Hon. Deputy Speaker, I wish to present this Petition on behalf of the residents of Ugunja Constituency, which I represent, on a matter that is of great concern to them. We, the undersigned residents of Ugunja, Siaya County within the Republic of Kenya, draw the attention of the House to the following:
Aware that the Kisumu-Busia Highway is part of the international road network that links Kenya to Uganda and the Great Lakes Region, and that this road facilitates transport of enormous amount of goods and a large number of people on a daily basis; that whereas the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) is charged with the responsibility of construction and maintenance of national highways that include the Kisumu-Busia Road; that whereas KENHA has failed to put in place adequate safety measures to protect the lives of passengers, pedestrians and the general public along the stretch between Madeya and Rangala Trading Centre in Ugunja Constituency despite the propensity of motorists, particularly the drivers of public service vehicles, to over speed along this highway; that whereas KENHA has not erected a single speed bump between Madeya and Rangala trading centres numerous road accidents have occurred which could otherwise have been avoided. The last one month alone, we have lost close to eight people along that stretch. Five of them died in a single day at a trading centre called “Sidindi”. Unless urgent intervention is done, this unfortunate trend of deaths through road accidents is likely to continue as more people are attracted by commercial gains at these trading centres of Madeya, Sidindi, Simenya, Simelu and Rangala within the constituency.
We hereby confirm that efforts in terms of oral representations to the authorities and all concerned parties have been made to have this matter addressed, but so far no action has been taken. Therefore, your humble petitioners pray that KENHA, through the Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure, be compelled to, without further delay, erect speed bumps and establish rumble strips between Madeya and Rangala trading centres in Ugunja Constituency to prevent more deaths from road accidents.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I table the Petition.
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Thank you. Is there any hon. Member who would like to make a comment on the Petition before we commit it to the relevant Committee? I can see hon. Anyanga.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Petition. The road in question neighbours my constituency, and it is a road that I am well aware of in terms of how many accidents have occurred and how many lives have been lost on the Kisumu-Busia Highway.
Just a few years ago, we had a tanker bursting into flames at Sidindi Shopping Centre, and we lost close to 30 lives. However, when we talk about accidents on our roads, as a House, we need to look at more sustainable and permanent solutions. I know that in the short-term the Government has resorted to construction and erection of speed bumps wherever there is an accident on any section of our roads. However, I think it goes beyond construction of speed bumps. If you look at the problem we have on our major highways in terms of the accidents involving heavy vehicles--- I am looking at the tankers and trailers; you will find that there are a couple of reasons for which, I think, this Government needs to act.
With the growing of business within the East African region and the Great Lakes area, road transport itself is not sufficient to clear all our imports and the heavy cargo that we have to transport to our neighbouring countries, and even within the country. That is the more reason why I think we should be looking at enhancing the construction of an efficient railway system in this country, so that we are able to transfer heavy traffic and freighters from our roads to the railway system.
Please remember that it is not debate. We are just making comments to support or not to support the Petition. It is not a debate on the transport system in the country.
I stand guided hon. Deputy Speaker. Thank you. Again, I need to reiterate the fact that, indeed, I am supporting the Petition; it is not just only for that part of the country; any time we have lives lost in this country, they are of Kenyans who are very productive. As I said, the section in question has been extremely notorious for accidents and it is true that we do not have a single speed bump on that part of the road, yet it supports a lot of traffic. Therefore, looking at the section between Madeya all the way to Rangala and indeed almost up to Ugunja, I think it is in order that the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) should be compelled to construct speed bumps, which are standard, well constructed and which will be well marked and, of course, proper signage put on the road to warn road users that speed bumps have been constructed.
I support, hon. Deputy Speaker.
Yes hon. Isaac Mwaura. Brief comments, please.
Wrong button, please.
Hon. Johnson Manya Naicca.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I also rise to support this Petition. It is very important. Sidindi is also in a constituency neighbouring mine, and most of the people who travel on that road come from one of my sub-locations called
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Hon. Bare Shill.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I also support the Petition. That area has been notorious for accidents; if you read newspapers, all the time it is reported that Kenyans are losing their lives on a daily basis. It is not only in that area but accidents occur in many areas. Putting speed bumps costs a small amount of money compared to the value of human life. Recently, His Excellency the President went to Uganda and the regional leaders discussed how to fast track construction of roads, so that goods can reach their destinations faster. That means vehicles will be travelling fast, and more people will die. Therefore, it is very important and urgent that speed bumps are put immediately.
I, therefore, support.
on. Munuve Mati.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I stand to support the Petition and would like to say that maybe in future as we build roads, we should consider doing in a way that safeguards the lives of our people. One of the ways that this could be done is to make sure that there is a standard walkway besides the road and a space for bicycles, so that there is not much traffic on the roads. I say this with a lot of envy for the hon. Member of Parliament because I do not have an inch of tarmac road in my constituency. So, I am not likely to come up with proposals for bumps and so forth. For those who are lucky to have tarmac roads, I think we should raise the standards so that--- As in most developed countries, there should be a bicycle track besides the road as this reduces the number of accidents, especially those caused by bicycles.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, as I said, I envy my colleague; I do not want to invite accidents to my people, but some day I am sure we will have a tarmac road in Mwingi North. Thank you.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I also rise to support the Petition, and I want to say that the Government and KENHA should do much more. We have about 20 black spots in the Republic and I am a fairly travelled person. In other countries what has been done is some real marking to raise attention to the black spots. We have a place like Salgaa. It is known to be very prone to accidents, but all that has been done is something to show only that, that is a black spot and nothing else. In other countries, what is done is that first in those particular areas you, as a matter of urgency, erect rumble strips. You put some neon lights to show specifically that the area you are driving in is a black spot and is dangerous.
So, whereas I support totally what my good brother has done, I think the Government should come up with a standard way of dealing particularly with the black spots, so that accidents can be dealt with and minimised once and for all. Thank you very much.
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Yes, hon. Amina Abdalla. Hon. Kamanda, I am leaving you for the last slot because you are the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I beg to support this Petition. While I am supporting this Petition, I would like to state that one of the promises contained in Jubilee’s Manifesto is to make Kenya a logistical hub. Making Kenya a logistical hub will bring with it more challenges of having vehicles moving at higher speed. So, I would like to request the Petitioner and the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing to broaden this debate on the issue; because of the axle load restrictions more heavy duty vehicles are coming to our roads; they can transport cargo that would otherwise be transported by more vehicles. So, I would like this Petition to be expanded and look at the impact of increasing Kenya’s value as a logistical hub and the impact of that on road accidents.
As we speak now, the axle load situation is making Kenya uncompetitive and our competitors, especially the port of Dar es Salaam, are taking over all the transportation of goods, especially of oil products for Rwanda and Burundi; we need to have a balancing act when we are considering this Petition.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Finally, hon. Onyura before I give a chance to hon. Kamanda.
Thank you very much, hon. Deputy Speaker. I also rise to support this Petition. As it has been observed, the whole length of the road from Kisumu to Busia - it is a road I use very frequently to my constituency - is really a black spot. I would like to also urge the authorities to put bumps at all shopping centres. We know that in our country, unfortunately even if you put road signs, Kenyan drivers have no respect for them. The language that, perhaps, they will understand is that of bumps. Even where there are bumps you will always find that they try to go round those bumps, so that even the sides of the bumps have had to be secured.
So, I support this petition very much. I urge that bumps be erected at every shopping centre on the whole road from Kisumu to Busia; rumble strips should also be added, as is the case on the Thika Super Highway. The bumps should also be properly painted and maintained because they can also cause accidents, particularly to people who are not used to them. I have been on certain roads where there are bumps, but there are no signs to show them and they are not painted. This way, it becomes very difficult for the drivers when driving to see them.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I strongly support this Motion.
Yes, hon. William Kamanda.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I also rise to support this Motion. I want to assure the hon. Member that over the weekend the Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing met and this matter was raised by almost every member of that Committee, and we asked for a comprehensive report. It is not only the Kisumu-Busia Highway that is affected; there are many other highways in the country that have been having very serious accidents; examples are Salgaa and recently Mombasa and Kinagop. We are meeting the Cabinet Secretary and the entire team, and I want to assure the hon. Member we will raise this matter. Regarding the railway that he has
So, I want to commit the Petition to the Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing, and we expect a comprehensive report in the House. I hope you will use the HANSARD to also capture the other issues that some hon. Members have raised, which include what hon. (Ms.) Abdalla mentioned. Give us a report within the next 60 days as is stipulated on the Order Paper.
Hon. Mwaura, do you have a Paper? He is not even in the House! Please, hon. Members, if you press your button before the Order you are interested in is read, you cause a lot of confusion. Press only when the Order is called out.
Hon. Members, are there any Members with notices of Motion? Hon. Sunjeev, you have the Floor.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, aware that every year floods and drought wreak havoc in various parts of the country; observing that flood seasons are often followed by times of drought, leading to loss of lives and lack of water for many; concerned that from 1995 to present, just over 500 small-scale sand dams have been constructed as water reservoirs, further concerned that as a result, there has been unplanned and rampant digging of multiple boreholes, leading to fast and widespread depletion of water tables; noting that such depletion leads to falling of trees and adversely affects the entire ecosystem yet could be prevented by harvesting flood waters for later use; deeply concerned that the ecosystem has a big impact on the environment as a whole; this House urges the Government to build multi-dams and ensure they are located equitably around the country while complementing the existing dams, and establish other measures for water harvesting especially during rainy or flood seasons for sustainability.
Is there any hon. Member who wishes to request or make a Statement? I see an intervention by hon. Njuki.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. Mine is not to request for a Statement, but to remind the Committee on Education, Research and Technology about a request I made some time back. I know this Committee has had a full in-tray for the last few weeks, but I requested for the Statement four weeks ago. It was on the state of the hardship allowance in a particular area in Chuka/Igambang'ombe Constituency, but to date I have not received a feedback. So, I request the Committee, through you, whether I can get the answer to that request. Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker.
Okay, is that the committee on irrigation, or did you say Education? Remember, hon. Members, that if you are going to request for Statements they have to be approved first. Do you have a Statement that has been approved, hon. Melly?
Not yet, hon. Deputy Speaker. We are going to reply in the afternoon.
That is for the request by hon. Njuki. I can see hon. Christopher Doye Nakuleu.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. Mine is not a request for a Statement, but it is something similar to hon. Njuki’s issue.
Meaning that you are trying to find out when your Statement will be delivered?
The last week of May, I did request for a Statement from the Committee on Education, Research and Technology, pertaining to the fate of students from Lokitaung Secondary School who sat for their KCSE Examination in 2010, and to date they have not received their certificates. The Chairperson of the Committee promised to give the Statement in two weeks’ time, which was supposed to be last month. I need, through you, to hear when I will get that Statement. Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker.
That is another question to the Committee on Education, Research and Technology. Can you give an undertaking? I think you have to expedite things; it looks like you have too many hon. Members asking for Statements from your Committee.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. On the issue of the students who did not get their certificates, we had taken it to the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC), and I think we will have a Statement by Tuesday next week; as they are re- organizing their systems they are yet to give us a correct answer.
Hon. Benson Makali.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I also wanted to follow up on a Statement I requested about three weeks ago from the Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing, and up to now I have not heard any communication from them.
Also be alive, hon. Members, to the fact that the Speaker made a ruling on this issue of Statements. We are not Government; we are the Legislature and those answers have to come from the Government. So, you also have to
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I undertake to follow it up as the Chair of the Committee. I would also like to tell Members that there is shortage of staff in Parliament. We even do not have enough Clerks in our Committees. That is another big problem; nevertheless, I think Parliament is recruiting more staff. That is another reason why Committees are not able to communicate properly; we are not being facilitated properly because of the shortage of staff.
That is a valid point that has been brought to our Liaison Committee; it is something that we are looking at. We want to address it so that there is efficiency in the flow of information in and out of Parliament. Next Order!
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to continue contributing to this Motion. I consider the establishment of a Disaster Management Authority to be overdue. It should have been established in yester years because this country has faced a lot of disasters that should have been mitigated had we established an authority to deal with such matters. It is a cross cutting issue and several Ministries will have to come together to deal with the affairs that bother our communities. If you go to the countryside right now, floods that occurred recently during the heavy rains have destroyed roads, dams and crops. This requires a lot of attention. If we have a Disaster Management Authority we will harness resources in a co-ordinated manner and create synergy in the Government to
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion. Creation of Disaster Management Authority was delayed by past Governments. We have had several disasters in this country. You will remember the 1998 bomb blast that we had. Time has come when we should have an authority to manage disasters. It should deter the occurrence of disasters; managing should be preceded by deterrence. It will manage and control disasters. During the 998 bomb blast, most of us who were around town ran to the site. If by bad luck there was another one in the offing, Kenya would have lost so many people. We had not even known what a bomb was. I want to borrow a leaf from countries like the United States of America and others in the West, which are prone to disasters like the tornados. Every child knows what to do during an adverse occurrence. It is high time that this country put in place a programme in our education system to educate the young, and even the aged on how to manage disasters and protect themselves. If we had this authority, it would implement programmes through churches, mosques, women groups, the media and other organizations. It is high time that the media started contributing positively towards this, especially the State owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and its related outlets. They should start educating our people and concentrating more on constructive education on matters that bring misunderstanding to the people of this nation. Recently, the Leader of Majority Party, hon. A.B. Duale brought an answer that was talking about permanent intervention, especially in respect of floods in places like Tana River. He spoke about constructing dams in the upper parts of this country, like the Mount Kenya and the Aberdares regions, where we have a lot of water flowing down. He stated that we would intervene by building dykes and dams. He gave us a document here which states that the Government has set aside Kshs4 billion to do that intervention, so that we can manage things before disasters occur. Now the Government has the Budget and even the Appropriation Bill was passed here. It is high time that they implemented this. We know very well that most probably, we shall have floods next year. If we just talk and we do not implement measures, then disasters will always occur. The Kshs4 billion will just be enough. The Budalangi problem used to be a big one in this country, and we used to hear about it year in, year out, but now, we do not hear much about it. We should have permanent solutions. Many Ministries are involved; examples are the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Devolution and Planning that includes the former Ministry of Special Programmes. All this needs coordination. If you do not have an authority to co-ordinate the various Ministries and institutions that are concerned, we will not go far. I support this Motion. Someone has talked about the bumps and rumble strips in this country. These are all sorts of disasters. We should also deal with such issues. In my constituency, we have a school where we have lost more than 50 people through road
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I rise to support this Motion as floods and destruction have become seasonal issues. Every time there are rains, there is destruction. The proposed Disaster Management Authority should have been formed 50 years ago. Since Independence, disasters have been happening year in, year out. I do not know why this authority was not formed many years ago. Disasters in this country have always been left to foreign relief organizations, which do not have sustainable strategies. It is high time the Government of Kenya took this issue seriously by establishing a Disaster Management Authority to be looking into issues related to disasters. As the previous speaker has said, disasters do not only include floods, drought and famine. They are more than this. If this House approves the establishment of this Disaster Management Authority, it will have to look beyond floods and drought. It has been a routine that every time there are floods, Kenyans are left destitute and without shelter. In fact, in some areas, people lose crops and livestock, which are their only source of livelihood. This has a negative impact on the economy of these areas. When a bridge is destroyed and roads are cut off because of floods, then the affected areas have their economy affected negatively.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, Sir, outbreak of diseases due to floods has also been rampant, and it is something which can be looked into. If the Disaster Management Authority is put in place and devolved to all counties and constituencies, or even to the grassroots level, when a disaster strikes, people will be found ready on the ground to respond to it.
I beg to support. Thank you.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I also rise to support this timely Motion by hon. T.G. Ali. It is true that we have had droughts of different magnitudes resulting in damage in different parts of the country. Schools have been made inaccessible; roads have been destroyed and even access to health facilities has been impeded. Livelihoods have been disrupted and the response that we get from Government agencies has not been good. Humanitarian organizations have also been working to help our people. We all believe that things can be done better. There was a promise for action by the former Ministry of Special Programmes. Most hon. Members here will agree with me that in our constituencies, most places are still inaccessible.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, just the other day, we heard in the news that Kijabe Mission Hospital, which is in my constituency, was actually inaccessible. It has actually stopped a lot of construction work which was going on because the road that connects Mai Mahiu to Kijabe has been impassable for the last three months. We are saying that the former Ministry of Special Programmes promised to release money, but three months are gone and nothing has happened. The planting season is already over and there will be more ripple effects. It is high time we had this done in a more co-ordinated manner.
Thank you very much hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Motion. I want to begin by congratulating the hon. T.G. Ali for bringing this timely Motion, and which deserves the support of this august House. I think this is a country that is ill prepared for disasters. We are a country that is under vicious disasters, starting with floods when it rains, and when it does not rain we get into famine and are forever crying out. When you watch television, you keep seeing the same Kenyans saying: “ Serikali tafadhali tusaidie ; Serikali tafadhali tusaidie.” I think it is about time we came up with a sustainable way of not just managing disasters, but also preventing them. We know that we are facing a real threat that is not just national but international; it is world over; this is the threat of climate change. With climate change, therefore, we should not be expecting that we will be having signs of extreme weather. When it rains, it will be many times too much, and we will have floods. When it does not rain, we will face extreme dry conditions that have adverse effects on the living conditions of our people. That calls for the establishment of a Disaster Management Authority. That will
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I want to thank my sister, T. G. Ali for coming up with---
There is an intervention by hon. Onesmus Njuki.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I did not mean to interrupt my brother. However, looking at the mood of the House I can see that most hon. Members have
Very well. I would want to agree with you because I see a long list before me. So, three minutes it shall be.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I hope it is not starting with me.
It is starting with you.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I want to congratulate the Mover of this Motion. By now we ought to have established this authority. This country has been experiencing disasters for a very long time. There is no county or constituency which is immune to disasters. We have had floods, fires and so on. We must be prepared to mitigate the impact of disasters. I was in my constituency on Monday and I commissioned a bridge. The lack of it had resulted in the loss of lives in a place called Lelach. I want to support this Motion. We need this authority like yesterday. I hope this country will move forward, and we curb some of the disasters that we always see. We sometimes experience fires, for example, in Kapkatet the other day. I rise to support this Motion. We need to move fast enough to mitigate some of the effects of disasters.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Motion. However, we have an institution similar to what we are proposing and I believe the two will be merged. This country is always ill-prepared when it comes to handling disasters. This country has a lot of man-made disasters. There is a lot of wanton destruction of property, schools, boreholes and so on. Over the weekend, some of our hon. Members and Senators went to Wajir to preach peace and stop conflicts. However, what we saw was hurting. Water boreholes and schools were destroyed yet they are public property which was constructed using the taxpayers’ money. At one time we had about 6,000 IDPs in Wajir and Mandera. Nobody talks about this matter. The people are starving. We know that we have had IDPs since 2007. I think we shall not take this matter lightly. We would like to have a disaster management authority that will consider conflict as a disaster. With those remarks, I beg to support the Motion.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I also wish to support this Motion. From the previous contributions, you realize that we are always ill prepared to deal with disasters. One of the things we are not doing to prepare for is lack of awareness creation. We need also to educate our people to be able to understand how they can be prepared to move away from the disaster scenes. You realize that when something happens, say a building collapses, people rush there to see what has happened. It could even be an explosion. This is what causes a lot of deaths, and many people suffer injuries because they do not understand the danger of approaching disaster scenes. We must also make use of our military to tackle some of the disasters in addition to using the proposed Disaster Management Authority. Our military personnel are also prepared to tackle some of the disasters. Sometimes we call in foreigners like Israelites to come and help; we call in foreign military personnel. So, even our military are trained and prepared to deal with disaster, and they can always come in handy.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I rise to support this Motion because as a country many times we are just in a reactive mood. Every time we wait for disasters to happen and that is when we move up and down. However, some of these disasters are almost predictable and something can be done about them; at any particular moment we have floods as we have had them this year. At the moment, we have drought and it comes year in, year out, as if we are not aware that it will happen. If we have this authority and we have people who can be trusted, we can move. I believe in this Republic we have Kenyans who are well prepared in terms of education, and who can steer this authority.
I believe we can convert some of these disadvantages like floods to an opportunity to harness water. That water will then be used for irrigation or other utilization, thereby solving the problem of food insecurity; these two features are connected. We also have incidents here and there on top of droughts and fires. You will find a building on fire; it is destroyed and we are not prepared. Again, this happens year in, year out and I believe that with the proposed authority, there will be help. However, for this Motion we could even have an adjustment and say that instead of urging the Government to act, we resolve, as a House, that the Government goes ahead and establishes this authority. This authority will also save money. If it is prepared properly, then we will save money for the Republic, save lives and our resources. That way, we can help our country to move forward.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I rise to support the Motion and congratulate the Mover for bringing it. I wanted to say that it is not only in Isiolo where we have disasters, but all over the country. Sometimes it is difficult to predict where it will happen. We have had floods in Nyando, Tana River, Budalangi and in many other places. We have had fires but the only thing that I would like to caution, from the experience that we have now, is that when we come up with an institution like this one, we should not create an institution for bosses. That is where people want to incur lots of overhead costs in offices, instead of doing the work that is supposed to be done in the field. Sometimes back we used to have officers going round, some of them on bicycles and others on motorbikes, trying to show farmers what to do; their training include how to dig trenches to prevent erosion. These days such officers are not there. The Agricultural Officers we have in the districts and counties are in offices. All of them go to the offices at 8.00 a.m. and get out at 5.00 p.m. They do not do the work they are supposed to do. I am only hoping that we will create an institution that will work, go round monitoring what is supposed to be happening and come up with ways in which they can detect and control some of the disasters.
Your three minutes are over!
Naibu Spika, nimesimama kuunga mkono Hoja hii kwa sababu mara nyingi unakuta kwamba watu wakipatikana na mafuriko ama majanga ambayo yamesababishwa na binadamu, Serikali huwa wakati mwingi inaanza kutafuta bajeti ya kuhakikisha kwamba lile jambo limesuluhishwa. Utaona kwamba hili linatatiza ile mipango mingine ya kimaendeleo, kwa sababu ni lazima Serikali ianze kutafuta pesa za miradi ambayo tayari ilikuwa imeafikiwa.
Jambo ambalo pia ni la kushangaza ni kwa sababu wakati kunapotokea mafuriko ama majanga kama mengine, watu wengine huchukua nafasi ile kujitajirisha, au kutafuta pesa za kuwafaidi wao binafsi. Hii nchi imeweza kushuhudia--- Kwa mfano, wakati tulikuwa na njaa na kulisemekana kwamba kulikuwa na kashfa ya mahindi. Utakumbuka kwamba pia kuna mambo ambayo yametendeka kwa IDPs. Utakuta watu pia katika janga kama lile, walichukua ile nafasi kama matapeli kupitia ununuzi wa ardhi. Hii nchi pia inajua vile ambavyo Wakenya wamekuwa wakiiomba Serikali iweze kuwasaidia ili kujikimu katika maisha ya kila siku, na katika mambo ambayo wanahitaji kama nyumba, chakula na kadhalika.
Kwa hivyo, shirika hili likibuniwa nafikiri litakuwa ni jambo muhimu sana. Niseme kwamba Hoja hii ingepingwa na wale ambao kila baada ya muda hutaka kujinufaisha kutokana na majanga ya watu. Ni vizuri pia tuwe na hili shirika kwa sababu Wakenya wenyewe hawajaweza kuhamasishwa ni vipi ambavyo wanaweza kujikinga na adhari za majanga ambayo yanatokea. Kwa mfano, hata ukiangalia nyumba, wanawezaje kujikinga na moto ukitokea? Kwa hivyo, nimesimama kuunga mkono. Natumaini kwamba hii Hoja inaweza kuhakikisha kupunguka kwa nafasi ya watu ambao hufaidika kutokana na shida za watu wengine.
Kwa hayo machache, naunga mkono.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, the rainfall pattern in this country is not erratic. We know the times when we normally expect the rains, but many times it appears that we are caught unawares. Most hon. Members who have spoken before me have dwelt on what they perceive to be areas prone to floods; this is the case with rural areas. I thank my sister, Hon. (Ms.) T.G. Ali because Isiolo is one place which is usually affected. In most urban areas, even Nairobi where we are at the moment, there are areas which are prone to floods. Even the authorities that are responsible for making sure that drainage systems are normally checked just before the rains fall are usually caught unawares.
I know of a family in Nairobi that lives in Langata, and because they bought their house they cannot move away; they have double-deckers in their home. They do not sleep on normal beds. Every rainy season, the drainage system blocks and the place is like a river. Every time you approach the City Council of Nairobi, you are always told the same story. It is as if it has to be politicized so that people can be assisted. I want to echo
You need to organize your points. I said everyone will take three minutes. Yes, hon. Kiptanui.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I want to take this time to congratulate hon. T.G. Ali for moving this Motion. Indeed, over the years, we have experienced disasters in most parts of this country. If you are a student of mathematics, you can predict with some degree of confidence when disasters will occur again. You can predict this year, next year, ten years and 100 years from now. Therefore, we must move very fast and establish a Disaster Management Authority to respond to those disasters when they occur.
Last year, I lost 15 persons in my constituency as a result of landslides. As much as the Government was very quick to send a very big delegation led by the Prime Minister to condole with us, it has taken some time for this Government to compensate or even move the affected people at that time. Indeed, the small department in the Office of the Prime Minister at that time moved very fast and provided foodstuffs to the victims. Tents were also provided. But when it came to repair of the roads, water intakes and schools which were destroyed, it has taken close to one year. Therefore, I believe that things will move faster with the Authority that will be put in place.
As we establish the Disaster Management Authority, I agree with my brother, hon. Chanzu, that there is no need of establishing a department or an authority without funding. Therefore, we must ensure that we give them enough funds and equipment to respond adequately and in a timely manner. We should forget cases where fire brigades respond two or three hours late. They appear when you have lost all the property. Therefore, we need to equip and finance the Authority.
Finally, as we establish the Authority, we need to have branches across the county. There is no need to establish an Authority that is based in one place in this country. We can have branches in Mombasa, Eldoret, Western Province and other regions. Now that we have given governors sufficient funding, it is high time we urged them to establish small units of disaster management to respond---
Hon. Kiptanui, your time is up!
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. I am aware that there are two types of disasters. We have man-made and natural disasters. We all know that disasters call for spending. We saw all the county governments preparing their budgets. I was shocked to hear that none of them has set aside money for disaster management. If you look at their budgets, obviously, you will see allowances, luxurious cars and other luxuries.
Yes, James Lomenen Ekomwa! He is not there. Yes, Nelson Gaichuhie! Somebody switch off that microphone for us. Hon. Members, this idea of coming to switch on your microphone and then leave the Chambers is really not helping to manage hon. Members. Please, let us desist from doing that. Once you have come and you want to speak, please stay in your seat so that we can manage the business of the House.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute to this Motion. I also want to thank the Mover, hon. T.G. Ali, for bringing this timely Motion. It should actually be a reminder to the Government because it has always said that it will form a Disaster Management Authority, but it has never done so.
We are faced with very many disasters in this country. We have fire, floods, hunger and many other disasters that the national Government always declares national disasters. So, I urge the Government to speedily form a Disaster Management Authority which should be proactive and not reactive. That is because the Government comes in full force any time we have a disaster. It brings the fire brigade, personnel from outside, Kenya Army and the rest. That is the case and yet, some disasters can be managed if the Government is proactive and not reactive. So, it is time we urged the Government to form a Disaster Management Authority that will always be ahead of things, knowing very well that we are expecting floods and hunger. The Authority should act before we have such disasters. It should be well managed.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I also want to echo what hon. Chanzu has said. We can form a Disaster Management Authority whose officers will just be in the office doing nothing. It will have employees who are well paid but without equipment. So, once we form the Disaster Management Authority, it should be well managed. We should have a comprehensive plan for everything that they need; for example, vehicles. They should always be proactive and not reactive.
Thank you for those few minutes.
Thank you very much, hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. In doing so, I commend the Mover for bringing a very important Motion before this House. Disasters destroy the economy and peoples’ livelihoods. So, a
Your time is up. I said organise your points. Hon. Bishop Robert Mutua.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I stand to support and congratulate the Mover of this particular Motion. We are worried about the disaster preparedness in this country. When I talk about disaster preparedness, I am talking about preparedness that can enable us turn the floods into our advantage. We can have a massive water harvesting system that can enable us do irrigation work. We are not only talking about an Authority that is just there, but a well resourced Authority. It should be resourced in terms of technology, visionary personnel and ability to respond on time. It should copy what we have seen the Red Cross do. I want to commend them. Every time there is a disaster anywhere, within a very short time, the Red Cross people are there. We are looking at that particular Authority as an authority that is going to change calamities into opportunities of advancement. At the moment, every calamity that happens in Kenya makes us beggars. We keep on appealing for relief food and assistance externally and yet, our disasters are well patterned. They are no longer surprises. Actually, we can plan for them because they happen repeatedly and we have statistics. Since we have a digital Government that embraces technology, then there is no excuse why we cannot have a Disaster Management Authority in place. That way, no more disasters are going to cause a lot of suffering to Kenyans.
Finally, it is important to know that the Disaster Management Authority is not going to be like any other authority. It will be an authority for engagement. So, we do not want to see offices only in Nairobi. The offices should be where they are required. The headquarters of that particular Disaster Management Authority should be located where
Hon. Eric Keter.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion. This is a Motion which should have come many years ago. I say this because disaster, as we know, is an event that occurs without somebody’s knowledge sometimes. But some disasters like floods should not take a long time to solve. I border the Kano Plains and, as a young kid, I saw my parents and other children suffering because of floods. Some were being ferried to the highlands and, up to now, many years later – that was about 40 or 50 years ago - the same things are happening.
So, the Authority should come up with mechanisms to manage floods. Storey buildings have been collapsing in this country. The same has been happening in other cities. We do not have the personnel with the ability to cope with those things. We have witnessed winds destroying schools and other institutions in various parts of this country. The local mwananch i only asks the Government to assist. The authority that is supposed to be responsible is not there. We should come up with an authority with well trained personnel to manage those disasters.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, Isiolo and Budalangi are now in a very good situation. But once we establish that Disaster Management Authority, we have to take the personnel to countries like United States of America (USA) which are prone to very big disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and others. They will acquire skills on how to manage disasters.
I stand to support. Thank you very much.
Hon. Tom Kajwang.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. Allow me also to put my voice into this very noble Motion. I speak as a Nairobi City dweller; but I speak more as a slum dweller. I come from Korogocho in the suburbs of Kisumu Ndogo, Mathare and Kariandudu. Although the Motion is talking about floods, which are also with us when Nairobi River overflows, we are all washed away and taken down to the dumpsite. But the biggest disaster that we have is fire. In the homes that we own, fire is an everyday experience. Every weekend and nearly every two weeks, I have had to deal with issues when fire guts away homes and leaves people without materials, goods and even lives. Just last week, I was at Kisumu Ndogo. The other day, I was at Mathare and the story is the same for the other areas. That is because of the squalid living conditions that are prevalent there. Most fires are caused by illegal electricity connections. That is something that we need to discuss with Kenya Power Company. That is because they have the monopoly in the distribution of electricity and we have to live. We have to have some light, heat our systems, cook and so on, there is need to interface with the provider, who enjoys the monopoly. So, the Disaster Management Authority is an excellent idea to consolidate the functions that will help us in disaster management. In Schedule Four, I see that disaster management is a shared function of both the national Government and the county governments. If we had a central authority, it would help to consolidate those functions between the national Government and the counties.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, in the United States of America, fire marshalling is a big thing. Every young man is proud that his father was a fire brigade marshal. There are
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank the Mover of the Motion, hon. T.G. Ali. I also wish to support this Motion, especially in terms of the coordination of disasters in the country.
When you scan this country, you realize that disaster issues have not been consolidated. When you go to the CDF, you find that an aspect of disaster funds is provided for. When you go to the national Government, you also find some bit of disaster management. This is also under the Red Cross, which is an international body. I support the Motion that we need to create a central point where all those people can rally and co- ordinate issues of disaster management. As my colleagues have stated, disasters can be very costly. They can destroy livelihoods especially for people in the rural areas and, more so, in the ASAL areas where there are always floods and drought. Since those issues are predictable, if we had a body to co-ordinate them, it would be its function to ensure that it gives early warning signs to the people and even categorize areas where people should not live. For instance, in Baringo, we normally have landslides. I am sure that if we had a body that looks into those issues, it would warn the people not to settle in areas which are prone to floods. Because of increased population, arable land is becoming less and many people are going up the hills, cutting trees and settling there. This is a recipe for disaster. It would be the business of that authority to inform the Government to bar people from living in those areas. With those remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. I am also aware that the Government has a small department called the Disaster Management Centre under the Office of the President, which has no capacity to manage disasters. As I support this Motion, that Authority will not only address the issue of floods, but it will also address earthquakes, fires and bomb blasts, among other disasters. In the past, the Government has been very reactive to disasters. This Authority will have early warning systems to assist the Government to conduct evacuation in good time. The pattern of our seasons is well known to the Government. What is happening in Sondu and other places should be taken care of well in advance. Last weekend in Kitui Town, there was fire that took fire-fighters eight hours to put off. Due to lack of fire- fighting equipment, the fire occasioned losses to the tune of Kshs100 million. Therefore, if that Authority is put in place, it will be devolved to the counties and, therefore, it will be very easy to react to disasters from a centralized place. I support the Motion.
Ahsante sana mhe. Naibu Spika. Naunga mkono Hoja hii. Kwanza, nampongeza sana mhe. T.G. Ali kwa kuleta Hoja muhimu kama hii katika Bunge hili. Ni kweli kabisa kwamba wakati wa mafuriko, watu hupata shinda sana nchini, hasa, Galole na Tana River. Mafuriko husababisha mambo mengi sana kama vile watu kuhama kutoka sehemu wanayoishi kuenda sehemu zingine na watoto wa shule kushindwa kufika shuleni kwa sababu maji hujaa kila mahali.
Thank you, hon. Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion and congratulate hon. T.G. Ali for moving it. This is a very important Motion. We seem not to learn from our mistakes and the calamities that have befallen this country. It is high time that we had an authority to handle issues that come our way from the numerous disasters that we have year in, year out. Disasters are not specific to certain areas like Isiolo, they happen in the entire country. We face all manner of disasters. It is not just floods and famine. We have fires in our forests and buildings. We have all sorts of calamities like disease outbreaks, which end up being big disasters because they are not well managed as they should because of lack of such an authority. We have helplessly watched people die in fires and landslides and we cannot continue like this. We need to take a positive action.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, we need that take positive action because this Motion has come at the opportune time. It is important for us to embrace it and set up an authority for disaster management. I think the Mover of the Motion has been a disaster manager in many occasions. We have watched many bad things happen, but we stand there watching helplessly. Hon. Speaker, recently, in the last rains, I was called by somebody who was in Masinga. The person informed me that somebody had drowned because the water levels had come up. The crocodiles were on the rampage and it was hopeless. I could not do anything. With an authority as proposed in this Motion, we can have measures put in place so that when disasters occur, something can be done immediately. When a disaster occurs, time is of the essence.
Thank you very much, hon. Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. I rise to support the Motion and congratulate hon. Tiyah Galgalo for bringing such a timely Motion. Hon. Speaker, Sir, I just want to say that the money that the Government is spending to mitigate some of the effects of floods and all the other calamities that are caused by heavy rains is enough to contain the water through dams in most of the rivers in the affected areas. I have worked in Isiolo and I am sure hon. Galgalo knows that there are issues that have contributed to those advance negative effects. One, is environmental degradation.
Thank you very much, hon. Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this very important Motion. It has taken a long time for the Government to consider this matter because there are so many small agencies that deal with disasters. It is now high time that we consolidate all those agencies and put them into an authority so that it can have teeth to implement disaster management in this country. As my colleagues have said, in various constituencies, there are problems. In my own constituency, during the last rainy season, we lost more than 20 people because of rain-related disasters. The response from the Government was so slow that we could not save the people who were affected by the disaster. Hon. Speaker, Sir, it is high the Government consolidated the agencies into a disaster management authority and implement it as fast as possible. It has taken a long time for the Government to organize itself. Disasters happen every year and yet, we are not pro-active. We need to look at this matter seriously and decide what to do. We should set a budget for it. Hon. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank hon. Tiyah Galgalo for bringing this very important Motion. I urge the Government to move with speed and establish the Disaster Management Authority. I also urge the Committee on Implementation to take immediate action on this Motion and ensure that it is implemented. The Ministry concerned should take this matter very seriously. During the next rainy season, we should not sit down and wait for something to happen and then take action. It is good to prepare ourselves for the eventualities that might occur at the constituency level. With those few remarks, I beg to strongly support.
Thank you hon. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this Motion. I want to thank the Mover of the Motion and assure her that in the last Parliament a lot of work was done in preparation of a disaster management authority. That was done because all the disasters that have occurred in this country in the
Your ten minutes are over. We had resolved that the Mover be called upon to reply at 10.50 a.m. The Mover is hon. Tiyah Galgalo. I am sure she has not forgotten that. Proceed and reply.
Hon. Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank all hon. Members for supporting this Motion. The support shows the importance of this particular Motion. I know that this country has had many disasters. I do not need to repeat that. We remember the bomb blast and the Sinai fire. The most recent, of course, are the floods. That agency will be important because it will enhance safety and preparedness for any disaster. I think what we need is a kit. We need to plan. We need to educate communities on what to do in the event of disasters. We need an information dissemination centre where people will share information on weather patterns. There will be information available on how to keep ourselves and our property safe in the event of any disaster. The practice has been that committees are formed after disasters have taken place. In Isiolo, we lack vital equipment like firefighting equipment. One month ago, we watched a house in the hospital quarters burn down. A lot of property was destroyed and the family was displaced. We do not have ambulances or recovery centres. We also lack psychosocial support especially for the people who are affected after the occurrence of a big disaster. Most of the time, we have disaster agencies such as the Red Cross come in handy. However, sometimes, the pledges that are made are never honored. I remember that ten years ago, when Gotu Bridge was washed away, it turned into a cash cow. It was not done until recently when the budget was passed in this House. During the floods, five counties were affected. They are Isiolo, Moyale, Turkana, Mandera and Kilifi---
You have another five minutes hon. Galgalo, before we put the Question. Even then, we will have to determine that we have quorum before we can put the Question.
Hon. Speaker, those five counties that I mentioned were discussed. All the then Permanent Secretaries met to allocate money for emergency use in those counties. I want to report that some of those counties are yet to receive the money that was allocated to them. I would like to urge the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing to table a report showing how much money was allocated to those counties. That is because whenever we have disasters of that magnitude, money is allocated and, at the end of the day, there is no accountability. We are now expecting rains in September. I remember that the engineer concerned made a budget request of Kshs800 million that would ensure that Isiolo is not affected during the coming rains. However, that has not been honored. I expect the Committee to tell us how the money that was allocated in early May, 2013 was spent in those five counties. That authority is very critical. I thank the House for supporting this Motion. I urge the Ministry concerned to move with speed so that it does not appear that we are taking peoples’ lives for granted especially when disasters happen. We need to have a co- ordinating body which will have offices at the county level. This will help in evacuation and rehabilitation. Thank you and I beg to reply.
Hon. Tiya Galgalo, I am informed that we are only 37 Members in the House. There is something exciting Members that they do not want to participate in debate. We could defer putting the Question on this Motion until we have quorum. That is the practice we have adopted in this 11th Parliament. We could give you another three minutes before we move to the next Order. I can see hon. Members coming in.
On a point of order, hon. Speaker. I rise to let you know that most of the hon. Members are around. However, because the former Prime Minister is around, that is why they are not in the Chamber. They are, however, around.
But that is extraneous to the proceedings in the House. Hon. Members, we will not put the Question relating to the Motion by hon. (Ms.) Ali, T.G. until such time as we shall form quorum. I direct that, that business be placed on the Order Paper for the afternoon Sitting at 2.30 p.m. and then we move to the next Order.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, aware that since the signing of the Cotonou Agreement in the year 2000, the Government has been negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with European Union (EU) together with other member States of the Eastern African Region; further aware of the concerns raised by the Eastern African Region on the contentious aspects of EPAs, including offering undue advantage to products from other markets at the expense of growth of local and regional industries; further taking cognizance of the adverse effects that EPAs are projected to have on Kenya’s economy particularly on agriculture and manufacturing sectors; aware of an amendment to the European Union’s Market Access Regulations (1528 of 2007), whose effect is that the 18 countries which
Your time is over.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I thought I had more time than the three minutes you were giving me. Is there a problem? It is still not on. Can I go to the Dispatch Box?
I had given you 20 minutes to move.
Are my 20 minutes over?
I am just finishing. Give me two minutes and then I will conclude. So, I have just given you list of countries which I have said have signed the EPAs but have not taken the necessary steps to ratify and implement their respective agreements. So, what I am saying is: Yes, we need to sign an EPA but we are saying let us not sign it in its current form as it is giving us undue advantage over products coming from the EU into our market. We are also saying that the impact of being removed will differ from country to country. Remember we said that after the end of 2014, we will be removed from the market access into European markets and the impact of being removed from that market access regulation would be different for the various countries. Everybody will have different impacts. This is because as I said earlier, in the East African Community (EAC) it is only Kenya that does not belong to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and, therefore, will be impacted by not signing it. Even if all the other East African countries do not sign, there will be no problem because they belong to LDCs and, therefore, will still have ability to access the European markets because of what I earlier alluded to; everything but arms. Hon. Speaker, Sir, so, really what I am saying is that we need to ask our Government to look critically because what we want to save is our local industries and we want to stop an agreement that brings a flood of products from the EU that are going to definitely cost a lot less because of the subsidies that are given to their markets, farmers and manufacturers in their countries. Hon. Speaker, Sir, so, I want to leave it there because of time and ask the Member for Ugenya who is a member of the Committee on Regional Integration to second.
Hon. David Ouma Ochieng. You are the one to second.
Thank you very much, hon. Speaker, Sir. I would like to congratulate the Mover of this Motion, hon. Dr. Laboso, for a very important Motion. Most things happen without this Parliament knowing and this is one of the things that I think is happening without Parliament knowing. However, at least under the new Constitution, this House now has a very major role to play at any time this country is going to sign any international treaty under the Constitution. However, back to the Constitution, I have lived in Kenya now for the last 32 years and a couple of things have happened. Among them has been the going down of Raymonds, Rift Valley Textiles (RIVATEX) and Kisumu Cotton Mills (Kicomi). Thika used to be the hub of this country in industrial production but it is long gone. It no longer produces anything. Hon. Speaker, you know some time back in 1998/1999, the EU decided to block fish from Lake Victoria from going to Europe but allowed the fish from Uganda and Tanzania and yet the fish is from the same lake. Just to bring it closer home, recently we passed a very good Budget and we allocated so much money for industrial and enterprise development. When the President was here sitting on the seat that you are sitting on today, he said that he wants to ensure the local industry grows more than it has been doing before and that is why we are putting so much money in the Youth and Women Enterprise Development Funds. We are putting so much money in enterprise development. We are also, as we speak, trying to develop our Numerical Machining Complex (NMC) and so this Motion is not much about the EPA. EPA is just a
Are you seconding?
Hon. Speaker, give me two minutes I finish. This is an issue that is very key. The main issue for us is that as a Parliament, we must help this Government to put money in production and reduce the cost of production. We cannot be paying
Hon. Speaker, I thank the Mover of this Motion. The Motion is very important to the East African Community and Kenya in particular. This 11th Parliament is quite blessed to have a Committee on Regional Integration under the Standing Order 212. Some of the functions of that Committee are to inquire and examine all treaties and laws that would affect the EAC and our country.
I am also alive to the fact that there was a disconnect between the previous Assemblies and the current Assembly in the sense that any treaty that was signed before did not find its way into this House in view of the fact that there was no Committee that dealt with issues of regional integration. Today, courtesy of the 10th Parliament we are blessed to have the Regional Integration Committee.
As a lawyer, I am alive to the provisions of Article 2(5) and (6) that expressly allow any treaty that has been ratified by the Republic of Kenya to become operational in Kenya. This, therefore, means that all the terms and conditions that go with that treaty or agreement would automatically affect each and every citizen of this Republic. We have seen this happen through the ICC and the other treaties that have been signed and persons, at the end of the day, claim not to have known the consequences of that action. It is with this in mind that I beg the Mover of this Motion to allow this debate be adjourned under Standing Order No.96 and the matter be referred to the Committee on Regional Integration, so that we can bring a report to this House and sort out the issue. That is my position as the Chairperson of the Committee on Regional Integration.
Is it your proposal that you move under Standing Order 96 that debate be adjourned?
I, therefore, move under Standing Order 96 and request that this debate be adjourned.
Well, I can see some frowning. Let us hear some reaction from the hon. Rachael Shebesh.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. Of course, with a lot of respect to the Regional Integration Committee, she has given accolades to the 10th Parliament for creating the Standing Order and the spirit in which the committees have taken over responsibilities to look at Motions and reports in this House does not negate in any way the right to debate the same issues on the Floor of the House. That is how one enriches the Committee’s report. It is by listening to the views which even the Chair has agreed, when the Mover and the Seconder speak it gives immense value. Hon. Speaker, I have been a member of the Pan African Parliament. I do have very valuable input in terms of how negotiations are going and how Africa is being treated by the European Union. I would beg the Chair to be patient, allow debate and use
Can I have some other reactions as I can see in the face of hon. David Ochieng’?
Hon. Speaker, Sir, just on the same point of order, I wanted to agree with hon. Shebesh, because I am also a Member of that Committee. I think debate on this matter will help us more so that we pass the Motion, before we refer the matter. Thank you.
Let us hear from hon. Dr. Laboso.
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I want to agree with the two speakers that have contributed before me. I think this is a debating chamber for hon. Members and Motions are not binding, nobody --- We had a situation last week where we were telling hon. Members that they were the people who were in charge of budget; if they wanted to move a process to the next level, then they would have brought a Bill to the House and then go and negotiate with the Government. A Motion is partly to inform hon. Members. A lot of hon. Members do not know what ACP means; I am sure a lot of the hon. Members were going to the Committee were wondering what happens at the ACP. This is an opportunity for hon. Members to know some of the issues that are brought up in a Parliament that you are a member of. You are a Member of that House and as I have told you, even in the ACP, a lot of fears that people have had is that Parliaments are unaware of what happens in the executives in most times. That is why we come here and sometimes we look at comments such as, why we did not sign the Global Fund; what happened that we did not meet the requirements and we just wonder. This is because there is disconnect between what is going on in the Executive and what happens in this Parliament. This is an opportunity to bridge that gap and get informed on what is happening here. I am not speaking as the President of ACP, I am just speaking as a concerned Kenyan who wants that information for the hon. Members of this august House. So, yes, the Chairman of the Committee, you are the one who is going to have the opportunity to engage the Government and come up with information on the way forward. That does not stop hon. Members of this House from getting informed, participating and also expressing their views on the same. Thank you, hon. Speaker.
Let me give direction. The hon. Florence Kajuju claims to move under Standing Order 96 that debate on this Motion be adjourned and be referred to the Committee that she chairs. Unfortunately, Standing Order 96 (1) is clear and states as follows: “A Member who wishes to postpone to some future occasion the further discussion of a question which has been proposed from the Chair may claim to move “That, the debate be now adjourned”.
Now, the hon. Kajuju is not claiming that debate be postponed to any future occasion, but seeks to have debate referred to the Committee. I want to advise that I have been in agreement with what hon. Dr. Laboso and hon. Ochieng’ have said that, if this House adopts this Motion as it is or even with amendments, it will be perfect excuse or reason for the Motion now to go before the Committee on regional integration so that the
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I want to thank you for giving this opportunity to contribute to this Motion. The 11th Parliament came into existence during a time when our Constitution also changed. Parliament as is currently constituted has got extended powers. The best thing that could be for the benefit of this country would be to engage Parliament, every other time that we sign any agreements with our development partners. Hon. Speaker, Sir, I want to say that for us to encourage development in this region, and for us to encourage industrial growth within our country, it would be important to look inwards and to engage in activities that promote markets for locally produced goods. Hon. Speaker, Sir, for a long time, as a country we have engaged in agreements with other development partners without looking into the long term effects of such agreements on our industrial growth. I would want to support this particular Motion by saying that we as a country must engage our development partners within this region and all agreements that we enter into that are aimed at development must always ensure that we give priority to members of this particular region and, of course, we give priority to products that are produced locally. Hon. Speaker, Sir, we would not want to envisage a situation where one individual, be it a Cabinet or Principal Secretary, or whoever enters into an agreement on trade that commits our country without, particularly engaging this august House. So, I want to urge hon. Members of this House to look at this Motion favourably with the aim of enhancing the powers of this House with regard to agreements that are usually signed on trade and partnership. With those remarks, therefore, I support this particular Motion.
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I want to thank the Mover of this Motion, hon. Dr. Joyce Laboso for bringing this Motion. This will enable us get information concerning some of the trade policies and agreements that are signed by the Government and which have an effect on our people. Hon. Speaker, Article 95(2) of the Constitution gives this august House power to deliberate on all issues touching on the people of Kenya. This is, indeed, a matter that is of critical importance to Kenyans. In the past, our nation has signed agreements which ultimately impact negatively on us. Today we have been discussing about disaster preparedness. We are conscious of a treaty that was signed a long time ago between Egypt and the rest of the East African countries. Today we cannot harness fully the waters of River Nile because of the treaty that was signed during the colonial times. Any treaty that is signed by the Government of Kenya should have the input of the National Assembly. This is why I support this Motion: Trade imbalances between developing countries and Europe disfavor the growing nations. In order to address those imbalances
Hon. Speaker, I rise to support this very important Motion by the Deputy Speaker and very well seconded by hon. Ouma. If you look at Europe currently, they are in turmoil. Their economies are collapsing. They are having ageing populations because they do not have young people who can drive their economies. Those that are there are so much used to the welfare system to the point that they do not want to work. They just want to stay there
like in the UK where I was studying last year. Also the people below the age of 25 years have no jobs. It is increasingly becoming difficult to live in Europe. What with countries like Portugal, Greece, Spain and Italy which would qualify to be Third World countries? If you look at the migration rules that are being redesigned, you will realize that they are meant to look out for people outside the EU to actually penetrate their market.
Hon. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion and join hands with my fellow hon. Members in congratulating the Mover, hon. (Dr.) Laboso, for giving us insight of what transpires on the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States’ parliaments on issues such as the ones that are in this Motion.
Any arrangements made between two or more people must carry with them in their rules of engagement three key components. The rules of engagement must be right, they must be freely negotiated and they must be to the mutual benefit of the parties to that arrangement. Anything less is detrimental particularly to the weaker party in that arrangement. In this respect, we are talking about developed countries and developing countries. There is a stronger party and a weaker party in this arrangement. Every effort must be made to ensure that the weaker party is more protected than the stronger party in that arrangement. I have issues when we talk about local manufacturing industries. What do we mean? To me, these are industries that are owned by Kenyans as opposed to multinationals in the developed world which have come to invest in this country for purposes of obtaining cheaper production costs and supply their goods to the surrounding regions. I recall that when Parliament in the USA enacted the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), we saw the emergence of the export processing zones (EPZs) in this country. When the EPZs were introduced in Kenya, they brought disaster much as they came to offer employment to our people. First and foremost, they sought to be excluded from the application of our laws governing occupational, safety and health within the working places. They deprived those working in those EPZs the right to exercise their freedom of association. But the end result or the net effect was that the EPZs were making huge amounts of profit repatriated to the countries of origin. When we look at our sub-region, the EAC, we must not run away from the fact that Kenya is a leading economy within the five EA countries and it must take a lead in giving to the other countries within the sub-region the way forward. If there is anything that is not acceptable to the country, we must not be arm twisted to be told because the weaker economies within the sub-region are in agreement; Kenya must have a deadline within which to sign on its part. Hon. Speaker, Sir, when the Mover of this Motion was addressing this House, she touched my heart when she talked about the impediments that are put to the Kenyans
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I beg to move an amendment to this Motion even as I support it. The amendment I will propose will not alter the full import of this Motion. I am just concerned because the contentious issues we are raising as ably highlighted by my brother, hon. Ouma, are very clear. We should not pass the Motion without specifying those contentious issues within the Motion.
Hon. Speaker, I beg to move that the Motion be amended as follows:- THAT the Motion be amended by deleting the words after the word “alone” on the 16th line and replacing thereof with the words “this House resolves that the Government does not sign the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in their current form until all outstanding issues especially the most favoured nation treatment, export taxes and development clauses as raised by the East African Community and Kenya in particular are conclusively addressed, and that the Government
Thank you, hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to second this amendment. I would like to begin by thanking hon. Dr. Joyce Laboso for bringing this important Motion that sets precedent of this Parliament where it is involved when the Executive goes into any agreement with the international community or economic bloc. It is involved in giving the mwananchi voice in these agreements. Having looked at this Motion and even the amendment that has been brought by the hon. Member, I would like to say that it is really about time that Africa stood on its two feet and showed the West that we understand what is good for us as a continent. I have travelled quite a bit. I remember that one time I travelled to Gabon. I entered a supermarket to buy toothpaste and I remember the shock I got after realizing that all the things that were on the shelves in that supermarket were imported. The question we want to ask is that if we go the route the EU wants us to go, that is, through these EPAs are we helping our local manufacturers? Are we building this country, or are we destroying our economy? I think it is about time that we stood by the local manufacturers. What is Kenyan is good for our economy. What comes from out should only come when we have had enough of what is Kenyan. We must encourage Kenyans to be proud of buying what is Kenyans. I have heard the hon. Member for Kabete say that you would go to Europe to buy something from Marks and Spencer only for you to realize that actually you are buying an outfit made in Kenya. What happened to our textile industry? It is this kind of EPAs that killed our textile industry. It is when we accepted to bring mitumbas into Kenya that we killed our textile industry. I come from a constituency that depends heavily on tea and coffee. The county I share with you, hon. Speaker, is one of the largest producers of tea and coffee. However, when you travel outside this country you will see something called “English Tea”. Where in Europe will you find a single plant of tea?
With this devolution that is urging counties to begin adding value to their farm produce, it is now time to ensure that we protect our counties from agreements that are in favor of the West. We must ensure that we enter into trade agreements that will encourage county governments to begin value addition of the produce in the farms in the counties. If we do not do that, we can be sure that devolution will come to naught. I look
Thank you, hon. Speaker. I wish to support this Motion as amended. It is something that should be done very soon. I would like to talk a bit on the cotton industry which has been failing. Mahatma Gandhi advocated for use of cotton in India. He banned the importation of cotton from Britain. We need to be more patriotic by building our industries rather than exporting jobs. We need to think about EPZ. People get tax holidays and there is the AGOA initiative. People come in as investors, but as soon as the tax holidays are removed, they run away from Kenya and go elsewhere. Our coffee and tea should be given good treatment---
Hon. Members, it is now time to interrupt the business of the House. This House stands adjourned until this afternoon at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 12.30 p.m.