Elgeyo Marakwet County has a helpline which assists local residents channel feeback.
Through the number, 0704220220, members of the public can call to find about the progress of a project, to compliment or complain about issues affecting them.
As a way of enhancing citizen engagement through communication, the customer care line which is also avail¬able on WhatsApp and Short Message Service (SMS) was introduced as a channel for real-time citizen engagement and rapid government response. The helpline is available from 8AM to 5PM. When a complaint is received, it is forwarded to the concerned department where is¬sues raised will be handled and a feedback is given within the shortest time possible.
Through the helpline, local residents can now easily reach out to their government officials to voice their concerns, particularly those in rural areas where it takes long to reach a ward office or any closest county government office.
Some of the complaints received and acted upon include one made by Joseph, a caller from Kapsowar Ward who complained that the construction of Sisiya Health Centre staff houses had stalled and the contractor had been absent from the site for long.
The complaint was recorded and forwarded to the health department. The department concurred with the claim made by Joseph and reported that the project was indeed behind schedule. The contract was terminated and the facility through its Project Management Committee (PMC) was asked to do the remaining works. The initial contractor would be paid for the work he only did. A few days later, Joseph called to compliment the department for taking swift action.
Ever since the inception of this line, complaints have been handled without the citizen necessarily travel¬ling all the way to the county headquarters. Also, the number of visitors who have been queuing at the Office of the Governor to channel grievances has significantly reduced as most of them raise their concerns through the helpline.
Whereas compliments received through the helpline are limited and are basically positive remarks or appreciation to the government after a service is rendered, the many complaints also help the County Government improve on service delivery. The helpline has also created an avenue where a citizen can propose ways on how issues are to be handled and possible solutions to issues affecting them.
The helpline also serves as an information source.
“The line has been of great help not only to the residents but to us. We have received feedback and I urge anyone who wants to pass any information or complain to my office to use the line. Any complaint will be held in confidence and will not be used in any way other than resolving the issue raised,” assured the governor.