Nursery school pupils in Marsabit benefit from Sh30m feeding programme

mar picThe Marsabit County government has allocated Sh30 million for a feeding programme for nursery school pupils in 252 centres. Education, Skills Development, Youth and Sports executive Umuro Godana said pupils will get milk in the initiative that starts this term. Mr Godana said the initiative is part of a campaign to increase enrolment of learners in schools in the county.

He noted the Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) sub-sector has recorded positive results since the county government took over the function. The enrolment has increased from 14, 600 pupils in 2013 to 18,800 pupils in 2016 translating to an increase of about 29 per cent.

ECDE CENTRES

In addition, 103 ECDE centres have been built in the last three years, while plans are underway to construct 28 more this year. Mr Godana also revealed that they will employ 37 caregivers in the next two weeks, while plans are underway to employ another 70 later in order to improve the ratio of pupils to teachers. Recently, Governor Ukur Yatani renewed calls to the national government to fully devolve education, saying counties ought to participate in the running of schools to improve their infrastructure. He said most schools were dilapidated and others lacked teaching and learning facilities.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Baringo residents block tourists from park citing discrimination

baringo parkActivities were temporarily paralysed at Lake Bogoria National Reserve as locals protested against alleged discrimination in employment opportunities
They claimed most of the employees at the game reserve were outsiders and that the revenue collected was not shared with the local community. Elizabeth Kochei, a resident, said locals have been denied jobs because senior managers at the reserve have come in with "their people". "We want a review of staff recruitment to ensure equal opportunities. We also want this game reserve managed in the same way as Masaai Mara, where revenue is shared between the local community and the government on a 50-50 basis," Ms Kochei said. "It is unfair that deserving youths are denied jobs that eventually end up with outsiders or cartels," she added. She also claimed that foreign tourists were introducing local girls to pornography. "They secretly take nude photos of them. We demand that the police investigate and punish the culprits."
Residents said most of those affected were children from 45 families that were displaced due to insecurity. Others were driven out of their homes after the lake burst its banks three years ago.
But James Kimaru, a senior park warden, dismissed the claims and asked those with evidence to table it. "That has never happened in Bogoria. The only thing I have seen tourists do is give children sweets," he said. Jonathan Tereito, another local, demanded the implementation of a ruling by an international court that found the national government guilty of violating the rights of the indigenous Endorois community by evicting them from their land to make way for the game reserve. A decision that the community should get its land back was approved by the African Union Assembly of Heads of State on January 3, 2010, in Addis Ababa. Tourism Executive Wesley Keitany said they would meet residents on Wednesday to discus the matters raised.

Courtersy of Standard Media Group

Bill seeks to ensure that minerals benefit locals

Gideon MoiCommunities in mineral-rich areas are set to benefit from new proposals that impose strict requirements on mineral operators while giving locals a greater say over their resources. The Local Content Bill 2016 promises to give local communities more control over ownership, control and financing of resources such as oil and gas among other minerals. The proposed law has introduced conditions that include a requirement that miners should provide plans to Parliament’s energy committee, showing how their activities will benefit local communities through incentives such as employment and utilisation of local resources in their operations.

“An operator shall, before applying for, or bidding for a licence, permit or interest and before engaging in any extractive activity, prepare and submit to the committee a local content plan with respect to the extractive activity in the prescribed form,” read the draft bill sponsored by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi (pictured). This means that one will not be allowed to set up shop without clear terms on how his activities will impact land owners and the original owners of the resources, who have in the past been kept on the sidelines of economic development while large firms prosper from mineral proceeds. It also means that communities will no longer be shortchanged by large firms that earn huge profits, while ignoring the welfare of their hosts and other key factors such as the environment.
“The discovery and exploitation of natural resources in a particular area has always led to the expectation that the local communities and country in which the resources are found would develop economically and socially, and that the benefits of such resource exploitation would trickle down to the communities. It has however been found that this is often not the case,” read the proposed legislation. “The objects and purposes of this Act are to promote maximisation of value-addition and creation of employment opportunities in the extractive industry value chain through use of local expertise, goods, services, businesses and financing, and their retention in the country,” it added. Other than oil, Kenya’s other well-known minerals are soda ash (trona), fluorspar, titanium and zirconium. The country has also in the recent past discovered large deposits of titanium and a host of other rare minerals.  Although there are no statistics on the extent of the country’s mineral wealth, the deposits are known to contribute substantially to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

MINERAL RIGHTS
There have, however, been concerns that mineral rights have often been skewed in favour of the mining companies at the expense of the locals. A weak legal framework and inadequate public participation has often meant that local communities are left to the mercy of the miners, who are increasingly developing an interest in Kenya and the East African region.
According to Gideon, who is also the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the country’s resources will count for nothing if they are not properly managed by involving locals, including landowners. “The timing of the discovery of oil, gas and other mineral resources was god-sent. These resources were discovered right when Kenya and her people needed them the most to accelerate economic take-off and achieve comprehensive development. But these resources could easily cease being a blessing and become a curse as has happened for many other African nations,” said the senator.

Courtersy of Standard Digital News

15-year-old camel herder speared to death in Garissa

Herder speared to deathA 15-year-old camel herder from Garissa County was on Saturday evening killed by people suspected to be farmers from neighbouring Kitui County as he returned home from the grazing fields. Relatives of the boy condemned the killing and called for the immediate arrests of the culprits. Speaking to journalists at the Garissa Referral Hospital mortuary where the body was taken for post-mortem, Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) Bangale chairman Sheikh Ibrahim Mohamed said the herder, Dekow Mohamed, was ambushed using spears at Bisan Hargeysa in Bangale Division.

He said the boy died on the spot after he was stabbed several times in his stomach and his left side. Part of the spear was left in his stomach and was removed by doctors when the body was taken to the mortuary. Sheikh Mohamed said police from Kitui and Tana River counties who were notified of the incident were very slow to respond.

DELAYED POLICE RESPONSE

“The boy was attacked and killed at 7pm in the evening we contacted police, both in Tana River and Kitui counties but there was no response until 9pm when police from Okasi came. "We are wondering, are we not Kenyans?” he posed while addressing journalists Sunday.

Boundaries-related conflicts have left hundreds dead in the past few years with the government being accused of doing little in solving the perennial squabbles. Sheikh Mohamed at the same time called for calm following the killing of the young herder saying people should not take the law into their hands. “We demand the immediate arrest of the criminals while we appeal to our people to remain calm and wait for the police to do their work,” he added.

FREQUENT CAMEL THEFTS

The locals claimed that besides the frequent killings by people suspected to be from their neighbouring county, camels are also stolen and slaughtered. They said if this is not resolved amicably the situation might blow up and it may lead to more bloodshed. Bura MP Ali Wario has at the same time condemned the incident terming it as unfortunate.

He said the problem keeps recurring because there was no clear boundary between the two counties. He said according to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the area belongs to Bura Constituency and is registered as polling station number 48 while at the office of the President it is put in Kitui County. After post-mortem, the body of the deceased was returned by police to Bangale for burial in accordance with Muslim rights.

 

Courtersy of Daily Nation

ABOUT PDNK

Pastoralist Development Network - of Kenya

We are an advocacy NGO established under a Trust deed number 791 DI 4453128 in 2003. The network is a conglomeration of 60 pastoralists’ individuals, NGOs and CBOs and non-pastoralist institutions and individuals supporting pastoralists’ development process in Kenya. It draws its membership from North Rift, South Rift, North Eastern and Upper Eastern regions of Kenya representing 14 pastoralist Counties. Its mission is to lobby for the inclusion of the pastoralist agenda in mainstream development with the vision of a prosperous pastoralist society.

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