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Daily Nation : February 17th 2014
16 | National News to inadequate water supply at the Mwea irrigation scheme in Kirinyaga County. Rice farmers fear that they may not plant this season as water level in rivers Nyamindi, Murubara and Thiba which supply the expansive scheme has gone down drastically following a prolonged dry spell. If the situation persists, production at the scheme will be affected. Rice farmers worried as irrigation water levels fall 100,000 BY NATION CORRESPONDENT A shortage of rice is looming due The scheme widely known for producing the aromatic Pishori rice variety. Many the farmers have prepared paddy fields ready for planting, but water is not flowing to the scheme. They are scrambling for the scarce commodity as the National Irrigation Board officials ration what is available. A fortnight ago, five farmers from Mutithi village were arrested when they fought over water. They were released later without SETBACK | Three require total overhaul Helicopters hitch hurts operations of police service Officers are failing to respond effectively to emergencies because aircraft are grounded BY ANGIRA ZADOCK firstname.lastname@example.org helicopters are grounded. The service, however, has two fixed- T wing aircraft which can only carry nine officers each, and also land only on locations with runways. Four Mi-17 helicopters are grounded at the Kenya Police Airwing hangar. Three of them require total overhaul while the other one has not been repaired since it was involved in an accident in Kapsabet where former assistant minister Orwa Ojode and then Commissioner of Police Hussein Ali escaped. Mr Ojode later died in another helicopter crash. Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo, however, said yesterday that they had advertised for a tender for the supply of one new helicopter and the overhaul of the four Mi-17 helicopters. Another helicopter, a Bell 206 L4, has a problem in the turbine, suggesting that it might have been operated by an officer who does not have full knowledge about it, according to a senior pilot who sought anonymity. he police is failing to effectively respond to emergency situations since all its eight “In case of evacuation, the victims have to be taken to the nearest airstrip. Besides, officers cannot be taken to the exact areas of conflict unless there are airstrips,” he said. Even the emergency helicopter for the Kenyatta National Hospital kept by the police cannot function after the engine sucked in some particles while it was on official duty in Mandera early last year. It was taken there for standby duties and medical evacuation. ‘‘ Tonnes of rice produced annualy in Kenya against a demand of 400,000 tonnes any charges. The Nation yesterday established that no major activities were taking place in the scheme. The farmers complained that the situation was serious and called on the government to hasten the completion of a Sh12 billion dam at Rukenya in Gichugu sub-county to end the perennial problem. The dam, which being funded by Japan and Kenya governments, is one of the major projects being undertaken by the country. It is meant to increase water in the area to enable opening up extra rice fields at Mutithi area. The county hopes the dam would help increase rice production in the region three times. WAGALLA MASSACRE | Time to remember MACHAKOS Lobby pushes for water in primary schools An organization promoting hygiene in primary schools has appealed to county governments to prioritize provision of water in the institutions. The water would be used by learners to wash their hands and curb diseases. Kinga Africa director Francis Muthama said many schools, lacked water thus encouraging communicable diseases to thrive. He was speaking during a hand washing drive in Kivaa, Masinga sub-county. TRANS NZOIA Youths snub invites to village polytechnics Youths admitted to Trans In case of evacuation, the victims have to be taken to the nearest airstrip” Pilot Several other aircraft, including the Administration Police Service Bell 407, which crashed at Ukunda, are grounded. Three other Cesna 310 Caravans will be sold. A Bell 47 crashlanded at the Wilson airport while a Bell 206 L1 is undergoing repair at the Kenya Wildlife Services. Airwing Commandant Rogers Mbithi said the unit was understaffed. He said there has been a high turnover of experienced pilots and engineers who were lured by better salaries and benefits elsewhere. Nzoia polytechnics are yet to report to the training centres, a manager at one of them said yesterday. Kiminini youth polytechnic deputy manager John John Mukhebi said they sent out 362 letters admitting pupils who sat for KCPE results but none of them has reported. Youth training officer Eliud Lusweti blamed the trend on the perception that polytechnics are for failures. NAROK Agency told to ban charcoal burning Conservationists in Narok have DENISH OCHIENG | NATION A widow recites a poem during the 30th anniversary of the Wagalla Massacre in Wajir Town on Friday. The ceremony was organised to remember victims of the security operation that caused many deaths. appealed to the Kenya Forest Service to ban charcoal burning in Mau Forest. The co-coordinator of Mara and Serengeti ecosystems, Mr Nicholas ole Murero, raised the alarm that charcoal burning had negatively affected the Mara river ecosystem, threatening the existence of wildlife, and human beings downstream. The river, he said, could dry up due to destruction of the forest. Youth ask Uhuru to give them IDs ‘like other Kenyans’ BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Youth in North Eastern Kenta have asked the government to stop discrimination in the issuance identification documents. Wajir South MP Abdullahi Diriye (left) said at the weekend that young adults from the region that borders Somalia were being denied national identity cards and passports on “flimsy grounds”. “There is a lot of profiling by those issuing the IDs. They even ask the applicants to speak fluent Swahili before being issued with an ID. Since when did Kiswahili become proof of citizenship?” he told the Nation. He criticised that requirement, ar- guing that North Eastern Province has a low school enrolment rate—50 per cent—making it hard for people in the region to master the national language. Young people seeking the documents, he claimed, were also being checked for BCG immunisation on their arms. “In a region where the vaccination coverage is less than 50 per cent, how do you make this a ground for getting an ID?” he said. The lawmaker called on President Kenyatta to abolish discriminatory requirements, saying, youth from the region were suffering. Because of lacking IDs and passports, he said, the affected group had failed to secure employment and some had joined Al-Shabaab. Mr Diriye also asked the national government to address rising insecurity in the region. “Wajir South is the second largest constituency in Kenya and has only one police station,” he said. MERU Leaders vow to tackle sale of illicit spirits South Imenti leaders have re- solved to fight alcoholism in the region. Meeting at the weekend, they said unemployment and ready supply of cheap liquor were fuelling the problem. Speaking at Murungurune, Senator Kiraitu Murungi, Mr Kathuri Murungi, MP, and police boss John Cheruyoit said bar licences would be cancelled. Cheap spirits packed in plastic bottles were common in the region, they observed. DAILY NATION Monday February 17, 2014 BRIEFLY KISUMU Farmers set to benefit from new hybrid seed Farmers from the Lake Basin are set to benefit from a new maize breed that is resistant to the parasitic striga weed. Maseno University researcher Mathews Dida said that the seeds will be released to growers before the end of this year. Prof Dida, whose breed got a clean bill of health from Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate service (Kephis), added that the grain is expected to yield 8-11 tonnes per hectare.
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