All Set For The Southern Kenya ASK Show In Kisii

Preparations are in top gear for this year’s Southern Kenya Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) show that will be held in Kisii Town showgrounds.

The show, whose theme is dubbed ‘Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture and Trade Initiatives for Sustainable Economic Growth,’ will commence from July 11 to July 14, 2024.

Speaking to the press from the showgrounds, the Southern Kenya ASK Chairman, Mr. Kefa Onduso said they are collaborating with exhibitors from Agriculture, Education, Manufacturing and Small and Medium Enterprise sectors among others for this year’s show.

Onduso urged the public to take part in the Agricultural Show to learn new technologies and innovations, including techniques that can help to combat climate change.

He noted the membership categories will be charged at Sh8500 for an executive member, Sh 3000 for a full member, Sh 2000 for a single or KPO member, Sh800 for a military member and Sh 400 for young farmers.

The Chairman pointed out that besides the exhibition, the attendees will be
entertained by Military Mass band displays, Musical and Theatrical Performance, an Amusement Park and fireworks.

Rael Obara, one of the exhibitors from Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) in Kisii, encouraged the residents to come to the show and learn the different methods of production of fingerlings and fish feeds.

On his part, Ogembo Tea Factory Unit Manager Peterson Arao said they will be showcasing new tea farming and production techniques at the event.

The Southern Kenya ASK show is expected to attract exhibitors from Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Homa Bay and lower parts of Kericho, Bomet and Narok Counties.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Innovative Youths To Benefit From Sh1million Business Support

Innovative youth have two weeks to apply for the Skies Business Incubation Program 2024 in order to benefit from a Sh1 million worth of business support mentorship and training the World Bank.

The programme that seeks to boost innovations in the manufacturing and value addition, agriculture, the creative economy, health and digital technologies sectors will see winners also set to benefit from expert support in fundraising and business.

Mount Kenya University (MKU), one of the main partners of the programme, Head of Innovations, Intellectual property and community Engagement Donatus Njoroge said about 40 early stage businesses will be incubated and offered technical business support.

Njoroge, the project lead said at least 20 innovators will benefit for track one and 16 for track two, along with 532 students who will receive scholarships for rapid tech skills training.

‘The youth have two weeks to apply. Successful ones will get Sh1 million each in business support but not a cash grant. We encouraged peop
le living with disability, women and marginalized groups to take advantage and apply,’ said Njoroge.

The Strengthening Kenya’s Innovation Ecosystem (Skies) programme also seeks to benefit intermediaries that incubate and accelerate enterprises engaged in various value chains.

The event that was held at MKU Thika seeks to improve services of 200 accelerators, incubators and tech boot camp providers in the country that have been instrumental in boosting innovations.

MKU’s innovation hub is among the centres and was jointly funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union two years ago has been the hallmark of excellence in SME support across the country in supporting the life cycle of innovations, from inception to market diffusion and commercialization, according to Njoroge.

The innovations are supported by the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP) and implemented by the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry, Spineberg and E4Impact Foundation.

David Cheboryot, E4Impact Foundation
representative and one of the directors of the management firm said Skies will be working on building intermediary capacity, empowering tech education and fostering an environment of collaboration, where intermediaries join hands to enhance startup support and share best practices and ecosystem learnings.

‘Among the startup challenges identified are funding gaps (particularly in follow-up funding), policy fluctuations and regulatory adjustments,’ Cheboryot said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Fluorspar Mining Company To Start Operations By End Year

The fluorspar mining company which stopped operations nine years ago will come back to life within the next six months reviving the hopes of hundreds of residents in Keiyo South Sub County and the larger Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Mining Salim Mvurya assured the over 200 families who gave up their 4,329 parcels of land for the establishment of the company they will be compensated even as the investor Fujax-Soy who will pump in Sh4.8 billion starts operations.

The CS said his Ministry will ensure that the company strictly adheres to the Mining Act of 2016 where 70% of royalties will be paid to the National Treasury, 20% to the County Government while 10% will go to the local community.

He added that as part of CSR, the company will also work with the community to improve schools, hospitals and other basic services for the period they will be operating in the area.

The CS said the company will not only hire locals who are qualified for the various positions but will also ensur
e that they are given tenders to supply various goods.

He also instructed the PS Mining Elijah Mwangi who was present to ensure that a testing laboratory was established in the area so that testing and sampling of the minerals was done locally.

The PS said the company had been given a lease period of 25 years saying the land occupied by the company is still government property and that once the lease period is over, the land and all movable assets will revert back to the government.

He added that the government will own 15% of the company’s shares saying that to protect government interests and those of the community, a Director will be appointed by the government will be part of the company’s board of directors.

The Fujax company UK regional Director Hendrick Ryst pledged to work with the local community in reviving the Flourspar company.

Leaders led by the Governor Wisley Rotich, senator William Kisang, Women rep Jane Ngelechei and area MP Gideon Kimaiyo pledged to support the company saying it will no
t only offer employment opportunities to the youth but also increase revenue to the county.

Youth leader Bernard Chemase called on the youth to form youth groups where they can be get loans from banks and purchase lorries to benefit from transporting the minerals.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Resident Of The Flooded Kihoto Estate In Naivasha Cry For Help

As the Kenyans continue to come to terms with effects of the heavy rainfall that the country witnessed in the months of March, April and May, memories of the damage brought about by the downpour still linger in the minds of many people with the critical question remaining to be whether the enough measures have been put in order to mitigate future disasters.

Experts in disaster management always uphold that disaster preparedness is key to averting feature disasters and minimizing loss of lives and property.

According to the Kenya Meteorological Department, most parts of the country are expected to receive average rainfall in the months of June, July and August compared to the previous quarter, marking a huge sigh of relief for flood prone areas that have suffered the wrath of mother nature.

On the shores of Lake Naivasha is Kihoto estate, a slum that thousands of people call home and hosts low income earners such as casual laborers and majority of workers in the flower farms which are spread out on the Moi
South and North Lake roads.

The estate which has borne the brunt of flooding on several occasions was not spared in the recent past, with over 5,000 people displaced from their homes after their houses were submerged in water following the heavy downpour that left behind a trail of destruction in what was once a thriving estate.

In 2020, the estate was also affected by the rising levels of water on Lake Naivasha due to climate change, thus exposing the residents to the risk of waterborne disease and another possible disaster.

With the perennial flooding menace being a major headache to the residents, the search for a lasting solution is inevitable with some proposals being already fronted that include relocation of the affected people in order to address the problem.

A month after the estate was submerged in water, the displaced residents are yet to return to their homes but water levels are reducing albeit gradually.

Learning institutions were not spared either after the only public primary school in th
e slum were overrun by floods, disrupting the learning calendar of many school-going children in the slum, whose only hope of ever changing their lives was pegged on education for a better future.

Cases of human-wildlife conflicts have also escalated in the area due the rising water levels in the lake, forcing the hippos and buffaloes that inhabit Lake Naivasha to invade human settlements and adjacent flower farms posing a great security hazard to the locals.

Michael Wainaina, a resident in the slum says the flooding has caused a lot of untold suffering to the locals, not only through the raging waters but also the high number of hippos and buffaloes roaming in the area, endangering the lives of the residents.

The Lake View Member of County Assembly (MCA) Alex Mbugua in whose area this slum lies says, the County government is looking into various possible ways in order to provide a long-term sustainable solution to this perennial problem.

He was emphatic that the Nakuru County government under the leaders
hip of Governor Susan Kihika is committed to ensure the affected families are resettled and is working closely with the National Government on how to address this matter.

Nakuru Senator Tabitha Mukami Karanja has on several occasions raised concern over the repeated flooding incidents in the estate, raising fears over a humanitarian crisis that may arise in the event of a disease breakout owing to lack of proper sanitation and hygiene.

The Senator has however promised to raise the issue with the Senate to follow up on the recommendation of a parliamentary committee that had visited the area a couple of years back and in whose report proposals were made to relocation of the residents to higher grounds.

In the aforementioned months of March, April and May, its estimated that over 300 people were killed by the floods that affected 33 counties around the country with over 200,000 families displaced and tens of others still missing in 33 affected counties. Nearly 2,000 Schools were affected by the devastating f
loods in the country causing a delay in the reopening of schools for the second term.

The Government through the Ministry of Education is working out plan to rehabilitate the damaged infrastructure in the affected schools in collaboration with the Members of Parliament (MPs) through the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) to help renovate the infrastructure in these schools.

In Maai-mahiu area of Naivasha, victims of these floods are yet to come to terms with this mega disaster that took away lives, leaving massive destruction in its wake.

In the wee hours of Monday April 29, residents of the old Kijabe town and surrounding villages in Maai- Mahiu were awoken by roaring sounds of raging waters after a night of heavy downpour that left a massive trail of destruction.

The water came gushing downstream from the upper part of the Kijabe hills and annihilated hundreds of homes in the Mai Mahiu area of Naivasha. Sixty-three people died in this tragedy and several others are still missing.
About 112 people were hospitalized in different hospitals after the incident.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Majority Of Tea Directors In Murang’a Retained Their Seats

A big number of current KTDA directors allied to tea factories in Murang’a were re-elected in the elections conducted in various polling stations within the tea growing zones.

In the polls conducted by the IEBC and done in selected tea buying centres which acted as polling stations, former directors who were targeting to make a comeback were floored by the current directors.

Murang’a County has 10 tea factories distributed in the tea growing zone stretching through the sub counties of Mathioya, Kangema,Kahuro, Kigumo, Kandara and Gatanga.

Majority of directors who retained their positions were of Nduti, Gatunguru, Njunu, Makomboki, Gacharage and Ikumbi tea factories

Three directors namely, Chege Kirundi of Kiru, John Kahari (Kanyenyaini) and Nancy Wangari of Nduti sailed through after they failed to get competitors at nomination stage.

At Ngere factory, KTDA Board Member of Zone 2, James Githinji said the current directors sailed through after they showed commitments in implementation of tea reforms.

thinji who won the Mbugiti electoral directorship in Gatanga said majority of tea farmers are optimistic with the reforms championed by the government that have seen increase of prices of green leaf and timely payment of bonus. ‘It has not been easy for the last three years as the current directors worked to ensure the farmers backed the reforms,’ he added.

At Kanyenya-ini tea factory Alex Macharia was re-elected to represent Gitugu zone, while the incumbent Patrick Muchiri retained Tuthu electoral area after trouncing a former director Francis Mark Macharia.

A current director Ms Mary Gitaka lost her directorship slot at Ngoeni electoral area to Peter Gachuhi after she got 51 votes against 201 votes.

Two former Directors Eston Gakungu and Martin Ngatia of Kiru tea factory were elected to represent Kairo and Kiambuthia electoral areas respectively.

At Njunu tea factory, the Vice Chairman Maina Gathua Bidco won the Gituru electoral area polling with 428 votes against Mwangi Mahugu 33 votes.

Joseph Mahugu
of Kiangatia electoral area of Nduti tea factory retained his position after he polled 344 votes against Titus Gicheru and Samson Ng’ang’a who polled 28 votes and 26 votes respectively.

In the Mukuria area, Kuria Kamau polled 468 votes defeating Hilary Thuku who got 56 votes, while in Karangi area, Kamau Mwicuci got 240 votes against Charles Kimenyi 29 votes.

At Githambo Tea Factory, chairman Joseph Karanu was re-elected at Gathaithi area, as his board got three new members representing Murarandia, Ichichi and Matharite electoral areas.

The elections that were slated for Friday, were delayed after the IEBC claimed there were some logistical hitches that caused elections material not to reach the polling stations on time.

Three weeks ago, agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi who toured several tea factories within the region said the government had no preferred candidates in the elections.

Linturi challenged tea farmers to elect people of high integrity, trustworthy and who are ready to champion
their interests in the sub sector.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Nine People Die In Narok Accident

Nine people lost their lives after the matatu vehicle they were traveling in burst its rear right tyre and rolled severally at Ratili area along the Narok – Bomet highway.

Narok South Sub County police commander Isaac Omae confirmed the ill-fated vehicle KDP 951K, Toyota Hiace Matatu belonging to Narok Safaris Sacco, was traveling from Narok Town towards Bomet Town when the accident occurred.

‘The vehicle was being driven by a driver who is now deceased. Its rear right tyre burst, causing the driver to lose control of his vehicle and rolled severally and subsequently resting 20 meters from the road,’ he said.

As a result of the accident, eight adults among them six male and two female, all of unknown age died on the spot and a juvenile who had been rushed to hospital was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Two male adults and a juvenile female, who were also in the ill-fated vehicle were also critically injured and rushed to Longisa Referral hospital in Bomet County.

The deceased have been taken to the same me
dical facility mortuary for preservation awaiting identification and autopsy.

The motor vehicle which was extensively damaged was towed to Ololulunga police station awaiting inspection.

Source: Kenya News Agency