Firm Offers Solutions On Management Of Small-Scale Tea Farms


Agriland Solution has introduced various strategies to increase tea production and maximize returns for small scale farmers in Murang’a.

The company has brought on board a section of farmers drawn from several tea factories in the county to help them in tea picking, thus increasing production of green leaf.

The firm has opted to employ the strategies after a big number of small scale tea farmers decried reduced returns, occasioned by high levies charged on harvesting of green leaf.

Currently, tea pickers charge Sh12 per kilo, a price the farmers claim is too high based on the size of their farms.

Many times, tea pickers avoid small scale farms since they can’t offer continuous work that can last for at least six days.

Since September last year, Agriland Solutions has been providing tea pickers and paying them on behalf of the registered farmer on weekly basis.

The company’s CEO Sam Muiruri said his firm, which is an agent in the tea sector, has come to rescue tea farmers from high cost of production and
help them maximize returns from their produce.

He noted that they also work with large scale farmers by providing them with qualified tea pickers and in the management of harvested green leaf.

Miururi disclosed that currently they have entered into partnership with farmers drawn from Ngeere, Ikumbi, Makomboki and Njunu tea factories.

The CEO explained that farmers will only have to pay 7.5 percent of their proceeds to the company that will be deducted from their monthly payments, with its pilot phase indicating that farm yields have increased by about 50 percent.

The CEO further noted the company has a team of agronomists who visit individual farms ensuring tea pickers are working as they should and that farms are well maintained.

‘In farms where production of green leaf is low, we do soil tests and farmers are appropriately advised on what to do in order to increase harvests.

‘Those in need of farm inputs such as manure among other farm inputs, have to make a request and the company sources for them an
d delivers at a small price,’ he added.

Muiriru confirmed that the tea pickers have to adhere to the policies of the firm, ensuring they maintain high discipline and stemming theft of green leaf.

‘There have been numerous cases of theft of green leaf both at the farms and in tea buying centres that have been blamed on tea pickers.

We have a system that tea pickers have to use while selling their tea at the buying centres and it cannot allow one to sell for two different numbers,’ he said, explaining that each registered tea farmer has a number issued by their tea factory and which they use to sell their tea.

The CEO observed that a big number of tea farmers have been facing the challenge of heavy debts that they incur as they juggle between tending to their farms and supporting their families.

‘But now the farmers will have the freedom to diversify their farming activities and earn more income while receiving more returns from their tea farms,’ he observed.

One of the local farmers, Florence Githinji re
vealed that since she joined the company in October 2023, she has witnessed increased earnings from her small tea farm.

‘Agriland has managed my small farm well and tea production has increased. My tea no longer goes bad on the farms. We are delighted as farmers because we can now focus on other activities,’ she said.

Samuel Kirubi, another farmer, said even tea pickers are happy with the new management of their farms as they are paid their dues without delays.

Previously, he noted, he would get money from his dairy returns and plough them into his tea farm, making it difficult to support his family.

Source: Kenya News Agency

NDF member appears in court for allegedly raping minor at Grootfontein

OTJIWARONGO: A member of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) at Grootfontein has appeared in court on charges of rape and assault through threatening after he allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl.

The 42-year-old Martin Hangula made his first court appearance before magistrate Boniface Konga and was denied bail when he appeared in court last week.

Hangula was accompanied by his private lawyer, Bernard Tjatjara who represented him, while prosecutor Wendy Nkando appeared for the State.

Nkando strongly objected to the granting of bail to the accused, citing the seriousness of the matter as well as the fact that police investigations are in the initial stages. She told the court that Hangula, who is also a businessman at Grootfontein, might interfere and jeopardise the police investigations if he is to be released on bail at this stage.

Nkando added that the 15-year-old girl is a minor who is in Grade 10 at Grootfontein. She said the girl is highly vulnerable and could be persuaded by the accused to withdraw the c
ase once he is out on bail.

Hangula allegedly raped the girl at his flat last month. He reportedly threatened her and told her to not tell anyone or report the matter to the police, or he would shoot her.

Hangula was arrested at Grootfontein last Wednesday and his case was postponed to 23 April 2024 to allow for police investigations.

He however on Monday through his lawyer applied for a bail hearing on the matter. He is remanded in police custody at the Grootfontein Police Station holding cells.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Two men nabbed for alleged possession of cannabis at Karasburg

ROSH PINAH: Two men aged 39 and 49 years are expected to appear in the Karasburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday after they were allegedly found in possession of Cannabis worth over N.dollars 300 000.

According to a crime report issued on Sunday by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s, crime investigations coordinator for ||Kharas region, Deputy Commissioner, Nikodemus Mbango on Sunday, the suspects were arrested on Friday around 02h00 at the southern town.

‘An intelligence led operation pertaining to drugs was conducted by Ariamsvlei and Karasburg police officers and about 1km outside Karasburg, the vehicle in which the suspects were travelling was stopped. However, the driver tried to drive off, but police managed to stop them from fleeing,’ he said.

One of the suspects allegedly jumped out of the vehicle in attempt to flee, throwing a big parcel out of the vehicle in the process. The parcel was found to contain 7 815 grams of cannabis, with an estimated street value of N.dollars 309 750.

The men each face
one count of dealing in illicit drugs.

In a separate incident, a 23-year-old man is expected to appear in the same court on Monday after he was allegedly found in possession of 1990 grams of Cannabis worth N.dollars 99 500.

The deputy commissioner said the man was arrested on Friday morning around 10h00 at his residence at Ariamslvei.

In another incident, NamPol at Karasburg are investigating a case of culpable homicide after a 25-year-old man was hit and killed by a vehicle some nine kilometers outside the southern town.

The deceased has been identified as Roberto Petrus Kooper, who’s next of kin have been informed of his death.

Kooper was allegedly struck by the vehicle at around 03h30 on the Karasburg/Grnau road. The driver of the vehicle, who faces a charge of culpable homicide once located, allegedly fled the scene after the incident.

Meanwhile, a 90-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at Noordoewer on Saturday, after his body was found hanging from the roof of his room with
a black belt around his neck at around 09h00 on Saturday.

The incident happened at the Paaiekamp residential area at the border town and no foul play is suspected.

In a separate incident at Lderitz a teenage boy who was being held in custody allegedly attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself in a cell. According to Mbango, the incident occurred at around 17h00 on Saturday, however, police officers on duty discovered him hanging from a blanket strap and cut him down while still conscious.

Mbango further said the boy was taken to the Lderitz hospital for observation, while a social worker has referred his case to a to a psychologist.

Last week the teenager escaped from custody and was rearrested on Friday.

Police investigations in all matters continue.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Ministry urges public to guard against illegal land deals

ONYAANYA: The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has issued a warning to the public regarding the illegal buying and selling of communal land adjacent to the B1 road in the Oshikoto and Oshana regions.

The ministry’s spokesperson, Simon Nghipandulwa, made the remarks in an interview with Nampa on Monday following reports from concerned citizens regarding unauthorised land transactions along the B1 road.

He urged the public to report any suspicious activities related to land deals to the ministry.

According to Nghipandulwa, investigations have revealed the involvement of community members from areas surrounding Omuthiya, Oniipa, Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati, as well as villages along the B1 road between Ongwediva and Ondangwa, in illegal land transactions.

‘Several individuals have fallen prey to these illegal actions,’ Nghipandulwa stated.

He said it is crucial for the public to understand that land within town boundaries falls under the jurisdiction of the respective council.

‘Communal
land cannot be sold as freehold land to any individual as per Section 42 of the Communal Land Reform Act, 2002 (Act No. 5 of 2002),’ Nghipandulwa emphasised.

He further urged the public to adhere to the correct procedures for acquiring communal land.

‘Individuals should first identify the desired land portion with the village headman or woman of the respective traditional authority. Subsequently, land parcel boundaries should be identified and collectively defined with neighbouring landholders,’ he advised.

He added that applicants should complete a prescribed form and submit it, along with an application fee of N.dollars 25, to the traditional authority.

Following this, the ministry should be contacted to verify and map the identified land parcel. ‘A seven-day notice should then be displayed at the traditional authority office to allow for objections from community members. The application should be ratified by the respective Communal Land Board for approval and registration of the land right,’ Nghipandu
lwa explained.

Upon approval, customary land right certificates will be issued to the respective traditional authority, and applicants must pay a certificate fee of N.dollars 50 to the traditional authority upon collection of the land right certificate.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

State Acquires 430 Wagons To Streamline Freight Services


The government has commissioned 430 new wagons to improve efficiency in the country’s freight services.

The arrival of the wagons will also bolster the clearance of a backlog of 100,000 tonnes comprised of steel pellets and coils and other loose cargo at the port of Mombasa.

Speaking in Mombasa during the commissioning exercise, State Department for Transport PS Mohamed Daghar said the wagons will enhance capacity of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) by gradually replacing the current wagons that are over 40 years old.

The wagons are of different specifications and have additional safety features. They can carry double-stuck containers and have a load capacity of 70 and 64 tonnes on SGR and MGR respectively.

The last consignment of 20 wagons is set to arrive in May, bringing the total number of wagons acquired this year to 500, where 300 wagons will be for SGR and 200 are for MGR.

In January this year, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen flagged off 50 wagons.


It’s really important to increase efficiency at the Port of Mombasa and one way of increasing efficiency is to ensure that the dwell time and ensure both containerised and conventional cargo is discharged efficiently and quickly,’ said Daghar, while speaking at the Portreitz Freight Station.

The PS noted that the best way to discharge bulk cargo like steel pellets and coils is by using the train system whether it is the SGR or MGR.

He said the government is determined to continue serving the neighbouring land-locked countries through efficient rail transport for both containerised and conventional cargo.

Transport PS Mohamed Daghar flags off 430 new wagons for freight services at Port Reitz Freight station, Mombasa.

Daghar also said the government is keen to ensure that the northern corridor that starts at the Port of Mombasa to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo remains competitive and efficient.

‘We want a situation where Kenya Railways will be scavenging for cont
ainers. We want to ensure that our yards efficiently transport all the cargo from the port of Mombasa to reduce our dwell time to two days or less,’ said Daghar.

The government has also rehabilitated the entire MGR line in the country, but a small section is left between Voi and Taveta that connects with the Northern part of Tanzania.

The PS revealed that the State Department of Transport through the National Land Commission has already acquired 1.4 kilometres of land that had halted rehabilitation of the MGR line in Mombasa that will link the central railway station and the SGR terminus in Miritini.

When the project is completed in May, passengers using the Madaraka Express passenger service train and the seven stations along the SGR arriving or departing from Mombasa can use the MGR line.

Meanwhile, four mini-stations are under construction in Changamwe East, Changamwe West, Miritini, and Shimanzi to enhance commuter movement for Mombasa residents, who will have an alternative mode of transport, thus ea
sing pressure on road transport.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Nakuru County Creating Awareness On PWDs


The County Government of Nakuru has partnered with a United Kingdom (UK) based group to raise awareness on the need to support Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the area.

The county Chief officer for Youth and Sports Alex Maina said they have joined forces with Paul Lindo Hood from Brecon Group in the UK to raise a month-long awareness on the inclusivity of PWDs.

Maina underscored the need to leverage mainstream and social media to ensure widespread recognition of PWDs’ efforts.

Speaking during an initiative meeting held at Nakuru County Empowerment Centre in Bondeni, the Chief Officer said the one-month initiative will culminate in a Para volley tournament kicking off in mid-March for the Southern Region themed ‘Disability Is Not Inability,’ organized by a Mau Based Community Based Organization (MBCBO) and the Nakuru County government.

On his part, Hood said the aim of the Brecon Group from Wales in the UK was to improve health, education and alleviate poverty through inspiring the PWDs in sports and s
chooling aided by voluntary supporters.

He noted that there are many challenges that disabled people face such as lack of education, employment, poverty, stigmatization, transport and negative attitudes from the general public.

However, Hood said all those trials would easily be overcome through sensitization and uplifting of their living standards.

The Chief Officer said the county disability fund has empowered the PWDs through purchase and distribution of mobility and assistive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches and hearing aids, as well as monetary grants to registered groups.

According to the 2020 Kenyan Population Report, 918,270 people aged 5 years and older live with a disability, accounting to 1.95 percent of the total population.

However, despite the 2010 constitution guaranteeing them 5 percent of jobs in the public sector, the high number of school dropouts due to poverty has denied them the golden chance of being employed secured in the laws.

The chairman of PWDs in the county Joseph Ogut
u said the worst mistake parents make is not supporting their disabled children with the best education, since the chances of them getting employed once they acquire skills is assured and pledged in the constitution.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Three Reformed Addicts’ Team Up To Fight Drug And Substance Abuse Menace


Towards the end of 2016, Administration Police Officer Stephen Muturi Hinga started experiencing agonizing headaches which he initially thought were driven by the change of environment as he had just been transferred from Marsabit to Nakuru County.

Though he visited the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital and was put on medication, the throbbing headaches persisted for several months.

Things came to a head on the morning of December 27, 2016, when Constable Hinga who had been assigned duties at the Bahati police camp’s motor vehicle workshop unexpectedly lost his eyesight.

Though the now panic-stricken Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) officer raised a distress call to his fellow officers telling them he had lost his eyesight they at first dismissed it as a joke. Nonetheless, to Hinga it was the day he began the journey of darkness.

He was referred to Kikuyu Hospital for a CT scan. The scan showed that he had a brain tumuor, marking the beginning of a life full of anxiety, tribulation, and hopelessne
ss.

Mr. Hinga was later flown to India where the tumuor was removed but he never regained his eyesight. The police officer boldly confesses that doctors in Kenya and India traced his condition to a marijuana smoking habit that he had picked while in primary school at the age of 11 years.

‘Though marijuana has been variously touted as a herb with medicinal values, new studies including the one conducted by the University of California’s School of Medicine have suggested that using the narcotic drug can accelerate the development of certain types of cancers,’ explains the cop.

Mr. Hinga states that his doctors informed him that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main ingredient that causes euphoria and changed behaviour in bhang users can speed up the growth of head and neck tumuors.

THC is at least one of the 13 cannabinoids identified in the marijuana-scientific name- cannabis sativa- which can cause changes in the user including appetite, heightened sensory perception, relaxation, impaired memory, blood pre
ssure as well as impaired concentration and coordination.

The policeman however counts himself lucky for getting a second lease on life after he was enrolled in rehabilitation and training at the Kenya Society for the Blind by the National Police Service which he says helped him overcome the denial stage and accept his new situation but admits that adjusting to the new reality was difficult.

The father of three says his new condition ushered in a new chapter in life- that of campaigning against drug and substance abuse among the youth.

Seated next to Hinga is 50-year-old Joseph Kimondo Kimani who is equally blind.

When he visited an illicit brew den at Kabatini village three years ago in the company of a friend, Mr Kimani had no inkling the worst would befall him.

The events of that fateful Sunday afternoon will remain etched in his mind forever.

Mr. Kimani says that he and his friend ordered their ‘favourite brand’ and enjoyed it as they chatted away the evening.

After he had enough, he started experi
encing an excruciating headache and stomach pains and hastily left for his home. On arrival, he retired to bed and when he woke up in the morning, he realized he had a blurred vision.

His neighbours rushed him to Bahati Health Center where he was immediately put on drip because he was dehydrated from a running stomach. That is how he survived but he eventually completely lost his sight before being discharged from the health facility.

Kimani is lucky to be alive as most of his friends who patronized the den that day died at their respective homes. He is now an avowed crusader against alcohol consumption in the Sub-County.

In the same room Allan Wachira, 44, a recovering alcoholic, opens up about his long and windy journey to hell and back for the sake of every person battling the shackles of alcoholism.

Wachira’s relationship with alcohol started in his teenage years. It brought untold pleasure, excitement, and relief at first. Little did he know that he had started on a path that would lead to over two d
ecades of alcoholism.

A Jacaranda Primary School teacher reveals that he stepped into a relationship, which he thought was promising and would end up in marriage. He was 25. However, the relationship could not be sustained due to his alcoholism. He broke up and this affected him so much that he got into depression.

As a response, Wachira confesses that he engaged in excessive drinking.

The teacher reveals that it came to a point where he could no longer hide his condition and started drinking openly, sometimes sleeping on the streets or in clubs. Wachira vividly recalls that his parents and other family members tried to help him but in vain. He ruefully adds that he couldn’t keep any friends as everyone avoided him.

In 2023, he reflected on his life and realized that he was wasting himself.

‘I had a job but could not save even a cent. From the time I got out of college in 2001, I got a well-paying job but I spent all my salary on alcohol. I realized I had destroyed my life, I had nothing, not even clothe
s. I decided it was time to change.

Constable Hinga, Messrs Kimani, and Wachira are driven by unity of purpose. They engage students and youth and have discussions on the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse. The trio uses their experiences to tell the youth about what happens when one becomes a drug addict.

This way, Constable Hinga adds, they have seen a positive change in over 3,000 students. They also hold motivational talks in other schools.

‘We tell the youth that bad company corrupts good behaviour. We always remind them to avoid bad company as much as possible. Walk with people who will shape your life positively. Peer pressure has destroyed many lives’, offers the police officer.

As the three conclude their tales of difficult journeys they have traveled, barely 100 meters away, parents and religious leaders embark on a ‘crisis’ meeting at a nearby chief’s camp over increased consumption of illicit brews and narcotic substances in the Country.

As they weigh on the subject, bearing in mind what
is happening to the country’s youth, they affirm that the time has now come for a fundamental change in attitude by all Kenyans and acknowledgment of the pervasive and pernicious role drug and alcohol abuse play in the country.

The parents through their spokesman Mr Peter Tena say alcohol and drug abuse pose a threat to national security. They call for concerted efforts between law enforcement agents, community leaders, and religious fraternities to eliminate drug and substance abuse across the country.

Mr. Tena regrets that consumption of bhang (cannabis sativa) in Kenya has risen by 90 per cent in the last five years, becoming a major concern.

‘Based on the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) 2023 report nearly a million Kenyans are using cannabis sativa; that is, one in every 53 people is using this drug in the country,’ he indicates

According to Mr. Tena drug abuse ranks third after terrorism and armed banditry as a threat to national security.

‘We cannot overl
ook the impact that substance and drug abuse have on our society. We must focus on eliminating drugs to safeguard our national security,’ he says.

He calls for deeper collaboration between the Ministry of Interior, the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada), and county governments in strengthening the collective fight against drugs and substance abuse in a bid to expand treatment and rehabilitation services.

Mr. Tena points an accusing finger at gluttonous cartels who he claims are operating with the full knowledge of some unscrupulous state agents tasked with ensuring drinks are safe, fueling the trade in lethal alcoholic beverages.

‘For lives to be lost and alcohol addiction to grow day by day, it means somebody somewhere is not doing their work since we have policies in place and institutions are well staffed. Somebody must take responsibility,’ he demands.

He wants the Kenya Revenue Authority and law enforcement agents to investigate the origin of poisonous ingredi
ents used to manufacture lethal brews and alleges that some of the substances were being sneaked into the country from a neighbouring state.

Mr Tena also urges the Court system to issue stringent bail terms and deterrent fines to offenders contravening the provisions of these laws to completely eradicate and discourage illicit brew consumption.

‘Some dealers of killer brews had walked scot-free after being slapped with fines as low as Sh 10,000 after pleading guilty to the offense. We need to have strict laws and deterrent fines that will ensure the complete eradication of illicit brew consumption in the country,’

He urges members of the public to exercise vigilance and caution while purchasing and consuming alcoholic drinks and desisting from excessive consumption of alcohol.

According to Reverend Harrison Mwangi who is representing the religious fraternity, second-generation alcohol brewers and sellers are running genuine traders out of business and denying the government revenue as they don’t pay taxes
.

Reverend Mwangi regrets that the illegal substances are causing havoc in the community and even leading to the death of mostly young consumers.

‘We are right behind the government in the war against the manufacture and sale of these drinks which have caused a lot of pain among families. We are also parents and hence concerned by the unhealthy alcoholic substances being sold,’ He states.

He urges Kenyans to contact the Anti-Counterfeits Authority (ACA), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS) for appropriate action if they suspect an alcohol outlet is selling counterfeit products.

Reverend Mwangi calls on liquor manufacturers to monitor their products in the market in a move aimed at exposing killer brews.

‘Looking at the pattern of illicit alcohol trading and looking at how widely it is spread, there is absolutely no doubt there is a heavy cartel in operation. To move such volumes of illicit alcoholic drinks requires a lot of planning, coordination, concealment, and so on. Th
ere is a cartel and a huge one. We need to reform our institutions massively and a coordinated approach by all relevant agencies to defeat these cartels,’ he observes.

Speaking on behalf of women, Ms Wanjiru Mburu calls for the weeding out of rogue law enforcement agencies from the police, national government offices, Nacada, and others.

She alleges that illegal traders import and successfully clear methanol disguised as ethanol by carefully deleting the letter ‘M’ from the container so that the products appear to be ethanol.

Ms Mburu regrets that many youths have been destroyed by drugs and alcohol saying that it is easier to build a boy than to repair a man.

She says that the police are sometimes frustrated in discharging their duty and calls for a multi-agency approach to the matter.

‘When they are called because of an alcohol-related case they sometimes find that the bar is duly licensed by the county government and therefore it would be useless to take such a person to the court. Then the few who ar
e arrested with opening bars before time and such like offenses are released on ridiculous cash bail terms,’ Ms Mburu notes.

She urges the county government to have a clear record of the licensed bars.

Source: Kenya News Agency

NCCK Empowers Peace Actors To Tackle Insecurity In Kerio Valley


To promote peace and stability in the North Rift region, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has taken a significant stride by empowering 30 peace actors with essential skills.

The training is aimed at equipping them with the ability to identify threats to peace, comprehend the underlying causes of insecurity, and devise practical solutions.

The 30 selected peace actors from Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, and Baringo Counties, have been entrusted with the crucial task of promoting peace along the Kerio Valley belt. The initiative aims to mitigate conflicts that have plagued the region for years.

During a comprehensive 2-day training session held in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, the peace actors delved into the complexities of the region’s socio-political landscape.

They identified the scramble for diminishing natural resources, exacerbated by the adverse impacts of climate change, as the primary driver of conflict and insecurity in the Kerio Valley belt.

The Chief Officer, Peace and Disaster M
anagement Elgeyo Marakwet Lawrence Mutwol noted that the peace actors would enhance the peace at the grassroots level, terming it a welcome initiative.

Speaking about the initiative, one of the trained peace actors Ronald Rotich emphasized the importance of grassroots involvement in resolving the region’s security challenges.

‘Our mandate is not just to receive training but to actively engage our communities,’ Rotich stated.

‘By sensitizing the public and fostering dialogue, we aim to find sustainable solutions to the issues plaguing our region,’ he added.

The trained peace actors have been tasked with organizing public sensitization forums within their respective wards. These forums will serve as platforms for community members to voice their concerns and contribute to developing viable solutions. Through these grassroots engagements, the initiative seeks to address insecurity from the ground up.

Furthermore, the communities will compile and present memoranda to relevant authorities, urging concrete act
ions to tackle critical issues related to peace, climate change, and governance in the region. The aim is to prompt tangible responses from duty-bearers and pave the way for lasting peace and stability in the Kerio Valley.

The training initiative and subsequent community engagements comprise the broader ‘Dumisha Amani Bonde la Kerio’ (Maintain Peace in the Kerio Valley) programme.

The programme is being implemented in collaboration with Tetra Tech International Development Services, reflecting a concerted effort to address the multifaceted challenges facing the region.

Source: Kenya News Agency

KWS Employs Technology To End Human-Wildlife Conflicts


Kenya Wildlife Service in Taita Taveta County has employed innovation and the use of technology in tracking wildlife movements to curb human-wildlife conflicts that have been rampant in the region in the recent past.

Speaking on Sunday at the Tsavo Conservation Area Headquarters in Voi during the commemoration of the 2024 World Wildlife Day celebrated on the third day of March every year themed: ‘Connecting People and Planet, Exploring Innovation in Conservation’, the Assistant Director in charge of Community Wildlife Service Josphat Erupe assured that KWS is up to the task of minimizing instances of beast versus human conflicts.

He noted that they have implemented technologies to save wildlife, including tracking gadgets for elephants and drones to monitor and locate wild animals.

‘The main objective of this move is to provide support to our people to prevent the damage to properties, injury, and loss of lives,’ said Erupe.

Further, he said, as a way to curb human-wildlife conflicts, KWS has also formed
youth groups that are tasked with linking communities with area wardens in case of stray wild animals, a move that ensures timely responses.

He stated through these efforts and in partnership with the devolved units, Community-Based Organisations (CBOs), and members of the public, communities in disturbed areas like Mwambiti, Kajire, Sagala, and Kasigau have barred elephants from encroaching, creating a buffer zone and allowing residents to have a bumper harvest this season.

‘This is a day-to-day challenge which the KWS or county government cannot handle on their own. This is why we are employing a multi-agency approach to address these issues. We will work with both private and public entities to ensure everything works the right way for the benefit of our people,’ he added.

He stated that the use of technology in conservation is one of the long-term measures to reverse the menace caused by wild animals and at the same time saving the agency millions of shillings used as compensation fees to victims affec
ted as a result of human-wildlife conflicts.

Assistant County Commissioner James Ole Seneyia highlighted the need for wildlife and humans to coexist stating that wildlife contributes to foreign currency and livelihoods.

On his part, the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Water, Sanitation, Environment, Climate Change, and Natural Resources Grantone Mwandawiro reiterated the county’s commitment to partnering with both the national government and KWS in ensuring lasting solutions to human-wildlife conflicts which would consequently ensure coexistence between the residents and wildlife.

Mwandawiro emphasized the importance of dialogue in ensuring the benefit-sharing of Tsavo National Park royalties.

‘The Constitution allows for the national government and county government to have meaningful discourse to ensure the realisation of the 50-50 revenue sharing model from the park, a vital natural resource occupying 62 percent of our land,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Mwandawiro noted that climate chan
ge remained a significant threat in the fight against human-wildlife conflicts.

The CEC however stated that to offer a solution, together with KWS, they were working with the Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF) to build water pans in the extremity of conservation areas to reduce these conflicts.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Two men nabbed for alleged possession of cannabis at KarasburgAgoro Sare, Ngiya Girls Lift Eliud Owalo Foundation Secondary Schools Basketball Title

ROSH PINAH: Two men aged 39 and 49 years are expected to appear in the Karasburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday after they were allegedly found in possession of Cannabis worth over N.dollars 300 000.

According to a crime report issued on Sunday by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s, crime investigations coordinator for ||Kharas region, Deputy Commissioner, Nikodemus Mbango on Sunday, the suspects were arrested on Friday around 02h00 at the southern town.

‘An intelligence led operation pertaining to drugs was conducted by Ariamsvlei and Karasburg police officers and about 1km outside Karasburg, the vehicle in which the suspects were travelling was stopped. However, the driver tried to drive off, but police managed to stop them from fleeing,’ he said.

One of the suspects allegedly jumped out of the vehicle in attempt to flee, throwing a big parcel out of the vehicle in the process. The parcel was found to contain 7 815 grams of cannabis, with an estimated street value of N.dollars 309 750.

The men each face
one count of dealing in illicit drugs.

In a separate incident, a 23-year-old man is expected to appear in the same court on Monday after he was allegedly found in possession of 1990 grams of Cannabis worth N.dollars 99 500.

The deputy commissioner said the man was arrested on Friday morning around 10h00 at his residence at Ariamslvei.

In another incident, NamPol at Karasburg are investigating a case of culpable homicide after a 25-year-old man was hit and killed by a vehicle some nine kilometers outside the southern town.

The deceased has been identified as Roberto Petrus Kooper, who’s next of kin have been informed of his death.

Kooper was allegedly struck by the vehicle at around 03h30 on the Karasburg/Grnau road. The driver of the vehicle, who faces a charge of culpable homicide once located, allegedly fled the scene after the incident.

Meanwhile, a 90-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at Noordoewer on Saturday, after his body was found hanging from the roof of his room with
a black belt around his neck at around 09h00 on Saturday.

The incident happened at the Paaiekamp residential area at the border town and no foul play is suspected.

In a separate incident at Lderitz a teenage boy who was being held in custody allegedly attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself in a cell. According to Mbango, the incident occurred at around 17h00 on Saturday, however, police officers on duty discovered him hanging from a blanket strap and cut him down while still conscious.

Mbango further said the boy was taken to the Lderitz hospital for observation, while a social worker has referred his case to a to a psychologist.

Last week the teenager escaped from custody and was rearrested on Friday.

Police investigations in all matters continue.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Agoro Sare High School from Homa Bay County is the winner of the inaugural Eliud Owalo basketball tournament played in Kisumu over the weekend.

The team trounced Nyanza basketball champions Anjiko Boys by 55-29 points to lift the boys’ title which was hotly contested.

Maseno School beat Nyanchwa Boys by 37-27 points in the third-position playoff played at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Sports Grounds in Kisumu.

In the girls’ category, Nyiya Girls from Siaya County were crowned winners after beating Tuk Jowi Girls from Migori County by 65-38 points.

The tournament sponsored by the Eliud Owalo Foundation brought together 26 teams from Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, and Nyamira Counties with a total of 390 players participating.

The winners were awarded trophies, uniforms, and cash prizes with all participating teams taking home Sh 20, 000 and Sh500 airtime for each player.

Information, Communication and the Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo who is the patron of the foundation said the tournam
ent targets to scout and nurture talent to restore the region’s past glory in the sport.

Nyanza region, he said produced some of the country’s prolific basketball players adding that through the tournament which shall be played annually, the foundation and partners will identify, nurture, and support upcoming players to play in top-tier leagues.

Scouts from the Kenya Academy of Sports and the Kenya Basketball Federation, he added have identified the best players in the tournament whom he said will constitute a team for Nyanza to play in the top-flight basketball league.

The tournament comes barely two months after a successful football tournament organized by the foundation in December last year.

The CS said the initiative shall be extended to cover other disciplines to help scout and nurture talent across the board.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Langat And Jepnge’tich Wins Betika Kapsabet 15km Road Race


Bernard Langat and Judith Jepng’etich were crowned the winners of the Betika Kapsabet 15km Road Race held in Nandi County on Sunday.

Langat who trains in Keringet, Nakuru County set the course record with a time of 44:13.7 to win the men’s category followed by Kiprotich Langat who timed 44:26.9 while the third position went to Felix Kirui from Baringo County.

Speaking after winning the race, Langat who has never competed in any marathon race said he was happy to have emerged as the winner adding that he would now concentrate on working hard to ensure he wins future races.

‘I am so happy with the results. It is a good preparation ground for future races. The training that I have been doing contributed greatly to my success,’ he said.

Kiprotich who came in second place said the race was tough but he enjoyed the course adding that it was not easy to compete in Kenya because everyone is good and talented.

‘I thank God for the second position and I believe next time things will work out better. This was my fi
rst race and I have gained a lot of experience,’ he said.

In the women’s category, Jepng’etich who has been training in Nyahururu and later changed her base to Iten in Elgeyo Marakwet, broke the tape winning the race with a time of 50:45.1 followed by Janeth Jepkosgei at 51:02.0 while the third position went to Joan Jepkosgei who clicked 51:24.2

Jepng’etich too said she has never participated in a 15km road race apart from a 5,000m race adding that the race has motivated her to stick to marathon.

‘The race was tough but I thank God for the victory. I believe this win will open new avenues for me,’ she said

Betika Managing Director Mutua Mutava said they would continue supporting upcoming athletes through such races which give them a chance to showcase their talent.

‘Betika na community’ is about going to the grassroots. There is a lot of talent which is not tapped at the grassroots. Many people organise races with champions but we are doing it differently. We pick people with different talents who have n
o opportunities in counties and uplift them,’ he said.

The winners received Sh250,000 while second and third-place finishers pocketed Sh150,000 and Sh100,000 respectively.

The fourth and fifth-place finishers went home with Sh.50,000 and Sh.40,000 respectively while the sixth to tenth-place finishers in both the men’s and women’s categories got Sh20,000.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Robber Chanties extend their advantage after weekend triumphs

OPUWO: Khorixas-based Robber Chanties FC collected a maximum of six points over the weekend to expand the margin at the top of the Kunene Football League standings to four points.

Robber Chanties, one of Kunene’s oldest and most successful clubs, have been toying with their opponents this season after winning all six of their opening games, scoring 23 goals and conceding only four. They lead the league with 18 points.

They outclassed their long-time rival Kunene NamPol FC on Sunday at the Herbert Conradie Stadium in Khorixas in a game that ended 2-1 in their favour, following Saturday’s victory against Opuwo-based Okarindi Komutati with two goals to one.

Other Saturday matches featured Green Dangers defeating Pubs FC 7-2 in Kamanjab. At the same time, Okaukuejo’s Etosha United crushed Khorixas Football Academy 5-0.

Before their loss to Robber Chanties, Kunene NamPol earned three points by defeating Gariseb Orlando Pirates 1-0 at Khorixas. Young Eagles also won 1-0 against Sixty Eleven FC, while Khaibasen
and !Ugab FC drew one-all on Saturday.

On Sunday, Khaibasen gained three points over Sixty Eleven in a 1-0 victory, Young Eagles and !Ugab drew one apiece, while Green Dangers lost 1-0 to Khorixas FA at home.

Gariseb Orlando Pirates, who are yet to find their footing, suffered another humiliating setback on Sunday when they were smashed by Okarindi Komutati in their own home, resulting in a 6-1 thriller in favour of the Opuwo-based team. Etosha United gained a point at home after a 2-2 draw with Pubs.

With just six games played, Robber Chanties are the only unbeaten team in the league, with 18 points at the top of the log ranking, followed by Khaibasen with 14 points after four wins and two draws. Young Eagles and Green Dangers are third and fourth, respectively, with 10 points. Etosha United, Okarindi Komutati, and Khorixas FA all have nine points, ranking fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.

Kunene NamPol are ranked ninth with seven points, followed by !Ugab with six points. Sixty-Eleven and Pubs FC
are tied on four points in 10th and 11th place. Gariseb Orlando Pirates, yet to secure a win after five defeats and a tie, are in the relegation zone with one point.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

CP3 Stakeholders To Scale Up Their Services To A New Sub County In Narok


Community epidemic pandemic preparedness programme (CP3) stakeholders plan to scale up their services to the new Trans Mara West sub county in Narok.

Dr. Francis Kiio, the director of Public health Narok County said scaling up of these services will support the communities to be able to prepare, detect and manage public health threats.

Kiio also said the programme will support the government and other partners in strengthening one health approach and save the communities.

The Red Cross county coordinator, Elijah Wachira, noted that the programme will support in the sustainability of the status; shared border between Migori and Kisii counties which reports incidences of Zoonosis including rabies and Anthrax.

Wachira also said the programme will also help in addressing the solid waste management issues associated with sugar planting.

The programme will benefit the community through economic empowerment and over 200 Communuity Health Promoters will be trained.

Additionally, the Director of Disaster Managem
ent, Nancy Laboso identified key issues that brought calamities included El Nino including floods, fire lighting, thunderstones and strong wind.

Laboso said among the services to be scaled up by the stakeholders including the emergency response to the disasters in the area.

The department of health services in Narok therefore feel the need to create awareness through educating communities on One-health.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Twin brothers found dead in trunk

OMUTHIYA: The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the Oshikoto Region has reported the death of four-year-old twin brothers, after they were allegedly left home alone by their mother who went to collect wild fruit.

According to NamPol Regional Commander, Commissioner Theopoline Kalompo-Nashikaku on Monday, the incident occurred on Sunday at Okatope village in Oshikoto’s Okankolo Constituency.

‘It is alleged that their mother went to a family house in the same village Sunday morning and joined the people there to go and collect wild fruit (Eembeke) in the forest. She arrived back at 18h00 and found the children lying dead in a trunk which was in the sleeping room,’ she reported.

Kalompo-Nashikaku said the trunk was closed but not locked.

The deceased were identified as Magnes Simaneka Angula and Salom Panduleni Angula.

Their bodies were taken to the Onandjokwe State Hospital mortuary for post-mortem examinations to be conducted. Police investigations continue.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Mbumba undertakes first bilateral visit since taking office

WINDHOEK: Namibian President Nangolo Mbumba on Monday travelled to Angola for his first bilateral visit since taking office on 04 February 2024, where he is expected to hold talks with his counterpart, João Lourenço, in Luanda.

Mbumba, who marked one month in office, said his visit was about upholding the custom in the region of new elected heads of state reporting to their counterparts.

Prior to his departure from Eros Airport, the president told the media that he was also going to thank President Lourenço for his solidarity throughout the period of mourning and the funeral of former President Hage Geingob.

‘In terms of tradition, if you’re the head of state and new in the office, you must report yourself to others. First, I am going to Angola; next time, I am going to another country. So there is nothing particularly special. It is only that you are duty-bound to perform these things to honour the SADC tradition and honour the friendship we have enjoyed so far with our neighbours,’ he said.

‘And for the
Angolans, to have their president here [for the funeral], sleeping two nights and being among the last to leave with the president of Botswana. We have to thank them in their own territories, not while they are here,’ Mbumba said of his one-day visit to Luanda.

He said Angola was among the countries that donated equipment for the funeral, including vehicles. ‘You’ve seen their planes in the air,’ said Mbumba, referring to the Angolan fighter pilots who participated in the flypast on 25 February 2024, the day of Geingob’s funeral at Heroes’ Acre.

Detailing the president’s bilateral visit to Angola, presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari told Nampa that Angola and Namibia are important bilateral partners.

He noted that the robust people-to-people interactions, strong trading, and peaceful shared borders are indicators of the long-standing ties between the two southern African countries.

‘And there are issues in the bilateral relationship that President Mbumba would like to take up with his counterpart, P
resident Lourenço, that include the question of grazing along the common borders,’ he said.

Hengari added that the matter was also discussed by former deputy prime minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and Angolan External Relations Minister Tete Antonio.

During their meeting at Helao Nafidi on 12 January 2024, the Angolan government agreed to allow Namibian farmers to graze in the neighbouring Angolan territory.

‘But I also need to emphasise that shortly before the passing of President Geingob, Namibia and Angola were discussing a date to hold a bi-national commission. Unfortunately, that has been overtaken by the events. So these are issues that President Mbumba would like to discuss with President Lourenço,’ Hengari said.

‘There are other issues in our bilateral relations with President Mbumba to learn from Angola as an old oil economy, with Namibia just discovering oil, so there are synergies and commonalities in our relations with Angola.’

President Mbumba is accompanied, among others, by the Minister of
International Relations and Cooperation, Peya Mushelenga, and Defence and Veteran Affairs Minister Frans Kapofi.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency