asked the Minister for Tourism and Wildlife:- (a) what he is doing to curb the killing of wildlife in Samburu District; and, (b) whether he could consider putting up a game post at Amayia on the Baringo/Samburu border and at Nadoime on the Turkana/Samburu border.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) There have been no specific reports of wildlife killings in Samburu District. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) presence in the district is adequately facilitated to monitor the wildlife movements. (b) Apart from the district office in Maralal with a warden in charge, KWS has established outposts in Suguta, Latakweny, Wamba, Serolewi and Ngurunit, to ensure wildlife security in Samburu District, and to deal with human-wildlife conflict. KWS has a platoon base in Baawa with 15 rangers that cover Leroghi, Kirisia, North Laikipia ranches up to the boundary of Samburu and Baringo districts, including Amayia. Based on the above, the organisation is well structured in the district to cover security issues adequately.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the answer the Minister has given is not satisfactory. I do not know why he is unwilling to accept the fact that, where we border Laikipia District, there have been cases of killings of unique species of wildlife such as the grevy's zebra and giraffes. I, personally, do not think that there is adequate security cover unless we establish more security posts. When he talks about Baawa, it is in the western side of my constituency. But there is clearly no security cover in the eastern border. I wonder whether the Minister could revive, at least, the Losuk or Amayia camps to cover both Laikipia District and my constituency. That is because, definitely, killing of wildlife is taking place!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the KWS has a proposal and a consideration to open up Losuk Outpost to beef up security and animal control duties at Amayia and Poro areas. So, we are going to look into the matter.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, as an investor in wildlife management, and having travelled in the Northern Corridor, the Minister has to accept what Mr. Lesrima has said. We should introduce low-cost 3282 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 game scouts from arid and semi-arid areas. People who move with cattle should have low-cost cows among them, so that we could curb the killing of wildlife.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is a very good suggestion from the hon. Member. I will be discussing it with my officers.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with all due respect, wildlife is, in one way or the other, a foreign exchange earner in this country. If we are not in a position to look after that wildlife, sooner or later it will disappear from this Republic. Could the Minister, on a serious note, look into the question of looking after every living wildlife because many people come from abroad to see that wildlife? The wildlife brings a lot of money to this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, could the Minister look into that issue very seriously?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, on a serious note, I will look into that matter. I invite the hon. Member to bring any suggestions that he has, so that we can put them into consideration when we will be coming up with a proposal to help my friend, the hon. Member for Samburu West Constituency. Those are some of the things we want to put into consideration in the proposals that we have. Otherwise, I am aware of what is happening. We are looking into the matter seriously.
Last question, Mr. Lesrima!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am satisfied with the supplementary answer given by the Minister. But may I also take this opportunity to thank him for visiting my constituency recently. I want to ask him, once more, when he will bring the Wildlife Bill to this House.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. It was nice to visit the hon. Member's area. We will know, in due course, when the Wildlife Bill will come to the House for debate.
asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs:- (a) whether she is aware that voters in Odioi Sub-location in Amagoro Constituency boycotted the 1997 and 2002 General Elections because the Ministry unilaterally relocated them from Malaba Town Council to Teso County Council; (b) whether she is further aware that despite written communications and petitions by the Malaba Town Council, the Electoral Commission of Kenya and Teso leaders to the Ministry, no corrective measures have been taken; and, (c) what urgent measures she is taking to forestall the threat by voters in Odioi Sub-location to boycott the 2007 General Election.
Where is the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs? I will hold on for a while.
asked the Minister for Health when she will officially open and inaugurate the Kisegi Sub-District Hospital in Suba District.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3283 (a) Kisegi Sub-District Hospital was initially operating as a health centre up to 19th July, 2002, when it was upgraded and gazetted as a sub-district hospital. Currently, it is offering both curative and preventive or promotive health services. (b) My Ministry is ready to officially open and inaugurate the sub-district hospital as soon as possible.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this is a facility with over 24 beds built with the assistance of the African Development Bank. It is now over ten years ago. The hospital is working at below 40 per cent capacity, simply because the Ministry has not showed any interest. When will the Assistant Minister specifically do this because the onus is on the Ministry to inaugurate the facility?
Mr. Speaker Sir, I have looked at my diary and found 17th September to be appropriate for this activity, if the hon. Member complies.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I readily accept that date. However, could the Assistant Minster assure me that all his Departmental Heads who are in charge of this facility will be committed to this particular date?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am the power in the Ministry! Thank you.
asked the Minister for Local Government:- (a) whether he could inform the House how much money was allocated for the construction of the new Ngiya Market in Siaya; (b) whether the tender for the construction has been awarded; and, (c) when the construction is likely to commence.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The amount of money allocated for the construction of the new market was Kshs16 million. (b) The tender was awarded on 8th December, 2005, to Gilbraltor Contractors Company Limited. The contractor delivered the material to the site but failed to proceed with the works without giving valid reasons. He has failed to carry out the works. The Ministry gave notice of termination of the contract and the same has been terminated. (c) The market will be redesigned and re-tendered afresh.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. You heard the Assistant Minister state, clearly, that the market will be redesigned, yet the design has already been done. The Assistant Minister knows very well that when we give a contractor a job, there must be performance bonds and bid bonds in order to cover the costs in case the contractor fails to do his job. What will the Assistant Minister do to ascertain that the performance bonds are withdrawn from his contract? The proceeds from the performance bonds will enable the Ministry to invite fresh bids and award the tender to another contractor to do the works.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, all is being done to ensure that the contractor's obligation under this contract is fulfilled. This contract was combined with two other markets, Bondo and Port Victoria. Since the contract has been frustrated by the contractor, we shall take all legal means 3284 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 against the same.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, you heard the hon. Member ask about the design. The Assistant Minister said that there will be a redesign. That is a technical term used to syphon money from a contract. When a contract has been given and a design given in advance, why should we spend more money in redesigning a project which has already been designed approved and tendered for?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this project was designed by our own engineers and architects. So, we will not spend more money to do the same. Since the contract has already been frustrated by the contractor who was given the job, the whole issue is now being looked at again. Perhaps there were areas which were not covered and will now be covered. We may need to include stores, which were not there. The redesign will be for the good of the project.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Question is very important. First, there is the issue of Kshs16 million that was budgeted to be spent on this project in the Financial Year 2004/2005. Where is that money? Is it secured and will it go into this project? Secondly, regarding the question that the hon. Member has raised about design and bills, could the Assistant Minister assure this House that there will no longer be a repeat of the projects being tendered for and not being fulfilled so that the services that the people of Ngiya are looking for are not realised in the next one or two years?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, that contractor will be blacklisted for any future works within the Government. We do not think that it was proper for him to abandon the site and do all that he has done. I want to assure the hon. Member that we have sufficient funds to carry out the project.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Could this Assistant Minister tell us how and what method he will use to decongest market places for vegetable vendors, hawkers, and regular traders in the country? He is talking about structural drawings and what have you!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, first of all, we take up the projects that are recommended by the respective councils in their respective jurisdictions. This Ministry has a grand plan to ensure that markets are going to be areas where people can do their agricultural commerce. Whereas we may not be able to reach out to each and everybody at the same time, I can assure Capt. Nakitare that we are going there. If this Government is given another term, we shall reach there.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, why is the Ministry awarding tenders for urban councils and municipalities at the headquarters? Why are they not involving the local authorities? I have a case in my constituency where a contract was awarded at the headquarters while the local authority; Maralal Urban Council, was unaware of it. The contractor arrived, did a shoddy job and disappeared. Why can we not decentralise these functions so that the people on the ground can have a say regarding the markets that are being built?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we leave it to the councils to do what they are capable of doing. The reason why some of those projects are being managed from the headquarters is because of capacity. We may not be able to send engineers and architects in Maralal or Nyahururu, but I can assure Mr. Lesrima that Maralal Town Council is soon being elevated to a municipality and that particular project is going to be carried out. But there is the issue of the site which you will have to decide with the local leaders or the local council.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Why is the Assistant Minister misleading the House that there is no capacity in the districts when we have District Architects, Engineers and all those who can design markets and get those things done by the councils. Why can he not tell us the real reason why they do those things at the centre? Is it not because of so much corruption?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member is not right. I said that the engineers in August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3285 the district are in charge of roads and other things and I think that their hands are full. Perhaps one would ask why other projects are not properly run in the districts. We have an Urban Development Department which oversees these projects and as a Ministry, we think that is the right way to go.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in Kisii Municipality, we do have engineers and architects and yet it has taken so long for the municipality to construct the Daraja Mbili Market which is a time-bomb waiting to explode and we shall have many deaths because there are many hawkers who sell their wares along the Kisii-Kisumu Road. Could the Assistant Minister either use those engineers in Kisii Municipality to design and construct that market or send his engineers to construct that market?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would appreciate if Mr. Angwenyi could raise a Question concerning Kisii Municipality and we shall respond appropriately.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead the House that there are no town planners and engineers in all municipalities?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I did not say that there are no planners and engineers there. What I said is that they are not enough to be send to all towns and county councils in this country. We have planners in Nairobi City Council, Mombasa and Kisumu, but they are not enough to be send to Trans Nzoia, Nyandarua, Laikipia and all other places. It is the issue of capacity and that is quite a challenging issue that we have to deal with now and in the future.
Last question, Mr. Weya!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister knows very well that at the end of every financial year, the money that is allocated to a project, if not utilised, goes back to Treasury. Could he tell us genuinely when he plans to tender that project and whether money has been allocated in this year's Budget? I also mentioned the deregistering of the contractor. The contractors change the names of the company and continue doing the same jobs.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to confirm that money that is committed is never returned to Treasury. This is money that was committed in a contract and we have an account for it. I can assure the hon. Member that this particular project will proceed.
As soon as we re-tender the same.
asked the Minister for Lands:- (a) what the acreage of land is at Solio Ranch in Laikipia which the Government intends to buy for the resettlement of squatters; and, (b) whether he could table the valuation report for the land; and, (c) whether he could further table the sale agreement between the Government and the owner of the afore-mentioned piece of land.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, in line with the principle of collective responsibility, I beg to reply. (a) The acreage of land that the Government intends to buy for resettlement of squatters from Solio Ranch Limited in Laikipia is 15,000 acres. (b) Yes, we will table the valuation report for the land in question tomorrow afternoon. (c) I can further table a copy of the draft sale agreement between the Government and the 3286 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 owner of the afore-mentioned piece of land.
I have the valuation report!
Mr. Minister, why do you then want us to defer the Question?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Question is about tabling the report so that he can have access to the information and then ask questions.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I wish to appreciate the Minister's decision to exercise collective responsibility. Given the sensitivity of the Question and the details in the papers, and the Minister has just walked in, can I seek your indulgence that he replies?
Order! The valuation report will lead the hon. Member to ask further supplementary questions.
I have it!
Then why ask for it?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, when I was given the answer, I was given with a copy of the valuation report.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, initially, I said that I was answering this Question in line with the principle of collective responsibility.
I seek your indulgence, if the Minister for Lands, Prof. Kibwana has come and, indeed, I can see him, he will table the two reports.
I will defer the Question to tomorrow afternoon. Thank you for taking that responsibility.
For the second time, the Question by the hon. Member for Amagoro!
asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs:- (a) whether she is aware that voters in Odioi Sub-location in Amagoro Constituency boycotted the 1997 and 2002 General Elections because the Ministry unilaterally relocated them from Malaba Town Council to Teso County Council; (b) whether she is further aware that despite written communication and petition by Malaba Town Council, the Electoral Commission and Teso leaders to the Ministry, no corrective measures have been taken; and, (c) what urgent measures she is taking to forestall the threat by voters in Odioi Sub-location to boycott the 2007 General elections.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am not aware that there was a boycott of the 1997 and 2002 General Elections in Odioi Sub-location in Amagoro Constituency. According to the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3287 records, the presidential votes, Odioi Primary School Centre No.174/103 in Emukura Ward, 302 people voted out of 395 who were registered voters. For Parliamentary, 303 voted out of the 395 registered and for the Civic, 384 voted out of the possible 1,526 registered voters. (b) I am aware that the leaders of that region have made petitions to the Chairman of the ECK for corrective measures to be taken. In this regard, therefore, the Ministry has forwarded the matter to the Local Government Commission of Inquiry for consideration. (c) In view of my response in part (a), we do not believe that there will be any boycott during the 2007 General Elections in that region.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Question has been circulated to the Ministry of Local Government, Office of the President and back to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. It involves a very simple and administrative matter. The people of Teso County Council have been made to suffer. The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) and the Ministry of Local Government seem not to be knowing what to do. Since you have forwarded this matter to the Local Government Commission, when do you expect it to complete its findings and make them public because these people are very eager to vote in Malaba County Council and not Teso County Council?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have been assured that the Local Government Commission that deals with this matter will handle it in the shortest time possible. As I have said before, from the records of the ECK, there was extremely good turnout. I take the hon. Member's point and we shall follow it up.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the issue of Kenyans voting in areas they are not interested in has brought a lot of discontent among voters. It is not only restricted to Amagoro Constituency, but it is also prevalent in other constituencies of Kenya. Could the Assistant Minister undertake to confirm with the Minister for Local Government before gazettement, that this issue will be dealt with once and for all?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I agree with the hon. Member that, in fact, this is not an issue that is restricted to Amagoro Constituency alone. It is for that reason we set up the Local Government Commission of Inquiry. I will assure the hon. Member that all the matters that are placed before it will be tackled before gazettement.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is very frustrating if you woke up one day to vote and then you are forced to vote in a constituency where you never registered. These are the people who were supposed to vote in Malaba Town Council, but when they went to a polling station they were forced to vote in Teso County Council which was not part of their interests. It has taken this Ministry over five years to correct this anomaly. What assurances is the Assistant Minister giving to the people of Amagoro Constituency to ensure that before they vote, these centres are gazetted? What further assurances are there that these people will vote in a local authority or constituency where they want to be?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I cannot give a further assurance than what I have just said. We will ensure that any issues that have been raised like in this particular case of Teso, will be sorted out before the elections take place. I am willing to sit with the hon. Member and follow it up with the ECK. Let me assure him that this will happen before the elections.
Thank you. That is the end of Question Time. Mr. Munyao, I hear you have a Ministerial Statement to issue.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, thank you very much for giving me this chance to issue a Ministerial Statement concerning a point of order which was raised on Thursday by hon. Ojode on the issue of Baragoni Holding Ground in Lamu District. Mr. Speaker, Sir, hon. Ojode has made allegations that my Ministry had given out Baragoni Holding Ground without the adherence to proper procedures. As you are aware, land allocation is vested with the Ministry of Lands and not my Ministry. My Ministry charges user fees for grazing and watering in all its holding grounds on sessional basis. Holding grounds are important livestock marketing facilities that contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic status of the people living in the pastoral areas. All the holding grounds in the country became non-operational when the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) ceased operations in 1989. The Ministry could not continue sustaining the holding grounds due to inadequate recurrent budgetary provisions. All the infrastructure and machinery in these facilities need substantial resources to rehabilitate. Over the years, my Ministry has been renting the facilities to grazing to livestock traders and pastoralists who are in need of pasture and water. They pay monthly or annual grazing fees to the Ministry and conditions are reviewed from time to time. As regards to Longhorn Ranching Company Limited, this company wrote to the Ministry in March 2005 to be allowed to use the holding ground and to raise the cattle for export to the Middle East and Mauritius. However, following the re-opening of the KMC, and with the possibilities of penetrating external markets, the trader requested for a lease for an extended period. In September 2006, the lease agreement for grazing which had been prepared to allow the livestock trader to use the facility for grazing was found to be defective and was withdrawn, hence no grazing agreement was concluded with the ranching company limited. My Ministry has formed a task force to come up with recommendations on the use of all the holding grounds by communities, livestock producers and pastoralists in a sustainable manner. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister is misleading this House. The sub-lease agreement which was signed has not been cancelled to date. This Baragoni Holding Ground was sub-leased at the rate of Kshs13.34 per acre to Longhorn Ranching Company for a period of 25 years. To make it worse, even the Kshs400,000 which was supposed to be paid by Longhorn Ranching Company was never paid. If, indeed, it was paid, let the Minister provide us with the cheque number. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I will quantify---
Order! What is this coming to? Are we turning a Ministerial Statement into a Motion?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Minister is misleading this House. The Minister is aware that the sub-lease which he purports to have been cancelled has not been cancelled.
Do you have a copy?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have everything. I will just read one line where you heard him say that there was a task force which was formed. This is a letter which was written to the secretary---
I am asking you about the lease.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have the lease here. It has not been cancelled. They are very clever. They prepared a letter for a fall back position that should hon. Ojode or anybody else get this, then we will say that we wrote a letter to say that the thing was defective.
Order! Could I get this right? This is neither a Motion nor a Question. Mr. August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3289 Minister, have you got evidence that you have, indeed, cancelled the lease?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, one thing on which I agree with Mr. Ojode is that he gives us credit for being very clever. Yes, we are clever. Secondly, some very important information in one of the letters that were tabled here has been blocked. So, it is very difficult to argue with somebody who has no information. The information on which Mr. Ojode is working has been given to him by a senior person, whom he knows. So, let him get proper information and come back to the House. We are ready to answer, but there is no agreement or anything like what he has mentioned. Let the hon. Member ask the person who gave him that information to give him proper information.
What is the position, Mr. Minister?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the position is that there is no agreement.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have an agreement which has not been cancelled to date. If at all there was any agreement which was cancelled, let him table it.
Order! Order! Mr. Ojode, we do not run the House from the seat on which you sit! Now, if you have an agreement, this House does not. If we do not have that agreement, then it is not present.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have the agreement, which has not been cancelled. The agreement is here. I hereby table it.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, this sublease agreement---
Can I have a look at this document?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, please can--- I
You will sit down, Mr. Ojode!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, what is said to be a sublease agreement is the same agreement which was found to be defective on 11th September, 2006, and which was cancelled.
Could I ask you a very simple question: If the sublease has been cancelled, is there any evidence, indeed, that it was, so that we forget about it?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I can produce another letter even tomorrow, because I know that it was cancelled on the date I mentioned.
Okay, you do that!
Mr. Speaker, Sir---
Order! Order! You will sit down, will you not? Why are you so persistent? What interest do you have in this matter other than bringing it to the public domain? Let the Minister show us the evidence tomorrow. If he does not have that evidence, you will then raise the 3290 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 matter.
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
What is it?
Mr. Speaker, Sir, the letter which the Minister is going to bring is the one he purports to have been defective. My question is---
Order! Order, Mr. Ojode! You are either running that Ministry or you have supernatural powers to know what is in files which are not in your custody. For the time being, I know that you do not have supernatural powers. So, we will wait until tomorrow. So, you will bring the letter tomorrow, Mr. Minister. Next Order!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair. First and foremost, I wish to point out that the Ministry is composed of five departments - four technical and one administrative - charged with the following broad functions: Water and Sewerage Services, Water Resource Management, Irrigation and Drainage, Land Reclamation and Support Services. In addition, there are 13 parastatals and one tribunal, which are supposed to be in the Ministry's Budget, namely, the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation, the National Irrigation Board, the Kenya Water Institute, the Water Services Regulatory Board, the Water Resource Management Authority, the Water Services Trust Fund and seven water services boards, which are the Athi, Coastal, Lake Victoria North, Lake Victoria South, Northern, Tana and Rift Valley Water Services Boards, and the Water Appeals Board. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the water and sewerage services sector has fully undergone reforms aimed at improving service delivery. The effects of these reforms have begun to be felt by Kenyans. In the past three years since the reforms were rolled out, major achievements in the provision of water services have been realised. Hon. Members can bear me witness that these key institutions are now operational, and that capacity is being built to enable them undertake their responsibilities. As hon. Members are aware, access to adequate and reliable water supply is a key input to poverty reduction, and an important element for social stability, economic growth and performance. The water sector reforms, which started in previous financial years, will continue in the financial year 2007/2008 as will be outlined in the Estimates I will be presenting today. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the past, the increasing demand created by the high population growth, coupled with inadequate investment in water supply management and development, led to a serious deterioration in water supply infrastructure as well as depletion of existing sources of renewable fresh water and poor service delivery, and poor water quality was common in most urban and rural schemes. In addition, encroachment on water catchment areas has destroyed sources of water, August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3291 resulting in severe hydrological variability as rivers became seasonal and, sometimes, dried up completely. When the NARC Government came to power, certain pledges were made, as clearly spelt out in the NARC Manifesto and, consequently expounded in the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation, 2003-2007. One pledge was to facilitate improvement of access to water for Kenyans. Towards this end, my Ministry undertook to design a comprehensive sector development strategy, with clear division of roles and functions, as well as a well-defined partnership between the Government and stakeholders. Mr. Speaker, Sir, improved delivery of water and sewerage services is to be achieved within the framework of the water services sector reform initiative as stipulated in the Water Act, 2002. Consequently, my Ministry has implemented the Water Act, 2002 in order to provide an enabling legal and institutional framework for undertaking the sector reform initiative. Those reforms have resulted in separation of roles among the players in the water and sewerage services and water services management. The functions previously undertaken by the Ministry have been decentralised, thus leaving the Ministry with the role of formulation and co-ordination. Mr. Speaker, Sir, regarding management of urban water and sewerage services, the Ministry is implementing a policy focusing on commercialisation through establishment of semi- autonomous public sector companies. The preferred water companies are those formed by local authorities infused with professional management and expertise, most of which is locally available, to underscore efficiency in water service delivery. The Ministry advocates that water revenues collected from the consumers be ploughed back and utilised exhaustively for provision and improvement of water and sewerage services, including the extension of distribution systems and upgrading water facilities. Mr. Speaker, Sir, let me reiterate that the Government has no plans to privatise water services in the country. That would involve the disposal of public assets to private investors. The NARC Government pledged to increase the public investment in water resource development. That was in recognition of the fact that, the water supply and water resources situation had deteriorated considerably over one and half decades due to low investments. Funds were, therefore, required for the immediate rehabilitation of the depleted urban and rural water schemes in order to restore their levels of service delivery to their original design capacities. However, funds were also required for putting up new facilities and medium extensions to meet the growing demand for water services. Mr. Speaker, Sir, according to the Ministry's investment programme needs, it was estimated that investment of Kshs300 billion would be required in the next 10 years for the achievement of Target 10 of the Millennium Development Goal No.7 of having a proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation covered by 2015. That means an annual investment of Kshs30 billion between 2005 and 2015, reversing the decline of water resource availability and improving irrigation potential. In this regard, the limited funds available will be invested in rehabilitation of existing water supplies and the provision of immediate benefits in terms of value for money. I, therefore, intend to spend Kshs831,700,000 in the current financial year on rehabilitation of rural water supplies under the Development Vote. In addition, Kshs3,990,317,515, which includes Kshs239,100,000 from the Government of Kenya, would be utilised for the rehabilitation and development of our urban water supplies. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as we embark on those major activities of rehabilitating water and sewerage infrastructure, my Ministry recognises the need to provide the people of Kenya with adequate and good quality water at all times. That would be achieved through ensuring adequate water treatment, proper utility maintenance and improved management of water supply and sewerage services. 3292 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 My Ministry, therefore, intends to spend Kshs517,100,000 under the Recurrent Vote to meet the cost of electricity, water treatment, chemicals and rehabilitation of civil works in water systems countrywide. During the same period, Appropriations-in-Aid (A-in-A) of Kshs929,140,000 will be collected from the sale of water and sewerage services through the water service boards. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the mandate for the waste water treatment and disposal is under my Ministry. In order to discharge that mandate, my Ministry intends to spend Kshs122 million under the Development Vote for rehabilitation and development of water waste treatment and drainage works with an addition of Kshs290 million from our development partners. May I add, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that, that falls short of our expected requirement of about Kshs1.38 billion for sewerage services which have remained a huge problem throughout the country. As hon. Members know, growth of towns and urbanisation in general is beginning to affect fresh water sources through pollution and, thus, my Ministry will continue to fund sewerage schemes to manage waste water from the towns. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government handed over the management of its water services facilities to seven regional water services boards in July 2005, following a nationwide consultation process. Since then, the water services boards are responsible for the efficient and economical provision of water and sewerage services within their areas of jurisdictions. To enable the boards to achieve their mandates, my Ministry has allocated Kshs4,470,481,381 in gross expenditure under the Development Vote, and Kshs170 million under the Recurrent Vote. In order to increase water coverage in the country, my Ministry has allocated Kshs831,700,000 in the Development Vote to the seven water service boards. The allocation will target rural areas in districts under the jurisdiction of economic development and poverty reduction. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Water Service Trust Fund was established to supplement the efforts of the water services boards in the provision of water and sewerage services, particularly to areas with inadequate coverage. To enable the trust fund to achieve its mandate of financing the provision of water services to under-served areas, my Ministry intends to incur a gross expenditure of Kshs80 million in the Development Vote and Kshs15 million in the Recurrent Vote. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Water Service Regulatory Board was established under the Water Act, 2002, to regulate water and sewerage services provision including issuing of licensing, setting standards and guidelines for tariffs and prices. The Board is also responsible for technical and economic supervision of water services boards. Towards that end, my Ministry has allocated a gross total of Kshs15 million in the Recurrent Vote for those activities. Mr. Speaker, Sir, water resource management is a key issue in this country. As a result of the depletion of water sources through the destruction of our major sources and pollution among other factors, Kenya has been classified as a chronically water-scarce country by international standards. That calls for an integrated approach to the management of water resources in order to reverse the trends. In that connection, my Ministry has established the Water Resource Management Authority and the Water Catchment Areas Advisory Committee to manage the water resources as provided for in the Water Act, 2002. The overall objective of the decentralisation is to involve all stakeholders in decision-making in water resource management for sustainability. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Water Resources Management Authority was also established under the Act to be responsible for regulation of water resources and issues such as water allocation, source protection and conservation, water quality management and pollution control and trans- boundary waters. Towards this end, my Ministry has allocated a total of Kshs5 million in the Development Vote as the Government of Kenya (GoK) funds to fund the services. The Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS) for Creation of Wealth and Employment has identified irrigation as a key subsector to reviving the economy and ensuring food security. This is August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3293 due to the fact that 80 per cent of our country's landmass is arid and semi-arid, thus creating a lot of population pressure on the high potential areas. Out of a potential irrigation of 939,000 hectares, only 110,000 hectares have been developed representing only 20 per cent of the total potential. The potential can be increased to 1.3 million hectares through water harvesting and storage. At this juncture, it is important to inform hon. Members that small-scale irrigation is managed directly by my Ministry while large-scale irrigation is managed by the National Irrigation Board (NIB). May I also inform the House that my Ministry has already finalised the National Irrigation and Drainage Policy that would promote private sector participation and improve management of small-scale irrigation schemes. Mr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to the Water Vision 2030, my Ministry has proposed that we embrace the Vision to ensure water and sanitation availability and access to all. To realise this noble task, critical focus will be required across one of the four key areas in the sector, that is, irrigation and drainage where, as a country, we need to expand the area under irrigation and drainage while improving technology to ensure both efficiency and effectiveness in the water use. As a contribution to the Vision 2030, my Ministry's goal is, therefore, to increase the area under irrigation from the current 110,000 hectares to 210,000 hectares by 2012; increase the area under drainage from 30,000 hectares to 90,000 hectares by 2012; rehabilitate existing infrastructure, protect water catchment areas and expand our water reservoirs, including promotion of rainwater harvesting to empower our farming communities to participate in development and management of their schemes, and increase regular monitoring of water resources from the current 35 per cent to 70 per cent in order to increase water use efficiency and identify areas that need attention before serious deterioration. In order to undertake the above goal, I estimate that the sector would require approximately Ksh20 billion per year for the next five years. As a task, the Government conviction to the improved agricultural production in the country, this year, I propose to spend Kshs474,353,854 under the Development Vote on the rehabilitation and development of small-scale irrigation infrastructure and support all small-scale irrigation schemes countrywide. This is an increase of 7 per cent on what was allocated last year. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in the effort to address development constraints in the ASAL areas, my Ministry has embarked on Intensive Integral ASAL Development Programme to facilitate sustainable economic and social development of the communities in those areas. This is to be achieved through developing infrastructure facilities, reclamation of degraded land and strengthening integrated research in ASAL development. I propose to spend Kshs56,350,000 under the Development Vote towards the cause of Integrated ASAL Development and Turkana Rehabilitation Project. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would now like to talk about the Kenya Water Institute (KEWI), which absorbs a substantial number of our country's labour force, particularly those in the middle and lower cadres after training at KEWI. For the last 34 years, this Institute has been contributing enormously to the national economy through human resource development for the sector. As hon. Members are aware, KEWI is now a semi-autonomous Government agency established through the Kenya Water Institute Act, 2001. The objectives of the Institute are to: (i) promote and provide directly or in collaboration with other institutions of higher learning, service in human resource development consultancy and research in the water sector on commercial basis, (ii) provide training programmes, seminars and workshops, (iii)produce publications aimed at maintaining standards in the water and sanitation sector, (iv)provide a forum for effective collaboration; and, (v) conduct examinations and award diplomas and certificates and other awards to 3294 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 successful candidates. Mr. Speaker, Sir, to enable the Institute train manpower for the water sector, my Ministry has allocated Kshs40 million for the rehabilitation of dilapidated buildings under the Development Vote and Kshs140 million under the Recurrent Vote. I would now like to turn to the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC). This is a very crucial parastatal under my Ministry. The mandate of the parastatal was changed from being a water service provider to being a Government contractor in the water and sanitation sector, particularly in ASAL water development. During the previous financial year, the corporation managed to drill 227 boreholes and developed 380 pans and dams countrywide, most of which were done in the ASAL region. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in line with the Government policy of accelerating economic development of ASAL areas, my Ministry places great emphasis on developing sources of water supplies for domestic use and livestock in line with the Government economic recovery programme for North Eastern Province, Isiolo, Marsabit and Moyale districts launched by His Excellency the President in 2004. This will be achieved through increasing the water conservation and storage capacity of ASAL areas through rehabilitation and development of dams and water pans. In this regard, I intend to spend Kshs272 million to facilitate the NWCPC to undertake its mandate under its Recurrent Vote and Kshs793 million will also be spent on rehabilitation and development of 189 dams and pans mainly in ASAL districts and a few in other districts. Regional grounds assessment programmes are being initiated in ASAL regions to identify areas of good ground water potential for exploitation. Currently, only 170 million cubic metres of ground water is abstracted per year out of an estimated annual ground water potential of 619 million cubic metres. This represents a mere 27 per cent of abstraction. Towards this end, my Ministry intends to spend Kshs735 million under the Development Vote for investigation and development of ground water resources through drilling of 180 boreholes, mainly in ASAL areas and a few in other districts. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as hon. Members may be aware, flooding of River Nyando and River Nzoia has in the past caused such devastation and displacement of local communities in otherwise agricultural productive areas to the extent that they have been put under the Food Relief Programme (FRP). This devastation has been recurring every year and will continue to do so until a long-term measure is put in place. In this regard, the Government is determined to find a lasting solution to the problem. That will involve the construction of flood control dykes and balancing reservoirs which will be used for irrigation and rehabilitation of affected catchment areas. The sites being investigated, include Webuye Falls in Bungoma-Lugari District, Kipkaren Bridge in Uasin- Gishu District and Ramula in Siaya District. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Government has already obtained funds for studies and designs of flood control structures in the areas I have mentioned above. Designs, works and investigations at the named sites will be carried out within two years. Construction will begin when funds become available. In the meantime, the Minister has allocated Kshs205 million under the Development Vote for rehabilitation and construction of flood control dykes on Nyando-Nzoia-Garissa floods. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in its effort to mitigate the effects of floods, the Minister has developed a strategy for integrated flood management for Lake Victoria Basin in Kenya. The strategy is expected to serve as a basis for developing the national strategy and the policy for integrated flood management in Kenya. To enable this corporation undertake this critical assignment, I am proposing an allocation of Kshs1,733,500,000 of our gross expenditure under the Development Vote for this purpose. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as hon. Members are aware, the National Irrigation Board (NIB) was established under the Water and Irrigation Act (1996). The sole purpose of the NIB is initiating and August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3295 promoting irrigation development and maintaining the six irrigation schemes in the country. The NIB has over the years managed Mwea, Pekerra, Ahero, West Kano, Bunyala and Hola irrigation schemes. Mr. Speaker, Sir, during the 2005/2006 Financial Year, the Bura Irrigation Scheme was returned under the NIB management in order to infuse professional management in its operations. The NIB has been spearheading the rehabilitation of these schemes. For the last four financial years, we have spent about Kshs1,073,812,000 to rehabilitate the schemes. With the investment to the NIB, we hope to get more areas covered under the scheme and produce more from our irrigation schemes. Due to budgetary and other constraints, the performance of the schemes has not been satisfactory. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in this regard, my Ministry has restructured the NIB whose combined area under irrigation is 12,000 hectares. Based on the focus mandate, the Board will concentrate on rehabilitation of all the schemes under it. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my Ministry allocated Kshs130 million under the Recurrent Expenditure and Kshs420 million under Development Expenditure to enable the Board to continue rehabilitating the scheme. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as observed from the copies of 2007 Development Expenditure, page 531 to 641, my Ministry's gross Development Expenditure during the 2007/2008 Financial Year is Kshs11,418,139,034 of which Kshs6,850,139,029 is support from our development partners while Kshs4 billion is from the Exchequer---
Time is up!
Mr. Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to move. I request my colleague, Mr. Mutahi Kagwe, to second the Vote.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. In seconding this Motion, I wish to take this early opportunity to congratulate the Minister and indeed, his entire team for the work they have continued to do throughout his tenure in that office. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have seen changes in the management of water in this country. This should be applauded by all. These changes come, not automatically, but through the work of dedicated individuals. Without this dedication, nothing would be done. For that reason I want to congratulate the water team. Having said that, an expenditure of a sum of Kshs15 billion is a substantial amount of money. Consequently, it is right that Kenyans expect to see even further changes and better management of water in the coming year. The Minister has said that he has been spending a substantial amount of money. Indeed, he has been spending a sum of Kshs1.5 billion per annum in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). This is something to be proud of as Kenyans. For too long, the North Eastern and other dry areas have been neglected. Today, they are proudly joining other Kenyans in better use of water and supply of the same. There are four issues of concern when one comes down to it. The first one is the issue of areas with too little water. These are the ASAL that Mr. Katuku has talked about. We have dug as many boreholes as he has mentioned here this afternoon. Again, it is something that we must continue to do as a Government. The reason we dig these boreholes is there is no water. Consequently, it not just the boreholes, but also dams. The second issue of concern is that of too much water. This includes the case of Budalang'i. The Assistant Minister for Water and Irrigation is the hon. Member of Parliament for the area. There are those who would like to say that the Government should have done something about 3296 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 Budalang'i and other areas that are currently experiencing floods. However, I would like to say that the Government can do a lot about many things, but it cannot do anything about too much rain. Too much rain is God-given. In the United Kingdom (UK) where it has been raining too heavily, the same situation exists. There is a level of flooding that even the Government can do very little about. However, having said that, it is good to note that the Minister intends to do something about areas with too much water. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the third issue is that of water harvesting. I think it is good to point out that this is a matter that cannot be done by the Government on its own. This is a matter that must be carried out by a public-Government partnership. Individuals can also assist the Government in harvesting and harnessing water that exists in their own homes. You find that a lot of water runs down to the Indian Ocean basically because it was not harnessed in people's homes. Everybody with a tin-roofed house can put a little tank to harvest a bit of the water that exist in their homes. Therefore, I am proposing that the Government, through the Ministry, should set up a programme to encourage the harvesting of water in people's homes. Harvesting is not done only using tanks. It also includes building dams that people can use during dry seasons. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the fourth issue is protection of catchment areas. This is a very important issue because what is currently happening, and which the Minister has ably alluded to it is where people drink water that is less than clean and healthy because of their own fault. When you remove all vegetation along the river banks and cultivate the same area, this means that fertilizers and chemicals will run freely into the rivers. You will, therefore, find people getting sick and not realising why. The reason is, they remove all the vegetation along the river bank and consequently drink water contaminated with fertilizers and other chemicals in it. That is not something that only the Government can do. It is something that the citizens could take responsibility for! The role the Ministry can play is just to encourage people to start planting trees and reduce pollution in our river-beds. Mr. Speaker, Sir, implementation is an issue of concern to Kenyans. I know that. The Ministry knows that too. We have been discussing that issue in the Government. But I think that the new management system that the Minister has introduced in the management of water, which is basically private-public partnership, is good enough. If we give it time, we will find that the water companies that have been formed by the Ministry are going to bear fruits. I can say that because Othaya-Mukurweini Water Services and Sanitary Company (OMUWASCO) in Nyeri is beginning to implement those projects. I have seen it with my own eyes in my own constituency. I am impressed with what they are doing. I think that if they work together along the Tana River, OMUWASCO and other companies in similar situations across the country are going to assist us in ensuring that our people get water supply. Mr. Speaker, Sir, when we talk about water in some of those areas, we are not just talking about the issue of drinking water for both human and animals. We are talking about making those pipes and creation of jobs. But, more importantly, is the saving of our female folk in terms of time and health. Women are the ones who draw water in our country. If you put together the number of hours that every woman in Kenya uses when going down to the river with a jerrican to draw water, it would amount to billions of shillings, if we were to account for that time as money. That is a resource that can be put into other uses. For example, there are health issues where young little girls are being sent for long distances carrying heavy jars of water. Consequently, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the supply of water has many dimensions to it and, indeed, we should encourage the Ministry. We should give the Minister what he is looking for in terms of both the Recurrent and Development Expenditure, in order for him to meet his requirements and, consequently, address those matters that are multi-dimensional in nature. Mr. Speaker, Sir, growth in urban areas will present challenges to the Ministry. That is August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3297 particularly the case where we have got small urban areas that are growing in population. The issue of sanitation will need urgent attention. The reason I am saying that is because, as you travel around the country, you will find little townships growing. Mr. Speaker, Sir, in all those little townships, the toilet system they are using is what is popularly known as "long drops". Now, we cannot have small little growing towns using that system of toilets! Consequently, the issue of sewers is going to be a challenge to the Ministry. I hope that, as we in the Government discuss that matter, we will come to realize that we need to allocate a little bit more money in the area of sewers. It is going to be a big issue in the near future. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am going to, once again, congratulate the Minister, particularly, in the area of irrigation. He has just told us that the areas he is irrigating are only 20 per cent of the capacity that he currently has. Therefore, my hope is that the Ministry will continue to put more and more areas into irrigation, particularly, those areas that do not get water regularly, so that food productivity and production could be increased and hunger could be an issue of the past. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think it is good for us to recognize that the Kibaki Administration has addressed areas that were, in the past, not being addressed not because, perhaps, they did not want to, but because there was no money. I think it is good for us to appreciate that, as we politic around the country, and as we talk to people around the country, let us be brave and honest enough not to dismiss some of the work that has been done. Let us be honest enough to, at least, say: "We can continue with the work that President Kibaki has done! They have done some work!" That is something that we, as Kenyans, must be proud of. The Administration has been at work. The Ministry has been at work and we should all be proud to say: " Tunajivunia kuwa Wakenya ". Congratulations to the Ministry, the Minister and his Department. With those few remarks, I beg to second.
Is the Official Responder ready?
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir.
Which party do you belong to?
Do not worry about the party. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for this opportunity---
Order! I may as well ask them: "What party are you in?"
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like to take this opportunity to make a few remarks on the Vote for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. It is really common knowledge that this country still continues to lack safe water for drinking. Many people in this country are still living on very dirty water. I would also like to say that the Ministry has really tried, especially in this Financial Year. They have really tried a bit to distribute the money to almost every district fairly. But not very quite! I would like the Minister to seriously take it upon himself to make sure that in the next financial year, all the districts receive an equal amount. Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you look at the last four financial years, you will be shocked. In the first ten districts in Kenya which received money, Nyeri received Kshs1.5 billion, followed by Uasin- Gishu with Kshs1.1 billion, then Garissa with Kshs740 million, then Nakuru with Kshs723 million. Kisii Central received Kshs594 million while Trans Nzoia received Kshs473 million. Malindi enjoyed Kshs466 million. I can continue just like that. When you go on the reverse, you 3298 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 will be shocked. Some districts are as if they do not belong to this country. For example, in the last four financial years, Nandi South only managed Kshs12 million. It is followed by Nandi North with Kshs14 million; Bureti Kshs19 million; Bomet Kshs19.3 million; Mt. Elgon Kshs23 million; Butere-Mumias Kshs27 million; Nyamira and Kisii North Kshs32 million. I can continue with the list up to the tenth district. They really got nothing in the last four financial years.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is exactly the disparity that we are talking about not only in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, but in other Ministries. It looks like these allocations are done according to who comes from those districts.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, if you look at it, how come that a district with a population of 600,000 could get Kshs1.5 billion? If you compare it with others with even greater populations, they do not get close to what others are getting. Mr. Speaker, Sir, that is why we are saying that this year the Minister has tried to spread the allocations. I would like to thank him and his team and urge them to continue like this. The Minister has also put a lot of money into these authorities, and we do not know how they select the projects they do. I hope the Minister did not put that money there, so that he can go back and re- allocate it to well connected districts. We would like to see transparency in the allocation of funds in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. It is true that water is becoming scarce. Just last week in this House, we talked about the water levels of Lake Victoria having gone down and many other lakes drying up. I would like the Minister to seriously look for ways and means of protecting the catchment areas of some of these lakes. If you look at Lake Naivasha, it is drying up because of irrigation, and so are many other lakes. We need to come up with a policy on how we are going to protect water. If we know the population of this country is increasing and the availability of water is declining, whether on the surface or underground--- These days you sink boreholes many metres under the ground to get water. It is not like before, and if we do not come up with a policy in another, maybe, ten years, we will have a lot of problems. We will not even be able to get water. The Minister should come up with a policy on roof water harvesting, highlighting how we can harvest water from our roofs to supplement what we have. A lot of water goes to the Indian Ocean. If you look at, especially, the 24 rivers in Ukambani, once it rains, you cannot even sleep because of the roaring noise of the water on its way to the Indian Ocean. I would like the Ministry to seriously think of daming some of these rivers. They should construct more dams so that we can capture the water. The Yatta Canal is being used by so many people, and we need to come up with more canals than we have. It was done during the colonial times, and up to now it has never been extended. These are the things we need to look into. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on the policies regarding the Water Services Trust Fund, this year it has been allocated Kshs80 million. However, to access this money is so difficult! You have to write and keep on writing. I can only recall one instance in Makueni, in my constituency, and the money was given through a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). Why go through an NGO? Why not just go through either the constituency or the District Water Department, so that we can get the money? If it goes through the NGO, that NGO puts many conditions. So, we need to look at how we can access this Trust Fund. The Kshs80 million that he has allocated to the Trust Fund is not enough. All the money that he has given to these authorities - and they are so many - I doubt whether it will ever get to some areas. August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3299 The way this Ministry has allocated the funds, I would like to urge them to go down and, at least, pick two or three projects from each constituency, so that we can say that the water services authorities are doing something. We have really destroyed the catchment areas by farming to the point where the water is coming from. We need to protect these areas. If we continue like this, everybody wants to plant cabbages and potatoes in the river, where the water is coming from. We also need to survey and give numbers to where water is coming from. There are fights when it comes to demarcations. We cannot get the water, because the area has not been demarcated and somebody has grabbed it. Even if you look at the main rivers, you will find that people have really gone and started identifying some areas as their own. Other people have gone and dug wells in the big rivers, so that they can pump water to their crops. So, we need to come up with a policy, so that we can cope well with the demand for water. Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is true that the Ministry has tried to do quite a bit on these issues, for example, on sewerage systems. There are so many towns that are mushrooming at the moment. However, they do not have sewerage facilities. People are just using the normal old toilets. I would like to recommend to the Minister to ensure that town authorities make sure that these services are available. Even with planning, if you go to some towns, you realise that you cannot have a sewerage facility, because people have just put up their facilities without plans. The Minister has been negotiating with other countries about Lake Victoria. As we speak, we know that there is somebody who checks the water levels of Lake Victoria, and the people who benefit from it have taken charge of it more than those people who are where the water comes from. If you go to Lake Victoria, you will find people from Ethiopia and Egypt, who police our waters to ensure that the water levels are not interfered with. However, because of global warming, the water levels are going down. There are other people who have started irrigation projects on some of the rivers that were supplying water to Lake Victoria, and, as a result, some of these lakes are drying up. So, we need to find a way of protecting our water, so that we can have more water into our lakes. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we also need to construct more dams, because they are viable to locals where there is no electricity, or where you cannot distribute water gravitationally. So long as a dam has been built well and is well fenced, people can access water, not while inside it but from outside. That would help us a lot. The district water offices have been giving us a bit of a problem. When you have a project to be financed through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) and you want it to be surveyed, the officers demand night out allowance, transport, fuel and other costs. I would like to ask the Minister to make the work a bit easier for hon. Members by telling his people not to be asking for too much as a night out allowance. I am sure that, because they are employed by the Government, they can offer these services for free. When they ask for money, the projects get less funds. If we could agree on a fee, if it cannot be done free, it would really help. I know a case where it cost me over Kshs60,000 to do a survey to construct a dam. I know another case where it cost a community the same amount to carry out a survey to sink a borehole but, unfortunately, the Ministry misled them. They ended up spending the money, but they never got the water. So, I would like to request the Minister to sink another borehole for those people, because it was the mistake of his officers. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Government for increasing the amount of money allocated to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. This is the first time this Ministry has received a substantial amount of money, since it was formed. However, this money is not enough. We need to allocate more money to this Ministry.
But KANU--- 3300 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I do not want to hear what hon. Munyao is saying. When the KANU Government was in power, he was also a KANU person. So, the issue does not arise. It is now five years since this Government came to power. Let us not talk about history, but now and tomorrow, because that is what is going to help us. It would be very important for this Ministry to receive more funds, so that every home in this country can receive clean water for drinking. Likewise, those who want to do farming can do it. But if we continue moving at the same pace in terms of water provision, it will take this country another 50 years or so for every home to have access to clean water. If we continue allocating more funds to the Ministry, like the 70 per cent increment in funding this financial year, it will really help this country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my district has suffered since Independence. We have been marginalised so much that sometimes we get peanuts in terms of the money allocated to fund water projects, yet, that district has a population of close to one million people. What we get is not really equal to what we require. It is my recommendation that 75 per cent of all the monies which go to Makueni District should be used to fund water projects. This is because people who live in the district are hard working. But because of the failure of the rains, they cannot achieve what they want. The Minister also comes from that area and he knows how many kilometres our women trek to get water. One wakes up at 5.00 a.m. and comes back at 10 a.m. People have nothing to eat and there is nothing they can do about it. Even if we cannot get underground water, let us construct dams. Let us dam the 24 rivers which pass through Ukambani. I am sure that if we do so, we will change the face of Ukambani. We will also stop relying on relief food. That would really help us to get out of that habit of being fed year in, year out. Mr. Speaker, Sir, only two boreholes were sunk in my constituency by this Minister, yet I know of some constituencies where many boreholes have been sunk. I would like to know why this is so. On the other hand, there are other areas where the Minister has not sunk any boreholes. When the President visited Makueni District sometime back, we were told that 200 boreholes were going to be sunk in Ukambani. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as I speak, only about a quarter of the number of boreholes that we were promised have been sunk. If we could get those 200 boreholes in Ukambani to provide drinking water, we would be grateful. During the 2002 General Election, this Government promised our people that while in office---
But we have done it!
Order! Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! There should be no heckling! The Ministry has an opportunity to respond, on which you are entitled. The honourable Assistant Minister for Water and Irrigation has not spoken. He is entitled to speak, if he pleases. In the meantime, Mr. Wanjala, there will be no heckling! Proceed!
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. The Assistant Minister is known for going to other people's constituencies without informing them and pretending that he is opening---
Order! Again, you are out of order! Now, you must come back to order. You will not discuss the honourable Assistant Minister without bringing a Substantive Motion. Could we talk about water now?
I will do that, Mr. Speaker, Sir. I was saying that, as far as the boreholes which we were promised are concerned, my constituency only got two. There are other constituencies where no boreholes have been sunk. I would like to request the Minister, now that the Ministry's budget has been increased by 70 per cent compared to the previous financial year, to make sure that an equal number of boreholes are sunk in almost every constituency. There should be no favouritism. Let us be transparent. If hon. Muturi's constituency receives five boreholes, let August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3301 mine also receive five. His constituency should not receive 15 boreholes when the rest are receiving five of them. That is really bad. That is why we have examples of places like Nyeri, which has been allocated Kshs1.5 billion when some constituencies have only been allocated Kshs12 million. That is a serious disparity. That does not only apply to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. It is almost in every other Ministry. This is what has been happening. I would like the Minister together with his team to continue looking at things fairly. We really appreciate what they did during the last financial year. We would like to see even more and better services from the Ministry.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Machakos Town, where the Minister comes from, is served by water from Mt. Kilimanjaro, but that water never reaches the town. We would like to know what happened to that water, yet, it was meant for Machakos Town. Machakos Town, in the old days, was being served by five boreholes. Those boreholes are still there but they are not being used. Could the Minister allocate some money to provide water to that town? If you go to that town, you will find that it stinks. You cannot even enter some of the toilets which are located at the bus stop, because there is no water in that town. It is common knowledge that Machakos Town is one of the oldest towns. As I speak, the town lags behind. Some of the factories have been closed down because of lack of water, for example, Coca-cola Bottlers. As we provide water for drinking, we need also to provide water for our businessmen, so that the town can grow fast. It has taken so long for this town to grow. Before I wind up, I would like to urge the Minister that he should proceed with the projects that he has initiated. We should also take care of our sewage facilities in our towns. The Ministry should also be fair when distributing funds to cater for water projects. We should not forget to protect the catchment areas. We need to gazette those areas where water comes from, so that they are not grabbed by anybody. That will ensure that our future is protected. Our children will continue to have safe and clean drinking water. Even in Nairobi City, we do not have sufficient water. We, sometimes, have estates going without water for some time. We also need to take care of those areas. We have many visitors visiting Nairobi City. We are getting more earnings from tourists. But if visitors to our country cannot access clean water, we will be chasing them away. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Those who have got a dream---
Mr. Munyao, what did you say?
I was thanking you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Are you sure that is what you said?
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for seeing me. I think the qualification is now based on the more drier the area is, the earlier you speak!
Order, Mr. Munyao!
I will also cover you! Let me take this moment to congratulate the Minister in person, his members of staff and all 3302 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 the professionals in the Ministry. Like hon. Members have said, those people have travelled all over the country. In fact, I believe they went round to see the problems affecting the people and came up with their budget. I am sure their budget is based on needs. I wish this Ministry could be given more money than the Kshs15 billion. The needs and the expectations of the Ministry is to cover the country more fairly. That would require more than the allocated Kshs15 billion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am happy because the Minister and his team have got the ability to do that. I think their limitation is only money. I know that because of the number of dams and boreholes they have constructed in the country. What they have done is wonderful. We would like them to continue. At one time, we had a Minister called Dr. Kiano who, at one time, was having a dream of delivering water nearer to the granary of every family. I am sure that is the expectation of the Minister because he has gone round the country. On average, there are people who live nearer or further to water points. But the average walking distance is about two kilometres.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the honourable Chairman of a certain party give me peace? He, at one time, headed the Government and we suffered a lot! There was no water!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Kosgey, what is it?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with due respect to the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, who is my friend, is he in order, when he is contributing to this Vote, to refer to me as a Chairman of a certain party? He knows very well that I am the Chairman of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), a party which will take over the Government next year! You are sitting there courtesy of members of this country. I want to remind him--- Is he in order?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I better ignore that. If we follow the Standing Orders of this House, that gentleman was not elected to this House through that party!
Order, both of you!
Order, Mr. Wanjala! I will not listen to that! Messrs. Munyao and Kosgey, keep the business of parties out of this debate! We are debating the Vote of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. It is a very important Ministry. I want you to concentrate on it! Proceed, Mr. Munyao!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had said that the Ministry has tried as much as it can, to bring the average walking distance to a water point in the country, to an average of about two kilometres. There are those who are walking for nearly five kilometres today. But on average, we are walking an average of two kilometres today. That is a huge progress. It is in order to refer and compare the performance of this Government with the other Government, no matter how many years the previous Government was in power. We should remind the public that the previous Government should never be remembered because it never cared about the country, especially on water issues. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, water in various areas is scattered. There are some areas which have good dams and boreholes. What is required is to try and restructure, so that, that water is stored. The water coming from dams and boreholes could be distributed to cover areas August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3303 where there is no water. Some of the boreholes that were drilled in some areas turned salty. I plead with the Minister to try and introduce chemicals which can neutralise that water, so that it could become fresh as any other. Perhaps, that may be the reason why some waters are not in the lake. There are some areas like Kisau Division in my constituency, which has got several dams and boreholes. I know that, if those boreholes could be interlinked, the District Engineer could come up with the concept of networking, so that water lines could go round. If that is done, there will be more water kiosks and water in those areas will be enough. In Mbooni, Tulimani and Kalawa divisions, we have got water dams and boreholes. Those boreholes have got good water. If they are inter-linked, that could be quite okay. I want to remind the Minister about a project that he toured, and he knows about it. I am talking about the Miangeni Water Project, which is almost ready. It needs to be finalised. We want people in that area to make use of that water. The water is enough because it comes from Athi River. There would be no reason why that water, which has got such a deep flow, cannot be distributed throughout the division. The engineers have already done a lot of work on the ground. What is remaining is to give that project additional funds. There has been a little allocation in the last two years. The promise this year was that there would be enough funding. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to remind the Minister - and he is aware -that in Ukambani, we have got the Athi, Tana and Thwake rivers. The area where Athi and Thwake rivers meet can be a beautiful area for irrigation purposes. The Minister is now committed to encouraging irrigation. That area is a beautiful delta. If it can be blocked somehow, the water will benefit the residents of that area. I would like to request the Minister to put in some efforts and dam some of those rivers. We had been told that, at one time, there was a plan to block Athi River at three points before it reaches Tana River. We can also dam Tana, Thwake and many other rivers that take their waters down to the Indian Ocean. If we do that at certain points, we will leave the rest of the water flowing. That water will enrich our people and encourage them to work more. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we talk about canals, we already have the Yatta Canal, which is doing very well. It is helping farmers in Yatta to grow food and horticultural products for the market in Nairobi. Likewise, there was an idea and a proposal to begin another canal near Mbiuni - in the Minister's constituency - coming through Mbooni, going through Makueni; all the way beyond Mtito-Andei. At one time, I was told that there was an engineer mapping and surveying that area. The people of that area would like to know how far that project has gone. If that project is completed, it will help the residents. Finally, we, in the Ministry, would like to see additional fish in Lake Victoria and Lake Baringo, among others. However, because of desilting of some dams, we request the Minister to get additional technologies. I know he has systems of desilting surface dams. Could he desilt even bigger dams like the ones in Lake Victoria and Lake Turkana, among others? I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Allow me also, reluctantly, to support the Vote of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. This Ministry has been notorious for being unfair to certain areas. In the name of affirmative action, I will support any action in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL). I will support any action in Ukambani, which is largely dry and needs water. Some of these areas are very fertile. If these people, who lead us in Government, had been serious over the years, this country would be self-sufficient in food production. It is pathetic that we are still importing rice, among other things, when the Kano Plains, as large as it is, all the way to Nyatike, Budalangi and Busia is not irrigated. We are importing rice from Pakistan, Vietnam, and you know from where else. It is pathetic that as the levels of water in 3304 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 Lake Victoria go down, we are still allowing water to go out free to Egypt and Sudan, despite the so-called 1929 Nile Treaty agreement, which should have gone off by now. Despite the Nile River Basin Initiative, the Egyptian Government is still exporting our waters out of the Nile Basin to the Sinai to grow oranges, which we import. What a shame! We are discussing this Vote in the backdrop of a question of Kshs5.9 billion net that the Minister wants for the Development Expenditure. Under that Development Expenditure, for the first time in my life, instead of seeing Administrational Planning, I am seeing Mt. Kenya East with an allocation of Kshs230 million. It is something I have never seen in my ten years in Parliament, as we go towards the end of this Parliament. That is an issue that I will look at very keenly at the Committee Stage. The Minister had better prepare. As we talk about construction of water supplies sources, this has a paltry allocation of Kshs821.7 million. That has a paltry by any standards if you look at the situation. The Minister is saying that the Government aims to have clean and safe drinking water by the year 2015. We are of age and we were in this House when this same Government promised us that there would be clean and safe drinking water by the year 2000. This is shifting goal posts. If the Minister, who is a very good friend of mine, is focused enough and if he was serious, the way he was serious when he was in the Opposition, he would make sure that, that becomes a reality. Our people are dying because of using unclean water and, yet there is a lot of water. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, pollution control has been given Kshs3 million only. That is a shame by any standards! Construction of sewerage has been allocated Kshs122 million, despite the fact that Lake Victoria is clogged with sewerage from the various towns surrounding the lake. Kisumu City does not have a proper working sewerage and, yet the Minister is only asking for Kshs122 million, which cannot even repair the current sewerage system. Irrigation and land degradation has been allocated Kshs473 million. As I have said before, if we were really to focus on irrigation, we would not even be talking about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We would not be talking about food sufficiency and poverty because our people would be able to feed themselves. As I am talking, in my constituency, only a few people can afford one meal a day, unlike the Minister, whom I know has more than four meals a day! This is because of wives and poverty amongst our people, including Ukambani. So, if you focus on irrigation---The next Government, led by Agwambo, will make sure that this happens.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the National Irrigation Board (NIB) has been allocated Kshs200 million. The Ahero, Budalangi, Busia and Mwea irrigation schemes were started as pilot schemes. However, they have never gone beyond the pilot stage. What is wrong with this country? Is it my understanding of the English Language, and I got a distinction 1 and a principal 1? I know that a pilot project is something you start so that you can pave way for a bigger project. If the vision of our forefathers, like Tom Mboya, Jaramogi Odinga, among others were to be put in place, the whole of Kano Plains would now be irrigated. We are still at the pilot stage, and yet they are only allocating a paltry Kshs200 million to the National Irrigation Board to take care of the whole of Kenya. What a shame! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on the issue of floods control, it is a shame that the Assistant Minister in this Ministry comes from an area where over 40,000 people are now homeless. This is an annual occurrence which this Government, instead of "Anglo Leasing" where they spent billions, they could have stopped the flooding. They could have funded the construction of dams. We could have found ways and means of protecting our people instead of treating them like rubbish. Every year, we hear about flooding in Budalangi, Nyando and Nyamasaria. Even a big city like Kisumu is often flooded in Nyalenda, Manyatta and in an area in Nyamasaria area called Nyamtoi because of lack of proper control by this Ministry. August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3305 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to criticise one thing. Why on earth should we concentrate all the construction of dams on one river called River Tana leaving out all the other rivers? Why should we leave out River Nyando, River Nzoia, River Yala, River Nyamasaria, River Kuja and River Miriu and allow the floods to go on? I have noted in this Vote book that Urban and Water Supply Construction has no allocation whatsoever. I will release the issue when we are questioning the Minister on the Floor at the Committee Stage. The Recurrent Expenditure is not a big issue. It is important to look at the specialised water boards that are intended to serve in various areas. Let me just mention one under the Recurrent Expenditure; the Athi River Water Services Board has been given Kshs200 million under the Recurrent Expenditure. Would you notice that under Lake Victoria Water Services Board, there is only a paltry Kshs70 million? Why do we have this big difference, and yet Lake Victoria Water Services Board covers a big area, including Kericho, Nandi, Kakamega, Kuria, Kisii and my beloved Kisumu districts? What does Athi River have? The Minister will tell us when he is replying. What does it have that it has been allocated Kshs200 million and yet Kisumu Water Services Supply Board has been allocated only Kshs70 million? These are the trends which have been criticised all over. In the previous Budget, the then Minister for Water and Irrigation, now occupying a more powerful Ministry, allocated almost half the Vote of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to one district called Kirinyaga. What a shame! These people dare hope that one day, they will be elected presidents of this country. God forbid the day when such people, who discriminate against their own people, will one day go to ask for votes from the same people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to ask the Minister to listen to this. Environmental protection should go hand in hand with water conservation. You cannot put a line between the two. We must find a way in which all those organisations working under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources can work with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. As we are talking now, the Mau Range is depleted, whereas in Mt. Elgon and Cherangany Hills, there is a lot of soil erosion taking place there. Apart from the obvious nutrient loading from agricultural land that is carrying fertiliser, there is also a lot of soil erosion. That is why we have flooding there. Right now the waters of River Nzoia have been raised because of siltation. Regardless of the number of dykes you construct, you will never do anything meaningful unless and until you address the issue of siltation. There is never going to be a way in which the mouth of a river is higher than other areas. It will always burst its banks, whatever you do. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I decry the receding levels of Lake Victoria. Let us protect the catchment areas, for example, Nandi, Kisii, Kericho, the Mau Range, Cherangany Hills and so on. Any question of human habitation--- Man is one of the worst enemies of nature. Prof. Maathai has said that nature is very unforgiving. If you interfere with nature, nature will fix you. What we are having now is that, Lake Victoria is going down. If that continues, there will be no water and no rain in the upper region. Then we will perish. I want to request my friend, the Minister to make sure that he focuses on the question of water conservation in the protection of environment and water catchment areas. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. First, I just want to commend the Minister for the excellent work that he and his team have been doing in the Ministry, especially in the formation of various bodies all the way to the constituency level that are managing our water systems. Some of the issues that I shall speak about are issues that I have raised in this House many 3306 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 times. Sometimes, it seems that every time we address the issue of water, we raise the same issues. I do not know to what extent the Ministry takes up those issues. Does it really take them seriously? One of the issues that I have suggested many times is that, we ought to have a strong Inter- ministerial Committee between seven Ministries that are very important in the way we manage our water system. These Ministries include, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Roads and Public Works, Ministry of Agriculture and the Office of the President. The Office of the President is important because we can use chiefs and their assistants to help our people manage their environment better, especially in the area of protecting forests. It is not enough for the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to be seen as the only Ministry that should protect forests and catchment areas. The Ministry of Water and Irrigation must surely work very closely with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources because unless they protect the forested mountains in this country, sooner or later, we are going to suffer from lack of water. I understand that we are considered to be a water-deficient country. That is a reflection of the way we have been handling our forests in this country. It is very important to rid our forests of plantations. I know that it is almost a crime to suggest that we should not be using forested mountains for commercial plantations of timber. We have extensive pieces of land in this country and we should encourage people to plant trees. But let us move out of our forested mountains because that is where our waters come from. We all know that, but for some reason, we also think that it is in these mountains where we must plant our eucalyptus, pine and the exotic species which suck all the water from our mountains, not to mention the destruction of our local bio-diversity in these forests. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is especially important for me to mention about the eucalyptus which is being planted immensely in this country. It is being promoted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources does not pay attention to what this tree does to our water system, especially in the highlands. This tree grows very fast because it takes a lot of water from the soil and it is responsible for the drying up of many streams and the lowering of the volume of waters in our rivers but we continue to plant it. At the moment, there is literally a rush to plant a clone from South Africa. It is being produced here at Karura. No matter what we say, many people are planting that tree because it is going to grow very fast and they will be able to harvest, sell it and get a lot of money within a very short time. What the millions of trees that we are planting are going to do is that they are going to suck up a lot of water. This Ministry ought to be concerned about the rate at which the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is allowing the planting of eucalyptus in the highlands and especially in the water catchment areas. People say that it is a South African type of eucalyptus and, therefore, it is not going to suck water. Who has done that research? Nobody! South Africans have prevented that tree from being planted on their water catchment areas but we are allowing it here. It is being driven by nothing but the profit expectations. This Ministry ought to look into that and consult very seriously with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to mention about the shamba system which I have mentioned many times in this country. Again there is a lot of pressure. I know that the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources is under a lot of pressure to allow people to go back to the forests and begin cultivating beans, potatoes, cabbages and carrots in our forests. We are trying to turn our forests into farms. We have a lot of land where people can begin to practise better agricultural practices, so that we do not feel the need to move into our forests to grow those vegetables. People want to go there because it is wet. Of course, it is wet because it is a forest. But we want it wet because that is where our rivers come from. Again, this Ministry ought to join my campaign. I should not be talking alone. August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3307 The Minister for Water and Irrigation should really be supporting me when I say that we must refrain from the pressure that the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources is getting because people want to go into the forests and do shamba system that literally destroyed our forests, especially during the previous administration. Now that we have managed to kick out people, at least in the Aberdares and Mt. Kenya, we can see that water volume has increased. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to remember, with compassion, the people of Budalangi and Kakamega. It is as a result of environmental degradation that our people are facing tragedies. There is absolutely no reason why there should not have been extension officers who should have prevented people cultivating on such steep slopes in Kakamega. What is happening in Budalangi is a result of what is happening in Cherangany Hills; destruction of forests. So the people of Budalangi are literally victims of the destructive activities upstream. We ought to be concerned about that. Again, there is no reason why the two Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources and that of Water and Irrigation should not be working together. When I see the Minister in charge of disaster management going to Budalangi and Kakamega, I wish that the resources were being sent to Cherangany to plant trees and prevent the destruction of those hills. We must begin to differentiate between causes and symptoms. What we see in Kakamega and Budalangi are symptoms of destruction going on upstream, especially in the forests. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to ask this Minister - since the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources has never responded - that he advocates, through the Cabinet for a national tree planting week. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am glad to suggest that we make the Easter weekend a national tree planting weekend because we have four days. We used to stage the Safari Rally which we do not do any more nowadays. We can mobilise all our people everywhere to plant trees during the Easter weekend because we have four days when we do virtually nothing. We need trees in this country, especially given the fact that global warming is here with us. We are all hearing and reading about it. One of the ministries that will feel the impact of global warming is this Ministry of Water and Irrigation because the snow on the mountains is melting. We all know that. We also know that a lot of the water reservoirs on the mountains are drying up due to global warming and, therefore, many of our rivers will dry up. This Ministry and the Ministry of Energy, which gets much of its water from our rivers will not get enough water to generate energy. So, any Ministry that is dependent on water is going to feel the impact very seriously. So, it is in our national interests that we have a national tree planting week. There are many things we cannot interfere with. We are not contributing much to the green house gases that every scientist in this area is telling us that the people within the tropics, especially in Africa are going to be most hit by the global warming. One thing we can do to mitigate the impact is to plant trees. So, Mr. Minister, maybe the Minister can help in launching a national tree planting week in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, this Ministry can also do a lot in promoting water harvesting, especially at the farm level to prevent the floods that run along roads. I think that this is something that can be achievable with very little input. With these remarks, I support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to say a few words of encouragement to the Minister and Ministry of Water and Irrigation. From the outset, I want to say that I support. As my colleagues pointed out, it really baffles me that a Ministry as critical as this one can get an allocation of only Kshs15 billion. If we are serious about economic take off in this country, we must give sufficient financial allocation to the key Ministries. In my view, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation is one such Ministry. 3308 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, having said that, let me point out that there are certain operations within the Ministry that leave a lot to be desired. These include the Mount Kenya East Project. In as much as I know that the project is funded by donors, about three years ago, there was some launch witnessed by the immediate occupier of that docket who is seated directly opposite me, hon. Martha Karua in Embu. There was a lot of excitement. Several vehicles were donated and we were even taken photographs. I took part even in test driving one of the vehicles. I did not take part in riding motorcycles. After that fanfare, the Minister gave an extremely eloquent speech regarding the key components of the project. However, what surprises me today is that if you go to the ground, there is absolutely nothing. All that we see are those vehicles on weekends being driven. There is something they call focal development point or area in the villages. They will go and call villagers to a baraza and then the next thing we see are invoices. Those villagers are said to have been undergoing training. I have seen villagers and we have raised this issue in our District Development Committee (DDC). However, there is no adequate response. It is a shame. That money is not for free. Nothing is being done. However, every now and then, villagers are being told that they spent so much and they keep asking on what they spent that money. I would ask the Minister to put his foot down and ensure that the Mount Kenya East Project becomes a reality on the ground. We do not want to see people riding all over and calling villagers for meetings. Those people know enough. Start implementing specific projects. If it is about irrigation, let them do irrigation. They talk about everything covering a radius of about five kilometres. If you go to the areas targeted, it is a pity. I, therefore, call upon the Minister and his team to really look into the issue of making the project realistic to the intended beneficiaries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, another organisation that I find a bit strange is the Water Services Trust Fund. Again, in this fund, if I may recall correctly, we had been told at one point that there was about Kshs1 billion or Kshs2 billion earmarked for this fund. The fund was involved in another exercise of mapping out the country and some areas were declared not qualified to receive any form of funding from it. So, we start wondering what we are now doing. Are we doing lopsided development? They mapped areas and said this location does not qualify to receive funding from the Water Services Trust Fund. They went on to invite people to implement projects. That is where they went wrong either by design or by default. I have a case in my own constituency called Kanywambora Water Project. They went and got some briefcase fellow from Chuka called Mideva and gave him all the money. He called villagers to buy a few bags of cement even when there were no pipes. Now the cement has gone to waste because two years down the road there is nothing. It is now having to be redesigned. I think the Minister should again see to it that the fund operates in a manner that is transparent. It should avoid dealing with quacks and former members of staff of the Ministry because many of them are used to the old ways. They are the ones who resigned or who were sacked and formed funny Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and now they are coming back to the fund to be given contracts. I can talk about three or four such projects by that particular organisation and nothing has been carried on to completion. I think the Minister should really see to it that they do something more important. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would want to commend the work done by the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC). However, I am afraid, looking at the money that the Minister spoke about, which is Kshs793 million for rehabilitation and development of new projects, including I believe, investigation on water sources, this amount will obviously not be sufficient for that corporation. It is the one that should drive the Ministry, particularly in the area of borehole drilling and such like areas having removed it from the former functions that it was doing and also having de-linked it from some of the water projects like the Coast Water Supply which is under another water group. August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3309 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am a bit worried about the new irrigation schemes which the Minister referred to as the smallholder ones. My worry here is whether the Minister could actually consider doing this in a manner that is equitable. If only to address it in a small way, some element of affirmative action, so that these smallholder new irrigation schemes can be located and spread out in various parts of the country. More particularly to my constituency, because it is not affirmative action about women. This is about water and irrigation. It is important that we have this form of affirmative action being spread out across the board. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is something which I would like the Ministry to get slightly more serious about. We have a number of NGOs. Specifically, I want to refer to the faith-based NGOs. We have one such NGO in my area, namely, the Catholic Diocese of Embu, which is doing a commendable job. It is involved in the area of investigation and development of water projects in various parts of its jurisdiction, and more particularly in my constituency. However, when we attend meetings where those NGOs give progress reports about the work that they do, you never find any form of information from the Ministry's staff. It is like they are permanently blank. I thought the policy should be that when those providers go to the various areas, they do so through the line Ministries, so that there can be linkage. I would like the Ministry to require the various water providers to have some linkage with them, so that, at least, for instance, when I look at what services are going to be provided in my district, there is no duplication, so that what the Ministry is going to do and what those NGOs are doing is not duplicated, so that there could be a good spread in various parts so as to be able to cover many areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I commend the Minister for saying that he intends to double the area under irrigation from the current 110,000 hectares to 220,000 hectares, and the area under drainage from 30,000 hectares to 90,000 hectares. However, I observe that the planned coverage is intended to be achieved by the year 2012. I think the Minister should realise that this is too ambitious an objective for his Ministry to achieve. We would, however, commend him. It is good to be futuristic in this way, if only he can only able to get sufficient resources allocated to his Ministry, because there is no point in making such projections if the Treasury does not give the Ministry what it requires. For the Ministry to be able to achieve this objective, it requires adequate resource allocation. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this debate. I rise to support this Vote. Let me begin by congratulating the Minister and his team of professionals in the Ministry, who have worked hard to do the things that have been seen and felt by Kenyans. I also want to congratulate them for streamlining the Ministry, and finding it necessary to decentralise water services to the grassroots level, and even include stakeholders in ensuring that they participate in whatever the Ministry does, something which has been seen to bear fruit at the grassroots level. I want to begin by saying that I also thank the Ministry for having come in to resolve a conflict in Embu, and in particular in Runyenjes, between the water company and consumers. I am grateful to the Minister for having gone there personally to ensure that the people of Kieni got what they wanted. We thank the Ministry for having, expeditiously, ensured the implementation of the wishes of the people of Kieni, and for ensuring that they have a water company they can identify themselves with, and work with. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am shocked to learn from the Minister that Kenya has been classified, internationally, as a chronically water scarce country. Obviously, that has sent shivers down my spine, considering that we have so much to talk about in terms of the environment. We have Mount Kenya, the Aberdares Mountains, Mau Forests, and others, which we hoped would make Kenya not to be classified as such. Having listened to the Minister, I cannot 3310 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 help but feel that so much needs to be done to ensure that we do not fall into this category. I have also listened to our able Prof. Wangari Maathai and thought that, really, somebody needs to listen to that voice. Even as Parliament, we need to add our voices to what she has been talking about, and what she has been identified with. I feel that she is probably talking to the walls, because there is so much that needs to be done, yet no one seems to be doing it. Being a person coming from a mountainous area, namely, the Mount Kenya region, I am extremely aware of the fact that our rivers are drying up. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the mountain caps are, slowly, melting away. This is an indication of what Kenya is going to be in another 10-15 years. It is, therefore, about time that we all listened to the cries across the world, and particularly in Kenya, on the need to start, seriously, looking into ways and means of protecting our water catchment areas. I want to support the professor on the need to have a national tree planting week. I am happy that it is a week, and not a day. Unless we do this, we are likely to witness a country that will be in serious problems, and this Ministry will be a major victim of that situation. I also note that it is not possible for this Ministry, on its own, to achieve this very important task. Therefore, there is need for creation of an inter-Ministerial task committee, which should be recognised at the Cabinet level. This is very critical. We are talking about a whole generation being wiped out by the threat of climate change. Therefore, we have the moral obligation to make sure that Kenya stands the test of time. I am also very much worried about the cultivation that continues to take place along the waterbeds, the harvesting of sand in the riverbeds and also, most recently, as we have witnessed where I come from, Embu, the harvesting of stones and gravelling of the same for sale as people try to look for bread and butter. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this goes on unnoticed. Even if it has been noticed, nothing is being done about it. I have raised this issue in a District Development Committee (DDC) meeting, but nothing is being done about it. So, something has got to be done. The State corporation vested with the task of ensuring preservation of water catchment areas has got to go beyond the forests, into the rivers and the farms, where farmers are farming. We must protect our rivers and ensure that they have clean water, like it used to be in the past. In the past, if you needed a mirror, you just needed to go to a stream, and you could see your face clearly. Right now, that is no longer the case. Our waters are brown in colour - a sign of the soil erosion that is taking place on a daily basis. We must ensure that this comes to a stop. I hope that the Minister is going to take note of what has been raised, not just by me but even by the speakers who have spoken before me, and ensure that this matter is taken very seriously by the Cabinet. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we must also look for ways of harvesting rain water. I raised this issue last year, when I supported debate on this Vote, but there is not much happening. A lot of rain water goes to waste, because we do not harvest it from our roof-tops and rivers. We let all the water drain into streams leading to the major rivers, which flow into the Indian Ocean. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we could have a water harvesting policy that is truly looking into how to harvest water in all parts of this country, I believe there would be no day we would go without water. I hope that this Ministry will look into that and ensure that we have a policy strictly on water harvesting. That way, we will not have problems of water when there are no rains. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to talk about the cost of water in the villages. In the past, water used to cost Kshs90 for an average number of litres that a farmer needed to use per month. That cost has gone up, since the establishment of the water companies, to Kshs250. That may look little to us. But it is a lot of money to the person in the village. Therefore, I am requesting the Minister and his team to look into that issue and reduce that price. It is too high August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3311 for a person who earns or lives on less than a dollar a day. Such a person, surely, would never be able to enjoy the services of your Ministry, if you continue to charge Kshs250. So, please, look into ways and means of going back to Kshs90. Where I come from, the people are complaining. They are saying that Kshs250 is too high. I agree with them because they do not have much money. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to focus on irrigation as an alternative source of job creation for the youth back in the villages. We have thousands and millions of young people who are leaving schools every year and joining the job market. Those young people are resorting to drug and alcohol abuse because they get desperate. That is because the farms they live in are only used to grow the usual traditional cash crops. The energy in those young people can be channelled positively into irrigation and production of horticultural products. We can begin to export our own oranges, and not to import them from Egypt, as one speaker said earlier. We can begin to export exotic vegetables to countries that have no rain and to the West. That can only happen if we have water all year round. Therefore, I hope that the National Irrigation Board, and even the department charged with the task of irrigation in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation can start receiving more money to make that a reality. Where irrigation is taking place, we are seeing many young people who are able to live a decent life. They get self-employed. But they cannot do that when they have no water. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I also add my voice to the issue of the sewer systems in our towns. I want to say, in particular, Runyenjes Town, which is a very young municipality, to date, it has no sewerage system. We are still using the old type of latrines in the town. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Ahsante sana, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipa fursa hii ili nitoe maoni machache kuhusu hii Hoja ya Wizara ya Maji na Unyunyizaji Maji Mashamba. Kwanza, nitaungana na wenzangu kuipa pongezi Wizara hii kwa kazi inayoifanya katika taifa lote. Lakini, kule Wundanyi, hatujaona mkono wowote wa Wizara hii. Mbali na kuleta Maswali mengi katika hii Bunge kuhusu Ngilinyi dam, Kakimwaisa Water Project na mradi wa Kishushe, pia kuenda kwa Wizara na barua nyingi ili kuwakumbusha na kumkumbusha Waziri hapa, na hata Waziri kuahidi katika hii Bunge, hakuna hata ahadi moja ambayo imetekelezwa na Wizara hii katika sehemu ya uwakilishi ya Wundanyi. Lakini wakati huu, tunaomba tuone mkono wa Wizara hii katika Wundanyi. Tumefanya miradi mingi ya maji kupitia pesa za mfuko wa maeneo Bunge. Karibu nusu ya bajeti yetu ya pesa za mfuko wa maeneo ya Bunge imeenda kwa maji. Vile vile, sehemu kubwa ya Wilaya ya Taita-Taveta, na Wundanyi Constituency pia, ni eneo kame. Kwa hivyo, tungeomba kwamba lokesheni ya Kishushe, ambayo ni sehemu kame katika Wilaya ya Taita Taveta, na ambayo iliingizwa katika orodha ya zile sehemu ambazo zitafaidi kutokana na Water Trust Fund, iangaliwe. Tunaomba Wizara itufikirie sana kwa njia hiyo. Baada ya kusema hayo, Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, ningeomba kuongeza kwamba kile kitu ambacho ningetaka kukiona kama Mkenya--- Kwa sasa, tunafikiria kwamba tumefaulu sana na tungetaka hakikisho litolewe na Wizara hii kwamba maji yote tunayokunywa mijini, hasa Nairobi na mitaa ya mabanda, yako salama kwa kunywa. Nafikiri juhudi nyingi za hiyo bajeti--- Ninaiunga mkono bajeti hii. Hata ingeongezwa iwe wingi zaidi kwa sababu maji ni muhimu sana. Sehemu kubwa ya bajeti hii pia inafaa itumiwe kuhakikisha kwamba maji tunayoyaweka ni masafi na yako salama kwa kunywa. Vile tunavyoendelea sasa, watu wanaofaidika na maji ni wale ambao wako na pesa. Hao watu wananunua maji yale ambayo yanauzwa. Tunaona kwamba kama nchi, tunakubali hali hiyo ya ubepari na ubeberu. Hata kampuni kutoka nje zinakuja na kuuza maji ndani ya nchi yetu. Hilo ni jambo ambalo haliwezi kufikirika. Ni uwekezaji wa namna gani huo wa kukubali kampuni ya Coca Cola kuingia na kuanza kuuza maji ndani ya nchi yetu? Kwangu mimi, hiyo ni dalili kubwa sana ya ukoloni mambo leo, ambao ni lazima tupambane nao kama taifa. La muhimu 3312 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 ni kwamba, ni lazima tuhakikishe kwamba tukifanya miradi, inawafikia watu kwa usalama. Naomba pia kuunga mkono wale ambao wamesema - wakiongozwa na Prof. Wangari Maathai - kwamba kuna uhusiano mkubwa sana kati ya maji na mazingira. Nafikiri huo ni ukweli mkubwa kabisa. Tukilinda mazingira yetu, tutaongeza maji. Vile vile, tukiongeza maji, wananchi watakuwa na motisha sana kuhifadhi mazingira. Pia, naomba kuchukua fursa hii kupongeza Baraza la Jiji la Nairobi kwa juhudi ambazo zinaonekana za kupanda miti katika Mji huu. Hiyo ni juhudi ya kupongezwa sana. Kama miji mingine katika nchi yetu ingefuata mfano wa Baraza la Jiji la Nairobi, nafikiri baada ya muda mrefu, tungeleta mandhari mazuri sana katika nchi yetu kwa upande wa mazingira. Mfano wa uhusiano wa mazingira na maji ni kwamba Milima ya Taita-Taveta ni sehemu ya Kenya ambayo ni nzuri sana kimandhari. Ni sehemu ambayo inataka kulindwa vizuri sana kwa vizazi vya sasa na vile vijavyo. Kama tungetoa maji kutoka Mzima Springs na kuyapeleka sehemu za nyanda za chini za Taita-Taveta, wananchi wengi wangeteremka kutoka milimani na kuja kulima huko chini. Kule juu, kungebaki kama zamani. Kungepandwa msitu. Kungekuwa na misitu mikubwa sana. Vile vile, baada ya miaka 15 au 20, tungeanza kuona maji yakitiririka kutoka milima ya Taita-Taveta. Kwa hivyo, jambo ambalo tunaomba kutoka kwa Wizara hii ni kwamba, huo mradi wa maji wa Mzima Springs--- Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kuna maji mengi sana katika Mzima Springs ambayo yanatiririka mpaka huko Bahari Hindi. Kama kungekuwa na mradi wa maji wa Mzima Springs na pesa zitengwe kupeleka maji sehemu za Kishushe, Mlilo, Ngulia, Mboldo na sehemu zingine za Mwakitau na nyanda za chini za Taita-Taveta, sio tu tungeongeza lishe na chakula katika Wilaya ya Taita-Taveta, lakini vile vile, tungepeana motisha ya kulindwa kwa mazingira. Wananchi wanaofinyana katika milima ya Taita-Taveta wengeteremka chini na kuanza kulima huko chini. Pia, maji yataanza kutiririka kutoka huko juu. Kwa hivyo, tunaomba hii Serikali itekeleze mradi huo kwa sababu utazalisha mazao katika Mkoa wa Pwani. Hata sehemu nyingine za Ukambani zitafaidika kutokana na mradi huo wa Chemchemi ya Mzima. Huu mradi ni mkubwa sana na ukitekelezwa, utaleta maendeleo makubwa. Utasaidia sana katika kuendeleza sehemu hiyo ya nchi yetu. Ni mradi ambao wananchi wa Taita- Taveta wamekuwa wakiulilia kwa muda mrefu sana. Wananchi wa Taita-Taveta wanasikitika sana kwa sababu maji kutoka Chemchemi ya Mzima ni mengi sana na huteremka hadi Mombasa. Yanapofika huko, maji hayo huuzwa na Baraza la Jiji la Mombasa ilhali wao wenyewe hawafaidiki na chochote. Hata sasa, kuna tatizo kubwa sana la maji kule Voi. Tunaomba Wizara ya Maji na Unyunyizaji, katika Bajeti hii, itenge pesa nyingi sana ili iweze kukabiliana na tatizo la ukosefu wa maji. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, vile vile, kuna taasisi nyingi sana na mamlaka mengi ambayo yameundwa na Wizara ya Maji na Unyunyizaji. Haya ni mabadiliko ambayo yameletwa na Wizara hii. Lakini haya mabadiliko wakati mwingine huleta urasimu mkubwa sana mpaka tunashindwa la kufanya. Kwa mfano, huko Taita Taveta, huwa tunaambiwa tuchukue baadhi ya leseni huko Machakos. Kutoka Wundanyi hadi Machakos ni mamia ya kilomita. Wananchi hawajaelewa jambo hili na hawawezi kuelewa. Ni sharti urasimu uondolewe ilhali irahisishwe na fedha zitumike katika kuboresha uenezaji maji katika kila sehemu. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, vile vile, tunataka Wizara ya Maji na Unyunyizaji, katika wilaya zote isimamiwe vizuri sana kwa maana hapo ndipo kuna ufisadi mkubwa. Ni lazima Wizara ifuatilie jambo hilo. Miradi mingi imekwama kwa sababu ya ufisadi ulioko mashinani. Hata miradi ya hazina ya CDF imekwamishwa kutokana na ufisadi unaopatikana katika Wizara ya Maji kule mashinani. Lazima Wizara hii ichukue hatua madhubuti ikiwa tunataka kufaulu kutumia haya mabilioni ya pesa kuongeza maji zaidi. Kipimo cha maendeleo katika nchi ni kwamba tusirudie kufanya mambo yale yale. Kesho ikifika, tuwe tumesonga hatua mbele zaidi katika kutatua tatizo la ukosefu wa maji wala si kukwamishwa kwa August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3313 sababu ya ufisadi. Jambo ninalosisitiza ni kwamba tatizo kubwa katika kutotekeleza miradi ya maji ni ufisadi. Ikiwa Waziri atakabiliana na tatizo la ufisadi katika mashinani, basi atapiga hatua kubwa mbele katika kutekeleza miradi ya hii Wizara. Malalamiko mengi yanatokana na ufisadi; mpaka hawana haya! Katika pesa ambazo tunatoa kutoka hazina ya CDF, yaani Kshs2 milioni, Wizara ya Maji na Unyunyizaji huitisha Kshs400,000. Kwa hivyo, lazima tuwe na sera maalum ya kuhakikisha kwamba hilo tatizo linatatuliwa. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa hayo maneno machache, ningependa kuunga mkono hii Hoja ya Wizara ya Maji.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would also like to support this Motion because there is indication from everywhere that this Ministry is doing something for this country. However, because of the previous problems, it still has a long way to go to satisfy the needs of our people in terms of water. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Ministry is one of the most important Ministries in the creation of any Government. This is because we say water is life. If water is, indeed, life, why are we exposing ourselves to death? The sources of water are diminishing! It has been said, now and again, that in the next 25 years, this country will have a lot of problems in getting water. Now, we cannot see the reply to that cry or claim. We expect this Ministry to work very hard and make sure that, in the next 25 years, our sources of water will have been protected and a lot of water made available. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if water is life, as we are told, what are we doing to protect what we already have? I know that the Ministry is created to protect what we have and manage it. Just like discovering oil somewhere, that oil is protected and distributed fairly. In this case, we need people in this Ministry - I do not want to say that we do not have them - to reform their thinking so that they do not just manage what we have, but also aim at creating more water sources. That is the only way this Ministry will assure Kenyans that there is hope in it. For example, the Ministry relies on water that flows from rivers, a few dams that are here and there and underground water. I think there is need for them to prioritise the rivers that must be protected. Those rivers are not being protected. The Ministry is not involved when decisions are taken to excise part of forest areas which serve as a source of water. This means that when forest areas are taken away for purposes of settlement, the source of water diminishes. Now, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation needs to be involved in taking this kind of decision. This is because we expect them to give us what they really do not have. The Minister and his staff are all aware that water is diminishing in our country. However, we have not seen any critical cry from the Ministry and the planners. People must be warned that in the next few years, there will be no water. There is no secret to this fact. It needs to be made public all the time. Just like we say that there is no enough land for everybody, there will be no water for all people in the future. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the international community has found out that the only way of limiting the demand for water is family planning and other ways that can ensure that there are not so many people who need to be supplied with water. In Africa, in the next five to ten years, we will be almost one billion people. They are saying that there will be no water and food for one billion people. So, the best thing here to consider is not how much the Ministry's officers are doing to manage the water, but to think about where to get more water. In fact, this Ministry should not just be involved in distribution of water. It should also be involved in finding new sources of water. That will mean that they can see far beyond what they already have. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we want to maintain and create more sources of water, we have to plant trees. So, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation needs to be in charge of planting trees. The people of this country must even be forced, through the law, to plant 3314 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 trees. If we do not do that, we will regret in the near future. Our children will come and go and eventually, we will have no water. What does a thinker in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation think when he or she sees water flowing into the Indian Ocean or she or he stands outside his or her door and looks at the water flowing? What does he think about that water and yet he is in charge of it? We see water disappearing into the ocean. In the morning, we come to the office and start thinking about available water. Why do we allow water to flow to the Indian Ocean? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we all know when Ian Smith took over the Government by force in Rhodesia, the entire world boycotted trade with them. However, they decided to do their own business without thinking about outsiders. They managed to relegate the production of wheat. I think there is need for reform. We cannot reform institutions unless we reform the people who sit in those institutions; get them to start thinking as Kenyans. If he or she is an engineer, economist or thinker of some kind, he or she needs to feel that he or she is free to think for this country. This is where the problem is. People are following what was done ten years ago. We wonder what kind of education we acquire in institutions of learning. I was thinking that an educated person is one who is able to think beyond his teachers! If we only follow what we have been taught, and not thinking beyond, then I think we are not getting anywhere. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a crime to see our rivers drying up. We see them disappearing and stand there rejoicing! Who will be responsible? One day, I stood outside my house to see water flowing down to the sea. This was happening yet my people were telling me that they do not have water and they might not return me to Parliament. The water was flowing and everybody was seeing it disappearing! This should be made a serious matter. We should construct more dams. As far as the construction of dams is concerned, I must thank the Ministry, They are doing a very good job in Laikipia District. That is a commendable job. Where a dam is drilled, the life of the people changes immediately. Why can we not construct more dams? It is not too expensive to do so, especially with the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). We only need to provide the machinery and the CDF provides the funds. A lot of work would be happening. We must harvest---
Order, Mr. G.G. Kariuki! Your time is up!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Let me also give my contribution to this very important Vote. The money that has been allocated to this Ministry is not little money as has been said by many hon. Members. This is a lot of money. I think the biggest problem we have with this Ministry is the mode of sharing the funds. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, many of our districts have been given what I call tokens. For the last four to five years, we have either received nil or Kshs3 million to Kshs5 million. Today, I cannot tell my people that this Government has given us any project in my constituency. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, many of the funds have been given to districts. Giving money to districts is not a guarantee that funds will come to one's constituency unless one comes from a one-district constituency. That is probably the case with many districts. However, there are certain departments that have been neglected by this Ministry. The Minister may not understand that his job is not just to deal with water. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, two critical departments; the sewerage and irrigation departments, are totally neglected by this Ministry. A sum of Kshs122 million for sewerage will, probably, not even be sufficient to construct a proper sewerage system in Machakos. It could, probably, construct one in a small town like Mwala and not anywhere else. In Eldoret Town, the August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3315 sewerage department covers only 40 per cent of the municipality. It is a shame that, in a big town, we have continued constructing pit latrines. These latrines will collapse at some stage. I do not understand why this sewerage department was, in the first place, brought under the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. I would understand that, probably, they go hand-in-hand. However, when there is no sewerage system in a town, the Ministry that suffers the consequences is the Ministry of Local Government. When there is no sewerage system, nobody talks to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. In fact, people do not understand that this is not a problem of the Ministry of Local Government. They will go to the local authority to complain that the sewerage system is not working. Therefore, the Minister should explain to me, at a later stage, why the sewerage department should not have been left under the Ministry of Local Government and why irrigation should not have been left under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker Sir, this Ministry is ignorant about the value of irrigation. It does not understand! All they want to do is dig boreholes. Digging boreholes alone is not sufficient. Therefore, to the extent that these two departments are totally neglected by this Ministry, I would beg that the Government should - if this Government will be in power next time - move the departments to other Ministries. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have complained in this House very many times that some of us who live in water catchment areas - I have raised this issue with the Minister - should have a Board that caters for our interests. We are lumped with people like the Wanjalas of Western Province. When we are given Kshs1 billion by the Board, they take everything. Those people have unique problems. The reason the region floods is that there is no sufficient interest given to water catchment areas where we come from. In fact, I was wondering why we should not create a Ministry of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands. Every time we come to this House, we are told that ASALs have been given more money. What happens to areas that are not classified as ASALs? We know ASALs can easily get funds from donors. Donors love those areas with problems because it is easier to take a photograph of a starving child. It is easier to take photographs of desperate situations, go sell and get money. In our areas, we are being marginalised. This is because we are putting a lot of interest in ASALs. If the Government is interested in them, create another Ministry or department which will totally deal with the ASALs problems! All the money that was given for water, probably the whole of it, went to digging boreholes. If all the money goes to digging boreholes, what happens to us? That is why when people say this Ministry has been given less money, if we give them more, what would they use it for? In my view, this Ministry should be given less money, so that critical Ministries like the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Education get more funding. This Ministry should borrow from what the Ministry of Energy does. They have given every constituency money directly and we can see it! However, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation has totally failed in its responsibility. Therefore, Kshs15 billion that they have been given should be reduced to Kshs10 billion so that the difference can be given to other Ministries! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the money that has been given to the rural areas, if you look at this Ministry, is only Kshs800 million! Most of the money is, indeed, going to the urban centres. Why do we want to marginalize those rural areas? I think there is still an assumption 3316 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 in this Ministry that rural fellows should still go and fetch water from the river! That is totally a primitive culture! We must assist rural areas equally, as we assist urban centres. Therefore, when we give urban areas Kshs4 billion and give rural areas only Kshs800 million, what are we telling Kenyans? Where do the majority of Kenyans live? Therefore, the priorities of this Ministry, in my view, are totally upside down! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know why the department that deals with dams only imagines that dams should only be built in arid and semi-arid areas. I said before that, if you want to sort out the problem of Budalang'i, sort out the problem in the catchment areas, where some of us come from - from the highlands! Let us have dams as well in those areas. We require them! We can use them for irrigation and other services. We can use them to supply water to our people. But if this Government is going to imagine that it is going to wait until Budalang'i waters overflow, so that it can go there, that problem will never be sorted out in perpetuity! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would imagine that this Ministry has experts. Probably, they do not have. They should probably go the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Roads and Public Works or to other Ministries, so that they can get engineers. I do not understand why, five years in this Parliament and nearly going to elections, and without funds for my constituency, we are pretending here that we are passing a V3 ote for a very important Ministry called the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. Then they come and tell us: "Water is life"! Life for who? Is it life for other Kenyans and not life for us? I want this Ministry to take that issue very seriously. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Sewerage Department is more critical. It is a very critical department and the Government must be seen to put in billions of money. I do not understand why we even have National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA). If NEMA truly exists, it should advise the various local authorities that they must not continue constructing houses in certain areas, until a proper sewerage system is in place! If there is no sewerage system in an urban centre, where millions of Kenyans live, I do not understand why NEMA should exist in the first place. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, many speakers here have talked about their district offices. The district office in my district is very effective! I know they do not get sufficient funds, but we pay some little money for design. We know this Ministry does not appreciate that you have to design a project so that you can get water. They do not appreciate! My people pay from their pockets! We do not mind. But we pay money for Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) projects because, of course, there are no Government projects in my constituency. Therefore, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want the Minister to take this issue very seriously. We no longer want to be lumped together with Western Province! I want to stress that very clearly! We do not want to be going all the way to Kakamega from Eldoret! We do not want to go to a small town in Western Province to get services. We are big enough in our own right! We produce water! We are a catchment area in our own right! There is no merit! In fact, when--- Lake Victoria North Water Services Board is given a lot of money - Kshs1.8 billion! Why can the Ministry not be very specific as to where the money goes? Where is the money going? Which projects are you funding to give us Kshs1.8 billion? I know, probably, I will get nothing! All of it will go somewhere in Western Province. That is why they deliberately put the offices in Western Province! We would want to state categorically that we want to be separated from Western Province! We have never, since time immemorial, been lumped together with Western Province! With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Order, hon. Members! I notice that there is a lot of interest and I am anxious to let every hon. Member have a chance to speak. So, if you August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3317 could voluntarily reduce the amount of time you use, given the fact that there is a lot of repetition, I would be very grateful. That way, all hon. Members will have a chance to contribute. Proceed, Ms. Karua!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise in support of this Motion. I want to begin by commending the Ministry for doing very well in a very short space of four and half years. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that water was a neglected sector over a long period in this country. Even the Vote of the Ministry told volumes. We have come from a Development Budget of Kshs2 billion to over Kshs11 billion at the moment. That is, truly, tremendous! We have seen what the Ministry has tried to do all over the country. Obviously, not all corners have been reached. But bearing in mind the shortness of time, the Ministry deserves to be commended. I would want to urge the Ministry to continue bearing in mind efficiency in the use of financial resources, and also efficiency in the use of human resources. Let each officer account for the time and money. If this is not done diligently, then the reforms are bound to flounder. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Ministry, like other sectors, has come from a background of wastefulness and corrupt practices and, with reforms, it is necessary to keep on monitoring that people do not go backwards. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would want to encourage the Ministry to continue adopting market surveys for commonly used items and ensure that the various water boards are having optimal use of the resources at their disposal in order to reach the people. I would also like to urge them to ensure that the officers in the respective boards are also utilising their time efficiently and doing capacity building for the various water companies and water associations that are licensed by the various local water boards. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would want to further urge the Ministry to monitor the growth of the Water Services Regulatory Board and the development of individual boards. That is because unless they operate at optimum, they cannot be able to supervise the reforms. The regulator must set standards and monitor those standards with the boards. The boards, in turn, must monitor the operators who are given the licences by the boards. That should also apply in the area of irrigation. We must ensure efficiency in the use of resources and water. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have a lot of examples of countries that have maximised on very little water - countries that are classified as water-scarce - and have been able to do irrigation to feed their people. I have examples of Israel and Egypt in mind. The Minister for Water and Irrigation is now telling me that Morocco is also an example. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for us to be able to use water efficiently, we will need modern irrigation methods with piped water, so that we do not lose water as we transport it to the various farms for use. To be able to do that, the cost of irrigation equipment must be user-friendly, for the ordinary small-scale farmer to be able to afford it. We need to check what is happening in other countries, because we are not re-inventing the wheel. We need to have easily accessible irrigation equipment for our farmers to enable us to use our scarce water resources in a manner that benefits all. I know that in some of our areas, especially in my area - the Mt. Kenya area - a lot of unemployed youths are relying on horticultural and irrigated farming to sustain themselves. If we improve that and also improve the markets, then we are helping our youths to find something useful to do. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to mention very briefly, the issue of water and sanitation in the informal settlements, especially around main cities like Nairobi. I would like to urge the Ministry to accelerate its programme of providing stand pipes, so that the people in the informal settlements get the same water and at the same rates, if not at better rates than the rest of the City. They will have access to portable water for their domestic use. 3318 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also urge that the programme of having communal toilets and wash areas be accelerated, so that we are able to have water, sanitation and, perhaps, drainage as well. Teaming up with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry should be able to do something, so that even while we await the slum upgrading, people in the informal settlements are able to live in more sanitary conditions. The issue of sustainability is very key to reforms. It is very important that all the officers serving in the various boards and reform bodies must show that their outfits are sustainable. It is expected that there would be a composite water levy, which helps to finance not only water but also the various authorities in water. The Treasury cannot be the long-term solution for sustaining our water services. I would urge the Ministry to accelerate the reforms, congratulate them but tell them that a lot remains to be done. They must concentrate on having intensive programmes of capacity building, otherwise the newly-licensed water associations and water companies in the rural areas will collapse, and the reforms will collapse with them. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Order, hon. Members! Mr. Kimeto, I will come to you later! Let me give this chance to Mr. Bahari!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion, on the Vote of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. I want to join my many colleagues in congratulating this Ministry for a job well-done, particularly in the arid and semi arid areas, where we have, for a long time, had a lot of problems when it comes to availability of clean and safe water. I must say that quite a substantial number of boreholes have been sunk in these areas. There have been dams which have been constructed, while others have been rehabilitated. We are very grateful for the effort made, because a concerted deliberate effort should be made by the Government in trying to redress the imbalances that have been there for a long time. In particular, if this is not properly addressed under this Ministry, then you can as well forget about bonding in this country. However, I want to once again thank the Ministry and encourage them to proceed and complete work in the areas which have not been taken care of. When we talk about water and its scarcity, then the regions we call ASALs are needy; no wonder, then, that this Ministry has given its priority to areas where the needs are more pronounced. With that, I will proceed and address the issue of catchment boards. Every time the issues of the use of rivers are brought to this House, by way of Questions and other forms, we have been told, time and again, that those issues are better addressed through the water sector reforms. I am particularly concerned about the Ewaso Nyiro North River Water use Upstream, where many farmers have diverted water, both legally and illegally to the detriment of the people downstream. This is immoral, unfair and unjust! This issue must be addressed adequately. Every time that issue has resurfaced here, the answer has been that it would be addressed within the broader water reform programme, but it needs to be properly addressed. Perhaps, if we are to understand this, the people downstream have a right, and they are fully dependent on the water that flows from upstream. Unless this is properly regulated by the catchment boards, then you can rest assured that livestock production will be badly affected. People's livelihoods are being interfered with. It is a matter that should not wait for the reforms; it is an urgent matter. It cannot wait even for a day to be properly addressed. August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3319 This issue used to be there during the colonial times. I have had the opportunity to look at the banks of Ewaso Nyiro North River, for example. I see markings showing various water levels and they were put there during the colonial times, so that those who were responsible would just read those markings and say: "This water level has gone down at this particular point in time certainly because of misuse upstream". They would then move in and act, but we have let the situation remain unrectified in Independent Kenya. If the colonialists saw the sense in doing it, why not in Independent Kenya today? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have let the flower farms around Nanyuki and Laikipia areas to use this water the way they want, including the streams that flow into rivers. We have allowed people downstream, the ones in Habaswein, Sericho, Merti, Samburu and in all those other areas, to suffer. Even the people from Garissa and Wajir, who used to come during the dry spells to the lower swampy areas of Ewaso Nyiro North River and, the Lorian Swamp, to graze their livestock cannot do so any more. In the process, the poverty levels have gone up. We have lost all livestock, or 90 per cent of it, and now we have to ask the Government to give us relief food. Last time, most of that money came from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. So, I want to plead with the Ministry to, perhaps in conjunction with the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities, address this matter very urgently. They should bring it to the fore and should not wait for the slow water sector reform programme. The boreholes that have been sunk in those areas, and that are now being run by the communities, still need a lot of support by way of provision of engineers and technicians for maintenance of these boreholes. Some of these districts are vast. If you talk of Marsabit, Isiolo and Turkana districts, they are vast. And for communities in some remote centres to depend, for maintenance, in the district headquarters, because they do not have expertise at those boreholes, is impossible. It is very costly because of the need for allowances and maintenance of vehicles. It is high time this Ministry looked into, perhaps, decentralising some of these maintenance services and training the people on basic skills, so that they can effectively handle some routine preventive maintenance programme, instead of them just waiting for reports from people who just rush the work. They then ask communities to pay their allowances, because most of the time the Ministry is not able to pay the allowances. It is not like you can go in, in a day, and come back. Some of the distances are long, and, because there is nobody to do the initial troubleshooting, they carry with them all the experts, the electrician, the mechanic and others, and you will be forced to pay a lot of those allowances. This issue is going to make the communities fail to manage the water sector. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, at the risk of repeating myself, this Ministry also needs to work very closely with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, so that we protect the environment. I want to heed your advice about giving other hon. Members time, but I want to make my last point about irrigation. It is important that, particularly in the ASAL areas, where there are rivers, the issue of irrigation funding is given a lot of attention. I am happy that the Ministry is looking in that direction. Overall, I say this Ministry has done a good job and I want to thank them. Thank you, very much.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I also want to join my colleagues in commending the Ministry for a job very well-done. The reforms that are in place are beginning to bear fruits. But, perhaps, my only plea is to request the Ministry to ensure that these reforms are speedily implemented. For instance, it is now a requirement that all water that is in various sectors must be piped. No water should be flowing in farrows. About a month ago, there was an incident in my constituency where an epidemic affected over 500 students because the water that they were using comes through a farrow. It is my plea to this Ministry to move with speed and ensure that such issues are handled urgently. 3320 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have had various discussions with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, as Members of the Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources Department. We have impressed upon the Ministry about the need to increase the budgetary allocation to this particular sector. A lot of money is being used on relief food. It would bear much more fruits if this money was used to fund irrigation projects. We have repeated year in, year out, about the need to increase this budgetary allocation, but I think enough has not been done. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the area of harmonization between the various water boards and Ministry of Water and Irrigation personnel in the districts is not moving very well. There seems to be a bit of reluctance by the Ministry's personnel to hand over to the various boards in the districts. This is sort of not ensuring that work is done fast enough. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is need, again, for the Ministry to re-look at the tariffs and, perhaps, direct the various water boards and providers on the tariffs applicable to various institutions. A case in point are the primary schools. The primary schools get very little money under the Free Primary Education Programme. Therefore, most schools are not able to pay for water services. This has led to a situation where most schools have actually closed. I think there is need to re-look at that issue, because a lot of water service providers and boards are actually being funded by the same Exchequer that is funding that Free Primary Education. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is need for the Ministry to liaise closely with the water boards to accelerate compensation for the various tanks that have been constructed by self- help groups across the country. This is because as it is, there is reluctance for self-help water groups to dovetail into the area of jurisdiction of the various water providers because of the inadequacy of the service providers to compensate these self-help schemes. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, I want to comment on the reforms, as they affect the Water Trust Fund. The idea of having a Water Trust Fund so that it acts a basket for all donors and anyone who may want to help this country in terms of water is a good idea. But I note with concern that for the last one or two years, I do not think that we have had any money coming from the Water Trust Fund towards the various self-help schemes. This is an area of concern. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I want to commend the Ministry for a job very well done.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Vote of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. Let me, first of all, thank hon. Katuku for having travelled to nearly every part of this country to address the water problems being experienced by the people of this country. This country has got a lot of water which goes to waste. We have many rivers which flow to the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria without being utilized by the Ministry. For example, at the moment, there is flooding in Budalang'i because one of the rivers in Western Kenya has burst its banks. However, the Ministry is not quick to go there and build dykes in order to control the floods. This Ministry should live up to its expectation. We should build more dams on our rivers so that we can utilise water. If we allow water to flow directly to the lakes, it will continue causing problems during the rainy seasons. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Minister does not ensure equal distribution of water resources in every constituency, we shall continue to hear mere talk in this House, yet, our country will not develop. Whenever we prepare Budgets, what was discussed about the previous year's Budget should always be put into consideration. This will ensure that we move ahead. This is because we are repeating ourselves year in, year out. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some parts of my constituency have no water and, yet we have so many rivers. Why can the Ministry not allocate the constituency money to enable me to construct dams which can be utilised for irrigation during the dry season? The Minister for Water August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3321 and Irrigation, the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Health should liaise together to ensure that people get clean drinking water in every part of the country. Majority of Kenyans fall sick because of consuming contaminated water. Why can we not work together, as a nation, to ensure that we provide clean drinking for everybody in this country? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, whenever we give recommendations to the Ministry, they should be taken seriously. The officers of the Ministry, who have accompanied the Minister today, should listen and note what the hon. Members are saying, so that they can implement their recommendations in future. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Ministry's Vote. Among the duties that the Ministry for Water and Irrigation has in this country is food security through irrigation. That has been done. A lot of good work has been done, including the reviving of a number of irrigation projects in this country. We appreciate and thank the Ministry for that work. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have one problem with the irrigation scheme in Nyando District. I thank the Government for the good work of reviving the Ahero and West Kano irrigation schemes. But there is a problem of the Government not providing money for the farmers' recurrent expenses. Previously, the Government used to provide money to farmers to do whatever they wanted to do. But now, it is a different thing. The problem it has caused is: It has created room for thugs who come to the schemes in the name of people owning microfinance institutions to support the farmers.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the colleagues of the Minister could allow him to listen to me!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want your attention! I want your support! Could you protect the Minister so that he could listen to me very well?
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is Prof. Olweny in order to force you to listen to him? He is ordering you to be attentive to him!
Order, Mr. Wetangula! Please, take your seat! I have heard you! Mr. Wetangula, you are an old hon. Member of this House and you have had an occasion to sit in this Chair. You know very well that there is no hon. Member who can order the Chair. But the Chair has to listen!
Rule him out of order!
Order, Mr. Wanjala! You know the Chair has powers. If you do not know, refer to Standing Order No.1. Please, leave the Minister to take notes! Proceed, Prof. Olweny!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I simply wanted to draw the Minister's attention to the fact that, Ahero and West Kano irrigation schemes are not performing today because the Government allowed thugs in form of people owning microfinance institutions to go there. Those are actually politicians. They ran out of money and now, nobody can sponsor the farmers' activities. The microfinance institutions had an arrangement of giving farmers small loans 3322 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 that they could repay after they have harvested. We have problems at Ahero and West Kano irrigation schemes. The Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) is supporting farmers in Mwea. But the AFC in Kisumu has refused to give money to farmers in Ahero and West Kano irrigation schemes claiming that farmers in those two schemes do not have title deeds. Which farmers own title deeds? The land belongs to the National Irrigation Board (NIB). The same arrangement is what we have in Mwea. I wish to request the Minister to request his colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, to direct AFC to support the farmers in Ahero and West Kano irrigation schemes. We have serious problems there. The schemes have stalled! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have seen that some money has been set aside for the control of floods in Nyando District. Of course, we have been having floods year in, year out, for the last four years. The last financial year---
Order, Prof. Olweny! Are you going to respect the agreement between hon. Members that you are going to limit your time so that other hon. Members could have a chance to contribute to the Vote?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, how many minutes? I have just talked for a minute!
It is an honourable agreement!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to just make one more point. The floods control in Nyando District has been going on. In the last financial year, there was money set aside for floods control, as we have it in this financial year. There was a spillway that was supposed to be done on Nyando River, which is within my constituency at a village called Obiayo. Nothing has been done so far. I appeal to the officers concerned! Whenever there are some little rains, Nyando River overflows its banks at that point. We have all the water in schools, whole villages are flooded and the road there is now spoilt beyond use just because Nyando River keeps on bursting its banks at that point. Why can the Ministry not use the money to make the spillway that had been designed? What is holding them? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, due to your concern for the other hon. Members who want to contribute, I will stop at that point, although I had a lot to say.
Let us also consider the issue of gender. Ms. Mwau!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir---
Order! Order, Mr. Mwenje! This is not a market place! The Chair has recognised Ms. Mwau.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Speaker, Sir for giving me this opportunity. This is one Ministry that has done a good job. I agree with the hon. Members who have spoken before me, that it has been able to reach out to all constituencies and addressed their needs for water. The job that is done by this Ministry happens at the national level. Do the District Water Officers and the Divisional Water Officers sign performance contracts like other Ministry officials? We have a problem with water officers at the divisional level. Most of the time, they complain of lack of fuel and means of transport to get them to water points. It is important that the Ministry finds out what is happening at the district and divisional levels. I want to talk about the water policy with regard to water harvesting at all levels. This is also done through collection of water from house roofs when it is raining. This water is sometimes August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3323 left to flow to Lake Victoria leaving us with no water at all. There is need for the Ministry to come up with a policy with regard to this issue. We also need to come up with an Act of Parliament so that those people who have roofed houses can be forced to harvest water during the rainy season. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me talk about irrigation. In ASAL areas, we have wonderful soils which can grow enough food to feed Kenyans. There is need for us to set up water pans and wells so that we can carry out irrigation, grow enough food and be self-sufficient. I also want to add my voice to an issue that many hon. Members have spoken about, of making sure that there is a borehole in every location. The Ministry is doing a wonderful job in drilling boreholes and wells. However, more has to be done at the village level so that we can get water nearer to the people. This would help women to save the time they spend in fetching water and be able to do other chores. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, since I want to give other hon. Members an opportunity to contribute, I support this Vote. More money needs to be given to this Ministry so that more people in the local communities can access water.
Order, hon. Members! Please note that this debate continues until tomorrow. So, for those who have shown interest, you will have first priority tomorrow. The Chair has ordered that you are going to have the first priority tomorrow. So, do not give up hope because we want all those who are interested to contribute.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all let me compliment the Minister and his staff for the sterling performance that they have done in the last few years. I do hope that the good work will be continued at different levels. I have many points but let me just make one important point. It is good that the Minister for Finance is here. This country is experiencing a very interesting scenario, particularly in the drinking---
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the hon. Member who I know is in ODM(K) to address the House from the Dispatch Box?
As an Assistant Minister, you should know that he is one of the Whips and, therefore, he is entitled to speak from the Dispatch Box!
Please remind him again! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a litre of premium petrol in this country is costing about Kshs78. Besides you, there are two bottles of mineral water. One litre is going for almost Kshs120. I think this is a scandal. Late in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Kenya used to have tap water as clean drinking water. Something is amiss. That is why I am asking the Minister and his staff to re-look at that policy regarding taxing bottled mineral water. Most of the companies bottling water are doing it directly from the tap. I do not want to name names because of commercial concerns. But in this year's Budget, the Minister has added an extra excise of Kshs6 per litre, again, to aggravate the serious problem still existing in the industry of bottled water. I think there is an urgent need for the Minister for Water and Irrigation and the Minister for Finance to re-look at this sector which caters for tourism and the hotels. The other day when I was at the Intercontinental Hotel, I was served with water from Italy. When I asked them why, they told me that the brand is called Pelgrino Water and it is cheaper to import water from Italy and other countries than the locally-produced water. Therefore, I think the Minister and his staff, including the Minister for Finance, who is here, should look at this proposal. I can assure you that when the 3324 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 21, 2007 Finance Bill comes to the Floor of the House, we are going to delete and strike out the 10 per cent Excise Duty. With those few remarks, I support.
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rose on a point of order before he finished! Is he in order to say that there are companies in Kenya who are bottling water and syphoning money from Kenyans? Why can he not name those companies? Is he in order not to name them?
We have heard you but time is up, so we cannot go back there! Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry!
On a point of order, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I have been standing here for sometime, yet Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry just walks in, comes to you there, whispers to you and he is given an opportunity to speak before us! Is it in order for you to allow hon. Members who have just come into the House---
Order! You will not challenge the Chair! This Chair has not recognised you! If the eye of the Chair has not seen you, you have not been seen! Proceed Maj-Gen. Nkaisserry!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. First of all, you were the one who called me to inform the hon. Member. Secondly, I am the substantive Shadow Minister and hon. Muiruri is an Assistant Minister. So, I have the right to speak before him!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to commend the Minister for a wonderful presentation. Secondly, I would like to point out that the problems of water services companies are becoming a bottleneck for consumers in this country. So, the Minister needs to look at the policy afresh. Similarly, we need to have a policy on water catchment areas, so that an area like the Mau ecosystem is fully protected because it supports a wide area of this nation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other policy which is not very clear is that one on irrigation and water harvesting. We now have rains and a lot of water is running all the way down into the Indian Ocean. What is the policy on this? So, these are the issues which the Ministry should address. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the final point which I want to stress is that Kajiado District has 51 sub-locations. If this Ministry is serious in taking services to citizens of this country, then it should at least drill a borehole and construct a dam in each sub-location. This would be very ideal. I must thank the Minister for a job well-done because he has been trying with his technocrats to help, especially the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). They have really given these areas major support within their limited budget. There are critical Ministries in this country such as the Office of the President, Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. We should pump a lot of resources to those Ministries, so that our people can get proper services. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is very important for our local authorities to liaise with this Ministry on the issue of sewage systems. It is a pity that they do not do so. This is really where the problem is. The sewage systems in some of our local authorities are not fully developed. We need to have a policy encompassing all this because water used for sewage systems in this August 21, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3325 country is from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. They sell the water to local authorities. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what I want to stress this evening is the issue of water services companies. We have the regulatory and water boards. These are a waste of time. They are wasting time for Kenyans who are getting water as a very expensive commodity now because of the taxes imposed on us, so that we can support those companies. So, I would recommend that you should dissolve all those companies since we already have the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Company (NWCPC) and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. With those few remarks, I support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me take this opportunity to also thank the Ministry of Water and Irrigation for a job well- done. For many years, our women have travelled long distances to fetch water, especially in parts of North Eastern Province. When a lady walks for about three kilometres to fetch water every day, she covers a distance of about 1,000 kilometres per year. Within a very short time that lady travels about 7,000 kilometres. It is as if she has gone to London and back to fetch water. It is important that the Ministry continues to supply water to every household. This is what the Ministry is doing. For that reason, I would like this Ministry's budget to be increased by at least Kshs1 billion to ensure that every household has enough water. Enough water does not mean only drinking water, but water that is used for other purposes. The Ministry has also done a very commendable job in the sense that it was able to form Nairobi Water Company that deals with water issues in Nairobi City Council. However---
Order! Mr. Muiruri, you will still have eight minutes tomorrow. Hon. Members, it is now time for the interruption of business. The House is, therefore, adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, 22nd August, 2007, at 9.00 a.m. The House rose at 6.30 p.m.