Kisumu: Flood Victims Seek Govt Intervention

Kisumu County residents have appealed to the national government and leaders from the county government to unite and help open up clogged drainages so that river waters could drain into the lake to help assuage the dire flooding menace that has besieged most parts of the county.

Kochogo village Clan Elder Maurice Akoko pointed out that the River Nyando has burst its banks at various sections, yet their plea for help has fallen on deaf ears while the waters have marooned many of their homes.

He expressed fear that if no immediate intervention was instituted, then nearly every home in the village would not be accessible and many residents would lose their lives and property.

‘Our plea is that the river should be redirected to its former path, which is not anybody’s farm, so that the waters could flow along its usual course; otherwise, over three villages will be marooned, and that is a critical matter that warrants even the attention and immediate intervention of the President. We appeal for the disaster fun
d to be immediately released to assuage this disaster, especially at Kadera and Wuodage beaches that should be dug using tractors to contain the waters from Nyando and prevent them from overflowing and marooning the surrounding villages,’ appealed the elder.

Akoko claimed that the surrounding paths were only 9 metres wide due to the shoddy work of the engaged contractors, whom he alleged diverted some of the material that should have been used to lay the proper drainages and failed to lay the culverts as required.

He pleaded that the beaches at Wath Ageka and Adiereb be properly dug and opened so the waters could drain downstream.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Nyatike MP Wants NEMA To Ensure Safety Of Miners

Nyatike Member of Parliament, Tom Odege, has called on the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to ensure the safety of miners and local residents around mining sites within the area.

The legislator noted that, due to neglect by NEMA, dangerous chemicals like mercury used for leaching have been left to seep into rivers, leading to the deaths of a number of residents and livestock.

Speaking in Migori Town, Odege expressed concern for the local artisanal miners, who are not protected by the mining laws as opposed to the large-scale miners.

The MP made the remarks while in the company of the National Assembly Committee on Environment, Forestry, and Mining, which was touring the region.

‘We call upon the government to ensure the safety of miners and residents down the river and around the lakes even as they are trying to fix messes in the mining sector,’ he said.

The MP underscored the importance of improving gold processing activities in Nyatike as a way of ensuring that middlemen who exploit mi
ners are cut off from the market.

Odege also criticised the system of transporting the raw gold soil from Nyatike to Kakamega for processing as recently ordered by the state, saying this was bound to increase the number of middlemen involved, which in turn leads to the miners incurring losses.

He explained that if a processing site is developed next to the mining site, a few middlemen will be involved.

‘The reason why we want an improved way of processing gold is to increase the market and reduce middlemen who take advantage of our miners,’ said Odege.

However, he expressed his concern over the illegal mining activities in the area, noting that only a small number of the mining sites in the area are legalised. Over 90 per cent of the sites, including those owned by the Chinese, operate without licenses.

His comments come days after Interior and National Administration Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki issued a directive to ban artisanal and unlicensed commercial mining following the deaths of six m
iners in Kakamega County in March, 2024.

The order also led to the arrest of more than 30 Chinese citizens found in the mining business without permits.

The Member of Parliament for Nakuru East Constituency and the Chair of the National Assembly Committee on Environment, Forestry, and Mining, David Gikaria, recalled that during the public participation exercise in the region, Nyatike artisan miners came up with proposals that the committee agreed on.

The main aim of the proposals was to amend the mining regulatory authority in the bill.

Among them was the suggestion to have a tribunal for them to be able to address issues without engaging the court.

The chair also said that the legislation is also paramount for the committee to operationalise and be able to effectively bring out socio-economic benefit to the locals.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Nakuru Equips Stores With Top-Dressing Fertilisers

The Nakuru County government has begun the distribution of top-dressing fertiliser across the satellite stores to help farmers avoid transportation costs and reduce the habitually long queues at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

Among the stores where the top dressing fertiliser has been delivered are the Karunga Farmers’ Cooperative Store, Kampi ya Moto Store, Kiamaina Store, Kabazi Store, and Kiambogo Stores.

Speaking to KNA at the NCPB stores, County Executive for Agriculture Leonard Bor said his department will ensure the continuous distribution of top-dressing fertiliser to other satellite stores across the county in collaboration with the National Cereals and Produce Board.

He noted that the initiative is aimed at supporting farmers during topdressing, which is meant to boost nutrients for crops to enable them to rejuvenate faster, increase production, and support food security for the country.

Additionally, the officer said when farmers pick and source from nearby stores, it eases thei
r financial burden by reducing transportation and logistical costs associated with acquiring essential agricultural inputs.

However, some maize farms, especially in Rongai sub-county, are already submerged in water, and unless the heavy rains subside faster, the chances of losing all their crops are quite high.

Much as the local farmers rely on rain-fed agriculture, excessive amounts, like the current ones, turn tragic due to the flooding of farms, and in worse scenarios, the crops get flattened and wither off.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Floods Disrupt Activities In Joska

Residents of Sunshine Shopping Centre in Joska, Machakos County, cross a flooded section of the Sunshine Stream after it flooded due to overnight rains on May 5, 2024. The sunshine stream feeds into the River Athi at Joska.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Embu County Procures Water Drilling Rig

Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire in the driver’s cabin of a water drilling rig acquired by the county government to help tackle water problems in the semiarid parts of the region.

The rig, together with two support trucks, cost her government Shs53 million.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Ahero Bridge Marooned Disrupting Movement

Ahero Bridge on the Kisumu-Nairobi highway has been rendered impassible following the overflow, leaving traffic and commuters stranded.

The waters have flooded most of Ahero town, causing significant damage and halting all town activities. On the other hand, the river Nyando has broken its bunk at Ahero town and crippled economic activities within the town, including severing transport activities for those accessing or leaving the town by the bridge.

Kisumu County Police Commander Alphonse Ombuya confirmed the Nyando river overflow at Ahero town and sadly noted that some residents have seized the opportunity to rob travellers of their belongings.

Police officers have since been deployed at the bridge to provide security and also to ensure that people safely cross the overflowing river, which has equally marooned the Ahero police post, with members of the public now being asked to use alternative routes to reach Kisumu town.

Source: Kenya News Agency

House Committee Announces Plans To Reconstruct Roads, Schools

The National Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee of Transport and Infrastructure, who is also Ndia MP George Kariuki, has announced plans for road and school reconstruction following the destruction occasioned by the heavy rains.

Kariuki has called on Kenyans to be patient and bear with the current situation, saying that immediately after the rainy season is over, reconstruction will be undertaken.

He stated that Mwea constituency faces 560 km of on-farm roads, affecting rice farms. Hence, the national government should assist farmers to reduce irrigation authority contributions, potentially outsourcing funds from the development fund.

Thus, ‘ National government has been providing fertilizer to rice farmers as a way to help them maximize profits, thus, if we minimize what the three thousand, we collect from rice farmers to one thousand we will have helped farmers. We call on leaders to work together and find a way farmers will benefit,’ he said.

Furthermore, Kirinyaga Deputy Speaker and Muthiti me
mber of the county assembly, Hon. Jenaro Jamumo, called on Kenyans to be cautious during this rainy season, saying it is high time for people to take their personal responsibility of protecting themselves before seeking assistance from the government.

For instance, a Member of the County Assembly for Tembere ward, Hon. Peter Karinga, has said the Kirinyaga County Government has shown support by providing some of the basic needs of the affected family. He has called for increments in the emergency fund in the next financial year.

At the same time, he called on both the national and county governments to provide funds to deploy doctors to deal with the expected outbreak of waterborne diseases.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Parliamentary Committee Gives Kibos Rice Green Light

The Parliamentary Committee on Development visited the new rice mill at Kibos on Friday, which is being constructed by the Lake Basin Development Authority.

The committee appealed to the government to fast-track the allocation of funds to be used in completing the construction of the factory to help uplift rice farming in the area.

Maragua MP Mary Wamaua, who is also the Deputy Chair of the Committee, said, ‘I want to say today that they have done great, though there are a few challenges pertaining to the money that has been appropriated to them that have not been given 100 per cent, but we have seen that the much that has been given to them has been made good use of, and there is value for money, although there are some projects that have not yet been picked up because the money required is a lot.’

Wamaua further noted that the rice mill would greatly help improve the economic status of the rice farmers in the Nyanza region.

‘This is a project totaling Sh75 million, and there is still some pending money.
Yet they are producing because they are able to buy rice from farmers, and they are milling and getting whatever they are getting. They are then able to sell, and therefore this is a promise to the farmers that they grow rice because there is a ready market, and when they sell, they get money that can help them meet related expenditures like paying the staff and have something extra to use in running the project,’ she noted.

Matungu MP Peter Nabulindo noted that the new Kibos mill has the potential to employ many workers, thereby easing the prevailing unemployment rate.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Weather Conditions Shift Junior Golf Event To Windsor

The heavy rain pounding the country forced a venue change for the NCBA Nairobi Local Tour US Kids golf event that was slated for the Thika Sports Club.

The Junior Golf Foundation had to look for an alternative venue because of three challenges in Thika.

‘We had sightings of a hippo, then the Thika super highway was flooded in some sections; getting to Thika would have been a problem for everyone. Then the course in Thika is a bit wet because of the heavy rains,’ explained Regina Gachora, the Junior Golf Foundation president.

The tournament was moved to Windsor, which has also taken a beating from the rain but is in good playable condition. Despite the conditions, the junior played some impressive golf, with two categories decided via a play-off.

First in the play-offs were the girls 13-14 years old. Yolanda Yu and Sophia Nesbitt tied with a score of 85, and the tie breaker was a playoff. They both had a good start in the playoffs, but Yolanda was the stronger one in the end, calming her nerves to putt for
the win.

Yolanda says it was not easy, and she was nervous because she was playing against Sophia Nesbitt, who is more experienced.

‘My friends like Shuhan Peng and Nawembo were making fun of me before the play-offs; that was released by pressure and made me laugh a bit. Plus, my caddie came back! He was on his way home (before the scores were announced), and my mom called him back. I wasn’t stressed when he showed up,’ she said.

On facing Sophia Nesbitt in the play-off, she said, ‘Since she wins a lot of competitions and she has a longer golfing age than me, I kind of feel pressured whenever I play her because she is more experienced and I think her tempo and all these are way better than me, but I did it.’

Another category that was decided via a playoff was the boys 12 years category. George Ikirima and Jeff Kivi were tied for 82 and needed a tie breaker.

Despite a poor start in the playoffs, George Ikirima recovered well to beat Jeff Kivi to the title. He says he needed the win and worked towards achi
eving it.

‘I wanted to win because I wanted to climb up the ranks since I was ten points behind my opponents. So I needed to win,’ stated Ikirima.

He claims he had a poor start because he was nervous and was gripping his clubs very tightly.

The players hardly have time to relax as they head to the next leg of the US Kids series in a week’s time at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club.

Source: Kenya News Agency

County Responds To Floods, Supports Residents

Following the devastating impact of floods and ongoing rains that led to the displacement of over 200 households in Nataparkakono in Turkana Central, Deputy Governor Dr. John Erus today led a food distribution exercise in the affected Tobong’u Lore IDP community.

The County Government provided 100 bags of maize and 20 cartons of vegetable oil (100 litres) to the affected households.

Dr. Erus acknowledged the efforts of the Directorate of Disaster Risk Management and emphasised the need to follow Governor Jeremiah Napotikan’s directive to continue joint assessments to identify areas in need of urgent attention until the communities receive the necessary long-term help from the county and national governments and development partners.

The Deputy Governor assured the Tobong’u Lore community that they would continue to have access to water trucking until a long-term solution is implemented.

He also cautioned the community on the importance of proper hygiene mechanisms to avoid potential health hazards.

In ad
dition to the food distribution at Nataparkakono, the County government, through the Directorate of Disaster Risk Management, has been conducting daily assessments across the county, including 156 villages, 30 wards, and 11 sub-counties in Turkana County.

The County Administrative Units have ensured government presence at the sub-county, ward, and village levels, facilitating information dissemination and relaying grassroots messages through existing channels of communication.

The County Government is working with Welthungerhilfe and UNICEF through the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to support displaced households with non-food items in Nataparkakono, Lokangae, Todonya’ng, Kerio Delta, and Kalapata.

Dr. Erus expressed gratitude to the KRCS team in Turkana for distributing crucial non-food items to the displaced communities.

The Deputy Governor reassured the community that the County Government has included resettlement in the budget for the upcoming financial year 2024-2025, stating that a long-term reset
tlement solution would be found.

He called upon the county administration units, partners, and residents to prioritise care for the most vulnerable, including children under the age of five, expectant mothers, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

Lodwar Township, MCA Ruth Kuya urged the communities to work with the County Government to ensure they take action and move when cautioned, emphasising that no person with disabilities should be left behind when moving to higher grounds.

Kuya also called on the County Government to provide food and appoint health officers to attend to the displaced community to reduce the potential for health hazards, while urging the community to use the provided toilets to minimise the risks of cholera through contamination.

The CECM for Public Service, Administration, and Disaster Management, Wangiros Longole James, stated that according to the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), the rains have remained moderate to above average across the County, accompanied by stro
ng winds and thunderstorms that have resulted in loss of lives, displacement of households, damages to infrastructure, loss of livelihoods, and loss of properties.

The Kenya Red Cross Society Coordinator for Turkana County, Rukia Abubakar, called on the community to observe the government’s directive and take action to avoid harm and loss of lives. She also emphasised the need for continued joint assessment and community sensitization.

The Chief Officer for Administration and Disaster Risk Management, David Maraka, echoed the County Administration Unit and Kenya Red Cross Society for their joint assessment efforts in ensuring that even the most remote communities in Turkana have been reached and sensitised.

The County Government is working with the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) on weather forecast information sharing, which is key for preparedness.

Continuous dissemination of weather alerts is crucial in sensitization, mobilisation, and guiding evacuation when deemed appropriate, as per the nation
al government directive, and will be carried out through the county administration.

Source: Kenya News Agency