Impacts of natural resources & mega development projects to people (women)

   - - > By Monica Yator
,Program Officer

A huge transport infrastructure project to link Kenya’s coast, Juba in South Sudan, and Ethiopia by 2030 is raising questions about the potential impact on the livelihoods of pastoralists, and protection and compensation for those adversely affected.In Lamu, some families have been displaced by port construction work and are yet to be compensated, according to Shakila Abdalla, a Lamu Member of Parliament, who noted that there had been inadequate environmental impact assessments, and that Lamu’s infrastructure might not be able to cope with the expected influx of people. Lamu’s population is about 102,000 but could more than double by 2017, noted Ms Abdalla.

A huge transport infrastructure project to link Kenya’s coast, Juba in South Sudan, and Ethiopia by 2030 is raising questions about the potential impact on the livelihoods of pastoralists, and protection and compensation for those adversely affected.In Lamu, some families have been displaced by port construction work and are yet to be compensated, according to Shakila Abdalla, a Lamu Member of Parliament, who noted that there had been inadequate environmental impact assessments, and that Lamu’s infrastructure might not be able to cope with the expected influx of people. Lamu’s population is about 102,000 but could more than double by 2017, noted Ms Abdalla. According to Abdikadir Omar, MP for Balambala in Garissa County, eastern-central Kenya, while Lapsset will go through an area that has never been developed before, there are concerns about potential adverse effects on pastoral livelihoods with the blocking off of migratory routes. There is a need to address these problems from a host community point of view, before a camel and a bulldozer are facing each other’ the issue of land and its management is central to the Lapsset project  

downloadImpacts of Natural Resources & Mega Development Projects to People (Women)

More tourists visit Isiolo as security improves, herders and bandits kicked out of parks

isioloThe number of tourists visiting Isiolo has increased following improved security in national parks and reserves in the county after herders who had been grazing their animals there were kicked out. The sector had suffered a blow in revenue collection following a decline in tourist numbers due to clashes between herders in the parks, cattle rustling and inter-community clashes. In 2015, tourists had boycotted the Buffalo Springs, Shaba and Bisanadi game reserves due to insecurity.

The county Tourism executive Suleiman Shunu said most of the game lodges were now fully booked since December 2015 after rangers flashed out bandits and herders grazing their animals in parks. He said the county government was working to revive the parks that were ranked second nationally in hospitality after those in Narok County which used to be managed by the defunct county council. Mr Shunu added that the parks had been turned into a battle field by bandits hence scaring away the tourists.

INCREASED REVENUE

Although it is a low-season for tourists, the county executive said the sector’s revenue had increased after insecurity was contained. At least 50 people died during the conflict pitting the Samburu and Turkana communities. In October 2015, 12 tourists were caught up in a shootout between herders at Buffalo Springs.

Five lions were poisoned by herders and eight Grevy’s zebras and two ostriches killed during the clashes. The executive also revealed that the number of rangers will be increased to counter any resistance from herders grazing their animals in the parks. “The number of bandits had surpassed our rangers who were less than 40. The herders had also resorted to killing the wildlife for game meat,” he said. “The parks are only meant for the wild animals and cattle grazing there will not be allowed,” added Mr Shunu.

EDUCATE COMMUNITIES

He said the communities living along the parks will be educated on wildlife management and conservation. Earlier, the county government used to collect Sh200 million as revenue from the parks, but during the 2014-2015 financial year, it generated only Sh68 million. Mr Shunu was optimistic that the revenue generated from the sector would increase.

During celebrations to mark the third anniversary of the county government, Isiolo Governor Godana Doyo announced that his administration would partner with Safari Airlink to fly tourists directly from Nairobi to Isiolo game parks to spur tourism. The county government was also looking for possibilities of leasing out the three parks to the African Park Management Organization which revives parks in Africa.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Insecurity, climate change blamed for slow progress in war on malnutrition in Garissa

gar picSecurity challenges and climatic change have been cited as the biggest hindrances to addressing malnutrition in children and mothers in the reproductive stage in Garissa County. Speaking during the launch of the Garissa County Nutrition Action Plan, Dr Farah Amin Hassan, the Garissa County medical director, said several health facilities used in addressing malnutrition in the county had been closed as a result of insecurity.

He said drought had also been an impediment in fighting malnutrition in children under the age of five and mothers in the reproductive stage, noting that a lot of effort is needed to reverse the trend. Dr Hassan, however, noted that medical personnel had been sent to Hulugho and Fafi sub-counties, the most affected by insecurity caused by constant terror threats along the border.

PARTNERS

The function was also attended by representatives of International Medical Corp (IMC), Unicef, Mercy-USA, ActionAid and other donors. A maternal and child nutrition programme was launched that Dr Hassan said would ensure all work done by donors and the government is coordinated into one to avoid confusion.

“We have seen there are many actors involved in addressing malnutrition and there is a need to bring together an action plan for all our partners so that everything is coordinated into one to produce a document and to mobilise resources to address this problem,” he said. Garissa Deputy Governor Abdullahi Hussein, who was chief guest during the function, said malnutrition in the county had drastically declined since the inception of devolved governance.

He noted that in 2008, malnutrition was at 25 per cent compared with the current 11.4 per cent. He said malnutrition was a threat to the county’s sustainable development goals because it affects the education of children. He added that there was a need to sensitise and involve communities in the fight against malnutrition.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Maralal gets its first tarmac road 52 years after independence

maralalA 10-kilometre tarmac road is set to change the face of Maralal Town upon completion in February. The road is being constructed alongside a 35-kilometre line of street lights through the town’s major streets. Apart from a small section of the Isiolo-Marsabit highway that passes through Archers Post Town in Samburu East, the tarmac road in Maralal will be the first in the county since Kenya gained independence 52 years ago. The dusty town hosts the International Camel Derby, Maralal Wildlife Sanctuary, Kenyatta house and is the county headquarters. Leaders and residents say the town and county were deliberately neglected by previous governments.

Mr Alex Lolongoyo from Shabaa Village said unfulfilled pledges by politicians made him believe construction of a tarmac road in Samburu was impossible. “Women and children from my village used to trek to town during Christmas to pose for photos on the only tarmac surface at Maralal Police Station,” the 62-year-old said.

ELDERLY HERDERS

The new Constitution and devolution have made it possible for Mr Lolongoyo and other elderly herders to see a tarmac road. The Sh300 million road was commissioned in April last year and construction began in July.

Probase International, a Malaysian company, was contracted by the county government to build the road. Construction of a kilometre of a road using the probase technology costs just Sh30 million. Doing the same using traditional Kenyan methods costs between Sh80 million and Sh120 million per kilometre.

However, some town residents have been questioning the quality and durability of the road. Mr Edwin Gachie, the project’s engineer assured the residents that the eight-metre wide road would last 10 years.

PROBASE TECHNOLOGY

He said Samburu was the second county to adopt the probase technology after Meru. Roads, Transport and Public Works Executive Stephen Lekupe said the project would see Maralal realise its dreams of a rapidly growing urban centre with a 24-hour economy. The county government plans to lobby with the County Assembly and National Government for another 100 kilometres of tarmac road. 

The new road is projected to pass through Maralal, Wamba and Baragoi towns. Before the contract was awarded to the company, County government officials travelled to Malaysia to see roads built using probase technology.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Fish trade in Lake Turkana suffers blow

Commercial fishing in Lake Turkana has taken a beating due to siltation and interference with breeding zones. Traders are staring at a bleak future after quantities of fish went down. Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) says Lake Turkana can generate Sh3 billion per year if well managed. The situation will worsen if the Ethiopian government goes ahead with its plan to construct a dam on River Omo which empties over 90 per cent of its waters into the lake.

ENVIRONMENTALISTS OPPOSITION

DNLakeTurkana1406bEnvironmentalists in the area have opposed the planned construction of Gibe Dam. “The water levels in Lake Turkana which is source of livelihood for over 20,000 families will go down by 60 per cent if the dam is constructed and will interfere with the marine life,” said Mr John Mame, chairman of the Impressa Beach Management Unit (BMU) that brings together environmentalists. Ethiopian has received donor funding to constrict a dam that will be used for irrigation and generation of electricity.

“Kenya and Ethiopia must save Lake Turkana from extinction,” said Mr Eyang’an Ekidor of Friends of Lake Turkana Environment Group. Mr Ekidor called on the government to allocate adequate resources for research to establish economic potential of the lake under the poverty eradication programme in devolved system of government. KMFRI cites interference with breeding zones, siltation and use of improper fishing methods as some of the factors that contribute to waning quantity of fish in the lake. Mismanagement of the Kalokool fish processing plant and attacks of fishermen by militias are also derailing fishing in the lake. “The plant has not operated to its full capacity due to mismanagement and political interference. Insecurity has also scared away investors,” said Mr Hosea Akoru, a fish trader at Kalokool Beach.

APPEAL TO THE GOVERNMENT

He appealed to the government to beef up security along the Lakeshores to facility commercial fishing activity and boost income generation. “The frequent attacks by militias has scared away potential investors from engaging in commercial fish activities and  improve income generation and living livelihood of the locals,” added Akoru.

The government has however deployed additional Kenya Marine Police to patrol the Lake following the recent resigning of a peace agreement between Kenyan and Ethiopian leaders to contain armed conflict between Turkana and Merrile communities. The marine police have been posted to patrol Kalokool to Todonnyang’ to counter attacks by armed militia and promote trade.

Fishing activities at the Lake had drastically declined after most traders moved out following recurrent attacks by raiders from the two communities. Seven people including an administration policeman and a Kenya Police Reservist (KPR) were last year killed at the lake by suspected Merrile raiders who also escaped with fishing gear.

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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