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Daily Nation : February 17th 2014
DAILY NATION Monday February 17, 2014 BUSIA | A number of hotels have been built and the high demand for offices has seen investors change tack Devolution’s kiss of life to border town New county workers have created demand and market for critical services BY LINET WAFULA firstname.lastname@example.org record demand for high-end hotels in Busia Town. This is a far-cry from just five P years ago when the accommodation situation was dire. Growing demand for accom- modation is a pointer to the fast-changing face of the town that has seen a surge in professionals in the devolution era. As with other counties, trans- fer of professionals from towns such as Nairobi to rural counties has stirred Busia to life. The staff, including county executives, Assembly members, and chief officers have created demand and market for critical services such as accommodation and entertainment. Thanks to the county gov- ernment, a number of hotels have been built in the town and the need for offices has forced some investors to turn homes into business premises. UASIN GISHU Two tankers seized in war on fuel theft BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Villagers at the weekend seized two petrol tankers as part of a crackdown on illegal siphoning of fuel. Irate residents of Kosachei Village accused the theft syndicate of endangering their lives. The move comes barely two days after two other trucks caught fire as a gang siphoned fuel along the Eldoret-Malaba highway. In one of the compounds, the tanks were hidden inside decaying greenhouses and hose pipes connecting siphoning generators and the trucks. Speaking after residents stormed the compound, Uasin Gishu deputy governor Daniel Chemno asked President Kenyatta to crack the whip on administrators, whom he accused of condoning the vice. Mr Chemno said the county had informed the Interior Cabinet Secretary and the Inspector General of Police of the vice, but no action has been taken since November last year. “They (fuel thieves) have benefited from the illegal trade,” Mr Chemno said. Early this week, the county government constituted a team comprising the police, Kenya Revenue Authority and county officials to investigate and arrest those involved in fuel siphoning. Booming business Illegal siphoning of fuel is rampant along the highway amid residents’ complaints that it poses a grave danger to their safety. Tankers ferrying oil des- tined for other countries in the Great Lakes are diverted to specially constructed tanks. The fuel they are carrying is off-loaded, adulterated and then pumped back to the tankers before being sold to unsuspecting dealers. ublic workers and travellers in need of a place to stay or relax have created The number of hotels in the region is said to have doubled since last year. Hotels and conference facili- ties in the region include Itoya, The Quill, Border Palace, Farm View, Floman, Roots, Western Ambience and Gronnia. A visitor to Busia will not fail to spot the booming construction works. Plots that were once idle have seen construction of both commercial and residential buildings with the hotel industry reaping benefits. Mr Charles Wesonga, an inves- tor, said that the cosmopolitan nature of the town was the reason he opted to venture in the hotel industry to tap into the booming cross-border trade. Increased demand Mr Wesonga said that he was motivated by increased demand for bed spaces and conference facilities. “There is a lot of cross-border activities in the region and the county receives foreign visitors. So I decided to put up a facility that will meet their expectations,” he said. The Governor, Mr Sospeter Ojaamong, reckons that the hotel industry could perform better if Busia and Malava towns were well planned. GROWTH Changing face nThe hotel business has opened up various job opportunities for locals especially youth and women. nBecause of high population and inadequate housing, most of the developers are coming up with modern structures to accommodate the growing population. nPlans are on to ensure the area has good artistic appeal and proper planning to attract investors and tourists. NAKURU Bar owners ask Nacada to step up fight on counterfeit drinks BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Bar owners in Nakuru have asked the anti-drugs agency to step up its war on counterfeit drinks. The National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) had invited the business people to give recommendations on how the laws governing the sector should be harmonised. Nacada said they were liaising with the bar owners to craft new ways of enhancing implementation of the ‘Mututho laws’. Nacada chairman John Mututho said he had received a memorandum from members of the Nakuru Bar Owners Association who raised various concerns that they wanted his organisation to consider to promote full compliance with the alcohol regulations. “I had a fruitful discussion with Nakuru bar owners and they have raised pertinent issues, which we, as Nacada, will consider to ensure full compliance with the law,” said Mr Mututho in an interview. The business people were concerned that counterfeit drinks were finding a ready market at wines and spirits outlets, and were being sold against the regulations. “I have been to various counties and the concerns raised are almost the same, bordering on counterfeits and illicit drinks, which we urge the law enforcers to act upon,” the former Naivasha MP said. He dismissed allegations that he was on a revenge mission to punish bar owners for not supporting him in Naivasha to recapture his seat in the last General Election. “I have no personal ven- I had a fruitful discussion with Nakuru bar owners and they have raised pertinent issues which we, as Nacada, will consider to ensure full compliance with the law” Nacada chairman John Mututho detta against bar owners in Naivasha. They should feel free to discuss with me the best way forward in implementing the Mututho laws,” the Nacada chairman said. On Saturday, liquor outlets on Kanu Street in Nakuru were closed after word went round that Mr Mututho’s team was conducting a random inspection of their businesses. However, Mr Mututho said Nacada was not out to close their businesses, but rather, to regulate the industry. He said that his administration would work hard to ensure the region was attractive for commerce and industry. “To capitalise on the wide spectrum of business opportunities that our border towns and hotel industry offer, we must ensure we plan our towns well,” he said. “We have to make good use of the three official border points, which are a source of revenue to locals,” the governor said. A section of Busia Town. The town is currently experiencing rapid growth with streets and roads being built and a number of high-end hotels coming up. JACOB OWITI | NATION County News 19 BRIEFLY GARISSA Executive to discuss drought at meeting County Governor Nathif Jama is set to chair an executive meeting today to find ways of helping residents hit by drought. The county executive is expected to adopt a National Drought Management Authority’s recent report and identify measures to counter the adverse effects of drought in the region. Communication director Abdikadir Sugow confirmed the meeting, but declined to give details. NAKURU Private veterinarians urged to help farmers Self-employed veterinary of- ficers have been urged to assist farmers in tackling livestock diseases. Kenya Veterinary Association chairman Geoffrey Mutai yesterday said vaccination and disease detection could not be done by public officers alone. Speaking in Naivasha, Dr Mutai encouraged public and self-employed veterinary officers to join hands to raise standards of services to farmers. GARISSA Three vehicles to boost security in terror zone Administration Police in the county received three vehicles over the weekend in a bid to enhance security. Speaking after presiding over the finals of a football derby dubbed, “peace cup” county commissioner Rashid Khatoor said the vehicles would help security agencies access interior parts of the region, which have been targeted by Al-Shabaab militia since the Kenya Defence Forces foray into Somalia. UASIN GISHU Farmers alarmed at reduced wheat yields Wheat farmers in the Rift Val- ley have expressed concern over the decline in yields, which they have attributed to insecurity of land tenure in some areas and emerging diseases and pests. “Wheat production is a mechanical process and sub-division of land into smaller units due to population pressure renders cultivation of the crop uneconomical,” a farmer from Moiben, Uasin Gishu, Mr Wilson Kosgei, said. UASIN GISHU County leadership ‘not to blame for fire’ Traders at Eastleigh Fish mar- ket in Eldoret Town have denied claims that the Uasin Gishu county government is behind the torching of the facility last week. At least seven hotels and four tonnes of fish were destroyed by the Tuesday night blaze. But Eldoret Fish Vendors Association chairman Patrick Akama at the weekend said the county leadership was not linked the fire. Police are investigating the incident.
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