As Kenyans were looking forward to celebrating Madaraka Day last year, Mariam, 38, was thinking of leaving her matrimonial home to start life on a clean slate.
“I was not happy in my marriage,” Mariam, who only wishes to be identified by her first name, says.
“On most days, my ex-husband came home in the wee hours of the night and even then, we would quarrel and sometimes fight.”
Although she wanted to walk out of her abusive marriage, something kept her from leaving — her worry about her daughter’s future.
“I was a housewife, and I wondered how I would pay for her school fees since she was in Standard Eight; and my ex-husband had made it clear that he would not have anything to do with us if I moved out.”
Armed with nothing but hope, she eventually decided to start life on her own.
As luck would have it, four months later, the government introduced free public day secondary education.
Mariam immediately enrolled her only child in a local day secondary school.
“Although it isn’t free in entirety because I still pay for her meals and uniforms, it is manageable,” she says.
Mariam is one of the many Kenyans who have benefited from the progress made towards the realisation of Vision 2030, whose development blueprint marks 10 years this weekend.
The blueprint was launched in June 2008 by then President Mwai Kibaki, with a secretariat comprising representatives from both the public and private sectors.
To mark the milestone, the secretariat launched a one-year national campaign with the tagline "naona mapya, na bado", in an event hosted in Mombasa last weekend.
According to Dr James Mwangi, the chairman of Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board and Equity Bank’s Chief Executive, the three Vision 2030 pillars — political, economic and social — have been a success and the country has achieved most of the goals it set for itself.
However, he noted that there is still more work to be done in education and training, health, environment, water and sanitation, youth and human resource development and population, urbanisation and housing, sectors which fall under the social pillar.
“When we launched the Vision 2030 blueprint in 2008, we only had two referral hospitals, which have since increased to 98.
"Caesarean section can now be done in counties like Moyale and Mandera. Seventy per cent of children were delivered in health facilities during the last three years as compared to 39 per cent in 2005/06,” he said.
Dr Mwangi noted that efforts are being made to improve the quality of education and to curb exam cheating in schools.
Dr Mwangi also dispelled the notion that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda has replaced the Vision 2030 goals.
He noted that the four pillars are part of the Vision 2030 plan.
The Big Four pillars — security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare — were unveiled on December 12 last year.