Panari to open Sh1.2bn resort in Nyahururu

The five-star resort has 22 four-
bedroom cottages, two villas and four
conference halls which seat on a 20-
acre piece of land overlooking the
Thompson Falls gorge.
Panari Hotels is set to open a Sh1.2
billion resort in Nyahururu this April.
Naiya Ratna, one of the directors of
Panari Hotels, said in an interview
Tuesday that construction of the 100-
room Panari Resort is almost complete.
The resort is already receiving
bookings by both local and
international guests.
“Unlike what we have in Nairobi with
the transit hotel and the Westlands
residences, we want to do something
different where we have more
personal interaction with our clients,”
said Ms Ratna.
The five-star resort has 22 four-
bedroom cottages, two villas and four
conference halls which seat on a 20-
acre piece of land overlooking the
Thompson Falls gorge.
Early guests are set to benefit from
three-month introductory rates of
Sh11,750 for bed and breakfast and
Sh17,750 for guests on full board
accommodation.
“Most of the financing was done in-
house but we got a bank loan to
facilitate the remaining quarter of
the investment. We wanted to spare
no detail in making the resort
appealing not only to the business
traveller but also tourists travelling
the Samburu circuit looking for a
break and the Nairobian looking for a
relaxing weekend getaway,” she said.
Initially, construction of the hotel was
meant to be completed by last
December but Ms Ratna said the
heavy El Nino rains caused delays.
“We did not want to open just half
the venue and have visitors while
construction was still ongoing. We
wanted the guests to have the
complete feel of the resort including
the spa experience,” she explained.
The firm secured $17.8 million
funding from the International
Finance Corporation to build the
multi-purpose, 11-storey, Panari
Centre in Nairobi.
The centre, which has a five-star,
137-room airport hotel, a shopping
facility, conference centre, an ice-
skating rink, two movie theatres and
additional facilities opened the
Mombasa Road operation in 2005.
Four years ago the company set up 10
units of furnished three and four-
bedroom residences targeting long-
stay clients such as diplomats and
families visiting Nairobi but looking for
alternatives to hotel accommodation.
“Diplomats who are either moving in or
out of their official residences as
well as families attending weddings
have been the main source of
business though we have had families
from as far as Uganda and Tanzania
who have relatives seeking treatment
within the city,” she said.
The group of hotels is also looking to
set up a three-star hotel within
Nyahururu town as well as hospitality
investment in Kajiado.

Jubilation as BATUK make donations to Soita Narok

Jubilation and dance rent the air at Soita Narok Orphanage–a makeshift orphanage in the heart of Masailand in Laikipia when BATUK personnel and their spouses, for the second time in a row, donated food, clothes and toys to the more than 200 children housed in dilapidated, ramshackle manyattas that leak when it rains and smells like a damp.

‘We were moved when we saw how these children live. How can a human being live in such pathetic conditions? And so we decided to start a fundraiser in UK where we will use forums and other media to fundraise for the orphanage’ said a spouse of a BATUK personnel.

BATUK’s involvement in community work in Laikipia is unparralled.

The BATUK, a British Army Training unit in Kenya involves itself in road construction, boda boda sheds fabrication, building schools and a plethora of other acts of kindness.

Activities lined up this month include completing a toilet facility for a school at Archers post, donating beds to Cottage Hospital and firefighting equipment to the Nanyuki County Council which include hoses, helmets and fire resistant trench coats embazolned with the BATUK logo.

LAIKIPIA WINGS TO FLY GIRLS AWARDED WITH BASIC BOARDING SCHOOL ESSENTIALS

During the flagging off of the Wings to Fly students from Laikipia East and North Constituencies by Hon. Anthony Mutahi Kimaru on Tuesday 2nd February 2016 outside Equity Bank – Nanyuki Branch, Lion Helen W. Kurutu promised to donate a year’s supply of sanitary pads and pants to each of the 8 girls. Remembering the saying that – ‘a promise is a debt’ – Lion Helen Kurutu presented the bundles to 6 of the 8 lucky girls today. This happened at Equity Bank – Nanyuki town – where the students were packing their suitcases ready to report to schools where they were admitted to. The other 2 girls will receive their bundles immediately they are ready to go to school.

The girls’ mothers thanked Lion Helen Kurutu for her assistance to the girls. They appreciated the fact that with that donation, the girls will comfortably settle down in their schools. *Mungu akubariki sana* said the mothers.

Squatters camping at the County Commissioners office

 

IMG_0634A crowd of squatters are currently camping at the gates of the County commissioner’s office ostensibly waiting for him to address them.

A County Times reporter at the scene witnessed old and senile women and men milling around the gates.

‘We have no place to call home, we just move around looking for menial jobs because we can not farm in places where we squat’ Wanja who ails from Gathiuru and has been living on the go with her large family of 6.

However, a source has informed this correspondent that the County Commisioner,

Mr Apollo Akello is in a meeting at in a certain hotel in town (Sportmans Hotel) locked in a meeting that is planning the protocols of welcoming President Uhuru Kenyatta who is expected in town on Sunday.

The squatters, who hail from Kaurura, mutiriri and Gathiuru were allegedly evicted from Mount Kenya forest in 1998.

The President, amongst other stately duties, will officially open the Laikipia Huduma Centre before addressing the wananchi at the Nanyuki Municipal Stadium during the homecoming party of CS, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Hon Mwangi Kiunjuri on Sunday

Workers put final touches on Huduma Centre ahead of Uhuru visit

IMG_0640

NANYUKI

Workers were on Tuesday engaged in frantic activities geared towards putting final touches in and around Huduma Centre in Nanyuki ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta visit.

A spot check by The County Times found workers scurrying about the building, painting the premises and clearing debris in and around the offices while electricians and interior designers could be seen busy plugging wires and upholstery.

‘We must be ready before time runs out. We need to finish the painting and the logos and the service delivery charter before the D-day’ said a worker who declined to give his name as he is not authorized to speak to the press.

The Head of State is expected to officially open the center in the last leg of his whirlwind tour of the Mount Kenya region.

Huduma centres fall under the Huduma Kenya programme which is a programme by the Government of Kenya that aims to transform Public Service Delivery by providing citizen’s access to various Public Services and information from One Stop Shop citizen service centres called Huduma Centres and through integrated technology platforms.

Huduma Kenya provides Efficient Government Services at the Convenience of the citizen.

After the Jubilee Government took charge in 2013, it established the Huduma Centres across the country for its citizens to access over 35 National services. It has been lauded as a first of its kind for innovative service delivery in Africa and recently won a continental award for its achievements.

KNUT Elections: Winners and losers, banquets and barbs

D.K Muthoga beat his rivals hands down to win the KNUT chairmanship in Laikipia County during the elections held Saturday at Nanyuki Municipal Stadium. His main challenger Jackson Mugo managed a paltry 380 votes, a defeat attributed to the debacle at Naibor Primary School where he is the headteacher. Mr Mugo faced the wrath of irate parents who ejected him and closed his office due to poor performance in the KCPE exams last year. However Mr. Jackson Thangei, the Executive Secretary retained his seat where he got 972 votes, beating his only rival Simon Wambugu who garnered 248 votes during the elections supervised by KNUT national treasurer John Matiang’i and Laikipia County Labour Officer Francis Marangu. Former treasurer Marion Maina was trounced by Mercy Ndung’u, a teacher at Airbase Secondary School who won with a single vote scooping 419 votes, defeating Dominic Ndegwa who gained 418 votes while the former treasurer managing 381 votes. Wangui Miano won the seat of women representative by garnering 620 votes, defeating Beatrice Gichure who gained 591 votes. “I will make sure that I fight for top seats and promotion for women teachers who have lagged behind in the education sector. There must be gender equality when it comes to represenetation’ said Wangui Miano after being declared the winner. She called on the TSC to stop harassing KNUT officials by failing to submit their dues in time. ‘I call on all teachers in the country not to sign the performance contracts since it is the TSC that is responsible for our problems. TSC must be stopped’ said Mr Matiangi speaking during the elections held at Nanyuki Municipal Stadium. The treasurer noted that the teachers were being taken for ride by the national government and the commission despite the sacrifices they make in their work.

“Not in our backyard” Fears over disposal of asbestos in Ethi

A community living South of Timau have described plans to dispose asbestos in their neighborhood as a terrifying prospect. More than 15 acres of land was already set to dispose asbestos in Ethi, by a landfill process. The toxic material is collected from all part of the country in the form of waste or asbestos containing material. The company, Waste Africa Limited, had already received approval from the local environmental authorities- NEMA, in 2012 but the community living there has not yet given up hope.
The 99 appellants want their voices heard and are suing that licensing of the company was inappropriate. According to them, there are great environmental and health repercussions from contamination, in the case of natural calamities and poor disposal techniques. “It was during a community meeting that we got to learn about the company’s operations and negative effects of asbestos to our families, environment and the unborn,” says Lemein Kasoo.
Ethi community souring claims range from the proximity of the landfill to their homes, farms, important biodiversity conservation areas like Borana Conservancy and Ngare Ndare forest that doubles as a tourism destination. Other issues mentioned are poor public involvement during the Environmental Impact Assessment process. They are disqualifying the process because there is only one page in the report that shows public involvement through a stakeholders meeting with a missing list of the date, venue, agenda and list participants who were involved. In a community like Ethi’s, only 10 members each from a group of five were issued with random questionnaires to fill. This, they say makes it even harder to verify the genuine of the E.I.A process.
Mr. Mathenge, the Director of Waste Africa Ltd, through his lawyer ascertained that his company not only adhered to NEMA standards but also known international standards. He added that the lead expert also contacted both the public and NEMA and he could not comment further because the issue is in court. Ms. Kithinji, NEMA lawyer from Nairobi, over a phone conversation confirmed, “Yes, the matter is in court and the community is suing the Director General NEMA and Waste Africa over the license and public involvement. The case is scheduled for hearing on 4th and 8th March.”
As much as it is a noble idea to dispose asbestos which still remains embedded in our homes, offices, schools, stores and even some of the hospitals where we go for treatment, the appellants are asking why here? in Laikipia? How was the hydrological process conducted? Who will monitor and ensure environmental and the community’s health will not be affected?
So far, in Kenya, the challenge of licensing asbestos disposal companies was due to general environmental and health concerns. This has contributed to illegal dumping which poses even more threat to Kenyans. There are other disposal methods but landfill remains the cheapest and easy way of disposal. Conflict over disposal areas has brought a dilemma of where and what is the right thing to do. In his response, Mr Mathenge stated that Laikipia was not chosen for any particular reason and only believes there is a strong and powerful person behind this case. Waste Africa has remained closed since they were upheld in court, April 6th 2015.
General history, health and environment
Asbestos is not a product of modern times, in fact evidence of mining and use dates back to 4500 years ago. It is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that was mined and processed due to its properties of low heat conduction, chemical, termite, electrical and fire resistant properties.
There was a wide spread industrial use of asbestos between 1930’s and 1970’s to make roofing shingles, tiles, cement, cooking pots, braking parts, plasters and some form of clothing’s like fire blankets.
Asbestos has been classified as a class A human carcinogenic substance with its related diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. The diseases are contracted when you breathe air that contains its fibers after damage, deterioration and disturbance occurs. Sometimes illness results from ‘offsite’ exposure due to poor handling, dumping and disposal.
The fibers are too small to be seen and they do not dissolve in water or evaporate. Prolonged exposure to the fibers, usually 10 to 20 years has resulted to illness and eventually death.
World Health Organization (Media Centre Fact sheet N0 343 July 2014) estimates more than 107,000 deaths each year are attributed to occupational exposure to asbestos and 125 million people are exposed to asbestos at their workplace
Key facts
The Government of Kenya grants every citizen the right to a clean and safe environment. Development of guidelines on safe management and disposal of asbestos by NEMA was to safeguard human health and environment from adverse impacts of asbestos. The Environment Management and Coordination (Waste Management) Regulations, 2006 provides for safe management of asbestos waste and the common approaches on safe handling, packaging, transportation and final disposal of asbestos waste.
According to the Legal Notice 121 of the Environmental Management and Coordination (Waste Management) Regulations, Fourth Schedule of 2006; all wastes containing asbestos in the form of dust or fibers are classified as hazardous.
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Where to get more information?
Occupational requirements, health and safety rules been provided for in the National Guidelines on safe management and disposal of asbestos by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).IMG_0454

KCB Foundation takes off in Laikipia

The KCB Foundation scholarships for pupils joining secondary schools this year took off to a heady start in Laikipia County when three bright pupils from needy backgrounds were awarded scholarships in a fitting ceremony at the Governor’s office officiated by Veronica Gakenja, the Chief Officer for education.
“The KCB Foundation will be sponsoring at least 240 needy and bright pupils who sat for the 2015 Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination throughout their secondary education. In Laikipia, our team of mentors and recommenders have picked three pupils who will benefit from the scholarships that will cover tuition fees, school uniforms, learning materials and mentorship activities for the four year period” said Nanyuki KCB Branch Manager George Kiarie addressing the press during the ceremony.
100 million in 2016
The KCB foundation will invest over 100 million in 2016 for the new cohort and the over 800 students currently under the lender’s support in secondary schools. The next group of awardees will have 40 positions reserved for pupils with disabilities.
“The Laikipia County Government only provides sponsorships and bursaries but we are grateful that KCB is awarding full scholarships that are meant to ease the burden of financing secondary education for parents and guardians with needy and bright pupils while supporting Kenya’s push for affordable and quality education” said Veronica while adding that county officials attend funds drives in aid students in various schools across the county.
“We are involved in mentorship programmes at the branch level that ensure that we make follow-ups of the students performance to make sure that they stay on course. This ensures that there is no laxity on the part of the students’ added Paul Mwaniki.
The KCB team that includes Philiph Musyoka and Christine Wanjohi traversed through-out the county identifying and recommending students eligible for the scholarships.
Other county officials present during the ceremony DSC_1545.
The students, who were accompanied by their parents included Boniface Memusi of Olgigir primaty school in Makandura, Mohamed Abdilahi of Garrison Primatry School and Abraham Muthoki a former pupil at St Moses who scored 391, 380 and 385 marks respectively.
“We at KCB are committed to extend our financial support to these students and ensure they stay in school throughout the four-year period” added Philiph Musyoka whose responsibility includes mentoring the students through-out the 4 year period.
The KCB Foundation Scholarship programme is in line with Kenya’s long term development plan to reduce illiteracy by increasing access to education, improving the transition rate from primary to secondary school and raising the quality and relevance of Kenya’s education.
Research shows that Kenya has one of the most expensive secondary education system in Africa. Presently, fees for national and county schools range from KSh45,000 to KSh136,000 year, which is not affordable for many parents.
Eligibility for scholarships
To be eligible for the scholarships, pupils should meet the cut-off mark set for each county, come from a needy background and have qualified for admission to either a public national or county secondary school.
The scholarship application forms are available at all KCB branches across the country. Applicants should attach their KCPE results slip and letter of admission to a national or county school, for their application to be valid. The completed application form should then be presented during the interview sessions to be conducted in the third week of January across all counties. More information on the scholarships can be obtained from the KCB Branches countrywide. Only applicants from public primary schools are eligible for the scholarships.
Quality of education
KCB supports projects aimed at improving access and quality of education for needy students through provision of scholarships, learning materials and school infrastructure for public school.

GOVERNMENT BANS “PANDA MBEGU” PASTORS FROM AIRING LIVES SHOWS

‘Seed’ preachers, who encourage viewers to give ‘far and beyond’ their abilities to attract blessings, will soon have no place in radio and television programmes. Preachers have also been banned from recruiting people to their faiths or asking them to get ‘saved’ as they often do at the tail-end of their broadcasts. These, among other rules, are contained in the Programming Code for Free-to-Air Radio and Television Services in Kenya. This is not all, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has also banned sex talk during the daytime on radios. This will be seen as punitive for TV and radio which depend on call-in shows with, sometimes, heart-to-heart sharing of bedroom matters on air. These popular shows drive up ratings and advertisers scramble to get slots to sell their merchandise when these shows are on air. But according to CA, unless they are part of educational programmes, the shows stand banned during the watershed period – between 5am and 10pm.