Monthly Archives: July 2012

Pastoralist Women Lower academic requirements for Elective posts:

Women seeking elective posts in pastoralist regions want laws on academic requirements amended. The women said many might be locked out unless educational requirements were lowered.

They said the academic requirements for those seeking women’s representative and county representative should be lowered from Form Four to Standard Seven.“Many women are interested in contesting for elective positions in the General Election but the academic standards set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioner (IEBC) will lock us out and we want it lowered to allow those with primary certificates eligible to contest,” said Teresa Lokichu, an aspirant for the women representative seat.

Speaking at Tartar Catholic Conference Hall in Kapenguria, the women said they are academically disadvantaged and urged IEBC to ensure they are given the opportunity to take part in the elections.

Early marriage

“Most of us were left to look after cattle and subjected to early marriage. We were unable to pursue education despite being bright. We should be allowed to contest for the seats,” said Mary Mariachi, the chairperson Pokot Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation. Mariachi broke down when she narrated how her parents dragged her out of school in Standard Five and married her off to an older man.

Lokichu said there were immense leadership skills among the women in marginalized communities but they have been ignored.“Some of us are born leaders. I dropped of school at class seven for lack of tuition fees but I have all the qualities to become a leader and effectively serve the people,” she said.

Millicent Otieno, the co-ordinator of local capacity building at Peacenet International said women in marginalized communities would be affected by the new elections rules.“We need to embrace change for the wellbeing of our county and it is time that women are recognized,” said Julia Loburon, a women’s representative aspirant in the county.

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized



Kenya poised to roll out ambitious Sh2 trillion transport corridor projects:


Kenya is on the verge of rolling out a multi-trillion shilling project to exploit the vast resources in Coast and Northern Kenya that will catapult the country into a medium income economy by 2030. Transport Minister Amos Kimunya was on Friday upbeat that the construction of Lamu Port and the transport corridor through Isiolo, Moyale and Turkana will open up the marginalized Northern Kenya, linking it to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia.“We will be engaging the Cabinet next week because we feel their input is important. This is a massive project as it is will open up the newly independent South Sudan. I will talk about the project extensively after I have briefed the Cabinet and received its input,” the minister told Saturday Nation.

Transport corridor

The minister is expected to brief the Cabinet on findings of a feasibility study on the Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor on Tuesday.

The project’s main component is the Lamu Port, which will have a transport corridor linking it with Ethiopia and South Sudan. Besides the port, the project also incorporates an oil refinery at Lamu and a 1,720km standard gauge railway line to Juba to handle high speed trains with a capacity of up to 160 kilometers per hour.

Also envisioned is a two-lane highway from Lamu through Isiolo to Nakodok, a pipeline to transport crude oil from South Sudan to a refinery at Lamu, three airports at Lamu, Isiolo and Lokichogio and resort cities at Lamu, Isiolo and on the shores of Lake Turkana.Once the railway line is complete by the year 2030, it will handle up to 30 trains to South Sudan and 52 to Ethiopia daily.

The project will also see the transformation of Lamu Island into a metropolis. According to the feasibility study the Lapsset project, once complete, will link the country to its two northern neighbours Ethiopia and South Sudan, opening up the region to immense socio-economic development along the transport corridor, especially in the northern, eastern and northern-eastern parts of the country and promote cross-border trade.

The study puts the total cost of the project at $23 billion, roughly Sh2 trillion.The port, comprising of 20 berths, is expected to be complete by 2030 at a cost of $3.5 billion. The projected cost of the railway line is $7.1 billion while the highway is expected to cost another $1.4 billion and the oil pipeline $4 billion.

The resort cities at Lamu, Isiolo and on the shores of Lake Turkana will cost $1.2 billion while the oil refinery will cost $2.5 billion. Additional infrastructure including power, water and communication facilities will cost an extra $2.5 billion.The port, which will sit on 1,000 acres, is expected to make Kenya a trans-shipment hub because of its deep waters and ability to accommodate large vessels.

The brains behind the project anticipate that the economic gains to be brought by the Lapsset Corridor far outweigh its projected Sh2 trillion overall cost. The experts estimate that once operational, the project will push the country’s Gross Domestic Project from 4.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent by the year 2020.

Export of cash crops

The direct economic impact will include huge savings on transport as a result of the new railway line, highway and pipeline. Indirectly, the project will create huge job opportunities and promote value addition, especially in the processing of agricultural products. The experts also envisage a huge increase in the export of cash crops and international tourist arrivals in the three planned resort cities, which remain inaccessible due to a poor road network and insecurity.

The new access to South Sudan and Ethiopia will also foster regional economic development and growth through facilitation of trade between citizens of the affected countries, besides strategically positioning Lamu as the port of choice for South Sudan.

The study proposes that the Kenya Ports Authority be the responsible agency while Lamu County, once established, would be responsible for transforming the island town into the envisaged Lamu Metropolis. It is further proposed that the Kenya National Highways Authority be the responsible agency for the construction of the highway while the Kenya Railways Corporation would take charge of the construction of the railway line. The Kenya Airports Authority will be responsible for the construction of the three airports.

The study proposes that private investors be brought on board to spearhead the construction of the pipeline and refinery while the resort cities would be managed through the public-private partnerships coordinated by the Ministry of Tourism.

The study urges close cooperation between the Kenyan government and those of South Sudan and Ethiopia, which are set to benefit directly from the investments.

It also calls for close collaboration between the Kenya government and international donors as well as the private sector, which is expected to fund some of the projects through public-private sector partnerships arrangements.

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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Uncategorized



Minority communities are biggest losers in court verdict:

Members of minority and marginalized communities appeared to have been the biggest losers in the 137 cases challenging the creation of new constituency boundaries. The Ilchamus who reside in Baringo Central lost an attempt to have the courts create a new constituency for them. Also on the losing end were the Teso and ogiek.

In Wajir West, members Ajuran clan complained that independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had placed them with the Degodia, who are majority. High Court judges Mohamed Warsame, Ruth Sitati, Pauline Nyamweya, Hellen Omondi, and David Majanja rejected their plea saying no disadvantage would be suffered.

From Isiolo County, the residents had filed a petition saying they had a boundary differences with Meru.  The judges dismissed the case, saying the issue was outside the mandate of IEBC.

In Mombasa, residents of changamwe had taken issue with IEBC accusing it of changing the name from changamwe ward to magongo.they argued that the name had been coined from the wachangamwe. The residents from jomvu and changamwe constituencies had accused IEBC OF renaming the county words without considering the wishes of the community. The judges granted their plea and ordered the name to remain changamwe. They said that a name change according to the wishes of the people does not mean that a ward or a constituency stops to exist. Residents of Malindi and magarini had brought a dispute about Sabaki River but judges dismissed it.

In Rabai constituency, Jibanga ward was renamed kambe.The number of wards in the constituency will now include Rabai, Kambe and Huruma.In Kwale County, the judges ordered that funzi, kikwenda and shimoni sub-location be removed from kikongwe ward to Ramisi ward. They threw out two petitions from Lamu county seeking to quash the creations of new county wards. Also rejected was an application by Ganze residents to have the wards increased from four to five. Kilifi North and south constituencies lost an argument that IEBC had ignored the population quota. The judges said changing the status quo would have a dominant effect on the two constituencies since their community interests were considered.

In Turkana County, civic leaders had sought to reclaim parts of their constituencies and wards that they had lost to West Pokot and Baringo counties. The councillors claimed the hived off areas might have oil and geothermal resources.

Standardnewspaper 10/07/2012

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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Uncategorized



Pastoralists protest over arrests:

Leaders from Ijara District in Garissa County have protested the alleged harassment of pastoralists from the area by security officers in Lamu County. The leaders accused police from the coastal town of mistreating nomadic communities who went there in search of pasture and water for their animals.

Ijara County Council Chairman Hussein Futi told The Standard hundreds of herders who moved to neigbouring Lamu for pasture and water as a result of the dry spell in North Eastern region have been arrested and detained in police cells. Councillor Futi said in the last two weeks alone, more than 80 herders were arrested and over 500 cows confiscated in Lamu County.

The herders, according to Mr Futi, have been held in various cells in Ibidu, Mpeketoni, Lamu, Hindi and Makowe for days without being charged, as required by law. They asked the Kenya National Human Rights Commission and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to visit police cells in Mpeketoni, Witu and Ibidu to ascertain claims of corruption and human rights violation committed by police officers.

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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Uncategorized



Pastoralist Women in North Eastern vow to resist male dominance politics:



In a rare event, over 500 women from Ijara District, Garissa County, on Tuesday came out in protest, claiming men have sidelined them in politics. Interestingly, the protesters were not the usual women activists, but common residents who say the burden of inefficient leadership imposed by their male counterparts must end.

Donning dhiraa, traditional Somali women in-house dressing and singing dirges to symbolize the end of male domination, they sat for six hours under acacia trees at Masalani Primary School before making their statement of intent. And in a clear show of wanting to make their own decision on how and who to vote for in the coming General Election, they turned away men and educated women who showed interest to join them in their protest. Speaker after speaker enumerated how men dominated politics of the region while it was evident men rarely participated in voting.

Nominated councilor Bustay Dahir said women have now realized how Somali men used outdated cultural practices to deny them their civic rights in electing leaders of their choice and force them to support leaders endorsed by their husbands or male relatives. She added, “Every election season, politicians seeking positions enter pre-election promises with male voters, mainly elders, disregarding women and youth in the process.”She went on, “And since the elders enter into agreements with many candidates after taking bribes, they absent themselves from voting on Election Day fearing to be discovered, leaving only women to cast their votes.”

Fatuma Rinow said Somali women were repeatedly short-changed by politicians who give audience to the male voters only. “Most women you see here vote religiously every other election in this country, but I can tell you with a lot of confidence that none of them has ever got access even to their local councilor. We can not see our leaders because they have placed men as their gate keepers,” she said amid applause of approval from the womenfolk.“For instance, if a woman wants to tell her elected leader about her daughter who has dropped out of school because of sanitary pads, how is she expected to tell this to a third party who is a man,” she asked.

Ashia Idle said politicians who pass through men with the hope of securing their vote will be in for a rude shock since the pastoralist women are now determined to make aspiring leaders pass the integrity test. The women later took an oath that would bind them together until the election and beyond.


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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Uncategorized



Pastoralist Communities Deserve more Colleges:

Education stakeholders in Narok County have petitioned the government to establish more tertiary institution in the region to address the growing quest for higher education among the pastoralist communities. Led by Narok university college Principal David Serem the stakeholders raised concern at the shortage of higher learning institutions in areas occupied by the pastoralist communities.

Speaking while officially opening the university’s satellite campus in kilgoris, Serem said unlike in the past, pastoralist communities have embraced education and it was upon the government and the private sector to invest in education in the areas. He said due to lack of access to higher education, the region has continued to produce a few professionals hence slow development growth.

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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Uncategorized




Fifty three NGOs will petition the United Nation on the patents of Kenya’s kiondo (traditional basket), Masaai belt and a sheep. Pastoralist Development Network of Kenya said the country’s rights were violated after Japan, Britain and Australia patented the products from Kenya. Speaking in Nairobi during  in Nairobi during a workshop on promoting and protecting Kenyan’s  indigenous people cultural  expressions and industry ,the network’s national coordinator, Mr  Michael Tiampati  said the United Nation Educational  Scientific and Cultural Organization should revert the patents as a human right for the country. But the Kenya Industrial Property Institute, mandated to protect the intellectual property rights, designs and technological innovations says the country had not lost kiondo rights to foreigners.

source DailyNation 29/06/12

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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Uncategorized