February 2020

Equity and Kenya Airways have announced an extension of the discounted partnership for all Equity card customers that will see them enjoy a 20% discount on travel for specific routes. 

The promotion will be open for booking until 30th May 2020, and the discounted ticket will be valid for travel until 30th June 2020.

The deal is applicable for tickets purchased in Nairobi (NBO), Mombasa (MSA), Kisumu (KIS), and
Malindi (MYD). It will be applicable for flights to London (LHR), New York (JFK), Johannesburg (JNB), Dubai (DXB), Mumbai (BOM), Amsterdam (AMS), Paris (CDG), Rome (ROM) and Geneva (GVA).

By inserting the Promo Code EQBKQF20 while making the booking, Equity customers automatically get to enjoy cheaper travel rates on return tickets. Furthermore, the discounts apply to all classes of travel with only exclusion of premium and promotional classes J, Z, O, Y, R, V, G and X.

Equity has a wide range of card offerings, which have further been enhanced through strategic partnerships with key local and international entities. These collaborations will ensure the customers are open to varied options that fit their lifestyle and convenience.

The lender’s integrated multi-channel network operates in synergy with the larger Group’s products and services. This includes a widely recognized range of card-based payment products, including debit cards, credit cards, and the pre-paid cards, as payments solutions to the customer.

In 2019, Equity clinched the Visa Top Acquirer Award during the Visa award, after recording the highest point of sale payment volumes in the year. Also, the bank has been recognized as the Most Customer-centric bank for 2 years running at the Annual Think Business Banking Awards.


The Kenya Defense Forces Engineers Brigade (Thika Barracks) has sank a 130m deep borehole at Landless area in a record two days.

The borehole has a capacity to supply 12m³ (12,000 litres) of water per hour, translating to about 15,000m³ (15 million litres) of water daily.

The project is as a result of a request by the area residents, through the area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina who approached KDF Engineers Brigade to drill the borehole.

While speaking during the handing over ceremony, the Commander Engineer Brigade Brigadier Stephen Radina acknowledged that the project would go a long way to alleviate the acute shortage of water in the area.

He promised to work with the community around to undertake more projects of such magnitude in future.

On his part, Wainaina thanked the KDF for accepting to the community’s request.

“I hope we keep this partnership going as this will help in solving some of the teething issues that bother the residents of Thika.

Jungle Foundation donated Ksh. 700, 000 towards helping in the logistics and operations of the drilling process as the KDF provided the machinery and labour force. Thika Water and Sewerage Company (THIWASCO) on its part offered the necessary technical assistance.

After the drilling, the next task is to procure a pump, erect a tank and secure the area, a process that will cost about Ksh. 4 million.


Thika Landless areas, just as majority of the areas on the downwards side of Thika town have been experiencing very acute water shortages.

Data from THIWASCO indicate that the company produces about 41,000m³ (41 million litres) of water daily against a consumer demand of 56,000m³ (56 million litres).


Following an advertisement on 11th February 2020 to fill in the position of the Chairman Kiambu County Service Board (CPSB), seven candidates have been shortlisted for interviews which will be held at Thika Sub-County offices as indicated below:-

SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES  - CHAIRPERSON (1 POST)
No.
NAME
GENDER
DATE OF INTERVIEW
TIME
1.
GEOFFREY KIMANI GATHIGI
M
26TH FEBRUARY 2020
9:00 AM
2.
JOSEPHINE KIBARU MBAE
F
26TH FEBRUARY 2020
9:30 AM
3.
ERIC KELVIN KIRIKO MWAURA
M
26TH FEBRUARY 2020
10:00 AM
4.
RAPHAEL MIGAI IKAME
M
26TH FEBRUARY 2020
10:30 AM
5.
DOMINIC KANYI GICHERU
M
26TH FEBRUARY 2020
11:00 AM
6.
ALLAN NG’ANG’A MWAURA
M
26TH FEBRUARY 2020
11:30 AM
7.
LEONARD KINYULUSI
M
26TH FEBRUARY 2020
12:00 NOON
All shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them:-


 1.      
Original Identity Card or Passport
       2.    Original Academic and Professional Certificates, testimonials and relevant documents in support of their applications.
       3.   Two (2) Coloured Passport size photographs.
       4.   Original and CURRENT clearance certificates from the:
-          Kenya Revenue Authority
-          Criminal Investigation Department (Certificate of Good Conduct)
-          Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission
-          Higher Education Loans Board (HELB)
-          Credit Reference Bureau (CRB)
Members of public are invited to submit any information (on oath) that may have a bearing on the shortlisted candidates by 12:00 NOON on 25th February 2020

PEOPLE'S PRIORITIES:

1) Carpeting of all feeder roads connecting estates to bitumen standards.

2) Construction of a Social Hall for to nurture youth talents preferably in one of Kamenu's public schools.

3) The Kang'oki dumpsite should be should only allow waste gotten from Thika sub-county only. Garbage from other areas should be disposed in their areas of origin.

4) Phase 8 Dispensary should be upgraded to a Level 4 Hospital, fully equipped with basic but essential laboratory services, have adequate supply of basic drugs and a standby ambulance.

5) Bursaries should be allocated with respect to population to avoid disadvantaging densely populated wards like Kamenu.


PEOPLE’S CONCERNS
  • Participants were against Kiambu County Government’s decision to offer stadium facilities to non-residents for free while the beneficiaries are charging entry fees to the residents. They insisted that this should only be a preserve of residents only, especially local clubs.
  • Participants lamented of dilapidated roads within the estates especially the link road heading to Gatumaini Primary, Chania Boys and Thika High School for the Blind and the road at Section 2 estate that heads to Nightfall Gardens.
  • There was also a call to restore order within the CBD especially on the issue of hawkers, matatus, taxis, tukutuks and bodabodas that have occupied virtually every available space.
  • Participants complained of the services they received at Thika Level 5 Hospital and called for some stringent measures to ease prompt and quality service delivery.
  • The issue of street families and commercial sex workers was also addressed with participants raising issue with the authorities’ laxity to seeking a lasting solution.
  • Participants asked about Biashara Fund and the issuance of bursaries where they demanded for more transparency in the distribution of these monies.
  • There was also the issue of garbage collection within estates where they complained that it went uncollected.
  • The problem of companies and individuals releasing  hazardous effluents into the rivers was also highlighted with others being accused of polluting the air especially at night.

PROMISED SOLUTIONS
  • Kiambu County Government promised to recarpet   all the roads within the CBD once the re-tendering of the same was completed. The previous awards were cancelled following an Anti-Corruption case that dogged the previous administration.
  • They also promised to grade some of the bad roads periodically subject to availability of their motor graders.
  • The officers also promised to systematically solve the congestion problem within the CBD as caused by hawkers and traders in the transport sectors.
  • They also promised to get rid of the street families and commercial sex workers by involving the other arms of government such as the police and rehabilitation centres and homes.
  • The department of environment promised to severely deal with anyone reported to have polluted the environment. However, on matters related to garbage collection, they said that according to the law, it was the responsibility of individual owners of residential houses to take care of their waste. The county government was only mandated to clean garbage within commercial centres only (CBD).
  • KCG promised to revive the Biashara Fund so that more people can benefit from cheap loans to start and expand their businesses.


●  Thika Water and Sewerage Company Ltd (THIWASCO) evolved from Thika Water project to a public limited company initiated in 1950 at Chania River and commissioned in 1956.

● THIWASCO was registered in the year 2009 as Water and Sewerage services providing Company and began operations in September 2009 as a water service provider under the Athi Water Services Board.

● The major sources of water for the company are the Chania and Thika Rivers obtained through gravity.

● The company serves the Thika Sub-County and its environs which covers an area of approximately 254 km of water pipeline and 60km of sewer pipeline.

● The company currently has approximately 32,000 water connections and 12,000 sewerage connections.

● THIWASCO serves over about 300,000 residents.

● In June 2018, THIWASCO improved its water production capacity of 36,000m3 (36 million litres) daily to the current 41,000 m3 (41 million litres) per day, translating to about 14.9 million m3 of water annually.

● THIWASCO currently has achieved 85% of its targeted coverage with 35,500 water connections and 13,206 sewerage connections

● In order to improve on efficiency, THIWASCO has started embracing ICT and has transited to cashless revenue collection effective July 1 2019. Customers now pay bills via MPESA and through Equity bank agents.

● The company has also installed a new billing system known as the Mobile Field Assistance (M.F.A.) for digitised metre reading and billing system that has been integrated with an USSD Code to enable customers query balances and ease payments of bills.

CHALLENGES:

● Reduced water levels from the water catchment areas

● Inadequate financial resources to undertake major infrastructural expansions to address the current water deficits.

● Inadequate governance personnel because of political intrigues that led to a board that was not fully constituted. This has derailed the processes of undertaking certain major programmes, especially those that demand donor funding.
For instance, an incomplete board last year forced the World Bank to withdraw Ksh. 191 million Grant by from the company’s accounts thus derailing some infrastructural development programmes.

● The demand (56,000 m3 per day) for water is higher than what the company is able to produce (41,000 m3 per day) with the current infrastructure due to rapid population and development growth in the last one decade.

● Old infrastructure that need replacement.

● A lot water is also trapped upstream by commercial farms for irrigation causing some deficit in the intake points especially during the dry seasons.

● Excess levies and taxes.

● Unscrupulous investors have grabbed some of the land meant for the expansion of the water treatment plants.

FURURE PLANS.

● THIWASCO is in the process of acquiring a Ksh. 764 million grant from the World Bank to develop a new water intake at Kariminu River near Maryhill School that will add into the system, 15,000 m3 (5 million litres) per day. The project is expected to be complete within the next 36 months.

● In partnership with Kiambu Government and Athi Water Works Development Agency (AWWDA), THIWASCO has also secured a grant of Ksh. 11 billion from DANIDA to construct new water and wastewater (sewerage) treatment and conveyance infrastructure as well as rehabilitation of the old dilapidated infrastructure. This project is aimed at meeting the future water demands up to the year 2042.

● THIWASCO, under the Kenya Water Pooled Fund, also plans to replace old pumps with energy efficient motor pumps, upgrade the existing water treatment plant by installing of inclined plate settlers to increase production and improve quality and development of mini-hydro to reduce reliance on main power grid and thereby reducing production costs.

● THIWASCO also plans to set up new sewerage plants at Pilot, Kilimambogo and Nanga with a view to cover more areas. The Pilot plant will be installed with biodigester infrastructure to produce biogas that will be used to generate electricity, thus reduce power bills.

● Starting next week, the company will map out a new water rationing programme that will be more specific on areas covered and a bit detailed to help consumers plan for the availability of water in their areas of residence.

● The company also plans to continue engaging in tree planting activities to conserve the environment.

PHOTO: COURTESY
BY: Juma Hemedi
10/02/2020

No one has the full story, but they say that he arrived late for work. The lateness earned the Kenyan Man of majority age some canes on his behind. This happens behind what is supposedly the kitchen. An action that the one doing whipping considers discipline as he punishes to correct a mistake. The only mistake of the one doing the whipping is his country of origin, which is glaringly not African. His action of whipping an African in an African Country.

Within hours the authorities apprehended the culprit, perhaps it was as a result of the online anger from the people of an African Country, a country that prides itself with the rule of law. Or may be the task of apprehending the culprit was easy due to his glaring visible contrast to the rest of the people including the spectators.


A few months back people of Kenya had gone up in arms when other citizens of belonging to the country of the 'whipping' man mistreated some Kenyans who worked in the biggest infrastructural project that connected Mombasa City to Nairobi city.

I'm always amazed by the sense of togetherness, zeal and focus online Kenyans have that pushes Authorities to action. However Kenyans have been getting 'whipped' daily by their fellow country men.

We are whipped daily on our 'behinds' by our employers, with daily insults, indignity and  mistreatment. Overworked and underpaid Kenyans continue to endure years of abuse and lack of dignity of a job. These Kenyans work as Farm hands, watchmen, house managers, low level employees in both government and Private institutions.

Kenyans suffer daily 'whipping' through increased taxation to cover for their other taxes stolen by those they elected to safeguard their resources. The corruption 'whipping' continue to send unborn children and their mothers to an early death due to lack of essential facilities in health care centres.

Kenyans are getting 'whipped' to death by the authorities charged with road safety when they allow unroadworthy vehicles to continue killing their Country men, and increase the number of orphans and vulnerable children, widows and widowers.

We are "whipped' daily when we are taking our children to public schools which are on the verge of collapse due to dilapidated infrastructure whose records show that they was repaired at a cost of soo much. But in actual sense someone 'ate' the money. When we continue to suffer water born diseases because the someone failed to do his duty.

We continue to get 'whipped' on our behinds by our media institutions when they choose to fudge the truth, and continue 'whipping' our emotions by showing us bad examples of our leaders and content that fails to give hope.

We are 'whipped' daily by injustice that is perpetrated by some people sworn to protect justice. And the others who hold the Holy books to affirm their commitment to serve and protect the Country and its citizens when all they do is serve themselves.

We are 'whipped' by the shepherds who take advantage of their flocks. Those who lie in the name of the Lord. Those who fail to be their brothers Keepers. Those who lead others into desperation and mental slavery in a way that they better get whipped and suffer physical pain, that suffer psychological and emotional pain that comes with watching your kid ask for food that you cannot afford or have the landlord lock your house for non payment.

The physical whipping is nothing compared to what we see daily with our politicians and other public servants as they show us their overflowing stomachs full of resources meant for the service delivery.

We must say NO to this kind of "WHIPPING" that brings indignities to our daily lives.


Juma Hemedi


The government has started selling houses constructed under the affordable housing programme in Nairobi, Machakos, Embu, Kiambu and Kisumu counties.

In Nairobi’s Park Road units, there are 30 1- bedroom units which will cost Sh. 1.5 million each. Each of the houses has been built on a plinth of 30 square metres.

Each of the 112,  two-bedroom units standing on a 40-square metre plinth will go for  Sh 2 million while each of the 176 units of two-bedroom houses made on a 60-square metre plinth will cost Sh 3 million.

Other houses available on Park Road are 230 three-bedroom houses made on a 60 and 80-square metre plinth area, which will go for Sh 3.5 million and Sh 4 million each, respectively.

“The Park Road housing project has been developed under AHP and the total number of units in the project is 1,370. Some of the units will be sold to civil servants while the rest have been reserved for other citizens,” Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga said in a statement.

A parking silo has been provided in the project and a unit parking space will be purchased separately at Sh 390,000.

The Embu, Kiambu, Machakos and Kisumu projects have been financed by Civil Servants Housing Scheme Fund (CSHSF) with the Kiambu, Embu and Machakos housing projects being at an advanced stage of completion.

“These projects will be ready this year while that of Kisumu is complete and about 50% of the units sold. In Embu, the 80 units of two-bedroom houses built on 70 square metre plinth area will go for Sh 3.5 million each while 140 units of three-bedroom houses with a master en suite, made on a 90-plinth area, will be sold at Sh 4.8 million each,” he said.

In Machakos, there are 100 units of two-bedroom houses made on 66 square metre plinth going for Sh3.3 million while another 100 units of three-bedroom master en suite houses made on 88 square metre plinth will be sold at Sh4.3 million.

Kiambu has 75 one-bedroom houses going for Sh2.3 million each, 48 units of two-bedroom homes worth Sh 4  million each and 70 units of three-bedroom master en suite houses going for Sh 5.4 million each.

In Kisumu, there are 20 units of one-bedroom houses, which are to be sold at Sh2.3 million each, 120 units of two-bedroom houses at Sh 3.6 million and 70 units of three-bedroom houses with master en suite, each going for Sh5.4 million.

“Interested serving civil servants are invited to apply for the houses commensurate with their grades,” said the PS.

Completed application forms should be returned on or before April 28 with the required minimum deposit of 10% of purchase price


Kiambu Governor Dr. James Nyoro on Wednesday morning held talks with Danida Sustainable Infrastructure Finance (DSIF) and the Athi Water Works Development Agency with representatives from the Thika and Githunguri water and Sanitation companies in a bit to discuss the way forward on the implementation of Thika and Githunguri Water and Sanitation Improvement project with an estimated cost of Ksh16 Billion.

The project will involve, among other things, the construction of a 10m high dam on the Chania River and another 10m high dam at the Thika 3A location.

There is also provision for disposal of sewage by use of sludge suction truck in areas not served by the new network, construction of ablution blocks in Kiandutu as well as the rehabilitation of the existing abandoned hydropower plant next to Chania River.

In Githunguri, they will replace the four boreholes with new ones and a put up new storage tank at Thakwa borehole.

The projects will be implemented through the Athi Water Works Development Agency (AWWDA)

Mount Kenya University (MKU) and Bidco Africa Limited have entered into a partnership which will see MKU students gain practical skills on industry requirements.

Students pursuing manufacturing, sales and marketing and entrepreneurship courses will be placed under attachment and internship programmes at the various Bidco plants across the region.

“Bidco will offer to our students the much needed industrial field training in the fast pace industrial world. The MoU gives our students a chance to get attachment and internship opportunities at Bidco after which upon successful completion, they may either be retained as employees or get employed elsewhere,” explained MKU Acting Vice Chancellor Peter Wanderi.

Bidco Africa Group Sales and Marketing Director Chris Diaz said the move aligns to government efforts on the up skilling of youth coming out of tertiary institutions.

“With Kenya’s unemployment rate at a high of about 9.3% and about 55% of youth unemployed, this partnership is timely. It comes at a time when we are expanding with ventures in new innovative product categories,” he said.

The two institutions will also be able to hold joint conferences, workshops and seminars on topical areas that will help align the curriculum on some of the subject courses relevant to the manufacturing, sales and marketing sectors.


Former Transition Authority Chairperson Kinuthia Wamwangi has challenged Kiambu County Government to create an inventory of all residents associations within their jurisdiction to enable it effectively enhance public participation.

While speaking during 79th Bi-Monthly Talk Forum organised by the Kenya Alliance of Resident Association (Kara) at a Thika hotel, Kinuthia also challenged the county government to have a directory of civic education and public participation forums.

“Public participation is a constitutional requirement as enshrined in Articles 10 and 174 which give residents the rights to manage their own affairs. As a bare minimum, we are asking the new dispensation to facilitate at least two annual round table meetings between the residents and the county government,” he said.

Kinuthia explained that participants to these round table meetings should be drawn from representatives of residents and business associations as well as prominent opinion leaders.

“The purpose of these meetings is to plan for budget allocations according to the people’s individual needs as well as evaluating and reviewing the progress of the work done by the county government in the preceding financial year,” he explained.

The former Transition Authority chair challenged residents to always demand for proper mechanisms from the government to ensure that their input formed the basis of any policies, budget allocations and implementation.

While responding to some of the residents’ concerns, County Executive Committee (CEC) member for Planning and Urban Development James Maina said that one of the major challenges they faced as a government was over budgeting by the previous regime as well as incomplete boards, especially the Public Service Board.

“In the next 30 days, we shall constitute the Public Service Board to help us implement some of these policies. Thika has already been allocated Ksh. 305 million for development this financial year with Ksh. 150 million set aside for roads and street lighting within the CBD,” explained the CEC.

“We are also in the process of looking into the Kiambu Spatial Plan to enable us fix our challenges in the long-term and give directions to control our development plans,” he added.

Thika District Business Association (TDBA) Chairman Alfred Wanyoike challenged the county government to be proactive and predetermine solutions to challenges instead of waiting to react on them when they occurred.

Central Region Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Dan Miano asked Kiambu County to conduct a business survey (census) of all businesses in their jurisdiction and avail such data for planning and facilitation purposes, as this was the only way to achieve meaningful sustainable development.

Kara CEO Henry Ochieng’ challenged residents to always participate in issues that affected them especially matters that concerned budgeting and policy making as this was the only way they could fully benefit from the services they needed from the government.

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