Almost 50 per cent of Kenya’s wealth is controlled by about 10 per cent of the population, a UNDP report has revealed.
The UNDP’s annual human development index 2019 report show that the poor in the country are increasingly becoming destitute while the few rich are increasingly living in lavishness, controlling over 48 per cent of national income.
The report released in Mid-December means that with a population of over 47 million-according to this year’s population census, 5 million people controls close to half the country’s wealth with little trickledown effect despite the impressive economic development numbers released by the government recently.
The report which majors on distribution of wealth and access to opportunities was launched in Nairobi on Tuesday and showed that 40 per cent of the bottom population received only 9 per cent of the national wealth. The report uses 2015 as the baseline of its data.
Further, the report ranked Kenya number 147 in terms of human development globally, explaining that the country was in the medium category.
Among the factors considered in the ranking included lost health expectancy, defined in the report as the relative difference between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, expressed as a percentage of life expectancy at birth. The country scored 12.6 per cent in this regard.
Another factor was the number of doctors and physicians per 10,000 people and the country scored 2 per cent. It also scored 14 per cent on the number of hospital beds per 10,000 patients. The three factors assessed the quality of health (care) in the country.
On quality of education, the report considered the adequacy of teachers and the depth of their training, especially for primary school education. On pupil teacher ratio in primary schools, the country scored 31 per cent but 97 per cent on the number of primary school teachers trained to teach. This show that while teachers receive adequate training to teach pupils at primary school level, there is shortage , meaning few teachers are straining to attend to many pupils.
On the quality of standard of living, the country is listed as grappling with unemployment, poor sanitation, scarce access to clean and safe drinking water as well inadequate internet perfusion.
The report show that 53.5 per cent of the people work as vulnerable employees. Vulnerable employees is defined in the report as the percentage of employed people engaged as unpaid family workers and own-account workers. The figure is given as a percentage of the number of total employment.
Moreover, 58 of the rural population in the country have access to electricity. On the population using at least basic drinking water sources, the country scored 59 per cent. The report defines this factor as “the population that drinks water from an improved source, provided collection time is not more than 30 minutes for a round trip,”
The indicator includes people using drinking water services as well as those using safely managed drinking water services such as piped water, boreholes, protected dug wells, protected springs and packaged or delivered water.
The last indicator is the population using at least basic sanitation facilities. It is defined as the percentage of the population that uses improved sanitation facilities not shared with other households.
The improved sanitation facilities listed include flush toilets connected to piped water, septic tanks or pit latrines among others. On this, the country scored 29 per cent.
With an overall ranking of 147 out of 189 countries, Kenya has the highest human development index in the East African region as Uganda and Tanzania are ranked at 159, Ethiopia at 173, Sudan at 168 and South Sudan at 186.