and dispensaries in the county they would not only create jobs for the youth of Murang’a but also have a healthier population.

  • Education

Murang’a County has higher institutions of learning including one university and multiple colleges. This however is not enough to cater for the large number of young people in this County. Some existing technical schools are not operational, this can be changed. Investment in   world class schools and universities will encourage young people to stay in the county and pursue their studies in these institutions.

  • Tourism

Murang’a County has tourist destinations such as the Aberdares mountains ranges and even historical centers. This destinations need to be marketed appropriately in order for both domestic and international tourists to visit Murang’a. A growth in tourism will spark economic growth in the county and create jobs.

  • Infrastructure

The roads network has grown over the years but there is room for improvement there are still areas that are in accessible by road .In this areas people have to walk for long distances before they get a vehicle and when it rains it’s impossible to commute .The County government can also start rural electrification and water connection programs with the support of the national government and well-wishers. This will encourage more young people to stay in Murang’a instead of moving to urban areas.

In conclusion it was noted that what the County government needed to do to have more young people staying within the County instead of migrating. This would lead to growth in its economy. To encourage more youth to stay the County government can create job opportunities for them and for those looking to venture into entrepreneurship; the County government can establish a youth fund that gives loan at favorable interest rates. The loan money is then invested in their businesses.

 A government that invests in its youth reaps good fruits and this narrative will be no different in Murang’a County. For further growth in this County, the interests and needs of the youth need to be met!

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