School Heads Instructed To Admit Learners Affected By Floods

School heads across the country have been instructed to admit their schools’ learners affected by floods without conditions.

Schools re-opened for the second term on May 13 following two postponements over floods that have ravaged the country since last month.

Speaking at Iftin Primary School in Garissa, where he led a tree planting exercise in schools in the area, Masini Ichwara, Director of Planning at the State Department for Basic Education, said that the same has been communicated to all head teachers across the country.

‘The schools’ heads are under instructions to accommodate all the IDP students in the nearby schools as the situation normalises. For now, let them come to school with the uniforms they have from the previous schools and start learning,’ Ichwara said.

‘We know parents have been affected by these floods, and they might not have the resources to buy new uniforms, and the extra cost will be a burden to them. That is why we call on the schools’ heads to bear with the situation, which is
temporary,’ he added.

The director said the Ministry of Education is doing everything possible to have all children go back to their respective schools disclosing that the emergency kitty that was promised by President William Ruto will go a long way in helping all learning institutions that were affected by the floods.

Ichwara, who was accompanied by senior regional education officials from North Eastern, also encouraged the school heads to enter the learners into the NEMIS systems so that capitation can be channelled to every pupil that deserves it.

‘We know that there is a problem with birth certificates. We encourage the local administration, especially the chiefs and the birth and death registration offices, to closely work with schools and parents so that these kids can be given birth certificates,’ he said.

‘The government has committed itself that capitation is being provided to every child, and therefore these children should be captured,’ he noted.

He also called on parents’ organisations and w
ell-wishers to support the school feeding programme, saying that the government alone cannot do it due to budget constraints.

‘I think as parents we also need to chip in in terms of giving food in kind for the kids to benefit. These are our children, and we all have a role to play in ensuring that they continue with their studies uninterrupted,’ he said.

In Garissa Township, Hyuga Girls and Bula Argi Primary Schools, which were the most affected by the floods, remain closed since the effects were severe. The students have since been transferred to the nearby Madarasa schools as a temporary measure.

Several schools, among them Young Muslim High School, Jaribu Primary, Kazuko Primary School, and NEP Technical College, were also hosting IDPs. They have, however, since been relocated to pave the way for learning to continue uninterrupted.

Garissa has the largest number of IDPs, totaling 21,770 across 12 camps. Among these are students who have been displaced from their homes.

On the issue of teachers’ shorta
ges, which has remained a point of concern from both teachers’ leadership and political leaders, Ichwara said that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) was working round the clock to address the issue, calling for patience from all stakeholders.

Adan Roble, North Eastern Regional Director of Education, said that all the schools in the region are now open and that learning was going on except for two schools, one in Garissa and another in Bura subcounty, which are still submerged in flood waters.

He said that children from the affected schools have been relocated to nearby schools where they will be hosted before the school’s infrastructure is repaired and reconstructed.

He said that in Wajir and Mandera, no school has been affected by floods.

Siyat Hussein Noor, Head Teacher at Iftin Primary, acknowledged the challenge schools in the region have had as far as acquiring birth certificates, saying this has a direct impact on school funding since they are not captured on NEMIS.

‘As a region, we are very mu
ch affected by this. Most of the schools are receiving less funds not because they don’t have the numbers in schools but because the majority are not captured on NEMIS,’ Noor said.

Noor, who is also the Kepsha Chairman of Garissa County, said that going forward, they will coordinate with other stakeholders, including the registrar of births and deaths and the chiefs, to make sure that the children get the birth certificates.

On the issue of the school feeding programme, the Head Teacher noted that it remained a big challenge since it was one of the things that mainly attracts students to go to school and expressed optimism that by next week things will be okay.

Source: Kenya News Agency

NGOs Boost Healthcare In Mandera

In a bid to improve the quality of healthcare in Mandera County, non-governmental organisations have stepped up to assist the county government.

The initiative received a significant boost with a donation from Action Against Hunger, in partnership with the Mandera County Government, which distributed a range of medical equipment to 18 facilities across four sub-counties.

The donated items included mother-child weighing scales, trolleys, sterilisation drums, infant-paediatric beds, nebulizers, foetal dopplers, thermometers, ward screens, examination lamps, pulse oximeters, suction machines, baby weighing scales, blood pressure machines, Ambu bags, fetoscopes, medical storage drawers, glucometers, examination beds, Mama kits, dignity kits, IEC materials, and life-straws.

The supplies were intended to enhance healthcare accessibility and strengthen the healthcare system, particularly at outreach sites and health facilities.

The equipment will be distributed in Mandera North, Mandera South, Mandera West, and
Banisa sub-counties.

The County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Health, Mohamed Ali Omar, received the items at the Mandera County Referral Hospital and expressed gratitude for Action Against Hunger’s support in improving healthcare access and outcomes for vulnerable communities.

‘Mandera County Government appreciates all NGO efforts towards improving healthcare services in the county,’ added CECM Mohamed.

The Coordinator at Action Against Hunger, Ali Bashir, emphasised that the primary aim of donating the medical items was to improve healthcare for the target community.

The healthcare system in Mandera County has been significantly impacted by recent rains, with the sub-counties of Mandera West, Kotulo, Mandera East, and Arabia being the hardest hit, affecting a total of 23 health centres.

The donation comes as a crucial support to mitigate the challenges faced by the healthcare sector in these regions.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Flood Victims Receive Sh3 Million Foodstuff, Non-Food Items

Residents affected by floods and mudslides in Narok South have received food and non-food item donations from Nairobi Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Temple worth Sh3 million.

The consignment was flagged off by Narok County Governor Patrick Ntutu, for the residents of Narok South and the neighbouring Maasai Mau Forest who were hit by mudslides.

Nunu Shangani, Arun Rabadia, and Prakash Pindoria led the temple mission, where they donated 210 mattresses, 210 blankets, 2 and a half sacks of Crocs slippers, 200 bags of Unga of five kg each, UHC milk 360 pieces, and assorted children’s food and juices.

‘We are here to bring hope and happiness to the families affected by the heavy rains amid the disaster menace,’ said Rabadia.

According to statistics given by Narok South Deputy County Commissioner Felix Kisalu, some 11 people died and over 2000 were displaced by floods in Narok South Sub County since the heavy rains began.

The County Executive Member in Charge of Administration, Coordination of Decentralised Services
, and Disaster Management, Josephine Ngeno, said a total of 1612 households have been displaced in the upper Ololulunga and Melelo areas bordering the Maasai Mau Forest and are sheltering in nearby schools and churches.

Speaking during the food distribution, Ngeno said other affected areas are Talek (300 households), Mosiro Irrigation Scheme (158 households), Oldonyo Orasha, Esupetai and its environs (324 households), Narok Town, and Mukuru (63 households), adding to a total of 2,457 people displaced.

The governor was accompanied by Narok South MP Kitilai Ntutu, Woman Representative Rebecca Tonkei, Speaker of the County Assembly Davis Dikirr, and members of the county assembly.

Source: Kenya News Agency

KNBS 2024 Economic Survey Report Launched

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) has launched the Economic Survey Report for the year 2024 with the aim of protecting economic transformation growth and ensuring the availability of quality data.

The Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury and Economic Planning, Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, said the report provides details that are of practical use to policymakers, researchers, and research institutes looking to invest in the business community.

Speaking at the launch in Nairobi on Monday, the CS added that the document also indicates data on outcomes, policy failures, and the measures that would be taken during the period.

‘The most important thing is not only to understand the data, but also to appreciate its outcome and suggest some improvement,’ he said.

Prof. Ndung’u noted that Kenyans have great expectations, particularly at this time when the nation is seeking ways to improve economic recovery while stakeholders are moving into a position to protect the economic growth transformation.

CS ackn
owledged the importance of the economic survey, saying that it has been adopted as a basis for measuring the economic performance of critical indicators for critical sectors which have been aligned with the Medium-Term for the years 2023-2027 borrowed from Vision 2030.

Ndung’u said that growth poverty reduction strategy is needed since it is consistent with the new ideas that will come, which call for ways and means of igniting strong growth and sustaining it.

‘What has been more prevalent in markets that have failed to ignite growth is actually a problem of institution failure. That again is not going to show in the statistics,’ he noted.

The CS said institution failure should be checked and the origin of the results established to avoid market failure.

‘We need to do more than what we are seeing because we need to go into a totally different trajectory, including faster growth, strong growth, and function in markets,’ said CS while supporting the domestic resources organisation.

He said that the ideas
to generate, manage the resources, and manage the markets that people work in have failed.

Prof. Ndung’u urged Kenyans to ignite and protect economic growth so that the nation could have sustainable development, noting that people should use the economic survey data for direction.

He commended KNBS staff for working tirelessly to make the production of the annual report a success and development partners for their financial support and successful development activities.

The CS urged all stakeholders to take collective action, protect what is right, and ignite economic recovery.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Gor Mahia Wins A Record 21st KPL Title

With three games to spare, Gor Mahia yesterday added a record-breaking 21st Kenya Premier League (KPL) crown when they battered Muhoroni Youth FC 3-0 at Sportpesa Arena in Murang’a.

The 2024 title was secured by goals from Golden Boot contender Benson Omalla, Boniface Omondi, and this season’s revelation, Austine Odhiambo.

In the match, the champions signalled their intent as early as the third minute with a goal by Omalla, which was disallowed after being ruled to have been offside.

Omalla scored again minutes before halftime, giving Gor a much-needed lead. Omondi doubled the lead just three minutes after halftime, with Odhiambo’s goal in the 65th minute sealing the victory.

Coach Jonathan McKinstry dedicated the win to all Gor Mahia fans, who he said have pushed them through each game of the season, and asked them to attend the remaining matches in large numbers.

He was ecstatic after winning a second straight title in his third season with the Kenyan giants after joining them in 2022.

Cabinet Secreta
ry for Information, Communication, and The Digital Economy, Eliud Owalo, Gor Chairman Ambrose Rachier, and his Muhoroni counterpart Moses Adagala were among the dignitaries who attended the match.

CS Owalo gave Gor Sh300,000 for their win, while Muhoroni received Sh200,000.

With this win, Gor, at 67 points, opened up a mathematically overwhelming eleven-point gap with their closest opponent, Tusker FC.

K’Ogalo will once again represent Kenya in the 2024-2025 CAF Champions League.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Pastor Ezekiel Mavueni Church A Boon To Kilifi Economy

The once sleepy Mavueni area in Kilifi County is now bustling and busy after the relocation of the New Life Centre and Church from Mombasa two years ago.

The church nestled in a 60-acre land along the Mavueni-Kaloleni road gave the area a new lease on life as worshippers from all nooks and crannies thronged the church for services under the leadership of Pastor Ezekiel Odero.

Apart from evangelism, Pastor Odero has initiated several income-generating ventures, including an International School and a business centre, to create employment and support the country’s economic growth.

Pastor Ezekiel Odero stated on Sunday, during the commissioning of the business centre christened Eden, comprising of a filling station, a service centre, a restaurant, a supermarket, and a hotel, that the investments aim to assist the locals, not for personal aggrandisement.

Boda Boda operators said the filling station will boost their businesses as it will reduce the distance to look for fuel. 1000 motorcycles were filled with S
h200 fuel at New Life International Energies.

‘When we came here, it was a deserted bush; even finding an eatery was not easy, but because of the needs of worshippers and locals, we had to initiate projects that will improve the economy of Mavueni and Kilifi,’ said Pastor Odero.

He added that many people are employed in business ventures, and if they do not invest, they will be preaching to hunger-stricken people.

‘As we deliver sermons, we must find a way for our congregants to make a living, which is our objective,’ said the pastor.

The church, he noted, can also play a pivotal role in the economic growth of a nation, not for worshippers to go hungry and rely on the government.

‘The role of the government is to create business opportunities; we all have a role in the growth of our country’s economy,’ he said, adding, that the church land was once a hunting place and locals are awestruck by the developments they didn’t envision.

Pastor Odero said some women working in business ventures informed him tha
t they thank God they no longer face food and school fee challenges for their children.

‘My aim is that in my country and the area where New Life has set foot, no one should sleep hungry,’ stated Pastor Odero.

He urged other churches to borrow a leaf by creating job opportunities for people to earn a living too. Odero emphasised that the projects are not for his benefit but for worshippers who have contributed.

‘The profit from the business will be ploughed back to the community to alleviate the suffering of floods and drought victims,’ he said.

According to Pastor Odero, the government’s economic policies are beneficial to the country. He is optimistic that the economy will improve.

Speaking at the same event, Pastor Pius Muiru of the Maximum Miracle Centre appealed to Kenyans to change their attitudes on church investment as churches in countries like Nigeria have invested in income-generating projects.

‘When such projects happen in other countries, we commend them, but when they happen in our own cou
ntry, we start to lament,’ said Pastor Muiru. ‘If you’ll be happy for someone’s growth, God will also uplift you.’

The Eden Business Centre, he said, will employ many people who will pay taxes for the development of the country. He lauded Pastor Odero for single-handedly transforming Mavueni.

‘It is not right for a person to be disillusioned when starting a project. When we came here, it was bush, but we have seen the development of this area,’ said Pastor Muiru, adding that the growth of the area is a testament to Pastor Odero’s dedication to empowering the local community.

On the Finance Bill, Pastor Muiru said the taxes on bread are a proposal that has not been implemented. He urged Kenyans to give their views in public participation forums that will be incorporated into the final report to be tabled in the National Assembly.

‘The President is not an enemy of the country; he is there to steer the country to prosperity. Indeed, the economy is not that good, but he has told us to be patient and reap bene
fits later. The country will tower above the neighbouring countries economically,’ said Pastor Muiru.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Youth Encouraged To Spearhead Menstrual Health Campaigns

Chuka University Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Gilbert Nduru has encouraged young people to be in the lead in championing menstrual health programmes and awareness within their communities.

Speaking during a menstrual health campaign held at Iruma Primary School in Chuka/Igambang’ombe Constituency on Sunday, Prof. Nduru noted that the youth were the right people to mentor their peers as well as provide information on menstrual health hygiene, adding that they were better placed to be understood by teenagers and young adults.

Prof. Nduru, who is in charge of Academics, Research, and Student Affairs, reiterated that peer engagements served as the best avenue to offer guidance and information on such programmes, citing that most young adults would be more convinced and comfortable to engage in such conversations with their peers.

‘Younger people are understood more by their peers than older people. There is a common understanding between age groups, and this can go a long way in improving the menstrual health
dialogue and awareness in society,’ he said.

Joy Kendi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the WazaDada Initiative, an outfit that advocates menstrual health, said girls face challenges in accessing information about menstruation and affordable and appropriate sanitary products and lack adequate guidance on menstrual hygiene management.

Through her initiative, she has been able to advocate and mobilise resources for the development of menstrual hygiene management as well as provide information and services to school-going girls and boys in Tharaka Nithi County.

‘WazaDada Initiative brings relevant stakeholders together to create awareness about menstrual health as well as give back to the community through the provision of dignity kits to both girls and boys. We are committed to involving boys in the conversation as a way of empowering them to be responsible and mindful of the girls,’ Ms. Kendi said.

According to Kendi, a lack of adequate guidance on menstrual hygiene management leads adolescent girls
to engage in transactional sex in order to buy menstrual products, since up to 65 per cent of women and girls in Kenya cannot afford sanitary pads.

A situation analysis conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2016 revealed that information about menstruation received from mothers was 87.7 per cent and 15.5 per cent from teachers, further revealing that 54 per cent of Kenyan girls faced challenges with access to menstrual health products, with 22 per cent of school-going girls indicating that they purchased their own sanitary products.

Chuka Municipality Chairman Gitonga Mutani, while giving his remarks, said that there was a need for more stakeholder engagement in the menstrual health campaigns, saying the county government is keen on ensuring departmental harmonisation in the supply of sanitary pads in the county.

‘There have been programmes by the government to offer sanitary pads to schools despite challenges in resources. The government is in the process of harmonising all key offices involved to ensure
these products reach all schools,’ Mr. Mutani noted.

The Menstrual Hygiene Management Policy 2019-2030 states that the County Department of Health has the responsibility to ensure that there is a dedicated budget for menstrual health management by including it in the County Integrated Development Plan, and ensuring the provision of facilities, services, and products in learning institutions, workplaces, and public spaces.

The Basic Education (Amendment) Act No. 17 of 2017 addresses the importance of access to menstrual products for girls in learning institutions, stating that the government shall provide free, sufficient, and quality sanitary towels to every girl in a public basic education institution who has reached puberty.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Narok South Flood Victims Receive Food, Non-Food Items

About 1, 000 families in Narok South Sub County have benefited from relief, thanks to the L-Square organisation, which has donated 11 tonnes of food and 50 bales of sanitary towels and blankets to vulnerable families.

The food and sanitary towels were given to residents of Ngoswani, Maji Moto, Ntuka, and Narosura areas, where people were hit hard by floods following heavy downpours experienced in the country recently.

Also distributed was relief food that included beans and maize, given by the government through the established disaster committees.

Antony Njoroge, a Director of L-Square, said the organisation is concerned that the people are suffering because of erratic weather patterns.

‘We are here to represent our president and vice president in California, who gave this donation. We are sorry for the disaster that occurred. We are hoping that you will rise again. Our motto is to help people to thrive, and that is why we are in this community today,’ he said.

Narok South Deputy County Commissioner Fel
ix Kisalu lauded the donations, saying the county had received above-average rainfall that caused floods and mudslides in the area.

He observed that 10 people had lost their lives, many farmers had lost their farmlands, and a number of livestock had been swept away by the floods.

‘There were 12 incidents of mudslides and 2800 families affected by floods during the three months during the season of heavy downpour,’ he said.

‘We are grateful to the government and other donors who have come to help the needy people in our society. We ask more people of good will to visit those affected and offer them help at this time of need,’ he said.

Mama Parakwo Enololoso, who benefited from the food, said her homestead was flooded due to the heavy downpour and destroyed many items.

She thanked the donors, saying the food will help feed her family for a week, and called on other well-wishers to come on board and help them.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Farmers Laud African Heads For Ending Donkey Slaughter Business

Donkey stakeholders have celebrated the decision by the African Heads of State to ban the slaughter of donkeys in the continent for the next 15 years.

The stakeholders drawn from Narok, Nakuru, Baringo, and Nyandarua counties who met at Uhuru Market in Narok town to commemorate the Donkey Welfare Day said the ban was a big gain for donkey farmers.

Dr. Benson Kibore, the Director of Farming System Kenya, recognised a donkey as a precious animal as it helps improve livelihoods for people living in rural areas.

The ban that was adopted at the 37th African Union (AU) Summit held in Ethiopia on February 18 this year was aimed at ensuring the welfare and sustenance of communities across Africa who depend on donkeys.

The director said the population of donkeys was dwindling, but with the new directive, the numbers of the beast of burden are expected to rise again.

‘Donkeys in this region will have enhanced protection following the new directive. The Donkeys in Africa will have enhanced protection from the devas
tating donkey skin trade, which was very rampant,’ he said.

Dr. Kibore called on donkey farmers to form groups where they can articulate the issues affecting them as well as benefit from training from his organisation.

Dr. Benard Njau from the Narok Veterinary Department said the ban was a major achievement for the Africans who use the donkey to transport their goods through impassable roads.

Dr. Njau said any person transporting a donkey should have a permit, meaning no donkey should be seen moving from one county to another without a movement permit.

‘Currently, the director of veterinary services has stopped the issuance of movement permits for donkeys so as to curb the animals’ trade. This will help the population of donkeys to continue increasing,’ he said.

The veterinary officer said all animals have a right to be guarded, saying any person who mistreats a donkey should be arrested and prosecuted in court.

‘A donkey should not be canned because it also has its rights. There is no time when this an
imal should feel pain. You should train your animal so that it can receive instructions without being mistreated,’ he reminded.

Narok Central Assistant County Commissioner Ali Shakur reiterated that they are keen on ensuring the movement of donkeys and the sale of donkey meat are not conducted in the county.

‘In the 2009 census report, the population of donkeys in Kenya was 1.8 million. The number decreased in 2019, and it could further decrease if the ban is not imposed by the African leaders, ‘he said.

Director of Programmes, Brookes East Africa, Elijah Mithigi, said his organisation supports donkey farmers to improve their livelihoods by training them to diversify their source of income.

During the celebrations, over 300 donkeys, dogs, and cats were vaccinated against tetanus and rabies free of charge.

Margeret Wambui, a donkey farmer from Baringo County, said many people who are not formally employed have been helped by a donkey to gain a livelihood.

‘Before, we would send our girls to fetch water i
n faraway places, which was not safe for them, but things have changed in modern days as we use a donkey to go to the river to bring enough water that can run for many days,’ she said.

Another farmer, Margeret Mpatiany, thanked the government for putting initiatives in place to protect the beast of burden and challenged the farmers to also collaborate with the authority to report any suspicious person who buys donkeys for slaughter.

‘During seasons of heavy rainfall, the elderly, sick, and children were being transported by donkeys to move from flooded places to safer grounds because no vehicle could access the area,’ he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Barasa Encourages Leaders To Unite To Improve Development

Kakamega County Governor Fernandes Barasa has called on political leaders to unite for the benefit of the populace.

He has urged the leaders to put aside their differences and work together to address the plight of Kenyans.

Barasa made the remarks while speaking in Malava Sub County over the weekend during a fundraiser in support of women and youth groups in the area.

‘We should collaborate in unifying the people of Kenya and its leaders in a bid to focus on development for our people,’ he said.

He also called on the leaders to respect President William Ruto, whom he said was a unifying factor in the country, and applauded him for the development initiatives that are currently being implemented in Kakamega and the Western Region.

‘The President and those in high offices must be respected. Politics is about tolerance,’ he said.

His statements highlighted the need for peaceful conflict resolution in the Country to promote unity and development.

He urged the County Government to work closely with the Nati
onal government as envisaged in the Constitution to realise development.

At the same time, the governor said the subsidised fertiliser distributed by the county government recently were of high standard and will boost food security in the region.

He said those driving rumours that the fertiliser was substandard were misleading the residents and called on the residents to procure the subsidised top-dressing fertiliser.

Source: Kenya News Agency