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Climate change a reality in ASALs counties

Some 1.6 million Kenyans are acutely food-insecure and will need immediate assistance over the next six months, the Government has said. Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said the hardest hit are areas that experienced extremely poor rainfall particularly in the pastoral zones of the north and north eastern counties – Mandera, Garissa, Isiolo, Wajir and parts of Tana River County.. This is according to the assessment report on the country’s current drought and food security situation in the arid and semi-arid land (ASALs) counties in the country. The report was released yesterday by Ms Waiguru.
The Devolution CS pointed out that the most critical period for the affected areas are between February and end of March 2015. “There are varying degrees of drought stress in the ASALs counties but emergency conditions have not yet been reached largely due to the interventions from the national government and other stake holders. Further deterioration of the situation can be contained by timely and effective response particularly in the water, health and nutrition, livestock and security sectors,” she said.

Waiguru said at the ASALs inter-governmental consultative meeting that it was noted the short rains of November and December 2014 had been poor, given the rains started late and ended early in most of the arid and semi-arid counties. The CS pointed out that despite the situation, the Government will continue to undertake different interventions. “With regard to relief food provisions, the Ministry of Devolution will continue to provide monthly relief food rations to the counties that are food-insecure. In addition, there will be a scaling-up of the authority to incur expenditure for distribution to ensure that county commissioners are able to distribute the food to all affected areas,” she explained. CASH TRANSFERS. She added that the Ministry of Agriculture will ensure all the National Cereals and Produce Board stores in ASALs areas are stocked with maize. Waiguru pointed out that the national government had disbursed Sh279 million to 16 counties since August last year to implement their contingency plans with further disbursement being availed on request by the affected counties.
There is need for early warning systems to be put in place at the county government level, the affected communities to trained more on climate change effects , resilience and how they can mitigate to prevent losses

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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act no.32 of 2011

An act of parliament to prohibit the practice of female genital mutilation,to safeguard against violation of person’s mental or physical integrity through the practice of female genital mutilation and for connected purposes.

“Female genital mutilation “comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs,or any harmful procedure to the female genitalia ,for non-medical reasons.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in latest news, Uncategorized

 

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WHERE PARENTS BECOME POLICE RESERVISTS TO PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN

Every day as dawn breaks, Esuruan Awet takes up a duty that has become his routine.

Together with other Kenya Police Reservists (KPR), he arms himself in order to guard his children as they begin their journey to Nakatong’wa Primary school in Turkana East.

The father of five, who also doubles up as the school’s Parents Teachers Association chairperson, has been keeping vigil over the minors for the past three year.

The school, situated in Katilia Ward, has been under constant attack from bandits and parents have opted to take charge of their children’s safety.

When The Standard visited the school, established by the Government in 2009, there were over 12 armed KPRs keeping close watch around the school located 50 kilometres from Lokori town.

The ‘soldiers’ seem to have perfected their new occupation as is evidenced by how they position themselves, guarding the only school that is still open in the area.

NOT DETERRED

One ‘officer’ is positioned on top of the hill and has his eyes fixed on the upper side of the terrain where bandits advance from, causing mayhem in the village and the school.

“Two days ago, we spotted four bandits on top of the hill. We believe they had come to spy on our area and there was a fire exchange which lasted three hours but they managed to run away,” Awet said.

He said the decision to join the KPR was arrived at following constant attacks from bandits believed to be from the neighbouring community.

“They came to our village one day and took all my animals, including 80 camels. It is from this painful experience that I made the decision to stop fighting hard for my animals and instead focus on my children’s education,” he said.

He also informed us that many of the parents who are now devoting their time to ensure the safety of their children as they learn, have never been to school but are determined to make sure their children have access to basic education.

“The school has been attacked by bandits more than seven times but we have always managed to repulse them,” he said.

Bernard Etaan a teacher at the school, said the pupils learn under difficult conditions with many suffering from bullet wounds while others prefer to stay at home.

“The region is not safe but these parents have taken the initiative to camp around the school the whole day to provide protection to these young kids who deserve a bright future,” he said.

Etaan said the school needs more teachers and classrooms to contain the huge number of pupils.

Akutah Eudan, a parent and member of the KPR who also keeps watch over the school which hosts more than 200 pupils, says some of his colleagues have lost their lives while protecting the young ones.

Eudan says escalating attacks have seen more than five pupils from the school sustain injuries from stray bullets.

“Recently three people succumbed to gunshot wounds after the bandits struck. Their approach has now changed and they seem interested in killing and maiming without going for animals,” he said.

Eudan however, says that even as they take this risky position, they do not have enough firearms to fight the bandits who are better armed.

SCHOOLS CLOSED

“The fire arms we were given by the Government are not adequate. Bandits normally come in large numbers with sophisticated guns to wreak havoc on the village,” he said.

The police reservists however says this will not deter their resolve to protect their children.

“We want our children to grow up knowing that cattle rustling is not the only solution to survival.

We want them to change this region by focusing on education,” he said.

Esther Asokon, a cook at the school says the five solar panels mounted by the Government are their only hope and must be guarded zealously since locals also benefit from free solar power which they use to charge their mobile phones, among other things.

Ward Rep Lawrence Lotomo expressed concern over the high number of schools that have been shut down in the area.

Lotomo said five primary schools – Kidewa, Lomunyen, Naukottem, Kaibole and Echoke – have had to relocate or shut down due to escalating attacks.

He said that safety of children as they access education has now been left to parents, yet it is the Government that has the sole obligation to protect its citizens.

“For how long will parents double up as security officers yet the Government has adequate security machinery that can provide services to schools situated in insecure areas?” he asked.

The ward rep called on the Government to practice fairness in provision of security and make it possible for children to access basic education without fear of attack.
Source: The Standard Wednesday, October 29th

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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PASTORAL COMMUNITY MOVES TO HIGH COURT TO STOP OIL EXPLORATION

Residents of Badada location have challenged the oil and gas exploration activities in the area, arguing they would not benefit.

In a petition filed under a certificate of urgency before the High Court judge Mumbi Ngugi, the community argued that the prospecting company had not put in place measures to mitigate environmental degradation after it signed the deal.

Through lawyer Mukele Ngacho, the community said their animals were at risk of losing grazing fields once the firm, Taipan Resource Incorporation, started exploration at Badada Block 2B.

“The prospecting is already having and shall continue to have adverse effects on the pastoralist community’s livelihood,” Mr Mukele told the court.

He argued that the activities by Taipan had limited the community’s freedom of movement and hampered the culture of members of the Arjuran community.

The court heard that the initiative had a likelihood of sparking clashes between the nomadic communities due to limited resources.

Holy Fields

According to Ahmed Hefow, who swore an affidavit on behalf of the community, the area where the company has been drilling was the most preferred grazing field and had been held as a sanctuary by the community that claims to be indigenous.

Mr Hefow said the area was named Badada, meaning prosperity, but this, he said would no longer be true once the company left the site.

“It is a fact that the oil drilling being done here poses potential harmful effects on the environment and livelihood of the community within the vicinity of the project,” Hefow said.

He claimed the company was already cordoning off large areas of the grazing fields and had started building airstrips and roads, which he added would totally alter the culture of the community.

“This poses a great danger to the survival of the Arjuran community’s ancient way of life, property and livelihood,” he said.
The firm is said to have started work last month. Hefow told the court this was done without consultations with community leaders.

Source: The Standard Wednesday, October 15th 2014

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

COMMUNITY PROTESTS OIL EXPLORATION IN WAJIR, CITES ISOLATION

WAJIR COUNTY: The quest for oil and gas exploration at Badada location in Wajir County has been met with opposition from a local community protesting lack of consultations and being sidelined by the prospecting company.

Canadian firm, Taipan Resource Incorporation, is to carry out exploration activities in Badada Block 2B.

But the local Ajuran community which claim to be indigenous of the area have petitioned the national and the Wajir County government to put on hold the explorations until their grievances are addressed.

Through their lawyer Hassan Bulle, the community is demanding full disclosure of the agreement details entered between the company and the county government.

“The issue of compensation and environmental mitigations has not been addressed”, reads petition adding that it is not clear how the indigenous community will benefit from jobs and tenders.

According to Ibrahim Sheikh Mohamud, a community leader, the company has so far not involved the indigenous community in jobs and tender opportunities.

“Virtually all jobs and contractors have been given to people who are not indigenous of Wajir West Constituency which may disrupt the fragile inter clan harmony in the area”, he said.

Wajir director of communication Yahya Mohamed when contact for comments said “Oil exploration is national government issue and any community, which feels it has some concerns over the activity, should seek redress with the Ministry of Energy, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the company involved.”

He posed: “The community (Ajuran) is not even the indigenous people in the area. The area, where the exploration is to occur is a cosmopolitan area, why are we not having other communities who are also there complaining?”

An attempt to get a comment from the company was futile as Richard Leach, the field operations manager said “I’m currently in a meeting and I can’t speak to you”.

Source: The Standard Monday, September 15th 2014

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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VILLAGER SUES GERMAN EMBASSY OVER PICTURE IN ADVER

A Samburu woman has sued the German Embassy for illegally using her portrait to market the Lake Turkana Festival.

Mrs Talaso Lepalat, a resident of Loiyangalani sub-location in Marsabit County, said in an affidavit filed in the High Court in Nairobi by her lawyer that her photograph was taken without her written consent and used.

As a result of the use of the picture to market the event, she said, her husband had physically assaulted her, calling her names because “culture dictates that before you can appear in public, you have to seek the consent of the head of the home (who in this case is the husband)”.

Mrs Lepalat said that she and her three children were then kicked out of their home and attempts by the chief to intervene had fallen on deaf ears.

Some time in 2012, the respondent and other sponsors, she recalled, organised and recorded a commercial dubbed the Lake Turkana Festival which was to take place in her village at Loiyangalani in Marsabit.

POSTED ON WEBSITE

An embassy official, Mr Lepalat said, unlawfully took her photograph and posted it on their website to promote the event.

She told the court that she was shocked to learn that the website had her photograph.

“The domain name was not disclosed to the petitioner upon inquiry by one J. Harrington, who is in charge of the webmaster. He stated that they could not release the details of their source to third parties,” the affidavit says.

The complainant said that the embassy had, despite her numerous protests, continued to use her portrait on its website, while updating it from 2012 to April 2014.

The action, she said, did not take into account her cultural beliefs, taboos and the norms of her community.

“Both my family and I suffered a lot of pain, humiliation and embarrassment in my Samburu community, whose members have shunned me as one who disrespects our culture. The result of the usage remains a source of anguish and psychological trauma in my memory,” she said.

The photograph, she said, was taken in contravention of her constitutional right to privacy and international laws and other instruments.

Ms Lepalat is thus seeking compensation for the violation of her privacy, the physical and emotional pain caused to her and special damages for the cost of medication.

The case will be mentioned before Mr Justice Isaac Lenaola on October 28.


Source: Daily Nation Monday, October 6, 201

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

FARMERS TO ACCESS INTEREST-FREE LOANS

Livestock farmers can now access interest-free loans courtesy of a Sh300 million project launched by the county government.

They will also be able be entitled to free artificial insemination services in the programme, which is a partnership between Baringo County and KCB.

The project aims to increase the revenue generated from the livestock sector from the current Sh3.1 billion to Sh10 billion annually in the next five years.

According to the Agriculture and Livestock County Executive Luka Rotich, the initiative dubbed “Livestock value Chain Development Program” will among others, start a system of storing hay.

“We have also introduced fast maturing hybrid Sahiwal and Boran bulls which can weigh up to 800 kilogrammes. Thirty bulls have been bought for each of the selected wards in the pilot programme,” Mr Rotich told the Nation.

He said that the use of modern technologies such as A.I. Services, Improved Bull schemes, de-hiders (flaying machine) will turn around the livestock sector.

MONTHLY GOAT AUCTIONS

Mr Rotich said that the famous Kimalel Goat Auction, which was re-opened last year, will host monthly goat auctions.

“We are in the process of setting up two new slaughterhouses and renovating five more. We will thus start selling meat instead of animals,” said Mr Rotich.

A meat processing plant will be set up where animals will be processed and exported to the Middle East.

The factory will also be open to farmers from the neighbouring Laikipia and Samburu.

He said that the county government has plans to introduce Dorper and Galla Bucks sheep breeds.

However, the county is grappling with challenges like perennial drought and diseases like Foot and Mouth and East Coast Fever.

“Marketing, poor quality breeds, limited livestock management knowledge and lack of value addition remain a problem,” said Mr Rotich.

He said that the county government’s partnership with KCB Foundation will particularly focus on marketing and value addition.

Source: Daily Nation Tuesday, October 7, 2014

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Uncategorized