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Daily Nation : February 9th 2014
SUNDAY NATION February 9, 2014 FARMING | Most of the produce is consumed outside the county No keen fish eaters in Nyeri but ponds flourish to feed outsiders Nyeri county alone has almost doubled Kenya’s total fish production of two years ago BY JAMES NGUNJIRI @mjngunjiri email@example.com W hen the government introduced fish farming through the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) in the 2009/10 financial year, nobody imagined that Nyeri county would become the leader in fish production. Last September the county was reported to have produced more than 21,800 metric tonnes of fish from ponds in 2012, compared to 12,154 metric tonnes produced by the entire country in 2010. The Department of Fisheries figures were presented to a fishery stakeholders’ workshop organised by the Karatina University. But despite such numbers, it is rare to see anyone selling fish on the streets of Nyeri town, and local food joints do not feature fish on the menu as do those in other towns around the country. Most of the fish raised and harvested in the county is consumed outside Nyeri. “But now we want to encourage Nyeri people to start eating fish,” said Nyeri county executive member for agriculture Shadrack Mubea. In 2009/10, free ponds were built and stocked with at least 1,000 fingerlings each under the ESP, and the fish farmers got free feed to last for six months. It took farmers in the Mount Kenya region some time to get used to the idea that once they had received training and been given everything they needed, they were expected to move to the next stage on their own. “If a person is supposed to help you walk, once you rise up, you are supposed to continue walking, but you should not wait for somebody else to continue holding your hand,” said Mr Mubea. But some farmers have been complaining 21,800 The quantity of fish in metric tonnes reported to have been produced in Nyeri county in 2012. BY BENSON AMADALA AND DERICK LUVEGA President Uhuru Kenyatta yes- terday vowed to work with leaders from western Kenya to deliver on the pledges he made during the campaigns. The President said he was ready to work with everyone, even leaders from regions that did not vote for him. Speaking in Vihiga County dur- ing a memorial service for Moses Substone Budamba Mudavadi, the President urged Kenyans to ignore leaders who spend their time criticising his government. “Those leaders who spend their time politicking should be ignored because their agenda is to create animosity among Kenyans and divide the country,” said Mr Kenyatta. He was reacting to calls from Fisheries Principal Secretary Micheni Ntiba in Nyeri recently. that the project was not viable, and they are not making money from it. Some of the farmers who ventured into the project at its inception have opted out citing lack of good returns. But the Mount Kenya Fish Farmers Association said: “Some of these farmers who are complaining that the venture is not paying off are those who started practising fish farming because the government was supporting them with free things. “Those who are still in the venture are benefiting,” said association chairman David Mureithi, who added that farmers who understood the process have been making money. The officials say they have a problem with some of the farmers who stopped maintaining their ponds after ESP support ended. “Some farmers expected that after har- vesting their first crop, the government would come back and give them free fingerlings,” said Prof Charles Ngugi. Prof Ngugi said the problem is with the management of the ponds at the individual level. Fish farmers in the county are organised into clusters of 20 to 30; the region has about 3,000 fish ponds, 10 dams and a number of rivers, and the county government is trying to move into the sector to revitalise it. The county has registered one of the highest adoption rates with more than 70 per cent of the beneficiaries of ESP retaining the ponds. “The ESP was supposed to help farm- ers get some alternative source of income besides dairy, tea, coffee and horticulture sectors,” said Mr Mubea. However, the marketing structures are not well defined and the county government is in the process of holding a fish stakeholders’ forum. With a mini fish-processing plant at Wamagana area in Tetu, the county government has declared it does not want to take control of running the daily affairs of the processing plant but wants to grow fish farming in the county. Don’t sideline us, Luhya leaders tell Uhuru regional leaders who urged the President not to sideline the Luhya community. Vihiga Governor Moses Akara- nga said past regimes have worked closely with the Luhya community and appointed professionals from the region to key government positions. “But Mr President, it is only in your government that people of Vihiga and the whole western feel left out in the cold. As a community we are ready to work with you,” he said. Busia Senator Amos Wako, former cabinet ministers Noah Wekesa and Soita Shitanda made similar pleas. Baringo Senator Gideon Moi read a message from former president Daniel Moi in which Mr Moi described Mudavadi as a passionate educationist who did a lot to improve girl-child education. Retired president Mwai Kibaki’s message was delivered by former MP Nderitu Mureithi. Senator George Khaniri said the Luhya community is disappointed for being sidelined from key appointments in the Jubilee administration. He said Mr Kenyatta should not isolate the community for failing to support him in the polls. “It is true Luhyas did not vote for you last year but it will be a big mis- take if your administration decides to sideline us from serving in your government,” said Mr Khaniri. And once again Mr Kenyatta warned public schools against increasing school fees. He said that all the increased charges were illegal and should stop with immediate effect until the government had exhaustively addressed the matter. He warned headteachers and school boards not to overcharge parents and deny poor children access to education. And the visit to Vihiga County Mr President, it is only in your government that people of Vihiga and the whole western feel left out” - Vihiga Governor Akaranga has heightened speculation about the possibility of the UDF leader Musalia Mudavadi being appointed Cabinet Secretary. Mr Kenyatta was accompanied by Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia. FILE | NATION Sunday Review 27 Elders want old map used to settle crisis BY MAZERA NDURYA @mazerandurya firstname.lastname@example.org AND SAMMY LUTTA Twitter: @sammylutta email@example.com Elders of the Pokot and Turkana communities now want government to rely on the original maps drawn by the colonial administration to resolve the boundary row. Speaking separately, local leaders and the elders said this would end the deadly clashes between the Pokot and Turkana. Pokot elders said government has not involved the community in drawing up new maps and as such vast tracts of land that traditionally belonged to the Pokot have being hived off. One of the contentious maps, which the elders say is to blame for the bad blood between the two communities, was drawn in 1992 by the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) to mark areas the authority wanted to develop. It is this map, the elders said, that has been the cause of conflict and even derailed work at KenGen’s Turkwel power plant. “At the time of drawing the bounda- ries, the chairman of the KVDA board was a Turkana. It is sad that the government uses this map as the official document. Survey department “The government knows where the map that clearly demarcates our area with Turkana, Trans Nzoia and Uganda is, and they can get it from the survey department or the National Archives. “Towns such as Kainuk in Masol location, Nakwamoru and Lorogon in Kasei locations are in Pokot land yet they are occupied by Turkana and refuse to be administered from the Pokot side,” said William Lopetakou, an elder. He said while they don’t want their neighbours evicted, they want the truth to be known so that revenue from any income generating activity benefits the West Pokot County. “We have no problem with Turkanas residing in our land because they are found all over our county especially in Kacheliba, Chepareria and Makutano. But our people are not allowed to reside or graze animals anywhere in Turkana County,” they said. The elders included John Lochokayi, Elijah Rongon, Nicholas Domokwang, Frederick Liman, Kennedy Alisoreng and Elijah Muruny . West Pokot Senator John Lonyan- gapuo said government should settle the boundary dispute. “Government has the machinery to deal with this issue. This should start with meetings between elders from the two communities because they know the genesis of this conflict,” he said. But Turkana community elders blame the Pokot for the inter-ethnic clashes because they have always had weapons and have thus taken over Turkana land forcefully. Mr Immanuel Imana claimed that the Pokot are more exposed to modern and sophisticated weapons compared to the Turkana and have vowed never to back down on the fighting.
February 8th 2014
February 10th 2014