2018


Kenya will host the next International Macadamia Symposium also known as the "Oscar" of Macadamia industry, in the year 2021.

This was revealed by the Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina on Sunday after leading a Kenyan delegation of macadamia farmers at the 8th edition in Lincang, Yunnan Province Southwestern China.

Speaking exclusively to Thika Town Today, Wainaina said that as farmers, they had resolved to dislodge South Africa and Australia from the helm of the world’s macadamia production.

“After dislodging the US from the 3rd position, our target now as Kenyan macadamia farmers is to get to position one and this can only be made possible if we manage to plant at least a million macadamia seedlings annually within the next 5 years,” said Wainaina.


Kenya was ranked third this year after South Africa and Australia respectively in the world largest producers of macadamia.

Delegates at the symposium who included growers, processors, scientists, experts and marketing professionals drawn from 20 different macadamia producing and consuming countries shared knowledge and discussed on macadamia industry's present and future.

The Thika legislator who is also a macadamia farmer admitted to have learnt a lot from China, lessons he said if applied in Kenya, would catapult the country to greater economic heights.

“The China visit was an eye opener for me. Most of these products we import from China are produced by individuals within their own backyards. These things are very workable in Kenya. In fact, we have an added advantage in that we have the Jua Kali yards which can be improved to maximise production,” he said.

However, he noted, unlike Kenya where young entrepreneurs lacked enough government support, the Chinese government fully supported these cottage industries through provision of very cheap loans payable in just 3% interest.

“The Chinese government also supports business clusters with incentives to export their goods across the world, making it very cheap to produce and sell their goods,” he said.


He appealed to the Kenyan government to protect its young entrepreneurs by limiting cheap imports that ended up killing our cottage industry.

He hailed the recently signed Kenya-China Economic and Investment Cooperation Agreement saying that it will open doors for the exportation of more than 40% of Kenya’s fresh produce to the expansive Chinese market.

“China has a population of about 1.3 billion people. That’s a very big market that Kenyans need to take advantage of,” explained Wainaina.



Let’s agree that we have all become a bunch of internet addicts. If we are not religiously checking on our favourite social media platforms (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram etc) every 15 minutes or catching up on the latest entertainment news, we are looking for love, new clothes or hilarious cat GIFs online. 

But did you know that every time you post to social media you reveal so much about yourself than you actually realise?

The internet isn't just changing our view of the world, but also how the world views us too. You can tell a lot about a person just by what they decide to share on their social media accounts.

In so many ways, our status updates say a lot about our personality. What you choose to share on social media reflects a lot about what kind of person you would like to create online and different types of status updates suggest different personality traits.

These posts show whether the user wanted attention and acceptance, an outlet for self-expression or the ability to communicate information on their channel or webpage.

One other thing that is also evident in our posts and comments is that they expose our levels of education and in essence can tell if one was a dump head in class.

God forbid you disagree with someone on the internet or have a stance that opposes theirs. It’s at that point, out moves the semi-intelligent and constructive conversation and in moves the cowardly go to low hanging fruit. 

Exposing your frustrations through your tone.

Further still, your social media presence could suggest whether you are contended with life or are depressed.  Your posts and comments if well analysed, do send signals of what exactly is transpiring in your own life.

People can get a sense of your personality and how you treat others by the way that you phrased your comments. Are you kind and positive or rude and demeaning when you comment?

These are the kind that scour the internet for anything they can leave a mean or insulting comment on, primarily and presumably because of how they feel about themselves as people. They hate themselves so much they can’t help but project it onto others. Especially if the person whose content they are commenting on is doing the thing they wish they were doing but are too afraid to actually try.

Majority of those who send very offensive and negative posts or comments betray their inner suffering and expose how life is quite hard on them, thus they tend to vent their anger and frustrations to the rest of the people whom they feel that aren’t going through the difficult times as the do.

What they feed off of is trying to make us feel as bad about ourselves as they do.

You reveal your values.

Whatever you post or comment can give a stranger a glimpse into what you fundamentally believe in. Though it is usually okay in a private account, if you are posting very opinionated articles on social media, you may push away possible job opportunities or potential relationships.

Based on your comments, a viewer can learn a lot about your beliefs and values. People can tell what you find entertaining and what you find frustrating. For instance, if you are the kind of person who glorifies crime (whichever the kind), comments to the affirmative in cases of violence or openly speaks ill or disrespect leaders or your seniors, one is able to pick the kind of character you are even before meeting you physically.

Wanting to be popular.

Most people, especially those in their teens and in their early 20s (and more so the ladies), want to be very popular and so, they are very conscious of the likes they are getting. This is the reason why they will delete photos that don’t get enough likes or pull down posts that ignite too much negative reactions.

Teenagers tend to interact with more photos than adults but they also seem to post fewer photos themselves.

Adults tend to post photos with more diverse topics in mind, while teens mostly post photos that reflect their mood. 

Posts about social activities, life and achievements usually receive the most likes and comments as compared to those about deep thoughts and intellectual ideas which usually attract very few reactions. 

Most people want to congratulate someone on an achievement or connect with them socially but will shy away from debates and deep topics.

Mr. & Miss “Selfies”.

Those who post selfies because they are satisfied with the way they look tend to run the risk of negatively affecting their relationships with others. Sharing pictures of yourself in various stages of dress, or undress, can result in significant threats to your future relationship and career opportunities.

Narcissists also wrote more status updates about their diet and exercise routine, suggesting that they use social media to broadcast the effort they put into their physical appearance

It turns out that just as you are more likely to share things that make you happy, your down days can become pretty evident on social media too. 

Posting too much about your “bae”.

Everyone knows that one person on Facebook who spouts endless chat about their “bae” and how they have got “all the feels”, right?

Posting too much about your relationship is an indicator of your insecurity. Profound and repeated declarations of love don't show how happy one is, but instead highlight their not-so-hidden insecurities. Those who drop endless L-bombs and cutesy pictures are actually fighting off low self-esteem, insecurities within their relationship and their own ability to make their partner happy.

People are more likely to post relationship-relevant information on Facebook on days when they feel insecure. It is reasonable to surmise that people with low self-esteem update about their partner as a way of laying claim to their relationship when it feels threatened.

Single and searching.

Being single and ready to digitally mingle can offer plenty of teasing insight, including whether you are a little bit desperate or even embarrassed to be using online dating in the first place.

Oversharing photos on your profile is a sign of desperation. On the contrary, being standoffish is a sign you feel like online dating is a last resort.

Filling your dating profile with comments like "My life's great. I just need someone to share it with," is a sign of online reluctance. Apparently it's an over-compensating way of saying, "I'm not desperate, I'm not needy, I'm not lonely. I'm a very happy, full person," and that "being on here does not mean that I have deficits as a person."

High/low self-esteem. 

People who have lower self-esteem have a tendency to post updates about their romantic relationship “as a way of laying claim to their relationship when it feels threatened.” Narcissists on the other hand enjoy posting status updates about achievements in order to receive validation, which proves “consistent with narcissists’ tendency to boast in order to gain attention.”

Extroverts generally post more about social activities and everyday life as a way of connecting with others. They usually enjoy new experiences and have an open mind generally and will generally use social media to share intellectual ideas and post their opinions about topics in order to share information.

People high in conscientiousness write more frequently about their children to communicate and share information, perhaps in an indirect form of competitive parenting.

Neurotic people have a tendency to post updates for validation and to seek the attention and support that they lack offline.

Getting into political rants.

It is okay to promote what you believe in and stand up for your values, but when you get to the point of screaming, you probably need to take a breath and consider another way to contribute to the world, offline.

Name calling and speaking in a condescending manner to those who have different political beliefs than your own can ostracize friends (even ones who agree with you). It is one thing to be passionate about your beliefs but it is another thing to be rude. It is also important to remember that diversity is everywhere, whether you like it or not. Not everyone is going to think the same way as you and you’re not going to change that.

Perpetual liars.

These are the people who always post to paint a picture that their lives are perfect. 

Everyone has struggles, and it’s often comforting to know your friends also had a bad day at work, quarreled with their partner, spilled coffee down their shirt, or didn’t lose those last five pounds as planned.

You are always posting the things you are doing right, the things that are being done for you and all the ways your life is amazing, just to paint a picture of how wonderful you and your life are, when it is probably as average as the rest of ours.

Even if you’re rockin’ it at your job, in a loving, fulfilling relationship and your friend group is basically #goals, everyone has days where they feel like they’re being rained on, with no umbrella in sight.

This is something that comes up a lot in therapy. People tell me how great everyone else is doing based on what they post on social media, and I have to explain they are only posting the good, and not the whole reality of their lives.

Being a sad sack.

If you find yourself complaining, moaning, and using that hysterical emoji more often than you are posting about the good stuff in your life, you might be signaling to others that you’re borderline depressed.

Posting things like ‘ugh, I hate Monday’ or ‘of course this would happen to me…’, tell the world that you are not a happy person. There is enough negativity in our world, and while there may have been five bad things that happened to you that day, there were also probably five good things.

Choose to post those and focus on those—or at least do half and half. Doing so will change your social media feed and your outlook on life. 

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives on Friday arrested two women in Thika for allegedly drugging and robbing people.
The suspects, Mary Nyaguthii Mathari and Mary Nyamwea Gathiaka were accused of drugging unsuspecting victims before robbing them off their valuables.
During the operation, the detectives recovered tablets of Stilnox drugs used to stupefy people in clubs.
Several SIM cards registered in different names were also recovered. Police believe they were used to withdraw money from the victims’ bank accounts.
“Detectives working on intelligence Today arrested two ladies; Mary Nyaguthii Mathari and Mary Nyamwea Gathiaka in Thika for drugging unsuspecting victims before robbing them off. Several Tablets of Stilnox Drugs used to stupefy people in clubs & several SIM cards recovered,” said the DCI.
The two suspects will be arraigned in court on Monday.

Education PS Belio Kipsang hands over examination materials to one of the school principals in Thika West Sub-County. Looking on is AG Kihara Kariuki (holding a bundle of exam materials), Thika West Sub-County Director of Education Ronald Mbogo (partly hidden), Thika West  DCC Douglas Mutai (extreme right).
Education PS Belio Kipsang has emphasised on the need to create adequate confidence among professionals in the teaching faculty in a bid to reduce the huge investment during the delivery of examinations.

This year alone, the government invested sh 4.2 billion for management of national exams and close to sh 1 billion will be spent to pay the 264, 446 field officers who include centre managers, supervisors, invigilators and security agents with another sh. 2 billion going to the examination markers.

The balance is expected to be used in logistics such as hiring of choppers fueling vehicles as well as paying allowances to various government officers involved in the exercise.

Speaking at the Thika examination center where he opened exam container, Kipsang said going forward, the ministry will not have to go through the long process of witnessing the opening of examination containers.

He emphasised on the need to instill confidence among the examiners where in coming years, the examination will not be given so much focus and attention.

He said for the last three years, there has been tremendous improvement on the way examinations has been managed, terming this as a clear indication that the sector is moving towards the right direction.

Kipsang challenged parents to responsibly play their role of giving their children an opportunity to give their best. He also called on teachers to give the students an opportunity to give their best instead of focusing on what they think the students should deliver.

However, he blamed the society for expecting too much from the teachers adding that this exerted pressure on these tutors forcing some schools to employ unorthodox means to meet the set targets.

He assured Kenyans that all was well in the 12,000 examination centres around the country noting that cases of exams malpractices had drastically reduced.

He assured Kenyans that those contracted to do the marking of these examinations will do their work professionally and that the results will be translated from the script and the knowledge acquired in their respective schools.

He commended the media for conducting themselves professionally and engaging with the society during their reporting on exam matters adding that this has played a great role in ensuring the country moves in the right direction.

Those who accompanied the PS included Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, Thika West Sub-County Director of Education Ronald Mbogo, Thika West  DCC Douglas Mutai among others.

Thika traffic base commander Hellenah Wamuyu together with other traffic police officers checking vehicles along Thika Superhighway near Vincentian Retreat Centre. 
Commuter services within Thika and its environs was on Monday paralysed as the police made good their threat to crackdown on unroadworthy PSV vehicles and those which have not complied with the provisions of the NTSA Act and the Traffic Act (Michuki Rules).
Passengers were  forced to alight at and walk on foot as traffic police officers assisted by administration police mounted a roadblock along Thika superhighway near Vincentian Retreat Centre.
Every vehicle that was on the road got checked whether they compliant with those that were found faulty being towed to the area police station.
Motorbikes and tuktuks were not spared either as any rider or passenger found without helmets or lifesaver reflectors were arrested and motorbikes impounded.
During the operation led by Thika Traffic Base Commander Hellenah Wamuyu, about 50 including public and private motor vehicles were nabbed and taken to Thika police Station waiting to be arraigned in court.
Commuters forced to alight PSV vehicles as traffic police make a thorough inspection on the matatus' compliance to "Michuki Rules".
Majority of the PSVs that operate within the town and its environs kept off the road probably in fear of arrest with some claiming that they had pulled off in support of a matatu strike that had been called by the operators to protest over the stringent rules.
Makongeni area and the Thika superhighway were the most affected as very few vehicles hit the road.
The few that operated took advantage of the scarcity of means of transport to exploit the stranded and very frustrated commuters. Fare to Nairobi raged from Sh. 200 to Sh. 300 instead of the normal Sh. 70 and sh. 100.
(Related story: List of new NTSA fines and penalties for traffic offences.)

Those getting to town from Makongeni had to part with Sh. Sh. 50 instead of the normal Sh. 20 and so were those from Witeithie and Ngoingwa. 
Commuters from Landless, Muguga, Kiganjo and Kisii were forced to pay Sh. 100 to Thika Town.
Bodaboda riders and tuktuks took full advantage of the situation to make a kill, with some charging as high as three times the normal prices.
Hundreds of residents were forced to walk to work after seeing no hope in sight, some as far as from Kisii  and Kiganjo estates.
However,majority of them were in support of the government's action saying they were ready to sacrifice until sanity was restored in the matatu industry.
As we went to press, normalcy was slowly returning with buses charging about sh. 150 to Nairobi.

The National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) has announced new fines and measures to curb road accidents and instill discipline in the sector. 

And with the 'Famous Michuki' traffic laws coming in force starting tomorrow Monday November 12 2018, it is wise to be in the know to avoid getting yourself into trouble with the boys in blue.

Here is a compilation of NTSA Fines and Penalties For Traffic Offences in Kenya :-

1. Driving a vehicle that does have identification plates affixed or if they’ve been placed incorrectly – Ksh. 10,000

2. Driving on or through a pedestrian walkway or pavement – Ksh. 5,000

3. Causing obstruction on the road with your vehicle in a manner that inconveniences other motorists or prevents flow of traffic – Ksh. 10,000

4.Failure of a driver to obey traffic signs – Ksh. 3,000

5. Failure of a driver to stop when asked to do so by a police officer in uniform – Ksh. 5,000

6. Driving without a valid driving licence that corresponds to the class of the vehicle being driven – Ksh. 7,000

7.Failure to renew a driving licence -Ksh. 1,000

8. Failure to produce a driving licence on demand – Ksh. 1,000

9.Driving while using a mobile phone – Ksh. 2,000

10.Learner failing to exhibit ‘L’ plates on front and rear of the vehicle – Ksh. 1,000

12. Failure of a vehicle to carry lifesavers – Ksh. 2,000

13. Failure to display lifesavers in the case where any part of the vehicle remains on the road in a 
position to obstruct or cause obstruction – Ksh. 3,000

14. Failure of vehicle to have seat belts – Ksh. 10,000 for every seat that doesn’t have a seat belt or if the the seat belts are not of the proper standard.

15. Failure to wear a seat belt while the vehicle is in motion -Ksh. 500

16. Driving a PSV while being unqualified -Ksh. 7,000

17. The driver of the PSV who lets an unauthorized person drive – Ksh. 5,000

18. An unlicensed individual acting as the conductor or driver of the PSV – Ksh. 5,000

19. PSV picking and dropping passengers at areas that are not the designated bus stops – Ksh. 1,000

20. Failure to fit prescribed speed governors in vehicles – Ksh. 10,000

21. Travelling with a part of the body outside a moving vehicle – Ksh. 1,000

22. Touting – Ksh. 3,000

23. Motorcycle rider riding without protective gear -Ksh. 1,000

24. Motorcycle passenger riding without protective gear – Ksh. 1,000

25. Rider of a motorcycle carrying more than one passenger – Ksh. 1,000

26. Failure to keep seat belts in a clean and wearable condition – Ksh. 500

For speeding, the fines are as follows:

Exceeding the speed limit as prescribed to the class of the vehicle by;
  • 1-5 kph: Ksh. 500
  • 6-10 kph: Ksh. 3,000
  • 11-15 kph: Ksh. 6,000
  • 16-20 kph: Ksh. 10,000
Exceeding the speed limit shown on a traffic sign by;
  • 1-5 kph: Ksh. 500
  • 6-10 kph: Ksh. 3,000
  • 11-15 kph: Ksh. 6,000
  • 16-20 kph: Ksh. 10,000

Kiambu Women Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba (in blue dress) leads a host of other leaders in the official launch of the Thika Barbers and Salons Association. With her is area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina's Personal Assistant Mr. John Mwangi Njuguna (in blue suit) and Elgeyo Marakwet Women Rep. Jane Jepkorir Kiptoo Chebaibai (partly hidden at centre).

Kiambu County Government’s proposal to raise business fees and levies has received reception in Thika, where Women Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba and area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina said they would oppose replicating the idea in their own backyards.

While speaking on Thursday at Mama Ngina Gardens during the launch of the Thika Barbers and Salons Association, the two leaders termed the increase as unreasonable and detrimental to entrepreneurship and economic growth in the county.

“This plan is a betrayal of the promises Governor (Ferdinand) Waititu made to the people of Kiambu and barbers during his swearing-in as governor in Ndumberi Grounds last year and it threatens the future of the small business economy. This one we won’t allow and we will vehemently oppose him on this,” said Wamuchomba.

She instead urged the county leadership to adopt economic reforms within their systems that reduce on wastage of resources and workout on proposals which prioritised small businesses working their way out of poverty.

“Trading fees and levies should be designed to ease the environment for doing business. Otherwise, what they are proposing will have serious adverse effects on young businesses especially the ‘kinyozis’ and salons he promised to zero tax in his maiden speech,” she noted.

(Related story: Public Consultation meeting in Thika almost turns chaotic as members reject hefty Kiambu rates.)

On his part, Wainaina, through his personal assistant John Mwangi Njuguna expressed his worries that the bill will inflict multilayered suffering upon many businesses.

“The people’s concerns have been ignored in the drafting of this bill. The 100%-300% fee increment by the county government will put a particular burden on small traders seeking to eke a living. Why bite the hand that feeds you? As the office of the area MP, we demand for a review of the same be undertaken in such a way as to strengthen and empower small businesses,” said Mwangi.

The area MP is currently out of the country on an official tour, having accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta to China for a trade and business fair.

Kiambu county Government last month tabled a bill at the assembly proposing to increase fees and levies by between 100 to 300 per cent as part of the government's Fiscal 2018-2019 Budget Bill - a move opposed by Kiambu residents who said it was detrimental to the growth in businesses.

During Thursday’s launch at Mama Ngina Garden, the office of the Women Rep, through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), presented salon and barbers equipment worth Ksh.1.5 million.

She promised to replicate the same in all the 12 sub-counties but on condition that the players in this sector formed clusters.

(See also: Thika Beauticians and Barbers form Association for economic empowerment.)

The group also received cheque of Ksh. 100,000 from the area MP as seed capital to run their association. The MP also promised them that he would help them set up an office so as to ease their management of the group affairs.

Elgeyo Marakwet Women Rep. Jane Jepkorir Kiptoo Chebaibai appealed to the government to consider increasing the amount of money allocated to NGAAF so as to enable the county MPs serve their people better.

“As much as we appreciate the government for the little money we have at our disposal for affirmative action, we would appreciate it even more if we had a bigger allocation so as our people can benefit more,” said Chebaibai.

Thika Barbers and Salons Association Secretary General Humphrey Njenga thanked the leaders for the support they had accorded to them. 

Two Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates from Heights Academy in Thika have been sentenced to one year probation after being found guilty of stealing contrary to section 268 as read with section 275 of the penal code.


The two minors, Bor Peter Dut, a Sudanese and his Kenyan counterpart Michael Njenga Munene are reported to have stolen an Infinix Note 5 valued at Sh 18,000 from Eunice Wanjiku, a KCSE invigilator and a Techno N65 valued at Sh 10,000 from Hassan Gabow, a police officer respectively.

The court heard that the two committed the alleged crime on 6th of November while doing their exam papers.

Peter and Njenga returned the stolen items which were also produced in court as evidence.

The suspects who appeared before the Thika Resident Magistrate N.M Kyanya Nyamori were positively identified by their fellow students before they were arrested from their hideouts by police and arraigned in court.

While they pleaded guilty to the charges and begged for forgiveness, the court sentenced them to one-year probation without any option of a fine.

“The probation officers report prepared, the subject is put on one year probation,” said Nyamori.

In the same school, an invigilator was charged in court for tampering with examination papers before the start of Chemistry paper exams.

A section of Kiambu County staff presenting their documents for scrutiny at the Thika Sub-County offices on Wednesday.
Kiambu County Government has launched a head count of all its staff as part of efforts to eliminate ghost workers. 

In a post on his official Facebook Page, Governor Ferdinand Waititu noted that there have been reports that some retirees might have been on the county's payroll and were still receiving salaries. 

"Today my administration is undertaking routine staff head counts and verification exercises in Thika, Gatundu North and Gatundu South Sub County headquarters.There have been reports that some people on payroll may be retirees but still receive salaries," said Waititu.

The exercise is intended to clean the payroll, develop a skills inventory, reconcile personnel records, determine bona fide county employees and manage the huge wage bill. Through this, the county hopes to reduce the recurrent expenditure significantly and add to the development budget as they seek to improve on service delivery to its people.

"The verification exercise will enable us weed out ghost workers, identify gaps in service delivery and establish the exact number of our employees. It will help us effectively deliver services to the people of Kiambu," he said.

In Thika, the employees converged at the Thika Sub-County offices where officials from the human human resource, monitoring  and  evaluation team conducted  the  count.

All the county employees in twelve sub-counties must participate  in the exercise.

Two decomposing bodies were last night discovered in a bush along  Kimbo-Rwera Road in Juja constituency last evening.


The two naked male bodies were spotted by guards of a nearby coffee farm who informed police.


Confirming the incident, area OCPD Simon Thirikwa said that the bodies seemed to have been doused in acid but added that the real cause of their deaths will be ascertained once a post-mortem was conducted.


He suspected that the two might have been killed elsewhere and dumped there.


He appealed to anyone missing any of their male relatives or friends to report at city mortuary where the bodies were taken for preservation.


Area residents who spoke to press said the area is prone to dumping of dead bodies most of them murdered elsewhere due to its bushy feature and dams in the area.


They appealed for more patrols along the bushy road that is used as a bypass by residents of Kibichoi, Kiamwangi and Gathage villages.


Thika West OCPD Paul Kiriki (left) inspects some of the bhang that was neeted in Kiandutu slums last night. With him is his DAPC counterpart Henry Onyango.
Police in Thika netted 7 sacks of bhang worth about a million shillings on Monday night after they intercepted a car that was delivering the drug to unknown drug barons in the sprawling Kiandutu slums.

Confirming the incident, Thika West OCPD Paul Kiriki said the police, who were acting on a tip off from members of public, waylaid the supplier as he dropped his cargo.

“My officers spotted a probox offloading some luggage and they approached to check what was transpiring, the driver of the car sensed danger and sped off, leaving behind the 7 bags that had already been offloaded,” said the OCPD.

Kiriki added that the officers were unable to identify the car’s number plate nor the intended recipient but warned that the police were on their trail.

He added that over the last two months, they have been able to arrest very many drug peddlers in Thika even though majority of them were the small peddlers.

“I would like to warn them that their days are numbered and very soon we are going to apprehend even those who have been supplying these drugs,” he said.

He appealed to members of public to keep vigil and always tip the police whenever they noticed any suspicious activities within their areas of residence.



Living in a part of the world where loquat is grown, I was more familiar with loquat as a tasty, juicy fruit than with the medicinal properties of its leaves.

Loquat, also known as Eriobotrya japonica, is a subtropical tree with a long history of use in traditional and herbal medicine.

Although the loquat produces edible fruit that is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A, and potassium, the therapeutic power of loquat is contained in its large and glossy evergreen leaves. Traditionally used to make a tea, loquat leaf has been reputed to promote skin, respiratory, and intestinal health.

The loquat leaves are evergreen and are five to twelve inches long and three to four inches wide. These beautiful leaves are glossed and dark green. The Japanese in particular use the leaves to make a healthful tea while it is also possible to make healing ointments and poultices from the crushed and ground leaves before applying it to treat minor wounds.

Loquat leaves have been fairly well studied over recent years and research has revealed that many of its health benefits are related to its powerful antioxidant capacity.

By now, most people are aware of the importance of getting as many natural antioxidants into our system as possible in order to prevent the free radical damage that wreaks havoc on our health and leads to serious illness.

As well as their antioxidant activity, loquat leaves contain triterponoid acid which can help reduce swelling and redness on the skin. 

The benefits of the loquat leaf include the following:

1. Liver Support

Your liver is part of your body’s first line of defense against toxins, and its job is to process and eliminate toxins. To help, loquat contains an antioxidant known as Amygdalin, or B-17, which supports the liver. It also contains linoleic acids and plant sterols, which encourage normal liver function.

2. Promotes Normal Blood Sugar

Support for blood sugar levels is another benefit offered by the triterpenes in loquat leaf. One triterpene in particular, tormentic acid, encourages polysaccharide production -- a necessary component of insulin production. Although it is premature for diabetics to rejoice and rely on loquat leaf, it is encouraging news and hopefully we'll see more research.

3. Encourages Respiratory Health

Support for the respiratory system is a cornerstone of the traditional use of loquat leaf. It's been used as a remedy for congestion, cough, sensitivity to irritants, and even lung irritation. Clinical research has confirmed its efficacy. A 2009 study at the Kyungpook National University School of Medicine found that loquat leaf slowed the allergic reactions in mice. 

Other animal models have found that it helps to reduce sneezing and the effects of histamines. The primary reason loquat leaf is so beneficial is because it stops irritation from ever occurring. A separate study in 2009 found that loquat leaf disrupts the communication from the cells that detect irritation and "turn on" the redness and swelling response.

4. Soothes Skin and Gums

When used in a topical cream, loquat leaf can be an excellent remedy for the red, irritated skin that results from environmental sensitivities. This is especially true when irritation is the result of histamines. Similarly, the soothing benefits of loquat leaf can be had orally. Loquat leaf has been used to extinguish uncomfortable, swollen gums.

5. Supports Brain Health

Oxidative damage caused by free radicals is believed to be one of the primary causes of neurodegenerative disorders. Because loquat leaf is a beneficial antioxidant, it was examined in 2011 for its ability to support normal brain operation and protect against oxidative stress. Not only did the results confirm both, but mice given loquat leaf extract were observed to experience memory improvements. 

6. Supports the Mucous Membranes

Organic loquat leaf extract may support the body's natural detoxification process by acting as a mucolytic agent. This may help dissolve thick mucus that holds onto toxic compounds.

7. Releases Antioxidants

Loquat leaf helps the body release antioxidants, the incredible health-supporting compounds that your body naturally produces. Antioxidants have all kinds of benefits, but they're known mostly for their ability to neutralize harmful toxins. They are commonly used to protect the body against various diseases, support immunity, and possibly increase life expectancy.

8. For Eczema and Other Skin Complaints.

Loquat leaves can be applied topically in cream form as a remedy for redness and irritation caused by environmental allergens especially when the reaction is caused by histamines.

When applied topically, loquat leaf can combat the reaction from histamine production which both soothes inflamed skin and helps general skin health. Its antioxidant properties make it ideal for staving off the unwanted effects of free radical damage to the skin. By getting more antioxidants into your system, you can help protect against many of the signs of premature aging like wrinkles and fine lines.

9. For Bone Strength

As we age, our bone density becomes lighter and our bones become weaker. This is especially the case in women following the menopause because of the reduced level of estrogen in their bodies. Recent research shows that loquat leaf tea may help combat bone loss from estrogen depletion.

In a study published in 2014, mice whose ovaries had been removed were fed loquat leaves which resulted in a significant improvement in bone density in the lumbar area, head and abdomen.





Thika Township MCA Andrew Ndirangu Kimani.
Residents of Ngoingwa estate in Thika want the governments to intervene and repossess all grabbed public utilities grabbed by former civic leaders.
The residents have petitioned the National Land commission which has given the land grabbers 21 days to surrender those title deeds because they have already been cancelled. 
This, according to area MCA Andrew Ndirangu Kimani, was after the intervention of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto who had visited the area recently.
The MCA said the National Land Commission had summoned those who are sitting on the public land where they have been ordered to surrender the title deeds failure to which buildings will fall at the elapse of the 21 days.
Kimani further divulged that the grabbers had offered to give him 4 plots in a bid to silence him, an offer he declined saying he had to fulfill his pledge to Ngoingwa residents that he would fight corruption and ensure all grabbed public facilities were returned to them.
The MCA accused his predecessors saying they grabbed all public utilities and sold to private developers thus making it hard for the government to initiate any development. He said already money has been set aside for the construction of a police station but the project could not take off since there was no land.
Residents who spoke to the press said among those grabbed plots are children's playing grounds, a market, and other social amenities. 
Among those buildings in the list of being brought down are commercial buildings, churches, schools and residential houses.
Women traders and hawkers in the area want the president to construct a market for them now that the NLC has cancelled all title deeds on grabbed public utilities.

A section of Flame Tree Apartments Thika.
Kiambu has increased land rates by up to 300 per cent for home owners and will start levying holders of agricultural land, dealing a blow to real estate developers.
Stand-alone homes will pay between Sh5 and Sh12 per square metre annually depending on location, up from a range of Sh2 and Sh3—representing a threefold growth on the upper band.
Rental apartment owners will pay between Sh10 and Sh12 from Sh8, reflecting a rise of up to 35 per cent.
Industries will pay Sh10 from Sh8 while owners of commercial buildings and flats have been spared a rise and will continue paying Sh15 per square metre.
The higher rates are contained in the latest Kenya Gazette notice and will shift the focus on Governor Ferdinand Waititu who had promised to cut the higher levies associated with his predecessor William Kabogo.
Owners of agricultural land will also start paying rates on their holdings, with those owning less than five acres parting with Sh2,000 per acre. Those holding at least 20 acres will pay Sh800 annually
The county government also introduced a new flat rate on agricultural land at Sh2,000 per acre for those with less than five acres of land.
Large land owners will pay Sh800 per acre for area below 20 acres, in the new rates that have hit small land owners hard.
“Agricultural land within the municipalities of Kiambu, Karuri, Kikuyu, Ruiru, Thika and Limuru (excluding Ndeiya. Nachu and Lari sub county), shall he subject to flat area rate as follows,” says the notice.
(Source: Business Daily)

Sidian Bank Thika branch manager Patrick Wachira (centre) and Kamuthi Housing Co-operative Society Secretary Eliud Njoroge (right) issue Ms Lydia Wambui with a title deed on October 27.  PHOTO COURTESY|
Kamuthi Housing Co-operative Society has started issuing title deeds to members who had invested in its multibillion shillings Buffalo Hills and Golf Village in Kilimambogo, Thika.
This offers some relief to the investors against the backdrop of virtually falling under the auctioneers’ hammer over a bad debt.
More than 100 members, who have completed payments for their respective plots, have already been issued with the title deeds, with 501 others expected to receive the ownership documents within the next one and a half months.
According to the society’s secretary, Mr Eliud Njoroge, it is expected that all buyers in the 1,200-acre gated-community project will receive their title deeds by February next year, subject to completion of payments for their plots.
This followed negotiations between the management led by the CEO, Mr Chege Thumbi, the land vendor and Sidian Bank, which led to a deal that saved the Sh3 billion project from sinking.
The deal saw the bank “bend its rules” to discharge the land’s title deed which the firm has used as collateral for a Sh420 million loan for the purchase of the land, in order to facilitate processing of individual titles for successful buyers
In May 2016, Mr John Mwangi, the then Sidian Bank Thika branch manager, told members that the loan was in arrears and unless it was paid, the bank would sell the land to recover their money.
The threat saw the firm review the prices, and after an intense lobbying, members resolved to contribute additional Sh80,000 payments to bail out the society and bring back the project back to its feet.
The current bank’s Thika branch manager Mr Patrick Wachira said the firm has restored its financial credibility by meeting its loan obligation in time, a thing which he said “is facilitating the processing of title deeds for successful buyers.”
The pact was arrived at last year after the society restored its financial abilities after a two-year turbulence which had plunged the project into uncertainty after cash flow declined due to delay in the availing of titles.
According to the agreement, if clients pay for their plots in full, the firm can process and issue them with their individual title deeds, regardless of non-payment by other members.
Sidian Bank, according to Mr Wachira, is part of the processing of the title deeds, whereby, in collaboration with the society management, they vet members who have fully paid for their plots and forward the names to the land’s offices.
Mr Njoroge, the secretary, described the issuance of the title deeds as “a major breakthrough”.
Ms Fransica Nyaruai, one of the members who have received title deeds for their respective plots, said most of them had ran out of patients and sometimes they feared that they had lost their investments.
(Source: Sunday Nation)

Kiambu Sub-County Director of Education Roselyn Ritaba presiding over the graduation ceremony at Aimeel Preparatory school in Ruiru.
Following the high rising cases of children abduction, defilement, rape, sodomy and drug abuse witnessed in the recent past in Thika, Juja Ruiru and Kiambu town, parents have been advised to be on high alert and keep their children under tight security.
This comes as schools close down and children go home to spend the extensive holiday characterized by a long festive season.
Addressing parents, teachers and pupils at Aimeel Preparatory school in Ruiru sub-county, Kiambu sub-county Education director Roselyne Ritaba observed that the society was rotten and that both the girl and boy child are endangered species where human-like beasts are on the prowl.
The director said that news of societal vices that dehumanize children have become the order of the day and urged the parents to provide proper parental care to their children at home. “Its high time parents exercised their parental guidance to their children this time round to minimize these cases, “said Ritaba.  
Her sentiments were echoed by among other speakers Chrisphine Oluoch who is the principle Aimel Preparatory school in Ruiru and Goal Setters Foundation counselor Njoki Mwaura who urged parents not to abscond their parenting role.
Ritaba said that news of children abduction in Ruiru and Kiambu as a whole was rampant and that young children have become the main target stating that in most cases, the abductors take advantage of bad economic challenges to make a kill from innocent parents.
Oluoch on his part said the increasing number of school girls giving birth during the recently ended KCPE examination was an eye opener that the rot in the society has reached record high. He said most of the pregnancies were as a result of rape. He told parents to engage their children fully to avoid idleness and roaming in town centers especially when they are alone.
More than 200 pupils from class one to eight graduated and were awarded certificates.

Power is essential in every homestead or facility.

At Gaitheri Secondary School, students and teachers are enjoying power from solar roofing tiles, that has seen the school cut down the cost of power in a reasonable way.

Initially, the school used to pay over Sh.100, 000 power bills per month but is now paying less than Sh.17,000. The school is aiming at reducing the cost of power to zero.

According to the students that we talked to, Gaitheri Secondary School was experiencing power problems because of the frequency power outages by Kenya Power, hence triggering the school to embark on ways of solving power problems.

Mr. Kamau Kiragu a teacher who takes the students through the energy process explains that using the power roofing tiles, it supplies 2.4 kilowatts of power that is able to operate all the machines in the school, computer lab with 15 computers, 8 classes, duplicator and other accessories that use power in the school.

He points out that the Solar panels are an added advantage which many schools aren’t able to apply, hence giving the school a chance to use power without billing.

Some of the challenges that the school went through while relying on Kenya Power is that
even duplicating continuous assessment tests was a problem.

“Being a new project at the school, some students and teachers have not yet bough the idea. We hope that as we progress by, majority will see the benefit of this and support us.” Said Mr. Kiragu.

However, the school feels that 2.4 kilowatts is not sufficient hence more plans to use water tanks as power storage.

Kiragu explains that water from the roof tops needs to be collected for the project of power storage to be complete.

The amount of water to be collected will amount to 600, 000 liters that will help a power storage system using pumped water storage system that will solve water system and power storage system.

Instead of using battery storage, the school looked into its advantage of having a water storage yet the big roof is not utilized, hence the idea of installing water storage still tanks.

The power will be stored through a pumped water storage system, that the school is not able to put up but looking forward to upgrade once it gets a financier.

The school also wishes to share the power and the water to the neighboring community once the entire project of power storage is complete.

The school participated in Zaid Energy Project for global schools where it became finalists in Africa in an event held at Abu Dhabi in Dubai.

During the Abu Dhabi sustainability week, Kiragu met a lecturer from Lancaster university in UK who got interested in the Kenyan school, and he eventually visited the school.

The lecturer taught the students on energy education and sustainability, data visualization, installed sensors, WIFI looters and now the students are able to come up with topics on energy sustainability.

Hellen Wambui Karuku is a member of Energy Conservation club in the school and she says that she has been instrumental in saving the power used in school and ensuring that no waste of power is occasioned.

She encouraged other schools to emulate the school terming the project as a savior of parents’ money in terms of power bills.

Jennifer Kimari is also a member of the club and she cites that she has improved in her studies since she can get to class earlier than before to study in the morning.

She adds that she can now be able to draw and analyze the graphs centrally to the days that the club was not in existence.

For John Macharia, he says he has improved his performance, thanks to the energy conservation club.

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