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Business Daily : October 9th 2013
11 Wednesday October 9, 2013 | BUSINESS DAILY COUNTY BUSINESS BY TOM MATOKE NANDI A group of four Kenya Tea Develop- ment Agency factories will invest Sh3.5 billion in hydro-electric power generation. Chubut and Kaptumo in Nandi County, Mudete in Vi- higa and the Kapsara in Trans-Nzoia have formed a joint company through which they want to gen- erate up to 10 megawatts and save Sh100 million they have paying Kenya Power every year. Chebut KTDA factory vice-chairman John Tega, and director Paul LeLei said the Chemuka hydro-electric power plant would be located at the Chepsonoi falls in Nandi County. Mr Tega said on completion, the power plant would help the factories to cut costs by up to 60 per cent, giving farmers room for earning more. He said surplus power would be sold to Kenya Power, which is grap- pling with increased electricity de- mand. The government has hatched a plan to generate another 5,000 mega- watts in the next 40 months. Mr Tega said the project will be funded by farmers and development partners, without giving details. The bulk of Kenya’s power is hy- dro-generated. Others are thermal, geothermal and wind sources. Part of the savings, the official said, would be used to grow more tea and plant trees to cut down further spend- ing on wood fuel. Mr Lelei said Chebut and Kaptumo tea factories in Nandi had acquired 60 acres of land for planting trees to be used in the factories and increase forest cover. Tree planting, he said, would be monitored to mitigate effects of climate change like frost that, in the past, destroyed vast acres under the crop. Mr Lelei asked farmers to “plant environment- friendly trees to contain frost when it strikes.” The two directors noted the increasing number of small-scale tea farmers in Nandi County who are now selling the green leaf to the KTDA factories after weeks of protests about payment. When the bonus payments were recently released, small-scale farmers claimed exploitation by KTDA, saying the agency did not recognise the rising production costs. They threatened suspending sup- plies to KTDA factories at Chebut and Kaptumo until the rates are im- proved. However, at the weekend, a section of the farmers said they were reviewing their stand after realising prices at the international markets had dropped. The two officials said it was difficult for individual factories to determine prices of a commodity that is traded beyond the borders. Apart from other advantages, they said KTDA assured farmers of regu- lar payments and denied claims the agency was exploiting the more than 500,000 small scale farmers across the country A section of tea farmers has also faulted low rates they are paid to fund projects like power generation, saying such decisions were pushing them to- wards multinationals. Zone 7 farmers serving Chebut, Mudete and Kapsara have been pro- testing deductions that leave them with Sh14 per kilo of green leaf, say- ing multinationals pay better. Farmers in Nandi County would receive more than Sh1 billion from the tea bonuses which KTDA announced two weeks ago while they are paid Sh23 per kilo of green leaf. Last year, thousands of small scale farmers in Nandi County quit the KTDA factories to the DL- Koisa- gat Tea Company that increased its prices of green leaf tea to Sh20 per kilo and also paid Sh20 a kilo for bo- nuses, a step that sparked protests from KTDA. ENERGY Four companies spread in three counties to produce up to 10 megawatts KTDA factories eye savings of Sh100 million when they start using own power, saying the investment will see farmers earning more. FILE KTDA facto≥ies to invest Sh3.5bn in hyd≥opowe≥ plant Plant envi≥onment- f≥iendly t≥ees to contain f≥ost when it st≥ikes PAUL LELEI, KTDA DIRECTOR T≥ade≥, ≥oads agency lock ho≥ns ove≥ p≥ope≥ty BY JAMES KARIUKI NAKURU The High Court yesterday allowed a Nakuru businessman to challenge a decision by a national roads authority barring him from developing a multi- million-shilling commercial building and a petrol station. Jayen Motinchand Dodhia’s case against the Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha) was also certified as urgent by Justice Hellen Omondi who gave the trader 21 days to serve the respondents. Mr Motichand told the court that he was the legal owner of the property he bought from Richard Hammon In- gram and a Certificate of Lease was is- sued after a court ordered the Ministry of Roads to keep off the property. The trader says he has applied for a loan to develop the property and risked losses if Kenha continued op- posing his application for change-of- user from agriculture to commercial premises. Through lawyer Njuguna Matiri , he says the roads ministry had applied for compulsory acquisition of the property but its owner moved to court. Mr Motichand proceeded to ap- ply for change-of-user but the hear- ing before the District Physical Plan- ning Office as well as the Municipal Council of Nakuru received adverse treatment after Kenha opposed the development. The businessman, who is the managing director of Shayona Timber Limited, said he had since paid a deposit for preparation of a physical plan of Sh80,000 and the reminder of Sh80,000 was to be paid after comple- tion of the works. He said he risked losing the loan facility if the application for change- of-user was not granted. The trader wants the Director of Physical Planning, the County Govern- ment of Nakuru and its County Secre- tary compelled to issue him with the relevant permission to commence development. Mrs Omondi certified the matter as urgent and ordered that all parties be served ready for the hearing next month. Change of user A Nakuru businessman is contesting Kenha decision to bar him from developing property. He wants to change it into a commercial property. BRIEFING SIAYA Sponsor poor students, school head asks firms A school principal has asked companies and other corporate bodies to support needy students and improve quality of education. Mrs Pauline Nandi, the principal of Nya- wara Girls Secondary School in Gem, Siaya County, singled out Equity Bank’s ‘Wings to Fly’ programme that sponsor the needy students. She said the pro- gramme has improved girls’ education in the county. “We are glad to be associ- ated with equity bank wings to fly pro- gramme,” she said. “This association has yielded positive results to our students.” NAROK Association wins award for protecting Mara River A Narok-based organisation has won a prestigious environmental award for its role in saving Mara River. Mara River Water Users Association (MR- WUA) together with Songoroi Ltd was named the 2013 winner of the 16th Thesis International River prize award at a gala dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia during the 16th International River Symposium. Three years ago, the association won the Equator Prize award, which came with a cash grant of $5000. The group was represented in Australia by MRWUA man- ager Kenedy Onyango. NYERI KRA launches tax lessons in secondary schools The Kenya Revenue Authority has launched a tax outreach programme for secondary schools to sensitise the youth on taxation. It will be co-ordinated through tax clubs and aims at educating students on the im- portance and benefits of paying tax. This will help raise future tax-compliant employees to help the nation meet its budgetary goals said the KRA assistant Commissioner in charge of the School Outreach Programme, Jeddy Ochuodho, at Nyeri Technical College. NAKURU Drug sellers in court over unauthorised distribution Pharmacies have been asked to stop sell- ing drugs from unauthorised distributors. The Kenya Pharmaceutical Association in the South Rift has asked wholesalers to lock out unscrupulous chemists by reject- ing their stocks. Mr Julius Kaluai, a senior inspector of drugs and the head of phar- macy and poisons board in the Rift, said during a quarterly meeting they have ar- rested more than 180 quacks in the last fiscal year. “The public have the right to demand for documentation,” he said.
October 14th 2013