For a long time, West Pokot county residents would attend meetings and rallies convened by political leaders to listen to them in anticipation of some token thereafter. They would arrive in numbers, sing on arrival of the leaders and sit awaiting the speech and token. Unfortunately, this is a common practice in most locations in the county.
With the introduction of TI-Kenya’s Humanitarian Aid Integrity Programme (HAIP) in Kongelai, the residents were sensitised on their rights and mandate to hold leaders to account in the dispensation of their duties. They further selected social auditors who they tasked to audit projects on their behalf.
On 31st December 2016, the area Member of Parliament, Member of County Assembly and Ward Administrator convened a public forum to end the year and usher in the New Year. The moderator of the forum announced the programme and planned speakers but the community interjected and insisted that one social auditor in attendance must share the social audit findings. The moderator gave in to these demands and one auditor in attendance was tasked to speak on behalf of the team. He shared the work, successes, challenges and sought feedback from the leaders present.
The Ward Administrator in his speech pledged support for and cooperation with the social audit group to ensure their good work is sustained. The area MCA appreciated the citizen awareness engagement by SIKOM Peace Network and support from TI-Kenya. The area MP in his remarks, commended the auditors and promised to act on the challenges that were highlighted by social auditors including ensuring the deployment of a doctor and a nurse to Kongelai dispensary.
In December 2017, another doctor was indeed sent to the dispensary and the residents of Kongelai are forever grateful to the social accountability initiative by TI-Kenya.