to ask the Minister of State for Special Programmes:- (a) Is the Minister aware that there are over 2,000 displaced families, including children and elderly people who are starving and likely to die of hunger in Kieni Forest of Gatundu North, Thika District and Hombe Ragati and Cheche Forest in Mathira Constituency? (b) What urgent measures will the Minister take to save them from disease and imminent death as a result of starvation and cold weather?
Is Mr. Gachagua not here?
Yesterday, this Question was deferred to today. If the hon. Member is not here, then I have to drop this Question.
Is Mr. Mbai also not here? The Question is dropped!
Next Question by the Member of Parliament for Butula Constituency!
3518 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007
She has just walked in!
Prof. Mango, I am just about to drop your Question, madam! This House is now waiting for you to ask your Question.
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) what the Ministry is doing to supply residents of Bumala Market with clean water; and, (b) how much money the Government has set aside for irrigation schemes in Ibanda, Neela, Irana, Burinda and Mundasi as a strategy for income generation and increased food production.
Is the Minister for Water and Irrigation not here? Next Question by the Member of Parliament for Laisamis Constituency!
Is the Member of Parliament for Laisamis Constituency not here? The Question is dropped!
Now, this House has just made history; that none of the Questions that are listed on the Order Paper has been answered. Only one of them has been asked. I have no words to express my utmost disappointment at the performance of this House this morning. For the second time, Question by the Member of Parliament for Butula Constituency!
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) what the Ministry is doing to supply residents of Bumala Market with clean water; and, (b) how much money the Government has set aside for irrigation schemes in Ibanda, Neela, Irana, Burinda and Mundasi as a strategy for income generation and increased food production.
Since, the Minister is not here to answer the Question by the Member of Parliament for Butula Constituency, could I hear from the Leader of Government Business, so that I know how to treat it?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3519 Sir, I really wish to ask for your indulgence that this Question, being the second-last on the Order Paper, I am sure the Minister presumed that Question Time would still be on by 9.30 a.m. Honestly, I have no words to explain the situation.
Your Excellency the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, you have no words. Really, there is no way a Minister could be timing when a Question would be asked. So, basically, the Minister is not here. As it is the practice, we will give the Question another chance. Therefore, the Question is deferred to tomorrow afternoon!
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. So that we do not have such a precedence being set; where the House will end up not having a single Question answered, could I plead with the Chair that it uses Standing Order No.1 to ask any hon. Member on the Back Bench to ask Question No.208, since the Assistant Minister is here to answer it?
No, I will not use that discretion because it is the responsibility of the Questioner to be here. The hon. Member also knows that if he is not here for any reason, except in the case of Questions by Private Notice, he can ask another hon. Member to ask the Question on his behalf. Since that has not been done, I have no alternative, but to let this House make that history of not having done even a single Question. Next Order!
We are now on the Motion by Prof. Mango, which seeks to introduce a Bill entitled "the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children's Fund Bill." This Motion has a balance of 35 minutes. Prof. Maathai concluded her contribution. Therefore, we will now listen to any other person who wishes to contribute to this Motion. 3520 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 Yes, Mr. ole Metito!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this very important Motion. I would like to thank Prof. Mango, for moving this Motion. Last year, this House passed a similar Motion on orphans and vulnerable children, with regard to the provision of free secondary education. But that Motion was never implemented. Prof. Mango has moved in the right direction to seek leave to introduce a Bill that will cater for those important people in our society. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have over 1.2 million orphans in our country. As the Mover of the Motion has correctly put it, those orphans are suffering a lot. They cannot access or benefit from free primary education because they lack other facilities that are required like clothing, uniforms and even food in order to attend classes comfortably.
Order, Mr. ole Metito! You have about four minutes to finalise your contribution!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is need to implement Motions that are brought in this House, like the one I brought last year urging the Government to order schools to release certificates to secondary school leavers. We should put such a Motion in a legal framework. That will compel the Government to offer those poor orphans clothing, shelter, medical facilities and basic human rights. I hope this House will pass the proposed Bill before it is dissolved. If Parliament is dissolved after having passed this important Bill, we will have done justice to that section of our society. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not want to take much time. I support this Motion and kindly ask the House Business Committee to give it priority, so that we can debate and pass it before we end this Session. Thank you.
Hon. Members, the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs will respond on behalf of the Government. This Motion is coming to an end. It is now time for the Government to respond!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to respond on behalf of our Ministry. I am sorry that I was away last week, when the Motion was moved. I know there have been a lot of contributions to the Motion. I will respond purely from experience, because I did not have the opportunity to listen to the contributors to this Motion. First of all, I want to thank the Mover, Prof. Mango who, over a period of time in this House, has been very concerned about the issue of orphans. That is so when you look at the number of Questions that she has brought to this House for the welfare of the children. I commend her. The Motion is very well-intentioned. For any Motion that has got financial implications, the Mover should always consult the Ministry of Finance in order to see how the Government could respond. The Government recognises the plight of orphans in this country. We know what causes the children to be orphans. We know that the HIV/AIDS scourge has created very many orphans in our country. At the last count, it is believed that there are well over two million orphans in this country. Those orphans suffer a great deal. They are very vulnerable to exploitation. There are people who use them to offer child labour. Newspapers have highlighted many cases where six- year olds or seven-year olds are seen working in quarries, looking after livestock and picking coffee. We have seen ten year olds spending most of the day carrying water for very bad employers. We recognise the plight of orphans. These have even been those who have been involved in child trafficking. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to commend Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3521 that run orphanages around the country, particularly those of religious persuasion. They have done a commendable job. It would take a lot of money to set up orphanages around the country to take care of 2 million orphans. The last contributor has just mentioned some of the requirements of the orphans. It is not just a roof over their heads. They need food, clothing, uniforms for those who go to school and transportation. A lot of money is required. It is not easy to run orphanages even with those good intentions. There are people who have exploited orphans by running homes. They attract a lot of money from donors and yet, they do not look after the children properly. Even with all those good intentions and all the cleanliness that you find in orphanages, a child who grows up in an orphanage is not the same as one who grows up in a normal home. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Department of Children, which is in the Office of the Vice- President and Ministry of Home Affairs recognises that fact. We are trying to experiment with the system which, I believe, over the years, will be able to tackle the problems affecting orphans. We call it a Cash Transfer Scheme. We started with 500 families in five districts. We have taken an orphan and put him or her in a family where there is a man, wife and, maybe, two or three children. We supplemented the income of that family initially by Kshs500 a month and, later on, increased it to Kshs1,000 a month. Over the last 18 months, we have moved from three districts to 15 districts. We now have 5,000 children who are under that scheme. Our children officers scout around in areas where there is extreme poverty and many orphans and select a responsible family to give that child. We then give that family Kshs1,000 a month to look after the child. We have found out that, that is an extremely good system. Obviously, it has its challenges. But now that we were given money to employ more children officers, it is much easier to monitor the families where those children are. That scheme has worked extremely well in some countries. Early this year, I had the privilege of visiting Columbia in South America where the system started about eight years ago. The system has taken care of nearly 90 per cent of all orphaned children in that country and it is working very well. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Turkey is another country where there are many orphans, partly because of the many earthquakes that have killed a good number of parents and left many orphans. They are using the same system of cash transfer and it seems to be working very well. Since we have gone many steps ahead, neighbouring countries have heard what we are doing and they have, indeed, sent some of their officers from their children departments to come and see what we are doing. We are now taking the lead in East and Central Africa and, perhaps, in the whole of Africa as the first country to try and help orphans by placing them in families. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to call upon Kenyans, that with a population of 37 million people, I believe that one can say that there are, at least, 10 million families in the country. We can further say that out of the 10 million families in the country, at least, five million families can accommodate an extra child. With five million families that can take an extra child and we have 2 million orphans, surely, if each of those five million families took in a child, the issue of institutional homes would be history. That would mean that all children would be within a home. You cannot have an alternative to a home where there is maternal or paternal love. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, that is probably asking for too much of our people. With proper census showing the numbers and with us taking serious action about it, we will continue to ask the Ministry of Finance to allocate a certain amount of money, in the Budget, so that we can continue to increase the number of children that are brought under the Cash Transfer Scheme. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as one of the organisations that has come forward to assist us in this scheme. As we discuss with development partners, quite a number of other countries are coming aboard. However, 3522 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 as we improve our economy, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that there is sufficient money in the Budget that will help us sustain this programme. Under the circumstances, while I have no problem with this Motion, or leave to introduce a Bill to this Parliament, perhaps I would like to ask the Mover to wait a little longer so that we can see how things are going. Then I am sure, there will really be no need for this Bill to come to this House because we are already at the bottom rank of implementing what the good professor has brought in. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Well, you still have some five minutes.
I had agreed to donate it to hon. Munya.
Mr. Munya, you have precisely five minutes, then I will ask the Mover to reply. She can also donate some of her time if she so wishes.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to take this opportunity to support this very important Motion. Our society has changed after interacting with the West. The support structures in our traditional society that took care of vulnerable children such as orphans are no longer there because of the individualisation and the technification of our society. We have broken down the cultural values and the extended family support that used to take care of these children. This is, therefore, a very opportune time for the Government to intervene and put up infrastructure that can take care of these children so that they can grow up to be responsible citizens who can contribute to the development of our country. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, most people who are providing support to these children are in Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Some of them, probably, who have very good intentions have established homes that take care of these children. Others have interests which are probably not necessarily very noble in taking care of these children. That is why we need, not only money, brought in by the Government to take care of these children, but also a framework within which we can take care of them. We also have the Children's Department that deals with these kind of children. However, the Children's Department is not very adequately funded to intervene in all the aspects. The Children's Department mainly deals with the legal aspects of protecting the children from rape and abuse. The need to provide the social and economic environment that can make these kids grow up properly is not provided for by the Children's Department due to lack of funds and lack of the legal infrastructure to strengthen that department and make it provide all the aspects that are required to support these children. That is why this Motion will be very useful in doing exactly that. Once that is done, it will be of benefit to the entire society. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, more often than not, the criminals that we deal with are children who have been left to grow in a wild environment with no one to support them. They grow into criminals whom we are forced to use a lot of money later to deal with; trying them in court and putting them in jail. If we had intervened in the earlier stages when they were young children and moulded them into responsible citizens of this country, then the society would not have to pay the prize we pay when they grow up into monsters that we have to deal with. That is why this is a very critical issue that we must deal with. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of teenage problems such as child delinquency and child prostitution that we see in our country are real problems which we have to deal with them. Most of the time we have these problems because these children were left with no one to take care of them. They have to fend for themselves. What else can they engage in apart from engaging in prostitution and all sorts of petty crime, including drug pushing to support themselves? Again, it is the larger society that pays for that in terms of trying to control and investigate crime. This is why this August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3523 Motion is very important for us as a society. We should try and see how we can deal with this big problem that is growing, and yet we have not been able to deal with it. With those few remarks I beg to support.
It is time for the Mover to reply.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, because the Motion has elicited a lot of interest, some of my colleagues have asked me to give each one of them a few minutes to contribute. I will give three minutes to Mr. Miriti, three minutes to Mr. Muturi and three minutes to Mr. Ojaamong.
How many minutes do you have, Prof. Mango?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I should have half an hour!
You have ten minutes! You have just given out nine minutes, which leaves you with one minute.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I will give one minute to Mr. Miriti, one minute to Mr. Muturi, one minute to Mr. Ojaamong and one minute to Mr. Karaba. That leaves me with six minutes to reply.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank Prof. Mango for that offer. First, it is not only the HIV/AIDS scourge orphans who suffer. There are so many children who are orphaned through accidents and divorce cases, who are left suffering in their homes. I feel that all these cases should be included in the Bill once it comes up. We have cases of people who have volunteered to cater for orphans and they are being punished for doing so. I have a case in mind in Maua, where a lady called Ms. Muthoni, who runs an orphans institution at Ituguriro is going through court cases because of her compassionate appeal to people to support these orphans. People have framed up charges against this lady because of what she is doing. I would like to call upon the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs to intervene in this case. This lady has helped so many orphans, but she is being accused of child trafficking because of taking children from Meru North to her cottage.
Your time is up!
Okay. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
You see, it is not the responsibility of the Chair to police the hon. Members. It is up to Prof. Mango to do so. When your time is up, Prof. Mango---
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Mover for coming up with this Motion. The Motion is very good and laudable, but it is seeking to introduce a legislative framework. I think it is imperative for the Government to support this Motion by developing a policy framework upon which the legislation will be anchored. As you have heard, even from the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs himself, the current interventions are, in a manner of speaking, very haphazard. The way assistance is offered to those who are affected by the HIV/AIDS scourge cannot be described as structured. Therefore, I would like to support this Motion and hope that the Mover will have enough time to develop the legislation alongside the Ministry's framework. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Prof. Mango, you have taken responsibility which is not yours! Yes, Mr. Karaba!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Mover and the Chair for 3524 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 giving me this one minute to support this very important Motion. This Motion seeks to make sure that children who are yet to join Standard One or Form Four are taken care of by the Government. Very many bogus homes have been established in our rural areas which are seeking for money from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and when they get the money, the rich people continue to enrich themselves. These homes should either be closed down or investigated. I have one in Kirinyaga called Ngata Children's Home, where the children are being used by a politician. They are ferried up and down shouting slogans in the politician's support. Sometimes they are even locked in. There are already eight children who have been locked in by somebody in Kirinyaga and nothing is happening. I would like to ask the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, who is here, to investigate the plight of the children in Ngata Children's Home. With those few remarks, I support the Motion.
Order! Prof. Mango, you are really out of order! You have five minutes left!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I must thank the Mover of the Motion for having brought this Motion to the House. If you went to any school now, you will find that almost half of the children are either orphans or vulnerable. The Ministry of Home Affairs has done very little to assist these vulnerable children. The Ministry has gone a long way to assist prisoners more than these vulnerable children. The Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs and hon. Munya have talked about the NGOs, who are making a kill out of these vulnerable children. It would be proper if the Ministry of Home Affairs made public the NGOs which are currently working on issues related to children. Those NGOs should be asked to disclose how much money they receive from the donors to assist the children and how many children they have assisted. If this is done, it would come out that most of the people who are running these homes or the NGOs which purport to be assisting children have actually made a lot of money from these programmes. They have even bought so many big houses. These NGOs should be very transparent, like they always ask Parliament to be. With those few remarks, I beg to reply.
Prof. Mango, you have three minutes!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I take this opportunity to thank hon. Members who have supported this Motion. I would like to thank the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs for his contribution. The children of a nation are the wealth of that nation and the future human resource of the nation. Therefore, we cannot continue talking about our children on ad hoc basis. We need to have a legal framework against which we can have a systematic support and care for these children. We cannot afford to have two million children, who we are not sure about, left to the woods and to the NGOs to take care of. The Government has a responsibility to the children of this nation. They are members of this nation and they have to be taken care of. That is why I am seeking leave of the House to have a Bill which will lay out a legal framework within which these children can be supported. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, currently, thousands of these children have no shelter, food, clothing, medical care and their education is highly compromised. They drop out of school and engage themselves in child labour, prostitution and all undesirable activities. We do not want to create a nation of Mungiki, which is a creation from the street children. As long as these children are not catered for, they will become thieves, robbers, truants and drug abusers, and we will end up having a generation that is lost. August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3525 It is incumbent upon this nation to take care of these children. We, as legislators, have a responsibility. We have a chance of advocacy and influence over the Provincial Administration, district administrators and all the NGOs within our constituencies, who we should be talking to about these children. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as legislators, we have access to regional bodies who also have a problem. As I said in my introductory remarks, the African continent has 14 million orphans. Therefore, this is a continental problem which we need to talk about as legislators and influence legislation to take care of these children. They are not from the outer space. They are our children and if we do not carry the load of supporting these orphans---
Professor, your time is up!
With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Next Order! A BILL TO AMEND THE WATER ACT THAT, being aware of the critical role the Government is bound to play in the sound management of the provision of clean water for domestic use to the public at a cost effective rate; concerned that some private water service providers have taken advantage of certain inherent weaknesses in the Water Act, 2002 resulting in their focusing more on making profits than on improving water quality and supply, this House grants leave to introduce a Bill for an Act of Parliament to amend the Water Act in order to provide for public sector participation in the sustainable management of provision of water services and for matters incidental thereto and connected therewith.
Mr. Mirugi is not here? He is not here! The Motion is dropped!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, cognizant of the fact that Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) constitute about 80 per cent of Kenya's land mass; aware that the ASALs are inhabited by about 10 million people; further aware that these ASALs contribute about 90 per cent of the country's meat production and have enormous potential for minerals; this House grants leave to introduce the Arid and Semi-Arid Land Development Bill which will guarantee channelling of investment-capital into ASALs to increase Kenya's land productivity by involving residents of ASALs into Kenya's wealth creation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion speaks for itself in matters of wealth and resource distribution of this nation to Kenyans who live in various parts of this country. Kenya as a nation, is made up of vast land that is unused. As we know, Kenyans love land. They fight to get only a small portion of Kenya's land mass. The rest of it is lying un-utilized simply because the resources available for utilisation of land, either have not been properly directed or other areas have just been ignored because development has not been considered important for the people living 3526 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 there. This Motion tells us a lot about the utilisation of land in this country and what we have not discovered but is important for the development of Kenyans. The people who live in ASALs are considered poor and lacking in technology. Sometimes they are called lazy people, which is not true. Kenya has really not tapped its potential considering that 80 per cent of the land mass is un- utilized. I do not mean that there are no people in those parts of the country. There are people living on 80 per cent of the surface of Kenya and who are considered undeveloped, not interested in development, unable to even sustain their own lives. Those people can do much more than those of us who are enjoying life on 20 per cent of Kenyan land mass. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, all that is lacking and what this Motion intends to do, is to call upon the Government to direct development resources to these parts of Kenya instead of year in, year out, sending piece-meal support to them. Every now and then we hear of famine, lack of water and cattle rustling. There is even no security to protect the lives of people living in those vast land masses. There are no resources available to them to ensure that they develop water to use for domestic purposes or irrigation. There are no resources to help them develop roads or cultivate and utilise the land for their own food production. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that Kenyans like eating meat. It is important to note that 80 per cent or 90 per cent of the country's meat is produced in those areas. They cannot be poor or helpless and yet they are able to produce that much meat that this country likes to eat and some of it is exported. With little support, those people could do a lot to increase the wealth of this country. In any case, no Kenyan wants to go hungry or wants to be assisted from day to day. They too want to feel proud that they can manage their own lives. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are saying that this is the reason why this country must think seriously of devolving the country's resources and even allowing people in their regions to take control of their environment and their essential needs. If, for instance, wealth is concentrated in the centre of the country, around Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa and the rest of the country is left without resources, then that is what Kenyans refer to as discrimination and lack of sensitivity to the needs of the rest of the country. Resources must be devolved to those areas where people are unable to develop their environment so that they can produce resources and essential needs for themselves. Kenyans are not lazy. Even those who live in the dry arid lands have survived and have been able to supply resources to this country because, they are working against environmental hazards, harsh environment and natural calamities. They have cultivated on these same land, generation after generation. The Government needs to focus its attention on these areas, so that we expand our catchment areas for revenue and economic growth of our nation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, people in ASAL areas are capable of producing maize, fruits, flowers and all kinds of crops. Most of these crops can be exported to earn foreign income as well as contributing to the distribution of food to the rest of the country, where the environment does not allow such foods to grow. Recently, when some parts of Garissa were well irrigated during the District Focus for Rural Development, we saw a lot of bananas, water melons and other fruits being grown there. This helped a lot. These fruits should be exported to Western Province. Our people would also be happy to eat bananas from North Eastern Province just like people in this province are happy to eat maize from Western Province. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are informed by geologists that these lands also have gemstones that have never been tapped. How do we know that we could not one day effectively mine oil from these areas? If Kenya was to put its resources and technology to work, we could become an oil producing country just like any other country in Africa. That would change the living standards of people in this country completely. August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3527 It is very important that this House looks seriously into the areas that are not fully used. We, as legislators, should be able to put in place legal frameworks that will help the Government to send resources to those areas that are not fully utilised today. This is the only way we can help every corner of the country to exploit their potential. We will not only satisfy our nationals in terms of ensuring that they too are part and parcel of activities that go on to produce wealth and develop the nation, but they also become a focus of development resources and thus feel that they are appreciated. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when people are not assisted they tend to think that the Government is not helping them and that it has ignored them. They tend to think that the Government has deliberately designed to leave them out of its activities. I am sure the Kenya Government does not intend to do that. The only way for the Government to show that it is not doing that is to ensure that as we allocate money in this House for various development projects, we start to think very seriously about Kenyans who live in poverty. This poverty is not meant for them, but the Government has deliberately failed to provide for them. We pass Budgets in this House, year in, year out and we do not reflect in those Budgets funds that could go to the development of ASAL and semi-ASAL areas, to provide for those people and increase this country's productivity. We are acting as though we are not aware of our responsibilities to the rest of this country. We are acting as though we do not even know the vastness of our own nation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to urge this House to support this Motion to enable me to bring to this House a Bill that will put into---
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could you protect me from the loud consultations?
Order, hon. Members! Please, consult in low tones. Please, continue.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am addressing the Government Bench. We are talking about the Government being sensitive to the people in ASAL areas---
Order, Mr. Wamwere! Could you, please, follow the rules of the House.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as we near the end of the Ninth Parliament, we have been accused in this House of not providing for Kenyans in terms of our contributions to the legislative process. I would like the House to debate this Motion carefully taking into consideration that the majority of our land is not utilised and it is occupied by poor people. These are the people we will go to ask for votes from. The money that will be spent by the rich people to get just one vote during the next General Election could go a long way to provide not just livelihood and comfort to many people, but also save the children from dying. It will also enable the Government to fence those areas and protect people who are harassed by cattle rustlers who take away the little livelihood they have. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the chance to second this Motion. From the outset, I would like to congratulate Prof. Ojiambo for her sterling performance in bringing important Motions and Bills to this House.
On a 3528 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 point or order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I was just wondering whether the hon. Member can address the House from where he was seated?
That is a frivolous point of order.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is unfortunate that at this tail-end of the Parliament, a senior hon. Member who is an Assistant Minister cannot understand the Standing Orders regarding which position of the House an hon. Member should contribute from. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to congratulate Prof. Ojiambo for a sterling performance in bringing important Motions and Bills to this House. I remember very well that she brought the Cotton Bill which was passed by this House. She has now brought a very important Motion which addresses an area which has been left out in the planning and development of this country. The Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (ASALs) have not been properly factored in the management of affairs of this country. Looking at the publication by the Government, 22 districts out of more than 100 districts in this country have been designated as ASAL lands. The management of resources, development and affairs in the ASAL areas has not been properly addressed. The Government addresses---
Order, Messrs. Wamunyinyi, Kenneth and Bifwoli. Could you, please, consult in low tones?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) have been managed through very amorphous and ad hoc instruments by the Government. The Ministry of State for Special Programmes is designated from time-to-time to run affairs of ASALs. The Government actually addresses issues when it is convenient for that Ministry to tackle issues pertaining to a particular disaster or issue which has a national outcry or importance. We also have the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities which again fails in the management of affairs of ASALs. The Ministry of Regional Development Authorities, again, is the principal Ministry which manages the affairs of the regional developments in the area, particularly the ASALs. We have the Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA) which actually covers a wider part of the ASALs. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, therefore, it is quite in order to have such a legislation brought to this House in order to mainstream the running of affairs and economic productivity and stimulation of ASALs in this country. Therefore, I would like to support this Motion because it targets a very important area which has been marginalised for a very long time. Indeed, the ASALs also comprise a larger number of our communities who have also been marginalised in the democratic management of affairs of this country. If you look at the North Eastern Province, the upper region of Eastern Province and also some parts of the southern part of Eastern Province, you will find that these are some of the areas in which we find that we have enormous economic potential. For example, in the southern region of Eastern Province we have enormous potential of coal deposits, particularly in Kitui and Mwingi areas. In fact, this has been certified to be an area where we can be able to get enormous coal resources which are of economic value. Whenever we raise this issue, we are told that the tenders are just about to opened for it to be exploited. With a Bill or an Act of Parliament, it will actually set up the framework of trying to address investment in these areas which have been marginalised or have been left out in the planning of this country. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the livestock sector is a very important one in this economy. I am happy to report that the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development has been trying to revive the livestock industry in this country. It will be remembered that in the 1980s and 1990s, this country was a powerhouse in the production of meat exports, particularly to the European Union August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3529 (EU) and also some parts of the Middle East. Indeed, this trade was lost to countries like Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Therefore, in bringing the ASALs into the mainstream planning in form of a direct policy statement such as an Act of Parliament, we will be able to bring in over 200 million livestock which is actually right now managed by a Ministry, but which is not directly managing the affairs of ASALs. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, again, if you look at the appropriate linkages of other ministries to the ASALs, you will find that it is not only their potential in livestock production that matters. We also have other areas like agriculture, water, education and so on. We do not have a direct linkage of trying to bring these other departments to manage the affairs of ASALs as such. Therefore, establishing a Bill or an Act of Parliament will enable the Government to have a clear policy linkage of other important departments such as agriculture and roads, to be able to revive and tap the potential in ASALs. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, notwithstanding my previous contribution, I do again say that if we address the issue of ASALs, we will be trying to democratise the management of the economic affairs of these areas which have been marginalised for a very long time. With those few remarks, I support the creation of ASALs development in the form of a Bill. I beg to second.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to say a few words about this Motion. To begin with, I want to congratulate the Mover and like I have said earlier on with regard to the earlier Motion, I want to appreciate that though we are uncertain, we are definitely sure that we are at the tail-end of this Ninth Parliament. A Motion of this nature, important in my view as it is, should be a wake up call to the Government that we need specific policies being brought to this House for debate and adoption. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, whereas we appreciate the enormous potential within the ASALs to contribute to the economic well being of this country, the interventions that go into them by way of investment capital and incentives are done in a manner that is sustainable, not by way of the usual stories that we see like that of the revival of the livestock sector. We support the revival of the livestock sector, but what is the policy framework? We wait until there has been a drought, flash floods or normal floods until we see livestock dying to see a Minister of the Government coming up and saying that we are now looking for funds to do this or the other. We would want to support the revival of the livestock sector. However, we want a policy and legislative framework, which is what is sought by this Motion. I am pointing out this issue because drafting such a legislative framework is not easy. I do not think that we have so much time to do so. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, since I see in this Motion that the Government's position is supposed to be given by the Ministry of Planning and National Development, whose Minister and Assistant Ministers are all absent, not desiring to be present, I would hope that the Government, as represented by the few Ministers and Assistant Ministers who are here, will take it upon itself to see that, even if the law is not developed within the remaining period of this Ninth Parliament, at least, we see something crafted. I suppose the Government will be crafting some manifesto. Even though they do not implement what is always in their manifesto, we would want to see something put into a policy form. We want to see policy formulation, which addresses, not just livestock, but the whole spectrum of pastoralism. Ranching in this country should be an important economic activity, but only a few ranchers go and decide that they want to engage in that particular economic activity because the country is liberal. However, there is no framework in which it is undertaken. We would want to urge that the 3530 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 Government comes up with something which somebody can see. You can go to either the Kenya Investments Authority and know that this is the policy with regard to pastoralism. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, one just needs to go to some countries in Southern Africa to appreciate what I am saying. Two weeks ago, I was in Zambia. In that country, you can see deliberate efforts to encourage ranching. That is the kind of thing we are talking about. We need to zone the country. We need to appreciate the lifestyle of the people, or inhabitants of ASAL areas, so that even as we encourage investment in those areas, we do not displace those inhabitants. They must be accommodated by whatever policy we come up with. We must not continue with what we have done since the colonial days, namely lumping them into "useless Kenya" bandwidth, as opposed to "economically useful Kenya". What this Motion is urging is that, that area is also part of Kenya, capable of contributing immensely to the economic well-being of this country. I expect that the Government will be supporting this Motion, and giving us specific actions it wishes to take. We do not want sporadic and unco-ordinated interventions that we have been seeing. Indeed, the previous Government was accused of such things. We have not seen anything different from the current Government, because, just like the previous Government, it lacks both policy and a legislative framework within which interventions can be undertaken in the ASAL areas.
I am happy that as I speak, the Assistant Minister in that Ministry has walked in from the gym, and I welcome him. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we do not want statements of sympathy or platitudes or high- sounding phrases, which are merely meant to be vote-catching, to be used when everybody goes to visit people in ASAL areas. We want people to visit the ASAL areas with definite programmes. It is not enough to come and say: "We have something in the Printed Estimates. We will drill boreholes". We need real programmes. It is not all those areas that will require boreholes. Therefore, if we do not have something which is well-planned, we will end up with all manner of things being littered and scattered all over. It is, indeed, not surprising that even when it comes to addressing issues to do with flooding, the kind of pathetic situations we have witnessed for decades afflicting Budalang'i area, again, because there has not been anything that has been well-planned, today there will be an intervention because Mr. Wanjala has made noise or cried out there; they will rush there with some money. However, because there has not been something that has been planned, within one or two or three years, you find Mr. Wanjala, again, crying out. We need proper interventions, and not things that are done because it is important to entice Mr. Wanjala to vote in a particular way. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is not enough that interventions are implemented in a manner that is only meant to ensure a particular voting pattern in those areas. I know that I am speaking for several people who come from the ASAL areas. Since we have identified the ASAL districts in this country, what this Motion is calling upon us to do, as a House and as a country, is: Having identified the ASAL districts, let us pick out the peculiar circumstances and needs of each one of them. There are those districts whose inhabitants are nomadic in nature, and others whose inhabitants are not necessarily nomadic, like myself. I am not nomadic myself, both socially and politically. We do not move from one place to another. Therefore, what I am saying is that the peculiar needs of each of those districts need to be identified, so that planning is done properly according to the special needs of the residents of particular districts. With those very few remarks, I beg to support. August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3531
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to speak after the pretender to the seat of the Official Opposition has just spoken.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, ASALs in this country, as the Motion says, constitute in excess of 80 per cent of our land mass. They need special intervention. They need special attention. They need special care. We have said here many times before that the whole definition of what constitutes ASAL, and which areas in this country should qualify to be ASAL, need to be addressed. It has been mistakenly believed that ASAL means the North Eastern Province, the Upper Rift Valley region, the Upper Eastern Province and bits and pieces of Maasailand, yet if you go to Karai Location within Kikuyu Division, you will find very deep conditions that qualify the area to be categorised as ASAL. If you go to Ruthimitu, on the edge of the Rift Valley, you will see ASAL at its worst. If you go to Budalang'i, in Bunyala District, you will see ASAL at play. If you go to the constituency of the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs, you will see that the whole of it is ASAL. If you go to Bumula Constituency, where Mr. Bifwoli is the Member of Parliament, you will see that half of it is ASAL. A third of my constituency is ASAL. I am told that Mukurweini Constituency is also ASAL.
Therefore, when we talk of ASAL, we must start from the premise that ASAL does not exclusively mean northern and north eastern Kenya, but includes many other parts of this country as well. If you go to Thika, you will encounter ASAL conditions. If you go to Athi River, you will encounter ASAL conditions. This Motion seeks to bring a Bill to pay attention to those areas. First and foremost, given the little time left for this Parliament, it is unlikely that Prof. Ojiambo will be able to bring the Bill and have it passed. Secondly, what the Motion is asking us to do is nothing new. That is why I am opposing it. When you want to make interventions in ASAL areas, what are you talking about? You are talking about land management, for which we have the law and policy in place. You are talking of environmental management, for which we have the law and policy in place. You are talking of roads and communication, for which we have the law and policy in place. You talk of communication, education and transport, we have the law and policy in place. What is lacking? What is lacking is the implementation of the stated policies. We need roads, dams, communication antennas and so on. I was happily told by hon. Munyes the other day that, for the first time, Turkanas can watch television. Those are the interventions we need. We do not need a Bill of Parliament because the law is already there. This law that we want to pass, if the Bill comes, how is it going to link and co-ordinate with all the myriad existing laws? Are we going to pluck out the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), roads and water and put all of them in the new Bill? No! I think what we need is an affirmative action to allocate more funds to areas identified and agreed upon as ASAL, and make all the rapid interventions that we require. For example, we need a road from the coast across to Moyale. We need a road from Isiolo to Moyale, 3532 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 so that it can link us to Ethiopia. That will automatically open up the ASAL areas of the north. We need a road to run from the Tanzanian border, through Webuye, Kitale, Kapenguria, Lodwar up to Lokichoggio. That will open up those ASAL areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the issues that has really been bothering me about the ASAL management is the poor management of land. The ecosystem of the ASAL areas is very fragile. In fact, it is very poor. If you go to Kajiado, or Laikipia, today--- The only place where people have not destroyed the lifestyle of ASAL populations is, perhaps, North Eastern Province. People are busy demarcating and fencing land into small unproductive portions, yet the lifestyles of these ASAL communities is such that they have to move and keep on moving. You cannot claim to own a ranch if it is just about 500 acres in an ASAL area. That cannot sustain even 50 head of cattle. We have to evolve a policy of stoping the subdivision of group ranches, so that people can be left to graze their livestock freely. We need to interrogate the Budget to see how much money has been allocated to the Deputy Speaker's constituency for water, because it is an ASAL area. You do not need a Bill of Parliament to do that. All that you need is an allocation of funds under the relevant Ministry, so that they can dam the storm water sufficiently to hold and use it to the next rains. They could drill boreholes to provide clean water for wananchi, build dams to provide water for animals and start micro-irrigation programmes around those micro-dams to produce basic food. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to laud the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development and the Government for reviving the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC). However, we must also learn lessons as to why KMC collapsed. We ended up losing our European market for meat. We ended up losing our manpower in KMC to Botswana. We hope that we will not slip back again. One important thing that this Motion mentions, that needs to be addressed by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, is the prospecting for minerals. If you go to Tanzania, across the border, you will see the intensity with which they are prospecting for minerals. They are now mining coal. They already have diamonds in Mwadui - you must have learned this in primary school. They have discovered uranium, and they also have natural gas. They are busy prospecting for minerals everywhere. Talk of tanzanites in Arusha here! What are we doing here? We have left profiteers to scavenge for stones in Taveta and Taita, and all the other mineral potential in the entire northern and north eastern Kenya has not been prospected at all. I have no doubt in my imagination that we have all the minerals available in our neighbourhood, that is gold, diamonds and so on. If we look for them, I am sure we will find them. We need the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to be more proactive than it is. It needs to prospect for minerals in the ASAL areas, so that we can generate sufficient income in preparation for the achievement of our Vision 2030. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, to end my contribution, I want to laud Mama Julia for bringing the Motion. She has brought very important Motions here, for example the Motion on cotton, which enabled us to eventually pass a Bill. However, on this particular Motion, I am afraid that I will have to part ways with her. I see no reason, or meaning at all, in legislating specifically for ASAL areas, because we already have a myriad of legislations that can serve and help ASAL areas. All we need is a proactive policy. It is this Parliament which approves the Budget, and so it must ensure that there is sufficient allocation of funds for ASAL areas for purposes of improving the lifestyles of people living in the ASAL areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to oppose the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I stand here to support this Motion. Coming from an ASAL district, I want to differ with my very good friend, hon. Wetangula, who has opposed this Motion, perhaps, because he does not come from an ASAL August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3533 district and, therefore, does not know the kind of problems that are prevailing in those areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the majority of the poor in this country live in ASAL districts, and these are areas with a high potential for development. Perhaps, for historical reasons, successive governments have ignored these very important areas. From the colonial period, the first Government, the second Government and even the present Government have ignored the ASAL areas. Take, for example, infrastructure. In the ASAL areas, infrastructure has been neglected. We have roads classified as "A", but which are still not tarmacked to date when, in fact, roads classified as "E" in other areas have been tarmacked. We have roads classified as "B", for example the Kibwezi-Kitui Road which is classified as "B3", yet it has never been touched all because it passes through an ASAL area. The ASAL areas have famine all time simply because successive governments have failed to channel resources to them. Not even water for irrigation has been channelled there. We know that most of the ASAL areas have natural rivers which traverse through them. There are also seasonal rivers. All these rivers could be dammed in order to provide the much-needed water resource for irrigation. The water could be used for both crop production and livestock development. Only last year, we decried the practice of the Government of allocating more resources to areas which have water and neglecting the areas which have no water. To date, the situation has not changed. Look at the Printed Estimates for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. You will be surprised to find that those areas, which are endowed with water resources, have been allocated a lot of money for water, yet those areas without water have been given little money. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Mr. Wetangula talked about this House ensuring that enough resources are allocated for water in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). I want to tell him that for this year alone, a majority of the 22 ASAL districts, including mine, have received Kshs16 million for water development and environmental protection. What can we do with Kshs16 million? This is why I think Prof. Julia Ojiambo should be congratulated for coming up with this Motion. In fact, I wish this Motion was brought much earlier, so that there could be time to prepare the important Bill. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, recently we were informed by private companies that the Bamburi Portland Cement Company and the East African Portland Cement Company have discovered lime of enormous quantities in one of the ASAL districts; Mutomo District. They say that billions of tonnes of lime were buried there. This discovery could transform this country into one of the largest cement producing countries in the world. However, that mineral remains untapped and no work is being done to exploit it. We thank these companies for coming to the aid of those poor people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, coal was discovered in Mui and Kitui many years ago. Mui is in Mwingi District. Today, we have been told that there are huge deposits of this important mineral. However, mining is yet to start. I believe that if we had an ASAL resource development programme where investment capital would be channelled, the coal in Mui would have been mined by now. But I think the general attitude by the Government to neglect these areas has been responsible for the poverty that is prevailing in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if only the Government could agree to channel capital to ASAL regions, this country would be different. Even the deserts of the Middle East in which oil has been found in enormous quantities was due to an effort to allocate capital to exploit the minerals in those deserts. Oil could as well be buried in this country. Why is it that Sudan has found oil? Why is it that Uganda has recently found oil? Why is it that Tanzania has found gas? We are surrounded by those countries! It is just because this country has neglected ASAL regions. I am sure that if Kenya embraced the issue of exploiting minerals in these areas, this country 3534 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 would be different. So, I urge the Government, even while waiting to get the Bill from this Motion to be prepared and passed by this House, to have a fresh look at the ASAL regions. We know that minerals are in these regions. We have just been told about the discovery of gold in Tanzania. We have been told of the discoveries of other minerals in other areas. I want to believe that we are not that unlucky such that we can just be surrounded by countries with minerals yet we do not have them. It is just because we have been negligent and have not done what is required to ensure that we address the issues of ASAL regions. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, before I conclude, even while waiting for the Bill to be passed, I want to urge the Government to have a look at coal mining in Mui in Mwingi District. This mineral should be mined immediately, so that it can help in the production of energy and cement. Coal is one of the products that go in the production of cement. I also want to urge the Government to protect the people of Mutomo from exploitation. Already people are scrambling for the lime that has been discovered there. I want to urge the Government to direct more resources for water development in ASAL regions even while waiting for the Bill to be passed, so that these areas can produce food for the population and export. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I believe that if today Kenya puts more effort in ensuring that capital is directed to ASAL regions, we will be miles ahead in development. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I want to thank Prof. Ojiambo for bringing this Motion to this House. I think it is very important. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I listened very carefully to Mr. Wetangula and his argument. I think it is very important for us to do whatever it takes to exploit the ASAL regions and manage them better than they have been managed, so far. This Motion is seeking leave to guarantee that the channelling of capital to ASAL regions is possible. It is intended to guarantee that resources are channelled to these regions. We know that there have been many laws and Motions passed in this House. There also have been a lot of discussions about the ASAL regions. However, very little action follows that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this country is considered to be poor. However, that is merely a perception in many ways. This country is very rich as is exemplified by the fact that we have very many rich people. There are very many millionaires in this country. What we do not have is good management of our very rich resources. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, two-thirds of our country is ASAL. A majority of our people, up to 70 per cent, live in the one-third arable part of the country. That is where we put all the pressure. That is where we exploit our resources, especially in the agricultural sector. We, as a country, have set ourselves that we can only survive on agriculture, especially cash crops such as coffee and tea. With 70 per cent of our people living in the one-third arable land, we are putting a lot of pressure on that land. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, during a time like this, when it is raining, if you look at our rivers, you can clearly see that we lose tonnes and tonnes of top soil of our land. Therefore, we are constantly changing our country from the arable land to ASAL. A lot of our land is being converted into arid and semi-arid land by cutting down trees and vegetation and allowing the pressure by the people to move towards those forests and more productive areas, when we should be investing more in the ASAL regions in order to allow more people to settle in those drier areas and develop them. We really need, in this country, a strong land management policy. We have tried to introduce this even in the Constitution. I remember when we were in Bomas, I was in the committee on land and environment, and we wanted the new Constitution to address the issue of land management and policy in this country. We have completely refused to commit ourselves to August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3535 manage our land responsibly and accountably as we think of the future. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have talked in this House about the landlessness of the millions of people in this country. We have talked about squatters, and even this morning there was a Question about people who are squatters in a forest. The only reason why people continue putting pressure on the arable land, and especially on our forests, is because we are not investing enough in the ASALs. There are very many people who live in drier areas than the ASALs that we are talking about. People like the Israelis live literally in the desert, and they have been able to convert that land into a green area. They harvest their water, recycle it, protect their soil and do everything we talk about in this country but do not do. In this country we almost think that all of us have to become farmers, and we desperately want to make everybody become a farmer. This would be wrong! What we need to do is to understand the lifestyle of the pastoralists and to support it. We need to support them, not only to continue keeping their animals but also to keep them without converting the land into a desert. So, often we have refrained from controlling the number of animals pastoralists can keep. Surely, with education, pastoralists can also appreciate the fact that we need to keep our animals without desertifying the land that we depend on. It is a fact that the so-called camel-line has been dropping in Kenya. You see more and more camels being raised as the northern part of our country becomes drier and unable to support livestock such as cows and goats. It is very important to invest in our pastoral communities, and work with them so that they can keep their lifestyle but at the same time ensure that the land does not become a desert. What I fear is that with the destruction of the one-third arable part of our country by the farming community, who are constantly cutting down vegetation - it is responsible for the destruction of our forest and gradual desertification of that arable part of our country - and the pressure being put on the ASALs by the pastoral communities, this country will soon become part of the Sahara Desert. It may not happen in our lifetime; maybe not even in the next 100 years, but I can see it happening because we have refused to wake up to the fact that we need to manage our land better.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is no reason why the only answer to water situation in the ASALs is digging boreholes. You never hear of harvesting rain water. If we were harvesting rain water seriously, we would not have the Budalangis of this world, because we would have been able to stop that water upstream, whether it is through dams or making sure that the Cherangany Hills are well forested, so that water stays there and flows slowly and gradually, the way water is supposed to flow from upstream. But we destroy the upstream, the forest do not dam the water and, eventually, we have the tragedies in Budalangi. To me these are all symptoms of very poor management. For that reason, I support this Motion and thank Prof. Ojiambo for bringing it forward.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity. I thank the laureate, Prof. Maathai, but I would like to put it bluntly that when you talk of ASAL, you think of a desert. The simple answer is to plant trees there then there will be no ASAL. It is the trees that are missing in those areas. If you talk of any place where there are trees, it is not considered as ASAL. There is no country in this world that is fully developed. All of us are still developing, but the so-called First World coins some words to keep the developing countries 3536 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 down. They started by calling us under-developed, least-developed, developing, and have used all manner of adjectives to describe the Third World countries, mainly because of the ASALs. But if you go to the USA, they have all types of vegetation areas, including deserts. They are there but they developed them! However, I thank Prof. Ojiambo for bringing here such a wonderful Motion, and I stand here to support it. If this will culminate in the Bill for land development and utilisation, then we will have no more ASAL in this country. If you go to those areas considered as ASAL, they have some of the richest lands in this country, where you do not even need fertilisers to plant anything. The land is very rich but one major thing it lacks is water for anything to grow on it. Just about a week ago, or so, we had the Vote for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. One of things that were captured in the Vote was whether the Ministry could transform ASALs by pumping water into them. The heaviest rains fall in some of the ASAL ares, maybe once a year. However, all the water goes down to rivers, lakes and seas. I was in Samburu sometime early this year, and saw that Mr. Lesrima's constituency is vast. It is almost 600 miles wide. You can even create a man-made lake in those areas. If a lake is created in those areas, the water that will be collected in such a lake can transform the entire area and the word "ASAL" will be a thing of the past. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this reminds me of a few years back, when I was in high school and I was sharing a dormitory with a student from North Eastern Province. That student literally wept when I took a bucket of water and poured it down, when we were doing the cleaning over the weekend. That was his first weekend in the school. He had never seen somebody who can take a bucket of water and just poor it down. The boy broke into tears. When we asked him why he was crying, he said: "Can you not see that Paddy is wasting water?" I said: "But we are doing the cleaning!" He said: "But how can you take a whole bucket of water and pour it down?" Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, water is life in those areas. Pouring down a whole bucket of water on the floor made that boy burst into tears. The first thing the Bill should do, when it is enacted into law, is to provide water to those areas. Water will be used to irrigate the entire arid and semi-arid areas. If we could construct man-made lakes--- Actually, even in India, there is a huge man-made lake which is 100 miles long, 50 miles wide and two miles deep! They are lakes that look like oceans! They can even use it for transport. That alone will transform those arid and semi-arid areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what this Motion intends today is to have wealth creation in those areas. Wealth creation can even start by looking at the infrastructure in those areas. During the pre-Independence days, drawing a map of Kenya was so simple. If you want to draw the map of Kenya, you just put a ruler across the map and track the Northern Frontier District (NFD). Those districts were forgotten. They were actually prohibited areas. You could not travel there. You needed a special permit to go there. Since that time, the subsequent Governments that followed never put in place the infrastructure in those areas. Opening up of roads could, as well, alleviate poverty. That will encourage economic activities across the border. Trade would flourish. But because of lack of roads and infrastructure in those areas, even traders do not venture into those areas. So, this Motion has come at the right time. Its implementation should have been yesterday, so that we could open up those areas. Over 10 million people live in those areas. That is a whole nation that is being forgotten. Time has come for us not to forget what our brethren are doing in those areas. We need to be there. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the water that is required in those areas - and I am glad that even Prof. Maathai has mentioned it--- Each year, thousands of tonnes of top soil in Kenya are washed away down the River Nile into the estuaries of Damietta and Rosetta in Egypt. If you have got the opportunity to visit the Damietta and Rosetta Dam estuaries in Egypt and you are August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3537 shown the top soil that has come all the way from Kenya or East Africa, you will weep. The Egyptians scoop that soil. That is what they use to plant rice along the estuaries of River Nile. That is our own soil. It can be utilised in arid and semi-arid areas. The land in arid areas, as I have just said, need no fertilisers. It is in those areas too that we have tonnes and tonnes of mineral wealth underneath. It is surprising that the Kenya Government has not studied what is covered underneath those arid and semi-arid areas. How come that other parts of Africa, where the Great Rift Valley passes through, have that natural wealth, yet, in Kenya, it passes through and we do not have it? That is something that this Motion should take into account. We should introduce a Bill to develop the arid and semi-arid areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is rather disheartening that 40 years after Kenya attained Independence, we still talk about arid lands. There should be no arid or semi-arid land in Kenya at the moment. That is because Kenya, even in the World Bank statistics, is considered to be fully developed as per our per capita income. But we still behave like a chicken that is tied up in a market. After releasing the chicken, you need to give it a kick so that it can know that it is actually free. That way, it can start doing its own things. Kenya is not poor. It is the mismanagement of our economy. It is the mismanagement of our resources. We should have been there a long time ago. We should have developed those areas a long time ago. But the question of many Kenyans, particularly the top elite--- They think if it is theirs, it is theirs alone. If it is hon. Ahenda's, it is ours. That attitude must change. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support this Motion. I congratulate Prof. Ojiambo for her efforts to bring Motions before this House. It means that she has been conducting a lot of research towards the development and improvement of the living standards of Kenyans. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in a remote sense, this Motion captures certain aspects of Vision 2030. Indeed, the Government has invested a lot in the northern part of Kenya, which is known as an arid and semi-arid area. The President, in his statements, has often referred to northern parts of Kenya as areas which have been neglected in the past; areas which have been marginalised and areas which need special attention. I feel this Motion, once it becomes an Act, will go into deep lengths in supporting and helping the needy in those areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have been to North Horr. I have also travelled widely in the so-called arid and semi-arid areas. When you visit those areas, you will realise that the residents of those areas are very far behind in almost everything, as compared to other Kenyans. In the area of education, there are very few schools. People there are nomads who travel from one place to another. They usually do not follow school programmes. Some children are forced to leave schools just because of the migration patterns of their parents. In certain other areas, there is no food. There are frequent droughts. There is famine. There is hunger and so many children cannot just attend school because they are hungry. They cannot attend school because of their health position. Others suffer from kwashiorkor because of the climatic conditions of those areas. There are no hospitals or health centres. Even where there are, they are not enough. There is no proper medication for our people who live in those areas. As such, they need special attention. We talk about water and other facilities which are necessary to human life. They are not readily available in those areas. In fact, those areas need affirmative action. Although the Government has done a lot within the last four-and-a half years to improve the living standards of those people, it is, indeed, a worthy cause to introduce a Bill. That way, we will know exactly what will be done in those areas, who will do them and at what levels. As we stand now, it is very difficult to identify Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). There is no actual criteria of identifying ASALs. We have heard speakers here referring to ASALs as arid and semi-arid districts. There are 3538 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 so many parts of Kenya which could qualify to be ASALs, but they have not been gazetted or assessed. People and children in those places continue to suffer. I have been to quite a number of Government offices, trying to find out exactly what is the criteria used in the assessment of ASALs. Quite often, I have been told that, that is a World Bank programme. I wonder whether it is the World Bank which should tell us which areas in Kenya warrant being classified as ASALs, or whether it is the Ministry of State for Special Programmes, the Ministry of Education and the Directorate of Personnel Management. All those Ministries handle ASAL issues. I think there is some confusion in the handling of ASAL matters. That needs to be streamlined. I hope that, when the Bill is introduced, those issues will be addressed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in Meru South, that is in Nithi Constituency, we have a division called Igamba-Ng'ombe. It lies between Tharaka and Mbeere districts. The inhabitants of Igamba-Ng'ombe Division are Tharakas and Mbeeres. Tharaka and Mbeere districts have been declared and gazetted as arid and semi-arid districts. But Igamba-Ng'ombe Division, which has similar climatic conditions and problems, is not included in the list of ASALs. I am sure that, once this Bill is introduced in this Parliament and it becomes an Act of Parliament, it will set out a criteria for identification of ASALs and such regions. I know that it is not only Igamba-Ng'ombe Division which has that problem. There are many other divisions which qualify to benefit from ASALs facilities, but they are not benefitting at the moment. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, teachers who teach in areas like Igamba-Ng'ombe Division, which is a hardship area, do not get hardship allowances like others. Children who go to school, sometimes, miss classes because of poor infrastructure in Igamba-Ng'ombe Division. They also miss classes because of lack of food. They also miss classes because, sometimes, teachers cannot even go to school because of poor roads, especially during rainy seasons. Such areas should be included in---
Order! Order! Is your time up?
Not yet, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that those arid and semi-arid areas have very, very high potential for productivity. That has been said here before. They have very high potential for agricultural production---
Order! Order! The Official Government Responder will respond in another four to so minutes! So, can you, please, conclude in that time?
Okay, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. They have very high potential for livestock keeping and mineral production. If funds were provided for such activities, I know that Kenya and Kenyans would really benefit. All we need, especially in those areas, is an attitude change for the residents, especially in areas of mining. We have seen mining going on in our neighbouring countries. That activity is being carried out by foreigners. We need Kenyans to have particular interest in mining, so that they can engage themselves in mining. They should not wait until foreigners come in to exploit their mines. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, water is available in Kenya. It is available through the rivers, which we have. We have plenty of water, which we get through the rains. I have, personally, visited countries like Egypt, Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE). I have seen how they have transformed their deserts into productive lands. The ASALs in Kenya are nowhere near those August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3539 deserts. We can do a lot to improve those areas if, really, there is proper attention and management. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for that reason, and with those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion. It will help us get those areas into productivity. It will help them to contribute towards Kenyan's development efforts. Thank you.
Before I go to the Official Government Responder, I still have three minutes. Maybe, we can hear Prof. Mango in those three minutes only.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I take the opportunity to congratulate Prof. Ojiambo for bringing it up. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, ASALs occupy two-thirds of this country. That means that they occupy a large portion of this nation. But there has been concentration on the remaining one-third, which is considered to be highly potential, while ignoring the two-thirds, which is the largest part of our country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what is needed is to look at the productivity of those areas. ASALs are the future development focus of this country. Therefore, this Motion has come at the right time. The Government should start planning for ASALs. First of all, the Government must map out all ASALs and gazette arid and semi-arid districts. As it is, that process has been haphazard. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, what ASALs require is water. In this country, we need a water pipeline from the flooded areas in Budalangi up to the ASALs. Then, we can plant trees and have forests. We have seen that happening in other countries. We can have green houses like we have seen in the Negeb Desert in Israel. We can change this country from becoming a desert into a well-forested country. I have seen that around Jerusalem. A few years ago, when I first went there, there were no trees. But when I went there ten years later, there was a forest. We are capable of doing that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, ASALs' main occupation is livestock rearing. In the 1980s, there was an attempt in this country to have a livestock production policy. That was during the Moi Government. That just seems to have fizzled out! All we need in the ASALs is to have water, so that we can have fodder for the livestock. We should supply water to people living in arid and semi-arid areas. That way, they will live normal lives like other Kenyans.
Order, Prof. Mango! Your time is up!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have one last point!
Your time is up, Prof. Mango!
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
It is now time for the Official Government Responder to respond. Proceed, Mr. Obwocha!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I intend to be fairly brief. The following is the Government's response: I want to thank Prof. Ojiambo for showing concern for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). The current Government is highly-concerned about their development. The ASALs have remained largely unexploited considering the existing opportunities in the medium to low potential zones. It is, therefore, a reality that these areas, indeed, offer potential for future development which the nation can depend on, not only in the agricultural sector, but also in other key sectors such as the manufacturing and meat processing, mining, energy and tourism. 3540 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we do recognise that ASALs cover about 80 per cent of Kenya's total land surface and supports approximately 20 per cent of the human population, in addition to over 80 per cent of the country's livestock production and 65 per cent of the country's wildlife. The population in the region depends on subsistence farming. However, the level of poverty and experience that they have in food insecurity is a concern to the Government. The livestock sector accounts for 90 per cent of the employment and more than 95 per cent of the family incomes. Most of the livestock that is slaughtered in most of our urban centres originate from these areas. Other than cattle, Kenya has the fifth highest camel population in Africa after Mauritania, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. This is a handy animal whose potential has not been fully utilised. The Government recognises the potential of ASALs as highlighted in the Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS) and development of the ERS programmes for North Eastern Province, that is, Isiolo, Marsabit and Moyale, as a first step. This programme has been expanded to other areas with a view to opening up these areas and fully exploit the untapped potential in the ASALs. The key development initiatives currently target human resource development, production, marketing, drought and food security, proper land tenure, natural resource management, infrastructure development and security. The aim here is to improve the livelihoods and build human development capacity as well as that of the community to improve their incomes.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the current key sectoral developments that we have targeted are as follows: On livestock development, a broad-based livestock development programme under the implementation of the ASALs is to improve the welfare of the communities. Similarly, the Government gives priority to the marketing of livestock in these areas. Private sector entrepreneurs are encouraged to establish slaughterhouses and other viable marketing channels to exploit the market. The current development of the ASALs focuses on development of improved livestock marketing and infrastructure, facilitation of the private investment in meat processing, including strengthening the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) to help improve the purchasing, processing and marketing of livestock. This effort is supplemented by the rehabilitation of the existing community water pans, dams, boreholes, in collaboration with private sector, Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other development partners and facilitating production of small stock and camels through disease control measures, mainly by strengthening the community-based animal health approach. The second one is the non-conventional livestock. The ASALs have huge potential in non- conventional livestock, which include ostrich, guinea fowls, donkeys, buffaloes, crocodiles and snakes. Ostrich farming is the major enterprise in this sub-sector due to the current awareness of its potential in the global market. The Maasai Ostrich characterised by its large body size is the fastest- growing bird of its kind in the world. It has low cholesterol meat and this is important because cholesterol is fairly dangerous to the humans. On bee-keeping, the country's potential for agricultural development is estimated at 100,000 metric tonnes of honey and 10,000 metric tonnes of bees wax. Only about one-fifth of this potential is being exploited. The bee-keeping industry has displayed a growing partnership between the public and private sector in equipment acquisition, training, technology development and August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3541 transfer, research and marketing of the products. Therefore, appropriate measures are under implementation to address quality control and maintenance of standards. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, on traditional food crops, the country is generally self- sufficient in pulses including pigeon peas, green grams, root crops, including the sweet potatoes, cassava and yams; millet, sorghum, traditional vegetables. Amongst these traditional crops, the root crops are the highest starch producers per unit area, with relative low input requirements compared to other crops. Their adaption within varied climate ranges include the ASALs and drought. Therefore, the resistance gives them an important stake in Kenya's economy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the following measures are currently being adopted towards the maintenance of this food security: The promotion of production and utilisation of these crops; the development and promotion of appropriate production technologies to enhance the output; the research aimed at developing high-yield varieties of traditional food crops; consumer sensitization of nutritional values of the traditional food crops; development of marketing channels and efficient information systems for these crops; promotion of small crops agro-processing industries based on traditional food crops; improvement and marketing systems and improvement of financial systems. The Government is focusing on the exploitation of potential for the commonly-based irrigation rain-fed agriculture by concentration on drought-resistant high-yield and commercial crops such as cotton, oil seeds, horticulture and root crops. On the human resource development in ASALs, this remains a big challenge and it is on top of our agenda. The Government is working towards the improvement of health, education, nutrition and skills on the people, in order to enhance the productivity in these areas. Some of these are: (i) Low enrolment in free primary schools, high drop-out rates, high proportion of untrained teachers and lack of basic equipment and materials. (ii) The seasonal movement of pupils across the ranch lands. (iii) The inability of the nomadic parents to meet the direct costs of health, education, and partly due to over-dependence. (iv) The attitudes and values of modern education. So, to this extent, the Government is addressing the issue of human development in these areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the development and maintenance of physical infrastructure is key to rapid and sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in arid and semi-arid areas. The poor physical infrastructure in the region has constrained growth and development. To address that poor state of service delivery, steps are being undertaken to revitalise and improve efficiency in the infrastructure services in the region through systematic gravelling and re-gravelling of rural access roads and providing other supporting infrastructure. The initiatives include the implementation of the labour-based Roads 2000 Programme and the construction of the main inter-state trade routes from Isiolo-Marsabit-Moyale and Garissa-Wajir-Mandera. The development of those roads will go a long way to open up business opportunities within that region. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, access to adequate and reliable water supply is not only crucial for poverty reduction, but also an important element in socio-political stability. In this regard, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation is drilling a number of boreholes, constructing dams and water pipes in areas with potential for agriculture production for domestic and export markets. To ensure sustainability of investment in the water utilities, the Government is encouraging active participation of local communities and authorities, to manage and operate them on a cost-recovery basis. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the development strategy that we, as a Government, 3542 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 have adopted in arid and semi-arid areas includes the following:- (i) To enhance the level of community participation in development interventions. (ii) To incorporate indigenous knowledge as an input to sustained planning and the use of natural resources. (iii) To continue close collaboration with NGOs, development partners, pastoralists, traders and other interested parties to promote the development potential of arid and semi-arid areas. (iv) To promote an appropriate land tenure in arid and semi-arid areas, which recognises the diversified land capabilities, seasonality of use and tailored to optimise production. (v) Support in conflict resolution. In order to do that, we shall utilise the existing arrangements within the communities for doing so and further increase the capacity of Government to address the security issues in those areas. Finally, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in crafting Vision 2030, which we are now getting views from the people of this country, we have included the development pattern of the those areas in achieving this Vision. Therefore, if the views of the people from those areas are given - we are collecting them right now - we are going to include them in this scheme. I want to tell this House that the Government has no objection. If the hon. Member thinks that this is the manner in which she wants to assist the Government to put the ideas together, we have no objection to this Motion. I, therefore, want to confirm that the views that the hon. Member has expressed are being collected. We are putting them together for purposes of Vision 2030. We want to encourage all Kenyans to give their views. Vision 2030 is the economic pillar which is going to raise our economic growth from the current level, which is 6.3 per cent to 10 per cent. We want it to grow at that rate for the next 20 years. There are a number of areas that we want to address when we are addressing the economic pillars such as the infrastructure, agricultural development and the increase in production in arid and semi-arid areas. Those are the areas, amongst many other areas, that we will address in the economic pillar. On the social pillar, we want this country to have a clean environment and equitable distribution of resources. Lastly, we want a people-centred, issue-based political and democratic system. I want to join other hon. Members in congratulating the hon. Member for bringing this Motion and indicate the Government's approval. We have no objection. This will go a long way in enhancing and promoting what we intend to include in Vision 2030. Thank you.
Before I call upon the Mover to reply, there are about four minutes. I will give that time to Mr. Angwenyi!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank Prof. Ojiambo for bringing this very important Motion. Like I have been saying for the last one month, hon. Members who bring these type of Motions--- I hope Kenyans will consider voting them back, to make sure that the Motions are implemented. Maybe, Prof. Ojiambo will come back as a President! This Motion is important in the sense that it reminds us of what is happening around us. The River Nile, for example, goes through Sudan, parts of Uganda and Egypt. Egypt uses River Nile to produce food for its consumption and for export. In fact, our biggest competitor in rice production is Egypt. We visited Egypt last year. We were told that it had not rained in that country for 22 years. But they are producing more than what they can consume in that country. River Ganges in India is also another example. There are other countries that utilise irrigation to produce food for their consumption and export. If we were able to harness arid and semi-arid areas, we would be able to eradicate cattle rustling. That is a practice that kills our people and disturbs our social set-ups. That will make Pokots, Turkanas and Boranas to settle down. The so-called potential areas are saturated with high population. We can only expand our production in agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas. We can do so if we apply the intentions of this Motion. August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3543 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I know there are many hon. Members who would like to contribute to this Motion. I, therefore, beg to support.
Mr. Mwandawiro, I will allow you to contribute for one minute!
Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, nampongeza aliyewasilisha Hoja hii. Sehemu za nchi kame ama nusu-kame zina uwezo mkubwa sana. Kile ambacho hatuna ni mipango halisi na utekelezaji wa mipango hiyo. Katika Taita Taveta, kuna chemchemi za Mzima Springs. Ni maji ambayo yanatoka Mlima Kilimanjaro. Tuna madini mengi sana. Tuna mbuga za wanyama pori. Lakini bado Serikali haijatekeleza mipango hiyo. Maji yanatoka sehemu ya Taita Taveta na kumwagika baharini. Sehemu za nyando za chini za Taita Taveta ni nchi kame. Madini ambayo yanaweza kuleta mabilioni ya pesa yako kwa wingi. Lakini hayo mabilioni hayaingii kwa kodi ya wananchi. Yanaenda kutumika kiholela. Ardhi ya kufuga wanyama wa pori katika sehemu za nchi kavu ipo. Bw. Naibu Spika wa Muda, naunga mkono Hoja hii. Kinachohitajika ni utekelezaji na sio maneno matupu!
Yes, Prof. Ojiambo!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to donate two minutes to Prof. Olweny.
Order! You are responding to issues raised by hon. Members! I am not opening debate on this. So, you had better respond!
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all the hon. Members who have contributed very positively to this Motion. All of them have reaffirmed my conviction that this is a very important Motion. I want to thank the Minister for giving us that comprehensive statement. I want to assure the Minister for Planning and National Development that my Committee will rely on him to work with us to produce the Bill. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I take note of the proposal by hon. Wetangula for affirmative action. I want to tell him that affirmative actions are top-guard measures and we have taken that into consideration as well. We want to assure him that we are looking into a legal framework that will put together all the policies that he mentioned and give a way forward for their proper implementation. We note that these policies have been in existence for all these years. I want to agree with the hon. Members who have said that Government after Government - Hon. Musila mentioned it - have expressed their wish to support certain measures towards the improvement of the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands of our country but nothing concrete has come out to improve the status of these areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate all the suggestions made, and I want to assure all hon. Members that we will take them into consideration, and the fact that we need to put in place a criteria for identification of the areas in Kenya that belong to the category of ASAL. We note that there are areas we have taken for granted as high potential areas and yet they belong to the ASAL category. I also want to assure hon. Members that we will identify the residents of these areas and categorize them in the rightful manner. I want to assure them that we will put in place a legal framework that will assist this Government, and the governments to come, to ensure that resources of this country are properly devolved to areas that are in need of them. Particularly, those areas that have vast potential for the improvement of our nation. With those few remarks, I beg to move. 3544 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, in view of the fact that the sugar mills in this country have the capacity to co-generate electricity in excess of their requirements, and that the excess energy generated is currently going to waste; aware that the country also produces excess alcohol from molasses which can be blended with petroleum to produce gasohol; this House grants leave to introduce a Bill to amend the Energy Act to allow the mills to sell the excessive electricity they generate to the national grid or directly to other consumers and also to allow the use of alcohol from molasses to produce gasohol. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the aim of this Motion is to make changes in our legislation. It is also to give adequate and sufficient room for Kenya to pay attention to renewable energy that we produce from our resources such as materials from the sugar mills. Co-generation which is one of the issues here, is a process by which we will efficiently produce electric power and use geothermal energy by optimum utilisation of biomas materials and schemes. That is what we would get from the mills by use of bagasse, which is one of the products of the sugar factories. As I said, bagasse is the surplus material that we get from sugar. If we were to use it in co-generation, it would mean that factories would burn it, generate electricity out of it and also steam. Why co-generation in Kenya? Kenya is one country which has a lot of deficit in electricity. We are a country that is electric power deficient. Kenya has installed a capacity of 1,155 megawatts. That is the installed capacity in this country, but we only produce 1,067 for use in this country. Virtually our country is in darkness. At night, it is basically dark. Only 15 per cent of the Kenyan population has access to electric power. If you compare this to other developing countries, particularly in Africa, you will find that they have an average of 32 per cent of their population having access to electric power. For example, South Africa has 67 per cent of its population having access to electric power. Ghana has 45 per cent of its population accessing electricity. Zambia has 42 per cent of its population accessing power while Egypt and Tunisia have 90 per cent of their population accessing electric power. Ours is only 15 per cent. That means that we have a long way to go to give electric power to our people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kenya's electricity is also very expensive compared to other countries because it costs 8 cents per kilowatt hour. In Uganda, it costs 4 cents per kilowatt hour. In Malawi it costs 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour. In Egypt it is 2.8 cents while in Zambia it costs 2.3 cents. So, Kenya has to do something. If there are other sources of generating electric power, we need to take advantage of that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at the power sources in Kenya today, you will find that we have the hydro-based power source, where electricity is generated from dams and turbines that are constructed. About 57 per cent of our electricity comes from that source. There is geo-thermal electricity which constitutes about 9.8 per cent of the electricity that is consumed in this country. We also have fossil fuel power source. When fossilised energy sources are burnt, they give us 32 per cent of our fuel consumption and others constitute just 0.7 per cent. Kenya has a lot of potential for co-generation. If we take advantage of the biomass materials that we have in this country, we would produce a lot of electricity. This would be added to the other sources of power that we already have. In this country, we have 1,700,000 tonnes of August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3545 bagasse which is produced by our sugar mills. This can be turned into electricity. Unfortunately, only 35 per cent of that is used for co-generation in this country. That means that over 1 million tonnes of bagasse is going to waste. It is not being used for power production. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in other words, if we had to use all the bagasse that is produced in this country by our sugar mills, we would produce an additional 77.4 megawatts of power, which would be added to the national grid. It is only Mumias Sugar Factory that produces some electricity from its bagasse. It produces a total of 12 megawatts out of its bagasse and sells only four megawatts to the national grid. The other mills also have a lot of potential for electricity production. If all the bagasse in Mumias was to be used for electricity production, we would get 50 megawatts from Mumias. The other mills would also give us a lot of power. Chemelil, Sony, Nzoia and West Kenya Sugar factories would give us 15 megawatts each at the moment. They are now expanding their mills and they would produce more than double the current estimated capacity. In fact, West Kenya Sugar Company would give us over ten times its current estimated power capacity after the expansion which is being carried out now. Muhoroni, as it is today, would give us 7.6 megawatts and Miwani Sugar Factory, if it was running at its capacity, would give us 6.2 megawatts of electricity. This means that Kenya has a lot of potential for producing electricity from the renewable energy source if only we could have legislation to allow them to produce electricity and sell it. We also have other sources of materials that we could use to co-generate electricity. We can co-generate electricity from coffee factories. The coffee husks can be used to co-generate electricity. Rice and sawmills are other sources from which electricity can be generated. If we were to do this, how would this country benefit? Right now, we are importing some electricity from Uganda. We would save on the foreign exchange. We do not have enough electricity, as I have said, and we would reduce the deficit. The piles of bagasse that are heaped around the factories are a health hazard, in that, they can catch fire any time. Recently, Chemelil Sugar Factory almost went on fire when the bagasse that was heaped around it caught fire and it was quite difficult for the management to put it off. There can also be co-generation of power using bagasse which is carbon neutral. Very little carbon is emitted. In fact, no carbon in emitted when you co-generate from these sources. So, this approach in environment friendly. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me just say a little about gasohol production. You get gasohol by blending petrol with ethanol and it can be used to propel or run vehicles. This is a technology that is known across the world and in this country. In the early 1980s, gasohol was produced in this country but was stopped because there was no political goodwill and the multinational companies objected to it because it was reducing on their profits. This would benefit this country a lot as it is already benefiting other countries where gasohol is produced. This country has a lot of potential for producing gasohol because we have oil distillers in the country. There is one in Muhoroni; the Agro-chemical and Food Company, the Molasses Complex in Kisumu which is run by Spectra International and there is one in Miwani. Those distillers produce a lot of ethanol which can be blended with petrol to give us gasohol or with diesel to give us diesohol. That would lower the cost of running vehicles and would save on our foreign exchange that we use to import the fossilized fuel. When we blend ethanol with petrol, we are reducing the amount of petroleum that we use in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a technology that is already in use in other countries. In the United States of America (USA), for example, 10 per cent of the fuel used to propel vehicles is from gasohol. That means that 10 per cent of petroleum in the USA is blended with gasohol. That is what we actually want in this country. There should be some minimum requirements set by the Government in regard to the use of gasohol. We have the material but the problem we have is that we are using a lot of money to import those materials. In Canada, gasohol 3546 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 is expected to have 35 per cent market penetration by 2010. In Australia, 10 per cent blending is being done. In India it is 5 per cent and in Kenya it is zero, and yet, we have the raw materials that can be used. All we need is legislation to set the minimum level of blending. We need legislation to set a time period when we shall achieve the minimum blending. That is what we need in Kenya. We also need budgetary allocation to support ethanol sub-sector development so that we can have enough ethanol to blend with petroleum products to produce gasohol and diesohol. We need a tax waiver as in other countries for investors who produce ethanol for blending with petroleum products. With those comments, I beg to move and ask Prof. Anyang'-Nyong'o to second the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to second this Motion and say that it is very unfortunate that over 40 years after Independence we still have such discriminatory laws like the Energy Act which is there to impede private sector development. Any law, in this day and age, that gives monopoly to any company, be it in the private or public sector, is obviously against development. We have a Law Reform Commission in this country which has been more busy reforming laws that are ineffectual rather than those that can speed up development. I would urge that the Law Reform Commission listens very carefully to what is being said in this House and takes this as a matter of urgency. It should come together with Members of Parliament to expunge such outdated laws from our law books. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, electricity, as Prof. Olweny has said today, is an important measure of development. Any country which energy consumption per capita falls below a certain level, definitely is not serious about development. If I could give you certain facts, you will realise that this Motion is extremely important in ensuring that energy production and consumption in this country must go up and energy must be cheap, not just for industrial use but for domestic consumption as well. You realise that only 15 per cent of the population in this country has access to electric power. This is far below the average access rate of 32 per cent for developing countries. In other words, we are half the average of developing countries. Here in Africa, 67 per cent of South Africans have access to electricity. The figure has gone up to 75 per cent by this year since these figures were given in 2002. In Ghana, 45 per cent has access to electricity. In Zambia, 42 per cent has access to electricity and yet, we pride ourselves as being more developed than Zambians. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the reasons why our people do not have access to electricity is because we are a high energy cost country. The reasons for this are, one, the rather monopolistic tendency of our energy production and the sale that the Energy Act has been imposed on us for so many years. Secondly, is the corruption that has underpinned the development of the energy sector in this country. There is no God-given reason that we should have these diesel- powered generators; Kipevu I and Kipevu II which sell their electricity to KPLC at 14 US cents per unit as opposed to 8 US cents. This was because some people who were gurus in the energy sector found it necessary to double both as State bureaucrats and as so-called investors in Independent Power Production (IPP), so as to sell this energy at double the price that it should have been sold to the Kenyan Government. Kenya has a high cost of electricity estimated today at 8 US cents per kilowatt hour. Yet the Kipevu I and Kipevu II were selling them at US 14 cents per kilowatt hour. Just imagine how much we have been losing in that regard. Uganda sells their electricity at 4 US cents per kilowatt hour. Malawi sells electricity at 2.5 US cents per kilowatt hour. Egypt sells electricity at 2.8 US cents and Zambia at 2.3 US cents. In other words, we are actually penalising our consumers, both industrial and domestic sectors for provision of energy. We know very well that we can reduce this high cost by producing August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3547 the energy cheaply. This Motion is extremely important because it will help us reduce the cost of producing energy in this country apart from the other reasons that Prof. Olweny has said today. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at the energy sector today it has got potential of contributing to the gross domestic product at a much higher level than it is doing today. It is common knowledge that if you want your business to grow, it is better to produce 1,000 products that you will sell to the market at Kshs50 than 100 products that you will sell to the market at Kshs100. The former, by reducing the cost per unit will realise a much bigger volume business turnout than the later. So, were we to begin co-generation, the amount of energy that would go to the national grid would be bigger and cheaper using much more people. In the final analysis, the energy sector will make much more money than it is doing today. This means that it will contribute to a higher degree to the Gross Domestic Product than it is doing today. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, one of the things that we must realise in this country is that we have been endangering our environment. The reliance on one, wood fuel as a source of energy production has depleted our forests. Consequently, when the forests are depleted, water availability and production is also affected. So, we are fast becoming a water-deficient nation. We can deal with this water-deficiency by checking on cutting down of our forests to provide energy. One of the easiest ways of stopping the cutting down of our forests to provide energy is to go for co-generation. In co-generation you are doing two things. One, you are using a by-product that already exists at no cost to you. You are then turning that by-product into energy that will produce more sugar for you at no cost to you. The excess energy that is produced in those factories is then released to the national grid at a much more lower unit cost than is available in other ways of producing energy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is such a simple, obvious and beneficial thing that there would be a completely idiotic nation not to implement it immediately. Once you do that, you open yourself to establishing many more lines of industrial activity in the sugar sector. One of them is to use that energy for a wood making sector in the sugar industry. If you visit a country like Cuba, you will realise that sugar is used not just for producing energy for energy use there, but it is used for producing seven other products. One of them is, of course, wood from bagasse. The other one is perfumes from sugar itself. Another one are vaccines. A fourth one is alcohol both for industrial and domestic use. A sixth one is energy and the last one is fertiliser. So, if you look at our own sugar industry, we produce only one thing which is table sugar. We used to produce industrial sugar at Miwani until it was closed down because of corruption. These are the only two things that we have been looking at for over 40 years. Were we to be a little bit more broad minded and go into co-generation, it would open our minds and sights to these other seven lines of industrial production from sugar that will make our sugar industry contribute in a much bigger way to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a Motion that is not only long overdue, but should be given immediate attention by the Government. I would believe that in the process of law reform, the reforming of the Energy Act should have come in a long time ago. However, I do believe that investing in the sugar industry by the Government is also very urgent. I am a sugar farmer. Today as I speak, one of the things that is happening in the sugar industry is that those industries are extremely insensitive to the needs of the farmer. For example, there are varieties of cane which should be harvested at 14 months. You are lucky if those varieties of cane are harvested at 24 months, by which time their sugar content is so low, that they cannot be beneficial to the farmer. Secondly, Cuba, which is a very small island, has about 27 sugar factories. They have now reduced them to 14 because they are down-sizing. Kenya, a much bigger country, has only about six or seven sugar factories and we think we have many. We should pay much more attention to the sugar industry because it is the backbone of industrialisation in this country. However, we do not 3548 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 realise it precisely because we have been so narrow minded about that industry to this very day that we have not undertaken the kind of reforms that are necessary to improve the lives of the farmers as well as to add more value to our industrialisation and economic development of our country. I beg to second.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. This is a Motion which should have come to this House 35 years ago. It has come to the House 35 years late. In 1972, before I even started reading economics, Kenya was already debating the idea of creating the capacity to produce power alcohol, which is alcohol that would be used to drive engines. It would be clean fuel which would not hurt our environment, but which would be cheap enough for our pockets. That would create jobs and empower our farmers. It would have multiplier effect in this country. That was being debated 35 years ago. It took so many years for a professor to come to Parliament to remind this country that we are sleeping on our opportunities. We have a big opportunity to produce much more fuel than is produced in Dubai, or Saudi Arabia, but we do not want to use it. This country is endowed with good climate for sugar-cane production. Even in areas where the environment is harsh, like Tana River District in Coast Province, we have the River Tana, which flows into the Indian Ocean, with vast quantities of water, which could be used to irrigate land, and we could produce enough power alcohol in this country to drive our car engines. About 15-20 years ago, we used to have, in our petrol stations, fuel called "gasohol". Gasohol was a mixture of petroleum products and alcohol. It used to drive our engines very efficiently. It was cheaper for this country, because we did not have to import so much petroleum products. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we forgot about gasohol because some people make money from importing crude oil and finished petroleum products. Some businessmen influence our policies in this country, regardless of whether they hurt our economy, because that benefits them. That is why we forgot about gasohol. The United States of America (USA) has realised that it will have to cut down its dependence on petroleum products from the Middle East. So, the USA has to produce power alcohol. Since the USA cannot produce as much sugar-cane as the small Island of Cuba can, or as Kenya would, they are producing it from maize, which is, of course, supposed to be food for both animals and human beings. They even import maize from Haiti. In fact, this year Haiti had to import maize. They buy it at such a good price that Haiti must just sell the maize to the USA. Then Haiti has to find ways of feeding its own citizens. There is a morality problem with that. However, the gist of the matter is that the USA has realised that it must produce power alcohol to blend it with its petroleum products in order to cut down on its dependence on the Middle East oil, and also cut down on costs of running their engines. If there is a country that really needs to cut down on these costs, I think it is Kenya more than the USA. Kenya needs all the dollars that it gathers from wherever. We need to preserve that dollar here and do other things with it, rather than buy petroleum products. We need to substitute our power alcohol for petroleum products. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we were to produce power alcohol from Muhoroni Sugar Company, Sony Sugar Company, Nzoia Sugar Company and Miwani Sugar Company, which is now lying idle with 10,000 hectares of unutilised land, we would produce enough money to import all the table sugar that we need and still remain with lots of dollars. We would even cut down on the cost of running our engines by more than 30 per cent. We would empower our farmers and businessmen. There would still be more power to run towns. I do not know why the leadership of Kenya never dreams. We only dream of ukarabati . We only dream of repairing and fixing this August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3549 and that, and then say that we are developing. After doing some potholes and some mtaro, we say that we are development conscious. We are not imaginative! We could go far away. If Sudan, which is located in a desert, can export to us sugar, is it not a shame? Kenya, with a better climate and much more water can produce its own power alcohol! We do not have to beg Sudan or Nigeria, as inefficient as it is, to provide us with fuel. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me talk about the monopoly of power generation and distribution in this country. Why should I not produce some power from some stream in my village, if I want, and sell it to schools, shops and whoever wants it? Why must it be that the only person who is allowed to generate power in this country and sell it is KenGen? Why must it be that when I produce power I must sell it to the national grid? What is the myth about this national grid business, if it is not just monopoly for the sake of monopoly? I thought that this country was moving out of monopoly? I thought that this country was opening up to business people and investors to do whatever they want to do, as long as it is not illegal. Why do we make it illegal? For example, the water of River Yala, which passes near St. Mary's High School, Yala, used to produce power before Independence. That power, which was produced by use of small turbine used to supply St. Mary's High School, Yala, with power. On top of that, the same power was used to pump water from the river to Yala Township and to St. Mary's High School, Yala. It broke down. When hon. Donde came to this House, he wanted to revive it so that, at least, it could work again. It could generate that small amount of power, which would be used to pump water in Gem Constituency. Hon. Donde was told that he could not do it. He was told that power had to be sold to the national grid. Of course, if you were to sell power to the national grid, it was only KenGen or Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) which should buy it from you. If they say they are not entering into a contract with you, then you waste that potential. What happened such that the
were a little more open to business than we are to our own citizens 40 years after Independence? Go to the place Mr. Omamba comes from, it is called Bogo. There is a falls there that is natural. It has been running for years. It was used to generate power to do mining when there was gold those days. It also produced enough power to pump water to supply that small town and the village around it. When they wanted to re-generate it so that it works again, they were told they must sell the power produced to the national grid. What is this myth about the national grid? Why must lines and lines of cable run up to Mbita and Mfangano Island? Why can you not allow somebody to generate power in Mfangano Island and sell it to Mfangano people if they want to buy it? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we just need some imaginative Government so that we change some little policy so that we can produce power and sell it wherever. We can generate electricity whether from bagasse, hydro and whatever else and sell it to whoever wants to buy it. Why can we not open up and compete with KenGen and the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC)? Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support this Motion because I know the potential of growth that this can bring. This can be done by merely changing the policy that Prof. Olweny has brought here today and accepting that Mumias Sugar Factory and other sugar factories can produce electricity and power alcohol and sell it to whoever wants to buy. By doing so, we can be a superpower. However, we are not imaginative! We just sit here and hope that we are in the Government. I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to support this Motion and congratulate Prof. Ayiecho Olweny for bringing it to the Floor of the House. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, co-generation of electricity which we need in this country will come from bagasse. We have over six factories with the capacity to generate power. 3550 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 You will find that the bagasse that they use is a wasted raw material. The material is in such a great supply that the factories which use it mainly for firing turbines cannot use all of it. They end up burning the excess bagasse in open air. This is done to the extent that they are an environmental threat. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we were to produce this bagasse to produce electricity in all our sugar factories in Kenya, it would result in direct benefit to the farmers, communities, factory owners and the Government. It will have the effect of lowering the cost of production. That would result in higher prices to farmers who produce sugar-cane. Eventually, this will lead to lower prices in the cost of sugar that we consume. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a lot has been said about sugar, but nobody dares to say that sugar-cane is a strategic crop. It is not a food crop. We know many countries in this world which go on growing sugar-cane, but instead of concentrating on the production of table sugar only, they use it for other things. Molasses, for example, is the basis of production of alcohol. Alcohol is used in virtually every chemical industry, including production of medicines. Alcohol is a known preservative. There are many other things produced from alcohol. Apart from other by- products, the end result is that countries like Brazil which produce sugar have their sugar much cheaper. They are cheap to the extent that they are able to dump their excess sugar to our market through COMESA. We will not be very wise, indeed, if we were not to use this opportunity to ensure that we also reduce our cost of production so that we can become competitive in the world market. Currently, Kenya is not self-sufficient in power production, and co-generation would contribute to additional output to the national power grid. I want to say that, in fact, in Kenya there is one thing that people have forgotten that is happening right now in front of us. We have concentrated on the use of hydro-electric power from our various water sources, and 90 per cent of these are located on the Tana system, which is only one river. I dare say that this is not strategic whatsoever, because if anything happens to the catchment areas, which is already happening in the Mt. Kenya region, where afforestation is a problem and catchment areas have not been protected because of human habitation and influence--- If this river dries up, we will have no electricity. Even in western Kenya, where you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, come from our rivers are threatened because of poor environmental management. Our catchment areas are now not protected well enough; so, even if we were to set up more power generation projects in those areas, we would still never be self-sufficient in the long run. But what worries me most is the fact that, even though people say that hydro-electric energy is cheap, Uganda is now expanding its hydro-electric power generation capacity by the construction of additional dams. The end result is that the out-flow of water from Lake Victoria is much higher than the in-flow of water into it from rivers such as the Mara, the Kuja, the Miriu, the Nyando, the Yala and the Nzoia because the catchment areas have not been protected. This has resulted in the fact that the level of Lake Victoria is now going down. We have lost over three metres. This is an environmental disaster in waiting. Therefore, there is a need for us to use the excess capacity available everywhere, including the use of co-generation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we must note that only a small percentage of our population has access to electricity. One of the reasons for this is that we do not have sufficient power to satisfy our needs. Therefore, let us resolve to support co-generation, so that we can also make sure that power in Kenya is not as expensive as it is. We know there are other energy sources. For example, energy is produced from fossil fuels, for example, by the independent power producers (IPPs). The cost of energy in Kenya for both domestic and industrial use is too expensive. This is mainly because we are using these IPPs, whose ownership is questionable and whose methods of production lead to what is called "fuel-cost adjustments" or "foreign exchange adjustments" which is increasing the cost of power. This makes the cost of electricity very August 29, 2007 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 3551 expensive. In fact, I would say it is exorbitant! Because of that, our people are suffering, and even our large scale consumers like industries are suffering. This also discourages investment. We know of companies which prefer to go to invest in South Africa rather than in Kenya, or, perhaps, in Uganda, because the cost of power there is much cheaper than in Kenya. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, energy is a very important factor in the cost of production. If it is too high, it means that, in fact, we are going to discourage investors from coming. Therefore, we should not even be talking of creating 500,000 jobs a year. That is because we will never do that, if we do not have investments. Investments rely on cheap ways and means of production. The case of China is evident. A lot of factories have relocated to China because of the cheap labour there. They have a big population. Goods from China are now stocking the world, including the United States of America (USA). If you go anywhere in the USA, you are not likely to buy clothes made in America. You would find clothes made in China, the Dominican Republic, Korea and so on. That is because of cheap labour. Why can Kenya not wake up to that fact? That, we need to make sure that the cost of production of goods and services in this country is cheaper. That way, we can also compete with the world market, so that we can take advantage of things such as African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and so on. That way, we can export our goods cheaply. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to say that, in fact, there is a need for us, as a country, to take advantage of the capacity that is available here now, so that we can help our economy to grow. We can expand our economy to the extent that we can employ more people. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you very much, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I support this Motion, which was brought by my friend, Prof. Olweny, from Muhoroni. I too come from a sugar- cane growing area; that is Awendo. The production is so heavy. I think this should not be political. We do not need to have what we call politics in this. We should keep out politics from this development. That is because we are endowed with God's gift. Our sugar-cane farms produce a lot of sugar. I say that because I always observe the importation of sugar from outside. Yet, we have it abundantly in our stores. I also see that cotton is neglected and yet, mitumba is brought from outside our country. What is wrong with our Kenya Government? It is importing things instead of appreciating what God gave to us. Many hon. Members have talked about sugar-cane growing. I only wish to stress that employment will only be available when we will have adequate production of electricity in our country. As has been said, sugar is not only used at the table, it is used in many ways like making alcohol, spirits, producing electricity and many other things. Why do we not make use of that resource? I wish to ask the Government to pay attention to these matter, and learn to sustain itself. In turn, we shall stand on our feet and stop begging. We are tired of begging. We are given that resource by the climate. We have got so many rivers. There is one area which has Bogo Falls, which generates a lot of electricity. All my schools do not get electricity and yet, the generator is just near my house. It is terrible when we import electricity from Jinja and yet, I have it nearby. I am, indeed, wondering why that is so. We should now work competitively to develop our country rather than looking just for political power. With those few remarks, I wish to say that people should pay more attention to our country and our future generations. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to support this Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, electricity is important for our industrial development. 3552 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES August 29, 2007 It is good that Prof. Olweny has brought this Motion before the House. Any additional power to the grid will make power more affordable to our people. Although the relevant Ministry will be coming to respond, I think the Government, generally, would not object to this kind of idea. I must congratulate my friend, the Professor, for bringing this Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that energy, particularly electricity in this country, is fairly expensive to our people. I think that ways and means must be found to make it cheaper and affordable to ordinary wananchi . That is why we are saying that we must try to get alternative sources of power. I know that we are over-relying on wood fuel in our countryside. It is necessary that, as we continue to undertake rural electrification projects in this country, we should also look for other sources of power. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I must congratulate the Government for what it has done. It has supplied electricity to our rural areas. I think everybody can see that the Government has really tried to light up rural areas. I think every other constituency in this country has a power project going on. Since we are actually over-relying on hydro-electric power, all we need to do is ensure that we save our forests so that water can continue flowing. That way, we can be able to generate power. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to urge that wherever we can generate hydro- electric power--- For instance, we have Thompson Falls in Nyahururu. During the mzungu time, like many hon. Members have said, we used to produce electricity from there! There is no reason why that cannot be revived, so that we can get power from that area. That will, therefore, make electricity cheap to our people. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is important for us to underscore value-addition in whatever economic activities that we undertake. Along the sugar belts of Nyanza and Western provinces, the fact that we can produce a lot of alcohol is quite encouraging. That means that sugar- cane farmers will have an extra shilling in their pockets! Right now, they are only producing what you may call "table sugar" and a bit of alcohol. If we go an extra mile to generate power, there will be a tidal multiplier effect to our farmers. If our farmers get rich, it means this country will also be rich. That is very, very important. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am very persuaded by the arguments of Mr. Kajwang. He said that whatever we can do to diversity power generation--- The sort of monopolistic tendencies that we have at the moment, where KenGen is the only firm that can generate power--- I think it is important to free that market. I do agree with Prof. Olweny that, that market should be freed so that the tendencies of monopolistic markets do not set in. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we want to support this Motion. I believe that, once the Bill is brought by Prof. Olweny, we shall be able to see what it contains and react from there. But for now, I want to say that, personally, I do support this Motion. I thank Prof. Olweny for bringing it. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Order! Hon. Members! It is now time for the interruption of business. The House is, therefore, adjourned until 2.30. p.m. this afternoon. The House rose at 12.30 p.m.