Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Government and women launch commercial tree planting drive
Women have joined the tree planting campaign in partnership with the government for socio-economic benefits.

Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy launched a tree planting exercise today, with more than 6 million trees to be planted in 45 districts during the first phase of the three years period.

The Minister for Energy Kiraitu Murungi said, his ministry expects that the campaign will meet not only the economic needs of Kenyans, but also their energy needs.

Firewood remains a dominant source of energy in Kenya despite the Rural Electrification program which is mainly used for lighting.

Kiraitu emphasised that the government would support the empowerment of women by educating them on tree planting in order to maximize on their extended network at the grassroots.

The minister said the government will ban the importation electricity poles and ensure the 6 billion shillings is spent to purchase the posts locally, in the coming financial year. The electricity posts are presently imported from neighbouring countries and South America.

Meanwhile the minister for Gender, Children and Social Development, Esther Mirugi asked the government to ensure that women benefit financially from this initiative. Minister who was present at the launch of the tree planting exercise challenged Maendeleo ya Wanawake to plant a billion trees and make it a continuous process.

She reiterated comments by Jane Kiano, MYWO Patron, to nurture the trees so as to have maximum benefits. Murugi promised the women further funding from her ministry to sustain the tree project.

MYWO chairperson, Rukia Subow, on the other hand commended the tree planting effort appealed to women to join the 57 year-old organisation that has 3 million memberships, a small fraction of the 18.9 million of women in the country.

Director, Capacity Building &Technology Deployment, Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International, Rose Njeru says, it takes close to seven years to have fully grown eucalyptus tree ready for harvest.

Kenya has less than 2% forest cover and recently it suffered a blow from the wild fire that lessened the MAU forest and continuous depletion by squatters.

On Monday, the Ministry of Environment launched a nation wide tree planting drive in Kona Baridi in Ngong which was graced by President Mwai Kibaki and the Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
posted by ombui at 9:25 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Nakumatt Downtown: Forgotten deaths
Many days have passed and others will pass, and nothing substancial is to come out of the inquiry team over the deaths at Nakumatt Downtown Supermarket.

The unprecedented inferno killed close to 30 Kenyans, who even after, never reached their resting places so quick because of the sluggish DNA identification - afterall the bodies burnt beyond recognition. It was the worst Supermarket case in Kenya, which reported the emergency exits to have been locked, and even as the fire broke out, the main door was closed too to stop the buyers from moving out with unpaid for commodities.

Jesus Christ being a lover of all, the Nakumatt owners got saved few days after the inferno just like Kamlesh Patni - a goldenberg mastermind did after multiple inquiries into the saga. Anyway, Kenya forgets so quick and forgives once someone runs to the feet of the Lord.

Now life goes on and the cleared fire site serves as a packing lot. But unanswered questions won't pass - because after that a building oozed smoke to the atmosphere for the past two weeks or more on Kijabe Street. Thank God there were no injuries or deaths reported.

Grief and tears occupy relatives of the killed victims in Nakumatt, and they ask, how far with the fire investigations? how many exits were open? Is property important compaired to an emergency? Were the deaths inevitable? Are there charges to follow that?

For the Nairobi City Council, is Fire Brigade now well equiped?
posted by ombui at 9:22 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, May 01, 2009
Can digital voting avert violence in Kenya?
The Kenya Parliament made a great step Thursday by approving the membership of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission and asked it to be impartial.

The new team comes in headed for urgent tasks: voter registration, pending by-elections and a complete overhaul of the electoral system.

Its members include:
- Mr. Ahmed Issack Hassan - chairman
- Ms Winfred Guchu - Commissioner
- Mr.Douglas Mwashigadi - Commissioner
- Mr. Simiyu Abiud Wasike - Commissioner
- Mr. Tiyah Galgalo - Commissioner
- Ms. Hamara Ibrahim Adan - Commissioner
- Dr. Yusuf Nzibo - Commissioner
- Mr. Davis Chirchir - Commissioner
- Mr. Kenneth Nyaundi - Commissioner

One thing caught my eye in this proceeding, the Tourism minister Najib Balala called for a “digital voting system.” Is Kenya ready to go digital, and will it avert post election violence in Kenya?
posted by ombui at 2:28 AM | Permalink | 0 comments