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)

Church leaders condemn Narok clashes

Baringo Church leadersOver 100 church leaders have condemned the violence in Narok County that has displaced more than 2,000 people. When they met Governor Benjamin Cheboi at his residence in Kabarnet on Thursday, they said the two communities should co-exist peacefully for the sake of development. Bishop Daniel Chemon of Full Gospel Churches of Kenya said the situation in Narok County was a threat to national security.

“We pray for peace and appeal to residents to remain calm. The government should deploy more officers to beef up security in the area,” he said. Dozens of houses belonging to Kipsigis and Maasai villagers were torched in a retaliatory attacks following the killing of two herders in Maasai Mau Narok Forest on Wednesday, last week. The clergy also praised leaders for the peace witnessed in the North Rift, saying it had given residents time to engage in meaningful development.

Banditry has not been reported in Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Turkana and Samburu counties for the last three months. Mr Cheboi recently termed the peace as encouraging.

PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE

“Peaceful co-existence, especially on the borders of Tiaty, Baringo North and Baringo South has enabled us to speed up development. This should be maintained,” Mr Cheboi said. The war on insecurity was boosted a few weeks ago when more than 100 bandits publicly denounced cattle rustling and promised to promote peace.

The North Rift has not known peace for years. More than 400 people have been killed in the last one year. The number includes 19 Administration Police officers killed in Kapedo on the Turkana-Baringo counties border. Meanwhile, an Esoit Village family in Olpusimoru, Narok is mourning the loss of their Standard Seven child killed as they fled the clashes on Boxing Day. Mr James Kones, 64 and his wife Violla Chepkoskei are yet to come to terms with the tragic events that robbed them of their second born child.

Their house was also razed by the attackers. Like many other villagers, the family slept in the cold on December 26, fearing attacks as tension mounted. They were in a thicket near their home at 4am when Mr Kones spotted a group of about 100 armed youths approach. He immediately alerted his wife and children and told them to flee. Only later, around 6am, did they notice that a member of the family was missing. Mr Kones said his son Amos Kipkorir, must have stumbled and fallen.

POLITICS PLAYED ROLE

Like many other families, Mr Kones’ sought refuge at Township Primary School in Olenguruone. Though the Maasai insist that the cause of the fighting was the killing of two herdsmen, administrators insist politics played a role. At a meeting in the troubled area on Sunday where Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery ordered a ceasefire, speakers pointed to the possibility of politicians fanning and funding the conflict. Speakers, including Rift Valley Regional Security Coordinator Osman Warfa named a man they said was at the centre of the Mau controversy, prompting Mr Nkaissery to order his arrest. The man, popularly known as Kalyaso Tol Tol, is said to be wealthy and well-connected. According to Olpusimoru MCA Wilson Masikonte, the standoff among leaders over the Mau Forest has political undertones, with the 2017 elections in mind.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Government suspends stone quarrying in Mandera East over insecurity

Quarrying in Mandera East Sub-County has been suspended due to insecurity. Mandera East Deputy County Commissioner Elvis Korir said the ban follows the assessment of the security in the area. “We have decided to suspend quarrying activities especially in Mandera East on security reasons but once we reorganise our apparatus the stone miners will resume work,” Mr Korir told the Nation. mandera stone mining

He said all the Kenya Police Reservists (KPRs) in Mandera East were being vetted for effective surveillance of the stone quarries. “We are vetting afresh all the reservists so that we can deploy them in the three locations with the highest stone mining activities within Mandera East and this will boost our tactics of fighting terror,” said Mr. Korir. The three locations with the highest quarry activities are Khalalio, Neboi and Koromey. Mr Korir said there are more than 15 stone quarries in Mandera East alone.

AL-SHABAAB ATTACK

The government’s decision comes at a time when the stone miners have become Al-Shabaab targets with the latest attack on July 7, 2015 claiming 14 lives. Eleven other people were injured in the attack. On December 2, 2014, 36 miners were killed in cold blood by suspected Al-Shabaab militants as they slept in makeshift tents at Koromey.

The incident prompted the government to close down all the stone quarries along the Kenya-Somalia border. The miners were ordered never to spend nights in the quarries but instead rent houses in Mandera Town. Mr Charles Kamau, a stone miner, told the Nation that most of his colleagues have left Mandera due to “complicated working conditions” which he blamed on the government.

TOUGH CONDITIONS

“We have worked in these quarries for long but the government has become very unfriendly with officers coming up with tough conditions. “On the other hand Al-Shabaab are after our lives and this has forced most of us to go back home,” said Mr Kamau. He said most miners were attracted by the “good returns” in Mandera compared to his home county of Nyeri.

The construction industry in Mandera is expected to suffer most as the quarries close. Mr Korir, however, said the activities will resume after streamlining of the security system and denied claims that it was a government tactic of getting non-locals out of Mandera after a successful transfer of non-local teachers.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Olpusimoru residents return home as peace is restored

Maasai and Kipsigis communities have embarked on a peace process after the recent conflicts that left four dead, several injured and several others displaced. A 50-member team has been formed to spearhead the peace process. The team comprises chiefs, religious leaders, opinion leaders, community elders and youth leaders representing both sides of the communities residing in Olpusimoru.

narok clashesThe climax of the peace process will be a cleansing ceremony where a bull will be slaughtered as both communities feast together to signify peace. Four people died while 40 were injured after being shot by arrows during the fight that left 200 houses burnt and more than 4,000 people displaced. Speaking to Nation in Olpusimoru, the area Member of County Assembly Mr Wilson Masikonte said the ongoing process has been made possible after both communities gave dialogue a chance. “When the teams selected by members of each community meet, they will agree on a common modality that will bring about lasting peace in the region,” said the MCA.

No new incidents of violence have been reported since Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett visited the area and met the two communities. The CS warned those found to have played a role in the fighting that they would be arrested. He also ordered for the arrest of anyone found armed with bows, arrows and spears and further directed that no one should be out in the night. Locals who have been camping at Township Primary School in Olenguruone Town after fleeing their homes have been assured of security and asked to return home.

On Tuesday, residents of the area were seen driving back their livestock to their homes. Women and children who had also fled were also seen returning to their homes on motorcycles.

GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

Mr Stephen ole Nampaso, a representative of the youth said they have put down their weapons to give peace a chance. "We are giving the government a chance to investigate the killers of the two herders who were shot dead in the forest," said Mr Nampaso. However, he said despite calm returning to the area, the government needs to carry out cohesion campaigns between the two communities.

Mr Samson Kitamoni argued that both sides have suffered heavy losses and blamed ‘the devil’ for the skirmishes. "We are tired of the tension that is being brought about by this animosity, we are ready to welcome our neighbours back,” he said. Both sides of the Nakuru and Narok counties are working together to ensure those who were displaced are resettled.By Wednesday, Narok County government donated 4,000 iron sheets to displaced victims whose houses were burnt down during the clashes. Each person will receive 20 iron sheets.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Government starts registration of guns held by civilians in West Pokot

guns picThe government has embarked on voluntary registration of illegally acquired firearms in West Pokot County. Eight serviceable guns and nine rounds of ammunition have so far been registered and handed back to the owners with clearance certificates. Speaking during the launch of the registration Saturday in Turkwel, county commissioner Seif Matata said the government will no longer allow civilians who are not registered to continue holding firearms.

Mr Matata said the programme will regulate and monitor all registered firearms held by civilians, saying it is another way of ensuring that they do not engaged in crime activities and in return cases of insecurity in the region will be eradicated or reduced.

CLOSELY MONITORED

“This exercise will ensure that those who own them will not engage in illegal activities as the government will closely monitor and know who misuses his firearm instead of accusing the entire community,” said the commissioner. The commissioner promised that during the recruitment of Kenya Police Reservists to be done soon, those who will have registered will be given the first priority and they will earn some allowance.

He added that in the National Youth Service programme to be rolled out next week in the area, the volunteers will first be considered.  He appealed to those who are yet to register to do so immediately, saying what is required is only the firearm and the national identity card. He urged them to go to their nearest chief or assistant chief’s offices to register.

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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