Affordable Housing Committee Expresses Concern Over Slow Progress In Wajir Township

The Wajir Township Affordable Housing Project at Skanska site has reported only 12 percent completion rate against a targeted 35 percent during the progress report period.

The Affordable Housing Committee in Wajir County has therefore raised concerns over the sluggish pace of development in addressing housing needs within the community,

Despite concerted efforts and allocating the required resources, the committee has expressed disappointment over the lack of tangible progress in providing adequate housing solutions for the residents of Wajir Town.

Wajir County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo, expressed dissatisfaction with the progress during a site visit, stating, ‘The progress of the work for affordable housing in Wajir is not satisfactory.’

The committee emphasized the urgency of the situation, particularly in light of the growing population and increasing strain on existing housing infrastructure.

‘Each day, which goes by without any significant progress is a missed opportunity, aimed at uplifting the liv
ing standards of our people and alleviate the burden of housing insecurity,’ added Ngumo.

Area residents have echoed the committee’s sentiments, expressing frustration and disappointment over the lack of visible results, despite assurances from authorities.

‘We have been waiting for affordable housing solutions for too long. It’s time for action, not just mere promises,’ said Ahmed Hassan, a resident of Wajir Town.

Source: Kenya News Agency

County To Prioritizes Vocational Training For Job Market Relevance

The County Government of Bomet has taken a significant step in addressing unemployment challenges by initiating a vocational training program aimed at equipping instructors with the necessary skills to train learners for competency-based jobs.

County Chief Officer (CO) for ICT, Stella Rotich, highlighted the pivotal role of vocational training in addressing unemployment rates, particularly among the youth.

‘Vocational training plays an integral role in the dynamic job market by equipping learners with hands-on skills that are key to addressing unemployment rates due to lack of market-demand skills among the youth,’ affirmed Rotich.

Ms Rotich made the remarks during the opening of a four-day training that focuses on Curriculum Based Education Training (CBET) for principals and instructors from the county’s 33 Vocational Training Centers (VTCs). The workshop is being conducted by the TVET Curriculum Development, Assessment, and Certification Council (TVET CDACC).

The CO further emphasized the significance o
f CBET in shaping the future of vocational training and pledged robust support for integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) programs into CBET curricula.

‘Vocational training centers play an integral role in shaping the dynamic job markets by equipping learners with the technical skills needed to address unemployment in the country,’ stated Ms. Rotich. ‘

‘The County government is well-prepared to support these institutions, and we are going to incorporate ICT programs into CBET programs.’

Dr. John Keter, Chief Officer for Education and Vocational Training, reiterated the County government’s commitment to revamping curriculum across all VTCs, to enhance learners’ employability in the job market.

‘This inaugural training in Bomet is of paramount importance as the government has prioritized technical and vocational education in its manifesto. This initiative is crucial in preparing our instructors, to evaluate and educate learners for competency-based roles,’ stated Dr. Keter.

Alphonce Kim
utai Kirui, the County Director of Vocational Training, echoed the sentiments, emphasizing the significance of the initiative in aligning vocational education with market demands.

‘The County Government’s commitment to vocational training is evident through initiatives like this,’ noted Kirui adding: ‘By equipping instructors with the skills needed to train learners for competency-based jobs, we are ensuring that our workforce meets the needs of the evolving job market.’

The training, facilitated by TVET CDACC, seeks to equip instructors with the requisite skills to effectively train learners for competency-based jobs, thus contributing to reducing unemployment and fostering economic growth in the County.

Source: Kenya News Agency

KFS And Kenya Army Launch Tree Planting Campaign In Wajir County

The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) has teamed up with the Kenya Army to spearhead a tree planting campaign in Wajir County in an effort to combat environmental degradation and enhance sustainability.

The initiative, launched amid the long rains, aims to contribute to the government’s ambitious target of achieving a 30% tree cover across the country.

Speaking on Wednesday after the tree planting exercise at Wajir Airbase, KFS Regional Conservator, Ambiya Osman emphasied the critical role of tree planting in mitigating the impacts of global warming.

She stressed that by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, trees play a crucial role in restoring ecological balance.

Ms Osman urged individuals to embrace the initiative as a personal responsibility, highlighting its significance in securing a sustainable future for generations to come.

Brig. David Chesire, the North Eastern regional commander echoed Ms Osman’s sentiments, emphasizing the importance of nurturing the planted saplings.

He urged citizens to
provide regular care, including watering during dry spells and vigilant monitoring for pests and diseases.

Chesire underscored the collective effort required to ensure the success of such endeavors, emphasizing that even small actions can yield significant results in building a better tomorrow.

The ongoing long rains were identified as a boon for the newly planted trees, providing natural irrigation and fostering robust root development. This favorable weather condition offers an optimal start for the saplings, setting the stage for healthy growth and development.

However, the initiative comes against the backdrop of environmental challenges in Wajir County, as highlighted by a recent field assessment report conducted by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) and other partners.

The region faces the dual threats of prolonged droughts and occasional flash floods, both of which have severe repercussions on the livelihoods of communities.

Tolmon Nur, an administration officer underscored the adverse effects of
prolonged droughts, including food insecurity and economic instability.

He noted that the scarcity of water resources exacerbates hardships for residents, particularly impacting women and children who bear the burden of fetching water over long distances.

Wajir County is implementing integrated approaches to address various issues, including disaster risk management, water security, and food security.

Tree planting initiatives form a crucial component of this framework, contributing to resilience-building efforts and promoting sustainable development.

The event was also graced by the Wajir Airbase commander Brig. Stephen Sane.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Stakeholders Convene To Discuss Strategies On Child Labor

The Government under the State Department of Labor and Skill Development, has called for collective action to address child labor and how to completely eradicate the vice.

Speaking in Mombasa during a stakeholder’s engagement forum with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the National Steering Committee, among other partners, Principal Secretary (PS), Shadrack Mwadime, said the government is committed and encourage concerted efforts towards combating child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking.

Mwadime revealed that the government has ratified two key ILO conventions on child labor, including Convention No. 138 on Minimum Age and Convention No.182 on Worst Forms of Child Labor.

He noted that the international labor standards set the general minimum age for admission of children to employment or work and to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, including slavery and practices similar to slavery.

The PS said the country is committed to scaling -up the efforts to implement the Daban call-
to- action, which advocates for elimination of child labor by 2025.

‘Kenya is also in the process to joining the Alliance ‘Target 8.7′, as a pathfinder country, which is a global partnership that brings together states, international organizations, businesses and members of civil societies under the aegis of the UN, to achieve a double objective. This is to end child labor by 2025 and forced labor by 2030,’ said Mwadime.

He added that under Target 8.7, all countries are committed to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor including recruitment and use of child soldiers.

PS noted that Kenya becoming a pathfinder country, will increase the State’s efforts towards the global cause by getting more technical and financial support.

Meanwhile, the State Department is committed to support the National Steering Committee on elimination of child labor, through mobilization o
f resources, development of policies and legislation and strengthening of its structures.

Mwadime added that elimination of child labor is one of the key mandates of the State Department, and that several measures have been put in place as interventions which cut across policy development, establishment of structures and training of labor inspectorate, to equip them with skills towards addressing the vice.

The PS said the government in collaboration with ILO CAPSA project is finalizing the review of the National Policy on the elimination of child labor and a National Action Plan to implement the Policy.

‘The Policy is a response to the persistent challenges caused by child labor as a social and developmental problem. It also focuses on strategies that are aimed at prevention, identification, withdrawal, rehabilitation, which is critical and reintegration of children involved in all forms of child labor,’ he said.

Mwadime pointed out that one of the key components of the Policy is the strong institutional
framework and integrated, implantation, monitoring and evaluation mechanism which is now the National Steering Committee.

Grace Banya, ILO CAPSA Project Manager, commended the government’s proactive stand on child labor, eradication of forced labor and human trafficking.

She noted that the economic strains compounded by Covid-19 pandemic, escalated the situation further.

Project Manager said ILO will offer support to the government and social partners, who have been the main stakeholders in the war against child labor.

Banya noted that the engagement will help stakeholders to review the progress they’ve made over time as they are approaching the deadline which is 2025 for Kenya to completely eradicate child labor.

‘As ILO we are supporting the government through financial and technical support for them to do what they are mandated to do,’ she said.

She added that ILO is committed to ensure the government adhere to international labor standards that require each country to legislate against child labor a
nd have interventions in place that protect and prevent children from getting to child labor and for those who are victims, to be reintegrated back in school and in the community so as to resume meaningful life as children.

Source: Kenya News Agency

700 Trees Planted In Lodwar During Launch Of Tree Growing Campaign

A total of 700 trees were planted in Lodwar on Wednesday during the launch of long rains tree growing campaign that will climax with planting of more trees by interior and National Administration cabinet secretary Kithure Kindiki who is expected in the county on Friday.

Turkana County commissioner Julius Kavita led officials from Kenya defence forces, Kenya forest service, Kenya prison service, county government among others at Lodwar girls’ primary school in the exercise.

Kavita said the exercise was in line with the president’s agenda of growing 15 billion trees by 2032.

‘We have planted 700 tree seedlings today but the big day will be on Friday 10th when the cabinet secretary for interior Prof Kithure Kindiki is expected to come to Turkana County and lead in planting of more trees,’ he said.

He emphasised the need to nurture the trees to maturity saying each tree planted has been assigned a student to ensure it grows to maturity.

The CC said the school was chosen because it was well secured and has a
source of water however, he noted that trees will also be planted in other parts of Lodwar town.

County forest conservator Richard Guya said the tree planting campaign aims at mitigating effects of climate change.

‘We are emphasising on growing and conserving trees from destruction as opposed to just planting trees because that is the only way the community will benefit from the trees planted,’ said Guya.

He said the current Turkana County tree cover is 10.8 percent and the government and its partners are yearning to achieve 30 percent tree cover by 2032.

The conservator divulged that county has a stock of 300,000 seedlings in various tree nurseries across the county.

In the same vein he advised charcoal traders to explore other trades like bee keeping which do not destroy the forests.

Lodwar girls head teacher Veronicah Ogoti said she targets to grow 2, 000 trees and lauded the long rains tree growing campaigns for enabling the planting of 700 trees.

She said she needed equipment like water pans and w
ater storage facilities and asked partners to help her ensure the programme is sustainable.

On his part, County prison commander George Odhiambo said planting trees is everyone’s initiative and called on all Kenyans to join the noble initiative.

He said prison officers would support the school to ensure trees grow whenever called upon.

County director of natural resources Clement Nadio said Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has identified sustainable natural resources management as Agenda number six in a nine-point development agenda, noting that greening the county would make the realisation of the agenda possible.

He added that another programme to increase tree cover is establishment of 10 tree nurseries across the county.

‘The county has allocated at least 2 percent of its annual budget towards climate change and adaptation initiatives. Next financial year there are plans to set up a 10 acre-belt to plant trees in Loima which will be extended to other sub counties,’ Nadio said.

The county government will
also transplant 10 million tree seedlings every financial year, he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

LBDA Commissions Water Project Worth Ksh.8 Million For Cham Gi Wadu Community

Residents of Cham gi Wadu Village in Rongo Sub-County, Migori County have benefited from a water project worth Kshs.8 million courtesy of Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA).

The project was commissioned and handed over to the Community yesterday by the Managing Director of LBDA, Mr. Wycliffe Ochiaga.

Also present at the function at Cham gi Wadu Market were members of the National Assembly committee on regional development led by Vice Chair Mary wa Mauwa who is also the MP for Maragwa Constituency.

The committee members praised the project and said it would go a long way in solving water shortages persistently witnessed in the area.

MD Ochiaga said LBDA operates within 18 counties including Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Homa bay, Kisumu and Migori and involves in drilling boreholes, protect water towers and campaign for good sanitation within and around Lake Victoria riparian Basin.

The authority was keen to continue with its efforts to supply clean and enough water to the communities around and within the L
ake Basin, he added.

The official encouraged the benefiting communities to plant more trees and take care of the donor projects done within their areas by securing them from vandalism, adding that he was looking forward to continuous collaboration with members of parliament and county government to change the lives of the residents.

Embakasi South MP Julius Mawathe praised his Rongo counterpart Paul Abuor for drilling more than 14 boreholes in his Constituency with the help of the Constituency Development Funds (CDF).

He requested the MP to extend the project water lines connections to schools and far flung homes to benefit more residents.

‘We are grateful to our MP and the LBDA for the water project and the many boreholes that have been sunk in this region,’ said Lilian Awuor Otieno, a vegetable vendor at the Cham gi Wadu market.

Source: Kenya News Agency