State Allocates Ksh 54.6 Billion To Agriculture Sector

Government will spend Ksh54.6 billion in 2024l25 financial year to finance various agriculture activities in the sector,

National treasury and planning Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u while reading the 2024/25 budget statement said the Government will continue to focus on agricultural transformation and inclusive growth through the value chain approach.

He added that the aim will be to provide adequate and affordable working capital to all farmers through cooperative societies and deploy modern agricultural risk management instruments that ensure farming is profitable and income is predictable.

‘ The government aims at transforming farmers from food deficit to surplus producers through input finance, subsidies and intensive agricultural extension support, raise the productivity of key food value chains, reduce dependence on basis food imports, revamp underperforming export crops and boost tea value chain through blending and branding’, Prof. Ndung’u said .

In order to attain food and nutrition sec
urity, the CS proposed an allocation of Ksh 54.6 billion for various programmes under the sector.

This includes Ksh 10 billion for the fertilizer subsidy programme, Ksh 6.1 billion for the National Agricultural Value chain development project, Ksh 2.5 billion for emergency locust response, Ksh 2.4 billion for the enable youth and women in agriculture , Ksh 747. million for small scale irrigation and value addition projects and Ksh 642.5 million for the food security and crop diversification project.

On livestock, Prof. Ndung’u has proposed Ksh 2.4 billion for de risking, inclusion and value enhancement of pastoral economies programme, Ksh 1.5 billion for livestock value chain support project, Ksh 1.5 billion for Kenya livestock commercialization programme , and Ksh 192.5 million for the embryo transfer project .

‘ I have also proposed Ksh 300 million for the development of leader industrial park while at the same time proposed an allocation of Ksh 340 million towards ending drought emergencies project as t
his will raise agricultural productivity and enhance resilience to climate change risks in targeted smallholder farming pastoral communities’, the CS said

During his remarks , Prof. Ndung’u said that the Kenyan economy is susceptible to the ranging impact of climate change as demonstrated by the prolonged drought in 2021/22 the severest in the last 40 years and the recent floods that led to loss of lives and damage to property and infrastructure across the country.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Geologists To Conduct Seismic Assessment In Murang’a Landslide-Prone Areas

The Ministry of Mining and Blue Economy has deployed geologists to conduct a seismic assessment to landslide-prone areas within Murang’a County.

Already, a team of senior geologists has commenced the assessment in parts of Kangema Sub County where earth faults have been witnessed.

Mining Principal Secretary Elijiah Mwangi said on Wednesday that the assessment will help in making well-informed decisions on the utilisation of the land, which has been prone to landslides.

He noted that the geologists were deployed following a request by the Murang’a County Government to develop a long-term technical report after the assessment that will help prevent deaths and destruction of property occasioned by landslides.

In many parts of the upper zones of the county, the PS said they were affected by land and mudslides during the recent rains, leaving a trail of destruction.

‘A team of senior geologists is already doing the seismic assessment at parts of Kangema. More geologists will be deployed to carry out the asses
sment in parts of Kahuro, Mathioya, Kigumo, and Gatanga that have been experiencing landslides during rainy seasons.

‘Their report will guide the government in making decisions on the utilisation of land. We will be in a position to decide whether to relocate people from the areas and utilise the land by either planting trees or for other purposes,’ added Mwangi.

Early on, a landslide hit Kiganjo village in Mathioya, killing six people and displacing more than 30 families.

‘After the assessment, people who will be found living in risky areas, will be relocated. This is to ensure the safety of our people,’ added the PS.

Meanwhile, Mwangi said his ministry is working in partnership with the local county government to invest in the value addition of local soils used to manufacture tiles.

‘Murang’a has a kaolin type of soil. This soil is the raw material for tiles and is currently being mined, transported to other areas of the country, and even exported. We have asked the county government to get us a piece
of land where we can bring investors and set up a tile manufacturing plant,’ Mwangi said.

‘Manufacturing the tiles locally will boost the economy of Murang’a and also provide employment opportunities to local youth. The kaolin soil is available in Gaturi and Mugoiri wards, and it can also be accessed from neighbouring counties.’

The Ministry, he noted, has launched the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI), targeting individuals who are mining in the country but do not have a license.

He said they are getting grassroots to have all artisanal miners registered and issued with mining licenses.

‘The RRI is also to ensure anyone mining, buying, processing, or doing other business with minerals is fully registered to do away with illegal mining. This is to streamline the sector and ensure all miners are in cooperatives to benefit from government incentives, among other forms of support.

‘I urge local artisanal miners, especially those who mine construction stones, to join cooperative societies. By doing so, they can
apply for financial support from various government funds,’ PS Mwangi added.

Source: Kenya News Agency

EACC Recovers Sh100 Million Public Land From Grabbers In Machakos

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has recovered public land valued at Sh100 million that had been seized by grabbers in Machakos town.

EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi said the land measuring approximately one acre belonging to the Ministry of Housing and leased to various government institutions including the judiciary had been grabbed by land cartels.

‘We have successfully recovered the property and returned it to the government, ‘said Ngumbi.

The spokesperson spoke in Machakos during a training for journalists from lower eastern conducted by the commission to enable the scribes to effectively participate in unearthing corruption and other malpractices relating to the governance of the country.

He noted that the seized land is among other properties that EACC is trying to recover from land grabbers in the region amounting to Sh1.2 billion.

‘We are pursuing other properties that are currently in the hands of grabbers.

It is estimated that the value of government’s land and houses in the han
ds of cartels in Machakos, Kitui and Makueni counties is over Sh1.2 billion,’ he added.

Ngumbi said part of the properties include 13 plots for Kenya Prisons in Machakos, five acres of land valued at Sh300 million belonging to Seme Primary School and a Sh250 million property belonging to visually impaired persons in Kitui grabbed by a church.

He noted that land grabbing remains a big challenge in the country and disclosed that most government properties especially those belonging to the Ministry of Housing in various parts of the country are in the hands of private persons.

‘The land is taken by grabbers in collusion with corrupt land officials. Cumulatively these government plots are more than what the government requires for the affordable housing project, ‘added Ngumbi.

He however noted that many Kenyans who had grabbed public land were willing to settle the matter outside court cutting down on costs and time on litigation.

‘The EACC welcomes Alternative Dispute Resolution on matters relating to grabb
ed public land, ‘said Ngumbi.

He appealed to anyone occupying public land to come forward and enter into negotiations with the commission and voluntarily return what they have grabbed instead of waiting for the lengthy and costly litigation in court.

‘We are also putting on notice corrupt land officials and especially registrars who re -allocate what has been recovered to unscrupulous people,’ said the spokesperson.

Ngumbi said besides recovery of public land the commission was carrying out investigations in matters related to crime for purposes of prosecuting those culpable.

‘We have cases touching on County Executive Committee Members and County Assemblies in each of the three counties. The cases are at various stages with some pending review by the Director of Public Prosecution while others are in court, ‘he added.

He pointed out conflict of interest was the leading cause of graft in devolved units and underscored the need for tough laws to curb the vice.

‘Conflict of interest in the county governme
nts has been the bedrock of all the graft cases being handled by the commission especially top government officials including governors who do business with the government by allocating tenders to family members, relatives and their associates, ‘said the spokesperson.

Ngumbi said a total of 10 governors, both former and current are facing corruption charges mainly attributed to conflict of interest.

‘That’s why you seen governors being charged alongside their families and associates, ‘he added.

The spokesperson however expressed his concerns on the Conflict of Interest Bill, 2023 saying the proposals made by the Senate will cripple the war on corruption.

He said the changes being proposed by the Senate will have far reaching implications on the fight against graft if fully adopted.

Among the notable changes in the bill that Ngumbi said will cripple the fight against corruption include proposals by the Senate to delete the provisions that gives EACC the mandate to implement the Conflict of Interest Bill,
2023.

‘Senate proposes to have EACC removed as an implementation agency and have the responsibility given to private entities. It is unconstitutional because conflict of interest is one of the issues under chapter six of the constitution relating to the conduct of state officers where EACC has been vested with the mandate and the responsibility to implement, ‘he added.

The spokesperson also noted that the Senate proposes to amend the existing laws by repealing the existing provision that makes conflict of interest a criminal offence.

‘It is a dangerous move if the bill becomes law. Conflict of interest is the main causes of scandals in the country including the ten governors already in court, ‘said Ngumbi.

He called on the national assembly to shoot down the proposals saying the bill if passed will claw back the gains made in the fight against corruption.

He called on county assemblies to conduct their oversight role in the devolved units to curb graft.

‘County Assemblies have failed Kenyans for not doi
ng oversight. Infact majority of the Members of the County Assembly collude with the executive to steal public funds, ‘added Ngumbi.

Source: Kenya News Agency

State, WEEE Collaborate On E-Waste Management

The government, in partnership with Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), is conducting education forums for government officers on electronic waste (e-waste) management.

Under the partnership, which is being spearheaded by the Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), public officers will now be able to surrender their obsolete office equipment for refurbishment to the authority and ensure such items can be put in use again.

The WEEE directive is a legislative act that the European Union adopted to address the growing amounts of e-waste that come from electrical and electronic gadgets.

Dubbed the National Refurbishment, Assembly, and E-waste Management Programme, ICTA intends to employ civil servants as the first line of defence in sensitising the public on the proper management of e-waste as a response to the ever-growing threat emanating from their unregulated disposal.

Mr. Kioko Mutunga, an ICTA project Manager, says the Government has so far collected 15,000 pieces of obs
olete electronic equipment from across the country, which are currently undergoing refurbishment, with the number expected to grow in the coming months.

‘Government officers have obsolete equipment that they do not find the right way to dispose of on our Kenyan market. These devices end up filling stores, and even when disposal comes into play, people are not able to purchase them. We want to sensitise civil servants who will become our ambassadors on how we can save our environment and ensure there is safe handling from the point of buying up to the point we dispose of them safely,’ he told KNA yesterday during a one-day sensitisation workshop for government officers in Nyeri.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) puts Africa’s annual e-waste generation at a staggering 2.9 MT, which accounts for at least one per cent of all global waste.

In Kenya, at least 17,000 metric tonnes of e-waste were generated in 2017, with this figure totaling to 127,000 metric tonnes by last year.

And with the e
ntry of electrical and electronic gadgets expected to maintain a steady projectile in the country, Kenya’s annual e-waste is expected to hit an average of 51,3000 metric tonnes in the coming years.

On top of the table are household equipment such as refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves, televisions, radios, computers, and cell phones.

Given that the information and technology revolution has exponentially increased the use of new electronic equipment, it has also produced growing volumes of obsolete products, making e-waste one of the fastest-growing waste streams globally.

‘We must not necessarily take them (electrical and electronic wastes) to where we collect them, but the government has very many institutions where we are going to distribute this functioning equipment. We have learning institutions, digital institutions that require them, and even government institutions that require them,’ explained the official.

Mutunga says once the first phase of collecting the devices is complete, they will
then embark on the second phase, which will entail the establishment of collection centres for e-waste across the country.

On her part, Nancy Ng’ethe, who is a WEEE officer, underscored the need for Kenyans to understand the vital link between e-waste management and environmental conservation.

She noted that with the growing consumer appetite for high-end gadgets such as smartphones and household electronic items, the majority of which have a short lifespan, there is a need to come up with mechanisms that will address how such products can be disposed of without endangering both humans and the ecosystem.

‘Our key role is to create awareness around e-waste to make sure that everybody, from the corporate to the informal sector, is aware of what e-waste is and the dangers of not disposing of it properly. The government has been very supportive, and we now have rules and regulations around how e-waste management should be governed, which was not the case around 12 years ago,’ she said.

Kenya’s e-waste managem
ent and disposal is anchored under Article 42 of the Constitution, the Public Procurement and Disposal Act Section 165(2), together with the National ICT Policy 2019 and the Environmental Management and Conduct Act (Revised 2015).

But Ng’ethe is advising those intending to dispose of their old electronic equipment to ascertain that the items are totally unserviceable and therefore not worth storage.

She says any electronic gadget must either fall under the repair, reuse, or refurbishment category and can only be recycled if it fails to fit in either of the three.

‘Before you get to the recycle bit, you must ensure that your e-waste cannot be reused anymore. So, if you think you have an item that is no longer needed, you can look for a second person who can use it,’ she told KNA.

‘Recycling is basically saying this device has reached the end of life, and therefore the only remaining thing is to dismantle the item and then get the different partitions, either as glass, plastic, scrap, or the motherboard, wh
ich can thereafter be used in another way,’ she added.

If improperly disposed of, e-waste like old computers, mobile phones, or kitchen appliances poses environmental and health risks from exposure to lead, mercury, and other toxic materials.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Technology Transforms The Land Sector

The National Land Commission (NLC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, has made significant strides in digitising land records and creating robust land information systems.

NLC Chairman Gershom Otachi said that one of their flagship initiatives, an integrated Land Management Information System (LMIS), is a one-stop portal for all land-related services, including critical data on land ownership, usage, registration, valuation, and dispute resolution, that not only makes it easier for citizens to access land services but also improves coordination among different government agencies involved in land management.

Otachi, speaking at the Kenya School of Government (KSG) Kabete on Wednesday during the official opening of the 3rd Regional Research Conference themed ‘Data, Innovation, and Technology for Land Governance,’ said that the digitization of land records and services is and will be a key priority for the National Land Commission.

‘Innovation is the driving force behind chan
ge and improvement in land governance. The world is adopting innovative approaches that streamline processes, reduce costs, and improve service delivery,’ highlighted the chairman.

Otachi said that blockchain technology is one of the innovations being used to enhance land registration and title management, explaining that it offers a secure and transparent way to record land transactions, reducing the risk of fraud and disputes.

‘By piloting blockchain projects in land registration, we can build trust in our land administration systems and protect the rights of landowners,’ he said.

The chairman explained that remote sensing and drone technology are being leveraged for land surveying, monitoring, and data collection. These technologies provide high-resolution imagery and real-time data, essential for accurate land assessment and management.

‘Data collection is only the first step. We must also ensure that this data is accessible and usable by all stakeholders, from government agencies and private sector p
artners to local communities and individual citizens. This requires investment in data infrastructure, capacity building, and policies that promote open data and information sharing,’ said Otachi.

NLC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kabale Tache said that Article 67(2)(d) of the Constitution of Kenya and the National Land Commission (NLC) Act 2012, Section 5(1)(d), mandates the NLC to undertake research related to land and the use of natural resources, and make recommendations to the appropriate authorities.

‘It is on this basis that we are holding this conference, this being the third edition in a series of research conferences the Commission has organised since 2021,’ she explained.

Ms. Tache said that in today’s rapidly evolving world, the management and governance of land have become increasingly complex, requiring them to embrace new technologies to ensure sustainable and equitable land use.

‘The use of data, innovation, and technology has the potential to revolutionise how we manage and govern land, m
aking processes more efficient, transparent, and inclusive,’ said Ms. Tache.

She continued: ‘As we embrace these advancements, we must also be mindful of the challenges that come with them. Data privacy, security, and accessibility are crucial considerations that must be addressed to ensure that the benefits of data innovation and technology are equitably distributed among all stakeholders.’

She called for collaboration from all stakeholders, asking them to keep in mind the importance of their work and the impact it can have on the lives of people around the world.

‘Together, we have the opportunity to shape a more sustainable future for land governance, and I am confident that our collective efforts will lead to meaningful and lasting change,’ said Ms. Tache.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Firearm Recovered In Trans Mara South

Police in Trans Mara South Sub County, Narok County have recovered an illegal firearm, AK 47 rifle that was loaded with a magazine with 18 rounds in the Geturo area.

Narok County Police Commander Riko Ngare said the police were acting on a tip-off from the residents when they raided the home of Isaiya Langat Kipkemoi and recovered the gun.

At the time of recovery, Kipkemoi was at his home with his friend Dennis Kipkoech and the two were arrested and escorted to Lolgorian Police station awaiting to be arraigned in court.

The commander thanked the residents for volunteering such important information and asked them to continue giving information of suspected criminals amongst them so that they can be arrested.

Early this year, the government deployed a contingent of security teams to the volatile border of Trans Mara South and Kuria so as to deal with inter-community clashes after several people were injured and property destroyed in clashes.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Stakeholders Meet In Mombasa To Chat Ways To Eradicate Child Labour

The government under the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection is participating on engagement forums with the private sector to chat a way forward towards eradicating child labour.

In a meeting in Mombasa with the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), Federation of Kenya Employers, Mombasa county government, among others, stakeholders in the private sector participated in discussions on ways of mobilizing the community in the fight against child labour.

Deputy Labour Commissioner in charge of Field Services Bonaya Kase said the aim of the engagements was for the state to take a lead in reducing child labour in the country with a target of ending it by 2025.

‘We are meeting stakeholders and chatting the way forward on how we can involve everybody in this fight,’ he said.

Kase noted that as per the regulation in Employment Act, all children under the age of 13 must be in school, then all children between 14 to 15years should be in light work and from 16 years to 18 years, if they have to work, the
n they should work not in the worst forms of labour.

He added that the Employment Act also has a regulation that required employers who wished to employ children to pass through the Labour Commissioner’s office and get authorized permission for the employment.

‘If you don’t have that authority from the Ministry of Labour to employ children, then you are committing an offence. This has been a slow process but where we have reached now, we are mobilizing the communities so that we can now take in action to eliminate child labour in totality,’ he added.

In commemoration of the World Day against Child Labour on June 12, Kase said that in partnership with ILO, they have welcomed all stakeholders to participate and raise awareness and mobilize communities to participate and take a lead in combating child labour in Kenya.

He said there were many programmes in the country to spearhead elimination of child labour with a lot of capacity building done by labour officers, and it was through this effort that the count
ry was able to eliminate child labour.

‘We used to have children employed by big firms to work and have their names in the pay roll; these interventions have helped stop this vice. We also want to identify and prevent children from working; we are also focusing on aspects of child trafficking which has become a lucrative business by those involved,’ he said.

He noted that the government wants employers to follow procedures on the Employment Act if they want to employ children.

According to Kase, there are about 2million children working in Kenya, as guided by international standards with the state progressing elimination of the same.

‘The reasons as to why children are moving to child labour is a complex issue that is why we have recognized that as a country especially after ratifying those convections,’ he said.

He said Kenya intends to fight child labour through education, which is free for primary schools, 100 percent transition to secondary school and then vocational training to gain skills that will
help children empower themselves.

Grace Banya ILO CAPSA project Manager commended the government’s proactive stand on child labour and human trafficking.

She said the economic strains compounded by Covid-19 escalated the situation further.

Banya underscored the need to engage all stakeholders in the society including the private sector to adhere to labour standards in a bid to eradicate child labour.

She said the organization wants to ensure the private sector is aware of the issue and do something about it.

‘This year 2024 World Day against Child Labour is when we are recognizing 25 years of the universal ratified convection on the rights of a child specifically the ILO convection no 182 on the worst forms of child labour. It’s one among a few conventions that has been ratified universally,’ she said.

She noted that the engagement would be fruitful as they would make sure the private sector would sign on an action agenda where they were going to commit themselves to do something about child labour.

Sh
e recognized the government’s effort in putting in place a number of programmes to try and combat the vice, adding that ILO also wants the private sector to incorporate their profit in activities that would pay back to the children in the society.

‘We want to appeal to the private sector that whatever profit they make they can plough back into the community to make sure that our children go to schools, have uniforms and food,’ she added.

Source: Kenya News Agency