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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Forgotten Frontier That Is Northern Kenya

In a country where subsequent governments alienate whole provinces for over 4 decades and still get away with it, it’s good that someone came up with the idea of a Ministry for Northern Kenya and other Arid Areas. These are arguably the most neglected in the country and the creation of a ministry for them at least shows that the leadership appreciates the need for some speedy reversal of this unfortunate situation.

But I don’t believe a government ministry is what the doctor ordered for Northern Kenya and other arid areas. If we look at it in terms of ministries then they should all go and camp there. For one a lot of Education is required to empower the locals to actively participate in the development of their own. There’s need for water technology and water harvesting for domestic and irrigation purposes, livestock management through building of abattoirs, introduction of farming of fruits, vegetables, medicinal and horticultural crops – there’s just too much. Maybe Najib Balala’s next challenge should be to have more tourists there in future if at all there are any now. And who knows the areas could produce some athletes and soccer stars if someone looked hard enough?

In short arid areas, as do many others in the country, have great potential and need special attention from nearly all the current ministries except the likes of Nairobi Metropolitan Development and East African Community among others. In any case, the current ministries are just a political arrangement that will mostly operate on a national level.

In my view a development body would fit the bill better. Like the Lake Basin Development Authority or Coast Development Authority. The authority can be funded by development partners without being bogged down by backward government bureaucracy and long procurement procedures. Of course the state also has a major role to play in additional funding and generally enabling the smooth running of the authority by ensuring security and providing incentives such as tax exemption on equipment. The authority should have a clear mandate and be able to approach and receive special attention from all ministers in government including the Prime Minister who promised a Livestock Insurance Policy during his campaigns.

This is not a call for Majimbo but these areas have a lot of sharp minds and by all means they should be left to manage such a body should it be formed. They’re very familiar with their problems and they know their terrain well. And since they grew up there, they’ll spend more time working other than whining about the tough climatic conditions.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey 50 feared dead on nairobi thika road as bus rolls- some are claiming nails and sharp objects placed on the road?? any new on that yet Kumekucha??

fave said...

Wanjiku,
Great article. BUT, I have a quarrel with you when you say in your last paragraph,

'This is not a call for Majimbo but these areas have a lot of sharp .....'
Dear, there is nothing wrong with Majimbo, That is what I have called for all a long. I do not call for the chasing away of any individual, but, the fact is that Nairobi can not solve North Horr's problems. Only North Horr will solve its problems. Your article acknowledges the importance of local government and the fact that central government becomes to wieldy and too mired in bureaucracy

So do not be afraid to say it. Just say it loud and with confidence. This country needs federalism, period. When power is removed from state house, I do not care who will be in walking its cavernous hallways.

Phil said...

Well said Wanjiku & Fave. I concur with you sentiments.

Call it Majimbo/Ugatuzi or whatever, it is already ON TRACK and we all know who is driving it. Right?

As I've always said, this grand coalition government is only but the beginning of change to what has been resisted for decades.

Those of us who have experienced homegrown marginalization know it is worse than the racism a black man experiences in Europe or North America and I personally welcome this ministry with open arms.

Like the Captain says, Grab your microscopes and you will see who the winners are and who the mourners are. (HINT: All posts under the duly erected president are occupied by the referendum Orange group, ie VP, PM, DPM1, DPM2, plus SNA & DSNA)- but more on this later, including the fact that young voters in Central Province are finally appreciating the fact that they have been used like sufurias which are only remembered when hunger sets in. 2012? You bet!

Anonymous said...

Wanjiku

So right that regional development authorities would better serve than creating a political gimmick of a ministry for northern kenya and other arid lands, why not a ministry for each province, we already have another for nairobi. And then top that up with yet another ministry of regional development authorities, sheesh, maybe we need another ministry for coughing thru the nose.

in the meantime the country burns due to mungiki mayhem and the idiots that kept talking about sijui GSU, Riot squad to deal with ODM protestors, wame nyamaza, i mean read my lips is currently in charge. can he sort out that kikuyu dome.

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Fave I hear you loud and clear. This country needs federalism!

Anon there are no deaths reported in the Thika Road Accident but 3 critical injuries. Unless there has been another accident.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Fave I hear you loud and clear. This country needs federalism!

Anon there are no deaths reported in the Thika Road Accident but 3 critical injuries. Unless there has been another accident.

Thanks Wanjiku that is good news- one never knows if one has relatives who happened to be in the bus ans overall we have had too many deaths in kenya- we sure need a break!!

Marianne Briner said...

When I worked for the Kenyan Government - on official Mandate basis just to erase any doubts from the beginning - also some projects of LABDA (Lake Basin Development Authoriy) were included - but I got 'stucked' right in the beginning. One reason was that nobody in Nairobi wanted these projects to develop, but the biggest obstacle was a certain Nicholas Biwott who opposed any development of this area.

Reasons for his more than hostile behaviour were never explained to me.

There are certain people alive who could shed light on this, but I do not want to expose their names here since I fear that they could end up as others - dead and buried.

I have learned my lesson, believe me.

It is scary to live with the knowlege I have. But believe me, although I am scared, I cannot be silenced - by nobody - and this includes also Jeff Koinange.......

Marianne Briner

Emily said...

Wanjiku,

Well written article my dear, and yes I agree we do not need to make any apologies for wanting good old governance delivered right at our doorsteps, and more so especially when we pay good money for it!

We want Majimbo!

Taabu said...

Spot on Ciku. Leaves you wondering DON'T we suffocate from good ideas that are never implemented? Moi used the populist charm but no substance. True the regional authorities are best placed to develop their respective areas. If only the will was there. But all that is short supply is leadership. Moi used to have the bodies to reward cronies and nothing has changed except replacing DT with ES.

Look closely at those fighting federalism and ask yourself why. It is simply because ticks need hosts. But the Kenyan host is demanding being fumigated and dewormed. So either the tick mutates of learns to survive without our blood. But then they wouldn't go without a fight after deceiving all and sundry that deception is is theft in disguise.

Anonymous said...

hey wanjiku after saying thanks- i forgot to mention your article on northern frontier- it is indeed one of our riches places in kenya irregardless of education- kibaki government between 2002-2007 signed over mining concessions to companies from canada

The fact that the mining companies were granted licenses to conduct mining activities by the government without consultations with the residents of Isiolo is a clear example of how the Trust Land Act has been abused. The initial and successive granting of licenses was done with no referenceto members of the local community residing around Dusefor whom the same piece of land had been held in Trust bythe County Council, nor were they compensated. The lackof a legal framework for the compensation of community members is a result of section 53 of the Trust Land Act

THIS WAS SIGNED JUST BEFORE ELECTIONS(now you understand why Hon Michuki is minster of natural resources?? if i were ODM i would check his moves closes)


December 21, 2007: Swedish independent oil and gas exploration company, Lundin Petroleum, which was recently allocated an exploration block in Northern Kenya’s Anza basin has started building its financial muscles to enable it start the project.

The company, which has signed production sharing contracts with the Energy ministry, said it had secured $1 billion in new financing facilities to fund exploration and development expenditure in Kenya and other parts of the world.

PNU FORGETS ALL INFORMATION IS ON THE INTERNET- ANY COMPANY ON ANY STOCK EXCHANGE HAS TO POST ALL DEALS UP ON THEIR WEBSITES- SO EVERY DEAL THAT KENYA signed any oil or minerals is up on the internet- kenyans and ODM just has to google and you will find all details- to enable one to follow mr. MICHUKI THEIF!! OH BOY DON'T I LOVE THE INTERNET AND THE STOCK EXCHANGE!!

Anonymous said...

WANJIKU - HERE IS A FULL REPORT- THE NORTHERN FRONTIERS IS GOING TO BE ONE OF THE RICHEST PROVINCES IN KENYA- IF THE WAY THEY SAY OIL IS IN THERE:)

November 29, 2007: The Energy ministry has drafted new conditions to be met by international oil and gas companies that have kicked off a scramble for Kenya’s onshore and offshore blocks .

From now on, they are required to pay a commitment fee of between $75 000 and $500 000 and set up local offices.

“The country plans to manage its search for oil. Surrendered blocks will also attract penalties,” Patrick Nyoike, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy said.

Takeover of awarded blocks will not be allowed between the exploration companies.

Previously, the government leased out the exploration blocks to the oil companies to prospect.Critics argued that such contracts gave the prospectors full rights to produce, and sell offering them full control over any mineral that may be found within such blocks.

Under the new contracts, however, Kenya will own the oil while the international explorers invest in prospecting and production with the two parties sharing the proceeds according to an agreed formula.

Under the ban on takeovers, an inter ministerial committee chaired by Mr Nyoike has rejected proposals by Geneva-based Swedish oil prospector Lundin Petroleum to take over block 10BB from Turkana Drilling Company, that was awarded last month.

“We are now insisting that they must get into some fee commitment with us. We do not allow takeovers but firm ins,” Mr Nyoike told Business Daily in an interview. Before being awarded the block on October 5, Turkana Drilling Company paid $275 000 commitment fee and has got 90 days to unveil a defined work programme on how to go about the search.

“We have a $12 million bond from Turkana Drilling Company and each of the awarded contracts is secure,” he says.

Lundin has been awarded an exploration licence for the Anza basin Block 10A, which spans over a 14,000 square kilometre area, and is understood to have been in talks with Turkana over block 10BB.

Last April, China’s National and Overseas Oil Company (CNOOC) subsidiary in Africa signed production sharing contracts for six blocks covering 115,343 square km (44,520 sq mile) located in three basins in Kenya.

Woodside Kenya, an affiliate of Australia’s Woodside Energy, is set to drill offshore in Blocks L5 and L7 in the Lamu basin before year end.

Woodside which has returned four blocks L8-L11, has to date spent over $12 million since it started activities for oil exploration in Kenya in 2003. The Nyoike-led committee is demanding that it finds drilling partners for blocks L8 and L9, failure to which it will incur $6.2 million in penalties.

CNOOC controls blocks covering more than 100,000 square kilometres in Indian Ocean and has also handed back Block 10a, L2-L4 , 1 and 9.

Ministry officials say the company must pay service and bonus fees for the last two blocks.

Anonymous said...

NOW YOU UNDERSTAND WHY MUCHIKI TOOK MINISTRY OF MINERALS AND MINING???
BUT HE FORGETS LIKE OUR BLOGGER SAID ALL INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED- ANY PUBLIC COMPANY REPORTED ON THE STOCKS HAS TO POST ALL INFORMATION- AND ONE CAN ALWAYS DIG FOR MORE WHEN THEY POST THEIR QUARTERLY MARKUP

SO MICHUKI MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT HE WILL KULA BUT aaaiiih it will be hard and those companies have to post what exactly they paid for the mining concessions plus the consultancy fee and who are their partners- i.e government or individuals!!!so lets dig more and see who is on their sites as partners maybe another scandal coming soon:):) discovered right here on Kumekucha:)

Anonymous said...

Woodside Kenya, an affiliate of Australia’s Woodside Energy, is set to drill offshore in Blocks L5 and L7 in the Lamu basin before year end.

hey doesn't biwott own companies in Australia?? is this woodside part of Biwott empire??? I'm going to dig further!!

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Anon 12.28,

THIS WAS SIGNED JUST BEFORE ELECTIONS(now you understand why Hon Michuki is minister of natural resources?? if i were ODM i would check his moves closes)

Anon If this is true it's such a shock! And here I am wondering why Michuki has been demoted! Kumbe they know what they're doing. Evil old men! Actually I thought it's coz of his health ati he's been given a less tasking ministry.

Thanks guys. I'm learning so much more about Nothern Kenya than I knew! Marianne those leaders who strangle development projects we're getting rid of them one by one via the ballot. Next elections it wont be one by one though. And the grim ripper is helping out too once in a while.For the ones who are still in office, we shall keep making noise. Shouting ourselves hoarse until they hear us.

Anonymous said...

OK SOMETHING ELSE THAT WAS PASSED BEFORE ELECTIONS- JUST TAKING CARE OR KIKUYU LAND AGAIN-ODM MUST INSIST OTHER TOWNS SHOULD GET THE SAME PACKAGE FOR INFER STRUCTURE LIKE KIKUYUM,THIKA, RUIRU WHICHA ARE INCLUDED IN THIS PLAN!!


November 9, 2007: Nairobi is set to extend its boundaries under a Sh193 million plan to create a metropolitan authority.

The ambitious plan is expected to transform the way the city delivers services in an area covering five million residents and make up for the failures that continue to plague the Nairobi City Council.

Under this structure, the Nairobi Metropolis would overshadow municipal councils within a radius of 30 kilometres of the city.

It will run basic amenities and provide services in the metropolis, which is expected to be teeming with over 3.1 million residents and two million visitors and office workers who commute to the city everyday.

People familiar with the matter told the Business Daily that President Kibaki and his Cabinet have authorised a proposal by town planning experts that will see adjacent satellite towns included in the budgeting of Nairobi’s infrastructure and service needs.

The extended boundary will include Kiambu, Ngong, Kikuyu, Athi River and Ruiru under the management of the authority, unlike currently where it is the jurisdiction of individual local government councils.

A metropolitan authority board is to be constituted to spearhead the activities of the authority.

Under the arrangement, the board will draw budget for resources required to maintain and expand amenities such as roads, sewers, housing, garbage collection among others.

The authority will also oversee the collection and allocation of revenue from taxes levied on businesses and residents within the metropolitan area, effectively putting pressure on the viability of surrounding local bodies.

Nairobi City Council and other local government councils on the other hand will now operate under the board and will be
responsible for revenue collection and implementation of projects according to the boards recommendations.

The proposal is the first tacit admission that peri-urban areas can no longer be left out in the planning for Nairobi, on which millions depend for survival, a gap evident in daylong traffic jams and water shortages in other areas.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Growth Strategy (NMGS) was first drafted a year ago and with the Cabinet approval, is now set for review at the AG’s chambers before being Gazetted into law. It would then be incorporated into the vision 2030 plan.

Anonymous said...

HEY KENYANS -PLEASE LOOK AT THE DATE THOSE 20 LICENSES WERE ISSUED?? WAS IT LEGAL?? THE JOINT ACORD BETWEEN KIBAKI AND RAILA HAD BEEN SIGNED- I THINK PNU WAS AT IT'S DIRTY GAMES AGAIN- LOOTING- ODM BETTER STOP THIS NONSENSE NO WONDER THEY WERE DELAYING!!!!DIRTY DEALS (i have send a copy to all odm members of parliament and other smaller parties- they must watch michuki closely!!



Kenya issues 20 more oil exploration licences

February 01, 2008: Kenya will this year affirm its position as the next frontier for oil search with the award of 20 new exploration licences, industry insiders said.

The move comes after last year’s award of six licences as the country joins the global scramble for Africa’s natural resources.

The search for oil in Kenya recently intensified after neighbouring Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania succeeded in their attempts.

With under explored oil reserves and ample evidence of hydro carbon deposits, Kenya’s oil search that began with the adventurous entry of Australia’s Wood Side is now turning into a frenzy.

Last year, another Australian company, Hardman Resources, struck oil in neighbouring Uganda, with commercial production expected to start next year. It is initially expected to produce 6,000 to 10,000 barrels a day.

Last month, Vangold Resources signed a production sharing contract with the Ministry of Energy for Block 3A in the Anza Graben in the Eastern Province, covering 12,192.12 sq kms. This was in addition to block 3B.

Besides, Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum got a licence for block 10A, Camec (Block 11), Turkana Drilling (10BB), Lion Petroleum (block 1) and EAX (block L17/18).

Yesterday, the ministry said 20 other exploration blocks will be available for exploration this year.

Vangold officials said their choice of Block 3A was based on a study conducted by its technical team last year. This study found five prospects and one lead on Block 3A.

“The next phase will be to reprocess part of the seismic data with new Canadian technology to establish the detailed geometry of the area and to come up with the appropriate in-fill seismic programme,” said Dal Brynelsen, President and CEO of the company.

Under the terms of the contract, the Canadian firm is expected to spend a minimum of $3 million on technical study and acquire 1000-line kilometre two-dimensional seismic and 50 square-km three-dimensional seismic data for the allocated block.

The company said it intends to share technical resources and data with Chinese National Overseas Exploration Oil Company (CNOOC) and Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum.

State firm National Oil which has applied for four blocks said it would look for a partner to help drill its wells should it strike oil.

“We are also considering joint applications with capable partners,” managing director, Mwendia Nyaga told Business Daily.

Mr Nyaga saysall the blocks that have been taken up are prospective and most oil companies that previously opted out of them are having a second thought.

Abass said...

It is too early to say whether ministry of Northern Kenya. But don't forget that we also have ministry of finance and you how the state of the economy. SO it ain't about ministries but about what they DO. And the reason is obvious, corruption being the biggest. For one, I have to agree with you that we need to make education available to as many as possible. As someone from there (Mandera), I have to say while many people are poor, the problem isn't necessarily the cost of education. Indeed, almost all can afford the cost up to secondary but obviously not beyond that. But the BIG problem is the availability of public schools. I am from Mandera east and there is ONLY one boys' and one girls' public secondary schools. A handful of private ones have being established in the last 4 years. So, what we need is to BUILD MORE SCHOOLS. The other thing is the QUALITY of education. Many of us can't get the desired education grades to enrol in secondary schools, let alone universities. And the culprits are easy: lack of teaching staffs, resources, apparatus etc. So this should be addressed. Lastly but not the least we need ROADS NOW. Can you believe that the entire Mandera which is divided into three districts (East, west and Central) has NO SINGLE tarmac road? We Somalis naturally tend to be business people and I have reasons to believe that if roads are built, we can trade well with the rest of Kenya as well us with Somalis and Ethiopia. My own hometown of Mandera has a frontier with Somali and Ethiopia. While the one with Somalia is by roads, we are separated from Ethiopia by the river dawa. And we don't have a bridge to link us. It takes a WHOLE 2 days for me to come to Nairobi and back. I can't tell you the sate of the roads unless you see it for your eyes. It is only through God's grace that we manage to reach safely. Accidents are high and almost always unreported. My own dad passed away while he was returning from Nrb back to home one year ago in a road accident.I am not sure whether we need tourists. We won't mind visitors but we don't need tourists. All we need is EDUCATION and ROADS NOW.

Abass said...

Sorry. I meant it is too early to say whether ministry of Northern Kenya is what we need.

Anonymous said...

Latest rumour, after trying to get his brother as minister for finance, Raila now wants a ministry of Nyanza province and fishing to be headed by Fidel raila

Anonymous said...

What happened to resaoning. Last week, there was talk here that TALKS had been suspended because of an irreducable inimum. Today, it is bveoing said that all the posts were created by ODM during ethe referendum. For Chrit's sake. can we be logic. The same people who wanted Kalonzo Musyoka to be removbed from VP to head the opposition and be replaced by a woman from Coast province, ODM to get Foreign Affairs are now bleating of changes that they will make.

Give the 60,000 teachers jobs first; Give CDF 65% of the cash, contruct the railway from Mombasa to Sudan through Northj Eastern Province and employ all those who used to attend ODM rallies.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:11

at this point in time, you could try to address the mungiki menace and stop changing the topic with diversionary tactics.

knock knock, mungiki is at your doorstep, never mind ODM sijui hii ODM that. fungua mlango au biashara ukione

Anonymous said...

I personally has no problem with Majimboism system of Government, which all the Developed countries practice, for example canada has 13 provinces and each one of them under a premier, USA has 50 States and each of them under a gover. But my problem in Kenya is Tribalism. Some dorks on these Blog were sugessting that people should start getting VISA`s to travel to their upcountry outside their Provinces.

Anonymous said...

Important discussion but stop trying to distract us from the Mungiki problem. You are one of those 24-7 kazi iendelee screamers. Why didn't the kazi fika NEP? Didn't you say there was so much development in Kenya over the last 5 years??? Wacha ujanja! For your information, there is nothing absurd about insuring livestock. Farmers in developed countries already do that and pet owners even do it for their dogs and cats.

Anonymous said...

Pole Wanjiku - I thought this was written by that Kikuyu woman that's why I mentioned the kazi iendelee makelele

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Abbas sorry about your dad.

It’s good to hear the first hand view of someone from that area. As I said earlier I’ve learned so much more about Northern Kenya from the comments. I’ve learned even more from you. The situation there is more pathetic than I thought. Just 2 public schools in all of Mandera East? We have to keep making noise until someone listens. EDUCATION AND ROADS!

Anon 1.13 thanks for the information. I just hope the discovery of oil in Kenya wont get us the curse that seems to follow other oil producing countries.

Knoppix! said...

Anon 9:30 What a tired and sleepy lamentation ati it was written by a kikuyu!!!!!!!!!Bull Crap. We mainas all over kenya and they are not neccessarily kyuks and this you should be knopwing.Secondly not all kikuyus are unobjective and subjective as you might be sounding to be.

Not all kikuyus have total disregard of format of mind.There is Something in computers called ISA (Industry Starndard Architecture) So I would call Wanjiku's reasoning OSA ( Objective Standard Architecture).In other words her objectivity is standard devoid of tribe.

And all KKs should at all times in my believe make objective comments.Just because you have internet access and a keyboard you cant go posting hecklish stuff and the sort honestly!!!!!!!Am done.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know there are about forty outlawed militias/vigilante groups in the country?

Does this not say something about the state of our youth today? Disfranchised, disoriented, dysfunctional and easily manipulated by politicians for political gains

Since that fateful day on December 27, many cheap-to-hire thugs were recruited by ODM to fight against those perceived to have voted for PNU, notably Kalenjin Warriors, Taliban and Bagdad Boys.
This was followed by waves of reprisals and counter-reprisals which saw 'some long time gone' most dreaded groups like Mungiki, Chinkororo, Sungusungu and Achuma re-surfacing.
Unfortunately two wrongs don’t make a right and now we must reap what our politicians have sown – hate.

This issue of Majiboism /Lesotho should never have been brought up in the first place and it’s should be dropped outright. Much of the violence was blamed on this Majiboism.

Kwale

Anonymous said...

Kwale

4:30 AM

Now you are talking?? you go talk to your mungiki's the rest of kenyans know what they want because that is why they voted for change!!kikuyu's did not vote for change- you reap what you sow- go and talk to our mungiki brothers- or else central lesotho will indeed be a reality!!yawn bored of your nonsense on kumekucha!!

Abdi said...

I think the Ministry of Northern Kenya and arid lands will be one of the most successful.

This is not just because of the idea of the ministry per see but the man who is in charge of it.

Mohamed Ibrahim is the type of leader that NEP/Kenya/Africa/The world needs. I hail from Mandera too and have only had brief interactions with the minister (from Wajir), but he is CORRUPT FREE. I think that is very important.

Here is a guy who during his days as Oxfam boss in Wajir is rumored to have never taken a single shilling for personal use. He always insists on using the money for whatever project that was planned for. The NGO world already knows his record too, so that means you can be 100% sure money allocated to this ministry will make an impact at the grassroot level.

I think what we are lacking in Kenya are honest leaders that utilize the given budget for its intended purpose.

I also thank Hon Raila Amollo Odinga and Willian Ruto for making this ministry/appointment having promised as equitable distribution of resources during a recent US tour. When Raila asked us what we NEP people need: we said in unison 1. Roads 2. Roads 3. Roads. I think he got the message. I only wish he were the president as he seems to listen to the electorate.

I am from Mandera Central which borders Abass's Mandera East constituency. Abass, I thought you have 3 secondary schools (Mandera Boys, Moi Girls, Arabia Sec). Mandera central is even worse with only 2 secondary schools, both boys schools so our girls have to go to Mandera East for secondary education!!!. That obviously bothers me a lot. This is very personal to me and I would like to reverse some of this trends.

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