Posts tagged as: samburu

Samburu Leaders Want Police Operation in Laikipia Stopped

By Lillian Mutavi

Leaders from Samburu County have condemned the shooting of three people during the ongoing operation in Laikipia and want the government to call off the operation.

The leaders allege that the ongoing operation is politically instigated as the police have been collecting IDs of locals and looting their livestock a move the leaders have termed as economic sabotage.

Speaking in a city hotel on Thursday, the leaders led by Nominated Senator Naisula Lesuuda, Woman Representative Maison Leshomo, Samburu Senator Sammy Leshore and Gabriel Lengoiboni an aspirant for Governor’s seat said that the operation should be stopped and dialogue given a chance.

Ms Lesuuda said that the office of the President and the interior ministry should mediate the talks between the leaders and residents of Laikipia instead of using force.

She said that since the operation begun, over 500 animals have been lost through shooting and 35 people have been arrested while others injured by the police and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers deployed in the county.

“We want the national government to stop this operation and call us for a dialogue since the people are suffering and the allegation that Samburu have invaded the ranches are untrue.

“We have lived in consensus with the ranchers and even pay them to feed in their grounds why now… we demand answers from the government,” posed Ms Lesuuda.

Ms Leshomo said that they locals have been driven to Laikipia due to drought and once the rains come they will go back asking the government to allow them live in consensus with the ranchers.

She said that police had already arrested those suspected to have killed Briton Tristan Voorspuy and that the Samburu where not involved.

“The original communities in Laikipia are the Samburu, Pokot, Turkana and Kikuyu and it is a cosmopolitan area and the notion that Samburu and Pokot have invaded Laikipia is untrue,” said Ms Leshomo.

Kenya

Do-or-Die Primary Battles in Ruling Party Strongholds

The Jubilee Party strongholds of central Kenya and Rift Valley will see political heavyweights face off in high-stakes… Read more »

Samburu Leaders Want Laikipia Security Operation Halted

By Godfrey Oundoh

Leaders from Samburu County have asked the government to immediately withdraw the Kenya Defence Forces from Laikipia County.

Governor Moses Lenolkulal and MPs Lati Lelelit (Samburu West) and Alloys Lentoimaga (Samburu North) have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop the ongoing security operation.

The leaders argued that security personnel are using the operation to torture, maim and harass innocent residents of Laikipia.

They further demanded a meeting with President Kenyatta to iron out the Laikipia issue whose effects they said are spilling over to Samburu County.

The leaders cited poisoning of water sources used by people, wildlife and livestock, torching of homes, shooting and killing of livestock and illegal arrests of innocent locals as some of the injustices committed by security personnel.

They spoke at the Samburu County headquarters in Maralal Town on Wednesday evening.

PERTURBED

“As Samburu leaders, we are perturbed by what is happening in Laikipia County.

“We strongly condemn the actions by security personnel undertaking the ongoing operation. Indiscriminate killing of livestock will harm the pastoralists’ main source of livelihood,” said Governor Lenolkulal.

The governor wants the operation halted and another alternative way of solving the issue sought.

“The government has enough resources and machineries to get to the bottom of this. We have a few criminals but unfortunately what is happening now is a humiliation,” added the governor.

LOST MEANING

On his part, Mr Lelelit faulted the operation saying it has lost meaning.

“The operation was meant to help in the recovery of illegally held guns, but the commanders leading their teams have directed harassment of people from certain communities. I was personally in Laikipia yesterday and what is taking place there is purely crimes against humanity,” said Mr Lelelit.

The three leaders also claimed that identification cards from two pastoralist communities are being confiscated by security agents in Laikipia.

The leaders further accused politicians from Laikipia County of turning the operation “political”.

“We know there are local politicians in Laikipia who do not want our people there, and some who want to change the voting pattern. So they are taking advantage of the operation,” added Mr Lelelit.

They threatened to call for mass action in two weeks’ time to recover the confiscated IDs.

Kenya

President’s Sister Margaret Wambui Dies in Nairobi

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Isiolo Herders in Fresh Fight Over Grazing Land

By Vivian Jebet

Fresh fights between herders from two pastoralist communities erupted in Kom, Isiolo County Monday leaving one person injured.

Tension continues to grip the volatile area following death of 10 herders from Borana and Samburu communities over grazing land on Sunday.

One scout from Biliko-Bulesa conservancy was shot in the arm when Borana bandits opened fire at Samburu herders who had gone to collect dead bodies of their colleagues at the scene.

Merti Deputy County Commissioner Julius Maiyo said seven out of 10 bodies of those killed during the Sunday’s attack have been retrieved from the scene.

“Three bodies from Samburu’s side have been collected and taken to Isiolo Referral Hospital mortuary for preservation; two bodies belonging to Borana community were buried in Merti while two others collected from the scene were yet to be buried in Biliko and Dimado areas in Merti Sub- County,” said the administrator.

Police from Archers Post, Samburu County are interrogating one suspect, a driver of a lorry who was spotted ferrying 60 morans from Marsabit County to the area two days before Sunday’s fierce gun fight.

Mr Maiyo said police are yet to establish their mission.

On the remaining bodies, the DCC said herders could not access the area to collect the bodies due to fear of revenge attacks.

Some of the 20 cattle that were shot dead were still lying at the battle field, about 100 kilometres from Isiolo town.

“The herders who are armed with illegal firearms from both communities have not withdrawn from the scene and are still camouflaging around the area,” he added.

Security has been heightened to prevent retaliatory attacks and to restore normalcy in the area.

The movement of armed herders from neighbouring counties of Marsabit, Samburu and Isiolo into the area in search of water and pasture for their livestock due to drought has sparked tension.

On Sunday, about 100 armed bandits from Borana community attacked Samburu herders who had migrated from Samburu County with their livestock.

Motorists and public vehicles have been forced to use the Garfasa-Mbarambate- Kulamawe route towards Isiolo town for fear of attacks along the Kom-Archers Post route.

Kenya

Farmers Battle Drought With Growing Appetite for Baby Corn

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Red Cross Appeals for Sh1 Billion to Tackle Drought Effects

By Lillian Mutavi

The Kenya Red Cross is appealing to Kenyans to raise Sh1 billion to help tackle the drought crisis in more than half of the country.

The fund will help up to 340,786 people facing starvation in 13 counties.

The fund will focus on interventions to mitigate drought, including nutrition, direct cash transfers, food vouchers, rehabilitation of key communal watering points and animal off-take and slaughter.

“All Kenyans need to come forward to donate to the Drought Appeal,” said Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary-General Abbas Gullet.

Dr Gullet said the number of people in need of food aid has risen to more than two million since January this year and the society has been forced to expand relief aid to nine more counties — Marsabit, Turkana, Wajir, Mandera, West Pokot, Baringo, Isiolo, Samburu and Lamu.

He said the assistance requested will target malnourished children, pregnant women and lactating mothers in 10 counties.

DIRECT CASH TRANSFERS

He said direct cash transfers to most food-insecure families and where markets are functional will benefit 17,500 families.

Dr Gullet said food vouchers will be given to 7,500 families while 51 watering points will be rehabilitated.

He said financial assistance will help families meet their immediate food, non-food and income needs.

“Cash transfers offer families with the flexibility and choice to purchase their preferred foodstuff from local traders and therefore supports local markets and recovery of livelihoods,” he said.

He said 4,200 households had already received money under the programme.

The drought in Baringo, Embu (Mbeere), Kajiado, Kitui, Laikipia, Makueni, Narok, Nyeri (Kieni), Taita-Taveta, Meru (North) and Tharaka-Nithi counties has been classified as an emergency.

The situation is alarming and expected to get worse in Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River, Lamu, Wajir, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot counties.

Kenya

Counties Begin Firing Striking Doctors

County governments have begun the process of terminating employment of doctors who are on strike. Read more »

Samburu Herders Discover Two Bombs in Poro

By Godfrey Oundoh

Residents of Poro, Samburu West are living in fear after two bombs were discovered in area.

The two bombs were discovered on Thursday evening by herders who reported to the nearby Administration Police post.

The officers in the camp alerted their colleagues at the Maralal AP headquarters who went and collected the bombs.

The explosives were kept under the custody of Police awaiting the arrival of bomb experts from Nairobi.

Samburu County Police Commander Stephen Mwinzi said the team will be arriving anytime to detonate the bombs.

Several cases of leftover bombs and unexploded landmines have been reported by pastoralists in Samburu County.

There has been a number of causalities mostly children taking care of animals on the hills and plain.

This has been linked to military trainings by the Kenyan and the British Army in the area.

Archers Post in Samburu East along the Samburu-Isiolo border, Baawa North and Poro are among the affected areas.

Kenya

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Schools in Samburu Risk Closure as Drought Persists

By Godfrey Oundoh

School going children are among thousands of residents of Samburu County affected by a drought ravaging the region.

Independent investigations by the Nation have revealed that many pupils may drop out of schools if the government does not intervene and supply them with relief food and water.

Already, the fate of more than 500 primary school pupils in the county hangs in the balance after the managements of their schools vowed to close them due to the drought.

The drought has hampered learning at Ndonyo Wasin Primary School in Sereolipi, Samburu East, which is one of the areas worst hit by drought in the country.

The school’s administration disclosed to the Nation that they are contemplating sending children home this week as the conditions have worsened.

“The school management committee has agreed to follow the bitter path due to lack of water that has affected the normal learning activities in the institution,” said an official of the school’s management who sought anonymity.

SEARCH FOR WATER

Most of the learners in the area have stopped attending classes as they opt to stay at home and help their families in search for water.

A spot check by the Nation revealed that most children were missing classes as they help fetch water from the only community well in the area that is almost drying up.

Thousands of residents depend on the well for water.

A week ago, a primary school boy slipped and fell into the well as he tried to fetch water.

He was rescued by good Samaritans who were present.

According to Fr Jonathan Namoni, a priest at Ndonyo Wasin Cathoilc Church which sponsors the school, the problem is alarming and urgent measures are needed to save the lives of the children.

HELP FROM COUNTY GOVT

“The county government was initially helping the learning institutions with water. We plead for their assistance,” said Fr Namoni.

In several other schools in the area, the number of pupils has dropped significantly, the Nation learnt.

Fr Namoni revealed that more than 65 children have been transferred to schools run by non-profit organisations where they can get water.

Parents are now targeting schools that are along the urban areas of Sereolipi along the Isiolo-Marsabt-Moyale highway, Merile, and Girigiri.

A resident and rights activist Jespa Lerno said the situation has forced parents to try to balance between livelihoods and education, forcing many pupils to drop out of school.

“There is need for urgent food and water aid to the vulnerable groups in this community. Children below the age of five, the aged, disabled and pregnant women are all in urgent need of the essential human needs,” said Lerno.

Kenya

Doctors’ Strike Talks Resume

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Families Transfer Patients to Private Hospitals as Strike Bites

Public hospitals in Nakuru, Nyandarua, Narok, Samburu and Laikipia counties remained deserted on Monday as health workers kept off work.

Patients seeking treatment at the health facilities continued suffering as they were turned away by security guards, with nobody in sight to attend to them.

The most affected were those scheduled for Caesarean sections, surgeries and expectant mothers who had to seek immediate help elsewhere in private facilities.

At the Nakuru Level Five Hospital, which serves as a referral centre for Nyandarua, Narok, Samburu, Laikipia, Baringo and Kericho counties, the families of patients had to transfer them to private hospitals.

Ms Waithera Kamau’s son, who has arthritis, writhed in pain after he missed a crucial monthly injection.

FEW WORKERS REPORTED ON DUTY

“I am confused because l cannot get the injection elsewhere. I fear for my son’s life,” she told the Daily Nation, breaking down. At the Nyahururu County Referral and Rumuruti Sub-County hospitals in Laikipia County, only a handful of health workers reported for duty on Monday.

In Samburu County, nurses took to the streets of Maralal Town, carrying placards as they chanted slogans urging the county government to address their plight.

Most families transferred their patients to Wamba Mission hospital, 106km from Maralal.

Meanwhile, the Nakuru County Government has started receiving applications for job vacancies to fill positions of 1,200 striking nurses after attempts to resolve a stalemate over delayed and unfair promotions hit a snag.

Reporting By Magdalene Wanja, Steve Njuguna , Macharia Mwangi, David Macharia, Godfrey Oundoh and Reitz Mureithi.

Kenya

Strike to Continue Until Doctors’ Needs Are Met

Doctors on strike have accused the Ministry of Health of arm-twisting health workers to return to work, yet their… Read more »

Kenya: Families Transfer Patients to Private Hospitals as Strike Bites

Public hospitals in Nakuru, Nyandarua, Narok, Samburu and Laikipia counties remained deserted on Monday as health workers kept off work.

Patients seeking treatment at the health facilities continued suffering as they were turned away by security guards, with nobody in sight to attend to them.

The most affected were those scheduled for Caesarean sections, surgeries and expectant mothers who had to seek immediate help elsewhere in private facilities.

At the Nakuru Level Five Hospital, which serves as a referral centre for Nyandarua, Narok, Samburu, Laikipia, Baringo and Kericho counties, the families of patients had to transfer them to private hospitals.

Ms Waithera Kamau’s son, who has arthritis, writhed in pain after he missed a crucial monthly injection.

FEW WORKERS REPORTED ON DUTY

“I am confused because l cannot get the injection elsewhere. I fear for my son’s life,” she told the Daily Nation, breaking down. At the Nyahururu County Referral and Rumuruti Sub-County hospitals in Laikipia County, only a handful of health workers reported for duty on Monday.

In Samburu County, nurses took to the streets of Maralal Town, carrying placards as they chanted slogans urging the county government to address their plight.

Most families transferred their patients to Wamba Mission hospital, 106km from Maralal.

Meanwhile, the Nakuru County Government has started receiving applications for job vacancies to fill positions of 1,200 striking nurses after attempts to resolve a stalemate over delayed and unfair promotions hit a snag.

Reporting By Magdalene Wanja, Steve Njuguna , Macharia Mwangi, David Macharia, Godfrey Oundoh and Reitz Mureithi.

Kenya

Strike to Continue Until Doctors’ Needs Are Met

Doctors on strike have accused the Ministry of Health of arm-twisting health workers to return to work, yet their… Read more »

Mary Ekai Admits Misappropriating Taxpayers’ Money, Offers to Repay

By Godfrey Oundoh

A Samburu county official risks being impeached by the county assembly after admitting misappropriating public funds and flouting procurement laws.

Mary Ekai, the County Executive Committee member in charge of the Health and Sanitation Department has also admitted extending her stay in Israel for two extra days on taxpayers’ money.

Ms Ekai who appeared before the Samburu County Assembly Committee for grilling on Wednesday promised to return taxpayers money paid into her account before she went for an education trip to Israel two weeks ago, following demands by some Samburu ward representatives.

Sh1.3 Million was deposited into her account as per diem allowance for 14 days.

The county official is said to have spent more than Sh 3.1 million on foreign trips within three weeks at the expense of taxpayers.

She was grilled by the ad-hoc committee of the Samburu County Assembly set up to investigate the matter among other issues.

Three weeks ago, the county executive officer made a solo trip to Italy for a week and allegedly spent Sh1.2 million. The purpose of the visit was to see various Italian hospitals for benchmarking.

She later proceeded directly to Israel to pursue a course at Galilee International Management Institute where she studied Health Systems Management course for two weeks. She allegedly spent Sh 1.9 million on this trip.

The same course is offered in Kenya by Amref Health Africa at a cost of Sh 71,000.

According to the Public Finance Act, per diem allowances are not supposed to be paid to a government official who is under full board accommodation.

Ms went to Galilee Institute with an officer from her office, David Onchonga, who was not cleared by the Samburu county government to go for the trip as the County Secretary Stephen Letinina cited lack of funds to support his travel.

It emerged before the committee led by Nominated MCA Modesta Lalaikipian that Mr. Onchonga who is a public health officer at the Samburu County Referral Hospital and the Malaria coordinator of Samburu County travelled to Israel after taking a two week leave from his office with the intention of taking his mother for specialized treatment in India.

His presence in Israel was discovered after he posted on Facebook that he was in Israel.

The committee was curious why Ms Ekai was always accompanied to various trips and trainings by Mr. Onchonga. According to the committee the two had had another training at Strathmore University a week before she travelled to Italy.

Ms Ekai claimed before the committee that she did not know if the accountant from her department had deposited the money in her account.

She agreed with the committee that it was illegal in the country for a public officer to receive per diem allowances if their full accommodation had been paid for.

“If money meant for my allowances was deposited in my account I don’t know, because I have not checked my balance since I came back from Israel, if the said Sh1.3 million is in my account then I am more than willing to return it to Samburu County because its mwananchi’s money,” she said.

Her statement prompted the committee to ask if she was using a parallel account for her official transactions, which she denied.

Ms Ekai also admitted to have flouted procurement laws which saw the department lose millions of money.

The committee found out that a total of Sh1.2 million was paid illegally to Bhogals Garage in Nakuru under her orders to repair her official car without following the set procurement procedures.

She admitted doing ‘back door transactions’ even after the county declined to pay for the cost after the company issued an invoice to the Samburu county government.

A total of Sh 118,000 had been spent earlier on replacement and repair of bolts on the same vehicle a month before it was taken back to the same garage.

Ms Ekai also faces allegations of spending Sh 2.8 million county cash to clear a freight of medical equipment from the Mombasa port.

The items are not in use as they have no spare parts and an expert to operate them.

The allegations facing the officer have sparked public rage among Samburu residents.

The county assembly committee will be retreating to file a report on the Ms Ekai conduct today.

Counties Call for Release of U.S.$194 Million

By Fred Oluoch

Marginalised groups in Kenya are pushing for quick resolution to the legal dispute between the national and county government to enable the disbursement of the $194 million due to them.

The management of the Equalisation Fund is attracting a lot of political interest, especially in the marginalised counties, where the national government, governors and the MPs are competing to manage the funds, with the objective of gaining mileage in the 2017 elections.

The counties which include Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Mandera, Marsabit, Narok, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Taita Taveta, Wajir and West Pokot are supposed to spend the money on basic but critical services, such as water, roads, health facilities and electricity in marginalised areas.

This it is believed would help the counties catch up with the rest of the country in terms of development.

The 14 counties identified as marginalised by the 2010 Constitution are concerned that the electioneering mood has already set in, yet the money that ought to have started benefiting them four years ago lies idle due to a misunderstanding between the national and county governments.

The Council of Governors went to court in June to stop the Equalisation Fund from being disbursed through the constituencies other than the governors in accordance to the regulations passed by both the National Assembly and the Senate.

Billow Kerrow, chairperson of the Senate’s Finance, Commerce and Budget Committee, told The EastAfrican that Treasury has bungled the whole concept by giving in to pressure by members of the National Assembly in disregard of the regulations passed by both houses of parliament.

“Since some of the functions covered by the funds had been devolved, the regulations provided that Treasury must consult the concerned county governments in terms of identifying and planning of the projects because it is the marginalised who know their priorities,” said Mr Kerrow, Senator for Mandera.

The Commission on Revenue Allocation – that identified the 14 counties and the Senate Finance Committee – has also applied to be enjoined in the case that is now raising temperatures as 2017 draws near.

Initially, the funds could not be disbursed because Article 204 of the constitution had provided that 0.5 per cent of all the revenue collected by the government calculated on the basis of the most recent audited accounts, was to go to 14 counties that have identified as having been marginalised.

But a motion sponsored by Samburu West MP Lati Lelelit passed in October last year, changed the regulations to allow the Equalisation Fund channelled through the Constituency Development Fund.

Mr Kerrow said this basically leaves the funds in the hands of MPs, who are likely to identify the projects and handpick the contractors. This has not gone down well with the governors, because it keeps $34 million annually beyond their reach.

Treasury allocated $58 million to the Equalisation Fund in the 2016/2017 financial year, bringing the amount accumulated over the past four years to $194 million.

Winfred Lichuma, chairperson of National Gender and Equality Commission, said that the fact that Ksh 20 billion ($194 million) is sitting idle and yet it is supposed to be distributed to marginalised groups means the preservation of the status quo.

“We urge county governments to pass relevant legislation that will anchor and ensure county budgets and planning are sensitive and specific to issues of gender and other special interest groups,” said Ms Lichuma.

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