Children aged six years and above will now have identity cards.
The IDs known as a Minor’s Huduma Card will be issued by the government under the Huduma namba programme.
The smart card will be printed by the government and issued starting this year as the government embarks on the mass distribution of Huduma smart cards under the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS) programme.
According to Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, the six-year-olds will get the cards because that is the age when a child’s facial biometrics are formed enough to be captured.
The Minor’s Huduma Cards will be capped at below age 18 and will contain a child’s unique identifier, in this case a number. Children born after the roll-out of the project will get a unique number at birth.
They will use the number when registering in school, getting a Minor’s card, and even when applying for the national identity card. That mean they will be identified with the number for the rest of their lives — and even beyond that as the number will also be on their death certificates.
Under this programme, Kenyans may find themselves using their Huduma numbers to not only access government services, but also make calls and do other businesses as it will be tied to other key services to curb crime.
Despite collecting data from 37 million Kenyans last year, the government has not been able to make use of the information to process Huduma cards due to court cases challenging the safety of the data.
However, Dr Kibicho said the suits have since been determined and the process of issuing of cards is back on track, and that Kenyans will start receiving them before the end of the year.