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

Clerics Call For Ban Of Miraa/Muguka

0Mombasa clergy have asked the government to ban the sale and consumption of Miraa and Muguka in the country citing it as a main cause of juvenile gangs and a way of protecting children from the effects of drug abuse.

Addressing the media at MEWA Community Centre after an interfaith meeting to present findings from a Situational Assessment on Stimulant use by young people who use drugs in Mombasa and Lamu counties, Hussein Taib from MEWA Health and Harm Reduction said that the stimulant is now sold at market places and near schools making it easy for children to access it.

Taib said the government should not only censor its sale to specific areas but also ban and consider it illegal just like bhang and heroine. Meanwhile, He noted that as per their assessment, school going children of age 10 to 17 years are now using muguka that is sold at around Sh.50 at even market places like Kongowea market.

He said the target was 1000 people and so far, they have got 708. ‘We started in October and we are still moving
on with the programme,’ he said adding they have done sensitization with the community, elders and leaders including religious ones.

‘We urge the government to ban the sale of muguka near schools and market places. Our children can easily access it when sent to the market to buy foodstuff,’ he said.

Moreover, he added, the law clearly outlines the classification of miraa and muguka as drugs and substances.

He warned that muguka can cause madness if consumed uncontrollably with the highest numbers of patients treated at rehabilitation centers being victims of the substance.

His sentiments were echoed by Bishop Geofrey Nyongesa from Nyali who said the drug has affected many educated young people with some having been reported to have psychiatric problems.

Nyongesa said some have refused to eat well claiming that the consumption of miraa and muguka can make one lose appetite. However, he asked the government to check into the matter and asked the businesspeople selling muguka and miraa to look for another b
usiness that is not harmful in the society.

He noted that, as an interfaith group, they are going to write a memorandum to the county government to ask for the ban on the sale and consumption of the substance in Mombasa.

‘We have started this movement and we will raise our voice countrywide and advocate for the ban of this drug. The new generation is becoming unproductive following the consumption of drugs,’ he said.

Fatuma Said, a nursery school teacher who is also a stakeholder in education and community development, said many women have now neglected their duties as mothers since they stay overnight chewing muguka.

She said the drug is now consumed by both men and women making it hard for children to abstain from it. She thus requested the government to use the same method used in fighting illicit brews to end the use of muguka and miraa.

Mombasa county governor Abdulswamad Nassir directed the department of education to collaborate and identify all public and private schools to ensure that no one is a
llowed to sell miraa or muguka near these institutions.

Nassir issued a stern warning to all those involved in selling drugs near school premises, emphasizing that such activities would no longer be tolerated.

‘We will not negotiate on the wellbeing of our children, those selling muguka and other stimulants to school-going-children will meet the full force of the law. There will be an inspection team going around checking on those who will defy,’ he said at a past event in Mombasa.

He emphasized on the importance of conducting those businesses in appropriate locations away from areas where children could be exposed.

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

Governor Visits Site Of Kimende Escarpments After Devastating Landslide

Three people are still feared trapped under massive soil following a landslide at Kimende Escapement, Lari subcounty, Kiambu County.

The incident occurred last night where several homes near the escarpments were covered by falling soil fragments.

The victims, who were reportedly on their way home, were caught off guard by the sudden event.

Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi who today visited the site as rescue operations ramped up said the search for the missing people is being coordinated by the Kiambu County Emergency Response Team in collaboration with Kenya Red Cross Society.

‘Together with the County Disaster Response Team, we have visited the area to assess the situation and assist affected residents as the operation to find the missing continues,’ stated Governor Wamatangi.’

Wamatangi further called on residents living in areas identified as dangerous and prone to landslides to move to safer places.

‘The county government of Kiambu will be offering humanitarian assistance to all those affected by t
he natural disaster,’ he added.

The recent surge of heavy rainfall across the country has been attributed as the primary cause of escalating incidents of landslides in the country.

Motorists and other road users plying the Kimende-Matathia Road have been urged to seek alternative routes.

Last night’s incident happened barely a fortnight after the Kenya Meteorological Department warned of potential landslides in different parts of the country.

In response to the crisis, Lari MP Joseph Mburu Kahangara has mobilized resources, stating, ‘I have tasked all machinery deployed along MauMau road to rush and assist in the operation.

He urged reidents to be patient as the search for the missing persons continue

‘The recovery operation along the KimeƱde-Matathia road, following yesterday’s massive landslide, has commenced this morning and the operation is being spearheaded by the Kiambu County Commissioner’ Kahangara said.

The Kenya Red Cross declared the Kimende escarpment a danger zone.

Source: Kenya News Age

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

CA Targets Revenue Collection Of Sh.117.4 Billion In Five Years

The Communications Authority of Kenya targets a revenue collection of Sh.117.4 billion in the five-year implementation of its 5th Strategic Plan which runs from 2023 to 2027 as it seeks to achieve its core vision of digital access for all.

Ministry of Information, Communications and The Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eluid Owalo speaking in Nairobi during the launch said that the strategic plan is coming at a time when ICT is playing a critical role in the Kenya Kwanza plan, where the digital super highway is a thematic area of the country’s development agenda.

Owalo said that CA as a regulator is a key enabler of the government’s ICT agenda and from the policy perspective, the strategic plan is aligned with that of the parent Ministry, the governments Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), EAC Vision 2050, AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

‘In the preparation of the strategic plan, CA has looked back introspectively and taken note of the milestones it has a
chieved while implementing the previous strategic plan, the challenge is to maintain the exemplary performance,’ said Owalo.

The CS called on CA to continue providing an enabling environment for the telecommunications companies and everyone that the authority regulates which will support the delivery of the governments’ development agenda.

‘I am happy to note that this is the first time in my experience of strategic planning spanning over 25 years, that I have seen a strategic plan that is self-financing and has got a surplus which indicates that CA is doing a commendable job in matters financial management,’ said Owalo.

During the 4th strategic plan from July 2018 to June 2023, CA’s key achievements include a 45.9 percent increase in mobile phone subscription from 45.5 million to 66.4 million, 62.4 percent increase in broadband subscription from 20.5 million to 33.3 million among others.

In a bid to close the digital access gap, the Authority has in the past five years finalized the rollout of Internet c
onnectivity in 886 public secondary schools spread across 47 counties. The Authority also finalized Phase I of the cellular mobile infrastructure project, which connected 76 sublocations in unserved and underserved parts of the country with mobile connectivity.

Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary (PS) Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani said that as leverage on emerging technologies, we must accommodate the African values and systems so that we can ask Artificial Intelligence (AI) to accommodate them.

‘In doing so we shall have answers that are of African nature and have technological solutions to our local problems,’ said Prof. Kisiang’ani.

The PS called on CA to continue with financial prudence by reducing cost and increasing revenue.

CA Board of Directors Chairperson Ms. Mary Mungai said that the plan is a reflection of their commitment to ensure that every Kenyan can meaningfully benefit from the digital revolution and contribute to their social economic development.

‘As CA, we further seek
to support delivery of BETA by providing opportunities for ICT readiness for Kenyans through implementation of a flagship project that entails the development of a global innovation hub. This will comprise an ICT convention centre, a Smart Multi-office Storey Block and a Data Centre,’ said Ms. Mungai.

She explained that these initiatives underline their unwavering commitment to nurturing innovation, encouraging collaboration and upholding excellence in the ICT Sector.

CA Director General David Mugonyi said that the authority achieved a score of 72 percent in the implementation of the previous strategic plan.

‘Our target for this strategic plan is 95 percent. The strategic plan we are launching today seeks to build on previous achievements,’ said Mugonyi.

He explained that this plan rests on four cardinal pillars: Promotion of Meaningful Connectivity to ICT Services, Empowerment and Protection of ICT Consumers, Fostering Competitive ICT Markets and Emerging Technologies, and; Enhancement of Organizational
Efficiency and Effectiveness.

Mugonyi highlighted that a key deliverable for them is that they must ensure that the digital environment is safe for all especially children and they are working to ensure that service providers live up to the promises they make to consumers.

Universal Service Advisory Council (USAC) Chairperson James Ongwae said that universal Access to ICT continues to create a positive impact on communities and citizens across the country.

‘We see the next five years as a turning point not only for CA but for Kenya as a country as we go through the digital transformation,’ said Ongwae as he emphasized that every Kenyan deserves the right to accessible and affordable ICT services.

Source: Kenya News Agency