Governor Barasa Urges Artisanal Miners To Suspend Mining

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa has asked artisanal miners to suspend their operations until when the rains will subside.

He said artisanal mining sites are one of the high risk areas in the county especially during heavy rains.

‘We need to caution those residents in the gold mining area to keep off mining for now because it is a high-risk area,’ he pointed out.

He noted that the rains have already affected some areas in the county along River Nzoia including Chevaywa Ward in Lugari Sub County, Namamali Ward in Matungu, Etenje in Mumias West and Kisa Central in Khwisero.

He said reports from his officers indicate that the Shinyalu-Ingolomosio road has been cut off with Shichenje-Shianda road rendered impassable.

The Governor said the rains have also caused erosion of soil asking residents across the county to be cautious.

‘We have also received reports of cases of sinking toilets especially in some schools in Mumias West. We have already sent our team to assess the situation and act,’ he noted.

have received reports that Malaria has now become prevalent, we are now having a programme of distributing mosquito nets through the Ministry of Health and the department of public health,’ the governor added.

He said the county government has sent a team to offer the necessary support to families which have been affected by the overflowing River Nzoia.

‘Our agricultural officers are also assessing the impact on this so that necessary steps can be taken in collaboration with the national government,’ he pointed out.

Due to the increasing rains, the governor has formed a team of disaster preparedness to act on and prevent challenges caused by the rains.

The disaster preparedness committee comprises officers from the county government, the national government and other partners from the private sector and non-Governmental organisations including rescue teams.

‘We are also trying to educate our people to stay safe,’ he added.

He also divulged that as part of climate change mitigation measures, the county g
overnment has set a target of planting 5million trees every year to contribute towards the National government target of 15 billion trees by 2032.

‘So far we have been able to plant 500 000 trees and we want to make it a culture in that any time we go to an event or a meeting, we start with tree planting before any other activity so that we achieve our 15 billion target,’ he pointed out.

The governor revealed that the county has a forest cover of over 90 per cent and more efforts are put in place to protect and preserve the Kakamega Forest and trees that are grown across the county.

‘Very soon we will be launching the Second phase of Fencing off Kakamega Forest. We have mobilised almost Sh100 million. We have contributed Sh60 million as Kakamega county, Vihiga County government together with other partners have raised the rest of the amount,’ he noted.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Religious Leaders Urge Prayer for Peace and Support for Needy This Easter

Addis Ababa: Religious leaders have emphasized the significance of Easter as a time to pray for peace and security of humankind, and to extend helping hand to those in need.

His Holiness Abune Mathias, the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church; His Eminence Birhaneyesus Souraphiel, Archbishop of the Ethiopian Catholic Church; and Reverend Dereje Jemberu, the General Secretary of the Ethiopian Gospel Believers Council of Churches, have conveyed their Easter greetings and shared messages of hope and compassion.

Patriarch Abune Mathias, who highlighted the profound love of God and the hope symbolized by Easter, stressed the importance of standing together in unity for the greater glory of God and well-being of humanity.

His message resonated with the idea of celebrating Easter with love, mutual support; and by extending assistance to those in need.

The patriarch called for prayers for peace and security, ensuring the welfare of all humankind.

Archbishop Birhaneyesus Souraphiel, representing th
e Ethiopian Catholic Church, spoke about the resurrection of Christ as the good news that guides believers.

He noted that peace is the ultimate solution to all problems and that Easter should serve as an instrument of peace for both the people and the country.

The archbishop urged everyone to embrace the spirit of peace and offer prayers for its realization.

Reverend Dereje Jemberu, the Secretary General of the Ethiopian Council of Gospel Believers Churches, emphasized the significance of assisting those who require support during Easter celebrations.

He called upon devotees to express their love and forgiveness by reaching out to those in need, extending a helping hand, and providing support.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Press Freedom Key In Reporting On Climate Issues – Journalists

Journalists in Kisumu County have appealed to governmental authorities and all relevant stakeholders to respect, protect and promote press freedom for effective reporting to combat environmental crises.

Speakers at the World Press Freedom Day 2024 organised by Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) in partnership with Article 19 Eastern Africa, Media Council of Kenya, and Kisumu Journalists Network (KJN) underscored the importance of independent press on advocacy and public understanding of environmental issues.

As heavy rain and frequent floods continue to disrupt lives across the country, the role of media has become even more crucial in highlighting the impacts of climate change.

‘Journalists play a crucial role as the link between scientists and the public when it comes to reporting on environmental issues,’ asserted John Oywa, Kisumu County Chief Officer of Communications.

‘They help simply complex scientific research findings into understandable language for the general audience,’ he highlighted.

Journalists bridge the gap between science scholars and the indigenous people by effectively communicating environmental stories that seek to educate, raise awareness and inspire action, ‘observed Oywa.

Kevine Omollo, Chairperson, KCA Nyanza Chapter, observed that reporters serve as watchdogs, exposing corrupt and illegal activities fueling climate change and environmental degradation.

‘The floods being experienced in Kisumu and other parts of the nation are as a result of environmental undoing through natural resources over exploitation by greedy individuals,’ pointed out Omollo who is also the Managing Editor at Lake Region Bulletin.

He pleaded, ‘We are calling for authorities to create an enabling environment for media freedom and access to information to enable journalists to effectively report on climate change issues devoid of threats and intimidation from the culpable parties who are hell-bent on protecting their interests.’

In the meantime, KCA National Chairman Hadson Araka in a press release iss
ued on Friday, acknowledged that the World Press Freedom Day this year was dedicated to the importance of journalism and freedom of expression in the face of the global environmental crisis.

Despite the gains towards attaining press freedom, Araka stated that freedom of speech, access to information and media independence are increasingly under attack globally.

He decried, ‘journalists in Kenya face numerous challenges in their work. They are often attacked, both physically and online, some are arrested and charged with various offenses, in a bid to intimidate them because they report on corruption, bad governance and demands for accountability by citizens.’

Violations and abuses suffered by media practitioners include physical attacks, torture, unlawful surveillance, extra-judicial killings, judicial harassment, enforced disappearances, cyber harassment, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions.

The World Press Freedom Day is commemorated annually on May 3. Besides Kisumu, the event was also held in Kisi
i, Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Turkana, Nairobi, Isiolo, Meru, Tharaka, Makueni and Mombasa Counties.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Ethiopian Finance Minister Named as among Top African Finance Leaders 2024

Addis Ababa: The African Leadership Magazine (ALM) unveiled the Ethiopian Minister Finance, Ahmed Shide among top 25 African Finance Leaders 2024.

ALM stated that it is pleased to announce the list of top 25 African Finance Leaders 2024, showcasing excellence with the continent’s financial sphere.

The Magazine extended its congratulations message to the Finance Minister of Ethiopia, Ahmed Shide for his visionary leadership driving economic growth and stability.

Under his guidance, Ethiopia progresses in fiscal management, attracting investments for sustainable development, it added.

‘His focus on inclusive growth and infrastructure reflects dedication to unlocking Ethiopia’s potential,’ the ALM underscored.

Ahmed’s commitment to financial reform demonstrates Ethiopia’s determination to become a regional economic powerhouse, it was indicated.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Wajir County Takes Proactive Steps Ahead Of Forecasted Heavy Rains

Wajir County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo has announced comprehensive measures to address potential flooding in the region in a move to safeguard the residents from potential disaster.

Speaking after a County Steering Group (CSG) meeting at a Wajir hotel, Commissioner Ngumo emphasized the importance of disaster preparedness and mitigation.

Ngumo highlighted forecasts from the Kenya Meteorological Department indicating heavy rains expected between Friday and Sunday.

‘Certain parts of this county might experience heavy rains resulting in floods, and we have mapped out those areas,’ stated Ngumo.

Moreover, he outlined plans to identify water bodies prone to overflow during heavy rainfall.

‘We have equally mapped out the big water bands we have that are likely to overflow in case we experience heavy rains,’ he added.

He said that local authorities are actively engaging with residents to ensure timely response and community awareness.

‘Ward administrators, chiefs, and ACCs are on the grounds sensitizing the pe
ople that they might be required to move to other areas if by tomorrow we see that the situation might get out of hand,’ Ngumo explained.

Wajir Deputy Governor (DG) Ahmed Muhumed echoed the CC’s sentiments, emphasizing the need for proactive intervention.

‘As we assess the situation today and focus on what might be in the future, we are drawing up interventions and mitigative measures to reduce potential disasters,’ stated the DG.

Reflecting on previous challenges faced during flood incidents, the Deputy Governor stressed the importance of access to affected areas.

‘Access to sites mainly affected by floods has been a major challenge in past seasons,’ the DG noted, highlighting the necessity for expediting road construction projects.

The Deputy Governor at the same time emphasized the need for collaborative efforts from all stakeholders to prevent a recurrence of past challenges.

‘We are calling on the national government to expedite the construction of critical roads and urging all stakeholders to sync
hronise their efforts for maximum productivity,’ the DG emphasised.

While Wajir County remains free from flash floods, the authorities are maintaining vigilance and readiness.

‘Anything could happen between now and the forecasted heavy rains, and it is a call for all actors, stakeholders, partners, and the business community to assemble their energies for optimum preparedness,’ said the Deputy Governor.

Source: Kenya News Agency

ODM Party Postpones Kwale Elections To Avert Fallout

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) national election board has temporarily postponed Kwale grassroots election which was to be held this weekend to avert a fall out.

The party national elections coordinating committee chairperson Emily Awita downplayed tensions in the party in the county saying the postponement was due to the ongoing rains in the area.

Ms Awita in a press statement said they had received a request to temporarily postpone the much-anticipated weekend county polls as they assess the situation assuring that the polls will be held when the current rains subside.

She said the grassroots Kwale poll postponement which comes after weeks of tension and uncertainty offer party adherents and officials the opportunity to enhance party elections integrity.

The move to postpone the weekend exercise comes barely a day after a failed attempt by the party to reconcile two warring factions and to reach a consensus.

Efforts by Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo to have former Kwale County Woman Representativ
e Zuleikha Hassan and incumbent party chairman who is also former Matuga MP Hassan Mwanyoha to come to a consensus flopped during a closed-door meeting at a Mombasa hotel.

Madzayo was dispatched by ODM headquarters and pitched a tent in Mombasa County to reconcile the two factions before the party grassroots polls got underway but his efforts failed.

The long serving Kilifi Senator says the ODM top brass sanctioned the reconciliation talks in order to avert fallout over the Kwale party chairmanship post where leading aspirants have been pulling in different directions.

Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council (KEMNAC) Chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao is considered as a third force ahead of the postponed county grassroots polls.

Zuleikha who is also a former ODM nominated MP confirmed there was an attempt to reconcile her with incumbent Mwanyoha but things never worked out.

She was addressing the media when she launched ‘ODM county team fresh’ with an aim to revive the party leadership from the grassroots level w
ith a new team in place.

The former Kwale Woman Rep spoke to the media at Mazeras primary school in Kinango sub county of Kwale.

Zuleikha told the press the flopped reconciliation talks was to have her step down for the second time in favour of Mwanyoha which she said she is not ready to contemplate.

During the press briefing Zuleikha was accompanied by ODM Kinango sub county chairman Safari Nyange and ODM Msambweni sub county chairman Kassim Choka.

Source: Kenya News Agency