Category archives for: Kenya

Girl, 3, Found Murdered, Eyes Gouged Out in Murang’a

By Ndungu Gachane

A three-year-old girl who went missing 11 days ago at Nginyi village in Gatanga, Murang’a, has been found brutally murdered.

The body of Baby Mercy Njoki was discovered in a community dam with eyes gouged, finger nails plucked out and her head partly shaved.

Locals said the minor was defiled before being dumped in the dam and are now associating the bizarre incident with witchcraft and sorcery.

Her mother, Catherine Njeri, said her child was playing with her colleagues when she went missing.

The woman started a frantic search for her daughter after she failed to return home.

“After days of search, I was called by a friend who told me that there was a body floating in the dam several kilometers away from home,” she said as she sobbed.

“When we rushed there, we identified the body as that of my daughter.”

The state of Njoki’s body, she said, was worrying her more.

“It’s painful to watch my lovely innocent daughter lifeless and her parts of the body missing,” she said.

“I’m now living in fear because I don’t know where the parts of the body were taken to and the motive behind the killing.”

John Kamau, a resident of the area, attributed the rare occurrence to witchcraft, saying the perpetrator could have extracted the parts for evil plans.

The residents called on police to speed up investigations and arrest the Njoki’s killers.

Mr Kamau said the death of Njoki had left the whole village in shock because residents have never witnessed such a bizarre occurrence.

“We are even afraid of leaving our children alone as the killer could be roaming around,” he said.

The villagers also called on the county government to sink boreholes in the area as the dam in which the body was dumped is their main source of water for drinking and domestic use.

Kakuzi Mitumbiri Ward MCA Pelagia Muthoni decried a spike in defilement and murder cases in the county and called for a stakeholders consultative forum to discuss the matter.

“It’s too much now. Every day in Murang’a, we are hearing about these cases and it’s high time women organisations and government agencies sit down and chat the way forward,” she said.

Drug abuse, especially among the youth, could be the main driver of defilement, sodomy and murder in the county, the MCA speculated.

Gatanga police chief Beatrice Kiraguri said the matter is being investigated.


Govt Targets 200 More Oil Wells in Petrodollar Rush

Kenya has set a target of drilling over 200 more oil production wells that will pour forth up to 80,000 barrels of crude… Read more »

For Lamu Coal Plant, It’s Hurdle After Hurdle – Now, U.S. Opposes Plan

By Victor Kiprop

Kenya’s plan to put up a $2 billion coal-fired electricity generation plant in Lamu County on Kenya’s Coast continued to face hurdles last week, as US Senators moved to block it from receiving funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The senators argue that it would emit millions of tonnes of carbon annually.

In a letter seen by The EastAfrican, four senators, Jeffrey Merkley, Brian Schatz, Bernard Sanders and Edward Markey, urged the AfDB not to fund the “financially unsound” project whose implementation, they said, would tarnish Kenya’s reputation as a leader in clean energy and worsen environmental quality.

“Kenya has emerged as an undisputed leader in clean and renewable energy in Africa, with the overwhelming majority of the country’s electricity currently coming from renewable resources,'” the legislators said.

“Instead of financing projects that would produce a profoundly negative environmental impact, the AfDB should consider projects that tap into Kenya’s tremendous renewable and low-cost resources.”

Health impact

The letter, addressed to AfDB’s executive director Tarik Al-Tashani, notes that the proposed 1,050MW coal-fired plant would emit 8.8 megatonnes of carbondioxide every year, resulting in detrimental health impact due to the high levels of air, water and soil pollution.

They add that the plant would be counter productive to the country’s climate goals and commitment including the Paris Climate Change Accord, of which Kenya is a signatory.

Kenya has been courting the multilateral development lender to finance the project to the tune of $100 million as well as guarantees of a similar amount for the construction of the power plant, translating into about 10 per cent of the total cost of the project.

The US senators also raised concerns over the excess power capacity resulting from the project, which experts estimate will cost the government at least $360 million per year in fixed annual capacity payments irrespective of whether the electricity is ever used.

According to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Kenya’s peak demand currently stands at about 1,770 MW against the country’s total installed capacity of 2,336MW, leaving a reserve margin of about 566MW.

On Tuesday, the ERC admitted that the plant would indeed generate “excess power,” which would be an unnecessary cost for the country, adding that it had instructed the developers of the project to reduce the capacity by half through phased cuts from 350MW to 150-200MW per phase.

“We don’t want to put in too much power,” said ERC director of economic regulation Frederick Nyang.

The regulator, however, later retracted initial statements about the possibility of Kenyan taxpayers paying for excess power, saying the decision to construct the plant was a result of a carefully thought-out plan.

“There has been no review of the terms and conditions under which the Amu coal power plant was approved and licensed. The sizing of the power plant is 327MW in three units, which is what is approved in the power purchase agreement,” the ERC said in a statement on Wednesday.

Reliable power for SGR

Kenya aims to generate about 1,050MW from the plant to provide reliable power for the standard gauge railway, which is to be upgraded to include an electric component by 2021.

It is also expected to power the proposed $15 billion Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) project and complement other power sources amid growing household and industrial demand.

But the plant has faced strong objection from local people and environmental activists, which have caused delays in its construction, initially scheduled to begin in September 2015.

Last month, American energy firm General Electric was offered a 20 per cent stake in the project for $400 million in a deal that would see it design, manufacture and supply plant machinery including a boiler, steam turbine generator and air quality control systems for the plant.

Amu Power Company Ltd, the company that will own and operate the plant, said the strategic entry of the American firm was meant to counter the mounting opposition to the plant and dispel fears of environmental destruction.

“GE is at the heart of Amu Power and its latest technology will address concerns raised by local residents on pollution while enabling us to efficiently produce power with the least downtimes,” said Amu managing director Francis Njogu.

However, on World Environmental Day on Tuesday, protests against the project resumed as activists took to the streets of Nairobi demanding that the construction of the plant be stopped as it will have a devastating effect on the environment and health of the local population.

“We want to send this message to the President of the Republic of Kenya: That we say ‘no’ to coal. Coal is poisonous. Coal kills. We cannot allow this project to proceed,” said Khalid Hussein of the national human rights group Haki Africa.

Kenya Changes Tack On Commodities Exchange

By James Anyanzwa

Kenya is redrawing its plans for a commodities exchange for agricultural and non-agricultural produce, which is likely to further delay the establishment of a regional commodities exchange linking Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Principal Secretary in the State Department of Trade Chris Kiptoo told The EastAfrican that the government has now decided to establish an exchange that deals with both agricultural and non-agricultural produce such as oil and minerals, a project that will take time as a new legal and institutional framework has to be put in place.

Dr Kiptoo said a new multicommodity Warehouse Receipt Bill has been prepared and is under consideration by the Attorney General.

Once established, the exchange will be regulated by the Capital Markets Authority.

Initially, Kenya had planned to create an exchange to start trading in agricultural products and only introduce non-agricultural items once the market became fully operational.

The commodities exchange was to start trading maize, wheat, sorghum, millet, and coffee in the initial phase followed by tea, cow peas, dry beans, ground nuts and pigeon peas in the second phase.

The initial Warehouse Receipt Bill, which only catered for the trading of agricultural produce has been in parliament since 2015, raising concerns from the partner states about the country’s commitment to the joint infrastructure project.

The 11th summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects held in Nairobi in October 2015 blamed Kenya’s slow progress on establishing its legal and regulatory framework for hampering implementation of this market.

Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda agreed to a joint commodities exchange and warehouse receipting system to ensure transparency in standards and pricing of farm produce.

Negotiating power

But Kenya has lagged behind its regional peers by falling behind in enacting legislation to facilitate the establishment of a mart to stabilise the prices of agricultural produce.

Burundi and Tanzania are not members of the Northern Corridor transport strip linking landlocked Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya.

The establishment of national commodities exchanges by the EAC member states is the first step towards creating a joint regional commodities exchange that will link Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda as part of the Northern Corridor infrastructure projects initiative.

Rwanda already has a commodities exchange which is private sector-driven.

Kenyan plans to convert various publicly and privately owned entities into warehouses for the proposed market.

These include the Kenya National Trading Corporation, the National Cereals and Produce Board, the Kenya Farmers Association and the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union.

The warehouse receipting system is expected to help farmers to obtain credit from financial institutions using their agricultural harvest as collateral.

The joint commodities exchange will ensure food security and stabilise prices of non-perishable agricultural crops within the EAC.

Standards of quality and quantity will be harmonised across the region while the prices of the crops will be determined by the forces of supply and demand.

It will also foster regional integration and strengthen the bloc’s negotiating power with the rest of the world in the pricing of key exports.

Each country is expected to create its own private-sector-driven commodities exchange that will be linked electronically to facilitate interaction between buyers and sellers from all the partner states.

Kenya Releases 2018/19 Budget Estimates of Eye-Popping U.S.$31 Billion

By James Anyanzwa

Kenya has tabled the budget estimates for its 2018/2019 fiscal year with the focus on laying a strong foundation for the achievement of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s grand plan of creating jobs, reducing poverty and inequality and improving the general living conditions of the citizens during his final term in office.

Last week Kenya’s parliamentary budget committee recommended an increase in the cash positions of key institutions responsible for fighting graft, maintaining security and auditing spending of public finances as part of efforts to improve governance and reduce the cost of doing business in the country.

The committee chaired by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah also recommended an upward revision in the budgets of the Ministry of Energy, State departments of Housing, Infrastructure, Irrigation, Agriculture and Research.

Expenditure pressure

The Jubilee administration is seeking to take measures under the Agenda Four to boost manufacturing, enhance food security, create affordable housing and achieve universal health coverage to boost growth, create jobs and ultimately promote inclusive growth.

As a result, the government has prioritised programmes and reforms to be implemented over the next five years (2018-22) to achieve the grand plan which will also form part of the legacy of President Kenyatta’s administration.

But faced with mounting expenditure pressure and falling revenue collections National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich has extended an olive branch to the private sector to implement the mega infrastructure projects under the Big Four Agenda jointly.

On June 14, Mr Rotich will announce the taxation measures he intends to take to fund a record Ksh3.07 trillion ($30.7 billion) budget for the 2018/2019 fiscal year compared with Ksh2.6 trillion ($26 billion) in the current fiscal year, which will include borrowing an additional Ksh562.74 billion ($5.62 billion).

Kenya’s debt burden estimated at over Ksh4 trillion has been an issue of concern to the parliamentarians and to the international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank.

This year, debt-related payments (interest and redemption payments) alone amount to Ksh870.6 billion ($8.7 billion).

According to the budget estimates tabled in parliament last week the Budget committee recommended an additional Ksh1.25 billion ($12.5 million) to be allocated towards the strategic initiatives of the Agenda Four under the sub-programme budget formulation, coordination and management while Ksh75 million ($750,000) be allocated to the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission for the acquisition of headquarters and operating expenses.

An additional Ksh30 million ($300,000) has be allocated towards construction of police housing in the state department of Interior while Ksh200 million ($2 million) allocated to the Office of the deputy inspector general Kenya Police Service’s policing services programme.

An additional Ksh100 million ($1 million) has been allocated for criminal investigation services while am extra Ksh8.7 billion ($87 million) allocated for the repair of the infrastructure destroyed by recent flooding.

The Office of the Auditor General will receive an additional Ksh1 billion ($10 million) to cater for personnel emoluments, outsourcing of audits and other consultancies bringing its total allocation to Ksh6 billion ($60 million).

Conducive environment

Kenya hopes to maintain its investments in programmes that will create a conducive business environment for investment and job creation and provide 500,000 affordable housing units to the poor.

Investments in the Big Four areas are expected to transform lives by creating much-needed jobs for Kenyans, improve living conditions, lower the cost of living and reduce poverty and inequality.

A total of Ksh68 billion ($680 million) has been allocated to the State department for Energy, with Ksh13 billion going towards power generation and Ksh53 billion ($530 million) towards power transmission and distribution.

The state department for Irrigation will receive Ksh17.97 billion ($179.7 million) while Ksh5.56 billion ($55.6 million) will go to the state department for Agriculture and Research.

Industry has been given Ksh6.91 billion ($69.1 million) while the National Intelligence Service gets Ksh31 billion ($310 million).

Others are Ksh24 billion ($240 million) towards ICT infrastructure development, Ksh2 billion ($20 million) to youth training and development, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Ksh2.91 billion ($29.1 million), Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Ksh2.92 billion ($29.2 million) and Ksh32 billion ($320 million) to the department for housing, urban, development and public works.

Domestically, the economy is exposed to challenges such as adverse weather conditions and public expenditure pressures, especially recurrent expenditure.

Implementing Open Skies Still a Long Way Off

By Victor Kiprop

Kenya Airways says the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), which was signed early this year, will take longer to implement as airlines need more time to prepare for the lengthy operational and regulatory changes involved.

KQ chief operating officer Jan De Vegt said the implementation of the open skies agreement should not be rushed as airlines need to adjust to changes brought in by the agreement.

Kenya is among the signatories of the Open Skies agreement signed at the Africab Union summit in Addis Ababa in January, which aims to enhance connectivity, facilitate trade and tourism and create employment.

“Open Skies is a process that has been ongoing in the US and Europe for the past 100 years. You can’t push us to do it in five years,” Mr Vegt said at Sir Sewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport International Airtport in Mauritius, shortly after the inaugural KQ non-stop flight landed there.

“The Nairobi-Mauritius route will also have great impact on our upcoming non-stop flights to New York by reinforcing its attractiveness to American leisure travellers,” Mr Vegt said.

The arrival of the flight on Thursday evening marked the start of the airline’s direct flights to the island nation, which were announced in February.

It is about 39 years since the airline stopped flying there.

The four-times weekly flight becomes KQ’s 53rd destination, and brings to seven the airline’s daily flights to Mauritius. It is expected to boost air traffic and increase tourism numbers between the two countries.

“This is part of our strategic intent to expand our footprint across Africa. The investment and trade opportunities presented by this direct flight will certainly add value to both countries.

“We expect to grow tourism for both countries as we strive to offer our passengers affordable and improved connections from the Nairobi and Mauritius hubs,” Mr De Vegt said.

Kenya Airways already has an existing code-share agreement with Air Mauritius for weekly flights.

Mauritius Tourism Minister Joel Gentil said the agreement would help the island nation to attract more tourists from the continent and beyond by leveraging on the partnership that gives KQ and Air Mauritius a total of 104 destinations worldwide.


Govt Targets 200 More Oil Wells in Petrodollar Rush

Kenya has set a target of drilling over 200 more oil production wells that will pour forth up to 80,000 barrels of crude… Read more »

Running of JKIA By Kenya Airways Set to Turn Around Airport’s Fortunes

The Kenya government’s decision to hand over running of the country’s largest airport to Kenya Airways is expected to reset regional geopolitics and economic relations.

The move comes as the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) undergoes final reviews by aviation authorities for the start of direct flights from Kenya to the United States in October.

Predictions are that revenue will grow to about $2.96 billion annually, with profitability at $177.3 million.

In the past three years, the East African aviation market has experienced heightened competition, with Ethiopia and Rwanda expanding their national carriers.

Tanzania and Uganda are also considering reviving their national airlines. Dar es Salaam has purchased two Boeing Dreamliners, and Rwanda is said to be eyeing direct flights to New York.

Ethiopian, currently the biggest airline in Africa, and RwandAir do not view their national carriers as just commercial enterprises but also as avenues to attract tourism and foreign investment.

Ethiopian, Rwandair and Gulf carriers have been protected by their governments from the troubles that have beset aviation companies across the world.

Commercial headwinds

However, NSE-listed Kenya Airways has been buffeted by commercial headwinds with little protection from the government.

Kenya Airways could be used to promote economic development and geopolitical presence given the country’s position as a trade and business hub for East and Central Africa.

This would require creation of a Kenya aviation holding company, to put all major airline assets in the country under a larger legal entity.

The proposal, already approved by the Cabinet, requires the new company to guarantee that the national carrier will not require further financial assistance from the state.

Last year, MPs approved a $750 million loan guarantee to support the airline’s restructuring.

Under the scheme, the government converted its existing loans into equity, thus increasing its stake, and became the guarantor for the loan.

The airline owes the United States Export-Import Bank $525 million and several local banks $225 million.

The restructuring allowed KQ to continue operating through access to additional liquidity.

However, a delay in completing the restructuring, combined with KLM not contributing an expected $100 million and the downturn of the economy caused by an extended electioneering period resulted in depletion of KQ’s cash reserves.

KQ currently has insufficient cash as KLM pumped in less than $25 million, way short of the $100 million it had committed to.

Those behind the proposal say the airline needs liquidity to avoid disruption of its operations and prevent triggering the sovereign guarantee to the US Exim Bank and local banks.

Market situation

Kenya Airways is the only big carrier that is treated at its hub like a foreign airline, yet whenever it lands at other hubs the fees it pays go towards subsiding their costs.

“The market situation has created a need for a different restructuring — not only Kenya Airways but the whole of Kenyan civil aviation. There is an urgent need for a solution that will change the mandate of KQ and allow the company to become the biggest African carrier,” an official privy to the new strategy said.

KQ operates in an attractive and rapidly expanding airline market. The International Air Transport Association says that total airline revenues stand at $1.26 billion, and are projected to grow by five per cent per year.

KQ’s direct flight to New York — whose maiden trip will be in October — is expected to open up the country to the mature US market and increase the potential for growth, spurred by an expected increased trade in goods and services and tourism.

Every year, KQ brings to JKIA — in terms of arrivals and in-transit — 4.5 million passengers and 60,000 tonnes of cargo.

Once the proposal for the Kenya aviation holding company is implemented, there will be a buy-out of the shareholders, changes to laws and to collective bargaining agreements, and an injection of cash.

Special economic zone

The legislative changes would result in the establishment of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as an airline-oriented Special Economic Zone.

The zone would be a conducive environment for specialised businesses that operate at JKIA like warehousing, logistics, hotels and accommodation for passengers in transit, ground handling, flying schools, catering, and maintenance and repair of aircraft.

Strategists say the new company should not be treated as an ordinary parastatal, subject to bureaucracy as this would hamper their growth.

“This may be the boldest and most difficult to accept and implement but we believe that this move is essential. Although Kenya Aviation Holding will be wholly owned by the state, it will operate, for all intents and purposes, as a private company,” said an official privy to the conversations about the proposals.

The company’s revenues would come from passengers, cargo, JKIA operations, ground handling, maintenance services, fuel distribution, catering and the Special Economic Zone.

Is Nairobi’s Container Depot Main Cause of Import Cargo Pile-Up?

opinionBy Njiraini Muchira

Unprecedented operational hitches at the Nairobi inland container depot have been blamed for the pileup of cargo along the transportation chain, threatening Kenya’s position as a regional transportation hub.

The chaos at the port of Mombasa has culminated in the reorganisation of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) top management, with the managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi being sent on compulsory leave. But she got a reprieve after the High Court revoked her suspension.

Shippers, logistics firms and clearing agents say improving operations at the port will not succeed if the issues at the ICD are not sorted out.

While in the past Mombasa was the only focal point of inefficiencies in cargo handling, the ICD has now become a congestion hub as the government pushes cargo owners to use the standard gauge railway for cargo destined upcountry.

The government issued a directive that 40 per cent of cargo arriving at the port of Mombasa be transported by the SGR to the ICD has turned the once quiet Nairobi-based facility into a den of bureaucratic ineptness and disorder.

Such is the disorder that the KPA has been forced to put up notices in Kenyan newspapers telling importers to clear cargo at the facility to decongest it.

On Thursday, the KPA, in a paid advertisement, said there were 2,000 cleared containers at the depot that have not been collected despite exhausting their free storage period.

It warned that uncollected cargo will be transferred to nominated warehouses outside the ICD for storage at the cost of the respective importers.

Infrastructure improvements

The pileup at the facility has put KPA on the spot over slow evacuation of cargo and the rising number of empty containers, which are affecting operations at the port of Mombasa.

This comes at a time when hinterland shippers are increasingly turning to the port in the face of infrastructure improvements and acquisition of new equipment, which are expected to facilitate even more trade within the region, in terms of cargo throughput and port efficiency.

Mombasa’s container terminal boasts 13 ship-to-shore gantry cranes, 50 rubber-tyred gantry cranes and 78 tractors.

At a stakeholders meeting in Kampala on June 5, Uganda’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport Bageya Waiswa said traders have realised increased business growth following initiatives implemented by KPA, including the Single Customs Territory, which has reduced time taken by cargo from Mombasa to Kampala.

Mr Waiswa noted that due to the port expansion, KPA now handles ships of up to 6,000 twenty-foot container equivalent capacity, which has significantly increased economies of scale and consequently lowered the cost of doing business in the region.

In 2017, some 6.59 million tonnes of cargo were imported into Uganda via Mombasa, and KPA officials say that the new improvements at the port and Uganda’s quest to improve infrastructural bottlenecks are timely trade catalysts.

Port’s efficiency

Mombasa port remains the most connected in the region, with at least 33 shipping lines calling and providing direct connectivity to more than 80 ports.

With this magnitude of cargo, the government is concerned about the port’s efficiency and has effected personnel changes to fix the problem.

In March, 14 senior managers were reshuffled amid accusations of sabotaging the SGR’s operations.

A senior KPA manager who requested anonymity traces the chaos to the government’s run-in with container freight station (CFS) operators, who previously used to provide storage facilities to help ease congestion at the port, a development that has made it impossible to smoothen operations both in Mombasa and at the Nairobi ICD.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said that the government will not allow any cargo destined for Nairobi to be stored in CFSs in Mombasa.

KPA is loading all cargo designed for upcountry and export onto the SGR without verification, something that importers say has seen the ICD become a dumping ground for cargo.

“CFSs used to ease the pressure at the port by providing storage facilities. The government wants them out of the way by insisting that cargo should be transported to the ICD and so there is a huge crisis,” said the manager.

He added that in an ironic turn of events and in desperate measures to ease the congestion at the port, KPA is now nominating all undocumented import containers to some CFSs in Mombasa.

Apart from the ICD, there are only two privately owned holding depots in Nairobi, one of which is owned by logistics company Bollore. The two are also said to be full to capacity.

“The ICD in Embakasi is a mess and instead of government agencies trying to improve services, they have resorted to engaging in an unproductive blame game,” William Ojonyo, Kenya International Warehousing Association chairman said.

“There is need to shorten the turnaround time at the ICD to reduce congestion,” said Wanja Getambu-Kiragu, Transport operations director at the East African Online Transport Agency.

The mounting problems at the ICD have resulted in accusations and counter-accusations among the various stakeholders, with KPA and Kenya Revenue Authority bearing most of the blame for failure to put up seamless processes at the facility and co-ordinate effectively the evacuation of cargo.

Clearing agents have also come under criticism over allegations that some are deliberately slowing cargo clearance after they were forced to open offices in Nairobi. Previously, the majority of the agents operated from Mombasa.

Additional reporting by Julius Barigaba

First Crude Arrives in Mombasa

By Victor Kiprop

Six years after British firm Tullow Oil announced that it had struck oil in Kenya, four tankers, each carrying 156 barrels arrived in Mombasa on Thursday. It is East Africa’s first commercial oil.

The tankers arrived four days after President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged them off from the Lokichar oilfields in Turkana County, 1,025 km from Mombasa.

The trucks were received by Petroleum and Mining chief administrative secretary John Mosonik and other government officials at the Kenya Petroleum Refinery Ltd plant in Changamwe.

Transportation of the early oil by road will cost $15 million. It takes each truck 10 days to complete a round trip.

At least 2,000 barrels of crude are expected to be transported every day from the Lokichar oilfields to the refinery, where they will be stored.

The Petroleum and Mining Ministry says export will begin once 400,000 barrels arrive at the facility.

Commercial production

After the launch of the Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS), Kenya now says it will increase investment in the sector in readiness for commercial production, expected to begin around 2021/22.

“My government will focus on the development of our oil and gas sectors for the betterment of the economy and people,” said President Kenyatta as he flagged off the trucks on June 3.

Tullow Oil, which runs the wells, says it is producing about 500 barrels per day from the five wells in the mini-production stage, but the capacity will rise to 100,000 barrels per day in the full-field development stage.

The anticipated growth in production largely depends on when the $1.1 billion 892km heated crude oil pipeline, linking the Lokichar oilfields and the upcoming Lamu Port, will be constructed.

“The pipeline is critical infrastructure to this project. We expect to award the contract not later than 2019,” Tullow Oil Group CEO Paul McDade told The EastAfrican.

The pipeline is being designed by London-listed firm Wood Group Plc, and construction is expected to take three years.

Unloading bays

At the KPRL facility, engineers have modified the depot by creating two truck unloading bays, a steam boiler for line heating and reheating the crude oil trucks, and insulated a receiving tank with a capacity of 90,000 barrels.

Kenya Pipeline Company has invested Ksh1.8 billion in improving the facility.

Tullow Oil says it hopes to fetch good prices on the international market.

Kenya’s crude oil is categorised as Brent crude, which is classified as light and sweet, meaning it has low sulphur content at below 0.5 per cent. Ordinarily, this fetches higher prices in the international market due to its refined form that produces high-value products — petrol and diesel.

Tullow Oil, with joint venture partners Total SA of France and Africa Oil Corporation of Canada, have discovered 560 million barrels of crude resources in South Lokichar basin, which straddles block 10BB and 13T.

The Turkana community, which is to be allocated 5 per cent of the oil proceeds, hopes that their livelihood will be uplifted.

“The proceeds should help us get access to clean water and food, and build schools and roads for our children,” said Peter Kamais, a resident of the Turkana basin.

Additional reporting by Samuel Kazungu.

The Million Shilling Question That Babu Owino Won’t Answer

By Thomas Matiko

Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino is tired of talking about his source of wealth, an issue which has become a hot topic in recent times.

The source of the first-time MP’s wealth has remained unknown even as he maintains that he makes his money through several business ventures as well connected international friends who fund his projects.

In a recent TV interview, the wealth subject popped up again and a seemingly irritated Babu waved away the question.

Babu even challenged those who feel the source of wealth is not legitimate to present their case before the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) or Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and have him investigated.


“I always believe that my true wealth is in heaven. So this idea of the perception that Babu is wealthy I don’t want to discuss it. I will not discuss it, I’ve discussed it severally in this studio. I will not talk about it. I will not discuss it again. If anybody has a problem there is the DCI, there’s the EACC,” said Babu.

Before he even made it to parliament to represent the constituency, the controversial politician had already made a name for himself for a flamboyant and extravagant lifestyle.

As a student leader at the University of Nairobi, Babu was famous for splashing cash during campaigns for leadership in the Students Organization of Nairobi University (SONU)

Two years ago, he was reported to have exhausted Sh14.5 million during his 27th birthday party. Prior to that, he was also once reported to have forked out Sh768,000 to clear a hospital bill to free the mother of a fellow student who was being detained at a hospital in Thika.

Early this month when the Appeals Court upheld his win over turning the High Court decision to nullifying his victory, Babu made a statement saying he would donate all the Sh4 million awarded to him as a result of the successful petition to Embakasi East bursary kitty to empower bright needy students.


Govt Targets 200 More Oil Wells in Petrodollar Rush

Kenya has set a target of drilling over 200 more oil production wells that will pour forth up to 80,000 barrels of crude… Read more »

Football Fan Pens Letter to Wife On Why He’ll Be Spending Nights Away From Home

Photo: Pixabay

Soccer ball.

By Naira Habib

A letter written by one football fan to his wife explaining why he will be spending many nights away from home following the kickoff of the 2018 Fifa World Cup has lit up social media.

The man, who identifies himself as Kelvin Bucyana (Baba Tusiime) from Bukoba Tanzania, informs his wife, Devotha Mshumbusi (Mama Tusiime), to expect to see very little of him for next one month until the football festival ends.

He further informs his wife that in order to fully concentrate on the World Cup matches, all his cellphones will be switched off for the duration of the tournament.

The fanatic concludes by asking his wife to take charge of family affairs until the tournament concludes when he will eventually returns home fully.

The 2018 Fifa World Cup, which kicked in Moscow on Thursday, will be see 64 matches played over the next four weeks as the best teams in the world battle for global supremacy in 11 Russian cities.


Govt Targets 200 More Oil Wells in Petrodollar Rush

Kenya has set a target of drilling over 200 more oil production wells that will pour forth up to 80,000 barrels of crude… Read more »

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