Taps in most Nairobi estates are dry and the situation has been the same for more than six weeks now.Where yours truly resides,there has not been any drip of water in 2018.Nairobians were optimistic when Mike Sonko grabbed the governorship,he seemed to be working then we don't know what went wrong.From August to December we had plenty of water,had we known,we would have stored enough. Just when we thought our problems with water had found a permanent solution,alas!!! here we are again.So are we heading the direction of Cape Town, where the authorities have warned against daily bathes as the situation worsens? In our man-eat-man society,cartels are everywhere from education to the county water department.And since corruption is Kenya's second name,it leaves poor residents at the mercy of this unscrupulous people.Nairobi being a top city in Africa-soon we will be home to Africa's tallest skyscraper-we should have a constant water supply.We therefore should live up to the status. Lack of water should be dealt with beginning with the simplest ways to the more complicated ones.Things like inspection of water pipes to discourage illegal connection should be done regularly.Then later we focus on fixing Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company and the filth in there. There are two things at play here;the major one obviously being kickbacks and the other being lack of political will.Paul Ongili famously known as Babu Owino,promised his constituents that he would work tirelessly to solve the water paradox that has been bedevilling them.We will wait with fingers crossed to see if Babu makes this a reality,but that will be real tough to accomplish,for now he has the benefit of doubt.The ongoing road construction in some parts of Embakasi East has piled more misery to the residents.The contractor apparently cut off water pipes linking the estates. But if you have been a keen Nairobian,you must have noticed that ghettos like Kibra and Mathare never run out of water completely like the middle class estates.Reason being Kibra is close to the retired president Moi's old residence at DC while Mathare borders Moi Airbase barracks never lack water.In other estates like Kayole,Dandora,Kariobangi etc the unemployed youth take the blame.They resort to illegal water connection and then a building that should have water eventually gets no water.You then end up paying more for water despite the money having been initially included in your rent.Other "waterpreneurs" bring a handcart full of 20-litre jerricans to your doorstep and sell it to you expensively.You are forced to buy the water even without knowing how clean the water is.There have been claims of people buying sewer water.Have I even mentioned the insults that will be hurled at you if you refuse to buy handcart water at your doorstep?It is said these water vendors collude with county officials to fleece Nairobians. If you have visited social media recently,you might have seen pictures doing rounds of Muran'ga residents scrambling for water.A county as green suffering acute water shortage is reason enough for alarm.The volumes of water in the rivers have lowered badly.Environmentalists had earlier faulted a multi-billion underground water project being undertaken in the county.The project besides the diminishing forest that was once Mau are the cause of drought in Muran'ga which feeds it's surplus water to Nairobi. However,in my view,I think Nairobi should have stopped depending on unsteady water supply ages ago.The little knowledge of Geology I have tells me there is enough fresh water right beneath us.That aside,the government distributes petroleum to all towns in Kenya,how then is it a problem to distribute water,that is basically more important than oil?
Safaricom's BYOB TV show makes a comeback to your screen this month and we can promise you it won't let you down at all.The show is scheduled to go on air from February 5th,we hope the media shutdown will be over. Last year, Blaze by Safaricom came up with a program between the months of June to December.They took Blazers through creation camps and summits delivering training, mentorship and inspiration to youth from 6 regions.The organizers used this as an opportunity to audition for the second season of the BYOB TV show. The show brings together 12 young people between the ages of 18 and 26 selected across the country.They are then subjected to a series of challenges which test and develop their business skills in a way they and the audience can apply to their own business.The challenges they face within the show are meant to test and clarify on a series of key skills which young people must develop in order to succeed in their own businesses in the field.The challenges are spread across the nine episodes that the show will have this season. The are many reasons as to why you as a young person should watch the show.Apart from being entertaining, the show educates youth on how to employ themselves in the fields they have passion in,statistics show how high unemployment rates are now and they keep rising.Another reason to watch the show is that it gives you a chance to learn how to develop your business skills.It also helps you learn from judges and mentors after each challenge.The show also brings together youth with different ambitions and goals hence mix of ideas among the youth. The winner will walk away with a fat cheque and will also get his/her business funded for starters.Boy children will be hoping it will be one of their own after Valentine Nekesa whitewashed men in season one. We wish all who got selected well and hope for a good show.We have faith the judges will act with the Biblical Solomonic wisdom to give us a deserving winner.
The term 'fake news' has been gradually gaining fame since the 2016 US election campaign,coming from the outspoken US president Donald Trump.Whether the campaign against fake news helped Trump to win or dealt a blow to favourite,Hillary Clinton is a story for another day.Let's just breakdown this topic. Probably the first ever case of Fake News was by the New York Sun paper back in 1835.Its actually true,as much as things change, they remain the same.In an article,the paper showed all manner of plants and life on the surface of the moon.It is now regarded by specialists as the "moon hoax"- birth of the fake news.It is in that year in early 19th Century,that man first landed on moon. People had very little knowledge about life in space hence easily swayed.The lie greatly boosted the paper's sales, running into millions of dollars that financial year.The then Sun editor was the infamous Richard Adams Locke. There have been several cases of fake news worsened by the rise of social media sites.There was a lie that Barrack Obama would replace the US national anthem with the song 'I'd like to teach the world to sing'.A trusted source once fooled people that Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman had died. In combating the spread of fake news,search engine Google and social media giant Facebook have come up with ways of trying to tame fake news.Google says "As always,when we find deceptive ad practices on our platforms,we move swiftly to take action,including suspending the advertiser account if inappropriate" says Chi Hea Cho,Google spokesperson. In addition,we give publishers controls so they can block specific types of ads and advertisers.Google's AdSense has come under fire,the site used by Web publishers to sell display advertising on their websites, works through automated tools.Advertisers are unsure whether their ads are running sometimes next to inappropriate or offensive content and owners don’t know which ads will appear on their pages. David Carrole,Associate Professor at Pearsons School of Designs says Facebook and Google ultimately do not know enough about their customers (advertisers) making it too easy to dodge the system without serious consequences.Facebook now blocks ads from pages that spread fake news. "Now everyone's calling legitimate articles and opinions that they don't agree with or that contradict their own prejudice as 'fake' as though disagreeing with implicitly means it was manufactured out of whole cloth.Facebook has rolled out a feature that lets people alert other users about a possibly fake story by tapping "disputed by third party fact-checkers".Though it is reportedly only 3.7% effective but we have no other means until we invent a 'fakemetre'. Researchers say that the fake news problem can only be managed,not eliminated completely, probably because Facebook knows it could lose a huge amount of revenue if it shuts down a number of fake sites.In the end,Facebook is about attention not so much intention.
Safaricom's brainchild Blaze-the youth network, continues to empower the Kenyan youth since the project started last year. After an abundantly successful summit at the Meru National polytechnic, Blaze now moves to the rift valley town of Nakuru. This Summit is ideal for youths aged 16-26 years. On 1st and 2nd of September there is the pre-screening phase where blazers are required to air their business ideas to mentors at the Lohana hall just opposite Lions Primary school. The summits give blazers a chance to access different mentors in their field of passion. The kick off time is 9am and closes at 6pm with lots of entertainment, gaming and a lifetime chance to have your ideas listened to by mentors. Meru was a huge success owing to the large number of youths who attended the summit. There were seven pods where each winner won Ksh.100,000 on the final day. The pods are Fashion,Film/Photography, Music, Agriculture, Creative Arts, Technology & Retail/Manufacturing. In the Fashion category a gentleman known as Dennis Mwiti was the winner, Sammy Gikunda and Isaac Allan walked away each Ksh.100000 rich in the Film and Photography category. To prove that the Ameru people of Central Kenya just can’t sing, Sarah Moraa emerged top in the Music category. In Agriculture we had Maltex Kaunda, in Creative Arts Marvin Kabiru was crowned while Joy Nkirote won in Retail and Manufacturing. The Technology award was scooped by Amos and James Mawira. Mentors lined up for the Afraha Stadium summit include Blaze finalists Safe Joe and Valentine Nekesa. Safe Joe will handle blazers in the Music category alongside big and seasoned acts like Sura Yako video director Enos Olik, Producer Musyoka of Decimal and Award-winning Cinematographer Jibril Blessing. Season one winner Valentine Nekesa will lead other mentors in the Fashion Category. The Creative Arts will be taken care of by Matwana Culture founder Brian Wanyama Odhiambo. Sylvia Tonui will guide blazers in Retail and Manufacturing. In Film and Photography Blaze have lined up comedians Abel Mutua and Timothy Kimani(Njugush) both of Hapa Kule News to be assisted by Homeboyz Radio presenter Partricia Kihoro and freelance photographer Lyra Aoko. Caleb Karuga of Wendy Farm will spearhead the Agriculture section as he opens up Nakuru youths to Agribusiness opportunities around them. After a whole day of busy presentations and serious business, Blazers will get entertained by live performances from Kenya's finest artists alongside DJ Joe Mfalme. Show up and turn your passion into business.
You might have probably received a text message on your phone asking you to send money to a specific number. What was your response? In most cases, we just ignore the text and go on with our lives but have you ever stopped and wondered what if it was a more advanced attack? Very few Kenyans realize such texts referred to as 'message za kamiti' are a form of cyber bullying. According to Google, cyber bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic equipment e.g cell phones, computers and tablets or communication tools e.g social media sites, text message, chat and websites.Cyber crime are criminal activities carried out by means of computer or the internet to advance other ends like fraud, identity theft or hacking. In both the computer is both a target and also a tool. A Russian's hacking of a US bank in 1994 may have been the first online bank robbery. Russia has made her name famous on this cyber crimes topic with widespread allegations of her involvement in last year's US election that saw Donald Trump winning.No one can surely talk of cyber crimes without mentioning Russia. Back home, according to Serianu's Cyber security Report of 2016,Kenya was the worst hit in East Africa by cyber crime.Most targeted sectors were banks due to increased use of financial technology, government, telecommunications, mobile money, saccos, microfinance, cooperatives-commerce and online markets. Cyber crime may cost Kenya Ksh.20bn this year if proper protection in internet infrastructure is not put in place. “We will achieve this goal through enhancing ICT security competencies and bolstering international collaboration" says Robert Mugo, CEO ICT Authority. To mitigate further loss, public and private sectors need to come up together and invest heavily in protecting the infrastructure from damage or manipulation by people. There is no guarantee that the country is safe from attacks despite the positive growth in awareness .Deloitte ranked Kenya as the 69th most vulnerable country to experience cyber crimes out of 127 countries in the world. The year 2016 Kenya saw more advanced attacks in banks by insiders raising the concern of unpreparedness. Kenya Cyber security report 2016 reveals that 33% of financial institutions spend zero shillings in cyber security while 44% operate on a small budget of $1-1000.Deloitte further shows that Kenya lost Sh.17.7bn in 2016 compared to Sh.15 bn in 2015.There were 24 malware incidents reported across Africa. In May this year cabinet approved cyber crime bill 2016.The bill has tough stringent penalties and includes a fine of Sh.5 Million for those found guilty .Africa is estimated to have lost at least $2bn in cyber attacks.The increasing use of cyber space is being blamed for posing its own challenges. ICT experts are calling on the government to make cyber security a priority. Poor compatibility pf systems and a lack of trained talent is the biggest barrier to advancing security products.65% of Kenyan companies agreed that they had used six to more than 50 security products. Kenyan bank accounts are more prone to cyber crime owing to use and adoption risk. To stay safe from cyber attacks,avoid sharing important information such as ATM or mobile money pins, passwords, secret words and public Wi-Fis . You are also required to be quick to action and report any suspicious activity in your bank accounts to bank officials before it is too late. Readers are also advised not to ignore simple harmless threats like the texts sent to your mobile, find time to report the number to your service provider for action to be taken.
I have a dream That one day elections in this country will be nothing to be nervous or worried about That we will treat that period as any other That it will not be a time for Kenyans to be divided along ethnic lines But a time to unify under our democratic right and constitutional duty I have a dream That one day we won’t worship political leaders That we will understand that we hold the power That we the people, choose them That we don’t think that they are better than us but that we believe in them to lead us That they will not think of us as vessels of violence But as the masters to their service That one day being a governor or senator or whatever Won’t mean anything else but service to the people That it won’t mean “an opportunity to get oneself to Forbes list of the world’s richest people” Although that’s not a bad thing as long as it doesn’t involve swindling I want to believe that one day we’ll understand That at the end of the day, we’re all tax payers At the end of the day, we’re all Kenyan citizens Kenya is bigger than all of us Dear politicians, And I’m only using “dear” in the most conventional sense Not because I have any affection for most of you But because it is traditional and respectful to begin a plea that way Kenya is bigger than you too You have a following, platform and influence, sure! Use it to make the world a better place The world needs all of us Africa needs us Kenya needs us And we need each other Amen.
President Uhuru Kenyatta recently assented to the Finance Bill Act 2017.The bill has sparked rage in the sport gaming industry even as established firms threaten to stop sponsorship or worse still leave the country.Kenya had become a haven for gaming companies leading to a runaway rise in the number of the companies.Sportpesa was among the earliest to start operations and many others joined them including foreign companies.Sportpesa having the highest number of customers in the country has not taken this lightly,CEO Captain Ronald Karauri termed the bill as "unfair and punitive".He further added that the government should think twice before the bill comes into effect in January 2018.His sentiments were echoed by Global Marketing Officer Joyce Kibe.She said that Sportpesa dedicates 50-60 percent of their profits to sponsorship which is equivalent to about Ksh.800 Million.She further added that the company has offered employment to over 10,000 Kenyans.Global CEO Gerasion Nikolov also faulted the government's decision to impose 35 percent on Gaming Tax and 30 percent on corporate tax lamenting that no company would do business under such conditions.Businessman Mutinda Kavemba has also taken issue with the taxman warning that the increase in tax would see many gaming companies that have employed youths close shop. Telecommunication company Safaricom will also suffer immense losses if the bill comes into effect.Most gaming firms heavily rely on Safaricom's mobile money transfer platform Mpesa.In that case,the firm would settle for a 123 percent profit dip.Safaricom made Ksh.38 Bn in the 2016 Financial year and Ksh8.9 Bn after tax.This new development will see sportpesa give the taxman Ksh.64Bn up from Ksh.17Bn in taxes. Sportpesa sponsors Kenya's top clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.We might soon be going back to the shameful stories of premier league players being locked out of their rented houses and lacking fares to attend training.Sportpesa has extended sponsorship to the national team Harambee Stars and their female counterparts Harambee Starlets that has seen the teams record tremendous growth in just a short time. It is also the official title sponsors of this season's Kenya Premier League.Rugby,which is Kenya's best performing sport after athletics, has not been left behind in Sportpesa sponsorship. The gaming giant has also held 2 seasons of SportPesa Super 8 Premier League that brought together brilliant Talents from Eastside & Westside of Nairobi. If gaming companies make good their threat to leave,the economy will suffer a major setback considering the millions paid in as tax by the firms.The youth who make up the majority of gaming Kenyans will have to seek alternative ways to make ends meet.It is not uncommon nowadays to come across a jobless young man affording to foot his bills thanks to their prowess in gaming.Apart from leading to a rise in illegal gaming this move might force youths to turn to antisocial behaviour like robbery. This new tax bill needs an extreme makeover failure to which will lead to a roll back on the positive steps made by these companies.
At the height of the 2007 P.E.V during the night of January 4th,2008 Nancy Wanjiru vividly remembers how the attack she suffered turned her life around.On that fateful day she was going to Kenyatta National Hospital to visit her ill husband.The love of her life had been attacked and beaten up in Mathare slums.He had also sustained deep cuts that sentenced him to the hospital bed till he recovered.As she was walking through Pangani Estate en route to Upperhill,a well known police officer spotted her.He offered to give her a ride in the patrol car but she hesitated at first but later gave in since the man was known to her and he considered him a family friend.It was late so the cop offered to take her to his house first to get a warm shower and bitings before they proceeded.When they got to the cop's apartment in the precints of Pangani,the story got changed and now the man claimed to be too tired to drive and he promised to take her to Kenyatta hospital next morning.That is when Nancy sensed his sinister move,she refused vehemently and an argument ensued.It was during the argument that the cop told her how he hated people from her tribe and he was determined to make them suffer.He then tried to force himself on her but Nancy fought viciously.The officer then stabbed her in the thigh and raped her repeatedly even as she bled like a broken Nairobi Water pipe. At first she was afraid to report the matter fearing stigmatization from relatives and friends.She later made up her mind to trim off the corners of her pride and reported the matter at Pangani police station OB No.48/10/1/2008 .Nancy says the case never went past the this stage thanks to backstabbing and manipulation by the accused officer owing to the fact that he was stationed there.The cop even tried to bribe her with Ksh.200,000 to drop the case but she declined to chase her elusive justice.She also adds that she and other affected ladies were barred from meeting Moreno Ocampo when he visited Mathare slums.Nancy now lives in abject poverty,unable to fend for her family.To add salt to the wound,her husband never recovered fully since the deep cuts on his head affected him mentally and he can't work anymore. My humble request to my peers and other Kenyan youths as we enter the final days to the anticipated general election is to practise restraint and respect each others opinion.No matter how you may not be agreement with it,it is their opinion and likewise you are entitled to yours.It would not however be advisable to provoke your political rivals and arouse animosity,that is a sure recipe for violence.Let us forget atrocities against certain ethnic groups by a particular leader half a century ago.Let's live our lives afterall YOLO!Violence is 99.9 percent negatives and only the neglible remainder positive.Do not accept ill advice from power hungry politicians.They will deceive us that they will fight for our rights but when they make it they grab public land,loot from the public coffers they are meant to guard and attend to their duties at will before 12 months we realize we fell for the wrong guy.Another thing,remember to vote in youth with ideas to change our villages, we lead as majority voters. Let's push our tyranny of numbers to a good use. #TribelessYouth #TribeAll
Safaricom rolled out its youth empowerment program last year and we can only say, so far so good.The Blaze BYOB program has taken Kenyan youths by storm having well over 1.5 million subscribers in just a short time.Many thought it was going to be a one-time project but Safaricom recently announced that this year‘s edition of Blaze BYOB will be touring the country for fresh innovative minds.Meru will have a taste of the BYOB experience on July 1st at the Meru National Polytechnic.The program targets youths with ages ranging from 16 to 26 years.The summits give Blazers access to different mentors who are professionals or semi-professionals in their field of choice.The summit will be running from 6am to 9pm and will be loaded with mentors,entertainment,gaming and a rare opportunity to chat one-on-one with mentors and peers. In the first edition that lasted 8 weeks,Valentine Nekesa was crowned the winner walking away with 5 million bucks in tow.Nekesa is from Kakamega,an orphan having lost her mother at a tender age and is now a student at the MKU University.She beat her male opponents Safe Joe and David Kimani to the prize but they did not leave empty handed.Joe was awarded Ksh.1 million while the second runners-up David pocketed Ksh.700,000 to start off their innovative dreams.Valentine focused on designing/modeling.Joe on the other hand, set his eyes on an authentic music recording label as David tried out an adult literacy program.Valentine won 5 million which was broken down to 3 million in capital and 2 million in financial advice and business support.The judges gauged the competitors according to scalability of the idea,personality of the presenter and televisual appeal.The show was graced by judges Caroline Mutoko,King Kaka,Trushar Khetia and Waceke Nduati who joined the show later on. The Blaze BYOB towns tour will also serve as the audition platform for the next show soon to be aired.Blazers will learn how to plan their lives around their passion as well as earn money from doing what they like most.Youths will have a chance to interact with mentors across unconventional industries and careers.BYOB will create a pool of like-minded peers and those who have made it.Those who will register and eventually become successful like Nekesa,will win funding to kick-start their dreams or ambitions.There will be plenty of entertainment and live performances from your favorite artists from the 254.Check local listings for your town‘s turn with BYOB or follow Blaze Kenya on their social media platforms.I wish you luck as you prepare to give the world the best idea yet to be unveiled.
China recently shut down its last coal plant in Beijing.The plant had been associated with massive air pollution upto to an extent where residents had to walk with protective gear like nose-masks.Kenya worldwide acclaim after the completion of the Lake Turkana Windfarm project.The project an epitome of clean renewable energy has placed Kenya among the few African nations that have embraced calls for clean renewable energy.However,the government has embarked on -surprisingly-coal mining projects earmarked to be carried out in Lamu and the Mua basin in Kitui county .The two projects have hard a rough time with environmentalists and local leaders who are up in arms against them. The Mui basin in Kitui county was discovered to be a rich source of coal.The government through the ministries of Energy,Mining and Finance worked together and scheduled the mining process..The time allocated for the project has since flown by and it is now behind schedule.The Chinese firm Fenxing Mining company which was awarded the tender has found itself embroiled in a dispute including the local leaders,civil rights activists and citizens.Local leaders led by area MCA Musee Mulongo,women representative and senator recently accused the governor,Julius Malombe of failing to co-operate to ensure that the company had begun mining.Governor Malombe in response said that critical issues like settlement of those affected had not been done to citizens satisfaction. The project in Lamu county is no different.The coal plant is supposed to sit on a 975 Acre piece of land in Kwasasi area of Hindu Bay. The government signed an agreement with the African Development Bank to finance the project. In addition, President Uhuru Kenyatta flew to China where he borrowed $2Bn to finance the project.This brought to a total $9Bn the amount borrowed by the Jubilee regime since it came to power in 2013 surpassing all governments that were there before it.The Lamu Coal plant is managed by Amu Power Company which has also signed pacts with other firms including( the usual Chinese) company to help it run the project.to dampen the mood on the coal project further,it has been established that the government will have to import coal from South Africa or construct a railway line from Lamu to the Mua basin to transport the coal deposits to the plant.Uhuru Kenyatta and his United States counterpart Donald Trump were the only pro-coal leaders present at the G7 Summit inTaormina,Italy. You have to love environmentalists,the passion they put into their work that makes it look like fun,until it turns into rubber bullets and teargas.Love them or hate them these guys deserve our respect and support.Looking at the list of diseases people living near the coal mines stand to suffer (if no tangible action is taken) makes you feel sorry for them.First there is Pneumoconiosis(black lung) which is likely to affect the people working in the mines due to breathing in air mixed with coal particles.Fibriosis and bronchitis are also likely to affect residents in the surrounding.Inhalation of air that has Arsenic,Cadmium and lead (all associated with coal) may make one suffer Emphysema- a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.Hypertension/High blood pressure,kidney diseases and high mortality rates are also in line to add to second degree effects that may be caused with coal mining
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