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

Drivers Sensitised On New School Transport, PSV Regulations

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has sensitised Kericho residents about the new regulations regarding the Traffic (School Transport) Rules, 2024, and the Operations of Commercial Service Vehicles Regulations, 2024.

The forum that took place at the ACK Holy Trinity in Kericho town also enabled the participants to submit their views on the two regulations that will affect PSVs and school transport.

The NTSA Deputy Director of Licensing Board, Ava Nyawira, emphasised on licensing of all vehicles that operate as school transport vehicles and regular inspection of the vehicles to maintain them in good shape to avoid accidents.

Nyawira further observed that school principals and management play a key role in ensuring only qualified drivers and school vehicle attendants are hired as per the new rules and regulations.

‘Installing stop signal arms on the front and rear right-hand sides of school vehicles will ensure the safety of our learners when they are being picked up and dropped off from sch
ool. This is a new measure that will be very beneficial in the school transport sector,’ said Ms. Nyawira.

Also present was the Manager, of Legal Services at NTSA, Tom Abuga, who stressed the need for the installation of a vehicular telematic system on commercial vehicles as per the Kenya Bureau of Standards, saying commercial vehicle owners will be able to supervise the activities of their drivers and ensure proper adherence to road safety.

‘A driver of a commercial service vehicle should ensure they are duly licensed to drive the class of commercial vehicle they are driving and not exceed the prescribed maximum driving hours. Failure to adhere to these rules will lead to a fine or imprisonment of not less than 6 months,’ added Abuga.

Among the participants at the forum were school principals, police officers, National Government Administration Officers (NGAO), bodaboda operators, Public Service Vehicle operators, and Driving school representatives, among others.

Through the operation of Commercial Servi
ce Vehicle Regulations, (2024), NTSA seeks to regulate all commercial service vehicles whose tare weight is above 348 kilogrammes operating on a public road in Kenya. It also gives the NTSA the power to suspend or revoke any license issued under these Regulations in instances where the license holder fails or neglects to comply with the laws.

At the same time, the Traffic (School Transport) Rules, 2024, prohibit all drivers from overtaking school buses that have extended stop signs.

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

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