Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Transport the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Could the Minister explain why the East African Airlines aircraft flying to Kisumu on 26th June, 2008, at 5.45 p.m., was forced to land back at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) shortly after take-off? (b) Is the Minister aware that flights by this particular airline have experienced several unexplained incidents over the last several months? (c) Could the Minister suspend the licence of this company and order an audit on their compliance with aviation safety rules before any disaster occurs?
The Minister for Transport! He is not in. We will come back to that Question later. Let us move on to Ordinary Questions.
asked the Minister of State for Special Programmes:- (a) if she could table a detailed status report on the Western Kenya Flood Mitigation and Community-driven Development (WKFM&CDD) Project which was funded by the World Bank to the tune of Kshs6 billion; (b) if she is aware that the rehabilitation of weak points on dykes along the southern and northern banks of River Nzoia within Budalang'i Constituency has stalled because the contractor; the National Water Conssservation and Pipeline Corporation, has not received funds under this project; (c) when funds will be allocated to enable the contractor complete the rehabilitation works ahead of the next rainy season; and, 1690 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 (d) if she could provide a timeframe within which the dykes rehabilitation works will be completed, and indicate when the long-term flood control measures and the CDD component of the project will commence and conclude.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Western Kenya Community-driven Development and Flood Mitigation Project is an eight-year project financed by the World Bank to the tune of Kshs6.5 billion. The objective of the project is to empower local communities in all the districts in the western region of Kenya, plus two districts in Nyanza Province, that is, Bondo and Siaya, in wealth creating activities through poverty reduction and by reducing the vulnerability to the frequency and costs of the current floods and contribute towards development benefits. The project has three main components, namely, Community-Driven Development, Flood Management, and Implementation Support. The project was declared effective on 6th August, 2007, and the initial activities started immediately thereafter. The key achievements of the project todate are as follows:- Under the Community-driven Development Component, the project has initiated the Participatory Integrated Community Development (PICD), trained 105 members of the District Steering Groups (DSGs), recruited mobile advisory teams, initiated the establishment of the a community foundation, completed evaluation of tenders towards hiring of a consultant to undertake a feasibility study for the repair work of two mini-hydropower projects in Kaimosi and Yala under the locally-identified investments and completed Terms of Reference for the preparation of a Community-Driven Development (CDD) manual. Under the Flood Management Component, the project has contributed towards the completion of repair work of the breached section of the dyke at Makunda in Budalang'i. It has also cleared bushes in the flood plain using local labour and facilitated exchange visit for 16 members of the Budalang'i community to India to learn innovative flood plain management. It has established community flood early warning system, including daily flood watch bulletins. It has developed a catchment management manual and seedlings for catchment in Kuywa, Moiben and Sosian sub-catchments and continuously monitored river gauging stations. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, under implementation support, the Ministry has recruited and deployed all key staff, inducted and initiated training of all project staff, established Project Management Unit (PMU) and District Co-ordination Units (DCUs), and also established and subsequently trained District Steering Groups (DSGs). A more comprehensive report is in the Draft Annual Progress Report for the First Year activities, which is hereby attached. I would want, at this point, to table the First Year Draft Annual Progress Report of 2007/2008.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am still going on with the answer. (b) The Ministry of State for Special Programmes has no contractual arrangements with the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC) to repair the southern and northern dykes in Budalang'i. However, the Ministry, through the Western Kenya Community- Driven Development (CDD) and the Flood Mitigation Project has a partnership arrangement in which it provides supplementary support to the Corporation. The Ministry's mandate in the Nzoia Basin, through the project, is to construct new dykes as a long-term measure. July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1691 (c) The Ministry is not obligated to provide any funds for the repair work of the said dykes to the NWCPC, as there is no contractual arrangement. The repair work falls under the mandate of the NWCPC. However, my Ministry has a collaborative arrangement with the Corporation, where it has been contributing to the dykes repairs. In this regard, therefore, the project has already contributed Kshs5 million towards the successful repair of the brick section of the Makunda Dyke, and has plans to offer more contributions within the first quarter of the 2008/2009 Financial Year; that is by September, 2008. (d) The repair and rehabilitation works of the dyke should be a continuous exercise until the Ministry constructs the long-term flood control structures. Work on the long-term flood control measures has already started with procurement of services for studies and designs of the new dykes and a multi-purpose dam. Construction of the new dykes and dams will start after 2010. Work on the rehabilitation and conservation of the Nzoia River Basin has already commenced, and will continue throughout the project period, ending 2015. The CDD component has already commenced in 22 sub-locations throughout the project region. It will continue throughout the project time- frame up to the year 2015.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to commend the Minister for this detailed update on the progress on this very important project. I also want to acknowledge the splendid rehabilitation work that has, indeed, happened at one of the points that the Minister mentioned in her progress report, that is the rehabilitation works at Makunda, at a point called "Bwaluang'a". However, there are certain issues that I would beg to be clarified further or noted by her. One is that this very crucial project seems to be becoming a hostage of the usual State bureaucracy, with a lot of focus on boardroom activity and very little action on the ground. I would like to plead with the Minister that there should be more activity out in the field and less of the boardroom activity. A lot of the achievements that this report acknowledges have been in the board and training rooms but not much actual activities on the ground. I would also like to hear some specific actions undertaken on some of the issues that the Minister has mentioned, including this evaluation of tenders and the hiring of a consultant. I would like her to indicate to the House when exactly--- I am looking at page 3 of her report, where she talks of completed evaluation towards hiring of a consultant to undertake a feasibility study for the repair work of two mini hydro power projects in Kaimosi and Yala. Perhaps hon. Members in whose areas these two places fall may want to tell the House the progress of that particular aspect of the project. There is also the establishment of the flood early warning system and daily watch bulletins. I have not come across any of these daily watch bulletins and I wonder whether the residents of Budalang'i have access to these bulletins and early warning system. Then, of course, the rehabilitation of the catchment areas of Mukuiywa, Moiben and Sosian sub-catchments. I do not know whether that is a planned activity or whether it has, indeed, taken off and is going on. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on page 4 of the report---
What is your supplementary question, Mr. Namwamba?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am seeking clarifications on the progress report. The Minister has also indicated that there is no contract between her Ministry and the NWCPC. Under what arrangement is this project giving funds from this project to the NWCPC if, indeed, there is no contract between it and this corporation? Word has it that the NWCPC cannot proceed with the works already going on unless they receive funding from this project. What kind of arrangement is there between her Ministry and the NWCPC, and what exactly is the NWCPC 1692 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 supposed to do, and what exactly is supposed to be done under her Ministry through this project? I also---
Order, Mr. Namwamba! You can ask 50 questions or even 100 from the statement that was read by the Minister! What you need to do is to seek clarification, give the Minister an opportunity to clarify it and allow the House to participate in the Question! Madam Minister, proceed and clarify some of the areas!
Order, Mr. Namwamba!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think being a new hon. Member and eager to work for his people, it is quite in order for him to be interested in so much at the same time!
The hon. Member wanted to seek some clarification about the tenders, where a consultant has undertaken a feasibility study for the repair work of two mini-hydro power projects in Kaimosi and Yala. This project is funded through our development partners, and most of the work follows the set guidelines that they have given us. At this particular juncture, I cannot really tell him how far this tendering process has gone, because everything is done within the set guidelines by the donors. However, in case the hon. Member will require more information, it will be important for him to pay a visit to our offices, so that he can be given information by the relevant departments. Secondly, as for the rehabilitation of the catchment, management and seedlings for the catchment in Mukuiywa, Moiben and Sosian, already 68,000 tree seedlings have been planted in the Mukuiywa catchment area. The other clarification he was trying to seek was what kind of relationship we have with the NWCPC. We do the work and they are supposed to do the repairs; that is the Government component in it. However, in the case where they do not have enough money, then we partner with them, so that they can complete the repair work. In this particular case, the amount of money which was required was Kshs13 million. The Government has put in Kshs8 million, and we had to partner in this project and give it Kshs5 million. So, it is a partnership to make sure that these repair works are completed. Where they fall short of money, we come in and top up something for them to complete the works. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for most of the donor-funded projects, there is a lot that goes on in boardrooms. At every stage, people are checked and counter-checked; so, you end up having so many meetings. It looks like there are more meetings than having action in the field. However, from our Ministry's point of view, we shall discuss it with the donors, so that more action is seen to be going on than boardroom meetings. But boardroom meetings are very important for the donors to be satisfied that all the set guidelines have been followed.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in response to Question by Mr. Namwamba, the Minister explained that the Western Kenya Flood Mitigation and Community-driven Development Project also covers the larger Bondo District. As we all know, this district now comprises two districts, namely, Bondo and Rarieda districts. Could she kindly explain what specific programmes are being undertaken in Bondo and Rarieda districts under the Western Kenya Flood Mitigation and Community-driven Development Project?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the projects are actually along the same line as I have explained. There are three main projects. It will be very important for the hon. Member to July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1693 bring a specific Question concerning the greater Bondo and Siaya districts, so that I can give the progress report on what is happening in those two areas.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The Minister should be fair to this House. It is not very difficult for her to answer the question by the hon. Member. She should tell us the specific projects in Bondo District and even in Kakamega District under this programme. We know that all World Bank-funded projects in this country talk about Kshs6.5 billion, but when you look at what has been done, you find that 80 per cent of that money was used on capacity building. Could she enumerate the specific projects, for example, one, two, three in Kakamega District and one, two, three in Siaya District?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Dr. Khalwale would also want to know what is happening in Kakamega District. It is important for us to be given an opportunity to give a more detailed report, which should be very long. In my answer, I just have the general points. I do not have specifics about the different districts, except where flood mitigation, for example, Budalangi, is taking place.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister's response is very heavy on temporary measures that the Ministry is taking, but very light on long-term measures that the Ministry needs to take. Flooding does not occur only in Budalangi, but in all parts of western Kenya. In Nyando and the Tana Delta, floods are an annual event. Why is the Ministry treating floods, which are annual, as if they are emergencies? What is the Ministry doing to make this a permanent project? Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, secondly, floods have a fortunate element. They bring exotic and very delicious species of fish to the doorsteps of the people. Is it possible that the people of Budalangi break the dykes deliberately, so that fish can come to their doorsteps?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, flood mitigation falls under two Ministries. One element falls under my Ministry and the other element falls under the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. This is a specific project for Western Province. This is what we have been dealing with and we are trying to extend the programme to the rest of the country. For the time being, we usually just respond to emergencies. We have not been able to roll out projects to the rest of the country. As for the people of Budalangi tearing into the dykes, I do not think that is the resolution to floods. You cannot risk to destroy dykes which have cost so much and which are supposed to be people's life savers, just because you want fish. Secondly, sometimes we have problems because the floods are very heavy. Early this year during the post-election skirmishes, it was difficult for the workers to complete their work because the supervisors were from outside and they had been sent away. As a result, work which should have been done very well, was not done properly.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, first of all, Mr. Olago comes from Kisumu City, but he needs to know that the people of Budalangi are the best fishermen in Africa, south of the Sahara and north of the Limpopo River. So, we do not need water to deliver fish to our doorsteps. We know how to find fish in the deepest of deep waters. I wish to request the Minister to respond to two issues. What is she planing to do about---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it not the tradition of this House that only one question is asked at a time and not two or more questions? The hon. Member has the practice of asking too many questions at a go.
You are out of order, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Perhaps, the Assistant Minister wants to be taught some fishing skills---
Ask your supplementary question, Mr. Namwamba!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would want the Minister to tell the House what she is planning to do about eight other vulnerable points along the dykes. After the successful completion of the Makunda vulnerable point, I would like her to tell us what she is planning to do 1694 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 about other points which include Najoni, Rugunga, Chibuka, Udedi, Nahasyongo and Siginga vulnerable points. Secondly, I wish to bring to her attention that whereas she has indicated in the report that the project successfully supported bush clearing as part of the flood mitigation measures, the local labour that was used in this process was not properly remunerated. To date, these labourers demand 50 per cent of their payment that the project is still holding. Perhaps, she may want to comment on that. Thirdly---
Order, Mr. Namwamba! You do not expect your Question to become the sole business for this morning. You have asked sufficient supplementary questions! Proceed and answer, hon. Minister!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said earlier on, the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC) is the one which is in charge of all the repairs. We, as a Ministry, also want to see that the work we have done is useful to the community and it is properly maintained. We will undertake to ensure that, as we partner with the NWPC, take care of all the vulnerable points when they need to be repaired. Of course, you cannot repair points which do not require repairs.
Complete your answer, hon. Minister! We have business for the morning!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with regard to the labourers, they were paid their wages. The hon. Member has alleged that they were paid 50 per cent. I do not know what he meant by 50 per cent. I will find out how much they were paid. He could be talking about 50 per cent yet, whatever he is calling 50 per cent might be the agreed rate.
Next Question, Mr. Alfred Odhiambo!
asked the Minister for Education:- (a) whether he is aware that since the introduction of the Free Primary Education Programme, most public schools countrywide have had acute shortage of teachers due to increased pupil enrolment; and, (b) in view of the fact that this shortage has led to decline in the quality of education in public primary schools, whether he could urgently consider employing and posting sufficient teachers in all pubic primary schools.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware of the shortage of teachers in primary schools throughout the country. The current teachers shortage at the primary school level stands at 47,200 as at May, 2007. (b) In the last four years, the Ministry has been replacing teachers who leave the service through natural attrition, resignation and dismissal. In the financial year that has just lapsed, the Ministry received additional funding which enabled us to recruit 4,000 more teachers, bringing the current number of teachers in the country to 239,000, from the previous figure of 235,000.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to thank the Minister for the answer he has given. However, I would like him to note the following: He accepts that, currently, there is a shortage of teachers to the tune of 47,000. Out of this number, the Ministry recruited only 4,000 teachers in the last financial year. We still lack 43,000 teachers. This is a very big number. July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1695 Therefore, it means that the pupil to teacher ratio is very high. Our standards require that one teacher handles a class of between 35 pupils to 40 pupils.
What is your supplementary question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Minister tell the House how many more teachers they intend to recruit in order to reduce this shortage, and when they will do so?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will recall that, sometime back, in this House, I did make a statement saying that our expectations and plans would have been well served if we had Exchequer funding to employ 10,000 teachers every year for the next four to five years in order to clear the backlog of teachers. Through funding contained in the current Budget, we will be recruiting additional 6,000 teachers. Over and above, we will be recruiting additional 8,000 teachers to replace those who are leaving the service and those who have died. So, in effect, there will be about 14,000 to be recruited during this financial year. Furthermore, you will have noticed that in the Printed Estimates, there is provision for what we call "intern teachers." That will be in the order of Kshs1.16 billion. We are now developing a policy on how those teachers will also be drafted on board, so that they can help to reduce the acute shortage of teachers in both primary and secondary school levels.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wonder what the position of the Ministry is, the Minister having said that they are recruiting 4,000 teachers. Currently, the country needs 60,000 teachers in both primary and secondary levels. So, the 6,000 teachers they intend to recruit this year is only 10 per cent of the requirement. Is he telling us that they are educating our children or are they not educating our children, in view of the fact that teachers are not there? They are encouraging parents to take their children to school because primary education is now free.
What is your supplementary question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, could the Minister tell parents to chip in, so that head teachers can employ teachers, because the Ministry is unable to do so?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, absolutely no! The Ministry is not unable. We have, through the captation approach, been able to increase access to books, instruments and other things, making it much easier for teachers to handle slightly larger figures. It would have been very appropriate if we had the money from the Budget. We would, obviously, be able to roll out employment of teachers. I am, however, sorry to say that as it stands today, it is not possible for us to recruit more teachers, because we are limited by the Budget and the ceiling that has been set by the Ministry.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is it?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has told this House that there is a shortage of 60,000 teachers in the country. Is he in order to suggest that by merely supplying books, they are able to replace the work that is required of teachers?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am certainly in order because that is one of the ways of reducing the burden on the teacher in delivering the curriculum content.
Mr. Odhiambo, do you want to ask a last supplementary question?
Yes, I do, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is it?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the Minister further aware that one of the reasons as to why so many teachers are leaving the profession is because they have increased the work load for them, but the pay has remained the same? So, as the Ministry increases the number of teachers, it should also consider increasing the pay because the work load has increased. A teacher handles 100 pupils instead of handling 40 pupils.
Mr. Odhiambo, you have made your point! 1696 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 Mr. Minister!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not quite sure whether the hon. Member means that they are leaving because of the work load or because of greener pastures. I leave it to him to conjecture on that one. Having said that, this Question was dealt with by my Assistant Minister yesterday in this House. Let me say that the Teachers Service Commission Remuneration Committee is currently in session. It will be pre-empting their recommendation before it finishes its deliberations. The committee has to make a decision between whether they want to stay within the framework of the Teachers Service Commission or they want to cross over to the Public Service Commission, in which case it will call upon us to harmonise the two services. That is the discussion which is ongoing. It would be wrong for me, as a Minister, to pre-empt the outcome of that discussion, which is already on the table.
asked the Minister for Roads:- (a) when construction will commence on Kikopey-Kiptangwanyi-Narok Road; and, (b) when does the Government intend to allocate funds and commence the construction of Suswa-Maiella-Kongoni-Elementaita-Lanet Road.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Ministry is aware of several routes from Kikopey to Narok, but not the one via Kiptangwanyi. Therefore, there are no construction plans for that road. (b) The route from Suswa to Maiella has not been classified between Nkangara to Maela and, as such, cannot attract any funding by the Ministry. The Maiella-Kongoni-Elementaita Road is an "E" classified road and falls under the purview of the District Roads Committee. The Elementaita-Lanet Road has a "D" classification and also falls under the purview of the District Roads Committee. It is, therefore, the duty of the District Roads Committee to allocate funds to those roads if they find them to be their priority.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do sympathize with the Ministry because it does not have a Minister. But even if it does not have a Minister, it has officers who are misleading the Assistant Minister. There is only one---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is the hon. Member for Naivasha in order to insinuate that there is no Minister in the Ministry of Roads when, yesterday---
Order! Order! Hon. Mututho, you are out of order! There is a Minister--- There are, indeed, Ministers in the Ministry of Roads! Proceed!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do apologize. The three Assistant Ministers know that there is only one road to Narok through Kiptangwanyi. In their reply here, they are saying that they are not aware of any of those roads. That road has been surveyed and has been advertised by the three Assistant Ministers. Construction works all the way to Kikopey ought to have started by now. We are asking: When are they going to start that? Having said that, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are talking about a tourist circuit between Maasai Mara, which is now an international concern, via Suswa, all the way to Nakuru and then back through Mau Narok. We need to develop that tourist circuit. It is in the public domain, Mr. Assistant Minister that, you can get a suitable road by not necessarily passing through Nairobi or to Maai Mahiu, but through Suswa. I am aware--- July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1697
What is your supplementary question, Mr. Mututho? You are not supposed to read a speech there! Ask a question!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, when will the road be classified in order to qualify for construction between Suswa and Kongoni?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, whereas I appreciate the sympathy the hon. Member has given to the Ministry of Roads for losing one of our Ministers, may I remind him that we have two Ministers in the Ministry and not three because one is dead. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the road from Kikopey to Narok is composed of several roads, that is D331, which is Kikopey-Elementaita to Mau Narok Road - it is about 37 kilometres - and C57, which is the road from Mau-Narok to Narok Road, and it is about 70 kilometres. Maybe, the surveyors he saw were as a result of the consultancy for design and review of the Mau-Narok to Narok Road, which is C57, which has been awarded to Abdulmalik Associates and the design works have commenced. In terms of the review and classification of roads, not only am I looking at the road network in his constituency, but in the whole country. I have set up a team of consultants to review all the roads in this country for the purposes of re-classifying them. For the construction of the road through Kiptangwanyi, maybe, I will suggest to the Member, through his Roads Committee and District Development Committee (DDC), to make that proposal and request the Ministry to construct it. Maybe, I might look at it and give it priority for consideration.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister is misleading this House when he says that certain roads fall under the purview of the District Roads Committees, when he knows that they depend on the Ministry for funding! Could the Assistant Minister tell us when he will allocate funds to the District Roads Board so that they can do those roads, rather than say that they fall under the purview of the District Roads Boards, which have no money?
On the contrary, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if I look at the example of Naivasha, in the Financial Year 2007/2008, the Elementaita-Kongasis-Ndongo Primary Road, which is E446, has been allocated Kshs1.242 million for upgrading and bush clearing by the District Roads Committee. All the other links have not been considered. That is just to confirm that we do give money to the District Roads Committees. That is the money they use to decide on their priorities.
Last question, hon. Mututho!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, does the Assistant Minister have any indication when the Committee he set up to review the classification of roads is going to start its work?
Indeed, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Committee is in the field. I expect it to give me its report by the end of this year.
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) whether he is aware that sewage effluent in Karatina Town has been overflowing into Kirigo River for a number of years; and, (b) what action he is taking to ensure that the sewage treatment area in the town is expanded in order to cope with the situation and ensure that Kirigo River is not 1698 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 polluted.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) I am aware that some sections of Karatina Town are served by sewers which are aged and small in size and, sometimes, they get blocked due to increased sewer flow. That has, however, not resulted in sewage overflowing into Kirigo River as the blockages are dealt with immediately they occur. (b) My Ministry has been undertaking rehabilitation works aimed at improving the performance of the sewerage system for Karatina Town. Presently, my Ministry is constructing a large diameter sewer line to cater for increased sewage flow and is also conducting a feasibility study for the replacement of Kirigo retention ponds with waste stabilization ponds. That will make the whole of Karatina Sewerage Works a gravity system, which is easier to operate and maintain, as opposed to the current system which involves pumping.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as you can actually conclude from the answer, it is, in itself, contradictory. The answer given is misleading. It is true that the sewers that lead into the ponds in that area are blocked. You have admitted that in your answer to part "a", and I quote:- "(a) I am aware that some sections of Karatina Town are served by sewers which are aged and small in size and that they, sometimes, get blocked due to increased sewage flow." If they get blocked, they definitely overflow. I am telling you as the man on the ground,that they overflow into that river. The answer is misleading! It is neither correct nor true in relation to the situation on the ground. Could the Assistant Minister respond appropriately?
Mr. Assistant Minister, do you have your facts totally right?
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The truth of the matter is that the sewer line is aged. It is overloaded due to population growth. This area covers Muthua, the slaughterhouse, Mathaithi and Gathungu. It is an area I know very well. We are investigating whether this sewer is overflowing because of the seepage, especially due to the heavy rains, and when there is a power blackout. However, we have allocated some funds to the District Water Officer. We are already doing half-a-kilometre, 15 millimetre, diameter which will enable us to address this issue of overloading of the sewer line. It is also true that this situation obtains in many parts of the country whereby sewer lines were constructed 20 years ago and the population then was low. In the case of Karatina, this sewer line was constructed to serve 2,000 people. Currently, we have almost 14,000 people in the town. We are coming up with an investment programme or a marshal plan whereby we will upgrade all the sewer lines countrywide both medium and small size. It is upon this House, in conjunction of the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, to support us by allocating adequate funds to the Ministry to help us achieve our mission.
Order, Mr. Assistant Minister! How long will it take you to investigate whether the sewage is actually flowing into the river or not? You are dealing with the lives of people!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are not only doing investigations, but we will allocate funds. I can confirm that during the heavy rains, it is possible for the sewage line to overflow---
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of sewage overflowing into the rivers is a serious problem in most parts of the country. If you go to Athi River, around Thika Town, the area called Munyu, you cannot drink its water. It is actually poisonous and risky to drink that water. If you go further downstream, 30 to 40 kilometres, during the dry spell, when water levels are very low, you will witness cases of dead fish. Is there a clear cut Government policy through the July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1699 Ministry of Water and Irrigation to address the issue of the sewage overflowing into the rivers?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this can only be undertaken by three crucial Ministries; The Ministry of Water and Irrigation, The Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation and the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources. As you are already aware, the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources is undertaking to clean up Nairobi River. It is not only a matter of cleaning Nairobi River, it is a matter of cleaning all our water sources and rivers. It is, therefore, upon the three Ministries to come up with the issue of the marshal plan so that we can clean our rivers. This problem affects all of us and we cannot bury our heads in the sand. We must faced it head on.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. The answer by the Assistant Minister gives the impression that there are no legal mechanisms for enforcing the law. The National Environment Management Act is very clear on what constitutes a criminal offence. If what is happening in Karatina is true, then clearly, an offence is being committed. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that the provisions of the Act are complied with and those who are discharging effluent into the rivers are prosecuted?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the law is there. But before we enforce it, we have to give capacity to those who are supposed to enforce it; the Ministry of Local Government. What we have is a compounded problem whereby the Ministry of Local Government has no plans. There are mushrooming settlements, for example, in Kasarani, was not planned for. The Ministry of Local Government allowed those constructions to come up. This is happening in all towns. Therefore, it requires a concerted effort by all these Ministries before we enforce the law. Where we are sure that already planning has been done, we will allocate enough funds to take care of all these problems. I wish to add that this must be done and we cannot live in the past. The four Ministries must sit down and come up with a plan.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. My understanding of the response by the Assistant Minister on that Question is that they are planning to sit down with the relevant Ministries. Under the Water Act, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation has the responsibility not merely to manage water, but also to manage sewerage systems. Is it really in order for the Assistant Minister to come here and refer the responsibility to other Ministries without telling us what his Ministry has done?
Mr. Assistant Minister, the lives of Kenyans are at risk and in this particular situation we have now in Karatina. Whereas you will have a long-term programme of sitting with other Ministries, there is need to address that issue as a matter of urgency. I think you need to satisfy the House that something is being done about that problem.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, an Inter-Ministerial Committee is already there and it is acting on this case. On the issue of Karatina, I have said that we are taking immediate action. I have already said that some funds have been set aside for that purpose. But if that is not enough, we will act on it. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look at governments world over, you will see that in most governments, they do not have Ministries of Water and Irrigation, Public Works, Public Health and Sanitation as separate entities. They all fall under one Ministry, which is the Ministry for Energy, Water----
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is the Assistant Minister in order to tell us that funds are available without telling us how much and when so that this problem is solved?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in ideal situations, the Ministries of Energy, Water and Irrigation and Sanitation should be under one docket. In our case, we are faced with a situation where the Ministries of Energy, Water and Irrigation and Forestry and Wildlife exist as separate 1700 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 entities. We need to have an Inter-Ministerial Committee which will deal with this problem. I agree wholly that it is urgent.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I must say that still the answer is misleading. Karatina Town Council has been taken to court and fined because of discharging into the river. It is most disheartening that the Assistant Minister is just talking about hope and planning, which is the normal characteristic of governments. I think in emergencies situations like this one and the IDPs, we are still being told of hopes and plans. This House is looking upon the Government to come out clearly and tell us what they are doing to sort out this problem today as an emergency instead of talking about the future plans. What is the Ministry intending to do immediately to ensure that the sewage does not overflow into the river? That is the issue because the lives of Kenyans are at risk!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the hon. Member for Mathira is also aware that he has failed on his part to convince his people to allow the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to go and acquire that piece of land at Kirigo. Your people have refused to allow the Ministry of Water and Irrigation----
I am not aware of that!
If you are not aware, then come to my office and I will make you aware.
Order! Hon. Member, what is your point of order?
Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to say that the people of Kirigo have refused to surrender that land when the Water Act gives the Ministry the power to acquire that land?
Hon. Assistant Minister, you cannot run away from your responsibility. That is not proper. What is the Ministry going to do, as a matter of urgency, in the next couple of days or even hours, to make sure that the people of Karatina have safe water from a river that is not polluted by effluent from the sewerage system?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my Ministry is not known to have dictatorship tendencies where it can go ahead and acquire land without consulting the neighbourhood. By the end of the day, it is not even my Ministry which should do that. It is the Ministry of Lands that has compulsory acquisition of land. What we have done is to negotiate---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Assistant Minister to tell this House that his Ministry will not be subjected to dictatorial tendencies to acquire land to save the lives of the people of the affected area, when he knows very well that he has a role to protect the lives of the people by acquiring land through an Act of Parliament.
Hon. Assistant Minister, proceed and conclude.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I only wish that hon. Members could give me more time so that I can give a comprehensive statement which they can challenge. Last year, we started the negotiation process of acquiring that land so that we can build more ponds to enable the sewer to operate properly through gravity. However, the community around that area resisted that move. You will agree with me that the best way of coming out of that problem is to sit down with them and convince them of the benefits, so that they can release that land. Once we exhaust that option, we can then forcefully acquire the land. Right now, I would like to request the hon. Member of Parliament and the local leadership to give us that land - not for free - but in a proper way so that we can acquire it.
POSTING OF SECURITY OFFICERS TO CHALBI DISTRICT July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1701
asked the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security:- (a) following the creation of Chalbi District, when the Minister will post the Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD), the NSIS Sub-Regional Intelligence Co- ordinator and the District Criminal Investigation Officer (DCIO) to the new district; and, (b) considering that northern Kenya is becoming increasingly insecure with frequent reports of cattle rustling and loss of lives, what other urgent measures he is taking to restore security to the affected areas in the region.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The Government is in the process of posting the OCPD, the DCIO, and the NSIS Sub- Regional Intelligence Coordinator. The posting, however, was delayed because the necessary infrastructure had not been put in place. (b) The security situation in northern Kenya is much more stable this year than the previous years, since the Government has created more administrative units in that area. That has made security to stabilise. The people have been sensitised on security matters through barazas and community policing forums.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I thank the Assistant Minister for the response. I am absolutely not satisfied with the response. I am aware that, in the last one and a half year, the Government has been in the process of posting those security forces to northern Kenya. It is almost two years now. We have a DC and other departmental heads. What we demand and need now is security. It is because of security problems that we lag behind in development, our children do not go to school and our livelihoods are destroyed now and then. The Assistant Minister has alluded to the issue of infrastructure. North Horr Police Station has been in existence since the colonial period. In actual fact, during the colonial times, the DC for the larger Marsabit District used to stay in North Horr. I want to know from the Assistant Minister: What is the infrastructure that has delayed the posting of security officers to northern Kenya? Secondly, on part "(b)" of the Question, the Assistant Minister has mentioned that the security situation in northern Kenya is more or less stable. Yes, we have not had massacres like the Turbi Massacre which happened two years ago. But two days ago, 400 heads of cattle were stolen from Samburu. In Marsabit, hardly two weeks passes before lives are lost. In April, in my North Horr Constituency, more than 10,000 goats were stolen, two people were killed and the OCPD of Marsabit District was injured in that attack. If that is not insecurity, I want to know what exactly the Assistant Minister means by saying that the situation is stable in northern Kenya than never before.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, as for part "(a)" of the Question, we had asked the Provincial Police Officer (PPO) to identify a house to accommodate the DCIO and the OCPD. As we are talking now, we have identified the accommodation place and by next week, the OCPD will be at Chalbi. As for part "(b)", we have established new stations for regular police and police posts for Administration Police. I have deployed additional officers to boost the security. I have also facilitated security officers with additional means of transport and equipment. I have also recruited additional Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) from that area to supplement the security situation. We have also branded the cattle in that area. We are also sensitising the local people on community policing. All that has brought the number of insecurity incidents down. In fact, the Questioner should be proud of what the Government has done so far up to this moment. I have even told him that we will go and visit that area. As we speak, the situation there is good. He should thank the Government for doing all that for him. 1702 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am also concerned about the creation of new districts. The creation of new districts by the Government leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes, you want to question what is a district. Is forcing a DC to an area enough to make that area a district? I am asking this question because the recent creation of districts in the country has left many areas with only DCs, and we call those areas districts. I want to know from the Assistant Minister what is being done. I come from Narok Town which is a new district. What is the Government doing to make sure that all districts in the country have fully operational DICs. We do not want things done in piecemeal. What is happening?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we do not create districts if there are no requests. We get requests from the leaders themselves that they require districts in order for their administrative units to be closer to the people. When our leaders are asking for districts, they should also put in place a number of things. One, they should know where the headquarters should be. Secondly, they should know whether there are houses to accommodate the OCPD and the DO. We are going to consider a number of things before the districts are created. Some of those things will include where the police officers and DC will be residing. But, as we speak, we have allocated over Kshs700 million which will be primarily used for the construction of the new headquarters. We will also construct new houses for our officers. Once our Vote comes here, I will request my colleagues to help us to fast-track the Vote in order for me to release the money to construct those units.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, while I always welcome answers from the Assistant Minister, in this particular instance, he is putting this Question into a contest. Members of this House lost lives while on a peace mission in Marsabit. The larger Marsabit District, 77,000 square kilometres, is exactly the size of three provinces in this Republic. Now that the Government has granted Chalbi a district and has posted a DC there--- The essence of a district in northern Kenya is to ensure that there is sufficient security. In view of the importance of this, could the Assistant Minister consider allocating the money for construction of houses in Chalbi District?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do agree with my colleague. We have allocated about Kshs20 million to do the police line just within Chalbi District alone. Due to its expansiveness, I have created a number of police camps, police posts and additional vehicles have so far been given. What else do you expect Mr. Ojode to do?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I appreciate the efforts of the Ministry. The whole essence of a Government is to provide security and it is our right. I have nothing to be proud of, but I am appreciative of the role that the State is playing in doing its job. It is true that the number of police stations have increased in Chalbi District. I commend the Ministry for having done that. However, due to lack of serviceable vehicles and fuel, they are hardly effective in the duty of securing the area. What is the Ministry doing to provide enough fuel and good vehicles for security officers in Chalbi for them to restore security in the region?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, in fact, he should thank the Government for having done that. I have allocated a new vehicle to Chalbi District in this Financial Year. Once our Vote has been passed, he will be a beneficiary of a new vehicle. He is going to get a new vehicle.
Order, hon. Members! The Chair directs that Mr. Were's Question be put on the Order Paper tomorrow as the first Ordinary Question. I will now ask the Minister for Transport to give a Ministerial Statement before we go to the next Order.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I have discussed with Mr. Were regarding the Question. I was coming to seek the indulgence of the House for the deferment of this Question to Tuesday next week, so that I can get a more comprehensive answer. I am not happy with the one I have. July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1703
Order! Is Mr. Were happy with that?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I had discussion with the Assistant Minister and we settled for Tuesday.
Under those circumstances, the Question will be put on the Order Paper on Tuesday next week.
As you understand the rules, Questions by Private Notice are supposed to be answered within 48 hours. So, we will take the Question by Private Notice by Mr. Midiwo.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to ask the Minister for Transport the following Question by Private Notice. (a) Could the Minister explain why the East African Airlines aircraft flying to Kisumu on 26th June, 2008 at 5.45 p.m. was forced to land back at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) shortly after take-off? (b) Is the Minister aware that flights by this particular airline have experienced several unexplained incidents over the last several months? (c) Could the Minister suspend the licence of this company and order an audit on their compliance with aviation safety rules before any disaster occurs?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. (a) The East African Airlines aircraft, a Folker 27, registration mark 5Y EE, flying to Kisumu on 26th June, 2008 at 5.45 p.m. was forced to land back at JKIA shortly after take off when the pilot in command of the aircraft reported insufficient aircraft pressurization indication during take-off. Following the airline standard operating procedures, the pilot decided to return base for an engineering investigation into the problem. The aircraft landed safely at the JKIA. The company's engineers checked and traced the problem to an indication system and regulating pressure valve due to some accumulated dirt from the airfield, where the aircraft operates. The aircraft has since been thoroughly inspected and released to service in accordance with the manufacturers' requirements. (b) I am not aware that flights by the particular airline have experienced several unexplained incidents over the last several months. All the incidents have been explained, if I may say so. The company has a safety management system that conforms to the International Civil Aviation Organization's requirements. Under this system, all safety reports on incidents are reported, analyzed and resolved. (c) The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) carries out planned regular audits to the 1704 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 company and frequent ad hoc audits. The authority's continued audits of the company have shown that its safety management system is well managed. Nonetheless, I take the observation made by the hon. Member with the seriousness it deserves. So, I have ordered additional ad hoc audits of all scheduled airlines in the country. Should an audit reveal significant adverse findings, action will be taken in accordance with our national and International Civil Aviation Organization's standards and recommended practices.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to thank the Minister, particularly where he says that he has ordered audit of all the local flight companies. This is a concern not just about East African Airline. On 26th June, 2008, this House had a debate about the general airline safety, particularly the fact that they just use one pilot to fly. This airline was mentioned. Mr. Shakeel said before this House that this was a disaster waiting to happen. That evening I happened to be in that aircraft. It had passengers going to Lokichoggio and the same problem, which they have admitted happened, and it came back to the JKIA. It flew up to Nakuru, came back and landed safely with the passengers. Mr. Munyes, who is a Minister in this Government was in that aircraft. On coming back, passengers were transferred to the flight which was to take us to Kisumu. It was repaired on the runway and no air test was done to check if the pressure was back to normal. We went upto Naivasha and almost crashed. Many leaders going to Coast Province, Eldoret and Kisumu use commercial aircraft. This particular airline---
Ask a question, Mr. Midiwo!
Yes, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. This particular airline has had only three aircraft for the last seven years. We do not want to compete with business people, but it is better that we sort out a problem using the mechanisms at the disposal of the Government before a disaster happens. Could the Minister assure this House that he is going to reign in the mushrooming commercial air operators before a disaster happens? He should be particular on the East African Airline and the Jetlink Airline, which also had an accident on the runway in Kisumu last Wednesday!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I fully agree with the hon. Member's observations and concerns. Our record shows that this particular aircraft has had four incidents reported since January this year. On 11th January, 2008, it missed the approach due to communication failure. On 20th April, 2008, it had air pressure problems. On 7th March, 2008, it hit a bird in Kisumu and experienced some technical problems, but it was externally, sort of, caused. On 24th April, it had a malfunction of the hydraulic utility system. Now, this has read a lot of concern and as I am talking now, a special audit is being conducted on the aircraft. I will give my decisions for immediate action. It will depend on what the technical officers would have found out. But I am terribly concerned on the frequency of the incidents reported on this aircraft. The other two aircraft also had incidents. Aircraft 5Y-XXB, had an incident reported on 26th June. The third aircraft, that is, 5Y-XXA had an incident reported on 9th June, 2008. These other two had incidents which, technically speaking, are not a cause for worry. But the first one - the one that the hon. Member has been talking about - is right now under very serious scrutiny because it is also giving me very serious concern.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister is giving a report; that this particular airline from January to April has had serious mechanical problems. Could he assure this House that this particular airline will be grounded for the sake of the safety of Kenyans?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is a requirement that airlines report all incidents. From our records, this airline cannot be taken as one that should be de-registered or one that has got exceptionally high number of incidents occurring. We have 920 aircraft registered in the country. They all report incidents. Incidents can even include a situation where a passenger vomits, for example. That is an incident, because that has got to be investigated as to why that has July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1705 happened. It could also be why a seat cannot recline or a serious matter relating to hydraulic failure or other problems. I would like to assure the House that the fact that I have highlighted these incidents does not mean that the aircraft is not safe to fly. On every single day, every aircraft reports an incident or two. But it is a requirement, whether serious or not. One of the incidents here was that the aircraft hit a bird. Now, that is beyond the control of the aircraft, pilot and the crew. But it must be reported because it could cause a very serious accident. However, I would like to assure the House, once again, that these incidents are under control, because once reported necessary checks are made in conformity with the requirements of the manufacturers. It is not the age of the plane that really matters, but the conformity on the maintenance and requirement as outlined by the regulations of the manufacturer.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just wish to know from the Minister why he has to wait until there is a disaster for him to order an audit on the conditions of our airlines? Secondly, there are serious doubts on the credibility of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA). As a Minister, what score do you give to the KCAA in terms of its performance? Is it excellent or good? Personally, I would rate it as very poor.
You have made your point! You cannot ask all the supplementary questions at one go. The rule is that you actually confine yourself to one question.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we have annual scheduled audits on all aircraft and airlines. As I said earlier in my reply to one section of the Question, we conduct ad hoc audits virtually on a monthly basis on the regular or scheduled airlines. I would like to assure the House that the performance of the KCAA---
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I am just wondering if the Minister is not misleading the House. He is talking about annual audits. He is saying that annual audits are done monthly. How is that possible?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, maybe I did not pronounce certain words very clearly.
Mr. Olago, the Minister said "ad hoc" . You are a lawyer and I am sure that you understand that word very well! Proceed and answer the question!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. We have annual and ad hoc audits. The ad hoc audits are conducted on a monthly basis without any prior warning to the airlines. But the annual audits are scheduled. They know exactly when they would be done. In the case of this particular airline, the annual audit was done on 17th September, 2007. The next one is due very soon. However, in between, we conduct ad hoc audits and we take necessary action to ensure that there is safety in our skies. I would like to assure the hon. Member that we do not do these audits once there is an accident. It is a regular process that we do and I am satisfied with the performance of the KCAA.
Last question, hon. Midiwo!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Minister has enumerated several incidents where this particular airline was involved in mishaps. But I want to bring one more to his attention. On 9th May, one aeroplane belonging to that same airline almost killed four Members of Parliament. Those four Members of Parliament were messrs: Rege, Outa and Magwanga. They were going to Kisumu. The aeroplane almost crashed over Nakuru. Where there is smoke, there must be fire. I had to check the attitude of the employees of this particular airline. The employees 1706 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 themselves confided in me that whenever there is a mishap and they ask their engineers about it, they tell them: "Because the owners have refused to pay enough money to take care of them, we do not care if those aeroplanes kill people." I can assure this House - because I consulted the Minister - that this is a disaster waiting to happen. Could the Minister consider - because everybody who has had an incident with the East African Airline or Jet Link Airline has talked to us - grounding this particular airline even for one week, so that the truth can be established? The Mzungu will not lose his life. We will only ensure the safety of our people.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, on a matter that touches on the safety of passengers, I get terribly concerned and I would not like to go into polemics and arguments on this issue. I would like to assure the House that I shall personally establish interaction, including audit checks on the airline next week.
Order, hon. Members! Eng. Rege, whereas I understand that you are the chairman of the Departmental Committee on Energy, Communications and Public Works, the Chair had already ruled the last question. However, I will give you a chance to ask the last question. The Minister has answered the Question very well and given a very good undertaking to the House. What is your question again?
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me a chance to speak. I am the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Energy, Communications and Public Works. I just wanted to say something about the East African Airlines.
Order, Eng. Rege. This is Question Time. If you have a supplementary question on the same matter, please ask the Minister. The question must not, in any way, depart from the Question by Private Notice by hon. Midiwo which was the subject matter. You should not make a statement and there are no other considerations.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just wanted to emphasise the need for this---
Order, Eng. Rege! It is Question Time!
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, what action has the Minister taken on the East African Airline since we last met and discussed the issues of air safety in this country?
I think the Minister has been very fair. He said that he will take charge immediately. He made a commitment on the Floor of the House and the onus is upon him to take action immediately. After a week, he will come here to report to the House.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, four or five weeks ago, a situation arose in this country that has very grave constitutional implications. The President and the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs were out of the country. To make matters worse, the Prime Minister and one of the Deputy Prime Ministers were also out of the country. Could the Leader of Government Business give a Ministerial Statement on why such a situation arose when there are such serious July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1707 constitutional implications on the Office of the President?
Mr. Minister, could you make an undertaking for that Ministerial Statement being sought?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am not the Leader of Government Business, but in conformity with collective responsibility, I will transmit the message to the Leader of Government Business so that he reports to the House the issue that has been raised by hon. Imanyara.
Hon. Ruteere, you have five minutes.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was on the Floor of the House when the House rose. I wish to continue from where I left on the budget democratisation process. I said that Members of Parliament being the voices and representatives of the people, it is vital that they have a participatory role in the making of the Budget. This is because as it is now, Members of Parliament have not participated in the making of the Budget. They were not consulted yet this involves taxation which is imposed by Parliament and which we have a responsibility to accept and explain to the public. How taxpayer's money is used, is laid down in the Budget. The same people who tax are the same people who should say how the money should be used. There is no point of us coming here to say that this Ministry or Department does not have enough money or we do not have enough teachers or we do not have employees and so on. This is because we were omitted from the budgetary making process. The Mover of this Motion did a very good thing because it implies that in future Budgets, the process will be all-inclusive and consultative. For that matter, the views from every constituency and every village will be heard. The demands and needs of the people will be put in place and provided for by the Budget. This is also a sure way of fighting corruption because it has permeated every part of our society. When we are consulted and we know how the money is going to be raised and used, we will be able to fight corruption right from the outset. Projects that have been prioritised will be allocated funds in the constituencies. We should not be seeing projects that have not been given priority being allocated money in the Budget. 1708 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 I beg to support the process.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. I would like to support this Motion. I would like to pay tribute to former Member of Parliament, hon. Peter Oloo-Aringo, for actually championing the democratisation of the Budget process. You will realise that some regions are getting disproportionate access to Government resources as opposed to others. When you look at the current Estimates, you will be surprised. I will even ask you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, to look at them. You might realise that a place like Modogashe has not been allocated any money for the construction of roads. My constituency has been given nothing. This is because we are being subjected to proposals that are made by Treasury mandarins. They are the ones who generate these proposals and bring them to Parliament for endorsement. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, Parliament has been used as a rubberstamp for a very long time. It is time we democratised our Budget process by involving Members of Parliament so that, at least, every region can get a share of the resources of this country. This is because all Kenyans pay taxes. When you have a situation where some provinces are getting more resources as opposed to others, this is extremely unfair and unfortunate. This is so as it happens that the technocrats and the Treasury mandarins, sometimes come from specific regions and usually favour their regions. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, because of time, with those few remarks, I beg to support. Thank you.
Hon. Members, I will now call upon the Mover to reply.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for the time but before I reply, I wish to donate five minutes of my time to Mr. Lesrima.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Mbau for bringing this Motion. In the last Parliament, Mr. Mbau was, indeed, the Vice- Chairman of the Fiscal Analysis and Appropriation Committee, and a lot of work was done then. The whole aim of this bid is to achieve transparency in the way the Budget is formulated, implemented and also to involve the people of Kenya. As you know, the definition of the Budget must include the formulation process, legislation, adoption, execution and audit bit at the end. Parliament gets involved in only a little legislation when we meet here to be presented with what has already been finalized by the technocrats. We may say that we are now involved in execution through the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF) and audit through the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Public Investments Committee (PIC). We get involved there; however, the new law will provide for two major areas: compliance reports and Treasury reports. With regard to compliance reports, these will be provided to Parliament to explain how Budget targets have been made and the objectives. The Treasury reports will report on audit implementation. As you know, year in, year out, problems are reported to this House by the PAC, but no action is taken. The law on Budget will provide for what is called "impoundments". In other words, Ministries, or public servants, that will not have implemented the audit recommendations from Parliament will face what is called "impoundment". Impoundment means that the Budget allocations to those Ministries will not be released automatically. Impoundment also means that officials who fail to comply with audit recommendations may even have their salaries impounded. Ministries will not get money automatically until they bring back the reports to Parliament that they fulfilled the requirements of the audit. Until then, monies will not be released to them until they play their parts. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other aspect of this law is that it involves the nine sectoral July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1709 Committees of Parliament, which can then summon Permanent Secretaries to air views and explain the Budget, so that the various Committees can also report to the Fiscal Analysis and Appropriation Committee. The current practice where the Minister calls Kenyans to the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) for a morning session to provide their views is simply a mockery of democracy. Monitoring and evaluation are very critical. Parliament needs to engage the Executive arm of Government by having regular reporting, on a quarterly basis, to the sectoral Committees to explain the implementation of activities of the various Ministries. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to begin by thanking all the hon. Members who have contributed to this very important Motion. The Motion is supposed to bring sanity to the process of Budget making. If this Motion had been passed and become law in the last Ninth Parliament, some of the mal-administration and mal-practices in the Budget-making process and, indeed, the problems that have now faced this country, may not have taken place. So, I want to emphasise that Parliament must, of necessity, play its rightful role in ensuring that the Government spending remains under control, and that the same is accounted for in line with priorities and aspirations of Kenyans, the people that this House represents. This House owes it to Kenyans to ensure that every cent and shilling from tax money is put to proper use, and is spent on the items or objective for which it was intended. For this to happen, Parliament must have better and regular flow of information; this will enable it to provide this broader oversight on Government spending. I realise that in the Ninth Parliament - and I want to commend it - a resolution of this House created a Fiscal Analysis and Appropriation Committee and an office. That office was staffed with experts on budgets, economics and financial management. But until there is a statute to regulate the flow, and structure how such flow of information gets to hon. Members in a formal manner, this Committee will be rendered useless for some time. For that reason, I want to submit that a law is required, and urgently so, to provide for the responsibility of the Government to become transparent and accountable to this House and to the people of Kenya, so that we can achieve sustainable levels of development. This will help us reach our aspirations and goals of Vision 2030 according to the current plan. For this to happen, the passing of this Motion must be taken as a priority. This is a step in the right direction and I wish to urge all hon. Members, who are here now, to support this Motion and eventually support the Bill that will emanate from this Motion. With those few remarks, I beg to move.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, aware that malaria is one of the leading causes of ill health and death in Kenya, leading to reduced productivity of our population; further aware that this costs the Government huge sums of money in terms of treatment cost; cognisant that the basics of control of vector borne diseases is by eliminating the vector (in this case the mosquito) and acknowledging that mosquito nets have not adequately controlled malaria transmission; this House urges the Government to adopt a mandatory in-house spraying of all dwellings (homes and buildings) in all malaria 1710 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 endemic areas of Kenya with environmentally friendly residual insecticides on a quarterly basis in order to eliminate the mosquito vector more effectively. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I was prompted to bring this Motion to this House because several things have been going on in the area of malaria control for quite some time. Recently, there was the World Health Organisation (WHO) function on malaria control whereby they implied that every country will need to do something about the malaria control. Maybe just to give a background on malaria, one thing we should recognise is that "malaria" is neither a Swahili term nor an English term. It is not even in our vernacular. "Malaria" is a Latin term that means mal air or bad air. That tells us that malaria is not just an African problem. It is an international problem. Some countries have managed to eliminate malaria totally while in Africa, we have failed to eliminate malaria. When we should be doing things to eliminate malaria, we have been doing things that just increase the problem and it continues killing our population. Just as a background, currently, malaria kills about 38,000 children per year in Kenya and about 700,000 to 2.7 million people worldwide. So, it is a major problem. It has not been given the due attention that it requires. Just by anybody suffering from malaria, the man-hours lost, namely, people not going to work or maybe going to work, but not being productive effectively, are many. When you look at school children, you will find that the lost school time is a lot. This impacts negatively on their school performance. I know this might surprise very many people because people have been believing that one recovers completely from cerebral malaria. It has now been proven beyond reasonable doubt that serious malaria causes brain damage and leads to mental deficiency. That could explain some of the problems we are having in this country. That is coming from malaria. So, this is something that we need to really control.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other problem that malaria causes, especially the women will tell you, is that it leads to a lot of suffering to women of child bearing age. A woman who is expecting can easily miscarry because of malaria. In fact, in the malaria endemic districts, malaria is the highest cause of spontaneous abortions. Women are really suffering because of this. Moreover, women who are expectant and contract malaria have a higher incidence of anaemia, namely, lack of iron in the body. That impacts negatively on the wellbeing of the mother and that of the unborn baby. While all this is going on, a lot of things have been done. For example, we have changed drugs. The WHO suggested that we change some drugs. The combination drug that we are using now is so expensive. We are talking of not less than Kshs600 per dose. This is being provided by the Government for free in our hospitals. That is not for free. The Government must be buying it from somewhere. Somebody, definitely, is footing that cost. The Kshs600 per dose is a rather high cost to pay. We all know that prevention is better than cure. Indeed, malaria can be prevented effectively if we adopt the correct methods. The cost we are incurring are recurrent and are impacting negatively on our financial situation. We have encouraged the use of mosquito nets. Everybody has been informed about the use of mosquito nets. Now we even have impregnated mosquito nets. It has been put in a such a way that a lot of people believe that if you sleep in a mosquito net, then you are preventing malaria. Just to give a bit of the information that I have, which I think should be public information, there is the July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1711 anopheles mosquito that transmits malaria. There are 400 sub-species of the anopheles mosquito that transmits malaria. Each one of them, behaves differently. There are those that bite at dawn and there are those that bite at dusk. There are those that bite indoors and sleep outdoors. I am sorry for putting you through all these entomological studies, but I think the hon. Members need to understand this. The mosquitoes that bite at dawn and at dusk are the majority of the anopheles mosquito. You go under a mosquito net at night well after dusk and if you wake up early, you leave your net well before dawn. So, you are bitten before you go under the mosquito net and after you have left your mosquito net. Those who advocate the use of mosquito nets give us statistics of how much malaria the mosquito net has prevented, but they fail to do one thing. They do not give us the statistics on how much malaria the mosquito net has failed to prevent. That is where the problem is. I am not saying that mosquito nets are bad. They are just an addition to the arsenal of fighting malaria. They should not be the mainstay. They should be just part of the arsenal to control malaria. In this case, if we really want to control malaria, we should not mislead the public to believe that when they have the mosquito net, they are safe from malaria. They are only safe from 30 per cent of the malaria causing mosquitoes. The other 70 per cent are still active and are biting. The mosquito net is not going to prevent it. When we have a situation like that, we need to find another way of controlling those mosquitoes. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you look in the history of malaria, in the countries that malaria used to be, they had a way of eliminating it. They used DDT, which is a chemical that we no longer want to use. It is not advocated because it stays in the environment for very long. It degrades the environment and leads to a lot of damage. So, it is not something that we want to use although it was used to eliminate malaria in the Western countries. So, we have to find better ways of controlling malaria. Mosquito nets are not the only way and they are not the best. In fact, with mosquito nets, we are fighting a war Tank with pebbles and then we feel secure with that. We should not allow that. As I said before, mosquitoes do not exclusively reside in countries like Kenya. They are worldwide. It is just that there is a particular species that transmits malaria. You will find that as the weather changes, the mosquito population goes up. Like now, we have the global warming. With global warming, the mosquito population is going up. Certain events can occur that will make the mosquito population go up. For example, when there are floods, the mosquito population goes up. You will remember the American situation when they had the Hurricane Katrina and the Hurricane Floid, the mosquito population went up. What did they do? The Americans realised that mosquitoes, apart from transmitting malaria, might transmit other diseases. They feared that. So, they had to eliminate the mosquito menace and malaria in the United States of America after Hurricane Floid. They employed the military aircraft, Hercules C130, which is capable of spraying 77,000 acres of land per day. They employed three of them and sprayed through North Carolina. They sprayed for 21 days and eliminated 90 per cent of the mosquitoes using a chemical called dibron. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, America, the great power of the world, knows that to control a vector borne disease, you eliminate the vector. Who are we not to follow suit? Why can we not follow suit? What is good for the gander is good for the goose! We follow many American things, some not so good and some quite good. Why can we not take some of their good examples? Now, we have a problem with that. Now, we do have a problem with that because, if we took that example and sprayed wide- scale, an issue will arise. Our horticultural crops will be rejected on the world market. They will say that we have sprayed them with chemicals. So, they cannot be accepted. In that case, we have 1712 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 to find a way of cushioning farmers, so that we do not lose the horticulture market. There is a better way of doing it. It has been done in other countries. South Africa has done it and reduced the amount of malaria transmission by over 60 per cent. In fact, our own Ministry of Public Health has done it in 16 or 17 districts on pilot basis. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the districts where the Public Health Ministry did it are the districts which have what we call "highland malaria". Highland malaria does not come throughout the year. It comes at certain times of the year, when the mosquitoes invade those areas and transmit malaria. The Ministry sprayed in some districts. That is commendable, but very dangerous, indeed. I believe there are scientists in that Ministry, who know that mosquitoes develop resistance to chemicals. If you spray piecemeal, you are encouraging resistance by those mosquitoes to that chemical. When you decide to spray only 16 or 17 districts in this country, you are giving those mosquitoes a chance to develop resistance against the chemical. Next time you spray those chemicals, they will not work. So, what the Ministry is doing is very risky. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the way to do it is to spray the walls and the surfaces inside the house, and not outside. This should be done in all the districts that are endemic with malaria. It should not be done in some districts and not in the others. If you spray in selected districts and leave out others which are endemic to malaria, you risk the chance of creating resistance in the mosquitoes. So, you have to spray everywhere. While I commend the Ministry for having sprayed in the 17 districts, I wonder about that child in the district that was not part of those sprayed. Suppose that child dies of malaria? Are those children who are dying of malaria in the left out districts children of a lesser god? Do they not deserve protection from us? I believe that if we looked at this issue more fairly, we will realise that there is a very good way by which we can prevent malaria. That is to spray in the houses. The question is what chemicals we should use. Nobody should go away, thinking that I am talking of DDT. This is a chemical which we are not supposed to use. It has its own bad effects on the environment and the population. There are better chemicals now, which are based on pyrethrum, which is a natural product. I am talking about pyrethrin-based insecticides, which are environmentally friendly. They do not harm human beings or other animals, but they are highly toxic to the mosquito. These are products that are available on the market. Those are the sorts of products that the United States of America (USA) was using to spray in their country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in fact, the Bill Gates Foundation and other bodies are going to give us money to buy expensive anti-malaria drugs. Maybe, they could just give us that chemical to spray, and we will be safe. We will not need the high cost drugs, because we will reduce malaria transmission by 60 per cent. What I would like to emphasise here is that there will be a lot of questions about what chemicals we are going to use, and what their long-term effect on human beings is. They are safe insecticides. We call them residual insecticides because when they are sprayed on a surface, they stay there and act for some time. So, we are able to control the mosquitoes for some time. Be rest assured that once we have been able to control mosquitoes for about seven months, the malaria transmission rate will drop drastically. This has happened in South Africa. It can also happen here if we do it correctly. When I talk about environment-friendly insecticides, I do not have in mind things like Doom or IT. Mosquitoes develop resistance very fast to Doom and IT insecticides. Most people must have realised that when they spray them, the mosquitoes do not even die. Some of the mosquitoes keep flying even faster after spraying that chemical. The chemicals I am talking about are well researched products, which can help us. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do not know why we fear science. I do not know why we fear chemistry and yet, we can use chemistry to work for us. We have the knowledge. The Ministry has the knowledge and the means to do this kind of work. So, I am not asking them for July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1713 something they are not able to do. They have the human resources that can do this. When we decide to use this sort of method selectively and risk the mosquitoes developing resistance, then we are not doing a good job, and that should not be allowed to happen. So, I would, really, like us to wake up and use the resources and knowledge that we have and control this malaria menace once and for all. If we manage to control the malaria transmission rate by between 60-70 per cent, you can see the economic gain for this country through the amount of money saved in hospital treatment, cost of man-hours lost at work and the school hours lost by our children. We will be able to save a lot. I believe that the high transmission rate of malaria in this country contributes significantly to the poor performance of our economy, and yet, we have the means to reduce it. That is why I am asking this House to resolve that we adopt methods of controlling malaria. Apart from advocating for the use of mosquito nets and providing free treatment to victims of malaria, we should adopt a method of spraying inside all dwellings in malaria endemic areas, with residual insecticides that are environment-friendly, so that we can control this menace once and for all. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the reason is that the other malaria control measures seem to have broken down. Environmental sanitation has become very poor. You find that even the systems that existed before, where people used to go to our homesteads and tell us not to plant bananas too close to our homesteads because they carry water on which mosquitoes would breed, are not there. People now dump empty cans and plastic papers all over the place. If we adopt this method, mosquitoes will not get into our houses and transmit so much malaria. I believe that the Ministry is aware of this. That is why it decided to spray in just 17 districts. That is not good enough. In fact, it is risky, because mosquitoes will become very resistant to the chemical. When we use the chemicals again, they will not work. So, I urge the Ministry to, from now henceforth, make spraying the standard method of management and control of the spread of malaria. It should spray in all malaria endemic regions. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those remarks, I beg to move the Motion and request Dr. Khalwale to second it.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to address the House on this very important matter. I would also like to thank the Mover for allowing me to second this Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a fairly straightforward Motion, which I hope the House will, very quickly, see the wisdom of supporting and voting for, so that this can be part of the laws of this country. I say this being aware that inside the Motion, there is an element of limitation. I can see that the Mover has limited the spraying to all those areas and regions which have endemicity of malaria. In my view, it is important that we do not limit the spraying to those regions. We should actually capture the whole country. I believe that most hon. Members are widely travelled. It is usually a very big shame that when our aircraft leave the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) going to the USA and other western countries, and even some African countries, we are forced to be sprayed, because those countries feel that we are going to carry filth to their republics. I usually feel very small, given that I am also a scientist in this area. We are subjecting ourselves to this kind of shame. People feel that a plane is moving from a "dirty" world and going to a "clean" world. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the science of provision of health has got basic foundations. It is founded in preventive health and curative health. At the level of preventive health, when you are giving primary healthcare, this is the cheapest level of intervention. We must appreciate that spraying, being an endeavour of intervention at primary healthcare-level and, therefore, prevention, is cheaper than waiting to intervene at the curative stage, where you are forced to use medicine specialists to make sure that one who has been affected by malaria is cured. 1714 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, may I pause here by reminding hon. Members that a malaria specialist is a very expensive scientist. That is a scientist who would have undergone training in the school of medicine after graduating with a basic degree in medicine. He would then have done his post-graduate studies and graduated with a masters degree, deliberately to concentrate on medicine. By the time that man is called a specialist in medicine, the Government would have spent between Kshs10 million and Kshs15 million training him. It is a very big joke because, in the act of spraying, all you have to do--- If you are doing it in Kimilili where, my cousin, the Mover of this Motion comes from, we normally pay Kshs70 per day to the people who do the manual job of spraying by hand. So, you would save so much money if you were to approach it in that manner. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, by spraying those mosquitoes what, in effect, we shall be achieving is complete and total eradication of malaria. Hon. Members, there is wisdom in eradicating malaria in totality, because if you eradicate malaria today, the total budget of the Ministry of Health will be cut by 30 per cent. You can imagine how many billions will have been freed to do other forms of development in this country! If we can eradicate malaria, we will cut, by 40 per cent, the bed occupancy in our hospitals! There are so many patients in hospitals today who are there because of malaria, and who should not be there! If you can remove those patients from those beds--- I am sure hon. Members have had the occasion when you want your patients with special ailments referred from Machakos to go for further treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). You are told that there are no beds! The reasons why there are no beds at KNH is because they are occupied by people suffering from malaria! So, by eradicating malaria, we will release 40 per cent of those beds to be available for other illnesses, which the doctors at KNH will be able to take care of. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we eradicate malaria, we will be able to stop the human resource wastage that you find at places of work. If you go to work stations, you will find at every work station in this country today, one, two or more members of staff have not reported for duty because of sick-offs! So, if you eradicate malaria, you will actually contribute to the national management and planning of our economy. That is because it will be easier to predict population trends. The planner has an idea of the population of the country by looking at the returns from our maternity wards. So, he says: "Okay, so many children have been born. I am going to plan. So many of them will be under ten years in so many years. So many of them will be under 20 years in so many years." But you cannot do that because when those children are born, you do not know how many of them are going to survive. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it will also be easier to make men and women in the rural areas, especially the poor, to accept family planning. If you come to Kakamega, people know that there is family planning. But those ones who actually practise it are very cautious because they know that, for every five children my wife gives birth to, probably three of them might die below the age of five! So, if you tell them: "Take your wife to do tubal ligation, which is the total stoppage of delivery through surgical means", the man does not want to hear that because he has to take security in numbers! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there is the issue of the quality of education in primary schools. The number of children in primary schools staying out of school simply because they are down with a bout of malaria is pretty high, so much so that by the time that child comes out of Class VIII, he has not received 100 per cent of primary education. He might have received up to around 75 per cent only. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, malaria has got a direct impact on the national population. Today, our population is estimated at 37 million. Thank God for that because I am a pro-life doctor. I am praying that we work hard so that the population of this country does not stick July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1715 at 37 million. We should bring it to around 50 to 60 million! When the population of this country is high---
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, a layman in medicine is trying to answer! He is my good elder brother, hon. Wetangula. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the population of this country is now at 37 million. If we were to bring it to around 50 or 60 million, it would be a wake up call for people to see the advantage of human labour; for people to capitalize on their expanded market! Markets are based on human beings. The more the people, the more you can sell your products. I tell those people who think that our country should not have more people to stop looking at the Kenyan picture. Look at the global picture! Which countries are superpowers in terms of economics in this world which do not have a big population? Go to the United States of America, it has 300 million people. It is a superpower in economics! Go to China, with 7.5 billion people---
It has 1.3 billion people!
Thank you very much! China, which has 1.3 billion people, is a superpower in economics! So, a big population is actually a reason for people to prosper! Today, the life expectancy of Kenyans has risen up to 54 years. That rise has been attributed to the fight against HIV/AIDS in the last 25 years. It had gone down to 46 years. But because of what we have done on the fight against HIV/AIDS, it is now 54 years. If we were to put a similar effort against malaria, we will raise the life expectancy from 54 years to 65 years. Many of those Kenyans who are going to be dying at 54 years would actually be still productive at the age of 65 and contributing to the building of this nation. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to remind hon. Members that, if this Motion passes, we will have a direct role as Members of Parliament. Our role would be to ask the Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 to create a Constituency Malaria Control Council, which could be managed under the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF).
We will also ask that all the monies for the control of malaria be channelled to the CDF and then, we can use our youth to create employment! They will be the ones to do the spraying! Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the people of this nation must know that there is a deliberate mischief by multinationals, pharmaceutical companies that manufacture drugs and markets that sell those pharmaceutical. They are not about to encourage us to stop the mosquito menace because, if they do so, they fear the loss of jobs in the countries where those anti-malarial drugs are produced. They fear not only the loss of jobs, but also loss of income because those anti- malarial drugs are sold to us! Indeed, if I am allowed to say so, those multinationals fear a world dominated by black people!
Oh yes! They fear a world dominated by black people because it is now common knowledge that at any level, where the black man competes with the white man, the black man always comes out number one! Yes! The world boxing champions--- Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I beg to second.
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Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very positive Motion. I will start by congratulating the Mover, Dr. Eseli, because we all know that a healthy nation is a productive nation and healthy people are also productive people. You may recall that in the good old days, we used to have public health officers, commonly called Bora Afya, who used to go round the countryside spraying pools of water, trees and sometimes people's homes to eliminate mosquitoes that cause malaria. Of course, in the course of time and after accepting ill-advised information from the World Bank and other organisations, telling the Government to get out of everything, some of these programmes collapsed. You may recall that the Government withdrew from running cattle dips and they all collapsed. Now we have a problem with our dips. Many things collapsed. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, under Vision 2030, one of the key components of success for this country is to have a healthy nation. We should have people who can access medicare easily; people who are kept healthy by the Government in partnership with the private sector providing adequate facilities for medication. Malaria remains the single largest killer in the tropical world; Whether you are talking of Kenya, Asia, or the Caribbean, malaria has remained a deadly killer. Most victims are women particularly expectant mothers and children under the age of five. When you lose pregnant or expectant mothers and children under the age of five, it is like exterminating your own population. It is important that we take care of this vulnerable segment of our society. The Mover has asked for adequate control of malaria transmission by spraying. What I do not know is how Dr. Eseli arrived at a quarterly spray because spray will certainly depend on the strength and its efficacy. If it is a weak drug, it may not last a quarter of the year. So, it will also have to be looked at to see whether it is done monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly depending on the efficacy of the drug. I think we need to be advised on this properly by the Ministry concerned. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have always said and I never shy away from saying that the scourge of HIV/AIDS that haunts particularly developing countries diverted away attention from even more deadly killer diseases, malaria being one of them Tuberculosis has resurged with a lot of strength. We have also diarrhoea dysentery and all other water borne diseases. But public servants and politicians like ourselves sing about HIV/AIDS everywhere in public. We forget that HIV/AIDS, unless, infected does not kill children under five years. HIV/AIDS can be controlled through human behaviour. But malaria cannot be controlled through human behaviour. There has to be an intervening factor by the state, particularly to stop the spread of malaria and the dangers that it causes. I agree with Dr. Khalwale that a large population that is properly educated and harnessed is a bond for growth. If you look at India or Asia; Asia has been under the scourge of malaria. But they have successfully controlled malaria to manageable levels because they have invested money in research, prevention and curative approaches to the disease. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this country, at one time was the largest producer of pyrethrum in the world. Pyrethrum is not a chemical product. It is a plant product. It is what I believe Dr. Eseli is envisaging here. It has no harmful side effects. If we could produce our own insecticides from pyrethrum, it will be user friendly, harmless to the population and above all, it may be cheaper to use. Equally, I want to throw a challenge at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). The KEMRI has been researching on drugs for many years. But if you walk into any pharmacy in this country, you will find that 99 per cent of all malaria drugs are imported. Surely, by now we should have some locally produced malaria drugs to make them cheaper and accessible by everybody. If you look at India with 1.1 billion people; Pakistan with 150 million people, Bangladesh with 150 million people, Vietnam with 87 million people, Indonesia with 240 million people, all these countries are recording phenomenal economic growth because they are July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1717 tapping from their people, because they are fighting scourges like malaria, because they have healthy people. I want all of us to embrace this Motion because it is good for this country. We used to think in the old days that people in the highlands like Limuru and Kericho do not get affected by malaria. But these days, malaria is sweeping the whole country, whether you are on the peak of Mt. Kenya or Mt. Elgon or wherever. So, it now behooves upon us, as leaders; this Parliament debates and determines Budgets. We must think of how to set aside money, first of all, to carry out proper research so that what Dr. Eseli is talking about spraying, we do not go and spray poison in people's homes. This is because we have drugs and sprays in the market that can be slow killing poisons. Let us look at how we can produce this insecticides from pyrethrum which we produce and revamp the production of this crop. Those of us who represent producers of pyrethrum will be quiet happy that their constituents will earn a better living. Then, we can move on. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I urge all of us to support the Motion. It is a good Motion. Once it is passed, it should be followed up to implementation, because there is not a single Member in this country, particularly those who represent malaria prone areas like western and the lake region, who can think that this Motion is not good. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute on this very important Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, malaria is a vector borne disease, as well as a water borne disease. As previous speakers said, it is one of the killer diseases in Kenya. I want to say that this problem has spread to other places. Most countries in Asia, as we speak today, have tried to control the spread of malaria. After Independence, many countries knew that malaria was one of the major killer diseases. They used all their resources to control malaria. Many countries have controlled malaria by destroying the vector which is the female anopheles mosquitoes which feed on human blood. That also extends to the treatment of the people who have already been affected by the disease, and carry the parasite in their bodies. We should also spray the breeding places of the mosquitoes. Today, some countries, like Singapore, Thailand and other Asian countries, have brought malaria to a manageable level, and many of their people are not sick. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion is very important and I wish that all hon. Members could support it, because malaria also affects our agricultural sector. It also affects our economy. If malaria did not exist, we would be collecting a lot of revenue and directed resources to other very important areas like roads and other infrastructure. Malaria also causes absenteeism in places of work, thus making Kenyans unproductive. When we talk about mosquitoes, it should be known that it is the female anopheles mosquito which transmits the parasite that causes malaria. Even in Parliament Buildings, hon. Members have problems because of mosquitoes. In the evening, at about 5.00 p.m. hon. Members are bitten by mosquitoes while taking tea. So, it is important to start with Parliament Buildings itself, because there are a lot of mosquitoes in the HANSARD offices; people cannot concentrate on their work even in the Clerk's Chambers and many other areas. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, mosquitoes could be controlled biologically by destroying them at the aquatic stage by introducing some fish which eats the larvae. We also have a mechanical method, which can be used to disturb the breeding places. When you disturb the breeding places, we completely cut off oxygen and the larvae will be destroyed. There is also the chemical that Dr. Khalwale talked about. That is the use of insecticides. But this method has advantages and disadvantages. There is another method which is very important. That is health education. If we teach our people about malaria and its effects on health they will learn to destroy places with stagnant water, dispose of plastic or metal cans, and also spray water where mosquitoes are likely to be breeding. This way, we shall be able to reduce malaria. 1718 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 After Independence some countries drew up programmes for control and eradication of malaria. At that time, most governments wanted to completely eradicate malaria. They found that, that was very difficult; so, they decided to adopt control measures. They realised that eradication is impossible. So, they adopted control methods. Even in this country we should have some control programme on malaria. We are taking this issue lightly in this country. When you imagine the amount of money wasted on malaria, it is a lot. Some countries like Tanzania have a malaria institute, because they know that mosquitoes and malaria are enemies in a country. So, they have introduced some courses on malaria. If you have knowledge of a disease, you get some good results. But if you take malaria like any other disease--- Anopheles mosquito will continue biting and transmitting malaria from one place to another, and that is very dangerous. I urge hon. Members and the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation to be very serious on the issue of malaria. The Mover of this Motion felt very strongly that this is a very dangerous thing in this country, and that we shall continue losing money. The rate of 38,000 deaths from malaria per year is not very small. Malaria kills more people than HIV/AIDS, diarrhoea and other diseases do. Even if you put together deaths from HIV/AIDS and diarrhoea, those from malaria will still more. With those few words, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to support this very important and timely Motion. I would also like to congratulate the Mover of the Motion. It is not by accident that it has been brought by a medical doctor, who understands the problem that we want to deal with. What we have been doing is trying to co-exist with malaria instead of eradicating it; you cannot co- exist with an enemy. If your neighbour is your enemy, you try to look for a way of befriending him, so that you become friends and co-exist, but if you are total enemies you move a way. That is the problem. The policy of our Government is to co-exist with malaria. Its policies include getting people nets for use at night and letting malaria continue spreading. Is that possible? So, the Mover is telling us to change strategy, because the strategy that we have been using is not working. One of the problems that the Government will give us is that we do not have enough money to buy spray. We have money! There is the Global Fund for malaria and Tuberculosis. That money can be invested in the buying of the relevant spray instead of continuing to buy nets that are not user friendly. So, we have the money. That is what I wanted to say from the beginning. If we are able to deal with malaria, we will again succeed in one of our key Millennium Development Goals (MDG). We will have gone a notch higher if we manage to deal with malaria once and for all. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as other hon. Members have said, malaria is second to HIV/AIDS; it is one of the major killers in Africa. You also need to know that because of the global warming, malaria has now spread to the mountain areas, the colder areas, where malaria never used to survive. If you go near Mt. Kenya, people there never knew what malaria was, unless they travelled to Mombasa and other places. There is now malaria in those places because our country is becoming warmer. So, malaria is becoming a bigger problem, and due to climatic changes, it is even going to be a bigger problem. So, the urgency of dealing with it is borne out by that other factor. Why do we want to do away with nets? I have already said that nets tend to tell us that we should co-exist with the enemy. Secondly, nets are cumbersome. When you go to sleep, you want to sleep freely. You want to move around in your bed. So, nets trap you. You cannot express your freedom of movement at night properly. You can imagine when you are under the net and the mosquito is busy making noise just near you. So, sometimes, you have even to wake up because you cannot remember that there is a net protecting you, if the mosquitoes are buzzing near you. So, it is very cumbersome and you cannot enjoy your sleep. So, let us eradicate mosquitoes. You can July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1719 imagine if, for example, you are a "night walker".
They are called night runners. You are not cautious of what you are doing. You wake up at night and move. When there is a net over you, how will you move? You will just wake up and walk away with the net. Therefore, you will find mosquitoes waiting for you. So, it cumbersome and not user-friendly. Also, most of our rural homes have grass-thatched houses. Where do you tie those nets? There are some areas where people sleep on the floor. How do you use the mosquito nets that are sold by the Ministry of Health in such areas? In Turkana, where it is too hot to live in the house, people live outside. They spend their nights outside, yet those are the areas where mosquitoes concentrate. So, we have to forget about these nets and set out strategies to deal with mosquitoes by eradication and not co-existence. What will be the benefit of eradication? Some of the benefits that have not been touched on by the other hon. Members--- I have already said that we will have gone a big mile in achieving our Millennium Development Goals. We will also reduce HIV/AIDS-related deaths. Many of our HIV/AIDS patients are not actually killed by HIV/AIDS complications, but by other diseases. In our region, it is mainly Malaria and Tuberculosis (TB). If you go to the hospital, most the people will tell you that they are suffering from Malaria and TB. Most times you will find that they have HIV/AIDS, but the diseases that kill them are different. If we deal with Malaria, therefore, we will have controlled HIV/AIDS-related deaths by about 50 per cent, because Malaria weakens the body and makes the HIV/AIDS patients die much earlier than they would have died if they did not contract Malaria. Then, the money which we have been using every year to buy nets would be channelled for other development activities. We can do many other things because we spend a lot of money on these nets, which are not user-friendly and not able to control Malaria. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if you go to many Ministries, often you will find that many people have been given sick leave because of Malaria. So, you can imagine the economic boost again, if people are able to work because they are not sick. Because they will not be asking for sick leave, they will be contributing to the development of the country, if we are able to eradicate Malaria. Mosquitoes do not bite you only at night or when you are sleeping. In fact, in Mombasa, when you are sitting, as you speak you are busy chasing mosquitoes. So, are you suggesting that in those areas, like Mombasa, we provide them with nets, so that they can be covered as they have conversations and take their drinks? Will they be able to have proper conversations? Will we be able to interact properly if we were to use nets during the day to fight mosquitoes? So, this is a failed strategy. We must adopt the strategy proposed by Dr. Eseli, so that we can deal with these enemies called mosquitoes once and for all. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I support the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support this Motion. Many of my colleagues have spoken about the ills of mosquitoes and Malaria, so I do not want to repeat much of what my brothers have spoken so eloquently about. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, when we were children, we had public health officers going around. We used to see them every week going with that back pack and spraying Dichloro Diphenyl Trichloroethane (DDT). The World Bank and other people found that we could make DDT very easily and cheaply locally. So, they went around saying that this was not good. Thirty years down the line, they realized that they were wrong. DDT now is acceptable as an insecticide, yet the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation does not use it expansively. They use a more expensive insecticide which costs a lot of money. When I was a Mayor, we used to look forward to 1720 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 the former President and even the current President, coming to Kisumu because a week before that, suddenly the public health officers woke up. They brought smoking machines and an aeroplane from Eldoret or wherever. They would go all over and spray insects. For one month, we would be very happy. So, we would always look forward to the coming of the President. The reality is that it is quite easy, as the hon. Member who has just spoken has said, for us to do this locally. We have very good public health officers in Kisumu where Malaria is one of the most highly feared diseases. But many of them cannot do their work, not because they do not want to, but because they are not funded. They do not have the means, simple machines and money. They do not even have money for petrol. So, I think that is one of the things that we need to do. One of our colleagues talked about creating a special line item for eradicating mosquitoes in our Constituencies Development Fund (CDF). That is important and we could work on it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other issue is anti-malarial drugs. We all know that between 60 per cent to 70 per cent of all anti-malarial drugs sold in this country are fake. That is a fact! How they come into the country, only God knows. But what the poor villagers go and buy is all fake. So, they cannot actually utilize the proper drugs. That is also one of the joint effects that we need to have. We need to have proper anti-malarial drugs. We also need to have sprays. I would suggest that DDT spraying is something that we need to look at and the public health officers need to be funded to do that. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, Kisumu is now hosting the world known centre of disease control and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). They are spending millions of dollars to come up with anti-malarial vaccines. It is now nearly 15 years, but we have not heard anything. We are told that it is nearly there. We are wondering whether it is really there. We have not heard anything about this malaria vaccine. I would like to know what is happening about it. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, furthermore, if people do not spray the pools of water, of course, the anopheles mosquitoes will breed there. So, sanitation is a very important aspect. The Ministry of Local Government has failed totally. You can spray all the pools of water 100 times or more, but if you do not have proper sanitation in place, then we are fighting a losing battle here. The municipal and city councils have even failed to cut grass! We need a consolidated effort on the part of city councils, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, the politicians and the citizenry. The role of the Chief Pharmacist or whoever approves drugs is very important. We cannot understand why malaria drugs are very expensive in this country compared to any other place in the world. My brother, mhe. Wetangula, just spoke about this. I visit Pakistan and other countries. Anti-malarial drugs are the cheapest in those countries. Those drugs are manufactured locally there. They can also be manufactured here locally, but for some reasons, we do not allow these things to be done. My colleague said the right thing. It appears like they do not want Africans to manufacture anti-malarial drugs. That is absolutely true. It does not require much to manufacture anti-malarial drugs! We have the facilities here. Some of the top anti-malaria scientists of this world are Africans and I have met them. We cannot be allowed to produce those drugs in this country. The ability and capability is there, but there are some people who are sitting up there getting a lot of money from these multinational companies not to allow drugs to be locally manufactured, thereby reducing their cost. That is one thing that we really need to address. So, we need a consolidated effort. It is not a one way thing. As much as I support this Motion, just spraying mosquitoes with insecticides is not the answer. Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, whereas I support the Motion, I would like to propose an amendment to this Motion. I beg to move:- THAT, the Motion be amended by deleting the words, "on a quarterly basis" July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1721 appearing on the second last line. The reason why I am proposing this amendment is because all the time we get new developments in the insecticides that we spray. There are some which can last six months. In fact, the current sprays we are using last for six months. However, there are some that can last for a year. We do not want to tie ourselves by making a law that will put us in a corner and we cannot expand on it. So, I propose that the words, "quarterly basis" appearing on the second line are deleted. Let me appreciate that malaria is an important disease that actually has a very high mortality rate in this country. It also has a very high morbidity, that is, ill health in this country. It is true that a lot of time is wasted by workers in getting treatment for malaria. The amount of money that we are using in the treatment of malaria is huge. In fact, the current treatment that we are using is quite expensive. The good thing is that all these drugs are now available in all our Government and mission hospitals. They are given for free. We have a four-approach system of managing malaria. One of the ways in which we manage malaria is, of course, case treatment. A patient comes to the hospital, we do laboratory tests and when we find that he has malaria, we treat the case. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the other way in which we are treating malaria is by residual spraying, the subject of this Motion. The other one is, of course, giving intermittent prophylaxis to ante-natal mothers, because we know that is the actual target group for malaria, because of the lower immunity during pregnancy. The last one is sleeping under mosquito nets. We are not saying, as a Ministry, that any one of those methods can be effective. We are saying that we must combine all these four strategies to fight malaria. So, spraying is one method that we want to use to control malaria. Let me also say that this is a very expensive method. It takes large amounts of money; so, when we are debating this Motion, we should know that, as a poor country, we may not be able to get enough resources to spray all over the country. Let me also say that in the 16 districts that Dr. Eseli referred to, we spray once annually to break the transmission of mosquitoes. This is because during the months of April to August, during the long rain season, is when mosquitoes are actively breeding. That is when the highest transmission occurs. So, once we spray, we cut off transmission. Truly speaking, since 2001, those districts that used to have epidemics, the malaria level has gone down considerably. I can report here that, in fact, from our records in various hospitals, the percentage decrease in morbidity in malaria has come down by about 15 per cent over that period. So, we believe that the four strategies we are using are bearing some fruit. We should intensify their use, but it does not mean that we do not adopt spraying as a method of controlling malaria. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are about three regions in this country, which are malaria epidemic areas. There are also areas that are malaria endemic, where there is transmission throughout the area. I think Dr. Eseli knows that. There are areas which are in between. Therefore, when we talk about spraying, we should know which areas we are targeting. We should also remember that Kenya is not isolated. We have Somalia, Uganda and Tanzania. So, this is a problem in the Sub-Saharan African countries. Even if we spray in Kenya alone and we do not ask our neighbours to do the same, then we are not going to make any impact in the control of mosquitoes. Wee read in the Bible that Noah saved every species during those holy days in the Bible. The mistake Noah made was to bring the female anopheles mosquito into his Ark, because then we could have done away with malaria completely. In endemic areas, we have now started spraying in Rachuonyo; we expect to spread throughout the endemic areas like Coast, Nyanza and Western regions. So, I would like hon. Members to debate this Motion, and I support it, but with those facts that I have given in mind. With those few remarks, I beg to support the amendment. 1722 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008
seconded the amendment.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have no objection to the amendment if it is based on science. I had said "quarterly" because I was looking at the pyrethrum-based residual insecticides, whose longevity is about three-and-a-half months. If the Minister assures us that they can actually get other insecticides that last six months to one year, then, indeed, that "quarterly" could become sort of an encumbrance rather than a help. In that case, then it will be worthwhile to delete "quarterly" and leave it open, so that we can use whatever insecticides that would be available. However, this should be done sustainably and continuously. I remember I mentioned that when we do it piecemeal, we are risking developing resistance in mosquitoes. So, if we are going to do it, for example, in Rachuonyo and not in the neighbouring district, we might develop resistance in mosquitoes. This is something that we need to look at scientifically. If we do it in one district and create resistance in mosquitoes, then it will not be of much help. In fact, we will have to keep on changing the insecticide that we use. This becomes very expensive. On that basis, I support the amendment.
(Mr. Kajembe) Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I rise to support the Motion. People of this country have suffered a lot from malaria. Our population has been reduced by mosquito transmitted illnesses. Malaria is a very bad disease, especially in tropical countries. Some of us who come from the tropical areas of this country, were born and brought up in mosquito infested areas. Mosquitoes are very unkind to us. They bite us and transmit diseases to us. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, those who come from other areas, and who have not been affected by malaria may not know the position. Once they get infected with malaria, they can lose their lives very quickly. Malaria is a threat to even the tourism industry. Most tourists from abroad do not want to come to tropical countries, because they know that our governments do not control the spread of malaria. I would say that the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation is not doing much to eliminate malaria. The Ministry has left this exercise to their lead agencies, which are the local authorities. The local authorities in this country do not have sufficient funds to control the spread of malaria. The colonialists fought malaria vigorously. You would see health officers moving around homesteads, cutting bushes, spraying sewerage areas, opening manholes on the streets of our cities and spraying them with insecticides. So, the number of mosquitoes was reduced and hence, malaria prevalence was very low. In order for us to do away with malaria in this country, it is important that the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation takes up this duty. Right now, there is no guidance. It is my opinion that the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation seeks for a big budgetary allocation from the Treasury to fight this disease. I know that the Ministry has not refused to do this job. The problem is that it has not been given adequate funds to fight the disease. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is also important to start a board and vest it with the July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1723 responsibility of fighting malaria. Otherwise, the Ministry is doing very little. Today, the local authorities are doing nothing. Talk of spraying; how many people in this country can afford to buy insecticides. Today, a big can of insecticide is sold at Kshs300, and you can use it only once. So, if you are to buy one each day for 30 days, you would need Kshs9,000. How many people in Kenya can spend Kshs9,000 per month on spraying mosquitoes in their homes? It is very difficult. To me, even spraying the whole country is a desperate measure. Even if we spray the whole country today, we will still receive mosquitoes from our neighbouring countries. So, how do we stop the spread of malaria? In the developed world, like in Europe, all the countries undertake to spray insecticides. That is why you do not find mosquitoes or malaria there. If you fall sick in Europe, you will not be diagnosed for malaria. You will be diagnosed for other diseases like tuberculosis and others. But today, in Africa, when you fall sick, the immediate action the doctor will take is to test your blood for malaria. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for us to do away with mosquitoes and malaria, it is up to the Continent to do something. I mean the African Continent and the African Union. It is up to the countries to start that process. We, in Kenya, should convince other African countries to do something to eradicate malaria and mosquitoes in the whole Continent. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, recently, I flew from Mombasa to Nairobi. When I entered the aeroplane and I was in the business class - a very luxurious class in the aircraft - I still found mosquitoes there!
I was unhappy and troubled in the aircraft! I came to realize that, in some airlines, they spray the aircraft before the flight. I think Kenya Airways should now be advised to spray their aircrafts before they fly to any destination. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, mosquitoes will follow you to a place where you are enjoying yourself. When you are taking a good meal or drinks, they will come. When you take your time with "whatever", they will come. Today, we have the Ministry of Medical Services and Ministry of Health. I do not know which Ministry is responsible to answer this Motion. But we have collective responsibility. I said earlier that, we, who come from tropical areas, even when you are in the water swimming in the nice beaches, when you come out of the water, you know, your body is not fully covered, you will still find mosquitoes there. So, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, we call upon the Ministry of Health to do its best. The Treasury should also give enough funds to the Ministry of Health to enable it to perform its functions. That way, something will be done. Even in this Chamber, for us who come from areas like Mombasa--- In the past, we never saw mosquitoes in Nairobi! But, today, even in this Chamber, there are mosquitoes! We try to chase them away with our hands!
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this is a problem. If we do not act now, we are going to witness our population going down because, to me, malaria kills faster than HIV/AIDS! It is important that the whole Government addresses this issue. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. In supporting this Motion, I want to plead with my colleague, the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation, to note that we have one of the best products to control mosquitoes; pyrethrin and pyrethroid. This product is 1724 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 organic in nature and widely available in our country. The Pyrethrum Board of Kenya has not paid farmers for a very long time. Subsequently, production of pyrethrum has dropped. Instead of spending billions of shillings to buy mosquito nets and other things--- I suspect that we are turning malaria control measures into a big business. Instead of doing that, let us ask our colleagues to liaise with the Office of the Prime Minister so that they can pay the pyrethrum farmers so that we have adequate supply of pyrethrin and pyrethroid. Once we have the pyrethrin, then we will not have to wait, like hon. Shakeel said, for the President to visit Kisumu to spray our environment. It can be done because the products are available and they are good. I am saying this with a lot of seriousness because it is in the public domain that during the Ninth Parliament, it was reported in this House that the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya was holding stocks in excess of Kshs1 billion in pyrethrin. That product disappeared miraculously from the stores or godowns and the farmers have never been paid for their deliveries. Subsequently, the industry has gone down. Now we have heard that other factories, like Midland Factory, have come up and yet the farmers are down trodden. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, the issue of fake drugs finding their way into our market is not news. It can only be the manifestation of inefficiency in drug control agencies. If truly, fake anti-malarial drugs can find their way to the shelves, all we can say is that somebody is planning to do mass killing of Kenyans. The fact is that even fake drugs are bought. I was a victim of a fake drug in 1979. If you take those drugs with the believe that you will be cured and you are in those remote places and may be you do not have more money, you will die. So, we will take it as an emergency from the hon. Minister for Public Health and Sanitation that if somebody is caught selling fake drugs because the law is there, we will take him like any other criminal or a carjacker who tries to kill people or steal from them. I am saying this because multinational companies always go to the backyard. The multinationals should have administrative capability. If they cannot control fake products carrying their brand names, then they are part of the scheme. They should not be protected to the extent that the products bearing their own logos are found in the market. Otherwise, we shall just conclude rightfully or wrongly that they released factory jets and found their way into our market. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, poor planning by the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation should not constitute an emergency they are trying to instill on Kenyans. They have the capability even with the meagre resources that they have--- I really want to thank hon. Shakeel who said that if President visits Kisumu, I also saw it in Kitui last year, when the President visited Kitui town, for three weeks there were no mosquitoes. Why can we not have that "Presidential Mosquito Control Team" move from town to town to save our children who are dying because of malaria? I agree with the doctors who said that some sprays will last for three months, six months or even one year. I have a slight problem with the use of compound products that will have adverse environmental effects. The longer the rescue effect, the worse it is. That is half life. I would really persuade the Minister to use only five per cent of his big Budget on malaria control. That will help farmers in Kisii and Molo to produce pyrethrum. Once pyrethrum is produced in bulk, then we shall not have this problem. I also would like make a comment on this story about the neighbouring countries. Hon. Members talk about a buffer zone. A mosquito is a very small animal and does not have the capability to fly for 100 kilometres overnight. It will need a lot of energy and logistics to organize itself. What I am trying to say is that we should not fear that our neighbours are not spraying mosquitoes. As long as we have a buffer spray zone, and we spray from the central point all the way to our border point, and then we make spraying regular around the border points, I do not think mosquitoes can fly from the Busia-Uganda border to places like Kakamega overnight. I need to be advised on that one. July 9, 2008 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES 1725 Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do sympathise with the Assistant Minister for Environment, Mr. Kajembe, that because of poor plans in the Government, they are not able to do the basics like controlling use of plastic materials, where mosquitoes breed. They are not even able to effect simple policies like repairing broken sewage. In Naivasha, there is one that has been leaking for the last three weeks, yet there is cholera in Nakuru. This Government, particularly now that it is manned by very able and young Ministers - young on the job and not in the profession--- The Minister is the most experienced health professional we have in that field and should know what I am talking about. If he could use just one per cent of his experience to control mosquitoes, he does not have to come to the House for even two hours. He will control all these mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are not like locusts, they are easier to control, and we have units in this country. Under the Ministry of Agriculture we have more than five aircraft which can do mass spraying. The Office of the Prime Minister should co-ordinate use of the capacity that we have to do spraying. Using our knowledge of locust control, we can work on mosquitoes. Our professionals have been able to control quillea birds using the aeroplanes. Also the military has the capability to tackle any insect, including mosquitoes. All that I can say is that if the Minister is willing to support this 0Motion, as he has said, and has a commitment at heart, then controlling mosquitoes should not be an issue any more. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, in conclusion, let me also remind him that we have a jigger problem. A jigger problem has something to do with poverty. It is a matter of us ignoring the less fortunate people. They are our voters. They are dying of jiggers. I think it is time that hon. Members came to the realization that as much as we rely on our partners, we are also failing and we have failed. We cannot control mosquitoes and jiggers; soon the Minister for Livestock Development is going to tell us that they cannot control ticks. These are very basic things to do. We have invested a lot of money in the HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis management. We are pleading with the Minister to allocate funds, as the Ministry of Agriculture did the other when it gave Kshs300 million to Equity Bank for a special package to finance farmers to the tune of Kshs3 billion. Look at the people who are dying because of the small insects that can be controlled. Help the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya to pay the farmers, get the pyrethrin and then hire the aircraft from the Ministry of Agriculture--- Do not hire these because you an use military aircraft. Instead of them going to Mt. Elgon, let them come and take on the mosquitoes. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important Motion. I rise to support this Motion because it is particularly critical to me, because I represent a rural constituency where Malaria is a major killer disease. Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) are prone to Malaria due to their unique environmental conditions. They are characterised by scarcity of water to the extent that, in my constituency, I do not have any permanent source of water. The only available source of water is man-made; in form of dams, ponds or shallow water wells. This provides a condition for breeding of mosquitoes. During the rainy season, there is dense grasslands and thick bushes with vegetation underneath. This is also another hide-out for mosquitoes. There is also an inadequate number of public health officers to attend to the affected people, either in form of providing public education, creating awareness or provision of treatment. In fact, it is particularly important for the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, to know that when they refer to the provision of mosquito nets, in many cases, it is only confined to urban centres. Therefore, the rural folk are never considered. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, poverty levels in Kenya are so high. It is, therefore, an impediment for the common man to meet the cost of malaria treatment. This is particularly so in 1726 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES July 9, 2008 ASALs where we know that poverty levels are over 70 per cent. This has forced many people, particularly the locals who are illiterate, to resort to using herbal medicine. As a result, they become resistant to malaria treatment. Therefore, the only option left for these people is the spray of homes. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I support the Motion.
Hon. Members, it is now time for the interruption of business. The House is, therefore, adjourned until this afternoon, at 2.30 p.m. The House rose at 12.30 p.m.