asked the Minister of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons:- (a) how many identity cards have been processed and issued to the public in the last three months; and, (b) whether he could table a detailed list of IDs issued in each district countrywide.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) This Question was raised in the House in the month of April, 2007, and was to cover the months of February, March and April, 2007. However, the current status is that during the months of May, June and July, 2007, the Ministry has processed and issued to owners---
Did I get you right, Mr. Minister? You are saying that this Question was---
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Question was supposed to cover the months of February, March and April, but it was deferred to today, since the hon. Member was not around then. So, it means that either I give details of the whole year, or the last three months; May, June and July.
What I am asking is this: Has this Question been answered?
No. It has not been answered.
Then you should give an up-to-date statement.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, my preliminary answer is not what the hon. Member has because it covers the last six months. It is covering 71 districts of the Republic. This means that if I were to read the figures per district, I will have to do so, for 71 districts.
Give us the grand total and table the rest.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the total is 1,673,475 identity cards which were issued between those three months of May, June and July. From July last year to July this year, we had issued a total of 2,556,492 identity cards to the people of the Republic. 3048
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the first answer I got last week indicated that 404,000 people had been registered. Since the Question was deferred, the answer has changed to 1,673,475. Even though 1.6 million Kenyans have been given identity cards, there are some people who applied for identity cards in the beginning of this year, especially from my constituency. However, they have not received them to date. Could the Minister tell us what action he is taking to make sure that those people get their identity cards?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we completed the issuance of all outstanding identity cards by 31st June, 2007. We really do not have any pending cards that are to be issued. We are issuing them as they are being applied for, on a daily basis. We are processing cards within 24 hours. We have the capacity to produce 50,000 identity cards per day. For the applicants who have not received their identity cards, probably those cards are damaged. Most likely, the photographs were not readable by the machine or the fingerprints were wrong. The problem here is that when the Registrar of Persons returns these cards back to the owners, they are not aware that they have been rejected by the machine. They need to take other photographs or rectify the particulars which are not readable by the machine. If the hon. Member can give me the list of those applicants, I can get an answer. We can identify them on an individual basis.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, most high school students have attained the age of 18 and above. This exercise of registration is going on while most of them are in schools and colleges. Could the Minister tell us whether it is possible for him to extend this exercise to both high schools and colleges in order to facilitate the issuance of identity cards to students?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a very good question. Early this year, I promised this House that by 30th December, we will have issued 3 million Kenyan identity cards. This 3 million will include the students in colleges and secondary schools. We have finished with the backlog exercise. We have now started the exercise of registering students in schools because they turn 18 years of age on a daily basis. We will now be going to secondary schools all over the Republic to issue identity cards to students who have attained the age of 18 and above.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, an identity card is the right of every citizen and so is the voter's card for those who have attained the age of 18 and above. Is the Minister doing anything regarding those who have received the waiting cards so that they can be allowed to register as voters as they wait for the actual identity cards?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it will not be possible to register as a voter with a waiting card. I want to assure the hon. Member that if I receive the list of the serial numbers of those waiting cards by tomorrow, they will receive their identity cards on Friday. We will process them within a day. So, they will not have to wait for a long time like before. These cards are supposed to be ready by now. If there is a problem, the hon. Member should supply me with the serial numbers and we will make sure that they are processed within a day and send to the owners.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in May, we went round my constituency with the Registrar of Persons. I found that a lot of women still have identity cards bearing their fathers' name because some of them cannot afford to pay the money required to change their surnames from their fathers to their husbands. All what they require is an affidavit. Could the Minister consider assisting these ladies who are still using identity cards with their fathers' names and yet they are married? The only thing they require is an affidavit in order to change their surnames in their identity cards.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the law requires that if you change particulars, especially August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3049 through marriage, you are supposed to show your marriage certificate or an affidavit from a lawyer, so that it is confirmed that those particulars are genuine. We cannot bend the law because if we do, a lot of people will change their particulars today. Some will do so, to engage in criminal activities. So, they will have to do these changes through the law because that is what the Act says. This House passed that Act and we cannot go against it. If there are cases of people who are really in need of identity cards because of such situations, we can consider them on case by case basis. They should let us know then we can see what to do.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Minister says his office is doing its work according to the law. Is he aware that there are certain identity cards which are being sent to the wrong districts? For example, in Siaya---
That is a very valid question but it is not a point of order.
Is he is in order to mislead the House?
Order! It would not cure by taking a short-cut. I think you have a valid point. Discuss it with him. Alright? Next Question, Mr. C. Kilonzo!
asked the Minister for Health:- (a) how many nurses have been recruited by the Government since 2006; (b) whether she could table the number of nurses posted per district and constituency to date; (c) whether she is aware that many dispensaries built through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) are not operational due to lack of medical staff; and, (d) whether she is further aware that many operational dispensaries do not have laboratory technicians.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) A total of 3,077 nurses have been recruited by the Ministry since 2006. (b) I will table the list as per district of employment.
(c) I am aware that my Ministry has already operationalised 300 dispensaries built through the CDF. At the moment, a total of 300 dispensaries have been submitted to the Attorney-General for approval before gazettement. (d) I am aware that many operational dispensaries do not have laboratory technicians at the moment. The Ministry is trying to offer these services up to the health centre level. Therefore, you have it at the health centre, sub-district, district, provincial and national hospital level. This is due to limited resources. For the time being, we cannot give these services at the dispensary level.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in part (b), I had asked for a list to be tabled of the nurses who have been posted per district and per constituency. It seems there is a list for only those who were posted per district. I would want to know how many nurses were posted per constituency. Does the Assistant Minister have the list?
But the constituencies reside in the districts!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am asking this because the nurses have been posted to 3050 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 Government friendly constituencies. That is why I wanted to see the list per constituency.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, all districts and constituencies in this country are Government friendly. I do not know a constituency which is not Government friendly. I have a list showing the distribution per district. I have not come with a list showing constituency distribution at this time.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. In part (b) of the Question, I wanted to know the breakdown per district and also per constituency because these nurses have been posted according to whether a Member of Parliament is friendly to the Government or not. But since he has refused to table the list per constituency, will I be in order to ask that this Question be deferred until he tables the list as per the constituency?
Mr. Assistant Minister, why can you not answer the way it was asked?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, indeed he is right. I am just sorry that I did not come with the list as per constituencies. I will table it. I accept the hon. Member's sentiments. It is true; he is right.
Can you do that next Wednesday afternoon?
I will, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
That Question is deferred.
asked the Minister for Health:- (a) how many Kenyans have died of jigger infestation in the last five years; (b) whether she could list districts that are affected by the infestation; and, (c) what plans the Minister has to deal with the menace.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) No Kenyan has so far died of jigger infestation otherwise known us Tunga Penetrants. (b) Jiggers are found nearly in every district or province in this country, but currently, the prevalence is more in Murang'a District of Central Province. (c) Basic homestead and workplace environmental and personal hygiene are paramount to the prevention of the fleas. Currently, my Ministry has strengthened the environmental sanitation and hygienic promotion activities in the affected areas. These activities include spraying of the houses, disinfection, community hygiene education, case surveillance, amongst others.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, whereas I would like to thank the Assistant Minister for his attempt to answer this Question, I am disappointed that he was not able to answer the Question correctly because we have already had reports that five Kenyans have so far died of jigger infestation, as a cause of them not being able to fend for themselves. But nonetheless, the international community is starting to generate income funding for the fight against jigger infestation. In fact, there is a big programme with the Kenya Red Cross currently fighting jigger infestation in Bungoma. Is it that the Ministry does not have a policy relating to case surveillance or what kind of policy does the Ministry have to deal with this problem, or do we have to wait for the international community to raise it while it is a reality in most districts in Kenya?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Tunga Penetrant is an ecto-parasite that is well-known in this country. The prevalence of this disease has been followed up over a long time. We know that because of secondary infections to the affected areas, especially by streptococcus infections, you can have other complications such as renal failure and other rheumatic heart diseases. Those are August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3051 secondary complications. But direct death due to Tunga Penetrant infection has not been reported in this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happy if there are people or organizations who would want us to fight this scourge. They are welcome. But the Government, through my Ministry is doing all it can, not only to alleviate the problem but to eradicate it, if possible.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, many people, including children who suffer from jigger infestation itch a lot. They therefore, use needles and other sharp objects which they tend to exchange and share. This means that they are exposed to the risk of HIV/AIDS infection. Could the Assistant Minister use some of the resources that the Ministry has for the prevention of HIV/AIDS infections to deal with the problem of jigger infestations?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is true that HIV/AIDS could spread due to use of contaminated equipment in trying to remove the jiggers. Education for the change of knowledge, attitude and practice of the people is important. We have been educating people on how to avoid HIV/AIDS infections, including misuse of equipment in removing such things like jiggers, misuse of equipment in circumcision and so on. I would not endeavour to give prophylactic treatment for every patient who has jiggers. It is not viable both economically and medically. I have taken the hon. Member's sentiments and I will enhance the education on jigger eradication and to make people know that it can be a conduit for infection of HIV/AIDS.
Last question, Ms. Abdalla!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Mr Cheboi has some technical advice that he wanted to give. But nonetheless, I would like to ask the Assistant Minister---
Does he have enough experience in this field?
He was saying that he has a question that would shed light to the matter. Nonetheless, how much funding is the Ministry putting in place to deal with this menace?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, if the hon. Member listened to my reply, that Tunga Penetrant, apart from being an ecto-parasite, is also a primary issue in other diseases such as rheumatic heart disease, leprotic syndrome and others. Through this Parliament, Kshs34 million was allocated yesterday to fight diseases. Jigger infestation is part of those diseases.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Since Mr. Cheboi has some technical advice on this issue, and the jiggers have been prevalent even in Othaya, where the President comes from, could I be in order to ask him to give us that advice?
Order! Listen Mr. Ahenda, there are limits that you can go. Quite frankly, jiggers do not know constituencies. Do they? In any case, Mr. Cheboi has not indicated to me his expertise or experience in the management of jiggers. Next Question!
Mr. Ochilo-Ayacko is not in! The Question is dropped!
UTILISATION OF SPANISH AID FOR CONSERVATION OF MAU FOREST 3052 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007
asked the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources:- (a) if he could confirm whether the Government received Kshs100 million from the Spanish Government on 23rd April, 2007, and that the funds were meant for the conservation of Mau Forest; and, (b) whether he could state the specific programmes to be undertaken using the funds and indicate the cost of each.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I wish to confirm that the Government did not receive Kshs100 million from the Spanish Government on 23rd April, 2007, for the conservation of Mau Forest. (b) I, therefore, wish to state that there are no specific programmes to be undertaken using the funds in reference.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I filed this Question, I directed it to the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities, but it was redirected to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. This issue was very much highlighted in the Media and it will be very sad if no funds were received. In this case, I would request you to defer this Question, so that it can be re-directed to the relevant Ministry of Regional Development Authorities.
But where was it before?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I had filed it to the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities, but it was re-directed to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources for reasons that I do not understand.
Mrs. Kihara, did you talk to the Minister for Regional Development Authorities?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did. The Spanish Government has, through the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), provided assistance for the conservation of the Maasai Mau Forest, that is currently a Trustland forest in the Narok County Council.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Mau Forest is an internationally known water catchment area. So, for the Questioner to say that this Question should be re-directed to the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities is missing the point. Conservation is rightly in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Is he in order?
What is the difference between Mau Forest and Maasai Mau Forest?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no difference. However, for the hon. Member's information, the total cost of the project amounts to Kshs1,564,000, an equivalent of US$140, which should be implemented by the Ewaso Nyiro South Development Authority, the Green Belt Movement and the Kenya Forest Working Group, together with the local communities. This is supposed to be done through the UNEP, like I had said.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to state that I got this information partly from the members of the Fourth Estate. The Mau Forest matters a lot in my constituency because it drains rivers into Lake Nakuru, which is a source of living for a lot of people in my constituency. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like the Assistant Minister to consult her colleague in the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities because he is the one who received this money on behalf of the Government. On behalf of my constituents, I would like to know whether any concessions were given and whether Kenyans are indebted to these funds.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we did not receive the money in question.
What about the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I need to consult because this programme is supposed to be undertaken through the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities and not my Ministry.
I can re-direct the Question to the Ministry that actually received the cash, if August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3053 any. So, the Question will be re-directed to the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities and it should be answered on Thursday, next week.
Mr. Kombe is not in! The Question is dropped!
Mr. L. Maitha, did this Question arise in the recent past?
No, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
All right, go ahead!
asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs why the new Malindi Law Courts Project stalled.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The new Malindi Law Courts Project did not stall. Instead, it got into a technical hitch after the Principal Superintendent Architect in the Ministry of Roads and Public Works recommended that the building which was structurally weak may not be able to support the envisaged completed works. However, new works have since been procured for the project and the erection of a new building shall house the High Court, sub-ordinate courts and all other attendant facilities. The project is on course and it is projected that it will be completed in August, 2009.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am happy that the Assistant Minister has said that the project has started. I know that this project was tendered three years back and since then, it has never taken off. Now that the Assistant Minister has said that the project is on course, could he roughly tell us what investment is involved? How much money has been set aside to complete this project?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the initial projected cost was just for the renovation of the buildings that were in existence. We had set aside a contract sum of Kshs4 million for the entire works. However, we now intend to put up a totally new building and we are estimating that not less than Kshs45 million will be spent on this project.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has said that the project will be completed in 2009. He has also said that the project will cost about Kshs45 million. Why is the project taking so many years to be completed and yet we know that our law courts make a lot of money?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a good question. Up to now, the Judiciary has been clamouring to have separate accounts, so that the law courts can be withdrawing money directly from the Consolidated Fund. As the hon. Member has correctly pointed out, the law courts should be able to secure the money that they raise and use it for the purposes that they want. However, this is not yet the case in law. 3054 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 In regard to the hon. Member's request, this is going to go in accordance with the available budget and this is part of the budget. We hope that what has been allocated now should be enough to complete the project. However, the money will be spread over, so that the works are in progress. We cannot complete the project the way he would probably want to envisage.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Assistant Minister be in a position to tell this House how much money has been set aside this financial year and who is the contractor who has been awarded this contract?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I have already explained to this House, we are expecting to spend about Kshs45 million over a period of time. The work is in progress. Initially, one of the problems that we had was that there was single sourcing. Now we want to correct that by making it a little bit more competitive. I cannot tell the hon. Member right now who the contractor is.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. My question was how much money has been allocated to this particular project during this financial year.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have explained to the hon. Member and the House that we intend to spend a total of Kshs45 million.
Is there any money? I thought the Government operates on a Budget!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, for purposes of this year, I cannot give the exact figure right now. But we know that the intended figure will not be more than Kshs45 million.
Order! If the Assistant Minister does not know, who would know?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Question sought to find out why the project had stalled. I have assured this House that the project is on course. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the question of how much money will be spent is a matter of figures. That is something that can easily be found out. But it was not part of the initial Question.
Order! Surely, this is a reasonable expectation on supplementary questions. If the project has not stalled, you would be asked if there is any money to do the project. I think it is reasonable to expect that. If you are not ready, let me give you time! You cannot run away from that, Mr. Mungatana!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the issue of how much money has been set aside this year is something that I can avail to this House. If that is the only issue, then, in fact, that is not a problem.
This Question, by consent of the Minister and the hon. Member, has been deferred.
That is the end of Question Time! Next Order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the Vision 2030, the Government has identified six priority sectors that have the highest potential for accelerated economic growth. These sectors are tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, business out-sourcing and financial services. Although the energy sector is not specifically mentioned among these priority sectors, it is obvious that none of these sectors can register any significant growth without access to reliable, affordable, quality and modern energy services. Mr. Speaker Sir, indeed, the level and intensity of commercial energy use in any country is a key indicator of economic growth and development. A well managed and functioning energy sector is critical to the realization of national development objectives. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the core activities of my Ministry include the following:- Expanding and upgrading energy infrastructure. Promoting energy efficiency and conservation. Protecting the environment. Mobilising requisite financial resources for operation and expansion of energy supply and distribution infrastructure, consistent with the rising demand. Ensuring security of supply through diversification of sources in a cost-effective manner. Increasing energy access to all segments of the Kenyan population. Enhancing legal regulatory and institutional framework to create both consumer and investor confidence. Enhancing and achieving economic competitiveness and efficiency in energy production, supply and delivery.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, petroleum and electricity are the main sources of commercial energy in Kenya. However, firewood is the primary source of energy which is used to meet most of the domestic energy needs of our people, especially those in the rural areas and the urban poor. About 80 per cent of Kenya's population does not have access to modern energy services such as electricity, oil and gas. Most of our people still depend on wood, crop residues and, sometimes, cow dung to meet their cooking and heating needs. The availability of those traditional sources of energy in adequate quantities is a major challenge facing the majority of the people in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my Ministry has, therefore, embarked on a very ambitions programme - which we are calling the Kenya Energy Sector Environment and Social 3056 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 Responsibility Programme"---
Order! Order! Order! There are quite some loud consultations going on in the Front Bench to my left.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Kenya Energy Sector Environment and Social Responsibility Programme intends to increase the supply of fuel wood in all the constituencies in Kenya. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are allocating, through this Budget, over Kshs100 million---
Order! Proceed, Mr. Murungi!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to confirm that the Temporary Deputy Speaker performed his duties with a lot of diligence.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the area of electricity supply, demand is currently about 1,050 megawatts relative to effective installed capacity of 1,155 megawatts. That current demand-supply balance leaves very little room for maintenance of big hydropower units with related capacity of, at least, 72 megawatts. In addition, under dry weather conditions, that effective capacity falls substantially below our power demands, depending on the intensity of the drought. Mr. Speaker, Sir, to address this weak supply-demand balance, my Ministry has put in place appropriate measures to increase generation capacity in tandem with the rising demand for electricity. That demand is projected to grow at a rate of 7.9 per cent per annum between this year and the year 2020. In this respect, therefore, arrangements are in place for the installation of new power plants with a combined capacity of 315 megawatts within the next two years. The first one is Sondu Miriu 60-megawatts Hydro Power Project, which is one of the projects under construction. It is scheduled for commissioning in November this year. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on electricity distribution, Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has continued to enhance its efforts to connect more people to electricity. In the fiscal year 2006/2007, the company connected a record 122,080 new customers across the country. That is the highest connectivity level ever achieved by the KPLC since its inception. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in light of the importance of rural electrification in Kenya, my Ministry has continued to enhance its funding. In the last 30 years, between 1973 and 2003, the former KANU Government spent a total of Kshs6.1 billion on rural electrification. In just the last four August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3057 fiscal years since 2003, this Government has financed rural electrification schemes worth Kshs9.93 billion. That is a reflection of the Government's commitment to accelerate electricity connectivity with a view to reaching an access rate of 20 per cent by 2010 and, eventually, 40 per cent by 2020. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the fiscal year 2006/2007, a total of 444 rural electrification schemes worth Kshs2,177,500,000 were completed. A further 900 schemes worth Kshs7,256,900,000 are now at various stages of implementation, and we intend to complete all those projects by December this year. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), we intend to enhance consumption of LPG in Kenya through the expansion of supply and distribution infrastructure, with a view to substantially reducing consumer prices and deforestation, including boosting economic activities which depend on LPG as process energy.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Minister to make a very important contribution without his officers being present in the House? Those officers are substantially required to take very important notes?
The officers are supposed to support the Minister. They are not part of the House. He is perfectly in order. But the House will also realize that we got the Minister to move his Vote much in advance of time. In fact, the expected time has not arrived yet! Would you like to look at your watch? Proceed!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister is taking the notes as we wait for the other officers to arrive. We are adequate for now. My Ministry has appointed the Kenya Pipeline Company and the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited to be the lead implementing agencies for construction of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage and handling facilities in both Mombasa and Nairobi, to be completed in early 2009. Private sector participation is expected to the tune of 50 per cent in equity in the two projects. The construction of these projects is expected to commence by December, 2007. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the upstream oil and gas sector, Kenya is yet to discover any commercially viable deposits of hydro-carbon reserves. In the past few years, oil exploration activities have been intensified. Most of the country's blocks are now under exploration and, with lack, we hope that we will discover commercially viable deposits in the not-too-distant future. The House may remember that M/s Woodside Energy PLC drilled a dry exploration well in Block L5, off-shore Lamu, in December, 2006. Although we were very disappointed that the well was dry, that well yielded valuable geological data, which is currently being studied and analyzed by a team of Kenyan and Australian geo-scientists in Perth, Australia, and the results of that analysis will provide critical leads to future exploration activities, especially in off-shore blocks in Kenya. The new Energy Act, which was passed by this House in 2006 provides a robust and predictable legal and regulatory framework for effective management of the energy sector, including development of renewable sources of energy such as bio-diesel, power alcohol and charcoal on a sustainable but environmentally-friendly basis. Through this new legislation, three institutions have been set up, namely the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) and the Energy Tribunal (ET). The Boards of these new institutions have already been established, and are expected to be operational within the next few weeks. I would now like to elaborate on the activities for which my Ministry is seeking the approval of this august House to spend a sum of Kshs19,529,784,488. During this financial year, my Ministry is proposing to spend Kshs4,294,200,000 on Headquarters and Administrative Services as follows. We intend to spend Kshs40 million on publicity and awareness. The funds will be used to undertake an aggressive awareness campaign to educate Kenyans on the programmes 3058 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 being implemented by my Ministry. They can now access services in line with our vision of providing quality energy services to all Kenyans. This is in line with the Ministry's mission of facilitating provision of clean, sustainable, affordable, reliable and secure energy services at least cost, while protecting the environment. A sum of Kshs4,100,000,000 will be used as budgetary support to Kenya power and Lighting Company (KPLC) Limited and the Kenya Electricity Generation (KenGen) Company Limited. The Government has made a provision of Kshs2 billion to increase temporary diesel- based power generation capacity in order to meet the rising demand for electricity, while permanent power plants are being constructed. In addition, a sum of Kshs2.1 billion has been provided to the KPLC Limited to mitigate the need for consumer tariff adjustment as a result of the rationalisation of the KenGen back tariff for electricity to KPLC Limited, which now stands at Kshs1.76 cents. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we intend to spend Kshs154,200,000 on the Energy Sector Recovery Programme. My Ministry will continue to implement the multi-donor-funded Energy Sector Recovery Project, whose primary objective is to enhance the energy sector operational efficiency, improve the quality of power supply and raise the electricity consumer connectivity as well as increase power generation capacity by 35 megawatts. My Ministry is proposing to spend a total of Kshs154,200,000 to undertake the following activities in support of this project. We intend to spend Kshs59,320,000 for regulatory capacity strengthening and support to the ERC. This amount has been set aside for preparation of a strategic business plan for the ERC, licensing guidelines, model licences, technical regulations and appropriate management information systems for the ERC. We intend to spend Kshs15 million to support the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). Under the Standards Act, Cap.496, the KEBS is responsible for establishing and enforcing specification for petroleum products. Mr. Speaker, Sir, since the de-regulation of the petroleum sub-sector in October, 1994, there has been tremendous increase in the number of trading companies, some of which engage in bad trading practices, including tempering with fuel dispensing metres and adulteration of motor fuels for commercial gains at the expense of the unsuspecting public. In order to address this illegal business practice, a sum of Kshs15 million has been provided to the KEBS for the purchase of products specification testing equipment to strengthen its regulatory role. We intend to spend Kshs79,880,000 to support capacity building within the Ministry of Energy. This amount has been budgeted to provide capacity building support in the form of training and hiring of consultants. Partly, the funds will be used to undertake feasibility studies on the development of the 300 megawatts core plants based on clean technologies and the unbundling of the KPLC Limited into separate distribution and transmission entities. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we intend to spend a sum of Kshs24,500,000 on Headquarters and Planning. Petroleum products are the main sources of commercial energy in Kenya and are mainly used in transportation, power generation, commercial and industrial sectors. In the past three years, the demand for petroleum products has been growing in tandem with the rapid economic growth which has been witnessed in this country since the year 2003. Secure availability of quality petroleum fuels is, therefore, critical to the maintaining of the momentum of the current economic growth which is in Vision 2030. However, there is need to determine the long term consumption trends for petroleum products in the country and in the surrounding regions. My Ministry is proposing to spend Kshs24 million to undertake a study on the demand of petroleum products up to the year 2030. The results of that study would be used to plan for the expansion of the supply and distribution infrastructure for petroleum fuels in this country and in the surrounding regions. In addition, my Ministry is proposing to spend Kshs500,000 to establish an energy sector data bank and undertake project supervision within the petroleum sector. Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Head 430 - Wood Fuel Resource Development - we intend to August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3059 spend a sum of Kshs113 million. We intend to spend that amount to facilitate development of wood fuel resources and promote energy conservation in Kenya. Specifically, the Ministry will provide and popularise the benefits of environmental conservation and restoration. That will create a culture of efficient use of energy, promote commercial tree planting in this country and improve peoples' livelihoods through energy and environmental conservation. We have noted that even in areas where we have provided people with electricity, especially in rural areas, they do not use electricity for cooking. Electricity is only used for lighting. People continue to use firewood for their eating and cooking needs. We have, therefore, decided to allocate Kshs113 million to promote wood fuel and encourage tree planting in all the constituencies in Kenya. That amount would be matched with more funds from parastatals within the Ministry or the energy sector. The total programme is likely to cost up to Kshs500 million. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have also made an appeal to the private sector to support that effort. That programme is intended to create a visible nationwide environmental restoration and conservation project with high impacts and sustainable socio-economic benefits through value adding partnerships with local communities. We also intend to work with women and youth groups to support that massive environmental restoration exercise around the country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Head 433 - Alternative Energy Technology - my Ministry is proposing to spend Kshs20,100,000 to undertake various renewable energy activities and studies, including the installation of more wind masts and data loggers for the purpose of collecting wind data to be used in determining suitability of sites for development of wind-based electric power generators. Already, 28 wind masts and data loggers have been installed in various parts of the country. We also intend to spend Kshs4 billion for remittance to KenGen to mitigate adverse effects of Excise Duty and VAT on electricity tariffs associated with the use diesel power generation. My Ministry is further proposing to spend Kshs3,794,245,568 under this Head to upgrade power distribution systems of KPLC. The bulk of those funds - Kshs3,719,202,860 - will be provided by the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, Nordic Development Bank and the French Agency for Development (AFD). The balance of Kshs75,042,708 will be provided by the Kenya Power and Lighting Company as counterpart funding. In addition, the Government of China will provide Kshs429 million for upgrading the quality of power supply in Nyanza Province and upper parts of Eastern Province. My Ministry has further allocated Kshs35 million towards the cost of carrying out a detailed feasibility study on the construction of a high voltage power transmission line - a power inter-connecter - between Kenya and Ethiopia for power imports. We intend to connect our border towns - Moyale and Marsabit - from Ethiopia. Mr. Speaker, Sir, under geothermal resources and exploration, we intend to spend Kshs2,862,738,920. An amount of Kshs410 million will be used for geothermal surface exploration in Northern Rift Valley and for drilling of six appraisal wells in Olkaria Power Geothermal Field in support of a 70 megawatt power plant which is scheduled for commissioning by the year 2010. In addition, a sum of Kshs2,406,629,000 has been provided as loan proceeds from the World Bank, European Investment Bank and KFW of Germany under the Energy Sector Recovery Project for the development of a third 35 megawatts geothermal power plant at Olkalia 11 Power Station. KenGen will provide Kshs46,309,920 as counterpart funding. Mr. Speaker, Sir, under Head 444, which is Rural Electrification, the gross expenditure is Kshs4,87,000,000. That amount will be spent in provision of electricity in the rural areas through grade extension and installation of solar electricity generators in arid and semi-arid schools and health centres at an estimated cost of Kshs3,305,000,000. My Ministry has set up various directorates to implement and ensure that those funds are well spent. In aggregate, I am requesting the approval of Kshs19,857,326,162,000. With those remarks, I beg to Move and I request Mr. Kimunya, the Minister for Finance, to 3060 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 second.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I rise to second this Motion on the Ministry of Energy, which is very critical for the development and growth of this country. As you can see from our decorations, we have just come from a function in which we were celebrating the awarding of the ISO 2000/9001 certificate to Kenya Pipeline Company, one of the flagship companies within the Ministry of Energy. That basically shows what is happening within our parastatals. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in looking at the Ministry of Energy, I believe that it is all very clear to us. The Minister, even if you, probably, gave him all the time, he would not have the time to articulate all the issues that are relevant to that Ministry because there is a lot of work going on. There are a lot of new policies and plans being formulated. I hope that I will be able to highlight some of those he left out in his speech. However, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister articulated the policy of the Ministry very well. He showed us the direction the Ministry is moving to ensure that Kenya is powered across the entire country. I believe that all hon. Members have been beneficiaries of the very popular initiative of the Rural Electrification Programme (REP), which is taking place across the entire country with success and also pushing the demand for energy supply, hence the demand for extra resources. I believe that if hon. Members looked at the Printed Estimates, they will notice that with regard to the REP, the Ministry will be looking for an extra Kshs4 billion, which will go towards helping the REP. At this point, I would also like to join the Ministry in thanking the French Government, through AFD, which has contributed Kshs450 million towards that initiative. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am also very happy that the Ministry has taken into account the need for a masterplan. We will be committing Kshs56 million towards the implementation of that masterplan, which will guide us in terms of the REP. Indeed, we thank the Government of Finland for that support. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to exploration, the Minister mentioned something about the success so far off the coast of Lamu, and, indeed, what is happening in terms of the other explorations. I am aware that there is a whole Kshs299 million that has been provided for petroleum and coal exploration in addition to what is happening. More important for us is that within the Mui Basin in Kitui and Mwingi districts, there is evidence that there are some deposits of coal. From the last count I had, there are 26 wells that have been drilled with about 11 of them showing some very positive results. Part of the budget for this Ministry will be directed towards further drilling and exploration so that we can get cheaper sources of energy to supplement the oil and electricity that we are using. I believe that the coal exploration will be taking about Kshs145 million. Another Kshs4 million would have been provided for an LPG facility at the Kenya Pipeline Company. Energy has become very expensive for us. Pump prices are high, in tandem with the world oil prices, but unless we have our own company that can compete and be at par with the other multinational companies, we will be at a constant disadvantage. I am happy that the Ministry has seen it fit to support the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) in terms of building its capacity. In the Ministry's budget, under Sub-Vote 004, NOCK will be provided with a grant of Kshs90 million, which will help in the facilitation and acquisition of additional primary data in four sedimentary basins and to market the petroleum potential to international oil processing companies which have the requisite financial resources for drilling. So, apart from what is happening in terms of grants to NOCK to purchase extra pump stations and to build its own capacity, there is also money that has been allocated to them so that they can facilitate the exploration. Mr. Speaker, Sir, following the enactment of the Energy Act, the Petroleum Exploration August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3061 Directorate has been set up. It will be a recipient, under Sub-Vote 007, of Kshs60 million. This will help in terms of giving it the capacity to carry out its work. This is one of the Ministries with a very low Recurrent Expenditure. I believe that the figure is just about Kshs327 million. Most of the money is devoted to development. It is one of our development agencies. As we look towards the realisation of the goals that have been set up within the Vision 2030, energy becomes far much relevant because with all the new investments, for example, the Kshs500 billion we want to invest between now and 2012, if we do not have the right energy, a number of those projects will end up as white elephant projects. I would like to urge the House that we take this matter seriously because we need energy. We have all been beneficiaries. Perhaps, this is the time to put the nation ahead of us. So, we need power for this country. The debate on this Motion should be as constructive as possible. Let us have as many ideas as we can even as we move this country forward. We need to energise the country, especially our rural areas. It is only by doing so that we are going to uplift the lives of our people, especially those in the rural areas. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I hope that after all these measures have taken place, we shall have cheaper LPG and pump prices. There will be energy in our homesteads and our forests will be safe. With what the Minister announced, that is, getting our youth, women groups and all those people involved in the rural areas in the replanting of trees in our farms, we are going to secure more underground water sources which will enhance our geothermal power generation. This will save our environment so that we can have a just and cohesive society living in a very secure and clean environment, true to the wishes of the second pillar of our Vision 2030. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I believe that the issue before us is self-evident. It is everyone's wish to have power when they go back home and to have it continuously despite the droughts and floods. Of course, our neighbours have not been as fortunate and we have had to do with power rationing. We suffered that in the past partly due to the misdeeds of the past and the lack of planning. Any support we can give to this Ministry will be welcome so that we end up with all these energy sources tapped, working and reliable. We need the assurance that we shall all go home and find power available for our needs. That way, our industries will keep running and becoming competitive, hence our country will be taking its rightful place within this region, continent and, indeed, the world as a world player in terms of production using local energy. Our kids will be going to school knowing that they can access the best in technology because there will be power. Mr. Speaker, sir, since we have not been endowed like our neighbours in terms of resources, we hope that when we spend this money, we will not be disappointed the way we were during the explorations in Lamu. One day, we will strike our own oil and other natural resources that can only help push this country further. Look at the success we have had, that is, growing from 0.6 per cent to 5.7 per cent in 2005, 6.1 per cent last year and 6.3 per cent for the first quarter of this year with no resources of our own except our people, our beautiful country and good leadership. Now, if we add it to natural resources coming our way, this country could grow at a higher rate than any other fast-growing country across the world. I hope that one of these days, we will use these investments to explore real natural resources which will help trigger our country's economic growth and sustain it long-term. Mr. Speaker, Sir, against that background, it is my wish that the House will give all the support required to this Motion. I beg to second.
Who is the Official Responder? 3062 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007
Mr. Kipchumba, please, proceed!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to give my contribution to this very important Vote. First of all, I would like to congratulate this Ministry for having done a very good job in the last two years or so. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think hon. Members will agree that out of all the Ministries, the Ministry of Energy has, probably, done the best work. If all Ministries did the same or even 50 per cent of what the Ministry of Energy has done, this country's economy would, probably, grow by more than ten per cent and not the six per cent we talk about. Ministries that are pulling this country backward must be encouraged to emulate this very important Ministry. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my only disappointment is that this Ministry has been allocated very little money. When a Ministry is doing very well and spending all the funds allocated to it, it must be given additional funding in recognition of its work. There are so many Ministries in this country that return half of the funds allocated to them to Treasury. Therefore, when a Ministry, like this, exhausts its budget, there must be need to give them additional funding. The Minister for Finance, who has seconded this very important Motion, should have seen the need to give them additional funds. However, it is not too late! The Minister could still consider doing the same during the supplementary budget. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) should have been operational by now. While I appreciate that the officers in the Ministry can competently do the job, if the REA was established earlier, probably by now, they would have been given adequate funding. If you look at this Budget, there is no money allocated for the REA. There is no good reason to have not allocated funds to such a critical authority. I think it was known well in advance that the Bill was moved in this House sometimes during the course of the year. Therefore, the Minister for Finance, in his wisdom, should have provided for some money for this very important authority. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have looked at the money that has been allocated to the Rural Electrification Programme (REP). The amount has been substantially reduced. I do not understand the logic behind the fact that funds which were previously in the tune of Kshs5 billion have come down to about Kshs3 billion. There are so many programmes that are going on. Most of them are at completion stage. It would be very important that all these projects are completed before the end of the financial year. I know there are shortages of material everywhere. We have shortages of poles, wires and so forth. This should be taken care of. I know that when you start such ambitious programmes, there are bound to be some logistical issues. Nonetheless, I think this should be sorted out quickly. I see many Questions on power provision being asked by hon. Members in this House. I think such Questions should not come to Parliament. Mr. Speaker, Sir, every hon. Member of Parliament has been given an opportunity to identify certain areas that they deem to be priority areas in their constituencies, so that they can be given electricity on a priority basis. To the extent, they are asking these Questions in the House. At times, I wonder whether we should be asking those Questions. If you are given five opportunities, give them to the areas you think deserve electricity most. Funds cannot be given to everybody at the same time. We should stop asking such Questions in this House. We should submit programmes that we want done and those that can wait. We, as a country, cannot do all programmes at the same time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister has given that our consumption is about 1,050 kilowatts and production of about 1,155 kilowatts. As we continue to expand in this country, I do not think we are matching it with the same investment. We must invest quite a substantial amount of money in diversifying the sources of energy. August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3063 Mr. Speaker, Sir, while there is a lot of rain in this country, we still hear power rationing. To me, it does not make any sense that we can ration power when we have floods all over the country. The problem could, probably, be that there could be rains in some parts of the country and not others. Therefore, we should diversify as much as possible, so that we can reap when there are rains. Geothermal energy is the cheapest source of energy all over the world. It is long-term, but expensive to invest. However, I know if we could invest money in geothermal energy in some parts of Rift Valley Province, that can be sufficient for a very long time. I know that a lot of funds are required, but, in the long run, this could be this country's saviour. I think we should go out of our way to borrow money for this important sector. Mr. Speaker, Sir, another disappointment in this Budget is that money that has been earmarked for alternative sources of energy is very little. It is only Kshs20 million. I do not know what Kshs20 million can do in developing alternative sources of energy. This Ministry does not take alternative sources as a very important resource. If you go to many developed countries, they have developed other sources of energy because they know that petroleum is very expensive. If you are going to depend on petroleum and funding additional diesel generators, we would be talking of Kshs2 billion plus. That money could easily have been available to develop some other wells for generation of geothermal energy in Rift Valley Province. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the fuel should be done away with. I saw the Minister say yesterday that it is better to have expensive power than disruptions. I agree with him. We should fast-track the development of these geothermal wells. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you go to developed world, they have ethanol from coal products. We produce a lot of coal in this country to the extent that we do not have sufficient market. I think the Minister should go out of his way to visit some of these countries like the United States of America (USA). They have advanced technology in the form of using coal to produce ethanol which is then mixed with petroleum to produce the much needed petrol to run their vehicles. I think the blending of the same has been seen to be very cost-effective. The Minister should, through his budget, provide for some funding for his travel, so that he can travel to other countries. He has provided quite a substantial amount of money for the development of data and information. But he has allocated very little money for him and his staff to travel to different parts of the world, so that they can see for themselves how these resources can be tapped. There is no point in re-inventing the wheel, because it has already been invented by other people. Therefore, there is merit that, that technology can be transferred to this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I said before - and the Minister has clearly pointed out - the world all over has now moved to unleaded petroleum. Some of our petrol stations still sell regular and diesel with very high sulphur content. However, some of the oil companies will tell you: "You know, we are producing diesel with very low sulphur content." That is not very good news. Basically, all over the world, nobody is using diesel with sulphur content of over 1 per cent. It is unfortunate that in this country, our refinery is still unable to process products that are of acceptable quality. I think the upgrading of the Kenya Petroleum Refineries is of paramount importance. At one stage, I was afraid in this country, that while we claimed that our products met international standards, what we were producing in our petroleum refinery was way out of the required international standards. I said at one time that if somebody went to court to challenge the Government for allowing Kenyans to use low quality products, that would pose a very big problem. Therefore, products like regular, in my view, should not be produced in this country. I think Kenya is the only country, probably, in the world that still uses regular. In fact, even Uganda and Tanzania do not use regular. There is no merit for using it. It is just a matter of tradition. There are certain people who believe that their vehicles will run very well on regular. It would be important if the Ministry of Energy informed them that regular is an outdated material that does not assist in any 3064 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 way. It may be cheaper by one shilling, but if you are buying ten litres of fuel, you will just have saved Kshs10 at the expense of the environment and your engine. Therefore, I think the Ministry of Energy should go out of its way and, probably, ban the use of regular in this country, because it is of no economic value to Kenyans. It should also go an extra mile to ensure that the diesel that is used in this country has very low sulphur level. Of course, sulphur has been known to be very harmful to our societies. Given the state of our motor vehicles that are driven on our roads, they produce a lot of smoke; meaning that the diesel has not been burnt properly and, hence, emitting a lot of sulphur to the environment. The Kenya Bureau of Standards must do its job according to the law. If it cannot enforce the law, it has no business being in the market. Mr. Speaker, Sir, sometimes this year, or last year, we passed the Energy Bill that provided that if one adulterated petroleum products, he or she would face very high penalties. But I do not think that, that law has been enforced. There are still cases of adulteration all over this country. We must ensure that people sell safe petroleum products all over this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, while the Minister talked of Vision 2030, it would be very important--- In fact, the Ministry does not need to allocate a lot of money for study. I am talking of Kshs24 million that has been allocated to collect data. That can be done in-house. The officers in the Ministry of Energy have this information. If you want to project for the next ten years or whatever period, all you need to do is collect data for the last four, five or ten years and use it to project into the future. I do not understand why the Ministry would want to spend Kshs24 million to carry out a study on information that is already available. Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I used to work for the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK), which is under the Ministry of Energy, we used to provide a lot of information to that Ministry. I do not know whether they used it, but I remember that, that information was very vital, because we could access the world market. The basic requirements for the Ministry to achieve Vision 2030, is for it to ensure that there is enough storage in Mombasa. The reasons we have frequent fuel shortages in western Kenya are two-fold. First, there is inadequate storage of petroleum products in Mombasa. Two, the Kenya Pipeline Company, which was deemed in 1979, to operate for a long time--- In fact, I thought that additional pumping stations were to be put up sometime in future, but, we reached that level a bit earlier. All we need to do is to put up additional pumping stations. I know that, that effort has been made. But we should not wait until the problem catches up with us. I think we should look forward, so that we can put up more pumping stations in advance. In fact, we should have reserve pumping stations in readiness for any eventuality. It is very shameful that people--- At one time, when I was in Eldoret, all the fuel stations were dry. I almost failed to come back to Nairobi. Given that this country is endowed with a harbour in Mombasa, it would be a shame if we cannot supply petroleum. That would be understandable for countries like Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, but not Kenya. This is because we have a pipeline and also all the vessels can dock in Mombasa without much problems. Therefore, if we have problems in Kenya, they impact negatively on the image of this country. If we cannot supply petroleum products to Uganda and other countries, they will lose confidence in this country. If we want to achieve the objectives of the Vision 2030, let us continue developing more storage facilities. In fact, if the Minister can care to look at how much money this country pays as demurrage to the international companies, because the vessels have to queue at the Port of Mombasa, because we have only one berth--- I think it is incumbent upon the Government to ensure that it expands the berth, so that, probably, two or three ships can dock at the same time. Currently, if one cruise ship docks in Mombasa and stays for three or four days, the other ships have no alternative but to wait. As we all know, crude oil has to undergo some processing. The vessels that carry crude oil are given priority, but the white products could easily be available so that it can be pumped ashore. It is important that we set aside funds to expand the port, so that two August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3065 or three ships can dock at the same time. We should build adequate storage facilities. If we do so, we will save this country and the Great Lakes Region a lot of money, given that we are now expanding into regions. Because the storage capacity in Tanzania cannot even accommodate one ship, we could even be supplying the entire region, to the extent that the Port in Tanzania could shut down, just like it happened with her refinery. They could not move on because Kenya was too efficient for them. Therefore, I welcome the initiative that has been undertaken by the Government to ensure that, I think, a Libyan company was going to invest in the refinery. Let them also look for funds so that we can have another company investing to ensure that more vessels can dock in Mombasa. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) facility, since I came to this Parliament, has been budgeted for year in, year out. It is taking too long! There is no excuse that Kenyans who require LPG will have to wait. About two or three weeks ago, there was a shortage of LPG all over the country. It almost became a crisis that most of the companies, which supply cooking gas, experienced shortages. The reason is lack of adequate storage. The reason why this country, Kenyans, still depend on a lot of wood fuel is not so much that LPG is very expensive. Many oil companies have substantially reduced the price for the gas cylinders. If you compare the prices for gas cylinders a few years ago with what they are now, the prices - due to the competition that is in the market - have substantially come down. However, we need to be assured that there will be continuous supply of this product. For us to have that continuous supply, the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), which the Minister said has been given the responsibility of spearheading this project, should expedite it. I am sure there are many companies willing to put in money. If there is any market that is potentially good, it is the LPG market. This country has been identified as one of the countries that use the lowest amount of LPG compared to their population. Given our income levels, if the economy is growing, there is no reason why we should not encourage Kenyans to use LPG. Therefore, I would want to encourage the Minister that this facility is required like yesterday. We needed it yesterday so that Kenyans, who want to use the LPG, do not have any fear that, indeed, there could be shortages.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there should be substantial competition, so that other companies can access this product at the KPC, because right now there is monopoly in the importation of the LPG because only a few companies have the handling facilities for this product. If the KPC can handle it on behalf of everybody else, I can assure you that the same results will be achieved in terms of reduction in price, just as it was witnessed in western Kenya. When all the multinational companies operated in western Kenya, the prices of products were very high, but when the market was opened, courtesy of the KPC, which then provided an outlet for all companies to get products from it, it became very easy. There were no handling fees, there were so many companies, and so the economies of large scale, which can be enjoyed through use by many companies of the same source, were realised. One issue that we have been grappling with for a very long time is the fact that many Kenyans have paid a lot of money to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). We stand accused, as a country, and the KPLC stands accused for having, probably, conned us - you will excuse me; it is for lack of another word. Kenyans were told to pay 10 per cent, so that they could be considered for supply of electricity. So many Kenyans 3066 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 enthusiastically went and paid 10 per cent. Some of the problems that we are experiencing in our constituencies are that many of our constituents come and say:' "We have already paid the 10 per cent. We have done very well! The KPLC wanted only 10 per cent of the Kshs2 million, which is Kshs200,000. In fact, we paid Kshs300,000; therefore, we need power like yesterday". The KPLC, at that time, did not explain to the people properly that they were paying that amount, so they would get serious consideration in terms of design, survey and other things. I know that is understandable, but the people were not told that. Nobody told them: "You will pay this much so that serious consideration can be given to your project". So, what has happened? The 10 per cent, to date, is being held by the KPLC illegally. When you demand your money, they will tell you that, first, you have to forego a certain amount of money. If you paid Kshs100,000, they will tell you that they will only pay you Kshs90,000. As if that is not enough, and given that there has been inflation, you have been holding my money for ten years. Therefore, accordingly, simple economics demands that you should pay me interest. What they are telling you is that they will pay you less. Even the amount being paid takes two years. That money has not been paid! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to request the Minister in this House that he gives an undertaking that anybody who paid money to the KPLC, if you want to be given your money, you should be paid. We are not asking for the interest, but that you be paid your money as it was. Secondly, you should be paid immediately, without undue delays. There is no reason for delays, because some of the power connections have since been done. If somebody who required power ten years ago has used other means and now has power, why would you want to continue holding his money when he already, through his other means, has power. I think it is important to do what is right. I know the KPLC is doing a very good job, and they have started very many programmes like the Customer Creation, which is doing very well. The Umeme Pamoja scheme is also doing well. I know costs are prohibitive but, at least, there is hope. Previously, power was being given to a few people, and only if you were known, probably, to the Minister or somebody else. However, nowadays it is a free resource. It is up to the KPLC to maximise on this resource by ensuring that they give it to as many people as possible. But it is important for the KPLC to stagger the payments. To tell a poor Kenyan, who earns Kshs5,000 a month, to pay Kshs34,000 is not practical. Tell them: "In the next one year, we will connect you. Pay a commitment fee of Kshs5,000 but make sure that for the next one year, you pay as follows". Then very many Kenyans will manage it, because they come to us and we are unable to provide help even using our Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) or our own resources. We are unable to assist them to their satisfaction. Therefore, I want to request the KPLC to find a formula on how they can assist. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that without this energy, the Information Technology (IT) sector, which is envisaged to, in future, create many jobs, will not succeed. Every Ministry should, in fact, partner with the Ministry of Energy. The Ministry of Health should in its budget for example, have a certain amount of money, which is paid directly either to the KPLC, or other company, for connection of power to all the health centres. A health centre without power is as good as dead. Therefore, every Ministry should, in its budget, ensure that a certain portion of its funds is set aside, so that power can be connected to their dispensaries. The IT sector is very critical. In fact, when people say they want to look at the IT sector, which is going to provide many jobs, without power it is a waste of time. It is important that, while we look into the expansion of IT and improvement of schools, a lot of money should be put into the power sector. When I was looking at this budget, I saw that quite a substantial amount of money has been provided for research and a feasibility study for geothermal activities. I wonder why we should August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3067 have such a substantial amount of money for research and feasibility studies. In fact, it is to the tune of about Kshs2.29 billion. I do not know whether that is for construction or feasibility studies. I do not understand that. I want the Minister, when he will be responding, to explain to us why we should put such a substantial amount of money to the tune of Kshs2.29 billion for feasibility studies. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I stand here to support the Motion. I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister and his staff for the very good work they are doing, particularly with regard to Rural Electrification Programme (REP). We know where we are coming from. We know that the area of rural electrification has been neglected for a long time. It is gratifying to see that, over the last two years, the Ministry of Energy has stepped up its efforts to ensure that rural electrification is not only revived, but it is put in very high gear. I also want to say that wherever I go, not only in my constituency, but in other constituencies, there has been a fair distribution of rural electrification projects. In many areas, the Ministry is doing everything possible to see that every part of this country benefits. Having said that, I would like to say that there have been many delays in the implementation of that important project. Judging by the number of Questions that hon. Members ask here, projects that were started many years ago have not been completed. It is fair to say that the Ministry needs to do something to ensure that those projects that have stalled are completed. That is happening because some few contractors have been given too many projects and, therefore, are unable to finish them. We need to see, as soon as possible, those projects which the Ministry has embarked on, completed. There is also a challenge on materials. The Minister has frequently told the House that materials have not been forthcoming. The Ministry ought to remove those challenges - lack of materials and non-completion of projects by contractors - so that, at least, those projects that have been started are completed. I want to, particularly, draw the attention of the Minister to a pending implementation of a rural electrification project in my constituency. I understand it was to be done under a French Assistance Programme. It covers a very large area of my constituency. That project has stalled for a long time. Although I have got assurance that, that work will be resumed, I would like the Minister to see to it that those projects, which wananchi have been informed that they will be done, are done as soon as possible. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, quite a number of areas are a distance from the main electricity lines. Therefore, it calls for the Ministry to intensify its efforts to use solar energy to supply power. I have in mind areas in my constituency where it will take some time before actual electricity from the main lines reach those areas. I know that the Ministry has got programmes for solar energy. But some of those programmes have been, more or less, directed to North Eastern areas of this country. We know some areas in Mwingi and Kitui districts where it is very difficult to supply electricity using the main lines. Therefore, I want to urge the Minister to include Mwingi and Kitui districts in the programmes for solar energy. I say this because I know that, unless we do that, particulary if we want schools to benefit from Information Technology (IT), it will take many years before those areas get power. The Minister can make a deliberate effort to, once again, serve the areas which have, hitherto, been forgotten, to ensure that they get power, particularly, to develop their schools. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of coal has been talked about. I was listening from my office when the Minister for Finance was seconding this Motion. He talked about coal exploration in Mwingi and Kitui districts. The issue of coal has been on for many years. We have talked about coal exploration and the deposits, which are very large. I remember when we were 3068 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 preparing the Strategy Paper for Poverty Eradication, coal exploration in Mwingi and Kitui districts was identified as one of the areas where poverty would be reduced greatly, if the mineral resource was explored. But that has remained a pipe-dream. I want the Minister to confirm to the nation in general, and to the people of Mwingi and Kitui districts in particular, that he will get investors as quickly as possible to come and ensure that, that coal is mined. He should get a suitable investor who can invest so that, we can reduce poverty in those areas. Not only that, but that mineral could be a source of alternative energy. If you visit countries like China, coal is still being mined. It is a big source of energy. We are here suffering from lack of sufficient energy. When the Minister was moving this Motion, he said that we are almost up to the limit of the amount of energy that we are spending. But we have a very high potential of an unexploited resource in the field of coal. The amount of money that has been allocated this financial year will not improve what we want to see. We want to see an investor. We want to see that mineral being mined as soon as possible, with the necessary infrastructure. If that is done, we will not only get an additional source of energy in this country, but we will go a long way in alleviating poverty, which is very prevalent in the area that I come from. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the price of fuel has continued to rise. I need not say that whenever the price of fuel rises, it causes the prices of other items to rise. We are very unfortunate. I do not know why, for many years, this country has been unable to strike oil. Why is it that the country north of us, namely Sudan, is able to strike oil? I have asked that question several times. Why is it that the country south of us, namely Tanzania, is able to strike gas? Recently, we read in the news that Uganda, our neighbouring country in the west, has struck oil. Could it be that we are so unfortunate? I believe that we have got that resource. I want to urge the Minister to intensify efforts to ensure that this country strikes oil as soon as possible. The amount of money we are paying to import oil products could be well utilised in investing in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is also the issue of using ethanol to blend our petrol, so that the price could be cheaper. We know that ethanol is a by-product of sugar. This country happens to produce a lot of sugar. We know countries like Brazil have successfully used the by-product of sugar - that is ethanol - to blend their petrol. In the process, Brazilians are now paying much less in the import bill of petrol. Therefore, I want to urge the Minister that, as he moves to explore and ensure that coal is mined to produce an alternative source of energy, he should also ensure that the by-products of sugar are used to blend petrol. That will go a long way in reducing the price of that commodity and, in the process, reduce the cost of living for our people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to end by, again, congratulating the Minister and urging him to ensure that all rural electrification projects which have been planned, earmarked or started, are completed as soon as possible, so that those who are targeted could benefit. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to say a few words about this Vote of the Ministry of Energy. Just as the hon. Members who spoke before me, I would like to congratulate the Minister and his team for a job well done. I want to agree with hon. Kipchumba who said that, notwithstanding some shocks that visited the Ministry sometimes in the course of 2005 or thereabouts, the Ministry has been able to push on uninterrupted. That is credit to the technocrats who are running the Ministry. It would, obviously, be a surprise if I did not say something about the Rural Electrification Programme. This is one area in which, most of us in this House, would want to commend the Ministry. I believe that there are projects spread out in every corner of the country. However, there is an issue which needs to be addressed. This is the issue of marketing. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is true that the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) have their popular programme on television called Umeme Pamoja . However, we also August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3069 must be realistic. How many Kenyans have television sets to be able to see the exciting movie on
, that is aired on television sets? Therefore, I want to urge the Minister and his team to, particularly call upon the KPLC to expand on their Marketing Department. I say that because in areas where we are implementing a lot of Rural Electrification Programme projects, you will find that not many residents are aware of what they need to do. This being an election year, if you or I call a public meeting or a public baraza like we always do, and we start showing people the electric lines and telling them what they should do, they may not trust us. In any case, we are not experts on that area. Therefore, it is only fair that where programmes are earmarked, sufficient personnel from the Marketing Department of the KPLC are sent there to go and educate the people of the potential benefits that they are likely to accrue from the power being taken to their villages. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to look at the issue of wood fuel. When you look through the Development Estimates of the Ministry, apparently, even under the Alternative Energy Sources, there is no mention of anything to do with use of wheat. We know that, obviously, the demand for power will continue to increase in the foreseeable future. Indeed, even with the commissioning of the Sondu Miriu Power Plant, it is not likely that the power will be enough for the country. Indeed, currently, people are being encouraged to shift their production periods from peak hours to off-peak hours for the simple reason that we do not have enough power. Therefore, I would like to urge the Ministry to consider doing some little investment, either through partnering with the private sector to explore the possibilities of exploring the enormous potential that is in the North Eastern, and indeed, upper Eastern Province and Turkana District. If you look at the Development Estimates you will realise that the amount of money allocated to Alternative Energy Technologies is only Kshs20 million. Out of the Kshs20 million, Kshs13.5 million is the only amount earmarked to go to research, feasibility studies, project preparations and design, and project supervision. One does not need to be a very serious economist to see that this is less than a drop in the ocean. If this is the only amount of money that the Treasury could give them, then there is need for the Minister to encourage the private sector to move in and partner with the Government in this area of alternative sources of energy and developing other technologies that would be beneficial to the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in the area of wood fuel, the Minister talked about the figure of Kshs113 million that has been allocated to that. However, under wood fuel, within that budget, what has been earmarked to go to research, feasibility study, project design and supervision? Surprisingly, it is only Kshs6 million, yet we are talking about wood fuel being an important source of energy. I think we should be talking about encouraging people and the private sector to partner with this Ministry, which I believe is one of the leading performers. If we were to be fair--- Since they cannot get more allocation, there is need for them, like I said, with regard to Alternative Energy Technology area, to look at the private sector for partnerships. I want to talk about an issue that we have talked about a number of times. We have a number of small rivers in this country. Unfortunately, there seems to be no encouragement at all, from anybody, either from the private sector or the Government itself, to look into the possibility of constructing small dams within some of those rivers. That is very easy. If possible, some of them would be producing a few megawatts of power to assist in spurring economic growth in the countryside. As the hon. Deputy Speaker, said, I find it very strange the way we are behaving, like an island in a region. A lot of hope has been given, that we have engaged so-and-so in exploring fuel on this and that site. A few months down the road, we were told that they hit a dead end. There is nothing. I do not know what we should do. Do we need a national prayer to carry out this exercise? Is it that this country has not been mapped sufficiently to be able to identify areas with clear potential? This is something that beats logic. I want to urge the Minister that those they are 3070 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 dealing with be given areas which appear definite to yield something beneficial or commercial to the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I conclude, I have observed that the Government's shareholding in the KPLC has been reduced to below 50 per cent. Is the KPLC a parastatal? The Government's equity is below 50 per cent. Should the Government equity in a Government parastatal, in which we are putting so much money, be reduced in the manner we have witnessed in the last two or so years? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a well known fact that we passed the Privatisation Act. I think it is unfair that some form of privatisation of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) should be permitted to continue without following the clear provisions of the Privatisation Act. This means we are diluting Government shareholding in KPLC and yet, we, as a country, are pumping in so much resources. If, indeed, it is desirable to so reduce, like we are doing in other Government parastatals, then the clear provisions of that Act should be followed. Whatever public resources go into that company, we, as a country, are at least assured we do not run the risk of losing public resources to foreigners and other private investors. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of lifting of oil, I do understand this to be a concession and that the country negotiates with the concessioning country. It is better for the Minister, when replying, to clear the air. We do not want this issue to be debated here and people casting aspersions on either the Ministry, the Minister or other officials, so that the matter is put to rest. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I want to remind hon. J.B. Muturi that national prayer breakfasts are normally there and so he needs to join them. They are not there for only one section. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to support this Motion. I want to congratulate the Ministry because, so far, it has done a good job. However, they started very well with so many projects, but in the course of time, I do not know what happened. They are now very slow. Projects are not being completed. Ministry personnel are not being seen on site and nothing is happening. I need to remind the Minister that all those electrification projects which were started, particularly in the slums have stalled. There was an electrification project which was started in Mukuru. Everybody was happy that, at the end of the day, they will be able to enjoy the fruits of this country by accessing electricity. However, for some reasons, the KPLC stopped it. I want to urge the Minister to check what is happening because it was being done directly by the KPLC. We still see the KPLC personnel come one day and then go away. As usual, we know that is how sometimes the projects work. I want to appeal to him to make sure that the slum electrification projects which were started are at least completed, so that people can enjoy electricity. I went to the people there and announced that it will happen and now they are asking whether it is an ordinary empty promise. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am happy that most of the streets in Nairobi are lit. There is still a problem between the Nairobi City Council (NCC) and Adopt-A-Light Company. I want to appeal to the Minister to intervene because the job has now stopped because of infighting between the NCC and the contractors. I think it is time that the Minister intervened to know exactly why this is happening. The exercise has stopped. I see the contractors who are installing the lights being arrested now and then by the NCC just because it does not want to award a tender to that particular person. I think it is time the Minister for Energy and the Minister for Local Government sat together and tried to solve this problem because it is slowing down the project which is supposed to be going on. August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3071 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are also so many electrification projects upcountry which have stalled. We see a lot of poles which have been dropped, but there is nothing happening in terms of electricity supply. When will these poles be connected with electricity? Is it simply a publicity kind of stunt? This being an election year, I want to urge the Minister to make sure that these poles are connected with electricity. We want to see electricity installed and not empty poles. I am aware of so many such projects. Indeed, Mr. Lagat, explained that we have so many of such electrification projects which have started. People have paid the 10 per cent deposit that they were asked to pay by the KPLC. I have so many such receipts which people have brought to me asking me to help them get connected. In fact, could all those who have paid this deposit be connected? Let them even be asked to complete and they will be able to do so. Some have completed paying and they are not yet connected to electricity. That 10 per cent deposit is not little; it is a lot of money. So, if people have reached that level of paying the 10 per cent and they are not getting electricity, I think it is important that they get connected immediately. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another problem that bothers me and I think the Ministry of Energy should tell us is the frequent blackouts in this country. Why do we continue having blackouts as of now? We have had blackouts even in this House. Every now and then, I see blackouts everywhere. If we have a shortage of water supply, we can use the water of Lake Victoria. Why do we not use that water to generate electricity? Who are we waiting for to come and do it for us? I do not think we have any collision with anybody, including the Egyptians, on that. I think it is time this country exported electricity rather than importing it. So, I want to urge the Ministry to re-look at the usage of Lake Victoria water and see how we can make use of it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a country that is lit will reduce insecurity. We will create employment for our young men who can be doing the welding business and all the rest. I think we are not very serious on this. I think it is time we got serious. I am glad the Minister has promised to supply electricity to many areas. He has even asked us to pinpoint to him the areas that we would want to see electricity supplied. I believe he is serious and it will happen. The Ministry needs more money. The Kenya Power and Lighting Company collects a lot of money and should make use of it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other day we experienced a very serious shortage of gas. Here in Nairobi, unless we have cooking gas, we cannot cook. If we use electricity, it becomes too expensive. I think it is important to find out why we are having these shortages. I do not think oil exploration is being done properly. I am still convinced that we have oil at the border of Kenya and Sudan. I believe that we can get oil from there. But are we doing serious exploration? If we have oil in Sudan, why can we not check why we do not have it on our side? Some equipment we use is very expensive. For example, the power generators which are in Embakasi cost a lot of money to operate on fuel. We must look for oil in this country and I believe it is there. We should not fear anybody. We should even explore the border because one inch of the country is ours. I still believe that we should not try to explore very far from Sudan. We should even explore as near as 10 feet from the border. Once we are there, I believe that oil will flow down to our country and we will use it because, after all, this is a natural commodity and nobody can claim ownership. We have the right to do it. We should seriously explore oil in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) is doing a good job by looking for ways of exporting oil to Uganda and other countries. They are doing very well and should be supported. But I think we should be very careful about the tankers which are carrying oil because they create havoc on the roads. Where it is necessary, we better extend the pipeline. There are many accidents caused by oil tankers on our roads. I hope that the Minister will now come out and solve that problem. It is particularly urgent during this year of elections. 3072 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 With those few remarks, I support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to support this Motion. Energy is truly the engine for economic productivity and affects all sectors. It is also a major facilitator and catalyst for the improvement of our social welfare and education as has already been mentioned by some of my colleagues. The assimilation of Information Communications and Technology (ICT) throughout our country will very much depend on energy. So, access to it will help entertainment and welfare at the domestic level. I, therefore, want to commend this Ministry for doing a really good job. I must also take this opportunity to commend the technocrats in that Ministry. They have been sensitive and have, indeed, ensured that there is reasonable equity in the distribution of resources in the energy sector. I thank them and pray that they would continue to do so. We also need to record our gratitude to various contracts, first to the French and the Chinese which the Ministry mentioned that they are coming soon, as well as the Government's commitment to ensuring that all sections of the society get electricity. I have expressed my concerns before that there is a mismatch between the investment in electricity distribution and the investment in generation. This is an issue that we must take seriously. Even though the Minister has made some promises, if you look at the Budget, the Development Budget is far too small compared to the projected demand for power, especially electricity. Therefore, I would like to suggest that the Ministry of Finance does increase the allocation of the Development component of the Ministry's Budget in future. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one other solution is really to go private. I would like to suggest that there is opportunity to carry out feasibility studies on prospective generation projects so that we can market them to potential investors; both domestic and foreign investors as turn-key projects. I know that if we can do so, those portfolios - because the demand and profitability is guaranteed - we will be able to get serious investors. I remember when I led a Kenya Government delegation to the Bi-annual Consultative Meeting on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) with American Government, our report from Senegal clearly shows and gives details of the United States of America (USA) Government's commitment to help Kenya access investors in renewable energy. I know that an American company is installing a 550 megawatts solar generator in Romania. Why can we not access those opportunities. We can do so without necessarily straining our major resources as a nation. I want to urge the Ministry to reduce the demand pressure on the national grid. There are so many micro-generation facilities and technologies available. There is solar technology, wind generation technology and bio-fuel production technology which can be used to power small towns, markets, institutions and even domestic consumption of power. Through that, we would reduce the pressure on the national grid so that whatever is available through the national grid can then be used by industries and other commercial large-scale consumers of power. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the question of exploration of oil has been talked about. I know that the Minister has assured that there is concerted effort to explore for oil not just in the north eastern part of Kenya and the coastal region but I would like them to look outside the box and even go to western Kenya and everywhere else. Nobody expected that Western Uganda would yield oil. So, I do not see why western Kenya, Nyanza and so on cannot produce oil. Let us not wait for Trans Mara in Tanzania to produce oil for us to start rushing towards Migori which borders that area, to start exploring. We should encourage ourselves that even without striking oil, we should prime ourselves because we have a sophisticated economy, to do value addition to our neighbours. Since we have the KPC, there is no reason why we cannot target Sudanese and Ugandan oil, transport it to Mombasa for export, process and refine it for them. In 1983, when I was a student, I saw Singapore August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3073 make huge sums of profits purely by refining oil which they imported from Malaysia and other places because they had the technology, and exporting the finished product. I want to assure you that they were probably making more money than those who were extracting oil in their own land. Let us also consider value addition in this particular sector.
Order, Mr. Minister! I can hardly hear the speaker on the Floor. Please no Kamukunjis . Proceed, Mr. Syongo!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also wanted to say that even as we use oil, especially petroleum oil, I would also like to urge the Minister to consider the side effects like pollution. Presently, we are in danger because European Union (EU) standards on carbon emissions is really worrying me. Our exports in horticulture and floriculture might actually be targeted. I would like to urge the Minister to liaise with his colleague in the transport industry to do something about air pollution. In that respect, Songo Songo in Tanzania is producing huge quantities of gas. Why can we not make a deal with Tanzania and bring in gas and make it mandatory for all urban transport vehicles to use gas, like India has done in Delhi. If you go to Delhi, it is a much cleaner city than it was before they started using gas to power the buses, taxes and so on to reduce urban pollution. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my colleagues have talked about the coal in Kitui. I do not see why we cannot have fuel investment in that particular area. There is already data on that matter. There are 24 square kilometres of deposits. I do not know how deep the deposit is but that would help us especially with the heavy industries such as cement production, steel production and the processing industries in the agro-industry sectors. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other issue is coal generation. I think we have been too slow. I, myself, feel a bit disappointed because when I was in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, we held several discussions with several countries who were willing to finance us. For example, India offered, through Exim Bank, to fund coal generation in all our sugar mills. They actually identified strategic investors. Why are we not encouraging our sugar mills to produce coal to the maximum so that, not only will we make our sugar industry profitable, but we can also contribute to the national grid by using biogas that we are not utilising fully? I believe the same can happen with urban solid waste. It is happening everywhere else in this world, except Kenya. Nairobi produces enormous quantities of solid waste. That can be used and, in the process, we can kill two birds with one stone. One, we will deal with solid waste management and secondly, we will generate electricity using the same. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me address the issue of bio-fuels. I know that a number of countries are saying that we should go the bio-fuel way. I know that America is actually producing and investing a lot in that area. But, in Africa, the moment you start thinking about bio- fuels, then they talk about food security. I want to challenge that notion. I believe that if we, for example, got into large scale production of geotropa and millet for purposes of producing bio-fuels, specifically ethanol and bio-diesel, we will have brought into production large tracts of land which are currently lying idle in arid and semi-arid districts. We will also create employment for those people and ensure that they also have a fair share of infrastructural development. So, why can we not take that up, collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture and upscale that thing? It can be done! The demand is there. So, why do we not do it? I know Kenyan farmers. You give them incentives and some little cash to invest and they will explode the production. I know that because they have done it in various sectors like tea, sugar and 3074 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 so on. They can do it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the final question that I want to raise on the issue is with regard to Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). During the Supplementary Budget, the Minister for Finance - and I remember questioning him--- He brought the Supplementary Estimates here and we approved Kshs1.3 billion to KPLC in order to meet its contractual commitments to KenGen. The status of KPLC, especially when you take public funds and give it to KPLC meet its contractual obligations to KenGen, that is an issue that we must question. That is because, as Kenyans, we have a responsibility to ensure that things are done in a transparent manner, and that we are accountable for every decision. Even more so, that money could actually have been used for other purposes, including health. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. First of all, I want to congratulate the Minister, and his team, for the excellent work they are doing in trying to provide electricity to the rural areas. Particularly, I want to thank the Minister for prioritising schools or institutions and shopping centres. It is a shame that our people are still poor such that, even when such power is provided, they still find it difficult to pay the Kshs35,000 deposit or so. It is such a wonderful thing to see electricity being supplied to all those shopping centres. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say something that is, probably, way ahead of us but, in many ways, it is okay for us to think way ahead. I think it is such an unfortunate thing that the Minister has to try to reach individual farmers, especially in the rural areas. When you think about all the resources that are used to move from one farmer to another--- In fact, if we were to put our people into villages or clusters, it would be much cheaper to provide not only electricity, but water and other services. But, unfortunately, because our people are scattered all over and we do not bother to bring them to shopping centres, we continue to use a lot of resources to reach them. I was wondering, for example, in my own constituency, the amount of resources that are used to purchase pipes to move from one farmer to another. Just imagine how much more we would have accomplished with the same resources, if we were dealing with villages. In Europe and other developed countries, they are luckier because they realized this much earlier. They encouraged their people to go into villages where they were provided with resources much more cheaply. I know that, one day, we will reach there. But it is a shame that we have to wait. We have to, first of all, spend so much of our resources spreading it out to scattered farmers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to dwell on an issue that I have raised many times in this House. I think it is very, very important. I have even mentioned it to the Minister. That is in connection to the use of trees to process tea in the tea-growing areas. I think the Ministry should actually be pro-active about that by providing, if necessary, subsidised electricity to tea factories. Tea factories encourage farmers to plant exotic eucalyptus trees, so that they could use them to cure tea. They do so because they consider trees to be less expensive than electricity. They say so quite clearly. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish the Ministry could support those industries, so that they do not encourage farmers to plant exotic eucalyptus trees. That is because farmers plant those trees along river beds and at sources of rivers. Some of those industries are even planning to go to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to be given land to plant their own plantations. They make so much noise when they encourage farmers to plant those trees on farmers' land. When trees are planted on farmers' land or sections of the forest, the damage to the environment is the same. Those trees are taking too much water from the ground and, eventually, they are going to affect the water levels and volumes in our rivers. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, since much of our electricity is coming from water, August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3075 we need those rivers to continue flowing. The greater the volume the better, so that our dams could fill up and generate more electricity. So, I want to appeal to the Ministry to make the linkage between our capacity to continue producing the best tea in the world, and our capacity to continue providing ourselves with electricity. If we do so and make that linkage, we will be willing to support the tea industry, so that we can provide them with micro-hydropower projects to generate their own electricity in the little rivers they have nearby. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know that the Ministry is probably thinking about it, but I think we need to, much more faster, invest in wind and solar energy in much bigger ways than we are doing. Even though we can invest in bio-fuels, I know that we do not have the money to invest in nuclear energy. So, the best options are wind and hydro, which we are already using, and, definitely, solar. The technology is there. We should be able to exploit this technology, so that it can add to our national grid. If we do so and improve the production of hydro-power, we should be less dependent on fossil fuels, especially petroleum fuel. Due to global warming, and the whole issue of climate change, more and more pressure is going to be put on countries. At the moment, it is very voluntary, but I am sure that as the consciousness rises in the world, and people realise that we are doing so much damage to our environment by using fossil fuels, we may get to a point where there will be demand that we cut down on the amount of petroleum and other fossil fuels that we use in our industries. So, it is very important for us to be more prepared for such an eventuality than to wait and have to be forced to be less dependent on oil. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know how much we have done, especially in the area of transport, but you only need to trail some of the cars on roads in Nairobi, or along the highways to see that we have, really, not reached a stage where we are concerned about the emissions from our cars. Some of them can literally bury you if you drive behind them, because of the emissions. So, you know that petroleum is being very inefficiently burnt in those engines. The fact that, that is happening and our police are not paying any attention to those cars, shows that we are polluting the environment at a very high rate in our part of the world, and we need to do something about it. I know, that is partly because we buy a lot of second-hand cars from Dubai, or wherever. Many of them are discarded because they are no longer acceptable in their own countries, because of their inefficient engines. So, we need to look into this issue. I know that it is not directly related to this Ministry, but I think this Ministry needs to work very closely with the Ministry of Transport in order to ensure that we do not pollute our environment at the rate we are doing. Global warming is a big issue in the world and we, really, ought to prioritise it both in this Ministry and other relevant Ministries, and do whatever we can to reduce the amount of emissions that we are putting into the atmosphere. I would also like to recommend that one thing that Kenyans can do is to plant more trees. As we know, trees are one way through which the environment is able to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we have in the atmosphere. Although, as a country and even as a region, we are not, comparatively, producing as much greenhouse gases as many other countries in the world, we nevertheless can play a part in trying to provide a solution. One way of doing this is to protect our forests. We should plant trees and protect our standing trees. In that connection, I want to appeal the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources to link up with this Ministry and commit itself to protecting our forests. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was scared the other day when I heard some people in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources talk about re-introducing the shamba system in our forests. Even ordinary people now, especially around Mount Kenya and the Aberdares Forest, where we have put a lot of emphasis not to have the shamba system, are already seeing greater volumes of water in the rivers as they flow out of the forests. Cleaner water is coming out 3076 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 of those forests and, therefore, less silt is getting into our hydro-electric dams. For the first time, people are even seeing fish! With those words, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I want to join my colleagues in congratulating the Minister, the Assistant Minister and the staff in the parastatals under the Ministry for the good job they are doing. There were times when it was very difficult to get any information from the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) Limited, even during power outages. It is now easier to get information on what they do on the Rural Electrification Programme (REP). It is also easier to know, at the Ministry level, what programmes they have on REP. Also, from the kind of answers we get in this House, it is quite clear that this Ministry is on top of things. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said that, it is regrettable that this Ministry is, comparatively, getting very little money. This is a very important Ministry in terms of driving the economy and the country into a modern State in the next 23 years. However, its Budgetary allocation this financial year is only Kshs19 billion. In terms of Budgetary allocation, this Ministry should, probably, be second to the Ministry of Education, if we are serious about industrialisation. I do not want to repeat the advantages of electricity in development. I just want to emphasise that it is important that the northern part of Kenya is not left out in the development of electrification, precisely because if you do not have power, you cannot have information technology leading to digital divide. Again, the problem with this country, for many years, is that when planning is done, it ends where the tarmac ends, at Rumuruti and Isiolo, where the power lines end; to the north. I am talking about northern Kenya because that is where you can also generate electricity from alternative sources of power. Marsabit Mountain alone can generate up to 300 megawatts of electricity through wind power. That fact has been known for a long time. Maybe, the Minister can tell us the constraints in utilising free natural resources like wind and solar energy, which are available in plenty in the neglected parts of northern Kenya. Maybe, there is something which we do not know. It was said that, for alternative sources of energy development, only Kshs20 million has been provided for. Perhaps, the Ministry is thinking of getting private sector players into that area. If that is the case, then we need information as to how private sector players can come in. I come from Samburu District, which has a massive amount of natural resources. For instance, 25 per cent of Kenya's forest cover is found in Samburu District. That means 25 per cent of the oxygen that we breath comes from my district. We also have mineral resources, which were exploited in the past, and which assisted in building Nairobi and other cities, and not Samburu District, due to lack of electric power and the technology to do those things right there. We also have massive deposits of iron. It is very difficult to exploit those natural resources without electricity. So, we want the Ministry to think in terms of equity in developing this country. We understand that there is a project to power schools using electricity generated from solar energy. Maybe, we need to be told what one needs to do to qualify for a project to power schools in his our areas sing solar energy, so that our students can maximise use of their time in learning. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to join my colleagues and say that more resources should be spent in oil exploration. I agree with the Deputy Speaker that there is no reason to believe that God was so unkind to us that He gave Sudan gas, Uganda petroleum and neighbouring Tanzania and Mozambique huge deposits of gas. We cannot be an island which is August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3077 not endowed with resources. My second point is about the Rural Electrification Programme. While I congratulate the Ministry for that effort, I think it is important for the Ministry to engage local communities and their leaders in terms of provision of power. That is when they are at the stages of design, routing and so on. I have an experience where electrification has been done in a town in my constituency, leaving out security and other installations. I think that was just because of lack of communication. We also think that when the Ministry extends power to national installations such as the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) radar, it should consider local communities. I think there are six major radar stations in Kenya that direct aircraft into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. One such radar station is located 30 kilometres away from Maralal District headquarters. Yet, along the way, we see those power lines which come all the way from Nakuru.But whoever designed that installation did not recognise small towns and facilities along the way. Similarly, power has been brought all the way from Nakuru to power one of the transmitter stations of Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and other communication installations. But whoever designed that project totally ignored the communities living along the power lines. I think that is something that should be corrected. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to raise the issue of corporate social responsibility on the part of the Ministry and parastatals such KenGen, KPLC and others. The Ministry has a corporate social responsibility particularly to Kenyans who live around power catchment areas. I think we need to recognise the fact that, power is generated from free water that comes down from the skies. That water generates power which is sold to other people to make money. I think it is important to encourage conservation of environment around those dams and discourage cultivation. We should assist our communities to go for alternative sources of income other than agriculture. I believe that agriculture could be the enemy of environment in those areas. When I say "corporate social responsibility", I mean communities around Kerio Valley and Turkwell Gorge Dam. I am talking about provision of water facilities for cattle and also provision of medical facilities for people around those areas. They should also be the first ones to get power supply. So, the Mbeere people and other communities that live around those dams should get power. I think those parastatals should assist them with utilities such as schools and jobs. They should be friends of the communities. Otherwise, in the long-run, you may find that you do not have water to generate power to sell. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to talk about alternative sources of electric poles to protect the environment. We can import and use cement poles instead of trees. That way, our trees will not be affected. We can conduct afforestation in areas that are affected. My final point is with regard to the Kenya Pipeline Company. I hope that the pipeline that was constructed several years ago, from Mombasa to western Kenya is still intact. It should not have breakdowns or leakages that can be dangerous to the communities. I think the pipeline will continue to be very significant in protecting the Northern Corridor Road. With those few remarks, I beg to support this Vote.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. While I agree with hon. Members that the Minister, his Assistant Minister, the Permanent Secretary and, indeed, the rest of the staff in the Ministry and parastatals have done a commendable job, there is still a bias against the rural areas. There is still a bias against Turkana District. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I speak with a lot of bitterness. That is because just like Africa lost the decade of the 80s, I think Turkana District and, indeed, the entire North Rift, Upper Eastern and the entire North Eastern Province are going to be left out again, just like any other administration that has been witnessed in this particular country. We have legitimate claims 3078 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 to this Government. We have legitimate claims to the citizenry of the Republic. We are bona fide Kenyans! We think that, if the arid and semi-arid areas of the Republic have to develop, this particular Ministry should play a very critical role in that business. Turkwell Gorge Dam generates a lot of power. But it is taken about 220 kilometres away to join the national grid at Lessos. The neighbouring districts of West Pokot and Turkana are not supplied with power. The Minister dares to come to this House to tell us that there is something he calls "Kenya Energy Sector Environment and Social Responsibility Programme". Let them leave it at the "Kenya Energy Sector and Environment" and delete the words "Social Responsibility Programme". That is because it does not exist. If any social responsibility programme existed, then this Ministry should have ensured that Kainuk, Lodwar, Sigor and the entire Pokot and Turkana districts, which are neighbouring production sites, received electricity ages ago. I am sure you are surprised because I speak from the Government side. But electricity, just like water, is life. In this modern age, you need to charge your mobile phones for them to work. You also need electricity to access the internet. When there is no electricity, do you really expect us to catch up and be part of the development tempo in this country? That is my problem! That is why Kenya is considered as the most unequal country after South Africa. We are still concentrating on those areas where we expect the so-called "higher returns", which are imaginary. There are "higher returns" because we made the initial investment in those areas. But areas where there is real potential for growth, that will make tallying returns to the entire Republic, have been left out. Indeed, if given power, it will connect us not only within the country, but actually to our neighbours such as Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda. We are forgetting those areas again. I cannot speak more. This is a completely emotional subject for me. That is because I dread the day when my child will go to secondary school and read about generators and refrigeration, without the benefit of making use of the refrigerator in the house, because there is no power to enable us to own a refrigerator. I dread the time when we will have a few refrigerators in Lodwar Town, because the supply of electricity is so unreliable. KPLC does not even consider to buy generators for Lodwar town. I have already talked to the Minister. I am saying that he should step out of Nyayo House and come to Lodwar to see for himself what it means to live in darkness. He has to come out and make sure that our border points glow so that our neighbours can say, "Here is Kenya and it is alive." The economic growth rate of this country should be seen by our neighbours at the border points; that is, Mandera, Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia. Is that really too much to ask? I am doing my tenth year in Parliament, but I am still grappling with the same issues that I thought that my participation in Government would resolve once and for all. I dare hon. Members in ODM(K) to think that I will cross the Floor! It will even be worse! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is an elaborate programme on solar energy in schools. I am told that they have initiated it in four schools in North Eastern Province. I have set up two brand new secondary schools in Turkana and not a single one of them has been provided with solar power by this Ministry. The schools I have set up include Turkana Girls Secondary School, Moi High School and Kerio Secondary School have no solar power. How do you expect pupils in these schools to appreciate the niceties of electricity? How do you expect them to do experiments in Chemistry and Physics? Despite that, they are expected to sit national examinations with schools from Luo-Nyanza, Mt. Kenya, Mombasa and so on. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think every time you see me speak---
Order, Mr. Ethuro! There is nothing like "Luo-Nyanza" in the vocabulary of Kenya!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I submit to your direction. However, I am not sure whether you are ruling it from your position as the Chair or your own persuasion. August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3079
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. The hon. Assistant Minister has mentioned something that is very tribalistic; "Luo-Nyanza"! Could he, please, apologise to this House for using that kind of language? Is there something like "Turkana-Rift Valley"?
Order, Mr. Weya! I think the Chair has already guided the speaker on the Floor that, in our vocabulary, there is only Nyanza Province. We do not know "Luo-Nyanza". You do not need to respond to that. So, proceed!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I agree with you, but I was drawing my inspiration from what I called "North Rift" and the Chair did not challenge that. If North Rift is acceptable while it is not in the books, I do not see why I cannot have the opportunity and pleasure to put Nyanza, as a province, in its respective dominating areas. We might even create one!
Order, Mr. Ethuro! You might designate them as North or South, but not "Luo-Nyanza". That is tribalistic!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I agree with you. Let me proceed because I have two more minutes to go. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need to invest in solar and wind power. These are resources that are in abundance where we come from. I would like to challenge the Minister for Energy. When he says that 80 per cent of our people do not have access to modern energy, we need to start a crash programme to reduce that percentage. We should be talking of 20 per cent of our people not having access to modern energy. To that extent, I support the hon. Members who called for an increased budgetary allocation to this Ministry. However, my challenge is the Kshs20 billion that we have given them. Let us see productivity in this Ministry. Let us get efficiency. A month ago, I was in Denmark leading a delegation on the National Vision and Benchmarking Standards. For the last 15 years, Denmark, as a country, has grown in its productivity without any single increment on their energy consumption. So, it is a fallacy to imagine that we have to increase energy consumption in order to determine our economic growth. Let us invest in energy-saving technologies. The entire globe appreciates the manpower and the skills of Kenyans. We have it all and it can be done. We can compete favourably with any country anywhere on this globe. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have been talking about oil exploration. I remember, one day, when I was in the university, the former President came to talk to us. He had just returned from a visit to some of those oil wells. He told us, "We have found it!" That was in the mid 1980s. Almost 20 years later, we cannot say anything. We can only discover a dry well in Lamu. We need to be told the exact story. I agree with hon. Lesrima when he says that God cannot be so unfair to us that you can find oil in northern Uganda and Southern Sudan, places which we border, and yet there is no oil in our country. There must be something. We need to find this out and make use of it quickly enough. I would like the Minister for Energy to ensure that even small towns such as Lokichoggio, Lokitaung, Lokichar and Kalakol have enough electricity in order to allow businesses like those ones generated from the Youth Enterprise Development Fund to be exploited by people in these areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with my passionate appeal, and I know that the Minister has listened to me, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very important Ministry. First, I want to sympathise with the Secretary to the Pastoralists Parliamentary Group, who, unfortunately, although he produces most of the power, does not get any of it. I am sure the Minister has taken 3080 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 note of that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a very important sector. If you look at the Development Vote of this Ministry, in spite of the fact that there is no country that can develop without adequate energy resources, the total amount of money allocated to this Ministry does not even represent 10 per cent. In fact, out of that 10 per cent, only a small portion is dedicated to investment in the development of power. If you look at what has been allocated to geothermal power, it is only Kshs2.8 billion. I have not seen anything else that has been allocated to actual development of energy and yet we said that there is no way we can develop this nation. In fact, if you look at what is happening globally, the economic war today is about energy. This is what the West, China and other countries are fighting about. It is all about energy. There is no country that can industrialise or bring about industrial revolution without energy. If you look at the current conflict between the USA and Iran on nuclear power, it is all centred on energy. Iran believes that there is no way it can revolutionize the development of its industries without nuclear power. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is no way we will talk about hydro-electric power forever. I think it is time this country invested more in other sources of power. I appreciate the little money that is being invested in the generation of geothermal power. It is a very important resource. However, we need to look at the next 40 to 50 years. This country cannot afford to spend only Kshs2.8 billion in the investment of development of future energy in this country, when, indeed, that money is being spent out of a larger sum of Kshs700 billion. This is clearly a case where we do not have our priorities right. We talk about, for example, allocating Kshs1 billion to the Ministry of Education in order to reduce what they call the "digital divide" in order to provide ICT in schools. We are talking about ICT in schools when, as hon. Members said, over 80 per cent of our rural communities do not have access to electricity. The total amount of money allocated to development of electricity in the rural areas, through the REP, is Kshs4 billion. I think this is really a joke. We need to put in more money because there is no way we can develop those rural areas. I am not saying this out of any reason except the fact that I come from a rural area and I know how important it is to have electricity. We are unable to develop those areas because of lack of electricity. The major town where I come from is called Elwak. I want to thank the Minister because, for the first time in 40 years, they have considered Elwak as one of the areas that will receive electricity. In fact, the power is being connected now. However, according to the Commissioner of Mines, Elwak sits on the world's largest deposit of gypsum. They say it is over two billion tonnes. But for the last many years, we are unable to exploit it. It is a pity that, in many parts of this country, there are opportunities, but we are unable to exploit them because of lack of electricity. It is important for the Government to appreciate that there is no way we can have a vision even in 20100 unless we invest in a very important sector like this one. This is the one on which the world is fighting economically today. The next World War is going t o be fought over energy. It is not going to be fought for land. I think it is important we appreciate that in long-term. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to come to another important area for source of energy. I think solar energy is another source of energy in addition to geothermal power that needs to be developed in this country. If you go through these Estimates Books, there is no reference in any investment being made to the development of solar energy. I come from the areas that the speaker who has just contributed was talking about; Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). The main source of energy is the sun. From this, we can produce solar energy. I think it is an important area and that, with modern technology we can actually invest more in the sector. I think it is important that we start making provisions for that. We do not have to use diesel engines in some of those isolated stations. August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3081 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other thing that is surprising is when you come to petroleum. This is a matter that has been raised by all the previous speakers. I am one of those who believe that there is no way we can achieve the Millennium Development Goals, or anything near, including fighting simple thing like hunger, unless we develop our capacity to be self-reliant in petroleum. I have a feeling that there is petroleum in this country. However, for one reason or another, the companies we rely on to explore and develop are not doing what they ought to do. Of course, the Ministry does not seem to allocate much money to it. I have seen only Kshs299 million for exploration of petroleum. Probably, it is because it is the companies that have to invest. However, when I was a child, in the 1960s, it was announced in the media that petroleum had been discovered in Mandera District. Those newspapers are available in the archives. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, two years ago, the NOCK Managing Director announced what they called the Mandera Block. They said there is oil. Subsequently, when we made inquiries, we were informed that a Chinese company had been given the concession to start exploring it then, suddenly the story disappeared. We get these things every few years; an announcement that something is there and then it disappears. This gives me the feeling that, perhaps, those companies we are engaging could be playing some politics. This is a political industry. There is no country that wants it to develop because it is going to affect the international market and so forth. I think it is important that we invest in this area. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, recently, there was shortage of fuel in this country. I think the Ministry announced that there is a problem of capacity. It is important that this Government invests more resources in energy. When we have a fuel shortage, it affects all the other sectors of the economy. People cannot run their machines and industries because of lack of fuel. It is important that, in future, the Government allocates more money, especially in the context of what the Government is talking about; the Vision 2030. We cannot talk about the Vision 2030 when we are allocating Kshs19 billion, out of Kshs700 billion. We need to invest more, so that we develop the capacities of Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), the Kenya Oil Refineries and talk about affordability and availability of fuel. I think it is worth investing more money in these sectors than others if we are talking of change. We want to mechanise our systems of agriculture. We want to develop our rural areas. We want to industrialise. There is no way we can do that without this. My main concern has been on the amount of allocations. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another thing that I want to raise on the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) was raised a short while ago by some of the speakers. I was not in the previous regime, but from what I understand, there is tremendous difference in terms of what is happening now and what was happening before. I think, from the number of projects that are being implemented, including the areas in the North Eastern Province like Elwak which I mentioned earlier, it is remarkable. It is appropriate to congratulate the Ministry for moving into those areas that hitherto had been left out. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I understand that part of the problem in the delays that have occurred in the completion of these projects has to do with capacity, particularly with regard to procurement. My understanding is that these problems fall squarely on the shoulders of the management; the Wazungu management which I understand was hired by the Government. This is one of the problems when you depend entirely on donors. I understand that those Wazungus came in through a World Bank requirement. Part of the problem in not getting things moving in the KPC and KPLC; I understand it is these people. There is no reason why this country should continue to remain in the dark simply because we have to honour a deal made with the World Bank on some consultants. I think the Minister will not go wrong if he goes ahead and gets Kenyans to run that company. I think things will move much better. 3082 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007
I understand they are the real bottle-necks in getting things moving. We, as Kenyans, will be willing to support. We have enough talents and manpower to run our affairs. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to air my views on this Vote. From the outset, I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Energy for performing really well over the last four years. If you look at the State corporations under the Ministry of Energy, you see there is a huge difference in the way they are being run. I would like to support Mr. Billow for saying that these expatriates are not of any value. If you look at the Chief Executive of KPLC, his age is way beyond the technology he is thinking about. I think this country has qualified personnel that can take the job of that Chief Executive who is sitting there earning large sums of money saying he is a consultant. He is consulting nothing!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, like other hon. Members have said, the issue of renewable energy is critical. This country really needs to look into the importance of using the renewable energy that we have. I would like to give examples of wind and solar. It is understood that in the northern part of this country, there are strong winds. Wind speeds have been calculated that are enough to have the big turbines, like seen in Germany and other countries. We can also get carbon credit because you get it by using some of these renewable energies. I think the Ministry should really look into how we can use some of these renewable energies, so that we can earn credits which other countries are earning. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we come to the issue of biodiesel, many countries are investing in it. Our country should look into how we are going to create investment in biodiesel by planting crops. There is a tree called Jasper which is grown in many parts of Africa. It is supposed to produce biodiesel. I think it is important that we look into how we can use these renewable energy. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, rice and wheat husks are left unused because the farmers do not know that they can be used for making charcoal. I think it should be upon the Ministry of Energy to advise the local societies and look for investments and make charcoal from rice and wheat husks. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have expanded electrification to the rural areas. We need to find ways of encouraging even small districts and councils to invest in what we call small plants. Where we have rivers, they can establish small hydro-electric power stations. I think the Government should co-operate with the municipal councils which can also invest in this infrastructure, as it happens in many parts of the world. This will ensure that the Ministry stops getting involved in some of these investments where the locals can also invest and create their own grids within their own areas. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, recently, our District Development Committee (DDC) approved a rural electrification project in my constituency. Whereas it is now being implemented on the ground, we do not know what happened between the DDC, the Ministry and Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). This is because what they are now implementing on the ground is something different. I was surprise when I was called by my people and told me that the project that is being implemented on the ground is not the one that was approved by the DDC. So, I think August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3083 there is some interference in the regional offices, between what comes out from the Ministry and what goes to those offices, because some individuals there have an interest. I have heard many hon. Members also complain that, that is happening to them in their constituencies. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry also needs to find ways of utilising other alternative sources of energy. I understand that there are huge coal deposits within Kambaland and other parts of Eastern Province. But the Ministry is not, really, coming out clear on how much coal there is. They are not also moving out to advertise for an investor to come and invest in coal exploration. Year in, year out, there is some research being done on coal exploration. The reports of this research should be made public. The Ministry can even have a website saying: "We have discovered coal in this area. Anybody who is interested in investing in it, these are the facts. We have discovered that we can put mineral hydros in these rivers. Anybody willing to invest can do so." But all these records are gathering dust in the Ministry of Energy. The Ministry should, really, make some of those documents public so that any investor, who wants to come in, can access them, and they can be utilised to invest. There is no point in the Government spending huge sums of money in doing research whose reports, at the end of the day, are kept on the shelves to gather dust. I think this is something that is critical. The Minister should take it upon himself to make sure that these documents do not gather dust on the shelves, and that the information that is gathered is utilised to make the Ministry, really, grow in a certain direction. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think this Government has really done very well in terms ensuring fairness in supplying electricity to each and every constituency. I have been able to drive all the way to my constituency by road, even through Narok. You will find that there is construction work that is going on. But I get worried when I see poles that have been erected, and there is no activity going for about six months. I really do not know what kind of system some of the contractors have put on the ground. This is because, in my understanding, when a contractor is given a job, he has something called a performance bond. If he is not performing, that performance bond should be withdrawn, unless, the KPLC is giving contractors jobs without them having performance bonds. Many times in this House, we hear hon. Members complain about contractors who have been on site for two years and, yet, there is no activity going on there. So, we really need to make sure that anybody who is given a contract by the Ministry, performs in accordance with the performance bond. If that is not happening, the Minister should stop being lenient and withdraw that performance bond, so that other contractors do not complain later and ask: "If the performance bond of the other contractor was not withdrawn, why is mine being withdrawn?" This will make the contractors take their work seriously. So, I think it is critical that the Ministry makes sure that these contractors perform to the best of their capability. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when you visit the DDCs, you will find that Members of Parliament are doing certain things without having the same vision, yet, we should be aiming at achieving the Vision 2030. The Vision 2030 only belongs to the Government. In most countries, when a government has a vision, it involves everybody, including the Members of Parliament, the civil society, trade unionists and businessmen, so that people work together in one direction. But in our country, you will find the politicians, Government, trade unionists and researchers going in different directions, because we are not working in cahoots. We should be working to achieve a goal that all of us are supposed to achieve. For example, you will find that, in one constituency, the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) money is being used for rural electrification. You will find the same money being used for Information Communication Technology (ICT) in another constituency, because the area Member of Parliament believes that ICT is the only way forward. In another constituency, you will find health centres being put up. So, we need to work together and realise that, if we put so much investment in a certain way, we will achieve the same goal. For example, there is no point of a power line going through 3084 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 so many kilometres of land, whereas solar energy can be used at that destination. We need to really target points where population concentration is, so that we move power lines to where there is concentration of consumption. There are many power lines which were put up in my place before I became a Member of Parliament, but they are not being utilised. People are still complaining that they do not have electricity. We, as hon. Members of Parliament, have to explain to them that they have to apply to be supplied with electricity in their houses, because most of our people are ignorant. So, I think the KPLC needs to take an initiative to go out and market itself in the rural areas. They should tell people: "This is how much money you need to pay. This is how you get power. Anybody who is 600 metres away from a transformer, this is what is required." This is because when we go for barazas, as Members of Parliament, we are told: "We see power here but we cannot use it." That is the kind of response that we get from our people in the rural areas. It now becomes the responsibility of the Member of Parliament to advertise, on behalf of the KPLC, how to get the power. The KPLC should be doing this automatically when it goes out to those areas. The KPLC should also explain to the local people about the electrification projects. This is because when somebody sees a contractor on his farm, he does not know that it is beneficial to him and his property. He does not know that if power lines pass there, the value of his property goes up. They keep on asking about these wayleaves and many other things. They should come up with a clear policy and say: "We are taking power to this place. Stop asking about these wayleaves. This will ensure that there is no perception in the rural areas that when power lines pass through someone's place, he or she is going to be paid by the KPLC. Let them know that this is going to benefit them. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Let me join my colleagues who have congratulated the Ministry of Energy for doing an excellent job under very difficult circumstances. During the last four years, we have had two years of drought, yet, there was no shortage of energy; which is really a credit to the Ministry which has been managing this sector. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, energy is really key to development. Energy is required if we are going to meet our target of Vision 2030. I know that the Ministry is doing its best. It is developing whatever remaining hydro-energy, but there is not enough work in the area of alternative energy sources. This country hosted a world conference on alternative energy sources way back in 1981. Many of the alternative energy sources that were promoted then, are still receiving very little attention in Kenya. Many of my colleagues, who have spoken before me, have talked about wind and solar energy, and also wood fuel. They have even gone so far as to suggest that it is time for Kenya to begin thinking about the possibility of using more sophisticated sources of energy. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are fortunate, as a country, to have geothermal power as a very readily available source of energy, in and around the Rift Valley, which is not being fully exploited. I would urge the Ministry to really push forward the exploitation of geothermal energy, because it is so far the one source that is almost a sure source of continuous energy for a long time without costing as much as some of the other sources. Let me thank the Ministry for allowing small-scale generation of power, but urge them to support small hydro projects. We have many small rivers around the country, which have waterfalls which can generate enough electricity for villages and spare some for the national grid. I am aware that, in some of the developing countries, such as India, it is possible to generate substantial quantities of electricity using small hydro generators, which are run by the water itself. At the same time they use the same source of power to pump water for use by members of the public. I noticed that when the Minister was introducing the Vote, he talked about woodfuel and August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3085 the amount of money they have in the Ministry for supporting it. Under what they call "agro- forestry", farmers throughout the country have been encouraged to plant trees around their small holdings in between rows of crops. I believe that the time has come for the Government, as a whole, to address the question of woodfuel, together with the question of afforestation. At the moment, our country has only 1.7 per cent of the land surface covered by forests yet, the recommended international percentage is 10. We really need to work together, as a Government, to push the planting of trees on hilltops and along the river banks, provided we choose trees which do not use too much water. In this way, we can make sure that we have the right percentage of forest cover over our land. I must add that the time has also come for Kenya to develop tree species which grow rapidly in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs), because that is the area where we have a lot of land which could be afforested. Let me now say a few words about rural electrification. We have been fortunate in that under the present Government, a lot of work has been done in the area of rural electrification. I really want to thank the Government for choosing to provide marketplaces, secondary schools and factories, or any power-consuming institutions, with power. I want to really say that it is amazing what developmental transformation rural electrification is bringing to our small markets. I had the luck of travelling to one of my small markets, and I must say that I was amazed at what used to be a dead market, which has now been transformed into a vibrant little market, full of economic activities. It is a place where people are now making furniture using electricity, young ladies have hair salons which use electricity and barbers use electricity. It is a place where people have established small bakeries, people are making detergents and where welding is taking place. I think this is, perhaps, one of the areas where this nation is likely to develop fastest due to the Government policy of rural electrification. Let me conclude my remarks by saying that this country desperately needs to increase energy, or power generation, because we have industries which consume a lot of power, such as cement factories. Today, this country is running short of cement, not because of power shortage only but because of shortage of some of the other items which require transportation for long distances such as limestone, gypsum, a bit of iron ore and others. So, my appeal to the Ministry is that they should do long-term projections of how the country can be self-sufficient in electricity. Without adequate electricity, we cannot achieve the 2030 Vision projections in our development effort. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this very important Vote of the Ministry of Energy. Energy is a very important component of development in any country. Without energy, modern economy is not sustainable. So, it is very important that Kenya puts a lot of emphasis on the development of energy, which is cheap, affordable and can sustain the economy and the competitiveness of Kenya. In this regard, I would like to say that our country is still producing expensive energy compared to other countries such as South Africa, Egypt and India. We should try to see how we can develop cheap electricity, so that our manufacturing sector can benefit from the low cost. That will also allow our industries to expand because the cost of energy will be affordable or cheap. It will be a huge incentive for those industries to expand. It will encourage new investors to come to the country. It will make everything cheap in this country and favour many sectors. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, using petroleum to generate power is very expensive. Already, the cost of petroleum is very high. If we are using petroleum, whose cost is already high, to generate electric energy, the cost is bound to be expensive. Therefore, we need to explore cheaper sources of energy such as geothermal and hydro-electric. Although hydro-electric power is expensive in the 3086 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 initial development but, in the long-run, it is cheap and affordable. It is also a clean way of producing electricity. It is pleasing to note that the Government continues to support the development of geothermal energy. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we need to develop more hydro power stations using existing rivers. There is one river called River Aror in Marakwet District. It is a permanent river with plenty of water. It flows from a very well protected forest area, which is not prone to drought. I do not see why the Ministry has not generated power from that river. There is a very huge waterfall on the Kerio Valley Escarpment. That should be evaluated for possible development of a power station. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to comment on the Rural Electrification Programme (REP). That programme has been going on very well. I must commend the Government for that effort. It has extended power to areas which were not thought of some years ago. That is something good. I would like to request the Government to continue expanding that programme, particularly to more remote areas, which have potential for development. We have areas in constituencies like Kerio Valley and game reserves which cannot be developed because there is no power. But I hope that the programme will be extended to all those areas. We also have the Turkwel Gorge Dam power line that comes all the way from Lessos. That line is untapped in between. We should be able to tap that line, instead of developing another power line, which is very expensive. We should step-down power for people along the line. It will be cheaper. We should not say that people should get power from a central point, where it is re- distributed. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, other ways should be explored. In West Pokot District, for example, there is a lot of limestone in some of the mountains there. That limestone could be used for manufacturing of cement. But because power has been very expensive, investors cannot go there. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, another source of power that we, as a country, could explore, is nuclear power. That technology may not be attainable at the moment, but it is available in the developed world. It is a preserve of the most developed countries. They do not want to extend it to the developing countries. But we should be thinking of that alternative in future. I am sure the Ministry has a research unit, which should explore all those sources of energy. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, another source of power is what Mumias Sugar Company (MSC) has come up with. It has generated power from bagasse, which is a by-product of sugar manufacturing. We should encourage other sugar companies to generate power using bagasse. At the moment, bagasse is going to waste. It is not being used. The best way would be to reduce the cost of production of sugar by diversifying and making the companies to also sell power at a cheaper cost. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the moment, the cost of petrol and diesel in this country is high. That is mainly because of the high crude oil prices. But, locally, we can bring that cost down by changing the mode of transport and waiving taxes. But the issue of taxes is different. But there is also the issue of Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) being unable to distribute petroleum to the whole country. KPC is making huge profits amounting to billions of shillings, but they were unable to plan an expansion programme to accommodate the pumping of all the oil that is required in the country and for export. That must have been a serious oversight by the Ministry and KPC. They were unable to foresee the expansion of the pipeline. Recently, many people in western Kenya suffered because there was no fuel. That affected the economy. Those people had to come hunting for fuel all the way in Nairobi and transport it by tankers. Transportation of oil by tankers was not allowed then. But it is good that tankers have now been authorised to transport petroleum from Mombasa to western Kenya and even to Uganda. That was an oversight and action should be taken immediately to expand the pipeline. That way, the pipeline could continue to be the main mode of transport for petroleum products. The use of fuel August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3087 tankers will make our roads unsafe. That should be discouraged. In future, we should stop using those tankers and confine ourselves to the pipeline. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to talk about charcoal and wood fuel. Charcoal is a major source of energy in most rural areas and even in the cities. People use it to cook. But that product is banned. People are not allowed to transport or make charcoal. They are barred by existing laws. But charcoal is still being sold everywhere. We need to legalise it and allow our people to make charcoal where possible. We need to use it just the same way we have allowed wood fuel to be used in homes. Where we find that people could make charcoal, let us allow them. That way, people could make it and sell it legally. That will stop the people from making charcoal illegally and eventually bribing the police and thus promoting corruption. After bribing the police, those charcoal vendors are allowed to transport the charcoal to the markets. That is something that the Ministry should look into and legalise. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, oil exploration has been very encouraging. When the Minister was moving the Motion, he said that results of Block L5 were very discouraging----
Order, Mr. Chepkitony! Your time is up!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to end by supporting the Vote!
Order! Hon. Members are advised to check their time and try to conclude on time!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to join my colleagues in congratulating the Ministry of Energy for the excellent work that it is doing in supplying electricity to every corner of this country. The Rural Electrification Programme (REP) is, indeed, a direct means of ensuring that we develop our economy at every point in the country, not just in the cities. We have, for example, many young men and women who will soon graduate from youth polytechnics. Most of them will not be employed in cities and towns. However, with sufficient supply of electricity, right where they come from, they would be in a position to do some manufacturing, repairs and maintenance of gadgets in their own localities and be able to earn a living. This would contribute tremendously to the growth of the country and generate employment. We have, indeed, farmers who grow perishable products which go to waste. However, with the supply of power in their villages, they would be able to preserve and sell their products in their own areas, in other towns in the country and even in foreign countries. That is, indeed, the right way forward. That is why we congratulate the Ministry of Energy for, vehemently, trying to supply electricity to every corner of the country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, my colleagues have talked a lot about sources of energy. Indeed, I would like to add my voice to the importance of being self-sufficient in energy production, as a country. Hydro-electricity is serving us very well. We have very few rivers which are properly harnessed and maximised in terms of the output that can be generated from them. However, I would like to caution that many countries have problems with hydro-electricity because of their failure to maintain the turbines and the generating systems. I am saying this because technology also changes very fast. If we do not make projections and prepare ourselves to maintain effectively and update our equipment and machines, then we could find ourselves in a predicament where we do not generate as much as we could with the few rivers we have. Indeed, the same can be said about the geothermal energy. We are lucky, as a country, that we can generate a lot of geothermal energy. Maybe this also contributes to the reduction of earth tremors by releasing the pressure that is under the earth is crust. However, we should even generate more energy because the potential is very high. If we maximise the production of electricity through geothermal technology, that would contribute to our being self-sufficient in terms of energy production. 3088 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 8, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, solar energy can be generated in every part of this country with the abundance of sunshine. It is important that our scientists carry out research and develop modalities of generating energy from a guaranteed source of supply. This is being done in a country that does not receive as much sunshine as Kenya; Germany, which generates more electricity from the sun than we do. This is a challenge to the scientists, particularly in our country and to the Ministry of Energy, to make full use of the abundance sunshine in the country. This way, we would generate more energy and, therefore, contribute to having more electricity in the main grid. It is important to note that Kenya is in a position to contribute to generate more fuel through the growth of plants such as geotropa and even sugar cane. There are many other plants which scientists have discovered can generate a lot of electricity. It is important that we develop bio-diesel and bio-fuel, in general, from the sources that are available in the country. I do not think that we are maximising the generation of such power with the available natural resources in the form of plants. This should be given top priority. With the vast arid and semi arid lands (ASAL), such crops can also do well. The geotropa plant does very well in ASAL areas as well as in areas with abundant rainfall. We do not have a shortage of that, as a country. It is important that we make it a national project to encourage communities all over the country to grow the plant. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also necessary here to note that wood fuel, as important as it is, and being the main source of fuel in our communities, should not be taken for granted. There are areas of this country which are turning into deserts. People do not like to do so deliberately, but that is their source of energy. You only have to travel to my district and the places like Chenze Ranch and Kurancha Ranch and, you will notice that these areas are becoming bare. I am sure if they are not checked, they could turn into a desert anytime in the next few years. Lunga Lunga Ranch has not been spared either. There is a lot of charcoal burning and this is being done at a level which can create problems to the country in the long run. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also necessary for us to make further exploration in areas that have been indicated to be possible sources of fuel in the country. We have proven deposits of coal in areas like Kitui District and Shimba in Kwale District and many other places. We know that the deposits do exist, but nothing much has been done to exploit the same. We need to move with full speed to ensure that we maximise or make use of our natural resources to the full. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to add my voice closer home on the question of rural electrification programme. We are grateful that it is improving the lives of people and making life easy and more profitable in the activities that our people carry out. However, I would like to emphasise here that whereas it is being done efficiently, the people who are given contracts to supply electricity are actually dragging their feet in certain areas. Take the example of Matuga Constituency. I am not blaming the Ministry. Contractors and companies have been identified that would supply poles and do the surveys and so on and so forth. However, so far, we have only four kilometres of electricity supplied in Matuga Constituency. Here, my problem lies with the contractors that have been identified. The questions people of Viungwani are asking are: Where is the electricity from Kwale? Where is the electricity from Marere to Msangatamu, Dzerezani, Burani, Chizebe, Mkongani and on to Mtsaviani, Ketiribe, Mangawani, Chiboyoni, Lukoe, Shimba Hills and the whole constituency? The surveys have been done. Some holes have been dug here and there. However, people are breaking their legs because some of those holes are within villages, but there are no poles supplied and, therefore, no electricity. Instead, people are getting hurt. It has been taken negatively as just a show of possibility of getting electricity, but it is not there. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry confirms that everything has been done and, yes, they have done everything possible, but those people who have won tenders to supply electricity have to be supervised more closely and be made to do their job as expected of them. Once that is August 8, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3089 done, I am sure we, as a country, shall all benefit tremendously in ensuring that our communities become self-sufficient with small industries in the areas where they come from. The areas that I have mentioned by name are places which supply food to the Coast Province. In fact, they are the major suppliers of food to the Coast Province. That is the Shimba Hills zone. The farmers there could make greater use of electricity if supplied by ensuring that they preserve and even process some of the crops that they grow, for example oranges, to provide supplies to the hotels that are all over the Coast Province. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry of Energy has done an excellent job. I congratulate them for the plans that they have in hand and also request them to do even more to get other sources of energy. With those few words, I beg to support.
Hon. Members, it is now time for the interruption of business. The House is, therefore, adjourned until tomorrow, Thursday, 9th August, 2007 at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 6.30 p.m.