Posts tagged as: agriculture

Tanzania Reopens Borders to Kenyan Milk, Milk Products

Photo: Daily News

Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

By Simon Ndonga

Nairobi — Kenya and Tanzania have now lifted bans placed on products imported from both countries bringing an end to a stand-off between the two countries that was threatening to derail the East African Community cross-border trading.

According to a joint statement read by Tanzanian Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga, Kenya will allow free movement of wheat flour and Liquefied Petroleum gas from Tanzania with immediate effect.

He stated that likewise, Tanzania will lift the ban placed on milk, milk products and cigarettes from Kenya.

“The United Republic of Tanzania will lift restrictions on milk and milk products and cigarettes manufactured in Kenya with immediate effect. The Republic of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania will lift any other restrictions that affect products and services exchanged between the two countries,” he said.

He says the decision was arrived at following a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed further stated that a Standing Joint Technical Committee will be formed between the two countries to deal with any other outstanding issue.

“The Committee will be chaired by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs and will comprise of the Ministries of EAC, Trade, Finance, Interior, Energy, Agriculture, Transport and Tourism and will incorporate other key government agencies as the need arises,” she said.

The tit-for-tat came about when Kenya submitted that the products from Tanzania did not meet the quality and safety standards as per the EAC standards.

On April 24, Kenya’s Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau announced the ban on gas imports through Tanzania, a move meant to eliminate illegal cooking gas filling plants that posed safety and security risks.

Besides imposing a ban on importation of cooking gas through the two countries’ borders, Kenya had imposed a ban on importation of wheat.

Kenya

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Why 2017/18 Fiscal Year Will Be Tough for TRA

Dar es Salaam — The Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) will be under intense pressure in the current financial year as it seeks to collect an amplified amount in tax revenue against a backdrop of missed targets in 2016/17.

The taxman collected a total of Sh14.4 trillion during the 2016/17 financial year.

Much as the money was 7.67 per cent higher than the Sh13.3 trillion which was garnered during the preceding year, it still fell short of the year’s collection target, TRA data show.

A total of Sh15.1 trillion was meant to be collected as tax revenue to partly finance the government’s Sh29.5 trillion-budget for the financial year 2016/17.

With funds from development partners becoming increasingly unpredictable, execution of some development projects suffered.

Presenting a report on the national economic survey for 2016 and the national development plan for the financial year 2017/17 in Parliament in June this year, the minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango said while the government planned to spend Sh11.8 trillion on development projects in 2016/17, it managed to raise only Sh4.5 trillion as of April 2017 for that purpose. The poor performance, he said was attributed to delays in securing loans and grants due to prolonged negotiations with development partners and commercial institutions.

“Besides, interest rates rose during the period, forcing the government to defer borrowing. The rates of borrowing from international lenders rose to nine per cent from six per cent,” he said.

But against such a backdrop, TRA is now required to collect Sh17.1 trillion, which is Sh2 trillion more than what the taxman was meant to collect during the 2016/17 financial year and Sh2.7 trillion more than what it (TRA) actually achieved during the year. Similarly, development spending is also expected to increase slightly by 1.2 per cent from to Sh11.999 trillion.

This also comes against the backdrop of closure of a total of 7,277 businesses across the country between July 2016 and March 2017 even as the government says that TRA also registered a total of 224,738 businesses during the same period.

Attainable

But economists are of the view that the Sh17.1 trillion-target is practicable, saying the country’s business environment will gradually improve and thus create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

“Had last year’s ways of doing things remained, I would not have been convinced that things would move, but after new measures were introduced in the 2017/18 budget, a lot of things have changed and will continue to change and the Sh17.1 trillion can be realised,” said Prof Humphrey Moshi of the University of Dar es Salaam in a telephone interview yesterday.

Prof Moshi’s arguments are based on a number of measures that the government has taken within the 2017/18 budget aimed at stimulating economic activities.

He is specifically happy with the government’s decision to scrap the annual motor vehicle licence fee and instead raising excise duty on petroleum products by Sh40.

“Before that, one could drive a vehicle with a fake registration sticker and avoid paying the fee, but now, there will be no avoiding the tax. You cannot drive a vehicle without refueling it. So, as you refuel it, you will be paying tax,” he said.

Besides, he said the government has also exempted VAT on importation of capital goods as way of reducing procurement and importation costs on machines and plants used in production. Similarly, it has zero-rate VAT on ancillary transport services associated with goods in transit as it seeks to attract more and more business to the Dar es Salaam Port.

“This was one of the reasons behind a drop a goods at the Dar es Salaam port. This is now bound to change,” he said.

The government, said Prof Moshi, is also determined to pay its various contractors and service providers to public schools, hospitals and security organs, among others.

“All these measures will stimulate economic activities. Besides, people have realised that President John Magufuli wants everyone to work hard and pay tax. You can see how people are complying with payment of Property Tax. I am convinced that the situation will be better this year,” he said.

According to the TRA director of taxpayer services, Mr Richard Kayombo, the tax body is currently undertaking various sensitisation programmes aimed at ensuring that businesses make use of EFDs effectively. Similarly, it hopes to collect more in Corporate Tax, with the deadline for last financial year collections ending on Saturday, July 15.

IMF Warns Govt’s Revenue Targets Projections Too Optimistic

Dar es Salaam — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned Tanzania over what it termed over-optimistic revenue projections, which may force the country to delay the construction of some of its major infrastructural projects.

IMF deputy managing director Tao Zhang said Tanzania’s budget execution in 2016/17 faced challenges, mainly due to external financing shortfalls that led to low execution of capital spending and a tight liquidity situation.

He said the 2017/18 budget reaffirmed the authorities’ objective of scaling up public investment, while preserving fiscal sustainability.

“However, potentially over-optimistic revenue projections call for its prudent implementation, including delaying some large projects until availability of revenue is confirmed during the mid-year budget review,” Mr Tao says in a statement issued by IMF.

Mr Tao was speaking after the executive board of the IMF completed the sixth review of Tanzania’s economic performance under a programme supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) on June 23.

The board approved the authorities’ request for a six-month extension of the current PSI arrangement and granted a waiver for the nonobservance of the end-December 2016 assessment criterion on tax revenue because the slippage was minor.

Tanzania plans to increase spending in its budget for the fiscal year ending June 2018 by 7.3 per cent to Sh31.7 trillion with a key focus on infrastructure.

Like neighbouring Kenya, Tanzania wants to take advantage of its long coastline and upgrade outdated railways, ports and roads to serve growing economies in land-locked parts of Africa, according to Reuters.

In the coming fiscal year, Tanzania plans to borrow Sh6.17 trillion from domestic sources and expects Sh3.97 trillion from external concessional loans and grants. It is also seeking an additional Sh1.59 trillion shillings from external sources.

Tanzania

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TFDA’s Clients Charter Out, Offers Free Phone Service

By Katare Mbashiru

The Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) has launched its Clients’ Service Charter, 2016 (Third edition) which, among other things, has reduced the number of days for registration of imported medicinal products from 360 in 2006 to 240.

As part of initiatives for improving the standard of service delivery, the charter has also reduced the number of days for registration of low risk food products to 40 from 240 in 2006, and, the registration of high risk food products will now take 50 days.

Under the new charter, the process of issuing import and export permits for registered food, medicines, cosmetics and medical devices, will take a single day, while it took between two and five days previously.

Speaking during the official launching of the charter in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TFDA Director General (DG) Hiiti Sillo said the timeframe for service delivery would be reduced depending on the availability of resources.

“It should be noted that nowadays, much emphasis is placed on efficiency, and so, the number of days may drop to fewer than the ones outlined in the charter,” he said.

According to the DG, the purpose of the charter is to openly show the responsibilities of TFDA to comply with the required quality standards in serving clients.

This, he pointed out, was in line with the National Development Vision 2025, the National Strategy for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction 2015 and the National Trade Policy 2003 on promotion of the private sector as the engine of the economy as well as being flexible to address the new changes.

According to Mr Sillo, the charter further aims at providing information to clients about TFDA services and strengthens the relationship between the authority and clients in various areas.

Among other benefits, the new charter will help people to know the types of services TFDA offered, and the quality of specific services. The minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, commended TFDA for reviewing the charter in its quest for enhancing services.

In the speech read on her behalf by the Acting Director of Curative Services in the ministry, Dr Doroth Gwajima, the minister said the clients’ charter was a common thing in many countries around the world, as a tool for improving services in various government institutions.

She remarked: “As a country, we need to cherish this as part of the government’s quest to provide services for all in a professional, responsible and transparent manner.” The charter’s launch coincided the Public Service Week which kicked off yesterday.

In another development, TFDA launched the Toll Free Service number where clients can now call to the food and drugs watchdog free of charge to raise their concerns and get feedback by dialling 0800110084.

Many in Hot Water After Magufuli’s Second Minerals Report

By Katare Mbashiru

President John Magufuli has directed the security apparatus to summon and interrogate all officials who were mentioned in the second report on the export of mineral concentrates.

Among them are former cabinet ministers who entered into shoddy Mining Development Agreements (MDAs) with mining companies, occasioning loss to the country in taxes between 1998 and 2017.

Others are former Attorneys General (AGs), their deputies, former commissioners of minerals, directors of contracts departments, lawyers in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and others who participated in the drafting of the agreements, as well as provision and renewal of mining licences.

Speaking at the State House in Dar es Salaaam yesterday after receiving a report from an eight-member team led by Professor Nehemiah Osoro, Dr Magufuli said he endorsed all its recommendations.

The Osoro-led committee also proposed that legal steps should be taken against workers and owners of the biggest mining companies, Freight Forwarders (T) Limited for contravening the country’s laws.

Some of the individuals featuring in the report include former ministers for energy and minerals – Daniel Yona, Nazir Karamagi,Wiliam Ngeleja and Professor Sospeter Muhongo.

Others are former commissioners of minerals Paulo Masanja and Dr Dalali Kafumu, as well as Acting Commissioner of Minerals Ally Samaje. Featured too are former AGs (by virtue of which they were chief state legal advisors) Andrew Chenge and Johnson Mwanyika.

The list also includes former deputy AGs, Felix Mrema and Sazi Salula as well as the heads of the contracts department, Maria Kejo and Julius Malaba.

” I hereby direct intelligence and security officials to summon all the individuals who have been mentioned in this report and interrogate them, as a preamble to taking appropriate legal actions,” he said.

The mining companies that signed vague agreements with the ministry of Energy and Minerals, according to the report, are Bulyanhulu Gold Mines Limited (Kahama Mine Corporation Limited), North Mara Gold Mine Limited and Pangea Gold Mine Limited – all of which are under the Acacia Gold Mine Plc as well as Geita Gold Mine Limited (AngloGold Ashanti Limited).

Dr Magufuli furthermore called for a review of the Mining Act, directing lawyers in the ministries of Energy and Minerals, as well as Justice and Constitutional Affairs to work together to make important amendments that will help the country to benefit from the natural resources.

“Our country is endowed with a lot of natural resources but our people are still languishing in abject poverty because of some people who subordinate individual gains to national interests,” he said. He blamed some officials who ignored potential investors who had shown interest to build smelters in the country.

The Head of State said the country needed investors who were ready for conducting business under win-win arrangements and not exploiters who had been siphoning the country’s resources. He asked the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Job Ndugai, to explore the possibility of squeezing amendments in the law within the ongoing parliamentary budget session.

“Even if this entails extension of the session for an extra week, I am ready to give you the go-ahead and give you full support, to enable us amend our legislation for the benefit of our country,” he added.

Mr Ndugai, who also attended the report’s handing over function, said the House was ready to overhaul the law, adding that he also intended to form a team for overseeing the country’s diamond business as he did relating to Tanzanite.

In an interview with the ‘Daily News’, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi, said he would facilitate the amendments of the Mining Act as directed by the Head of State. The president accepted all the committee’s 20 recommendations.

World Champ Beatrice Chepkoech Shines At Police Track Finals

By Ayumba Ayodi

World Cross Country Championships mixed relays gold medallist Beatrice Chepkoech cashed in on the absence of several stars to win women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase title Wednesday at the Kenya Police Service Athletics Championships at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Fresh from posting personal best in a second place of nine minutes and 01.57 seconds at Doha’s Diamond League meeting, Chepkoech obliterated the field of five athletes in a gun-to-tape performance victory of 9:50.06.

Chepkoech, who finished fourth at the Rio Olympic Games, edged out Abigael Jelagat and Anne Gathoni to second and third places in 10:16.6 and 10:20.4 respectively.

“It was a good victory even though I am still on medication, having been admitted a while ago after I fell sick,” said Chepkoech, who failed to compete in Shanghai last Sunday after she fell sick.

“I was admitted for three days after Doha but I am well now.”

Chepkoech, who will be seeking a double in women’s 1,500m final Thursday, said she hopes to be fit for the Prefontaine Classic on May 27 in Eugene, USA, where she hopes to turn the tables on world champion Hyvin Kiyeng and Olympic champion Ruth Jebet from Bahrain.

Chepkoech lost the Doha battle to Kiyeng, who ran a world lead time of 9:00.12, as Jebet, who is also the world record holder, came third in 9:01.99.

But Kiyeng, who is also an Olympic silver medallist, lost to Jebet in Shanghai, clocking 9:06.72 against Jebet’s winning time of 9:04.78. Kiyeng failed to compete in the Police meet Wednesday as did Commonwealth Games 3,000m steeplechase gold medallist Purity Kirui and the 2015 Diamond League 3,000m steeplechase series winner Virginia Nyambura.

However, Kiyeng will field in Thursday’s 5,000m final where she will take on the 2013 world 5,000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono, Africa Games 5,000m champion Margaret Chelimo and former world junior 3,000m steeplechase champion and record holder Ruth Bosibori.

Meanwhile, Eglay Nalianya, who was in Kenya’s 4x800m team at this year’s World Relay Championships in Bahamas, won her 800m semi-final in a slow time of 2:10.4.

World 1,500m silver medallist Elijah Manangoi illuminated the men’s 800m first semi-final race with victory in 1:48.1 to storm the final.

Manangoi edged out Job Kinyor and Justus Kipchoech to second and third places in 1:48.4 and 1:48.8 respectively.

Manangoi will also face Timothy Sein and Jeremiah Mutai won the other 800m semi-finals in 1:48.9 and 1:48.8.

Kiplagat Ruto won the men’s long jump in 7.82m while Anderson Muiruri bagged the triple jump title in 2.00m. Damacline Nyakeruri won women’s javelin in 45.94m while Ruth Njoroge went for the 10km walk race in 52:06.2.

Rotich Kipsang and Rose Rakamba won men and women’s discus with throws of 44.68m and 40.91m.

Police Spokesperson Threatens to Resign Over Torture Statement

All is not well in the Uganda Police Force over the handling of the suspects accused of torturing Kamwenge town council mayor, Geoffrey Byamukama.

URN understands that police spokesperson Asan Kasingye threatened to resign on Wednesday after his colleagues, during a meeting of the senior officers of the force, asked him retract his statement that four suspects had been arrested in connection to Byamukama’s torture.

Byamukama, alongside at least 15 other suspects, is accused of taking part in the March 17 murder of Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his driver Kenneth Erau and bodyguard Godfrey Wambewo.

Besides Byamukama, the other suspects have also appeared in court with fresh wounds allegedly sustained during torture at Nalufenya police detention centre.

The police first denied Byamukama’s arrest in early April until it all came to light late last week when he was found at Nakasero hospital in Kampala with deep wounds all over his body. Kasingye first said the torture could have happened elsewhere and not in police custody.

The Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura, ordered for the arrest of two senior officers, Patrick Munanura and Fred Tumuhirwe together with their juniors, Sgt Tumukunde and Constable Ronnie Byenkya in connection with Byamukama’s torture.

Kasingye who had earlier denied that Byamukama had been tortured by the police later admitted in a statement that there had been “a scuffle in which the mayor sustained superficial injuries.”

A week ago Kasingye also confirmed that the four torture suspects had been arrested. State minister for Internal Affairs Obiga Kania in his address to parliament apologised to the nation that Byamukama had been tortured.

Obiga also ‘confirmed’ police had arrested four officers allegedly linked to the torture of Byamukama and other suspects at Nalufenya police detention facility. He said investigations were still ongoing.

Now URN has learnt from reliable sources in the police that the suspects have never been arrested as earlier claimed. Kayihura ordered for their arrest before he left to Algeria on official duties.

A source told URN that the police accounts committee held a meeting on Wednesday where the torture issue was discussed. The highly-charged meeting is said to have taken place in the board room at police headquarters in Naguru.

The police accounts committee is comprised of members of top police management who include all the directors. The source says the only officer absent in the meeting was John Ndungutse, the director of Counter Terrorism. The meeting was chaired by deputy Inspector General of Police Okoth Ochola.

The meeting reportedly learnt that no suspect had been arrested. A report from the police Professional Standards Unit was brought into the meeting indicating that the four supposedly arrested officers are neither in custody nor at their known addresses.

Those in attendance tasked deputy director Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate, Moses Musana and Nixon Agasirwe, who until recently was head of the Special Operations Unit, to produce the suspects but they could not be produced. Musana reportedly used to head the Nalufenya facility.

The meeting, according to the sources, also tasked the Director Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID), Grace Akullo to open an inquiry into the torture allegations with view of instituting criminal proceedings against the suspects.

The meeting allegedly turned stormy when police spokesman, Asan Kasingye was advised to call a media briefing in which he would retract confirmations about the arrest of the two senior officers and their juniors.

Kasingye, according to the sources was not happy with calling a press conference to retract his earlier statement that the four had been arrested. He reportedly threatened to resign over the matter that would depict him as a liar.

Kasingye in a telephone interview on Wednesday evening did not confirm or deny whether the police accounts committee meeting was held. But he denied that he had threatened to resign. He, however said the Internal Affairs minister, General Jeje Odong, was to issue a statement about the progress in the investigations into torture allegations.

General Odong could not be reached on his known mobile phone number. State Minister for Internal Affairs, Obiga Kania, could not confirm reports that the four suspects were not in detention.

Obiga Kania who sounded furious about the matter said Kasingye and his boss would have to explain why they would let him lie to the public and parliament that the arrests had been made.

On Tuesday, President Museveni weighed in on the issue, writing a letter to his top security chiefs warning against the use of torture. The president said the practice is “unnecessary and wrong and must not be used again”.

Museveni said torture was wrong because it could lead to innocent people admitting guilt just to end the pain. In the letter addressed to Chief of Defence Forces, General David Muhoozi, IGP Kayihura and the Director of Intelligence Services, Museveni said torture is not “consonant with logic.”

URN

Karua’s Promise to Kirinyaga People

By George Munene

Narc Kenya leader, Martha Karua and the Kirinyaga Central MP Gachoki Gitari have declared that they are ready for the gubernatorial race and pledged to jointly slay the dragon of corruption if elected.

Ms Karua, a fierce politician is the flag-bearer while Mr Gitari who is a two-term lawmaker is her running mate.

While announcing publicly that they have teamed up to capture the county’s top seat, the two leaders vowed that they will not tolerate graft in the devolved unit.

“We shall ensure that corruption is eradicated in order to spur economic growth in the region,” said Ms Karua.

Mr Gitari praised Ms Karua as an honest leader who has been on the forefront in the fight against corruption in Kenya.

WIN SUPPORT

“Ms Karua is a courageous and honest leader and together we shall win the war against corruption,” he said.

The two leaders said they were united and challenged their rivals to brace themselves for a tough political battle.

Speaking in Sagana town on Tuesday afternoon, the leaders said they will embark on aggressive campaigns saying they will be moving from door-to-door to win support.

They will fight it out with former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru (Jubilee) and Macharia Karani of Maendeleo Chap Chap as well as the incumbent Joseph Ndathi and Muriithi Kagai both who will be running as independent candidates.

PROPAGANDA

The two leaders hit out at Ms Waiguru whom they accused of misleading the residents that she had been endorsed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“There is a candidate who is going round the region telling residents that she is the president’s preferred candidate. The President has not endorsed anyone for the gubernatorial seat and she must be ignored,” said Ms Karua in reference to Ms Waiguru.

Ms Karua reiterated that her party had endorsed President Kenyatta’s re-election but the head of State himself had not endorsed any candidate for any political seat.

“Anyone seeking to be elected as a governor must sweat,” she said.

Kenya

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Work, Not Complaints Makes the Perfect Women Police Officer – Vice President Samia

The Vice-President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan has urged women police from Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) to participate actively in various operations taking place in the region as an effective measure to curb criminal acts.

Ms Samia threw this challenge in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the inaugural opening of three-day training session for women police from SARPCCO member states.

She further challenged the women police officers to work hard and dedicate their time, a key element in rising through the ranks– as do their male colleagues at their workplaces- stressing that there was “no time to complain” in order to be promoted; instead, the women officers should also “show their ability and skills at their best.”

“Positions do not just come… we show that our women police can earn promotions and leadership positions in the Armed Forces.

“Promotion and high ranks do not come out of the blue … you have to work hard to fulfill that desire in your life,” she said Regarding the performance of women police, Ms Samia has urged them to make use of the three-day summit to discuss in detail how to overcome such challenges that affect their performance.

Expounding, she said if women police stopped pulling each other down and allowed unity and peace to prevail among them, they would accomplish their goals especially in participating actively in the fight against crimes such as drug abuse.

For his part, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Hamad Masauni, said he strongly believed that the training would help to significantly improve the performance of women police.

Masauni also encouraged women who receive the training to pass the knowledge gained to their colleagues SARPCCO embraces 15 member countries: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Mauritius, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Tanzania

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Faza Hospital Conducts First Caesarean Section

By Kalume Kazungu

Faza Sub-County hospital in Lamu East has conducted its first caesarean section operation.

The successful surgery was done on a 23 year-old first time mother from Tchgundwa village who had an obstructed labour on Wednesday.

For decades, the facility has been offering basic medical services due to infrastructural challenges.

For the past two years, however, the Lamu County government, in partnership with the national government, has equipped the hospital with modern medical equipment.

Addressing journalists in Lamu on Wednesday, Health Executive Mr Mohamed Kombo said the Sh480 million rehabilitation of the facility was now complete.

FIRST CAESERIAN SECTION

“Faza hospital started in mid 1970s. Before 2013, the facility was operating like a health centre but now we have renovated it to a fully-fledged level-four facility. In fact, today (Wednesday) we were able to conduct a successful caesarean section for the first time since independence at the facility,” said Dr Kombo.

He said most of the patients in Lamu East have always been referred to the Lamu King Fahad County Hospital in Lamu Town, which is miles away across the vast Indian Ocean.

Dr Kombo said the newly refurbished Faza Sub-County hospital will serve hundreds of locals in Faza Island and other adjacent islands in Lamu East including those at the border of Lamu with Somalia like Ishakani, Ras Kamboni, Kiunga, Mkokoni, Kiwayu and Ndau.

“For a long time, pregnant mothers in Lamu East have succumbed to childbirth related complications since the hospital wasn’t well equipped for safe deliveries. Locals now have an hospital to rush to instead of spending days on the road and ocean as they seek treatment in Lamu,” said Mr Kombo.

MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

Dr Kombo praised the national government for giving Faza Sub-County hospital equipment for Radiology, X-ray, ultrasound, operating theatre and other medical equipment worth Sh380 million on loan.

He said the county government has spent Sh100 million to upgrade the facility.

“As county government, we have invested on the operating theatre, laundry, kitchen, perimeter wall, salaries, emergency hospital generator and electrification of the entire facility,” said Dr Kombo.

Mrs Asha Bunu, a Faza resident, said the renovation of the Faza hospital was timely.

PREGNANT WOMEN

“Residents, especially pregnant women would go all the way to Lamu for ultrasound, we thank God that such services will now be available at Faza,” said Mrs Bunu.

Mr Bwanamkuu Abdalla said the upgrading of the Faza facility has come as a big relief to residents since it will save them the high charges they had to pay for speed boats to ferry patients across the Indian Ocean to Lamu Hospital.

The cheapest a speed boat would charge to ferry a patient from Lamu East to Lamu Island is Sh15,000.

“Most people here are poor and hiring a boat at Sh15,000 or Sh20,000 just to get to hospital is difficult. We have lost many mothers and babies but we are glad this will now be over with the refurbished Faza Sub County Hospital,” said Mr Abdalla.

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