Media Asked To Uphold Ethical Journalistic Reporting

Journalists in Kenya have been tasked to continuously seek the correct information during their reporting as this was the only way of keeping the country united amidst various challenges facing traditional journalism today.

Various speakers during the celebration of the International World Press Freedom Day in Kapsabet town, Nandi County, emphasised on upholding accepted journalistic ethics by always adopting balanced reporting.

Nandi County Government Public Service Board Chief Executive Officer Nancy Cheruto who represented County Secretary Dr. Francis Sang told journalists working in Nandi that had gathered in Kapsabet AIC Bible College to uphold the standards of unbiased reporting as Kenyans generally trusted what is reported in the media.

‘You are the agents of peace and that tasks you to always stick on correct information and ensure all that you report keep this country safe,’ Cheruto said.

The County CEO however tasked the journalists to report on rampant conmen who have swindled innocent Kenyans
their hard earned money.

Cheruto described the rate in which conmen steal locals’ money as alarming and challenged the Nandi Press Club and other journalists across the country to investigate alleged people who go round promising desperate Kenyans non-existent jobs after paying certain fees.

‘The media should help us in educating locals on how they can easily detect conmen who constantly promise locals non-existent offshore jobs,’ she said.

The Public Service Board CEO also expressed concern over the increasing number of people who have been conned money on mobile platforms.

She further suggested that journalists should the lead in informing the locals how to keep safe during their mobile money transactions.

Church representatives who attended the World Press Freedom Day thanked the press constantly enlightening Kenyans on various issues affecting them.

They also called on the journalists to stick to ethical standards reporting and maintain their trust which Kenyans have bestowed upon them.

The Interna
tional World Press Freedom Day was marked in Nandi after Nandi Press Club organised a march through Kapsabet town and climaxed at African Inland Church Bible College where a tree planting exercise took place led by the Kenya Forest Service.

Several partners also attended the celebration to mark the theme: ‘A Press for the planet: Journalism in the face of Environmental Crisis.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Floods Ravage Kisumu County As Homes, Businesses Submerged

Residents and traders in Kisumu County are counting massive losses after their homes and businesses were marooned by floods after River Nyando burst its banks leaving a trail of destruction.

The latest flood crisis has caused extensive damage to residential areas, trading centers, public institutions and critical infrastructure in Nyando, Kadibo, Muhoroni and Nyakach Sub Counties.

The surge in River Nyando’s waters has been exacerbated by the increasing back flow from Lake Victoria and persistent heavy downpours in higher grounds like Nandi County.

As floods intensify, the situation in the lakeside county has deteriorated, compounding the challenges for the displaced locals who are already struggling to recover from previous crises.

A multi-agency response team composed of the National Government Administrative Officers, Coast Guard, the Kenya Red Cross Society, St. Johns and County Emergency Disaster Management Unit have been activated to evacuate the over 600 families marooned in their homes and busines
s premises in Nyando Sub County.

The overflow also impacted transportation, as evidenced by the temporary traffic disruption at Nyando Bridge in Ahero market. However, the situation at the bridge has since stabilized, as the movement of vehicles has resumed.

Farmers in Kibigori Sub location, Chemelil reported significant agricultural losses after the floods washed approximately 600 acres of maize and bean crops.

A spot check by Kenya News Agency (KNA) showed that healthcare facilities had not been spared, with Bunde Dispensary marooned and Ahero Sub-County Hospital partially submerged with wards and offices adversely affected.

Ahero and Muhoroni towns were completely flooded, severely impeding commercial activities, while areas like Ombeyi, Kabonyo Kanyagwal, Ombaka, and Sango Rota have experienced mass displacement due to flooding.

Moreover, feeder road networks like Ahero-Bunde-Kosida-Kasuna road were rendered impassable and the bridge at Homa Lime in Muhoroni Sub-County collapsed.

The dyke spanning f
rom Ahero Police Station to Magina – an approximately 5-kilometer stretch along both sides of River Nyando, has been washed downstream, worsening the crisis.

In a statement issued by Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o on Sunday, confirmed that the County had mobilized a multi-agency team to swiftly rescue the affected families.

‘We are working closely with the National government through our Multi-Agency committee to help our people. We sincerely thank the Coast Guard and the Kenya Red Cross Society whose teams are already at Ahero to help in the rescue mission.’

Nyong’o affirmed that a command center had been established at Ahero Sub-County Hospital to coordinate rescue operations and provide medical aid while the Kenya Defense Forces had deployed helicopters and manpower for aerial rescue missions.

Numerous schools, including St. Anne’s Primary, Ahero Girls Secondary, Karanda Primary and Secondary, Kosida Primary, Okanja Mixed Day Secondary School, Odino Primary, and Onjiko Boys, have been flooded.

Nyando Deputy
County Commissioner Elijah Maranga reported that the floods had caused minimal damage to public utilities like schools and hospitals. However, he noted that Ahero Police Station was severely affected, with water levels reaching waist-high in officers’ residences.

‘No major damage to public utilities like schools has been occasioned. However, Ahero Police Station is the most affected as the water level is to the waist level in houses used by officers,’ Maranga said.

He added that the compound of the Nyando Assistant County Commissioner’s office was partially submerged, impacting service delivery.

Additionally, government offices, including those of the OCS, Nyando Sub County Police Commander, Sub County Director of Criminal Investigation, and Base Traffic, have been marooned.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Conservator Leads Journalists In Tree Planting Drive

Kisii County Forest Conservator Safari Opiyo has lauded journalists in Gusii region for their efforts in promoting environmental conservation by planting over 400 trees in Kisii and Nyamira Counties as part of the World Press Freedom 2024 celebrations.

Speaking at Kisii School on the outskirts of Kisii town after leading the scribes in a tree planting exercise, Mr. Opiyo said the tree planting initiative will not only mitigate the effects of climate change, but also increase the tree cover and forest cover in the counties.

‘Despite the fact that the forest cover in Kisii is high, we have to continue planting trees so that the effect can be felt in those areas that have the deficiency in forest cover,’ noted the Forest Conservator.

He pointed out the importance of planting trees during the rainy season saying the survival rate of the tree seedlings planted in the rainy season is high.

Opiyo encouraged the scribes and residents to grow trees in institutions because they are assured that they will be nurture
d and protected instead of being tampered with by human beings.

The journalists planted a variety of tree species including fruit trees, agroforestry trees and fodder trees that provide timber, wood fuel, medicine use as well as environmental gains in the communities.

Other learning institutions that benefitted from the tree planting initiative include Kereri Girls in Kisii Central Sub County and Rangenyo primary school in Nyamira South Sub County.

This comes after the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy partnered with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Kisii National Polytechnic to plant 6500 trees in Kisii County.

The trees were planted at Kanunda (2500 trees), Sakawa (3,000 trees) and Kiamwasi (1000 trees) primary schools in Kitutu Central Sub County, and geared towards meeting the county’s target of planting 10 million trees by 2032.

Kisii County has a tree cover of 26.6 percent and aims to achieve 30 percent tree cover by 2032.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Project To Tackle Poor Sanitation

Two informal settlements in Kisumu will benefit from a modern sanitation project that will cost Sh19.5 million.

Manyatta and Obunga slums will have the unique facilities that will revolutionize the poor sanitation as it did in Nyalenda and Nyamasaria.

This is timely intervention especially with current flooding challenges. The project is being implemented by Seureca East Africa Ltd in partnership with the national government.

The funding has been channeled through Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency (LVSWDA) with Kisumu Water and Sanitation Company as a key partner.

Seureca sanitation expert Caroline Mwangi said that the project has restored hope for a cleaner environment as reaffirmed during a public participation forum held at Magadi primary school.

Mwangi told the forum composed of landlords/ladies that project has two categories of toilets; a modern pit latrine and a power flush type of facilities.

The modern pit latrine category cannot be connected to a sewer line as Koyango area whe
re it would be domiciled on a pilot basis has its own unique challenges including a low water table.

On the other hand if the residents built a power flush type, it could be advantageous as it could be remodified for connection to a sewer line, she explained.

Mwangi said it was in this light that Seureca East Africa Ltd convened the forum for local landlords and ladies to help in the management and curb environmental degradation.

Speakers at the forum blamed the introduction of pampers in place of napkins terming this a tragedy. Local residents often woke up to find piles of pampers dumped at the doorsteps or gates at night.

It emerged that pampers and sanitary towels are the major things that clogged toilets and drainage and ultimately ended up in Lake Victoria after being swept away by the raging flood waters.

‘We have already built more than 200 such sanitary facilities (latrines) across the country translating to a whooping Sh130 million. However, many more people are lined up to benefit,’ she said.

wangi, an environmental expert and her colleague Eng. Dorothy Ronoh said the VIP latrine (1st type) measured 2.5m × 3m × 3m (depth), width and length with a capacity of 22,000 litres, and can hold 0.9 Kg of fecal matter and 2 litres of urine per person per day. This is why landlords/ladies were advised to sign an MoU with Seureca alongside other partners that they would help empty the toilets.

Kisumu has a high water table, she explained, and this is why the depth of the facility (1st type) was made shallow hence could not exceed 2.5 m to 3 m as the maximum.

However, she added, the range would be dependent upon the condition of the soil that also determined the extent the excavation could reach.

On the other hand, the proposed public ablution block would measure 20meters × 20meters size of land while the proposed management model would be the Dwellers Drive approach.

This goes to explain why respective Ward and Village Administrators alongside local elders will play a leading role complete with a checklis
t to boot.

The project also has a strong Monitoring and Evaluation structure after it emerged elsewhere that some landlords and ladies unfortunately turned public toilets or the VIP facilities into personal properties thus locked out other beneficiaries.

Mwangi termed this as unfair for other beneficiaries or tenants as they automatically lacked a place to go for a call for nature.

‘You need to give people the dignity they deserve. This is why we enter into a contractual agreement with landlords, Seureca and its partners,’ she reiterated.

To this end, she added, we have in place a legal representative to ensure the rights of all beneficiaries are protected.

A caveat has also been put on the private land so that anyone who wants to buy such land must abide by the rule that the project continues benefiting the public.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Kwale Rolls Out Hybrid Gala Goats Distribution Exercise

Kwale county government has kicked off a hybrid gala goats distribution exercise to various farmers across the coastal county.

The gala goats’ issuance is aimed at improving local breeds in order to improve the market weights of the meat goats from 30kg to 45 kgs.

Governor Fatuma Achani said that the main objective of the project was to improve meat production for food security and household income through improvement of the meat goats’ local breeds.

Governor Achani says the hybrid gala goats will boost meat and milk production in the coastal region.

She says the gala goats will interbreed with local ones to produce high quality breeds that would produce more milk and quality meat.

Speaking at the county headquarters, Achani says the livestock distribution programme seeks to increase food and nutrition security, better market access and increase household incomes.

The coastal county boss says the bucks (male gala goats) take between 15 to 24 months to maturity.

Achani says the devolved government is co
mmitted to making sure smallholder livestock farming is prospering in the county.

She said the distribution exercise will see a total of 540 gala goats distributed to 12 wards of Kwale.

She said the administrative wards are Kinango, Ndavaya, Puma, Samburu Chengoni, MacKinnon, Mwavumbo, Kasemeni, Mwereni, Mkongani, Tsimba Golini, Kubo and Ukunda wards.

Achani accompanied by her Deputy Chirema Kombo and the County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture Roman Shera said the devolved unit is determined to create an opportunity for profitable goat farming in the region.

Achani also launched the distribution exercise of gala goats to Wanamezea and Usalama groups of Mbuguni Village in Tsimba Golini ward, Matuga Sub County.

During the exercise, a total of 228 gala goats at a cost of Sh3.6 million meant for cross breeding purposes as well as rearing of goats to increase household incomes through sale of improved meat and milk goats were distributed.

Achani said the county government would go out of its way t
o support the diversified breeding of better-quality livestock varieties that are disease-resistant and high-yielding.

She said the initiative was being undertaken through the Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development (KEMFSED) programme under the theme ‘improving livelihoods of coastal communities.’

The Governor says the gala goats are fast-growing breeds with very high fertility rates compared to other local goat breeds, thus most farmers preferred them for commercial goat farming purposes.

She said the small livestock farmers in the county have since been trained in goat keeping, nutrition, breeding and disease prevention to ensure the success of the project.

Achani says this initiative aims to empower local farmers and enhance their income-generating capabilities.

‘By providing livestock keepers with high-quality breeding stock, we are equipping them with the necessary resources to improve their livelihoods and contribute to the development of our county,’ she said.

‘We are going to scal
e up the goats based interventions to benefit stallholder farmers and lift many livestock keepers out of poverty,’ she added.

The Governor also stressed the need for enhancing value chain development in the dairy sector at county level through production of milk products such as yogurt, cheese and butter.

Achani revealed that the purpose of the project was to improve goat production, food security and income generation through the sale of goats.

She said as the county government continued to prioritize the agricultural sector, she is confident that these initiatives would have a positive and long-lasting impact on the lives of local smallholder farmers.

Hamza Suleiman, a local farmer, said since gala goats grow larger and faster than local goats, the farmers could take the gala goats to the market sooner and sell them for good money.

He said the hybrid breeding county initiative would support farmers from a business point of view by improving the benefiting households’ income levels.

The farmer observed
that the hybrid breed goat rearing would in the long run bring stability and income to farmers in Kwale.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Nyangores River Burst Its Banks Displacing Over 100 Families

Nyangores River, situated in Bomet County, has burst its banks, leading to the displacement of more than 100 families residing in Raiya and Chebirir villages.

The residents of these villages, located on the outskirts of Bomet town, woke up to find their homes engulfed by flood waters from the swollen river.

In response, a multi-agency team comprising Red Cross personnel and security officers swiftly initiated evacuation efforts to ensure the safety of affected families.

A temporary shelter has been established in Raiya village to accommodate over 50 displaced families.

County Commissioner Dr. Omar Ahmed led the evacuation operation, reassuring the families that they were relocated to secure locations away from the flooded areas.

Dr. Ahmed affirmed, ‘Families living along river Nyangores have been evacuated with immediate effect and relocated to nearby churches. Efforts are underway to supply them with food and non-food items through the Red Cross.’

Members of the Red Cross, along with disaster managemen
t officers from the County Government, navigated the flooded areas in boats, rescuing trapped children and women from marooned homes.

Catherine Soi, one of the affected residents, recounted her shock upon waking up to find her house submerged. ‘We made calls, and the security team and Red Cross officers responded promptly, whisking us to safety using boats,’ she said, lamenting the loss of belongings left behind in the flood waters.

Aaron Kirui, another affected resident, bemoaned not only the displacement but also agricultural losses. ‘My one-acre maize farm has been submerged and my three cows are confined to a small area. We are forced to navigate the floods frequently to feed them,’ he explained, appealing to the government for assistance with shelter and food.

In Chebirir village, several families, totaling over 40 individuals, were evacuated as flood waters encroached upon their homes. These families have found temporary refuge at Chebiri Primary School.

Joseph Sanga, a resident of Chebirir, urged t
he government to provide food supplies for the affected families, highlighting the imminent risk of hunger if assistance is not forthcoming.

Felix Langat, Chief Officer of Public Health and Medical Services, warned of potential waterborne disease outbreaks due to the heavy rains.

He emphasized the need for preventive measures, including the distribution of mosquito nets to mitigate the risk of malaria.

As Bomet County grapples with the aftermath of the flooding, collaborative efforts between county and national authorities are essential to provide relief and safeguard the well-being of affected communities.

Source: Kenya News Agency