Monthly Archives: November 2011

Nurse narrowly escapes death


Lugari,

Nov 30                             ByKakamegatimes correspondent

A NURSE at Kipkaren trading center narrowly escaped death this morning when irate members of the public attacked him for allegedly assaulting an 8 year old boy who touched his vehicle triggering an alarm

According to sources the overzealous youngster who was going about his business accidently came into contact with the automobile parked outside the paramedic’s private clinic triggering the alarm drawing his wrath.

Angered, the nurse stormed out of the premises and attacked the victim with blows and kicks before hurling him onto the Eldoret- Webuye highway unconscious.

The action triggered anger among members of the public who confronted him with a view to meting instant disciplinary action.

Sensing danger, the medic managed to tactfully dodge the crowd baying for his blood and fled into his clinic, bolting doors behind him.

The blood thirsty crowd ultimately decided to vent their anger on his vehicle a Mercedes Benz reg no KAB 342S by deflating the wheels before threatening to plunge it into the raging waters of Kipkaren River.

Quick action by administration police officers managed to salvage the vehicle as the irate crowd viciously engaged the officers in running battles.

Reinforcement of regular police officers from Lumakanda police station arrived in time and over powered the crowd before saving the hunted paramedic who was facing threats of being set a light in the building.

He was whisked to Lumakanda police station where he is still undergoing investigations. The vehicle was also towed to the station.

 

Administration Police Officer injured


 

KAKAMEGA

TUESDAY NOV 29, 2011       By Kakamegatimes

An administration police was injured in a fracas with a crowd at Navakholo District after he and his colleagues intercepted two tractors transporting cane suspected to have been poached.

The injured officer was hit by a vehicle which was reversing at high speed to escape the wrath of the public that had gathered at Nambacha Market to stop the officers from escorting the tractors to police station in Mumias.

Navakholo District Officer Mary Kisaka said the security officers had accompanied the cane anti-poaching unit from Mumias Sugar Company.

The crowd pelted the officers with stones causing a commotion at the busy trading centre. The security officers managed to drive away with one of the tractors and confiscate keys of the other.

She said the officers drove to the home of the farmer and found he had harvested cane from two acres and was preparing to transport the cane to a miller.

The farmer said he had leased a two acre farm at Murrum and planted the cane before he decided to harvest the crop and deliver it to a miller of his choice.

Kisaka said the APs were supposed to involve local administration officials
when carrying out their patrols targeting cane poachers in the sugar zone to
avoid unnecessary confrontations.

Water Service Resumes


 

Lugari

November 29,2011              By Kakamegatimes

 

After going for two weeks without piped water, residents of Lumakanda trading centre can now enjoy this vital commodity again.

This was after the Water Resource Management Authority (WRMA) reconnected the centre’s main water supply pump last Friday, which it had disconnected two weeks ago over unpaid water bills.

Speaking to the media today, Lugari District Water Officer, Mr. Ernest Odwori, has confirmed that WRMA restored water distribution services within Lumakanda centre (the headquarters for Lugari district) and its neighbourhood following an agreement between the organization and Engineer David Stower, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water.

Mr. Odwori disclosed that Stower had written to WRMA officials asking them to reconnect all water schemes that had been disconnected countrywide, while his office worked on logistics for eventual settlement of the bills.

Accompanied by their chairperson, Mr. Francis Nyenye, WRMA officials from Nairobi led by their Chief Executive Office, Engineer Philip Olum, disconnected water services at Lugari district headquarter a fortnight ago due to Sh 700,000 water bills in arrears owed to it by the district’s water department.

The move adversely disrupted water services in the area, with Lumakanda district hospital being the worst hit.

Reacting on the two weeks of water shortage, Lugari District Public Health Officer, Mr. Festus Anaya, appealed to WRMA officers asking them to always serve relevant authorities with a two week notice when they have intentions of closing taps in order to enable key institutions like hospitals prepare themselves adequately in advance.

NEMA calls for environmental impact assesment before harvesting trees for the reopened Pan Paper Mills


MT. ELGON

Monday, 28th November 2011     By Kakamegatimes

National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has advised stakeholders to conduct environmental impact assessment in Mt. Elgon forest as a condition to harvest trees destined for the re-opened pan paper mills of Webuye.

Mt. Elgon NEMA official John Maniafu said the impact assessment exercise was vital to ascertain the sustainable harvest of trees from Mt. Elgon ecosystem that is a major water tower in the region whose tributaries drains into Lake Victoria.

Mt. Elgon County Council who are a key stakeholders have voiced concerns over the sustainable harvesting of trees from the forest saying the agreement ought to be renegotiated and reevaluated in light of rising concerns of environmental conservation.

The civic authority has already raised a red flag on the benefits of the Webuye based factory to the residents of the region due to wanton destruction of forest cover and the depilated road network in the region due to transportation of heavy logs to the factory.

Pan Paper mills have re-opened after more than two years of closure under the pile of debts with its debts estimated at Kshs. 2.2billion for its revival.

The Kenya forest services provide woods to the company at prices that were way below market rates where the factory pays Kshs. 700 a cubic meter of wood at a time when the average market prices was Kshs. 11200 a cubic meter.

According to NEMA official the license pan paper operated on gave it the right to extract timber without imposing responsibilities on the license to replant the harvested areas.

The only reference to the environment according to NEMA was an anti population and anti-erosion clause.

Before the company owned by Asian proprietors with a shareholding of 54 percent went under due to mismanagement, the factory demanded more subsidies and royalty on wood to be reduced from Kshs. 700 to Kshs. 350per cubic meter of wood.

The company further demanded that the government releases to the firm a long term wood license guaranteeing the company 450,000 cubic meters of wood per year for five years.

The investor also sought 8,000 hectares of land to grow biomass and on which he proposed to set up a biomass based stream and power generation facility.

An additional of 1800 hectares of land was sought by the investor to for the paper mills to grow its pulpwood and become self sufficient for its pulpwood supply.

Other concerns raised by the re-opening of the pan paper mills besides the sourcing of viable timber are health concerns arising from the waste dam on the paper factory which are believed to be corrosive affecting the iron sheets of houses in Webuye town besides the smell.

Ford- K activist Wafula Wanasi of Webuye told KNA that if the chemicals emitted from the factory could cause corrosion to iron sheets, then the damage to human health over time was a grave concern that ought to be investigated.

Despite the challenges bedeviling pan paper mills it employs 1600 permanent employees and 30,000 casual workers from the region whose livelihoods were shuttered when the factory was closed in March 2009 under a mountain of debts.

So far according to the minister of industrialization the government has spent Kshs. 1.6 billion towards the revitalization of t he factory.

However the factories liabilities to long term lenders at the time the company was being placed under receivership stood at Kshs. 6billion while electricity bill had accumulated to Kshs. 209 million prompting KPLC to disconnect power.

Even as celebration welcomed the opening of the factory which is the economic lifeline of Webuye town, local leaders led by Webuye mayor Ali Mutoka says caution should be taken to ensure the challenges that led to closure of the factory are addressed with urgency.

Assistant minister in the office of the prime minster Alfred Khangati says that the management contract of pan paper before the closure was not performance based and lacked clear obligations for the Indians to transfer technical know-how to locals to ensure continuity.

Khangati said the balance of power favored Indians investors although the government appointed its directors to oversee its 33 percent shareholding in the firm.

Mt. Elgon Maendeleo Ya Wanawake chairlady Jenepher Mbatiany ahs appealed to pan paper mills to undertake corporate social responsibility by sharing their profits with the local residents who she said had conserved the forests.

She said the agreement should be negotiated by among others local leaders to ensure the community along Mt. Elgon benefitted from the harvesting of timber from local forests.

Mrs. Mbatiany decried the pathetic road network in the area especially during rainy seasons and appealed for support to ensure the roads were in good conditions to ensure farmers can transport their agricultural produce to the market in time.

The women leader said Mt. Elgon was an important ecosystem saying it has to be concerted at all costs adding that its exploitation ought to be sustainable for the future generations.

Mt. Elgon is the source of a number of rivers, key among them being the river Nzoia, which flows into Lake Victoria and river Turkwel that empties its water into Lake Turkana.

Mt. Elgon is the oldest and largest solitary volcano in East Africa stretching from Kenya to Uganda covering an area of around 3500 km2 and it is also one of the largest intact calderas in the World.

 

ODM supporters oppose a repeat of branch elections in Lugari


LUGARI

Monday, 28 November 2011     By kakamegatimes

ANGRY ODM supporters from Lugari district have protested a repeat branch party election ordered by the national office describing it as an abuse to a democratic process.

Led by Nabii Nabwera and former area MP Dr.Wamalwa Kibunguchy, they accused the party of failing to acknowledge a list of officials who were elected yesterday.

They blamed a national party official from the area whom they said was hell bent on manipulating the election  causing discontent among supporters.

Nabwera who was elected as chair and Kibunguchy loudly wondered why such open and fair elections could warrant being cancelled arguing that it was a ploy to deny delegates from the area in participating in today’s county elections in Kakamega.

They called on the national office to let residents freely elect leaders of their choice without interference.

Nabwera was yesterday declared the winner after beating his lone opponent Godfrey Minodi with 162 votes against 11.

Maize thief lynched


KAKAMEGA

Monday, 28 November 2011      By Kakamegatimes

A SUSPECTED thief was today lynched by irate members of the public after they nabbed him stealing maize at Kiwanja Ndege village.

The suspect had broken into a maize  store when the owner was woken up by commotion in his compound forcing him to raise an alarm.

Confirming the incident area deputy policeboss Mr. Gregory Mutiso said the deceased with his two accomplices who managed to escape had broken into the food store at 2am last night with the intention of stealing the maize.

The alarm, he said attracted neighbors  who cornered one of the suspects and set on him with all manner of crude weapons killing him on the spot.

His body has been removed to Webuye district hospital mortuary.

Bumper harvest expected in Mt. Elgon


MT. ELGON

Thursday, 24th November 2011 By Kakamegatimes.

400,000 bags of maize are expected to be harvested in Mt. Elgon and Cheptais district this season up from 250,000 bags last season.

Mt. Elgon district Agricultural officer Sammy Cheminingwa said the production projection of cereal went up due to concerted efforts by stakeholders and the government that provided subsidies fertilizer.

The Kapsokwony depot national cereal and produce board has started buying maize from local farmers at a cost of Kshs. 3000 per 90kg bag of maize.

The depot manager Joseph Ngeno said so far the centre has purchased 250 90 kg bags of dry maize from local producers.

However he said due to heavy rains pounding the area, the cereal produce had been affected by high moisture and rotting of the cereals prompting a high post harvest damages and wastes.

Ngeno further pointed out hat the government had procured 1680 50 kg fertilizers at a cost of Kshs. 2500 per bag to local farmers to improve their productions.

 

Officer bemoans low enrollment in youth polytechnics


Teso

24th  November 2011

By Kakamegatimes

Teso North district Youth officer Mr. Oigo Emmanuel recently bemoaned the enrollment in the two Youth Polytechnics in the district namely Amagoro and Katakwa although  number has  rising from a total of 50 students in 2007 to over 400 students this year.

He blamed the negative attitude of the youths and the larger community over polytechnics and lack of support from parents for the low figures despite many school leavers in the district being jobless and idle due to lack of any training.

He said the government has developed and equipped the two polytechnics to have the capacity to cater for larger numbers of students besides subsidizing tuition with fifteen thousand shillings for each student that joins.

He revealed that the government has released a total of over shs 6.6 million which is tied to the enrollment figures to the two institutions in the district for easier running of their activities.

Mr. Oigo however cited lack of enough instructors and inability to run expensive technical courses as major challenges bedeviling the institutions. He said the two have a total manpower of 25 instructors with only two being permanent yet the standard ratio is supposed to be 1 instructor for 22 students.

The  Youth Officer urged  the youths who are out  of school and scored lower grades than required for mid-college entry or come from humble backgrounds and cannot join colleges due to lack of fees  to join the polytechnics saying that the curriculum in the institutions has now been structured to enable students proceed to universities after.

He said the courses offered in the government sponsored institutions are mostly targeted at enabling the youths create self employment opportunities  noting that with current lack of jobs situation in the country the graduates from polytechnics stood a chance to be self reliant.

The courses include Motor vehicle technology, Fashion and design, Carpentry and joinery, Building technology, Electrical and electronics technology, ICT, Agribusiness, Entrepreneurship and hairdressing and beauty therapy.

 

Officer decries poor toilet cover


KAKAMEGA

Thursday, 24th November, 2011       By Kakamegatimes correspondent

Mt. Elgon district medical officer of health Dr. Arthur Andere says over 70% of the rural residents in the region defecate in the bush.

The MOH said toilet cover in the region was estimated to be 30% and concentrated in urban areas of Mt. Elgon and Cheptais districts adding that many residents relieved themselves in the bush.

While calling on the Mt. Elgon county council and other stakeholders to help the community construct toilet facilities, the medical officer said disease outbreak due to lack of sanitation had increased.

Dr. Andere said outbreak of Cholera, Typhoid and other sanitation related diseases were the main causes of deaths especially to children below five years of age.

He noted with concern that according to the 2009 national census survey 2.6 percent representing 9 million rural population relieved themselves in the bush due to lack of toilet facilities.

According to world toilet organization statistics, 1.8 million of whom 90% were children below five years die every year from sanitation related ailments.

The survey further says that 2.6 billion people in the world today representing 40% of the world population estimated to be 7 billion people lack toilet facilities.

You are to blame: Says former MP


KAKAMEGA

Thursday, 24th November 2011

Former nominated MP Ruth Oniang’o has blamed Kenyans for the ills that afflict the nation.

Prof Oniang’o said corruption and ethnicity festers in the country because the electorate has continued to put people who condone the vices in leadership at the expense leaders with integrity.

She wondered why there was a wide gap between the rich and the poor yet the country has enough resources to cater for all.

“There is something fundamentally wrong with politics, even Americans have forgotten the hype that brought Obama to power,” she observed.

Oniang’o spoke at the opening of a four-day national conference to train personnel who will carry out a survey on quality of education in the country in February.

The event organized by Uwezo Kenya, an East Africa initiative for quality assurance in schools, was held in Kakamega.

“We should blame ourselves for what has befallen us,” she argued. She said the perception built around tribalism in the country has reached worrying levels even at the international scene.

She said that a lot of concern from friends of Kenya has been raised abroad about how tribalism is eating into the thread that is holding the country together.

“Other people love this country they want it let us protect it,” she urged.

Oniang’o said tribalism found its roots on segregation that colonialists practiced before independence and there was an urgent need to deal with it if the country has to realize her dreams.

Olympic Gold Medalist and Goodwill Ambassador for International Paralympic Committee Henry Wanyoike attended the event.