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Daily Nation : February 14th 2014
18 | THE COUNTIES UASIN GISHU | Farmers urged to apply organic fertiliser to counter effects of chemical inputs Increasing soil acidity will lead to decline in food production and set off hunger, they say BY COPPERFIELD LAGAT @copperlagat email@example.com in the North Rift region is not arrested. Continued use of the fertilisers E would strangle food production, according to the experts. The warning came as the gov- ernment continued to subsidise Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) planting fertiliser through the National Cereals and Produce Board. The researchers maintain that the use of chemical farm inputs ought to KAKAMEGA County boss defends court staff hiring BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has dismissed a directive by Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko to stop appointing county prosecutors. Mr Oparanya yesterday said Mr Tobiko’s mandate was to gazette the county prosecutors once they have been interviewed and short-listed by the County Public Service Board. He said the recruitment was part of the judicial functions that were shared between the national and county governments. Shared responsibilities “We did form the county courts on the basis of the shared responsibilities with the judiciary. So why can’t we recruit staff to serve in the courts?” he said. Mr Tobiko had written to the governor advising him not to make the appointments after the county advertised the vacancies in November last year. He argued that it was not the pre- rogative of the county government to appoint the prosecutors as such functions only lied with his office. He said the functions and powers of the counties did not include prosecution of criminal matters. But Mr Oparanya termed the di- rective as unprocedural, claiming the county consulted Mr Tobiko’s office prior to the recruitment. JACOB OWITI | NATION Families prepare to flee after violence rocked Koguta Village near the Kisumu-Kericho border on Tuesday night. Governor asks police to act after deadly raid BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Kisumu County Governor Jack Ran- guma has called on the police to end the conflict at the Kericho-Kisumu border where a man was killed and dozens of houses burnt. Mr Ranguma yesterday said the police should arrest those involved in the Nyakach raid. Speaking in Holo Village, where property worth thousands of shillings was destroyed on Tuesday night, Mr Ranguma called on commissioners from both counties to work together and address the matter. The attackers are believed to have been from Kamolok Village in Kericho West District, Kericho County. “The cycle of violence must be brought to an end. We cannot let this continue. The Governor of Kericho, Mr Paul Chepkwony, and I will also work together to restore peace in this border region,” he said. Consult counterpart Mr Ranguma said the invaders were ‘ordinary’ robbers out to steal from hardworking Kenyans and dismissed claims that they were cattle rustlers. He said one of the homes they raided was not known to have any livestock, adding that no animal had been stolen during the attack. The county boss further said he would consult his Kericho counterpart to see how victims of the raid can be compensated for their losses after goats and calves died when the sheds they were kept in were razed. Ms Zeddy Soi, a single mother of six children, said her family had been rendered homeless after her house was razed during the violence. The border attack comes barely a month after a peace meeting that brought together community leaders and security chiefs from the two counties. The meeting, which was held at a Kericho hotel, was also attended by the Kericho governor and Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga. xperts have warned of severe food shortage if soil acidity caused by chemical fertiliser Acidic soils cutting yields – experts ‘‘ Soil acidity threatens to choke North Rift as the agricultural hub of the country” Prof Paul Ndalut of University of Eldoret be limited. Farmers have complained that soils in western Kenya are dead due to overuse of the chemical input. The phosphate component in the DAP fertiliser yields phosphoric acid which kills useful bacteria, making soil more acidic with time. Maize production in the Rift Val- ley has fallen in the past three years because of increase in the acidity. In 2011/12, the region harvested 21 million bags of maize but only 16 KISUMU million in 2012/13. However, Uasin Gishu County gov- ernment is working with a university to switch to organic fertiliser. Speaking yesterday during a meet- ing with farmers in Eldoret, Prof Paul Ndalut of University of Eldoret’s department of Chemistry and Biotechnology said soil acidity needed to be addressed urgently. “Soil acidity threatens to choke North Rift as the agricultural hub of the country,” said Prof Ndalut. DAILY NATION Friday February 14, 2014 AGENCY CALLS FOR MORE EXPERTS IN DRUGS WAR Nacada to introduce comprehensive training for workers handling addiction. Page 24 BRIEFLY KISUMU Fired local authority workers sue county The Kisumu County govern- He said overuse of chemical fertiliser had led to poor yields. “These chemical fertilisers are the reason for the depressed food output,” he said. However, the researcher, who is the university’s director of industrial links and extensions said they had come up with ways of rehabilitating acidic soils. The institution would soon sign an agreement with Uasin Gishu County to rejuvenate the soils, he added. Agreement Under the planned agreement, farmers will take samples of soil from their farms to a mini lab for investigation, he said. University staff would operate the laboratory. A few days ago, farmers in Trans Nzoia County were advised to use lime to rehabilitate soils. But researchers from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute said that may not work, arguing that lime would only work after eight years of use. ment has been sued by former local authority workers over alleged irregular sacking. The 32 workers led by Mr Oscar Juma filed a case at the Industrial Court on Monday and were heard on Tuesday. The former employees said they received letters of termination and even text messages but were not given a fair hearing. The case will be heard on February 19 and the petitioners were instructed to serve the County Public Service Commission and the county government who are respondents. UASIN GISHU Return Rivatex to the State, university told Rift Valley Textile Mills (Ri- vatex) should be reverted to the government and restructured to create jobs, a business lobby has said. The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday said Moi University, which took over the firm after it was placed under receivership in 2007, had failed to revive it. “The factory has been converted into a training institution instead of textile manufacturing firm that can create jobs,” said Mr Charles Mose, the chamber’s Eldoret branch chairman. KISII Vetting of nominees for county jobs begins The Kisii County Assembly has started vetting of chief officers appointed to various positions in the county government. Names of eight nominees appointed by the County Public Service Board were yesterday submitted to the assembly for approval as required by the law. Speaker Kerosi Ondieki who chairs the sevenmember Appointments Committee said the vetting would start immediately appealed to the public to offer information about the candidates. KISUMU Families in the cold after fire burns houses Hundreds of residents of Ban- dani estate in Kisumu County yesterday spent their night in the cold after their houses and property were destroyed by a fire. The fire which consumed about 60 houses is believed to have been caused by an electric fault from one of the houses. According to the land lady, Ms Lydiah Mokaya, she noticed fire from one of the houses and immediately switched off the electricity from the main switch. Police boss Musa Kongoli said no one was injured.
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