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Thika Level 5 Hospital Superintendent Patrick Nyaga (right) visits one of the fire victims at the ICU on Friday evening to ascertain his condition.
One person died and 17 others injured on Friday afternoon after a fire outbreak at a Thika manufacturing plant.

According to eyewitnesses’ accounts, the blaze at Junglenuts Macadamia factory broke out at around 3:30pm when one of the boilers burst into flames just a few seconds after the resumption of electricity following some power surge earlier in the afternoon.

They said that two among those injured sustained serious injuries with one of them succumbing to his injuries upon arrival at the Thika Level 5 Hospital.

“The two, both men, were the ones operating the machine when the accident occurred and therefore had the worst injuries. I hear that one of them has died on arrival at the hospital,” explained one of our sources.

The facility had about 200 workers at the time of the accident, most of whom managed to escape unscathed through the company’s security exits.

While responding to questions from the press, Joseph Murigi, the company’s Human Resource Manager (HR), said investigations were underway to establish the real course of the fire even though he pointed out that it might have been as a result of an electric power fault after some power surge.
Thika Level 5 Hospital Superintendent Patrick Nyaga confirmed of the death of one male patient on arrival at the hospital adding that only one victim was admitted in ICU.

Nyaga allayed fears that the victim was in danger saying that he had incurred about 20% burns as his case was mostly inhaling of the fumes and had the doctors had to detoxify his respiratory system from the smokes.

“We have received a total of 18 patients, 2 of them critically injured one of whom has just succumbed to his injuries as they arrived at the hospital. The other patient is in ICU with multiple injuries but in a stable condition,” said Dr. Nyaga.

The medical Superintendent added that the other 16 were in different stages of diagnosis and treatment but were all out of danger.

“Quite a number of them are just in shock and just need to be calmed down and allowed to go home. In fact, most of them are here with minor injuries gotten as they were trying to run away since they were not at the point of the accident,” he said.

KURA official explains a point to Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina during the physical survey of the various Thika bypasses and link roads on Thursday.

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina has appealed to all those who have erected buildings or structures within the road corridors to relocate them in order to pave way for the construction of the much awaited bypasses and link roads.

Speaking on Thursday while accompanying officers from Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) on an inspection tour of the proposed road corridors, the MP was shocked to find so many people encroaching on the road reserves, something he said would have a ripple effect on the construction works.

He warned that failure to adhere to this directive, officials of KURA will have no alternative but to pull down all these houses. However, he appealed to KURA to first issue formal notices to all those affected instructing them to remove these structures after the survey works are done.

Thika MP Patrick Wainaina have a word with KURA officials at the junction of the proposed extension of Kenyatta highway and Oloitiptip Rd. (BAT-Del Monte rd.) as it crosses over towards Umoja estate.
“I know it will be painful but public good supersedes individual interests. Let’s look at the bigger picture and appreciate that these roads will be of benefit to so many people including all those who are affected,” said Wainaina.

During the field survey, it emerged that so many houses had been built on road reserves especially in Umoja Estate and from the British American Tobacco (BAT) junction all the way to Kiganjo Corner One in Kiganjo where one of the by-passes is meant to pass.

The MP hoped that the BAT-Kiganjo road will be complete within the next 6 months and thus appealed for patience from the residents.

He termed the extension of Kenyatta Highway to link up with Garissa Road at Kivulini and Mid Oil Petrol Station in Makongeni as a great milestone to as it will ease traffic in and out of Thika.

An aerial view of Thika Town as seen from Del Monte where the proposed link road from the Thika main bus terminus towards Del Monte near Imani School via Thika River will pass.
“We are also looking into possibilities of having a link road from the Thika main bus terminus towards Del Monte near Imani School via Thika River to be used by PSV vehicles getting out of 
Thika. Plans are at a very advanced stage and very soon we will offload all commuter service vehicles from our other outlets,” he said.

The MP assured the residents that he will continue with the ongoing Jungle street lighting and road upgrade programmes so as to improve the lives of his constituents as the lights improved the security and business situation in the area.

“I appeal to Thika residents to be patient as we embark on these two programmes. Though the CDF office does not have a kitty to do this work, I plan to do what I can with the little money I have and what I get from friends to ensure that eventually all corners of Thika are accessible and are well lit,” said Wainaina.

Police Thika yesterday unearthed a racket where emergency food relief said to be from Daadab refugee camp in Garissa County was being repackaged for sale.

Thousands of bags containing relief food packaged in World Food Programme (WFP) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) were found when the police raided the store in Ngoingwa estate.

Workers at the store were busy packaging the rice in to new bags some of which had been branded ‘Tana River County Government Relief Food'.

Police said they acted after getting a tip-off from the public that some rice meant for relief food was allegedly being repackaged for sale at the store.

The rice was being repackages in 50kg bags.

However, the owner of the store where the relief food was found refuted claims that the rice had been stolen from Daadab refugee camp.

He said he had bought the rice from some businessman in Garissa town who had in return bought it from the refugees.

And even though bags containing the rice were clearly written it was not meant for sale or exchange,the owner said he had all the documents needed to transport the food from Garissa to Nairobi.

Among the documents is a letter written by Officer Commanding Station Garissa Police Station informing the police along the Garissa-Nairobi highway to allow the trucks carrying the food pass as they had the permission to transport it.

He said that was normal adding they have been buying the relief food after the refugees sell them.

“It happens all the time. The refugees do not normally want to eat the relief food that they are given. 
The sell it and buy other food stuff that they want using the money that they get,” said the trader.

On the rice being packaged to Tana River County Government branded bags, the businessman said he was fulfilling the wish of the county that he packages the rice in such bags.

He said he had been contracted by another person who had won a tender to supply food to thousands of residents in Tana River County who were recently displaced by floods.

 He said he had bought more than 2,000 bags of the relief aid rice from Garissa

He said he was approached by a man who had got a tender from Tana River County Government to supply rice and beans for the flood victims who were displaced recently.

“I have already supplied 4,000 bags of  rice and remaining with a deficit of 6,000 bags which i am in the process of supplying,” he said.

Tana River County Director of Communications Steve Juma confirmed they had issued a tender to be supplied with rice for the flood victims.

Mr Juma however added that they did not know the source of the rice saying they gave out the tender after the businessman competitively won the bid.

“The police should be left to do their job in probing the matter. However, if the trader will be found to be engaging in illegal business, we will blacklist him from engaging with us,” said Mr Juma.

It was not clear if the rice impounded was that which was in July donated by South Korea to help more than 1.5 million refugees.

Sources however claimed that the rice which had come from Daadab refugee camp was part of the relief food donate by Korea.

 In July, South Korea donated 33,000 metric tons of rice to Kenya to help provide food assistance to more than 1.5 million people.

The donation, received by World Food Programme (WFP) was earmarked to be allocated to refugees living in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda.

South Korea Prime Minister Lee Nak- yon handed over part of the consignment to WFP’s representatives at a warehouse in Nairob during his maiden trip to the country last July.

"The rice provided by the Government of the Republic of Korea may not be enough to solve the entire hunger issue, but I hope that it can help to ease refugee hunger," Lee said. 

WFP said this was the first-ever rice donation received from Korea adding that it will be of great help to 400,000 refugees living in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps.

It is projected to sustain the food needs at the various camps for at least four months starting August.
Several people including the owner of the store were arrested and taken to Thika Police Station for questioning.

Kiambu County Police Commander Adiel Nyange said a multi-agency team was in the process of carrying out investigation to ascertain the source of relief food.

Nyange said among the agencies which will be involved in the probe will be Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), WFP and USAID.

He added those arrested were also helping the police with investigations in to the matter.

(Source Standard newspaper)

Officials of TBSA receive the certificate of registration from Eliud Makumi (member). From left is Eunice Mbuthia (Secretary), Humphrey Mbuthia (Secretary General), Kennedy Lumbasi (Chairman) and Benjamin Mungai (V. Chair.) 

Thika beauticians and barbers have formed an association whose primary objective is to help members to grow, expand and remain competitive in an increasingly complex and evolving market.

Speaking at a Thika hotel during their first meeting, Thika Barbers and Salons Association Chairman 
Kennedy Lumbasi said that the association also offered them a collective voice to tackle the challenges that they faced within their individual units as well as expose them to a variety of business opportunities and resources.

“We have been so disintegrated and disenfranchised to a point that most of our colleagues end up closing shop due to various challenges. By coming together, we ease the burden by fighting common challenges that keep on killing our businesses,” explained Lumbasi who is the proprietor of Kenz Cutz Hair Clinic in Makongeni Thika.
Chairman Kennedy Lumbasi making his maiden speech.
Lumbasi added that one of their agenda was to pool together resources in order to assist the association buy goods in bulks and resell them to members at subsidised prices. This way, they will be able to furnish their businesses with the requisite equipment at very low costs.

He noted that one of the main reasons salons and barber shops were failing was as a results of poor managerial skills among their proprietors. To address this anomaly, Lumbasi said that they had scheduled a series of seminars and workshops for capacity building among its membership.

A section of the membership that attending their first official general meeting.
His sentiments were echoed by Secretary General Humphrey Njenga who said that other than supporting members grow financially, the group was also working to protect the public by ensuring that their members upheld and maintained the professional health and safety standards and policies of the barbering industry.

“Due to the services that we offer, barbers and beauticians are among the most respected people. It is our firm belief that our contribution in this industry will raise and maintain the standards of the beauty industry not only in Thika, but also countrywide,” said Njenga who is the proprietor of Thika Hair Art Masters.

“We are optimistic that we will grow very fast and meet our goals. Membership to our association is open to individual beauticians and barbers in Thika and beyond,’’ Njenga concluded.

H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired the Third Cabinet Meeting for 2018 today at State House, Nairobi, during which the Cabinet considered and approved the following Cabinet Papers:
  1. Revival of the Kenya National Shipping Line as a Mechanism for Growing the Blue Economy

Cabinet approved the proposed revival of the Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) as a mechanism for growing the blue economy. The company which is owned by the Government together with three other foreign shareholders is nearing insolvency on account of lack of business. The recovery strategy proposed among other things, giving the company the sole mandate to handle Government cargo. 

 2. Nuclear Regulatory Bill, 2017 

Cabinet approved the proposed Nuclear Regulatory Bill, 2017. The proposed Bill is aimed at repealing the Radiation Protection Act and providing a comprehensive regulatory framework for radiation and nuclear safety, nuclear security and safeguards to control radiation sources, nuclear materials and associated waste. 

  1. Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2018
Cabinet also approved the proposed Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2018. The Bill places emphasis on human rights approach towards the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities in Kenya, and social responsibility to protect and promote them.  

  1. The National Policy to Support Enhancement of County Governments’ Own-Source Revenue and the County Governments’ (Revenue Raising Process) Bill, 2018

Cabinet approved the National Policy to Support Enhancement of County Governments’ Own-Source Revenue and the County Governments’ (Revenue Raising Process) Bill, 2018. The proposed policy is geared towards addressing the challenges County Governments are encountering in revenue collection, mitigating their negative effects and assisting the Counties to optimise own-sources revenue.  

  1. Approval to Restructure the National Youth Service (NYS).

Cabinet approved the proposed restructuring of the National Youth Service (NYS), to deal with the serious managerial and operational challenges that have been reported at the Organisation in the recent past. It is proposed that a raft of measures be put in place. Key among these are the establishment of an oversight board which will effectively make the organisation a body cooperate with a Director General as the CEO. It is also proposed that a clean-up of the Supply Chain Management function as well as budgetary and Internal Audit reforms be undertaken, among other measures.

  1. Kenya’s Candidature to the United Nations Security Council for the Term 2021-2022

Cabinet granted approval for Kenya to vie for a non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council for two years (2021-2022), at the elections to be held during the 74th session of the UN in 2020. Membership of the UN Security Council will enhance Kenya’s influence in international decision making, particularly matters of peace and security for the benefit of the nation and the region at large. A campaign strategy has already been drawn. 

  1. The Privately Initiated Investment Proposal for Likoni Cable Car

Cabinet approved a privately initiated investment proposal to develop a cable car system to address the human traffic challenges across the Likoni channel. The project which will be sponsored by a Kenyan and Austrian company will be capable of moving 5,500 passengers per direction per hour (or 11,000 passengers per hour in both directions). It is estimated to cost Kshs.4.1 billion and will be implemented as a 25 years Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) PPP.  

  1. Establishment of the National Kiswahili Council

Cabinet approved the establishment of the National Kiswahili Council. This proposal is in line with Article 137 of the East African Community Treaty which provides that Kiswahili shall be promoted, developed and used as “Lingua franca” of the Community. The Council will be a consultative body whose functions will include improving Government Policy on developing, protecting and supporting Kiswahili and coordinating the work of national and regional associations, cultural entities, educational and other Organisations working in the area of Kiswahili  

  1. Host Country Agreement between the Government of Kenya and Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA)
Cabinet approved the elevation of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed earlier between Kenya and TMEA into a Host Country Agreement. TMEA was set up by the participating development partners of the EAC as an agency or multi-donor vehicle for joint coordination, and execution of partners’ support of the integration of the EAC.  

  1. Hosting the 123rd Session of the International Coffee Organisation’s Council Meeting in April, 2019

Cabinet granted approval for Kenya to host the 123rd Session of the International Coffee Council which is scheduled to be held from 8thth to 12th April, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. The International Coffee organisation (ICO) is the main Inter-Governmental Organisation for Coffee which brings together Coffee producing and consuming countries to discuss Coffee issues. The International Coffee Council is ICOs governing body. The meeting will provide an opportunity for Member Countries to discuss wide ranging issues in the Sector as well as crate an opportunity to market Kenyan Coffee. 

 11.The 24th International Grasslands Congress (IGC) and 11th International Rangelands Congress 

Cabinet approved the hosting of the joint 24th International Grasslands Congress (IGC) and the 11th International Rangelands Congress (IRC) to be held in Nairobi from 24th to 31st October, 2020. Hosting the joint IRC and IGC congress in Kenya will aid in reigniting and galvanising interest and investment in range and grassland research and development for the betterment of the livestock industry. 

  1. Hosting of the Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi 26th – 28thNovember, 2018
Cabinet granted approval for Kenya to host the Global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC) which is scheduled to take place in Nairobi from 26th to 28thNovember, 2018. The Conference will bring together over 4000 participants to discuss issues pertaining to a blue economy strategy that promotes people Centered Sustainable Investments in the Sector. By hosting the Conference, Kenya will affirm its appreciation of the importance of conserving and using sustainably our Water resources.   Hosting all the above Conferences will not only create an avenue for exchange of experiences and ideas but will also help in promoting Kenya as a favourable tourism and conferencing destination. The local hospitality industry will also benefit from increased business that will come with the many local and foreign delegates that will attend. 

Rangwe MP Dr. Lilian Achieng Gogo and her Thika Town counterpart Eng. Patrick Wainaina in Asumbi, Rangwe Constituency on Saturday.

Two Jubilee and ODM legislators have mooted the idea of a constituents’ exchange programme aimed at benefitting their people with diversity in skills and expertise.

Noting that before the Uhuru-Raila “Handshake”, it was very unlikely for people from the Mt. Kenya region to freely visit those from Luo Nyanza due to the animosity that emanated from their political and ethnic differences, Rangwe MP Dr. Lilian Achieng Gogo and her Thika Town counterpart Eng. Patrick Wainaina advised Kenyans to take full advantage of this spirit to improve their own lives through intermingling with each other.

While speaking in Asumbi village during a dowry ceremony of Thika MP’s bodyguard on Saturday, the two MPs thanked the both President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Amollo Odinga for bringing back sanity and unity in the country and leading the troop to ensure Kenya spoke in one voice.

“We must now hold firm to the spirit of the handshake. Kenya was taking a very wrong direction to a point where people just hated each other for no apparent reason. I personally thank President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga for bringing sanity back in the country,” said Gogo.

She challenged all elected leaders to take advantage of the mood in the country to spearhead development programmes through the implementation of the BIG 4 Agenda.

Dr. Gogo threw her weight behind the government’s fight against corruption but cautioned those who were politicising the matter.

Her counterpart from Thika noted that an exchange programme for people from different background was the best way to heal the nation from the scourge of tribalism.

Wainaina noted that between 2002 and 2007, Kenya realised very rapid economic growth due to a similar political mood that was brought about by the unity pact between the then president Mwai Kibaki and Hon. Raila Odinga.

“History shows that Kenya experienced very rapid (economic) growth during the era of the government of national unity between Kibaki and Raila. It is our time now. This is the time Kenyans really benefitted from the peace and tranquility brought forth by the Handshake,” said Wainaina.

“From now on your people are our people and our people are your people,” he added.

He also supported the fight against graft, calling on the authorities to spare no one found to be guilty of the vice.

The two leaders agreed to very soon lead a delegation from Rangwe constituency to Thika where they will interact and share ideas on how each would benefit from the other.

Two people have been rushed to the hospital following a fire outbreak at Equity Plaza along Commercial Street Thika.

The fire whose cause still remains unknown was contained by a Thika Fire response team which rushed to the scene after the inferno was reported on Wednesday afternoon.

Scores who included employees and clients Equity Bank as well traders who have rented the 5-storey building had to be evacuated by Thika Red Cross crew and fire fighters from Kiambu County Government following the fire that is suspected to have been caused by an electric fault on the only exit point on the ground floor the building.

It is believed that the main metre board burst into flames some minutes to 4pm sending in a very thick smoke towards the upper floors.

Two women who had inhaled too much smoke were rushed to Thika Level 5 Hospital using a G4S van as a precaution measure.

According to the tenants caught in the fire, quick response by the Fire fighters quashed a possible disaster as the fire had broken along the only exit in the building.

“I was in the office working when fire broke out. It was a very tricky affair as we have only one exit and that is where the fire was. However we are happy with the response of the fire fighters,” said one of the traders.

He suggested that the landlord makes provisions for optional fire exits saying that had this case been worse, none of the people upstairs would have managed to escape.

The incident prompted Kenya Power to put off electricity within the CDB to prevent fire from spreading both within the building and in the adjacent buildings.

Business was put to a halt as people ran for safety with curious onlookers jamming the area to get a glimpse of what was happening.

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

Kiambu County is among the thirteen counties that have received Sh1.9 billion performance-based conditional grants under the Kenya Devolution Support Programme financed by the World Bank.

Busia County gets the lion’s share at Sh553 million followed by Nyandarua (Sh282 million), Kiambu (Sh238 million) and Baringo (Sh173 million).

Other top beneficiaries include Makueni (Sh168 million) and Kisii with Sh126 million.

Garissa received (Sh11 million), Kajiado (Sh18 million), Kirinyaga (Sh74 million) and Narok (Sh81 million).

Mandera county got the least at Sh6 million.

The launch of the Level II disbursement of the monies was done on Wednesday at an event presided over by Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Council of Governors vice-chairperson Anne Waiguru in Nairobi.

In the Level I disbursement, all 47 counties qualified and received Sh2.1 billion for different projects.

Counties will only access the funds after meeting certain targets.

Through the monies, the counties are expected to better their human resource and performance management, intergovernmental relations as well as civic education and public participation.

Other key areas targeted are public finance management and the planning, monitoring and evaluation of county development plans.

“I urge all counties to improve on their assessment so as to absorb the funds that have been set aside. We urge the qualifying county governments in the level two disbursement to channel the funds towards the Big Four Agenda,” the minister said adding the government would be strict in how funds from development partners are utilised by counties.

According to Waiguru, the initiative has assisted counties to improve their ability to plan, deliver and monitor the delivery of public services and to strengthen public financial management systems.

Witeithie MCA Julius Taki Macharia(right) pose for a photo after the event to empower the youth in Kakamega County.

A section of youthful MPs, MCAs and youth leaders drawn from Jubilee Party, Amani National Congress (ANC) and Orange Democratic Party (ODM) have come together to empower the youth through training and networking programmes across the country.

Through an initiative dubbed “The Time Is Now Youth Forum”, the leaders are equipping the young people with skills to enable them generate income and be self-reliant.

Witeithie MCA Julius Taki Macharia who is the chairperson of this forum says that the initiative was conceptualised following the famous President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Raila Odinga’s “handshake” that paved way for leaders across the country to work together for national development devoid of the animosity that was previously occasioned by political and ethnic differences.

While speaking in Lugari Constituency on Monday after hosting more than 1000 youth from the 12 sub-counties of Kakamega County, Macharia said that their mission was purely to ensure that the youth agenda has been realised.

He added that they have been crisscrossing the country and engaging the youth as they stressed on the importance of being self-reliant.

“We have done these events in Embu, Garissa, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Kiambu, Murang’a, Nakuru, Nyahururu and today we are here at Kakamega County. We are sensitizing the youth on procurement and tendering processes and how to take advantage of the opportunities therein in both the national and county governments,” explained Taki.

He added that they were also urging the youth to take advantage of the available digital platforms to do business.

He cited Witeithie Ward as an example where he had assisted over 42 groups this year to get registration and starting saving money.

“Kamagira SHG for instance which comprises of touts who manage the Witeithie bus stop have already managed to save over sh. 170,000. Bebabeba SHG which comprises youth who transport goods using wheelbarrows and trollies have have save Sh. 80,000. We also have the Reformers SHG that has saved Sh. 150,000 and also benefited from a donation of Sh. 60,000 from the Kiambu 
Women Rep kitty. Just to mention but a few,” said the Witeithie MCA who has been very instrumental in the fight against drug and substance abuse in Juja Sub County.

Lumakanda MCA Leylah Muhandale urged all elected leaders to lobby for the youth to get tenders in government as a way to draw them away from drug abuse and crime.

He added that theirs was not limited to any calibre of youth as they intended to bring together graduates, those in the informal sector as well as youth living with disability.

Police in Makongeni are holding a 25 year-old woman who abandoned her 4-month-old baby and refused to breastfeed her unless she was paid Sh. 100,000 by her husband.

Faith Nyokabi was reported to have abandoned the toddler at her matrimonial home in Kiganjo estate eight days ago and pleas to have her return and take care of the child were futile as she made a demand Sh. 100,000.

Narrating his ordeal, Charles Kiarie, 36, the child’s father, by a neighbour from a construction site where he was working as a casual labourer on August 1 2018 telling him that his wife had left their infant in the house.

Kiarie claims that he rushed home only to find his neighbours nursing the baby.
His attempts to reach his wife on phone were fruitless as she refused to pick all his calls.

Left with no option, Kiarie was forced to buy a packet of milk from a nearby shop and feed the infant.

“When my wife finally took my calls, she told me that she will only come back home if only I gave her 100,000 shillings. My pleas to her to come and breastfeed the baby resulted to naught and instead she told me that her mother had actually taken her to a local hospital and had her injected with a drug to dry out the milk,” he lamented.

Kiarie later reported the matter at the Thika Children’s Offices and was referred to Murang’a Children’s offices before he could be allowed to take the baby to his elderly mother for temporary custody.

He said that he was dumbfounded by his wife’s action as the two had no previous quarrels even 
though he had issues with his mother-in-law who had on occasions been making financial demands.

According to the Thika Children’s Officer Lina Mwangi, the woman will be charged with child neglect and denying a child protection and care which is an offence in the children’s Act.

“I have advised the father to look for a temporary caregiver who can take care of the infant under his watch as the court makes a ruling,” she said.

A key focus of the Vision 2030 is ensuring Kenyans have a good standard of living via decent housing, sanitation and enhanced security of lives and property. 

The country has made great strides towards achieving its development goals under the Vision 2030 programme, a long-term development blue-print that aims to transform Kenya into a newly industrialising, middle-income country by 2030.

Progress has been made in the achievement of projects outlined in the development blueprint through concerted efforts by the implementing agencies, comprising of all ministries and other government departments. 

According to Dr. James Mwangi, the chairman of Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board and Equity Bank’s Chief Executive, the three Vision 2030 pillars — political, economic and social — have been a success and the country has achieved most of the goals it set for itself.

Mwangi reckons that even though Kenya is yet to grow by double digits as envisaged in the blueprint, the income per person has more than doubled since President Mwai Kibaki unveiled the development roadmap in 2008.  He has no doubt that in the remaining 12 years, Kenya will achieve double-digit growth and become an upper middle income country.

Kenya has been implementing policies and strategies geared towards advancing implementation of the SDGs and this has resulted in commendable progress.

Among the key areas of achievement include in the sectors of Housing and Urbanisation, Trade, Manufacturing and in Land Reforms.

Housing and Urbanisation.

For years, housing has been a major challenge, being characterised by inadequate affordable and decent housing and low-level of urban home ownership.

To reverse this trend, the Jubilee government in its Big Four economic blue-print intends to deliver 1 million affordable homes in the next five years. Out of this, 800,000 units are bedsitters, one-, two- and three- bedroom, costing between Sh800,000 and Sh3 million.

The remaining 200,000 units are social housing, which will involve the development of slums (1-2 room units costing Sh600,000 to Sh1 million), a project that is expected to be implemented on 7,000 acres of land in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Eldoret.

A total of 1678 housing units have already been completed, with 678 units completed under the civil servants housing scheme in Ngara phase I and II, and Kileleshwa.

To support the 24-hour Economy initiative in our urban centres, 92 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have been installed within Nairobi Central Business District.

On disaster management, 63 fire engines have been purchased and distributed within Nairobi Metropolitan Region, 2 firefighting stations in Nairobi rehabilitated and 147 firemen trained.

The Sector has also promoted the use of Appropriate Building Materials and Technologies (ABMT) through establishing 19 Housing Technology Training Centres at constituency level, training 300 community groups on use of ABMT and production of Expandable Polystyrene Panels (EPS).

Trade and Manufacturing.

Kenya has made significant progress in developing Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in key urban areas within all the eight regions as well as developing 5 SME parks.

To enhance integration of small and fragmented individual producers into a big individual source for final consumers and intermediate players, the country intends to create at least 10 hubs and 1000-1500 Producer Business Groups (PBGs), starting with a pilot in Maragua, Murang’a County.

The government will also build at least 10 Tier 1 marks in all the regions – starting with a pilot in Athi River, an ICT & Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) Sector as well as establishing one major BPO park.

Land Reforms.

Modernisation of land registries in the country is key to development. In this regard, the Ministry of land has constructed seven (7) land registries in Bondo, Siaya, Uasin Gishu West, Thika, Isiolo and Trans Nzoia.

It has also constructed a banking hall in the Ministry headquarters, Nairobi, initiated construction of Lamu and Meru Ardhi houses and rehabilitated nineteen (19) land registries in Kericho, Kwale, Nyeri, Kajiado, Garissa, Mandera, Koibatek, Kisumu, Kisii, Naivasha, Migori, Central Registry(Nairobi), Nairobi Registry, Kajiado, Kisumu, Kiambu, Nakuru, Ugenya and Bomet.

Today, the process of computerising Land Registry (development of a National Land Information Management System) has already kicked off.

The Lands Ministry has initiated the safeguarding and digitisation of land records at the Ministry headquarters, Mombasa, Kitale, Nakuru land registries, established a Land Records Conversion Centre (LRCC) at the Ministry headquarters for digitising the land records as well as acquiring and installing an electronic Records Management System in the Ministry headquarters which is at testing stage.

Other milestones in the Lands sector include the development of National Land Information System, the development and implementation of the Integrated Land Rent Information System that has captured details of 150,000 Government leased plots into the system, the development of National Spatial Plan, Land Reform Programme and Land settlement that has settled 58,009 poor landless households and issued 435,650 new title deeds.

THIWASCO Managing Director Eng. Moses Kinya.

Thika Water and Sewerage Company (THIWASCO) Managing Director Eng. Moses Kinya has attributed the occasional water outages in the town to various road contractors and fibre optic connections whose workers have been accidentally smashing through their main water pipes leaving thousands of their clients without water.

While responding to queries over numerous complaints by residents over their services, the MD defended the company's response to frequent water outages saying that their engineers have been working overnight to repair the burst pipes each time they got notified of breakages. 

“Of late, we have been having so many challenges in regards to the supply of water to our customers as a result of the frequent damaging of our main water pipelines by both road contractors and companies that are connecting homes with fibre optic cables.

Kinya reckoned that the most affected area were Makongeni, Landless and Gatuanyaga due to the current expansion works being undertaken by Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) along Thika–Garissa Highway.

He regretted inconveniences caused to the residents and assured consumers in the affected areas that every effort was being made to ensure supply was restored whenever these damages occurred.

“These outages might continue for sometimes because in some instances, we will be forced to relocate our pipes in sections where they fall under the expanded roads. However, we have agreed with the contractor to assign an employee from THIWASCO who will be assisting them in locating the pipeline so as to minimise cases of pipes being damaged,” he explained.

The MD also promised to schedule meetings with companies that are currently installing optic fibre cable in a bid to come up with a working formula that will ensure minimum interference with water supply across the sub-county.

When asked when residents should expected normal water supply to resume, Kinya said that whenever a main pipe was broken, those living near the affected area might start receiving water almost immediately after it is repaired. However, it might take some time for those living in the lowlands to resume normal supply due to the time taken to fill all the pipe networks with water.

“When the pipes are empty at any given time, it might take a little longer for those in lowlands to access this water once we open the system. This because water must first get in to the empty pipes and have enough pressure to circulate the whole network,” he explained.



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