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  

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Isiolo herders ordered to remove livestock from Buffalo Spring Park

isiolo subcounty deputy commissionerHerders in Isiolo have been ordered to immediately remove their livestock from Buffalo Spring Park. Isiolo Sub-County Deputy Commissioner Julius Maiyo said the order is meant to prevent the livestock from interfering with tourists. He said the park management had indicated that tourists have already booked to be there from next week until December. Chiefs and their assistants from West, Ngaremara, Nakuprat and Attan locations have also been instructed to provide names of livestock owners who have invaded the designated area. Speaking during a meeting yesterday with Somali, Samburu and Turkana herders in Ngaremara Ward, Mr Maiyo asked rangers to arrest any herder trespassing into the park.

WATER, NOT PASTURE

Herders had earlier asked to be allowed to take their animals to the park for water and not pasture . “We cannot allow livestock to drink water in the park. Herders should look for other alternatives areas for water. "The park is only meant for wildlife,” said Mr Maiyo . He said the county government should find possible ways to provide water for the livestock. Mr Maiyo said the removal of livestock is meant to prevent conflict that might arise between the pastoralist communities in the park thus scaring away tourists. He said herders whose livestock will be found in the park that they will be prosecuted.

Ethiopians plunge local prison into Sh8m deb

Isiolo Prison facing an Sh8 million debt in unpaid bills, thanks to an increase in Ethiopian inmates. Most of the foreigners have been arrested while on their way to Nairobi. Others are rounded up by police abandoned by people said to be helping them go to South Africa in search of jobs. The prison is currently holding 80 Ethiopians who have been jailed for one year who are expected to in until April next year.

In March, 65 were released after staying at the facility for three month and were send back to Ethiopian. In December last year, 372 were released after a three-month jail term each. Inmates get two meals a day. They consume 720kgs of maize flour each day. This year alone, more than 400 Ethiopian immigrants have been arrested along the Moyale-Marsabit Isiolo road while on their way to Nairobi. ethiopians pic

This week, another 12 were arrested in Embu while a similar number was nabbed in the same county late last year. They all end up at the prison. The 372 Ethiopians deported last December had been charged with being in the country illegally. They had fined Sh200,000 each or a three-month jail term. They were to be deported upon serving their sentences.

Make arrests

Isiolo County Commissioner Wanyama Musiambo says locals have been helping the aliens to sneak into the country but they are yet to make any arrests. “It is mind boggling how an outsider would know their way without help from a local,” Mr Musiambo said. Other aliens have been arrested in bushes after they were abandoned by their local agents allegedly helping them to get jobs in South Africa and they all end up at Isiolo Prison.

The 80 Ethiopian inmates still held at the prison recently staged a hunger strike demanding repatriation. They were unhappy that they were handed a one year jail term while the rest had been jailed for three months. One of them said they sold everything at home to raise the Sh400, 000 a broker demanded to get them jobs in South Africa.

“The broker even promised to facilitate our transport to Nairobi upon delivery of the money but things did not work out as we would be arrested,” he said. Deputy Officer in charge of the prison Job Komen says confirmed the aliens had been asked for the money after their investigations. “We are yet to know the individuals helping these aliens sneak into the country, but we know they are in Nairobi. They are said to have told the immigrants they would help them acquire travel documents to South Africa,” Mr Komen said.

The officer said some of the aliens complained their relatives colluded with the brokers to have them forcefully leave for South Africa where they believed there are many job opportunities. “However, we cannot confirm the claims since its second hand information,” said Mr Komen. Immigrants say they embarked on the risky journey following reports that those who went before them are doing well.

Surprisingly, Mr Komen said, some of the inmates at the prison are Ethiopian government officials, including police officers. “They claim to have come from Hosana District in Ethiopia and have been pushed out by high poverty and unemployment rates,” said Mr Komen. In 2013, a suspect believed to be helping the foreigners was arrested in Isiolo and charged but later released on bond.

 

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Court reinstates 17 suspended Isiolo County Assembly staff

Seventeen Isiolo County Assembly staff who had been suspended have been reinstated following a court order. The 17 had been sued by individuals who termed their recruitment as unprocedural. County Assembly Speaker Mohammed Tubi said the absence of the staff had paralysed House business for about a year. The 17 who include the sergeant at arms, assembly clerk, assistant clerks, secretary, heads of various departments and a hansard reporter were suspended in November 2014. isiolo court

The 17 were reinstated last week following an order issued by a Meru court. “A court order was issued to all my staff to return to work. "We had lost a lot but we will be able to recover the time we have lost now that the staff members have been recalled,” said the Speaker. He assured locals that the assembly was now fully functional.

He said this was good news for the county since the MCAs will be able to legislate and over sight accordingly. The speaker added that wrangles in the assembly had ended. The county assembly Gazetted 11 bills last month including Revenue, Flag and Symbol, Childcare Facilities, Animal welfare, Outdoor Advertising and Tourism among others.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Govt warns of severe drought in Mandera

The government has warned of an impending drought in Mandera. Poor long-term rains in April-May in Mandera is likely to cause a severe drought in the coming months, according to National Drought Management Authority (NDMA). Speaking at NDMA offices in Mandera Town, the county drought information officer Hussein Ibrahim said only a few parts of the county received near-normal rainfall while others recorded no rainfall.

“We received near-normal rains in the western and southern parts of the county that supported pasture but for now and due to massive migration of livestock in search of pasture and water the areas have dried up,” said Mr Ibrahim. He said pastoralists were now moving with their livestock to Ethiopia's interior along River Daua and to parts of Wajir County in search of pasture and water as the situation worsened in Mandera. mandera drought

“Areas of Banisa, Kotulo in Elwak and Takaba had pasture regeneration when it rained in May, but for now it’s over and herders are migrating into Ethiopia and even Somalia from parts of Mandera East, Lafey and Rhamu which received no rains,” said Mr Ibrahim. 

DRIED UP

He said water pumps in the county had dried up and that the only source of water were boreholes in areas with high concentration of livestock. He added that the county government was undertaking water trucking in more than 50 centres. "The current situation has affected milk production with the prices shooting up and has lowered market livestock prices,” said Mr Ibrahim.

He said a satellite report referred to as Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) that states the greenness of plants would be out by next week to define the action to be taken for food supply. Already, the Mandera County government has started food distribution targeting vulnerable households, the poor and the elderly in areas most hit by the drought. Livestock migration in search of pasture and water has for many years been blamed for causing clan clashes in Mandera. The recent fallout between the Garre and Degodia clans that left more than 15 people dead this month (June) was attributed to the grazing fields.

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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