Poor Infrastructure Leaves Village Residents Stranded


Residents of Koduogo village in Uriri Constituency, Migori County are up in arms over the poor state of infrastructure and social amenities in their area that they say has affected their livelihood.

Among their concerns are low electricity connectivity, intermittent power black outs and un-reliable source of water, with their main water supply- a community borehole – that often runs dry during dry season.

The sorry situation forces them and particularly, the students from Koduogo Secondary School to walk for kilometres outside school premises in search of water.

Bernard Ojowi, a resident, said that the borehole does not produce water all year round, alleging that it was shallowly dug.

‘This borehole is our only source of water, but it cannot provide water throughout the year as it was not drilled to the level required to produce adequate water,’ he said.

Worse of all is the area road network that has seen total damage due to the ongoing heavy rainstorm and that has left a trail of destruction to most of
the roads linking the local population to the existing social amenities including schools and local dispensaries are all destroyed.

Ojowi said that as schools reopened yesterday for the second term, their children are finding it difficult to access schools because the bridge they had been crossing has been swept away by floods.

‘We call upon both the National and County Government to reconstruct the affected roads and bridges to enable school-going children and residents safely access schools and dispensaries,’ he said and further revealed that they have gone nine months without electricity despite power cables running through their homes.

They had been informed by the Kenya Power officials that the blackouts were due to a disconnected electrical cable, but months later their efforts to get the problem fixed have been futile.

The residents told the press that lack of electricity has affected their businesses and increased insecurity in the area, noting that they are now forced to close shops early to avoi
d run-ins with crooks.

‘We cannot operate our shops beyond 8:00 pm because of lack of electricity. We request our local leaders and Kenya Power to step in and fix the cables so that this centre can thrive as before,’ he said.

They called upon their Governor, Dr Ochillo Ayacko, their area Member of Parliament Mark Nyamita and their Member of the County Assembly George Omamba to ensure that their concerns are addressed amicably

‘It is unfair that we have not had electricity for close to a year and we face challenges of insufficient water and inaccessible roads, yet the leaders we elected to tackle our issues have done nothing,’ said one Ms. Damacline Ogutu.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Government Warns Against Infringement On Riparian Land


The National Government has warned the public to shun encroachment on riparian land, being one way through which climate change calamities can be avoided.

The call comes as trumpets for environmental conservation intensfies after heavy rains characterized by floods threatened to bring the country to a standstill in the recent past.

The worst affected were the transport and education sectors where some road connections in the country were cut off and schools delayed to reopen.

Speaking during a county tree planting evaluation committee in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi said it is high time Kenyans took matters environmental conservation seriously claiming if infringement on riparian land had earlier been avoided, the country would not have witnessed the high number of flood related deaths.

As he praised efforts to ensure increased forest cover, Oyagi urged stakeholders and the public at large to ensure that government environmental policies are fully implemented for posterity.

‘Times
and calamities have taught us to behave differently but we rarely listen. Negligence of existing laws and policies by some custodians and a section of the public has proved to be our major setback. If infringement on riparian land would have been avoided, I am sure the number of deaths we have recorded because of floods would be less,’ he said.

In Trans Nzoia County, the number of flood related deaths recorded stood at three, which occurred after River Sabwani in Kwanza Sub County broke its banks.

Oyagi praised the efforts stakeholders have put in place to ensure the County’s annual tree planting target of 11.9 million is achieved.

However, he informed that more energy should also be directed to nurturing the already planted trees adding the County has so far seen more than 3.5 million trees being planted since last year when President William Ruto launched the afforestation initiative.

Source: Kenya News Agency

NCCK Calls For Intensified War On Corruption


The National Council Churches of Kenya (NCCK), has urged the government to intensify the war on corruption, to curb theft and wastage of public funds.

NCCK Nyanza Region Chairman, Rev. John Mark Godia, said corruption was rampant in the two levels of government, with public resources meant for development being used to nourish individuals’ pockets.

Corruption, he said, was so rampant in government offices, affecting service delivery and leading to the impoverishment of Kenyans, who are struggling with the high cost of living.

‘It is very sad that some government officials in both the County and National levels, have adopted the horrendous trend of competing with each other, as to who is more corrupt than the other,’ he said.

He pointed out corruption in land registries, where innocent Kenyans have been conned and lost land to a cabal of corrupt government officials.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), he said, must intensify the war by going for all corrupt government officials, to tame the
voice and ensure Kenyans live dignified lives.

Rev. Godia who was elected to head NCCK in Nyanza, during the 14th Regional Conference held in Kisumu, called for a shift in government budgets, to focus on production and value addition, to seal loopholes presented by purchase of goods and services budgets.

He further called on the EACC, National Police Service, the Judiciary, National Assembly and the Executive, to end meaningless bickering and play their roles, to ensure that any person found engaging in corruption is brought to book.

EACC, he added, must change tact and focus on instilling ethics and values through capacity building forums, and in the education curriculum at all levels, adding that the Church was ready to partner with them, through offering spaces within the Church for the forums.

‘On our part, we commit to take the period between now and the next elections, to educate our people on integrity and values. We will integrate the same in our churches,’ he said.

He called on all Kenyans to ri
se-up and demand for the full implementation of Chapter Six of the Constitution of Kenya, to root out corruption and bad governance.

Rev. Godia further called for a review of the Finance Bill 2024, which was tabled in the National Assembly on Tuesday, saying some of the proposals in the document, were set to dent the pockets of Kenyans further given the tough economic times.

He urged the National Assembly to put into consideration the views of Kenyans on the document during the public participation, to ensure that the proposed taxation is favourable.

‘It is shocking to us that government officials can be so insensitive, as to propose new taxes in the Finance Bill 2024. This is increasing depression among the people and we don’t know whether the government has considered the implications of a depressed and angry populace,’ he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Assembly Urges The Executive To Establish A Fully Functional Cancer Centre


Members of the County Assembly of Nyeri have approved a motion urging the County Executive Committee Member in charge of Health Services to establish a fully functional Cancer Centre in Nyeri County that provides affordable, comprehensive and holistic Cancer Prevention and Treatment Plans.

While moving the motion, before it adjourned its plenary sittings for a long recess of up to Tuesday, 11th June 2024 at 9.00am in accordance with the assembly’s standing Orders, a member of the County Assembly Agnes Wanjiku was concerned that the prevalence of Cancer in Nyeri County has been on an upward trend, with the Ministry of Health reporting that cancer incidence in the year 2020 stood at 2,127 for every 100,000 people.

The Member who is also the Gender Representative, underscored the need for the County Government to establish a County Cancer Control Program aimed at reducing cancer incidence rates and cancer mortality through prevention and early detection as well as improve the quality of life of cancer patients
through provision of treatment and palliative services among others.

In a sitting chaired by the County Speaker James Gichuhi, the House resolved that the CEC in charge of Health Services Dr.Joseph Kiragu conducts educational and information campaigns on cancer prevention, treatment and control as prescribed in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Kenya and other relevant Public and Private Organizations.

The Members also called upon the Department to Forge effective partnerships with relevant Public, Private and Non-Profit Organizations and mobilize resources in order to facilitate a comprehensive County Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program.

Source: Kenya News Agency

County Launches Campaign For Uptake Of Health Cover For Informal Sector


The County Government of Nakuru has launched a campaign to increase uptake of insurance cover by Kenyans working in the informal sector.

The devolved unit is conducting a two-day training for over 40 trainers to enhance health insurance coverage within the informal sector through existing Cooperatives.

County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Health Ms Roselyn Mungai said the training is designed to increase registration of workers from the informal sector in a bid to ensure universal health coverage to every Kenyan.

‘This training has kicked off with the support of the USAID Health-E-Quality Kenya Program to improve the quality of health services. It aims to equip and empower the beneficiaries with the knowledge needed to expand health insurance coverage in Nakuru,’ stated Ms Mungai.

According to the CECM the trainers have been selected from Health Services, Gender and Social Services, and Trade and Cooperatives departments. They are expected to train over 4,000 champions across the 600 Coop
eratives currently operating in Nakuru on the importance of taking insurance cover.

She noted that availability of universal healthcare for all Kenyans will make it easy for the poor to access quality health care as the medical bills would be catered for by the insurance cover.

Ms Mungai further indicated that the primary role of insurance is to protect individuals and businesses against risks and that insurance helps in mitigating the uncertainties of life.

She stated that the informal sector comprises of a vital pillar of Kenya’s economy, adding that it is a significant driver of livelihoods and jobs thus contributing to poverty eradication and financial inclusion.

Ms Mungai expressed concern that workers in the country’s informal sector were largely being bypassed by the benefits of Kenya’s public health insurance system. However, she indicated that most informal sector workers did not have health insurance cover jeopardizing their ability to make a claim in case of an illness.

The CECM observed that
individuals without medical insurance find themselves in a precarious position when they or a family member fall ill adding that many households have been pushed into poverty after meeting health care costs from their pockets.

She said that health financing is key in the implementation of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) at a time when Kenya is spending more resources on curative services. Moreover, Ms Mungai observed that all Kenyans should access quality care, regardless of their financial status.

‘Heath financing is key in achieving UHC. Bringing on board the informal sector come in as a strategic pulling of healthcare service,’ said the CECM.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Improved Health Care


Kapkures Health Centre in Kapkures ward is one of the Level 3 healthcare facilities in Nakuru County giving outpatient services to the largest population of over 27,000 people in Kapkures, Ingobor, Barut, and surrounding areas.

The Director for Health Dr. Joy Mugambi while visiting the facility Tuesday said Kapkures Dispensary was exceptional in providing maternity services giving highly personalized care to an average of at least 30 mothers per month ensuring each patient receives the attention she needs.

She noted that to support maternal and child health, the maternity unit is seamlessly connected to the Child Welfare Clinic (CWC), providing continuous care for both mothers and their children.

She further observed that one of the greatest achievements of counties was the obvious improvement of maternal and child health that has continually improved the quality of services.

To further enhance the services, Dr. Mugambi said the Department would help the facility improve the physical space to put some ord
er to every corner with better filing systems and organized spaces to ensure a more efficient and welcoming environment for all.

A resident of the area Julius Rono said the change at the Kapkures Health Center has not only been of help to mothers and children, but also to the elderly who used to walk long distances to get healthcare.

He added that the facilities, and especially the beds, is something that was only noticeable at the private hospitals, and having them in such a rural area was highly appreciated.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Millennials Dominating The Digital Lending Services


Kenyan youth who mostly fall under the millennial generation have the biggest share and are dominating credit dynamics within the fin tech sector.

Data from TransUnion Kenya indicates that many Millennials have access to digital tools and up to 80 percent of the fin tech business is driven by the Millennials and generation X.

‘We did a consumer survey last year and one of the things we picked out is that 98 percent of consumers want and believe that taking loan facilities changes their lives or drive their financial growth,’ Trans Union Kenya Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Morris Maina stated.

Maina noted that less than 40% of the consumers in the country believe that they have adequate access to credit.

Speaking in Nairobi when he unveiled the Q4 2023 Kenya Credit Industry and Insights Report, Maina said that the cost of credit continues to be high noting that in December 2023, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) adjusted the base lending rate to 12.5% from 10.5% thus increasing the cost of credit for the con
sumers.

Maina said that the report which highlights the key trends on the credit sector for the period of coverage enables all players across the ecosystem gain critical insights and also offers an in -depth analysis of the macroeconomic impact on credit trends in the country.

Maina noted that there were about 39 banks that submit data to the bureau and this is not only done as a requirement but also as a mandate by the CBK.

He added that banks continue to have the lion share in terms of loan and loan balances that is loans that are issued and loan balances that exist at about Sh.5 trillion.

‘It is time now to bring those people from the Hustler Fund back into the bureau ecosystem so that they can now stimulate credit beyond what they are getting,’ the CEO announced.

He highlighted that one of the challenges that has always been in the banks is getting data analytics or data science as a central function within a bank.

Maina stated that they do not expect the macroeconomic situation both in Kenya and gl
obally to change in a drastic manner as it is going to continue to be volatile.

‘What is critical is for the actors and all the players in the industry to adjust their operations, particularly leverage on data and insights in order to ensure that there is continued progress in business environment,’ the CEO said.

Trans Union Kenya, Product Manager, Anne Njeru said that when the interest from a bank increases it means that loan installments go up thus reducing the disposable income that people have.

‘Lenders and many of the players and fin techs operating banks are trying to balance a very thin line between balancing growth and tightening their credit policies because now people don’t have the disposable income that we had previously,’ Njeru noted.

She added that efficiency has to become key in terms of how lenders not only run their operations but also how they target their customers.

Source: Kenya News Agency

PWDs Among Households Targeted In Income Generating Project


Persons with disabilities are among the 3,000 households set to benefit from a three-year project meant for the households at high risk of food insecurity.

The Turkana Inclusive Livelihood and Resilience Project which was launched in Lodwar on Tuesday seeks to support livestock activities, crop farming, poultry keeping, Fisher folks and Village Savings and Loaning Associations (VSLA).

PWDs will be provided with assistive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches and other mobility devices that they may require.

The project is being implemented by Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and Turkana Pastoralists Development Organization (TUPADO).

CBM is an international Christian development organization, committed to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities in the poorest communities of the world.

The project aims to restore and rebuild the capacity of drought-affected communities, persons with disabilities and households at high risk of food insecurity.

Speaking during the launch, CBM officer Antony
Kimathi said the project is implemented alongside TUPADO and they would work closely with government departments, partners and community structures to support communities in Kalokol and Kangatotha in Turkana Central.

In collaboration with TUPADO and other partners, CBM aims to support communities with income generating activities that will strengthen their capacities in various aspects. Persons with disabilities and those at risk are highly targeted in this programme.

According to Kimathi, the project was born after closely working with the communities that made it possible to identify a number of income-generating activities in their area.

Kangole David, TUPADO Heads of Programme, said PWDs were targeted by the project because they were the most affected during these disasters.

‘Women, youth and the elderly are also set to benefit from this programme so as to recover from effects of the previous disasters,’ said Kangole.

According to Kangole, the project entails the recovery aspect of the community afte
r a devastating drought that adversely affected the livelihoods of people in Turkana.

He said the project would also address the issue of malnutrition among the targeted livelihood options. For this case, TUPADO is going to have a team that will address the issue of food security among the communities. The team will also check on matters of trade and fisheries because these are the pillars of socio-economic livelihood in this community.

Kanole extended his gratitude to the government and vowed to work together with the Turkana County Government to realise the objective of recovery through this project.

County Chief officer for Administration and Disaster-risk Management David Maraka gave an assurance that the County government would come in strongly to support the programme so as to change the livelihoods around Kalokol and Kangatotha.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Kenya Film Commission Offers Free Training To Filmmakers


Kenya Film Commission in partnership with the County Government of Kiambu, through the Department of Youth Affairs, Sports and Communication, have organized a Six-day film workshop, to train local filmmakers in areas of pre-production, production and post production.

The Film Capacity Building Workshop, scheduled from May 13th to 18th, 2024, will be held at the Kiambu County Headquarters.

The training aims to equip Kiambu County youth with film production skills, promoting the industry as a livelihood source, sustainable wealth contributor, and job creator.

Meanwhile, According to the Kiambu County Executive (CECM) for Youth Affairs, Sports and Communication, Ali Osman, the trainees have been selected from different parts of the County, with an aim to sharpen the local filmmakers with practical experiences on the filmmaking process.

‘The training will enhance the professional skills of local filmmakers, preparing them to compete effectively in both local and international film environments,’ said Osman

H
e further encouraged filmmakers from the County, to be active in seeking out and taking advantage of opportunities that are presented by the National government, through the Commission and the county.

Thus, ‘the training will cover various aspects of film and production such as scriptwriting, directing and acting, cinematography, picture composition, video editing, sound techniques, lighting, among others’ the CECM added

Elizabeth Kamau, one of the beneficiaries of the program said she is looking forward to acquire skills that will help her, create great productions and contents that can be marketed commercially so she can make an income out of it. The individual attended a training session on professional skills for content creation, including camera parts, story characteristics, and video editing techniques.

In 2020 the Kenya Film Commission launched Capacity Building workshop, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility program and rolled it out to the counties, in a bid to ensure that the country
has a vibrant film industry with professionals who are empowered to tell authentic Kenyan stories, thus making significant contributions to the Kenyan film industry.

Source: Kenya News Agency

All Schools In Narok County Have Reopened For Second Term, Education Director


All schools in Narok County have reopened for the second term session, according to the County Director of Education Apollo Apuko.

Apuko pointed out that despite the destruction caused by floods in most schools in the county, pupils have managed to go back to school and renovation work was ongoing.

However, he said some pupils have a challenge in accessing their various schools because of broken bridges and impassable roads that lead to their schools.

He cited an example of a bridge connecting to Enaramatishorek Primary School in Narok East Sub County that was swept by flood waters making it difficult for many pupils to access the school.

Other schools that had challenges included Kikuyian Primary School in Narok East Sub County and Osutua primary school in Narok South Sub County that was submerged in water.

‘The floods at Kikuyian primary school are perennial as the school floods every rainy season. This makes the Board of Management think of an option of relocating the school to higher grounds to give
the learners an ample learning environment,’ he said.

The Director also pointed out that Oltarakwai Primary school where mudslide victims had been accommodated has also reopened.

‘I receive reports from the Sub County Directors every day and I have not heard of any school that has not reopened. This is good progress,’ he said.

However, the Director pointed out a challenge of low pupil turnout in schools but attributed this to the impassable roads as most parts of the county were still experiencing high rainfall.

The Education Director reminded the residents that it was criminal to continue holding children at home while others were in school and called on all parents to make an effort to ensure that their children were in school.

He condemned outdated cultural practices like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages that compromise girl education and challenged all families to ensure that their children were in school.

Source: Kenya News Agency