Friday, December 29, 2017

The Evolving Water Crisis


Giachong'e residents in a demo
  In an earlier blog post, I posited that a water crisis that will one day spark a vicious battle for this resource was in the making. Earlier in 2017, we saw residents of places like Giachong’e village demonstrating demanding equitable distribution of this precious commodity when they marched to the office of the then Dundori ward member of county assembly. No solution was offered, other than the building of high capacity tanks which left sceptics wondering where excess water to fill them was to be sourced from.

  When the taps are perennially dry, does it make sense to have ten concrete tanks littered all over the ward which are increasingly looking like ghost projects? At the time of their construction, were pipes bursting under pressure necessitating their need?

  On the day of writing this, Friday, 29th December, 2017, there was witnessed another demonstration by the residents of the said village, who threatened to cut water flow on some parts and direct it down their places, on what they alleged is biased distribution. This would not have made any sense, for, to begin with, only few (and very few) places are currently getting piped water.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Era of Puppets and Their Puppeteers

 
Courtesy photo
It doesn’t take rocket science to realize that the greater Dundori ward in Nakuru County is on a backpedal progress. And this can be seen by the kind of leaders – previous and the current – that had or are representing us.

  It is not an understatement to claim that a cabal of power brokers had been in the making for long going by the choice of leaders rammed down our throats. The previous and current ward representatives, claims had it, are products of a local administrator and a renowned tycoon and were forced to the majority who had no choice but to legitimize them through the ballot.

  A story is told how one former councillor was compelled to step down from running on The National Alliance (TNA) party during the 2013 General Election and pave way for the former MCA by this administrator whose name cannot be revealed here. The septuagenarian former councillor opted to run on the less popular Democratic Party and lost massively to a young engineer graduate.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Josphat Mureithi: A Leader Extraordinaire in the Making?

Josphat

He believes he has what it takes to be a leader. Poor leadership, he says, is the bane of our underdevelopment no wonder the five wards in Bahati constituency seems to be lagging behind despite the enormous potential or resources they are endowed with.

  His bone of contention, however, is that Bahati constituency doesn’t have a leader but a maverick politician who has nothing to offer. “What we need is a visionary leader who has the interest of the people in the heart, not a gerrymandering politician with little to show in terms of services delivery,” he says.

  The problem with Bahati constituency, he notes, is the tendency of voters to vote for a personality rather than a leader whose articulated policies can transform the constituency into one of the renown, as well as uplift the standards of living for many. To this effect, a politician riding on the wave of a party popularity is likely to be elected than an aspirant who can offer alternative leadership. This has been the trend if past elections are anything to go by.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Business Tips from Njoroge Ng'ang'a, Ithaga FM CEO


  When broadcast journalist Njoroge Ng’ang’a, (left) also known as Captain, established his radio, little did he know what it takes to break even in own business having tasted success as an employee with different FM radio stations in the country. The idea of replicating same success in his own outfit was to prove elusive at first. But the man who began life as a supermarket attendant shares what he had so far learned in the process.

  When you have an idea, don’t let it die
  I began hosting breakfast shows in a now defunct radio station known as Touch FM that was broadcasting from Nakuru. It is from here that I honed my skills, or learning the ropes while working, as I had no training background in that field then, but had an innate speaking ability. By the time I was moving to Sauti ya Mwananchi FM radio, also in Nakuru, I had come with a very workable idea that would have seen me launching my own radio station within a short time in the foreseeable future. However, raising capital was the main issue, necessitating my selling the idea to a friend which resulted in establishment of Hero Radio, also in Nakuru.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Paradox of Villages with More Trees than the Forest


A view of village
  Mention a chief, and the mental image you have is that of a village tyrant, or a carryover from the colonial era, whose roles may seem ambiguous at times. Not long ago, a friend of mine was pruning his trees, when two people walked up the path to his home. At first, he mistook them for visitors, until they identified themselves as from the local administration camp. To be specific, the unheralded visitors were an assistant chief and an administration policeman.

  As my friend was trying to figure out what brought the pair to his home, he was put on notice that he was breaking the law. What law? He wondered. After a bit of dilly dallying, it was laid to him plainly that one needs a permit to either cut down or prune trees in own compound! In short, he was needed at the chief’s office to explain himself, but the ‘problem’ was solved through a Sh200 bribe that had the unwelcome visitors marching out of his compound.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Revisiting the Colonial Past

Wanyororo House
They stood as architectural masterpieces for long until new modern buildings began appearing around and eclipsing their worth. Neglect, and leveling down of others, has conspired to make the few standing relics of the colonial past stick out like sore thumbs. Some are on their death knell currently.

  Had they been properly maintained, they would fetch the owners a tidy sum in the real estate market. Sadly, most of these buildings are in public land occupied by schools with the school management seeing wisdom in leveling them down to give way for modern classes. In sum, the schools managements seem intent in obliterating the last legacies of the colonial past.

  A visit to places like Murunyu, Wanyororo, Danger, Bavuni, Tabuga, amongst a host of other places in Nakuru County, indicates the white settler inhabiting these buildings must have relied on the same
Tabuga House
architects in coming up with similar looking buildings, though they are miles apart from each. All have quarry bricks reinforced either on the inner or outer walls with a thickness of mud wall with the latter plastered and coated with white painting. This made the structures to act as fortresses of sort in stopping flying bullets from mau mau freedom fighters.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Slow Death of Dawani River

Dawani River
 That Dawani, or aptly put, Wanyororo River, is on a death knell is not in contention. Once upon a time, Dawani River was a mighty one. It meandered through villages filling three dams as its serpentine course took it all the way to Murunyu village and beyond from Wanyororo hills.

  Today, this narrative is different. The far the river reaches (as of present) is Wanyororo dam behind the Catholic Church. Residents down the river claim that only when the rains are unrelenting, or at their peak, does the river flow the full course. To them, the river died a natural death not long ago, for what today passes for a river is a dry river bed that turns into a seasonal flow depending on rain patterns.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Of the Matatus and Peculiar Passengers



  The matatu industry may have generated a culture of its own. Before the late John Michuki stepped in and brought order, the industry was unregulated and renowned for reckless drivers, rude touts who hardly took showers for days on end and overpacked passengers squeezed in seats like sardines in a tin.

  The adage that things changes on the outside and only remains the same on the inside holds true for this sector. Despite the stencilled passenger numbers on the vehicle’s body, which reads anything like, ‘mtu 14’vichwa 14’, ’14 skulls’ and so on in a creative fashion, the truth is, a fourteen seater carries eighteen passengers at most.

  Though professionalism is witnessed across several matatu saccos, some are known to break laws with impunity. Touts rudeness is so ingrained that it is part of qualifications to this sector.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Looming Water Crisis



Riverside dam
I wonder if many have seen the paradox of some places in Dundori Ward. That we are endowed with good weather conducive for a variety of agricultural activities is not in contention. The fragmentation of land into minuscule plots that are put up for sale, however, is seeing a slump in food production. (In reality, the same ‘tried and tested’ farming practices are largely to blame for low yields, as there is little room for innovative ways to maximize on yields).


  For long, water supply was adequate, until recently when it became erratic. To say the rains have been good and the rivers are once again flowing is to deceive ourselves. Not until when you realize the trickle flowing into the pipes do you begin to see the big picture. There is actually no water! When rationing is currently at January levels, where in some places water flows once in a week, and for a limited time, it is inevitable to say a crisis is looming.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Who Grabbed this Public Land?



cattle dip
 Around six pieces of public land measuring 0.9 each in acreage, or a combined total of 5.4 acres of Wanyororo shares in Amua village were grabbed long ago and sold to unsuspecting public by faceless but well connected individuals and no doubt a cartel. This is not the first land grab reported in the larger Dundori ward, as various pieces earmarked as public land have changed hands mysteriously. A look at the way boundaries have shifted like in the cemetery, or the way the dams have embankments farmed to the waterline, or part of their land shrunken, grabbed and fenced off, amongst other places, is a vindication of our leaders complicity to this entrenched malfeasance (anyway, those entrusted as custodians of our public resources are sell-outs leaders!).

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Why it is not that Easier with Equity Bank’s Eazzy Loan




For the past year or so, I had been enjoying the Equity Bank’s Equitel loan services. The repayment rates had been attractive compared to other credit facilities that I have had access to and which are disbursed over mobile phones. Well, we all find ourselves in that tricky financial situation from time to time and instead of resorting to borrowing or begging, take that shortcut to an emergency loan before figuring how to repay the same.

  Financial institutions, we are well aware, are out to milk profit from hard pressed customers, and corporate greed is the driving force to this. Witness their well tailored loan products targeting individuals or specific groups like chamas or even low cadres of the unbanked populace that the hoi polloi can access. Anything attractive or well packaged in flowery but enticing language comes at a cost which at most will leave the applicant with a bitter taste in the mouth.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Get Yourself Financial Stress with a KCB Loan



Sometimes last year, a friend and I were having an evening out and were running low on cash. We got discussing on which financial institution offers the best mobile based loans with low interest rates. He talked me into trying a Kenya Commercial Bank one claiming one can have a staggered repayment plan unlike other financial institutions.

  A few days later, I decided to try this out. Upon registration, I deposited Sh10 in my KCB M-Pesa account as an ‘activation’ fee. When I checked if I was eligible for a loan, the text that displayed had it that I qualified for one, but it was a dismally Sh150 one. My credit score would improve in time depending on how I would be repaying.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Is This Really Adding Value, Empowering Or Simply Exploiting the Youth?



An 'empowering' youth tournament
I happened to attend a soccer tournament sponsored by an aspirant seeking an elective position the other week. The about two dozens youths in the field chasing after inflated pigskin (ball) were outdoing each in showcasing their raw dribbling skills. Whether this was motivated by the money on offer or the passion to advance their skills to the next level was hard to tell. 


  A careful look, however, revealed that the young sportsmen were drawn from local high schools within the locale with village wastrels thrown in to make up cobbled teams. I was made to understand these students were using the matches for ‘fitness purposes’ as they are part of their respective school teams.

Friday, March 10, 2017

United Methodist Mission Schools – The Untold Story



United Methodist Mission Schools
 It seems that men and women of cloth greed for wealth has gone overboard. Whereas their duped congregations are content to lead miserable lives waiting for kingdom come and enjoy eternity in total bliss, the men and women of collar are literally swimming in unimaginable wealth right here on paradise earth. Which minister of gospel would choose to wallow in poverty when gullible masses can be exploited to fund their opulent lives?

  Witness the ease with which these pastors – some with briefcase churches – preys on foreigners in name of ‘partnering’ in ‘kingdom building’, when in literal sense they are seeking for sources to finance their largess at a time churches are not witnessing exponential growth or engaged in serious soul winning efforts.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Here Is Why Most Men Will Go For Singles with Kids



  There are reasons most men will go for single ladies with a kid or two. According to whoever you ask, the sell value of single mothers is not that high like that of single ladies without a ‘burden’. It is problematic putting up with the latter who believes the whole world revolves round them and there is little a man can do a man can do other than curtsy or bow down before them like paying some homage to a goddess.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Ladies, This Is Why Your Man Found Value in another Woman



As painful as it is for your man to cheat on you with a clandestine lover, it pays to note that his behaviour is nothing out of ordinary and is to be expected. If you thought the African man is monogamous by nature, then this stuff is not for you.

  Let’s first interrogate the African man’s sexual behaviour from the time he married you to the time his marital infidelity became apparent. 

  To begin with, you are not the first lassie he first cast his eyes on to literally sweep him off his feet. He ‘practised’ for marriage by deflowering a couple of girls around and you happened to be the tenth in the pecking order that he married as a ‘last resort’.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bizarre of Reasons Some Marriages in Nakuru are Dissolving



  Marriages in Nakuru seem to be going bonkers at unprecedented rates. It is not unusual to see unions break up within three months after much public fanfare where couples blew up colossal sums in grand weddings. In some relations where partners do not part ways, or cannot stand the sight of each other, putting up as brothers and sisters, rather than legally married partners, has gained traction and become an ‘in-thing’.
  And there are strange reasons many, especially ladies, are calling it quits and walking out of unions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wanyororo River, Who Really Gives a Hoot?


To a villager, water rationing is an unheard of thing mostly associated with urban places. But for most villages in Bahati Constituency in Nakuru County, especially for homes connected with pipes or those sharing water resources trickling down rivers, this is a reality they are grasping with.


  To begin with, the rivers dried long ago. River beds cutting across some villages serve as testament of once lively rivers that housed aquatic life at one stage in their lives. A look of the Wanyororo River, which for long had been the lifeline of several villages downstream from Dundori hills, where it originates from, captures the sad state of vital resources.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Landlords Take on ‘Dirty’ Tenants



  There’s a joke about a miffed tenant who sent his landlord a queer text message. The message simply read, ‘This is to inform you that the tenant next door is smelling’. Whether this sender wanted the fellow tenant kicked out or to be allocated a room far from the smelly occupant is not evident. But the pun aside, many people lead harried lives that they scarcely have time for personal hygiene or keeping orderly houses.

  Oftentimes, tenants complain of being overcharged for run-down rental units without landlords providing reasonable, pleasant places to live. Many argues this amounts to extortion as it doesn’t make sense for one to keep putting in drab rooms they dearly pays for. There could be merit to their arguments but landlords are cagey instead blaming their tenants for the dire status of houses they rent. According to some landlords interviewed, some feels tenants are negligent failing to acknowledge that damage to properties they occupies comes along with costs to house owners.

Where Is The Last Macho Man?



courtesy photo
Today’s man cuts a pitiable figure. A silent feminine revolution has increasingly seen women taking over key roles that traditionally have been a male’s preserve. When the likes of Maendeleo ya Wanaume (men's welfare) chairperson, Nderitu Njoka, sounds alarm over increasing cases of men being battered or subjugated by women, something has gone horribly wrong in our society!

  That the macho man of yesteryear is a wimp of today is incontestable. In name of gender equality, the male voice had been lost in Babel of confusion. A typical man in former days cut a fearful image that demanded total respect, submission and obedience in his house. No one dared contradict or question his authority. When he barked, everyone cringed. But today, the narrative is different. He is all barks but no bite, or faking a pseudo-masculinity image when his wife apparently has the upper hand. He cannot admit he is a hen-pecked or, appropriately put, kaliwa chapati man.

Of the pious religious lot

It remains to be seen when coronavirus pandemic is declared contained worldwide, places of worship will be same as before. But given th...