KEPSA Partners With GIZ To Implement Dual TVET Training Program

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has partnered with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur International (GIZ) to implement the Dual TVET training program that combines apprenticeship within companies and vocational education.

The program will train students on industry skills while still learning in colleges and matching businesses with the right skills to improve their productivity and enhance employee retention rates.

Principal Secretary for the State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Dr. Esther Muoria, said that the partnership aims to strengthen and collaborate with states, among them Germany and Finland, between the public, private and established development partners as well as the industries through the dual training program.

She added that competency-based education and training curricula is an approach that emphasizes the participation of practical skills from which students will gain work experience from KEPSA members.

‘The government has provided state-of-the-
art equipment in TVET institutions as a main means of using the institutional practice experience for the implementation of the idea,’ she said.

The PS made the remarks in a speech read on her behalf by the Policy and Strategy Director of TVET in the State Department of TVET Mr. Joseph Njau, during the official opening of the Dual TVET Training Program Partnership 2024 held at a Nairobi hotel.

Muoria said dual training, also known as the working technique of learning, is a model that combines green jobs learning in practical work experience, which comprises 70 percent of training in the industry and 50 percent in given institutions.

‘The dual program bridges the gap between dual practice for ensuring that trainees are equipped with the skills and competencies in the rapidly developing country moving for the labor market,’ Muoria said.

She noted that the concept of dual training has been implemented in several developed countries for a decade and has been a stronger strategy for imparting practical skills,
as well as being one of the best in training students in the industry.

‘TVET institutions by 2026 will bring about other components that will ensure that after the project there will be still sustainability,’ said the PS.

Muoria announced that her Ministry has set up industries to support skills which will focus on linkages, industrial training, and integrations as a way of supporting graduates with given skills for international and local trade labor market.

She at the same time, added that dual training is an important initiative as it will bridge the gap between the industry’s needs, trainees, and employment.

Speaking at the event, Counselor-Skills and Development and Job Creation, Embassy of Finland, Matts Weurlander, said that the collaboration between partners is crucial because it will equip trainees with skills that will lead to employment for young people according to the industry needs in TVET.

Weurlander said the project aims to solve the skills that students receive, noting that with the dyna
mic world that keeps on changing, students need to have skills that support flexibility to move and remain innovative.

‘Partnership with private sectors is essential as it enables people to go far and also foster the collaboration that is relevant in today’s world,’ he said.

The Director of Youth and Jobs at the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Dr. Ehud Gachugu, said that the private sector aims to promote job creation by giving graduates skills besides bringing together businesses.

He added that TVET should not navigate complex training without skills that are relevant to the job market.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Over 15,000 Students To Benefit From Sh59.2 Million-Bursary Kitty

Kirinyaga Central National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) has disbursed Sh59.2 million to cater for school fees for all successful applicants this financial year.

This is the highest allocation to education ever in the constituency since the inception of NG-CDF where over 15,000 students in various stages and institutions will receive a share of the funds.

While launching the disbursement, Kirinyaga Central Member of Parliament (MP) Gachoki Gitari said he is committed to supporting education by all means possible.

He said that all students in day school will each get Sh5,000 while those in boarding schools will receive Sh6,000. Those boarding outside the county and in institutions of higher learning will get Sh10,000.

Gitari urged principals of schools to dedicate their time to students and add value to the education system by providing information toward the creation of plans and policies aimed at improving education.

‘My commitment to supporting education will continue, not only in b
ursary allocation but also in ensuring that the infrastructure is of the required standard,’ Gitari said.

‘However, I warn parents trying to compromise the application process by duplicating forms and interchanging names that they will not benefit from the bursary’, the MP cautioned.

Lucy Mbai, Director Education, Kirinyaga Central sub-county, acknowledged the top performance of Kirinyaga Central sub-county in academics compared to the other four sub-counties and lauded the area MP’s passion for education.

She called upon parents to respond when called to attend school functions as it forms part of vital engagements with education stakeholders. She also appreciated principals who have been kind enough to retain students who have fee challenges in school until the bursary is disbursed.

Ms. Mbai appreciated assistant chiefs who were instrumental in achieving 100 percent transition government policy. She requested for construction of more classrooms based on demand as some schools accommodate up to 70 studen
ts against the approved standard of 45 in a classroom.

Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Kirinyaga Central, Joseph Murethi, said identification and nurturing of talents should be considered to take advantage of skills that children have. He attributed the inability to raise fees to the use of alcohol, assuring that the security officers are doing all possible to eradicate alcoholism and drug abuse in the county.

He encouraged students to join technical and vocational colleges to acquire employable skills and urged those wishing to take advantage of labour migration to get skills from such institutions which have now been established in all sub-counties.

‘The government is investing resources in technical institutions; I expect many of your children to join them to acquire technical skills and take advantage of jobs in foreign countries currently being sought by the government,’ DCC Mureithi said.

Kirinyaga Central Technical and Vocational College Principal Charity Mugo who attended the function disclosed t
hat applications are ongoing and interested applicants can access application via Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), noting that successful applicants can get financial aid from HELB among other scholarships.

Joseph Maina and Joseph Wanjiru, parents of beneficiaries of the bursary, thanked the CDF board saying their children can return to school after the ongoing mid-term holiday without school fees worries.

They acknowledged the role of the NG-CDF in the development of schools, especially the construction of laboratories.

Source: Kenya News Agency

PS Kisiangani Appeals For More Funding To Accelerate Government Communication And Digital Agenda

The Principal Secretary, the State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani, has made an impassioned appeal for increased budgetary allocations by Parliament to accelerate and drive government communications and digital transformation agenda.

Kisiang’ani said injection of more funding will enable the government’s crucial agencies to facilitate the achievement of digitization and digitalization as well as aligning communication of government achievements to the masses.

The PS decried the huge budget deficit of Sh8 billion facing the key state department which he said is delaying the much-needed digital footprint to ease delivery and access of government services as well as linking underserved communities to digital products and services.

Speaking in Naivasha during an engagement session with National Assembly Committee on ICT, the PS appealed to the committee members to re-engineer and overhaul budgetary allocation to the Ministry to hasten the deployment, adoption, and m
igration to digital technology.

In addition, Prof. Kisiang’ani noted that the state department is at the nerve centre of the pathway to the achievement of the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda and therefore should be funded adequately to achieve its targets on time.

Kisiang’ani said more resources will enable the crucial modernization program of key government agencies, including Kenya News Agency, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and Kenya Postal Corporation, to turn around their operations and ensure they achieve their mandates including on government communication strategy.

He added that extra funding will enable the completion of stalled projects such as the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, Eldoret Campus, as well as accelerate the Studio Mashinani project that aims to harness the creative potential of the youth across the country.

Prof. Kisiang’ani called for the referencing of the communication budget to cushion it from being affected by supplementary budget cuts which hamper the op
erations and the much-needed modernization programs.

‘The Kenya News Agency lost over Sh100 million through supplementary budget cuts affecting the modernization of its offices, procurement of modern equipment and streamlining their operations and therefore I call to protect the fund,’ said the PS.

Kisiang’ani acknowledged the department’s achievements despite the low funding, including preparing more than 153 news briefs, 3600 television items, 24 regional online publications, and 16,869 print news items thus far, this year.

The PS at the same time appealed for Sh1 billion to facilitate the implementation of the newly approved Ministry Scheme of Service Structure that aims to reorganize, re-engineer, and enhance the efficiency of operations and officers.

To reduce the huge pending bills facing the state department to the tune of Sh1.5 billion, Kisiang’ani said he has initiated payment of bills with priority given to bills accrued in the last two years.

Consequently, he said the Ministry is updating its
legal and policy framework to launch the sector to emerging issues and guide the adoption of new technology, including the review of the Kenya Information and Communication Act, Kenya Postal Corporation Act, and National Communication Policy and Strategy, among others.

‘The review of these acts will help reform the sector, address emerging issues, and reignite regulations and the efficiency of agencies to achieve their mandates as expected,’ said Kisiang’ani.

Committee chair John Kiarie acknowledged the huge budget deficit facing the Ministry noting that the committee will consider priority areas of funding within the current budget ceilings.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Children Officer Effort To End The Child Neglect

Rachuonyo South Sub County Children Officer Brian Saidi, seated in a quiet office nestled in a serene and leafy compound at the Sub County headquarter, Kosele, unravels the layers of child neglect in the region.

With years of experience as a frontline advocate of child issues, Saidi shares with KNA insights into the prevalent issues facing children in the area, the most common being child neglect and the remedial measures being undertaken by government.

‘Neglect is often a silent crisis, affecting children’s well-being in profound ways,’ he observes adding, ‘Our mission is to bring these issues to light and work collaboratively to create a safer environment for every child,’ Saidi pointed out.

Saidi whose office has become a solemn space where stories of struggle and resilience among neglected children emerge, explains child neglect as violations of a child’s basic rights, a denial of the love, care and support that every child deserves.

The officer however said there were various ways through which the o
ffice tries to correct the situation.

For instance, where a parent or both parents have been reported for neglect at the Children’s offices, Saidi said the accused parent(s) is summoned and if the summon is responded to, then the accused are advised accordingly where the parties involved make a mutual agreement on the way forward concerning the welfare of their children.

‘If the summonses are not responded to, then the office sends a rejoinder summon reminding the accused to follow instructions as requested,’ he said.

In case of where both the primary summon and the rejoinder are not responded to, the accused parent is then referred to the police or court where an arrest warrant will be issued against the parent(s) and a case file for neglect opened, he explained.

However, the officer said in finding a long term solution with child neglect, the Children’s office conducts workshops that equip parents with essential parenting skills.

He said by addressing the root causes of neglect and providing tools for
effective caregiving, they empower parents to create a nurturing environment for their children.

‘Child neglect is a crisis usually caused by poverty, disputes between partners and also societal pressures which affect a child’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being,’ Saidi said.

To address issues of poverty, the officer said they emphasize the need for long-term empowerment strategies like fostering economic opportunities, healthcare access, and community development.

Saidi says addressing the broader socio-economic factors contributing to neglect would reduce cases of child neglect reported almost daily in the sub county thus becoming a burden even to the government.

‘Apart from workshops, we utilize online platforms to disseminate information, provide resources, and encourage dialogue among community members. This digital approach helps bridge gaps and ensures that even remote areas have access to crucial information and support,’ he said.

Also, the Children Officer said, as an office, they
focus on improving access to quality education for every child in the subcounty by providing education scholarships, after-school programmes, and mentorship opportunities for children to thrive academically, reducing vulnerability to neglect and opening doors to a brighter future.

‘Our aim is to inspire continuous collaboration, innovation, and creating a safe, nurturing environment for every child in the sub county,’ he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Pottery And Permaculture Usage, Recipe For Conserving, Regenerating Our Environment

Pottery is one of the oldest forms of art that gained a lot of popularity around the world and is greatly attributed to helping mankind solve some of the challenges he faced.

In the new millennium, pottery has been viewed merely as a decorative art for improving scenery and aesthetics as opposed to helping address and solve some of the challenges the human race is currently facing. For instance it can be an undisputable answer to climate change, pollution, and lifestyle diseases.

For many years, pottery has been a process and the product of developing vessels and other objects with the use of clay and other raw materials that consisted of functional vessels, such as plates and bowls as well as decorative pieces like tableware, decorative items, and sanitary wares.

With the changing technologies and innovations, the world has been fast-moving from traditional earthenware to metallic and plastic products that have greatly contributed to world pollution and climate change.

According to Ms. Robbie Felix, a pe
rmaculturist and Founder President of Planeta Sano, ceramics or pottery are forms of earthenware that have been used since the inception of the art to conserve our environment.

Felix, a Costa Rican native says that the wrong modern mentality that everything should be disposable is what is ailing the world; creating human-made calamities like pollution and climate change.

The Planeta Sano organisation has been supporting women and youth groups in Kenya and Uganda in permaculture activities to enable them to safeguard their local environment as well as embrace traditional methods of agriculture for healthier living.

In Kenya, the organisation has been helping women groups like the ‘Rongo Women Permaculture’ to make pottery for economic development as well as a form of sustaining environmentally friendly surroundings.

In the twenty-first century, most traditional pottery craftsmen and women numbers have been diminishing and the few that have been left can only be found in remote villages across Africa. Felix
says that it is important to pass the craftsmanship knowledge to the future generation on the importance of pottery in conserving our already polluted environment.

She pointed out that in Africa there is a high pool of educated youth that only requires minimum training to help them work in the sectors of agriculture and pottery to generate income.

Damaris Anyago, one of the members of Rongo Women Permaculture group disclosed that by embracing permaculture, the community can benefit from the health benefits and environmental conservation that pottery offers.

The usage of clay pots, for example, to cook meals makes it appealing, softens the food, and adds nutrients like potassium to food which dissolves during the cooking process.

Potassium, one of the minerals found in clay soil, has been known to play very important functions in the human body like allowing the nerves to respond to stimulation and muscles to contract and tighten as well as reducing the effect of sodium (present in table salt) on blood pre
ssure. The mineral has also been attributed to helping to move nutrients into body cells and waste products out of the cells.

Anyago says that the group makes an average of Sh2,000 daily through the sale of pots, a sign that the Migori community has started to appreciate the forgotten artistic lifestyle.

She acknowledges that with the introduction of modern technologies in kitchen wares like metallic pans and plastic utensils, the population abandoned pottery saying that they were heavy, bulky, and difficult to use.

But modern technologies have brought a lot of problems like soil, water, and air pollution, contributed to lifestyle diseases like cancer, destroyed our environment, and brought climate change.

Her encouragement to the public is that they should embrace the usage of clay pots which have been known to be very sustainable and environmentally friendly items as opposed to plastics and metallic products.

‘We are using the metallic sufurias that are usually cleaned with steel wool, and if not clean
ed properly the iron residues can cause health problems if consumed,’ elaborated Anyango.

Meanwhile, the Director and Founder of Sustainable Village Resources, Caleb Omolo, said that they have been working with women and youth enterprises in the country to sensitise and train them on the importance of embracing permaculture and pottery.

Permaculture refers to the development of agricultural ecosystems that embrace a traditional approach to agriculture to create sustainable and self-sufficient food production.

Omolo explained that the aspect of permaculture is bound by three fundamental principles of caring for the earth, caring for the people, and caring for the future.

The practice integrates knowledge and practices from the best traditional cultures like pottery and natural agricultural practices like crop rotation by linking them to solutions to meet human needs while ensuring a robust future.

Omolo acknowledged that the organisation will continue to train and equip the youth with permaculture skills
to help them employ structural thinking, patterns, relationships, and flows to enable them to link solutions together into synergistic plans that work with nature to fit their local conditions.

He noted that by embracing permaculture in our society we can generate plenty of healthy things, share them justly, and limit overconsumption to benefit the whole society.

‘We want to improve the healthy living of our people, conserve our environment, and improve our traditional modes of agriculture to reduce chemical usage that has continuously polluted our soils, rivers, and air,’ said Omolo.

Source: Kenya News Agency

State Earmarks Sh2.8 Billion To Improve Digital Connectivity In The Country

The Government is set to release Sh2.8 billion given by the Universal Service Fund (USF) to improve digital connectivity in the country, Principal Secretary (PS), the State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications Professor Edward Kisiang’ani has announced

Prof. Kisiang’ani said the money which is set to be released by the Treasury next week is meant to help the underserved areas to be connected digitally so that they can also reap the benefits of technology.

The PS reiterated that Government is in the process of establishing 25,000 WiFi hotspots across the country as well as 1,450 digital hubs spread across all constituencies.

He said the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) will allocate three percent of its monies towards infrastructural upgrades on this digital hubs initiative in the constituency digital hubs, which are physical spaces with access to superfast broadband alongside community and business-focused services.

The PS said the digital hubs in the country have t
hree components; Centres of excellence, the standard, and the ordinary, but the centres of excellence are key in helping the communities that do not have internet access to get this service, as they are constructed in the villages to bring this service closer to the people.

‘This will help these underserved communities to even start sources of income and improve the quality of their lives,’ the PS said.

He was speaking in Naivasha during the Ministry of Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy stakeholders’ workshop organized by Parliament.

The Information Communications Technology (ICT) hubs will also be used for citizen digital literacy training, film creation, and public access to government services in all wards across the country beginning this year.

This will help provide digital connectivity, support the development of digital skills, and create jobs and this will be done through the laying of 10,000 kilometres of fiber, thanks to the digital superhighway initiative.

Prof. Kisiang’ani a
lso revealed that the new structure for the State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunications has been approved and will be rolled out soon and the department has also been carrying out interviews for promotions to upgrade the officers who have stagnated for a long time.

Turning his guns on the media in the country, the PS lamented that the media fraternity has been giving the Government what he termed as negative coverage and implored it to endeavor to highlight the many positive things that are happening in the country.

‘We all belong to this country and the Government belongs to all of us, we should also try and show the world the good things that are happening in the country,’ Kisiang’ani stated.

Dagoretti South Member of Parliament (MP) John Kiarie Waweru who is also the Chair of the Communication, Information Innovation Committee in the National Assembly decried the low funding to the Ministry of Information, Communications and Digital Economy, which he said is a critical ministry mandated to f
acilitate digitization of government services and increased internet connectivity to underserved communities at a time that the ICT sector is expected to contribute 10 percent to the National Gross Domestic Product by 2025.

Kiarie urged the Ministry to work with available resources towards achieving priority areas such as government digitization and digitalization agenda.

He revealed that the Government had digitized over 15,845 services and added that the digitization program would enable the sealing of revenue leakages and facilitate increased revenue collections.

Kiarie said the Naivasha workshop which entails engagements with the state departments will help review their performance and achievements based on this financial year’s budget allocation and announced that 1.2 million Digital Literacy (DL) devices have been distributed over 22,000 schools to enhance digital literacy.

Kiarie noted that the Kenya Kwanza Administration is on course to facilitate the setting up of 25,000 WIFI hotspots across the
country to boost e-commerce, build 1,450 digital hubs across constituencies, and targets to roll out 100,000 kilometres of fiber out of which 20,000 kilometers have already been laid. All these, he said are geared towards driving the digitization agenda in the next three years.

Kenya has notably emerged as a significant force in Africa’s digital evolution over time. The country has launched numerous digital infrastructure projects to open doors for development and economic expansion.

Kenya, which is ranked second among African nations with the greatest level of technological advancement, recently unveiled a ten-year digital master plan.

In the digital master plan, the four main pillars are digital infrastructure, digital services and data management, digital skills, and encouraging digital innovation for entrepreneurship.

The creation of 1,450 information and communication hubs across the country is in line with the digital infrastructure pillar, which also entails the installation of 25,000 hotspots in p
ublic spaces as mentioned earlier, and important business centres.

It will also entail the development of the government Cloud, the acceleration of the Konza Technopolis and Smart City development, the construction of regional ICT infrastructure, and the creation of a sustainable power plan to support the infrastructure.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Embu Family In Agony As Body Is Detained Over Hospital Bill

A family from Gicegeri Village in Embu, is appealing for financial assistance to help them bury their kin whose body is detained at Kenyatta University Hospital mortuary over a Sh335,000 bill.

Forty-nine-year-old Cecilia Marigu died of cancer on February 3 after spending a month at Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH), where she incurred a bill of Sh635,000.

Marigu started ailing in 2022 after suffering a swollen leg and has been in and out of various hospitals in Embu until late last year when she was diagnosed with cancer and referred to KUTRRH.

The family after holding several fundraisers, was able to raise Sh300,000 and has been unable to clear the balance to facilitate the release of the body for burial owing to financial hardships.

The bill continues to accumulate with every passing day the body stays at the morgue at the rate of Sh1,000 per day, prompting the family to plead for assistance.

‘We have reached a dead end and we are now appealing to well-wishers to com
e to assist us offset the bill to enable us to bury my daughter,’ said her 84-year-old mother Agatha Murangi.

The deceased’s sister Felista Muthoni said she sold her piece of land and a stall she owned in Embu Town to fund her treatment and has no other means to raise more money to offset the bill.

She said she is the one now left taking care of her elderly mother and two children left behind by the deceased as her other siblings are financially unstable.

‘The issues of our sister’s body are giving us sleepless nights as a family having not been able to bury her so that we can also have closure over the matter,’ she said.

Muthoni said no mourners come to their home anymore as they got tired of attending the rites with no indication of burial.

‘People also stopped contributing towards the burial and we have been left on our own,’ Muthoni lamented, as she reached out to people of goodwill to come to their rescue.

Source: Kenya News Agency

21 Firemen Graduate In Nakuru

Nakuru County has seen its first cohort of firemen go through disaster management training as part of measures to establish well-equipped fire stations and rescue centers in all 11 sub-counties by 2027.

The training, carried out in partnership with the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), focused on various disaster response areas that included fire command systems, emergency medical care, structural firefighting and personal skills such as discipline.

County Executive Committee Member for Public Service, Devolution, Citizen Engagement, Disaster Management Humanitarian Assistance, Jacqueline Osoro, implored the officers to use the skills they have acquired to tackle various disasters such as fires, accidents, and floods among others.

‘This training will help the county have adequate capacity to respond effectively to emergencies, including fires, floods, and accidents, particularly since Nakuru is a transit for the busy Nairobi-Nakuru-Busia Northern corridor,’ added Osoro.

The CECM disclosed that Nakuru County und
er the leadership of Governor Susan Kihika, has plans to have fully equipped fire stations and rescue centers in all the sub-counties by 2027, as expounded in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).

‘Use these skills that you have acquired to tackle various disasters in the county and outside the county, as may be requested. We promise to look into issues affecting the officers so that we can enhance their work,’ she noted.

The firefighters, who showcased their skills with a coordinated fire drill to demonstrate their capability in handling fire incidences, also received training on counter-terrorism response as well as counseling to maintain their well-being and mental health, among others.

The 21 firefighters were drawn from the Nakuru City, Molo and Naivasha Sub counties stations.

Nakuru has made tremendous strides in disaster response since Governor Susan Kihika took over the leadership of the county, with plans to acquire more modern equipment to respond to various disasters.

Source: Kenya N
ews Agency

West Pokot Women Trained In Kitchen Gardening, Climate-Smart Agriculture

Women in West Pokot County have a reason to smile after undergoing training on how to establish kitchen gardens for food security and combat the adverse effects of climate change.

The women who hail from Murpus village received the training sponsored by Perur Rays of Hope organization and its development partners in response to the ever-changing climatic conditions and erratic rainfall patterns which pose a threat to food security.

They were trained on the methods of growing vegetables in a kitchen garden within a small area using minimal water with maximum production of vegetables.

Caroline Menach, Principal of St. Elizabeth Girls’ Secondary School and Director of Perur Ray of Hope Organization explained that the women are known for their unwavering commitment to their work, which is why the Perur Ray of Hope Organization in collaboration with other development partners joined forces to build their capacity to combat the effects of climate change.

She said the organization primarily focuses on assisting
women since the community heavily relies on women because they play a vital role in providing food and taking care of the children besides ensuring that the children get a good education.

Ms. Menach said Murpus village is an area with scarce water resources and added women needed to be trained in using minimal water to generate enough food for their families.

She revealed that a single conical kitchen garden can accommodate 100 vegetable seedlings, and with two gardens, a woman can adequately feed her family with vegetables such as kales, spinach, cabbage, and carrots, ensuring a nutritious diet for the children.

‘Through such training, women will not only be able to feed their children but also sell any surplus vegetables, enabling them to send their children to school,’ she noted.

Menach said they are actively involved in environmental conservation, particularly in establishing tree nurseries and selling tree seedlings which generate income to support children’s education.

She said the main objective o
f the Perur Ray of Hope Organization and its development partners is to prioritize child welfare and to uplift the economy in remote areas for the benefit of children.

Ms Menach expressed gratitude to all the partners who have contributed to the training of the women.

Mary Cherotich, a beneficiary of the program said she was grateful to the organization for the training which has enabled her to acquire skills that she can utilize to maximise the use of a small plot of land to cultivate varied crops with minimal water usage due to low rainfall in the region.

Cherotich also divulged that they have also been trained on how to hatch eggs and they currently have 1000 eggs in an incubator, which they are eagerly waiting to hatch.

She stressed that through women-focused initiatives, with the support of Ms. Menach, they have been able to provide food for their families and educate their children.

Ms. Cherotich firmly believes that empowering women to access food and income-generating projects will alleviate thei
r economic situation.

‘With Madam Menach’s guidance, we have been trained in various income-generating activities that have significantly enhanced our living standards, and we wish to be trained more on sustainability and knowledge about savings,’ she said.

She further noted that if provided with adequate water for domestic and agricultural purposes, they can effectively utilize their land to generate income for themselves and their families.

Mr. Zakayo Kasikar, an elder in the community, was excited about the new agricultural technology, remarking that he had never seen such gardens in the region.

‘They have erected something like a staircase and planted vegetables, something which I have never seen in this area,’ he said.

He reiterated that there have been multiple occurrences of women and children in the region falling from Tuyunwo trees while collecting Sokoria leaves and wild fruits for food during drought and lauded the kitchen garden initiative, saying it could mark an end to such incidents of tra
gedies resulting from people falling from trees.

Elder Kasikar stated that when you assist a woman, it is equivalent to assisting the entire community.

He further acknowledged that when women are supported, men also benefit from the assistance.

Additionally, he noted that women tend to take what they receive home unlike men who are unlikely to do so in many cases.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Head Of Public Service Roots For Cooperation In Governance

The Head of Public Service, Felix Koskei, has emphasized on the need for global collaboration in tackling interconnected challenges, urging nations not to work in silos.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS), Kenya School of Government (KSG) 2024 conference in Mombasa, Koskei noted that collaboration is a long-term strategy to overcome common problems.

The Head of Public Service said that global problems could not be solved through fragmented efforts at the national or regional level.

‘The world is rapidly becoming interconnected and different countries, regions, and categories of the population are becoming interdependent,’ he stated.

He further underscored the value of dialogue, cooperation, and partnership for securing a sustainable future.

He also stressed the significance of institutional frameworks, communication channels, and mutual trust among stakeholders.

‘Successful collaborative initiatives require a conducive institutional envi
ronment, clear communication channels, mutual trust, and shared commitment to common goals,’ said Koskei.

He said the enhancement of skills and capabilities of public service professionals should involve various stakeholders to achieve the desired objectives.

Principal Secretary State Department for Public Service, Ministry of Public Service, Performance and Delivery Management Amos Gathecha commended IIAS for choosing Kenya as the host of the conference, signalling a significant milestone in the international discourse on governance.

He called for the revisiting of existing governance frameworks to rectify economic imbalances and inequalities among nations, setting the stage for enhanced cooperation and policy development worldwide.

The Director General of KSG Prof. Ludeki Chweya accentuated the need for inclusive development, the challenging of global norms to enhance the well-being of every segment of the society, and the creation of an enabling environment where citizens can enjoy improved livelihoods

‘It is important that society continuously challenges global models and standards to improve the welfare of all segments to create a barrier-free environment that enables all citizens to enjoy and benefit from improved livelihoods,’ said Prof. Chweya.

Industrialization, he added, is key to advancing the quality of life thus collaboration between countries is crucial.

The three-day conference was attended by over 130 delegates representing more than 40 countries. It facilitated a diverse exchange of insights and experiences related to international collaborative governance.

The sessions were structured to encourage participation and discourse. Various sub-themes, including collaboration, technology, decoloniality, and globalization were discussed.

Key concepts such as co-production in public service delivery, skills development for collaborative governance, adaptive leadership, and meaningful participation of officials from developing countries emerged as focal points of deliberation.

Discussions encom
passed the mobilization of global resources to address pressing issues such as climate change, poverty, inequality, and trade imbalance.

The conference participants commended IIAS and KSG for their pioneering efforts in pushing the boundaries of governance and public administration. They promised to implement lessons learned in their countries.

The conference adopted a comprehensive definition of collaborative governance, providing a common understanding for further deliberations. It emphasized the formal, consensus-oriented, and deliberative nature of governing arrangements involving public agencies and non-state stakeholders.

The outcomes of the conference are set to be published online and are expected to inform policy-making and administrative practices globally, contributing to enhanced cooperation among nations and international organizations.

Source: Kenya News Agency

CJ Koome Congratulates Newly Elected LSK Council Members

Chief Justice Martha Koome has congratulated the Law Society of Kenya President-Elect, Ms. Faith Odhiambo along with other LSK Council Members who were elected to steer the lawyers’ organisation for the next two years.

Koome said Ms. Odhiambo’s election marks a significant milestone as the second woman to hold the esteemed office of the President in the Law Society of Kenya’s history.

‘This is a remarkable step towards promoting inclusion and diversity in our professional organizations,’ remarked the CJ, noting that she was looking forward to working closely with Ms. Odhiambo and her Council members.

Koome who is also the President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, also congratulated Mr. Omwanza Ombati on his election as the Male Representative of Law Society of Kenya to the Judicial Service Commission.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, the CJ observed that LSK and the Judiciary have historically embraced a collaborative and consultative approach in working towards their shared objective of enhancing a
ccess to justice, improving efficiency in the system of administration of justice, and advancing the rule of law in the country.

‘Continue championing these transformative objectives,’ she urged.

CJ Koome at the same time commended all candidates who participated in the elections and advocates across the country for conducting themselves in a peaceful and orderly manner during the campaign period and election day.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Climate Change Experts Call For Sensitization

Climate change experts have called for increased sensitization of communities on climate change and its effects.

The experts, led by Professor Benard Muok, said sensitization was key in addressing climate change effects, adding that the private sector ought to make investments that generate money to address the menace.

Professor Muok, a climate change expert, said that addressing climate change requires all stakeholders’ efforts.

The Don said that funding is also an integral part of curbing the effects of climate change, despite several proposed actions by climate change experts.

‘Often people think that addressing climate change effects is the work of the government, donors, and NGOs, but we forget the most important player; the private sector,’ he said.

Professor Muok’s sentiments were echoed by Ester Mutua, a carbon market specialist, who reiterated that experts must sensitize the public as part of the solution.

They made the remarks at Tom Mboya University during the close of the second Homa Bay Cou
nty International Investment Conference.

Ms Mutua commended Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga for working with the local communities to develop carbon sinks which she said is a step towards climate stability.

Governor Wanga affirmed that her administration has established a public participation model with climate change committees, consisting of people from villages who are trained as one of the measures of curbing climate change.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Thika: Where Bicycles Are More Popular Than Motorcycle-Boda Boda

Boda bodas are a popular means of transport across Kenya and they continue to gain popularity as they can evade traffic and access places where other traditional means of transport, such as taxis and matatus, cannot.

Official data shows that the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) registered 285,203 motorcycles in 2021, compared to the 186,434 registered in 2017. During the review period, the highest growth was recorded when 356,603 motorcycles were registered.

Most people cannot imagine that bicycles are still being used as boda bodas in some Kenyan towns. However, in Thika, bicycles are a common means of transport. Walking through the town and its environs, you will see bicycles parked alongside motorcycles at the boda boda stages waiting for customers.

Kevin Maina, a bicycle taxi rider, told KNA that bicycles as a mode of transport are more popular than the regular motorcycle boda bodas as the bicycle transport business is a source of livelihood for a majority of rural people who do not have
the resources required to purchase motorcycles.

‘For men like me who do not have any other sources of income, this business enables us to earn our daily bread. Besides, commuters prefer our services due to our prices that are significantly lower than those of the regular motorcycle boda bodas and we offer more security in terms of safety,’ said Maina.

David Wanjau, a resident of Kisii Estate in Makongeni, Thika concurs that indeed bicycle taxis are safer compared to motorcycles.

‘Going by statistics, there are quite a lot of accidents that occur frequently caused by motorcycles, and for this reason, most people here prefer to be ferried by bicycles. This choice is reinforced by the belief that motorcycle operators are careless and love speeding,’ said Wanjau.

Additionally, Wanjau noted that accidents from bicycles are minimal when they do occur, and do not cause as much damage.

Charles Kimani, another bicycle taxi operator said there were places bicycles could access that motorcycles couldn’t. He also st
ated that the fare was dependent on the distance and luggage.

‘As Thika natives, we understand the terrain and we can very well access narrow routes that may not be possible for motorcycles. The fare is also dependent on the distance and luggage. We charge Sh20 for short distances but the price can go up to Sh200 for longer distances. I make between Sh400-800 on a good day,’ Kimani said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Calls To Embrace Insect Farming To End Food Security Crisis

The World Bank has encouraged farmers in Africa to take up insect farming to end the continued food security crisis and malnutrition wreaking havoc on the continent.

Chief Agricultural Economist for Africa, Dr. Dorte Verner said only 850 farmers in 16 countries in the continent rear insects, a huge concern given the severity of the food crisis in the region. Kenya has only 17 such farmers.

According to World Bank estimates, insect farming will be a multi-billion-dollar market estimated at around US $8 billion by 2030. Besides, they provide food, animal feed, create jobs, diversify livelihoods, and improve nutrition.

Addressing stakeholders during an Insect for Green Economy conference at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Dr. Dorte termed the venture lucrative due to the huge demand for insect blended food saying farmers record total returns in initial capital invested in only 127 days.

She cited black soldier fly, mealworm, crickets, and desert locusts as some of the insects
whose farming has gained momentum in the region.

‘With 70 percent of the world’s arable land being used for feed farming, there is an urgency to move to insect farming which offers consistent supply throughout the year. Africa faces a huge food security crisis and thus the need to complement the food crop farming with that of insects,’ she said.

‘This creates a circular economy where the already produced household waste is fed to the insects and because of their ferocious appetite they can repurpose it to fertilizer to be used in farming and proteins, fats, and oils for human consumption,’ she added.

She at the same time added that insect farming has the potential to create 15 million jobs in Africa meeting 75 percent of the required direct and indirect jobs.

Deputy Director State Department of Agriculture Teresia Karanja encouraged local farmers to embrace this type of farming due to the dwindling sizes of arable land.

She said insect farming has the potential to help transform the country’s agriculture
agenda adding that the government will continue supporting the farmers through inputs and market linkages.

The Director called on researchers to help in coming up with new mass breeds and better ways of rearing insects to help farmers who have invested in this sector.

‘There is a need for extensive research on technologically advanced areas such as selective breeding. We also need to continuously raise awareness to investors, farmers, suppliers, and consumers on this new form of farming,’ said Karanja.

Source: Kenya News Agency

NGO Out To Link PWDs To Empowerment Opportunities

A non-governmental organization, Northern Nomadic Disabled Persons Organization (NONDO), has rolled out plans to link people with disabilities (PWDs) to empowerment opportunities in government and donor agencies to improve their livelihoods.

Through sensitization and awareness creation of opportunities from government agencies such as the county revolving fund, the uwezo and youth funds, the women enterprise fund and the Inua Jamii programs, the NGO is seeking to help the PWDs with information and ease the process for them to access the services.

Speaking in Garissa today during a meeting that brought together a section of these agencies and the people living with disabilities in the county, NONDOs team leader in Garissa Fatuma Mohamed said that most PWDs were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and that they saw a need to help them recover by connecting them to information on funding and government tenders.

Fatuma revealed that there has been a gap in disseminating information to people with disabilities th
us locking them out from applying for opportunities that could improve their lives and called for more media sensitization to reach all of them.

‘We realized that when COVID-19 hit, the most affected people were PWDs and their livelihoods were affected. So we thought that there could be government interventions and we sought to find out how the PWDs could find these opportunities,’ Fatuma said.

‘We found out there were barriers which were keeping PWDs from these opportunities and today we have brought together the government officials of the relevant agencies to better explain to the PWDs how better to access these openings and we are glad that the information is now out and the people will be well guided,’ she added.

Fatuma further asked officials to always help the PWDs seeking services with the technicalities of the forms, especially those seeking funding or tenders to boost their income.

Garissa County CECM for Gender, Culture, Youth and Sports Hawa Abdi Sahal said that the county administration in su
pport of PWDs had created a whole directorate headed by a Chief Officer for people with disability affairs which will help in empowering them.

The CECM further revealed that the PWDs in the county have been receiving wheelchairs, and business startup tools such as tailoring machines, salon and haircut kits to help them run business and generate an income.

A section of the PWDs we spoke to during the session was satisfied with the information shared and promised to form groups to access the financing through the government affirmative action programs funding.

Source: Kenya News Agency