We shall start with Oral answers to Questions.
Is Mr. Keynan not here? We will leave the Question until the end.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Is there a quorum in the House?
Mr. K. Kilonzo, you know you are out of order. We have not started the business of the day.
Proceed, the Member for Mwea.
asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government:-
(a) whether he could provide a list of the allottees who benefitted from the settlement in the South Ngariama Settlement Scheme, indicating their respective addresses, ID numbers, locations and the acreage allocated; and, (b) whether he could provide the approved maps from the Commissioner of Lands for the sub-division.
Is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government not here yet? I will go to the next Question. I have reserved the third call for hon. Members. I will also extend the same to Ministers.
Let us move on to the next Question!
Is Mr. Shakeel not here?
Let us move on to the next Question!
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) why it has taken so long to repair Lerata Borehole (KIJITO) in Samburu East, which broke down more than five months ago; and, (b) when the borehole will be repaired, considering that it is the only water source serving the entire Lerata Community.
Is anyone here from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation? I will reserve the Question for the third call. Let us move on to the next Question!
GOVERNMENTâS PLAN TO CONSTRUCT HIGH RISE HOUSES
asked the Minister for Housing:- (a) whether the Government has plans of demolishing old residential estates in Nairobi and putting up more high rise houses to accommodate more people; (b) what plans the Government has to improve water and sewerage systems to match the expected population increase; and, (c) if he could assure the House that this time round the projects will be viable given that the National Housing Corporation (NHC) has been unable to earn its share of revenue from houses constructed in partnership with local authorities across the country, resulting in protracted legal battles.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) The Government has plans to undertaken housing redevelopment in the old residential estates in Nairobi and other urban centres. Indeed, this programme has already started with 90 old houses having been demolished to give way to 50 new houses which are complete and 718 houses under construction in old residential estates within Nairobi. (b) The Minister, in liaison with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government are in consultation to upgrade the infrastructure services in these areas where urban renewal and redevelopment is taking place. (c) In early years of its establishment, the NHC developed residential houses in various local authorities across the country on loan to local authorities. This programme worked very well until the mid 1980s when many councils started defaulting in debt serving to the corporation. It is worth noting that the corporation has managed to redeem about 60 per cent of the debts with local authorities. Examples of councils that have finalized arrangements to clear their debts include Nairobi City Council (NCC), Municipal Council of Mombasa and Municipal Council of Nakuru, just to mention but a few.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, my Ministry has developed a new approach of collaboration with councils to ensure that future joint development programmes of housing estates in urban areas do not encounter the same problems that we have had before. We are in the process of engaging the private sector to collaborate with the councils, the NHC and my Ministry in coming up with residential houses in all our urban areas, some of which will be sold and others leased out on rental basis.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thank the Minister for giving that elaborate answer to this Question and being the first Minister this morning to respond to a Question in Parliament. While I thank the Minister for this good answer, we know that the issue of land in this country is very vital and that is why we even have a problem with the current proposed Constitution. Land will not grow in size. We know there are technologies which can enable this country to put up storied buildings up to 50 storeys as we have seen in other countries like China and Dubai. Part âaâ of my questions asks the Minister: What plans has he put in place to ensure that when we demolish the other houses, we put up storied houses which can accommodate more people so that we get rid of the slums which are emerging everywhere in this country?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, my Ministry is in the process of carrying redevelopment programmes in the old residential areas and we are well aware of the pressure of land in our urban areas. That is why in our redevelopment programme, we are trying as much as possible to maximize use of space. For example, we demolished one old house in Makueni Road in Kileleshwa and came up with 22 houses. We also demolished one old house in Kilimani area and put up 50 houses on that space.
Similarly, we have demolished 60 houses in Ngala and we are coming up with about 800 houses which are almost complete. They include a shopping centre and a school. So we are actually aware of the pressure of land and we are trying as much as possible to maximise use of land. In fact, in Ngala, we have three blocks of residential houses which are 15 floors. We want to try and see if we can even do housing development that goes up to 30 or 40 floors just to make sure that we are maximising on use of the available land.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. What the Minister has told the House about development of houses in Nairobi is impressive. I do not know if he has plans for other towns like Kitale. The last time we saw a new estate being put up was when Mr. Robert Matano was the Minister and we have the Matano Estate in Kitale.
Yes, we have plans to develop housing in all our urban areas. In fact, through the National Housing Corporation (NHC), we are presently developing housing units in Kisii, Nyeri, Kakamega and we intend to go to other urban areas. But also I would urge Members that resources are of essence in this programme and allocations that we get from Treasury are not adequate to cover all the urban areas at the same time given the huge housing deficit in all our urban areas. So we are trying the much we can with the little resources that we are managing to access from Treasury.
When the NARC Government took over a few years, ago the then Minister for Roads, Public Works and Housing, who is the current Prime Minister promised Kenyans that the Government was going to put up 100,000 units per year to address the issue of housing in Nairobi. At that time, he was a small man but now, he is a very powerful man! When the Minister says they are putting up 1,500 housing units, this is barely symbolic. Is there any firm commitment that the Government is going to address the issue of housing in Nairobi, so that rent can come down?
Yes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is a very firm commitment on the part of the Government to try and address the issue of housing not just in Nairobi but in all other urban areas as well. I remember very well what the Prime Minister said when he was the Minister for Roads, Public Works and Housing. He said that there existed a shortage of housing in Nairobi and our other urban areas to the tune of 150,000 housing units. He did not say he was going to put up 100,000 housing units. However, we are trying to see if the existing shortage of 150,000 units can be addressed through a series of interventions including public private partnerships with locals and foreign investors through Treasury allocations and offering incentives to local developers just to see if that gap can be sealed and also if we can bring down the rents through adequate supply.
Last question, hon. John Pesa!
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I remember in answering a similar Question sometime back, the Minister assured this House that there were plans to put up houses in Migori Municipality. Is that plan still on or it has been shelved?
The programme is still on and in the next financial year---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Putting up the new housing estates is good for the Nairobians but what special conditions has the Minister put in place that---
Is that a question or a point order?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker---
Hon Member, what is your point of order?
What I wanted the Minister to clarify---
What is out of order?
Is it in order for the Minister to put up new houses without considering whether the poor people will afford those new houses?
Continue Minister! Hon. Member, please, look at our Standing Orders so that you understand how to raise a point of order.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Hon. Waititu just walked in as I was answering the question. However, I want to assure the Member for Migori that we have made arrangements with the NHC to put up an estate within Migori Town and we are presently talking with Migori Municipal Council to see how that programme can be actualised in the coming financial year.
Next Question by hon. Wamalwa!
asked the Minister of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030: (a) If he is aware that in spite of his promise to the House in 2009 to pay all enumerators involved in the last census exercise, several enumerators have not yet been paid; and, (b) what he is doing to ensure that they are paid their dues without further delay.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to answer the question.
(a) Yes, I am aware that about 200 of the 13,963 enumeration personnel who were involved in the 2009 population and housing census have yet to receive their payments.
(b) We have taken the following measures to ensure settlement of all pending claims:-
All District Census Committees (DCCs) have been provided with lists of rejections to facilitate correction and update of payment information. All corrected cases are being verified and settled immediately they are received. Where bank information is not applicable or available, cash payments are being sent to the respective district census committees to facilitate payments. All withheld payments are transmitted immediately clarification and corrections are received from the DCCs. We expect that conciliation and settlement of all pending cases should be complete before the end of 30th of June 2010.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Government has been terribly unfair to people who worked very hard to carry out the census, the results of which are yet to be known up to date. Will the Assistant Minister specifically tell the House when the remaining officers who carried out this census will be paid? Can he be specific?
As I have said and I fully appreciate what my colleague is saying, it has taken long. It is not fair to the concerned officers but there were specific problems that arose. First, we had the issue of introduction of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
through Central Bank of Kenya in October, 2009. This arose because, first, we had incomplete personal details. We knew who the enumerators were but they did not give complete bank details. I have given an assurance here that whoever has not been be paid will be paid before the end of this month. I also gave an assurance to this House that we will release the census results by the end of August this year. If we get all these details, we should be able to sort out this issue.
I also want to appeal to hon. Members who have enumerators who were not paid, if they give me the specific details, I will also ensure that before 30th of June, they are paid.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, among the people who have not been paid their dues after the census are the Kenya Police Reservists (KPRs) who provided security in the far-flung areas in northern Kenya. As we understand, they want to pay the security personnel through the police scheme of service, and these KPRs do not even have bank accounts. Can the Assistant Minister assure us that these KPRs will, indeed, be paid through the DCs offices because they have no provision within the police scheme of service?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have said in my answer to part âbâ that where bank information is not available, cash payments will be sent to the respective District Census Committees, because that is the only place where verification can take place.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, there are three groups of census officials who were involved in the last national census. The third group is the village elders. I do not know what arrangement the Assistant Minister has to ensure that the village elders are also paid, because a majority of them do not have bank accounts; some of them are illiterate and, therefore, they could not meet the specifications as required.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think he deserves the same answer as given to Dr. Nuh, that cash payments in absence of banking details are being made on verification from the District Census Committees.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Could the Assistant Minister also confirm whether the people to be paid will include the village elders, who accompanied the enumerators during this exercise?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we want to clear with issues of census by 30th of June. This is the position I have articulated here. Anybody who was involved or who was employed for purposes of the census--- The problem has been verification; what happened was that when we tried to sort out the details directly, many other people came up, and this is why we resorted to using the actual District Census Committees, so that we can sort out everybody.
On a point of or order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I do not know whether you heard what the Assistant Minister said; in a sense, he is implying that they are not able to say who they recruited for the census, and he has asked Members of Parliament to assist him to identify them. This is the Assistant Minister, Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030. Is he in order then to come and ask us to do the work of the Executive and to plan for them?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think I did not seek help from hon. Members; I wanted to assist hon. Members who might have enumerators who
are having problems in their respective constituencies, so that if the issue is details, I will be able to hasten the process for them. That is what I am saying, so that hon. Members do not have to ask specific Questions on the Floor of the House. If there is somebody in your constituency who was an enumerator and, probably, he has not been paid, I can help you! I am not asking hon. Members to help me; we know the enumerators and I wanted to hasten the process!
Last question, hon. Wamalwa!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, previously we had raised issues touching on village elders and officers who accompanied the enumerators. For the village elders, the complaint was that some had only been paid for four days and some had worked for eight days. The Minister had said that he was going to look into these issues. Could you assure the House that this issue will be sorted out, and the village elders will be paid their full dues?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think the issue of days was more or less resolved. I know that there were cases where people were asking for more days than had already been agreed upon. What I do know, and what assurance I give this House, is that all those who took part in the census and have not been sorted out should be sorted out by 30th of June.
asked the Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security:-
(a) to inform the House how many District Officers were recruited in January, 2007 indicating how many were women, disabled or from other marginalized groups; and,
(b) whether the Minister could state their respective present job groups, when they were confirmed and explain the delay in the confirmation or promotion?
(Mr. Lesrima: Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) 270 District Officers were recruited in January, 2007; 72 were ladies, six were from marginalized groups and no disabled person was recruited. (b) All the 270 officers have been confirmed in appointment and the Permanent Secretary is in the process of regularizing their promotions.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not know whether the Assistant Minister is misleading this House, because the payslips of these DOs as late as last month still indicate that they are cadet officers, which implies that they are still on probation. This has the effect that the officers cannot even access loans from banks. Could the Assistant Minister explain what occasioned this delay and when exactly these officers will be confirmed in their job groups?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, there is a difference between promotion and confirmation. Confirmation takes place after two yearsâ service, while promotion takes place when you fulfill the requirements for the next grade. The
requirements for the next grade are that the officer must have served for at least two years; he must have attended an induction course for three months and, must have attended 12 weeks paramilitary course at the Administration Police Training College. Now, the officers have not been able to fulfill the paramilitary training programme because of budgetary constraints.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am aware that there are candidates who applied to be employed as DOs and they are university degree holders, but they were left out. Could the Assistant Minister explain under what circumstances these applicants were left out? Could the Assistant Minister explain under what circumstances these candidates were left out, and most particularly those ones who came from marginalized areas? He should also explain if, after recruiting these officers, they have actually got enough DOs to manage all the divisions, because I know that we still have administrative divisions that have no DOs?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I m not clear what group the hon. Member is referring to; I do not know whether he is referring to the 2007 group or the recent recruitment.
Are you ready to be asked a question? Yes, Mr. Letimalo?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am asking about the current group which was employed in January; the last group that was employed.
January of when?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, of the same year that he is referring to.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not have that information. But what I do know is that several candidates applied, and the requirements were that they must have degrees in social sciences. So, it is possible that the candidates that the hon. Member is referring to had degrees in other fields. That would be one of the constraints. With regard to, for example, the recent or latest recruitment, 7,000 candidates applied, 600 were shortlisted and 200 were taken. So, you can see the competitive nature of this position.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, this group called DOs is a very sad lot in the Civil Service. They are supposed to be in charge of divisions; when they are in charge of divisions, they are in charge of all the security matters in the divisions. But interestingly, and this is what I want to ask the Assistant Minister; the salaries of these officers are far less than those of newly recruited police officers. What plans does the Ministry have so that the officers with degrees who are in charge earn higher earn salaries than those of Administration Police or the regular police officers?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I believe that question should be referred to the Public Service Commission, because when you talk about administrative officers, you are talking about the entire Public Service, and not just about DOs.
I agree with the Assistant Minister. That sounds like a new Question.
Yes, John Mbadi!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Minister said that out of 272 recruited DOs, 70 are female. We know that it is the policy of the Government that at least a third of recruits should be of either gender. If you do simple arithmetic, you will find that 70 is below a third of 272. Why is the Ministry ignoring the Government policy of ensuring gender parity by making sure that at least a third of either gender is recruited?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I agree that there was no gender parity in this case. The biggest problem is that the job of DOs is field-based, and it requires participation in combat activities, particularly, as the hon. Member may be aware, in areas where there is cattle rustling. This may be a difficult task for ladies.
On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Is the Assistant Minister in order to mislead this House by saying that DOs are supposed to be involved in combat activities when we know that they are supposed to be administrators and just co-ordinating the activities in their areas?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I just mentioned one of the aspects that gives us a challenge. The reason for DOs to attend paramilitary training is that they get involved in security issues. I am not saying that ladies are not able. Indeed, they can be deployed in Ministries as Assistant Secretaries in areas where they do not need to be involved in combat. However, I agree with the hon. Member that the ratio should be one third. In any case, with the passing of the new constitution, we will have no option but to have one third of recruits.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, with the creation of the many districts that we now have, the Provincial Administration establishment is now heavy at the top. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that if you have excess staff--- We now have DCs and DOIs and many DOs. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that the excess staff at the top are utilised in other areas, instead of keeping so many of them in a unit which was previously run by a DO only?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not think we have excess staff at the top. Indeed, we have shortage. We were to recruit 400 DOs, but Treasury allowed us to recruit 200. So, we are short of staff. We are also short of DCs. A number of districts are being manned by DOIs. So, I do not understand what the hon. Member is referring to. So, if he knows of a district which is over-staffed, he can give us that information, so that we can take corrective action.
Last question, Dr. Nuh!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Assistant Ministerâs response to what occasioned the delay or lack of confirmation of these DOs is that they did not have enough budgetary funds. That is not the fault of the DOs, because the contract that they signed says that they were supposed to be confirmed after two years. So, whether the Government lacks funds or not, is not the issue. So, can he confirm to this House when exactly these officers will be confirmed?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the problem is the scheme of service, which is administered by the Permanent Secretary, Provincial Administration, together with the Permanent Secretary, Directorate of Personnel Management, and the Public Service Commission; it must be strictly adhered to.
Mr. Assistant Minister, the question is very clear. The contract says that in two yearsâ time, one gets confirmed. That is what your first answer was. From 2007 to 2009, the two years are over. Do you know exactly when it is going to be done or has it not been considered? I think that is what the hon. Member is asking.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in the course of the next financial year, when Treasury increases the allocation from Kshs30 million to Kshs180 million, since we have a backlog of officers who have not been promoted, we are going to have a crash programme for all these DOs to go through the paramilitary training, and then we will work out a compensation mechanism. In the meantime, there is dialogue going on amongst the three Permanent Secretaries to see---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Assistant Minister is evading the question. The question is very straightforward. When is he going to confirm these officers?
Mr. Assistant Minister, is that clear?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will confirm the officers when they have gone through the paramilitary training in the course of the next financial year.
Mr. Assistant Minister, your first answer is what is confusing everybody. In the first answer, you said that two years after recruitment, they are confirmed. It is now beyond two years since the DOs were confirmed. Is it that somebody forgot to conduct the paramilitary training session or what happened? That is what hon. Members are after.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the scheme of service says that after two years of service you qualify to move to the next grade, provided that you have met certain conditions. I did mention that one condition has not been met, and that is the paramilitary training. We are requesting Treasury to provide us with funds to enable us take the officers through that training. However, confirmation in the current Job Group, which is Job Group âJâ, has taken place. What has not taken place is promotion to the next grade, which is Job Group âKâ.
What is your point of order, Mr. Ogindo?
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Mine is an inquiry. How much money does the Ministry require to enable them conduct the paramilitary training?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we require about Kshs250,000 to train one officer for 12 weeks.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Please, let it be a point of order. I do not want points of inquiry.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, is the Assistant Minister in order to put conditionalities on these promotions? According to the scheme of service,
after every two years, the officers are supposed to be promoted. If they are the ones who are supposed to conduct that training, why are they not doing so? Is he in order to put these conditionalities?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I believe that I have answered that question many times. Promotion is not automatic even when you complete two years. One must also show merit and ability in his work performance.
Thank you, Assistant Minister. Next Question, Member of Parliament for Nyaribari Chache!
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF âJOBS ABROADâ PROGRAMME
Is the Member of Parliament for Nyaribari Chache still not here? I will reserve this Question for the third call.
We are now on the third and final call for the Question by the Member of Parliament for Emuhaya.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, before I ask the Question, I would like to apologise for coming late.
asked the Minister for Roads:- (a) why it has taken so long to tarmack Isiolo-Wajir-Mandera, Garissa-Wajir- Mandera and Wajir-Moyale Roads in the North-Eastern Province; and, (b) when the roads will be tarmacked.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply. (a) It has taken long to tarmack the mentioned roads in North Eastern Province because of the extent of the works required and the costs involved. (b) My Ministry has completed the designs of upgrading the roads and is now sourcing for funds from development partners.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am greatly pained and disturbed. This Question came to the Floor of the House before we adjourned and this is the same answer that this House refused to accept. Today, I am dismayed that the Assistant Minister for Roads has decided to bring the same answer, the only difference being that it took him six weeks to keep the same answer and then, came and misled the House. I want to pass a copy of the written answer to the Chair to verify whether it is the same answer that this House rejected. Why is the Assistant Minister attempting to gag the House and mislead Kenyans by purporting to offer an improved answer when it is the same? The only difference is the six weeks we have waited for the answer. Here is a copy of the written answer, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
What is your point of order? Could we allow the Assistant Minister to answer the Questioner first?
I intend to bring to your attention what transpired. The Question was, indeed, deferred and the Assistant Minister was unable to tell us when---
The Chair is aware of the deferment. That is why I want him to have the right to answer the Questioner. If you have a different point of order, we will come back to you. Proceed, Mr. Assistant Minister!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, this is an honorable house and I am always obliged to speak the truth and nothing but the truth. This is the truth and I have said it.
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The reason why this Question was deferred is that the Assistant Minister was unable to answer part âbâ of the Question which was: âWhen will the roads be tamacked?â All this House wants to know is purely âwhenâ. Is it 2030 or after five years? We only want to know that and nothing else.
Mr. Assistant Minister, do you have an answer other than what you have returned?
Yes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. Without fear of contradiction this road will be tamacked on or before 28th December, 2012.
That is good! Ask the last question, Mr. Keynan!
That is a good answer but I would like to inform the Assistant Minister that in the Budget Speech read by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance for the year 2009/2010, Item 52 says:-
âMr. Speaker, Sir, with regard to the development of northern Kenya and other arid lands, we plan to undertake numerous interventions in the region. Key projects include Isiolo â Modogashe - Garissa â Wajir Road at a cost of Kshs1.2 billionâ Could the Assistant Minister tell this House what happened to the Kshs1.2 billion which was factored in the current financial year?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have said without fear of contradiction, I intend to tarmack this road on or before the date I have given. Therefore, the issue of what happened to that fund does not arise.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, with the indulgence of the Chair, this House is the Legislative Arm of the Government of Kenya. This money has already been approved and it is not something I have collected from elsewhere. It is documented and is here. Is the Assistant Minister in order to avoid answering the question? This money is within his docket in the Ministry of Roads. The Kshs1.2 billion was factored in the Budget. What happened to that money? Did he divert it to other projects or use it as his petty cash? Where is the money?
Mr. Assistant Minister, be very specific in answering this question.
I will, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. In the 2009/2010 Budget, if I may refresh the mind of the hon. Member, we allocated the roads even more than Kshs1.2 billion. Amongst the things we have done is to get the surveys and technical designs for the roads that make up the main trunk of the road the Member has asked about. I have looked at the Garissa â Modogashe â Wajir Road which is 330 kilometers. I have also looked at the Wajir â Mandera Road which is 380 kilometers. I have looked at Isiolo â Garbatulla â Modogashe Road which is 195 kilometers. I have also looked at Wajir â Mandera Road which is 380 kilometers. I have all these reports with me. In addition, in the year the hon. Member is questioning I allocated Kshs4.2 million to patch and repair this road. Maybe to make the hon. Member a little happy, as I wait for donors to help me finance the construction of this road, I have requested the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance to allocate my Ministry Kshs45 million for periodic maintenance of the same road this year. I hope this will be accepted. That is the best I could do.
Mr. Assistant Minister, have you exhausted the specific question on the amount that was allocated? I think it is good to briefly say whether you have spent everything according to what was raised. If you could clarify that we could not have all these questions coming up.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, if the hon. Member so wishes I can table, at a later date that you will decide, the details on the amount of money the Member asked about.
Thank you very much. I think we rest it at that. The remaining aspect comes up on Tuesday, next week.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, would I be in order to ask for this Question to be deferred?
Mr. Keynan, I allowed your question although it was a new one. Therefore, we must allow the Assistant Minister to go and get the details! Your Question had nothing to do with the Kshs1.2 billion that is in
the statement. Because the Assistant Minister has generously agreed to come back, I want to give him time to do that. Your Question was specifically on when the road will be tamacked and you have been answered. So, Mr. Assistant Minister, we give you up to Tuesday, next week to bring the details for the additional question! Let us move on to the next Question by the Member for Mwea!
asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government:- (a) to provide a list of the allottees who benefitted from the settlement in the South Ngariama Settlement Scheme, indicating their respective addresses, ID numbers and the acreage allocated; and, (b) whether he could also provide the approved maps from the Commissioner of Lands for the sub-division.
Is anyone here from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Local Government? That is the final call. Which Minister will undertake on this Question?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I undertake to inform the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government to come and answer this Question on Tuesday, next week.
Tell the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government that we will not defer it beyond Tuesday! He will have to deal with the censorship now. That was my last call on the Question?
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. While I respect your directive, the Minister, Leader of Government Business or whoever is responsible for the Executive has not even sent a word to the House or the Chair that they are away for one reason or the other. Will we let them take this House for a ride?
Mr. Assistant Minister, I do not expect you to answer that question!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have collective responsibility. I have said that, as a Government, by Tuesday, next week this Question will be answered.
I think that was the last call. We will have to deal with the Minister after that! Member for Kisumu East! Final call! He is still not here. So, the Question is dropped!
asked the Minister for Water and Irrigation:- (a) why it has taken so long to repair Lerata Borehole (KIJITO) in Samburu East, which broke down more than five months ago; and, (b) when the borehole will be repaired considering that it is the only water source serving the entire Lerata community.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I apologize for coming late. As you know, Mr. Biden is around.
However, I beg to reply.
(a) I am aware that Lerata borehole in Samburu East District broke down on 20th October, 2009.
(b) Immediately the breakdown was reported, technical officers were dispatched to carry out diagnosis of the problem. The first diagnosis revealed that the bearings were worn out. However, after replacing the bearings, the shaft of the windmill was found to be defective. To acquire the spare parts of the windmill took a long time as the spares are not locally available and had to be imported. The borehole repair was completed on 20th March, 2010 and it is now operational.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thank the Assistant Minister for giving an appropriate answer. It is true that the borehole broke down and it was repaired. But I want to inform him that two days after the shaft was replaced, it broke down. He knows that, that area experiences water scarcity. What arrangements does he have to replace the shaft or do a better job this time round?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, it would be unfortunate if that is what happened; we repaired it and in two days, it broke down. However, I would like to investigate whether it was reported and if it was reported, why we are not aware about it. Nonetheless, I am willing to send my officers on the ground at the convenience of the hon. Member, so that we can ascertain the position and take action.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, still on boreholes, we come from very dry lands and the Ministryâs activities on drilling boreholes has been yielding what they have been calling dry boreholes or dry wells in most areas. They have attributed that to lack of proper hydrological survey. Could the Ministry undertake to conduct a proper hydrological survey in all those areas to mitigate the problems of drilling dry water wells?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have a master plan on issues concerning water hydrological surveys, water harvesting and all sorts of
preparations that are required. However, sometimes, we hit the ground and discover that the water is not sustainable. The water yields coming from the borehole are very little. So, it depends on case by case and where we are locating those boreholes.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, a windmill is a very medieval piece of technology. The Assistant Minister has just said - and the Questioner has just asked â the shaft keeps on breaking down. That is a very medieval technology! Could the Assistant Minister tell this House when they will graduate to more recent technology in sourcing water for those dry lands?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, you obviously will agree with me that, that will depend on the economy; how the country is performing economically. That is because for us to advance technologically, it means we either have go to actual grid power or to solar panels. That is not currently available because of our economy. But by 2030, I believe we shall have achieved all that as it has already been well planned.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, in the Assistant Ministerâs reply, he has indicated that he will dispatch technical officers at the hon. Memberâs convenience. Now that I will be there most likely on Friday, could he confirm that he will dispatch the technical officers so that we can meet? Secondly, could he also give an assurance that there is going to be adequate maintenance of that borehole? I remember it was installed by the Catholic Missionaries and it was maintained well until it was handed over to the Ministry. That is when it started developing those problems. Could the Assistant Minister give us an assurance?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the missionaries were maintaining that borehole when it was new. You know that when technology becomes obsolete, it starts getting problems. But I want to assure the hon. Member that I will send the officers. He will tell me the time when he wants the officers to be there. They will be dispatched from Isiolo on Friday and they will be in his constituency. However, he should give me more information on where they should connect with him. We shall ensure that the borehole will be in good working condition.
The final call for Question No.185! The Member for Nyaribari Chache?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, may I bring to the attention of the House that Dr. Monda is away. But he has granted me full power of attorney to ask this Question? With your permission, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, may I proceed?
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF âJOBS ABROADâ PROGRAMME
on behalf of
asked the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports:-
(a) what criteria is used for the selection of beneficiaries of âJobs Abroadâ Programme; and,
(b) whether she could provide a âper districtâ list of beneficiaries of the programme indicating their respective destinations abroad.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to reply.
(a) The criteria for selection of beneficiaries of âJobs Abroadâ Programme in the Ministry is as follows:-
(i) First, interested youth apply through the area youth officer or directly to the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) Secretariat or to recruitment agencies that have been accredited by the Ministry of Labour.
(ii) Secondly, the applicants are vetted by the recruitment agencies to match the job requirements and their qualifications.
(iii) Thirdly, once that has been done, the agencies forward the shortlisted applicants to prospective employers for further processing which involves the selection of qualified applicants, and that list is communicated to the originating recruitment agency. The shortlisted applicants are then contacted by the recruitment agencies and invited for pre-interview training. Interviews are then conducted by the prospective employer personally or through their agent in the presence of YEDF officials and recruiting agencies. Successful candidates are notified promptly and are given pre-departure training by YEDF Secretariat.
(b) A total of 316 beneficiaries of Jobs Abroad Programme have so far been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. This excludes 74 other youths who were recruited between March 2010 and May 2010. This information has not been formally processed, but I have it. The list of the beneficiaries and their destinations abroad together with their districts of birth is attached and can be available for the hon. Members to peruse. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would like to add that at the moment, at least, Kshs3 million is being availed to the youth in every constituency. I would like to take the liberty to inform the House that each Member is to identify two interns from their constituencies who will facilitate the identification of credible youth groups that will benefit from this Youth Fund. This is besides the Question that I was asked. The list is here for hon. Members to see.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me express appreciation for the Ministerâs very comprehensive answer. But given that this programme seems to be concentrated to the Youth Enterprise Development Fund Secretariat and employment agencies by the Ministry of Labour, which the Minister has not specified, what efforts is the Ministry taking to ensure that this information is disseminated widely across the country, especially given that the Ministry has officers and offices across all districts, working as District Youth Officers? What efforts is the Ministry taking to ensure that through the District Youth offices across the country, this information is disseminated, so that all the young people of Kenya can have access to this excellent opportunity of employment?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, further, as the Minister answers that, perhaps, she may also want to shed some light on these employment agencies that have been approved by the Ministry of Labour for this purpose.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, before I answer that, I wish to lay on the Table the list of the youth who have been employed under this programme, up to the first quarter of this year for the hon. Members to see.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the question that the hon. Member has asked is very important. We know that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is a young Ministry. We have youth officers in the field but they are not enough. We actually have youth officers that are taking care of, at least, two districts. In the past, information has only been available to youth â let me be honest and say â in Nairobi. Now, the Youth Enterprise Development Fund has been instructed to ensure that this information gets to the youth officers in their constituencies, so that the young people from every corner of this country can benefit from this programme of employment abroad. The intention of this programme is to employ 10,000 youths by 2011. These young people will be able to send money back home and contribute to the development of this nation.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I also want to add that the Government takes seriously, the issue of unemployment of young people. I have just come from a meeting in Sweden known as Youth Employment Summit. There were youths from more than 53 countries. There was a policy meeting of leaders across the world and various donors, including the World Bank. It was discussed and identified that unemployment of the youth, although it is a serious issue not only in Kenya but in many other developing countries, is not really given that highlight that it needs. So, it was decided that youth employment should actually be included among the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The policy paper that will come from that meeting will be availed and it will include employment of the youth as part of the MDGs, so that it can be given the seriousness that it deserves.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we will undertake to ensure that this information gets to the young people across the country.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, considering that the locations of jobs abroad are confined to only two countries, that is, Iraq and Afghanistan, is the Government aware of the security issue involved in terms of the areas which are actually fronts of war? What assessment has actually been done to ensure the safety of these young Kenyans before they are deployed, so that the situation of unemployment is not exploited to needlessly expose our young people to risks of war in Afghanistan and Iraq?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, that is a very valid issue. As I said, most of the young people asked to be employed mostly as security guards, particularly in Iraq under the guidance of the allied forces. Actually, we had a situation where some young people wanted to come back when there were problems in some of those countries. But they are given pre-departure training. They are given the background of the situation of the countries that they are going to. Recently, we did a Cabinet Memorandum with the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make sure that our people abroad are not exploited. These youth people go for a specific time. Those who went this year will be there for one year. We expect that this duration will extend, but we, in the Ministry, will take care to make sure that the young people are taken care of properly. So, we will take control of the situation.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I think this is a very worrying trend when the Government is grappling with the problem of youth unemployment. We have come up with the concept of Kazi kwa Vijana where the youth
have been digging trenches and roads. Now we have come up with the concept of jobs abroad where we are sending our young people to areas that are theatres of war. Of those who have been sent to Afghanistan and Iraq, how many have died or how many have been injured because we know that these are areas where there is war?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to thank God that we do not have information of young people who have died as a result of working in such places. I will check and communicate if there is anything like that, that has happened. Thank God, we have not had a problem of that nature. May I take the liberty to answer a bit about the recruitment agencies that have been identified. I do not have the list---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. In her statement, the Minister had indicated that there are some young people who had requested to come back home. There must have been something terribly wrong in that place. Who are these young people and what had happened to them?
Now, that is a new question because the first question was whether they have died or not. We normally allow an hon. Member to ask only one question. Madam Minister, go ahead. I think he is asking whether somebody died in the process or not.
Or whether they were injured. Why did they want to come back?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I said, I am not aware of the loss of any young people. Being in a foreign country and working in situations that are worrying can worry the young people. As the Chair has rightly said, that is a new question and I will be very happy to answer that question extensively once it is asked.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, while we thank the Minister for thinking about the youth of this country and ensuring that they are taken care of in terms of employment abroad, I would like her to clarify this position of the interns that she is asking the Members of Parliament to identify by giving us the types of qualifications that she has in mind and when these people can start their work.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I said, this is information that I wanted hon. Members to know because I have been given this opportunity to be here. These interns can be Form Four leavers but in some situations, depending on your constituency, they should be interns that are responsible, at least Form Four leavers. They should be forwarded through the Youth Officer in your constituency and it should be immediate.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I was just wondering whether the Minister has included in her list, those who might be assisting to bring peace in Somalia whether it is Al Shaabab or the other Government.
Minister, I do not know whether you also recruit them for Somalia.
No, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. As I said, this is a relatively new programme. The young people that were recruited from 2008 up to 2010 have gone mostly to those countries that I mentioned. It is not the intention of the Ministry to send the young people to dangerous places. We would like the young people to do other jobs in other countries. For example, some of the young people who attended this Youth Employment Summit in Sweden actually had a meeting with our ambassador there. In the next two days, the CEO of Youth Enterprise Development Fund will be
meeting the Swedish Ambassador to Kenya to discuss the possibility of working together to have young people work in that country and many other countries. I will avail the list of destinations where young people can go. I just want to emphasise that we do not want them to go to dangerous places because we value our young people. They are a resource.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as we laud the Minister for looking for jobs for our youth, I would like the Minister to indicate to this House whether gender balance was really considered when these jobs amounting to 390 were offered?
The only way I can answer that is to go through list. I do not have that list but looking at this list here, I see that most of them are male. But we have administrative assistants. I can see there are some ladies here. They are mostly male youth but I want to say that all of them are encouraged. I do not have the data because you realize that, that is not part of the question. But we can disaggregate this if the question is asked.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, first of all, I must say that Kenyans who have gone abroad have been rated the best in terms of education and professional expertise. First of all, this concept is not new. The only thing that is new is that this is the first time that the Government is getting involved. Taking into account the recent events in Saudi Arabia and Southern Sudan, what contingency measures has the Ministry put in place to make sure that those Kenyans who do not find favorable conditions in those countries are not affected as was the case in Southern Sudan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates recently? What contingency measures has the Ministry put in place to make sure these Kenyans are assisted when they encounter a problem in those countries?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I said earlier in my response to Mr. Wamalwa, we have not had a specific problem. This is a new programme and we are working together with the various Government Ministries to make sure that as this programme expands and we see it as a potential route for many young people who have gone to school--- Many Kenyans are very literate as has been correctly observed and we will work together to ensure that our young people are not affected. I want to say that we---
On a point of order, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. The Minister is waiting for a problem to happen. Is she in order to evade my question which is: What contingency measures has the Ministry put in place? Instead she is saying there have not been problems. We are not asking you to wait for problems. What contingency measures have you put in place in the event that things do not go smoothly as we expect?
Madam Minister, has the Ministry done anything?
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am not waiting for a problem. I have said that this is a relatively new programme and we are working together with relevant Government Ministries to make sure that this programme expands and moves smoothly. I do not have detailed contingency programme because it was not part of the question. I am not waiting for problems, neither am I praying for problems. I am praying that this will work properly and that we will take care of our young people. We are working with the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other Ministries to make sure that the young people are taken care of. So, I am not avoiding any questions.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, export of labour is a reality now. Indeed, many countries in the world are heavily relying on export of their labour. Countries like India, Burma, Nepal have, indeed, perfected this business.
In fact, our country heavily relies on remission from our citizens who work outside this country. My last question, therefore, is whether the Ministry is developing any concrete and comprehensive framework to link this whole process with our missions abroad, so that we do not limit this programme to the few countries that the Minister has mentioned? We want it to become a well managed programme that takes advantage of our presence across the globe. Is there any move towards a deliberate policy framework to govern this exercise?
Yes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. As I said earlier, there is an intention to do so. In fact, the YEDF intends to focus its activities in urban areas and also to reach other places.
I would like to confirm that we intend to work together with our embassies abroad. As I mentioned, representatives of young people attended the just ended summit in Sweden. We are also working with our embassies abroad when it comes to sports. You will now realise that when there are various sports activities in different countries, our embassies are participating. We have intentions to work together with our embassies to expand this programme. They will be able to assist and even identify details that may not be known to those of us who are here in their context where they were working. So, there are intentions to that effect.
That is the end of Question Time hon. Members.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to seek a Ministerial Statement from the Ministry of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I would request the Minister to explain to the House why the local administration and the police intervened in the Special General Meeting of Githunguri Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society that was held on 29th of May, 2010 and in particular, to clarify the following:-
Why the police used force and throw tear gas canisters on peaceful members who had been screened with a view to disperse and exclude the majority from participating in the meeting. At instigation of some society officials, why the police are preparing to arrest and prosecute some members on trumped up charges in pursuit of their intimidation and repression against dissenting members? Further, whether in light of the foregoing, the local administration and the police were acting within the law which require them to be impartial and non-partisan?
Lastly, what action does the Minister plan to take to assure members of the co- operative society that they can safely attend future meetings and participate effectively without fear of violence?
Thank you. So, be it, Thursday, next week.
Hon. Kaino, we adjourned at the point when you were moving your Motion. You still have six minutes to complete your submission.
Thank you very much, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Before we went on Recess, I was in the process of concluding my remarks as I moved this Motion. In my heart, I desire to see Kenya where everybody is able to feed his family and where all parts of Kenya have food. That is why this Motion calls upon the Government to be serious on agriculture.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, agriculture is the backbone of our economy. However, we are not very serious about it. We need to be able to feed ourselves and have enough for export. It is a pity that many households cannot afford food for their families. If we can have 2,000 acres in every constituency under irrigation or for purpose of building dams and boreholes to harvest rain water, this country will be self sufficient in terms of food and we will be very proud of Kenyans. How can you be proud being a Kenyan where our country is begging all the time? We are tired of begging for food. God has blessed this country so much, but we are not making use of our natural resources. We have many rivers, underground water and springs. But we have not utilized these resources properly.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have created the Ministry of Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands, but it is never allocated adequate money. We also have the Ministry of Regional Development Authorities which is not
given enough money. These are very important Ministries. If the Government is serious about agriculture in this country, why should these two Ministries not be given adequate money? Currently, we are talking of Vision 2030. It is a very good vision. However, we cannot achieve it, if we do not allocate enough money to the Ministries which can make us realize our dream. We will remain poor if we do not become serious on agriculture and our vision will remain a pipe dream. Households will go without food and we shall be ashamed of begging for food when God has given us a very good land.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have irrigation schemes such as Bura, Pekerra, Marigat, and Mwea where we grow rice. If the Government is serious about irrigation schemes, it should start by rehabilitating what we have first and then establish others in all constituencies. If there is food in every constituency, it will not be helpful, if we do not improve our infrastructure.
I beg my colleagues to support this Motion. It is very important for all the regions of this country. Food is very important. When there is food, children will be very happy and they will excel in their education. Businessmen also do their businesses properly if there is enough food. Food production can affect the economy of a country. Hunger is a disease. We should fight it by creating irrigation schemes in this country.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, because I want my colleagues to contribute on this Motion, I beg to move and ask hon. Wamalwa to second it.
Thank you Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I beg to second this very important Motion by Mr. Kaino. Indeed, Kenya has been a blessed country. It has been blessed with very fertile land and rainfall. It is a country that has the capacity to feed all its citizens as well as export food to other countries. However, it is a matter of great irony that Kenya remains on the list of countries which are food insecure. Indeed, you will find that with the problems that we have been having, we have been forced to import food. We have countries like Malawi which were on the list of food insecure nations. But by getting their priorities right, they have turned around the agricultural sector in their country and they have now joined the ranks of nations that are food secure. They not only produce enough food to feed their citizens, but they export. Malawi is now exporting maize to other countries. Kenya has the potential and the capacity, but we have not strived to realize our full potential. When you look at the Kenya land mass, you will find out that 80 per cent of it is under arid and semi-arid lands. However, we have 20 per cent which produces almost 80 per cent of our food nationally. I am privileged to come from that part of Kenya which is the grain basket of this country. We know that there are other areas which have the potential. If we were to rely on rain-fed agriculture only, we would not realize our potential. Recently, we saw the plans that the Government has put in place to try to start programmes on irrigation. We saw the President, the Prime Minister, the Vice-President and Minister for Home Affairs and the then Minister for Agriculture visit Bura to launch the irrigation scheme there. We later saw the bumper harvest that was realized by the nation and by farmers in areas which had not produced maize before. In areas like Ukambani where we have always had inadequate rains, God opened the skies and we got a lot of rain. Today, people in Ukambani have more maize and they do not know what to do with it. The problem we have is that we are not putting the right priorities in place in terms of enhancing production. We have seen those priorities work. We have seen what was tried in Bura. We have seen the results. I think the test is now
when we have so much food - a bumper harvest - and we do not know what to do with it. Today as we speak, we have heard sad tales from the people in Ukambani who have had more food than they could store. The Government did nothing to step in and help those farmers to take their crop at the right time, help them dry their maize and pay them for their labour. Indeed, farmers are trying to squeeze their bumper harvest into small stores. As a result of the moisture and poor storage facilities, aflatoxins have set in. The food that should have been a great blessing to this nation and, particularly, to the people of Eastern and Coast provinces has now turned into a nightmare. We are asking that even as we put down structures such as the ones hon. Boaz Kaino has proposed, the Government must put in place programmes to handle bumper harvests and ensure that we have driers in areas where, through irrigation, we realize bumper harvests. We should develop capacity to handle that grain. I was saddened to hear that, after the situation got out of hand, the Government has now raised Kshs3 billion. They are ready to start paying Kshs1,000 for the spoiled maize and Kshs1,500 for a one 90 kilogrammes bag of good maize. However, what we are asking is: Where was that money before? Why did the Government not give money to National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) in good time so that they could take that maize? Why did the Government not purchase driers? We know that one unit of a drier is about Kshs35 million. If we were able to purchase, from the Kshs3 billion, mobile driers and send them to Ukambani--- One drier can dry 500 bags of maize in a day. If we could send those driers to one location in Ukambani, we would have saved hundreds of bags of maize. If we had sent the driers to Bura, we could have helped the farmers dry their maize. The Government had promised that, indeed, it would pay Kshs2,300 per bag of maize. If they had used part of that, let us say Kshs100 or Kshs200 to purchase driers and gave farmers in those areas Kshs2,000, first of all, it would boost the morale of the farmers. If we are serious about fighting food insecurity, we must have foot soldiers that will fight that food insecurity. Those foot soldiers are the farmers who have tried very hard in Ukambani, Bura and Hola. Previously, they had never produced that kind of maize. However, what have we done to them? Have we rewarded them for their labour? Have we, as a country, congratulated them for working hard to make sure that this nation realizes national food security? No! Instead we are telling them that we will only pay them Kshs1,000 for their maize. The Government should give us a focus on what is coming. If we plant properly and irrigate some parts of this country that have less rains, we can produce enough food. However, when this food is produced, what do we do with it? We have National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). I am told - and I am happy that the Minister for Agriculture is here - that in Ukambani, we have some NCPB silos which have no driers. When you look for driers, you are told that they are in Nakuru, Eldoret, Moiâs Bridge and Kitale. That is because those silos were only meant for the storage of relief food. Now that those areas are producing food, we should no longer be talking about relief food. We should have driers to handle bumper harvests like the one we have realized in Ukambani and in Bura. If we can have those driers, it will help. As I have suggested, apart from installing driers in those regions, we can have mobile driers in areas that have not been realizing bumper harvests. If only we did that, Kenya could join the ranks of nations that are food
secure. Very soon Kenya would start exporting maize instead of importing. Even as we are refusing to pay farmers Kshs2,300 that we had promised--- I came from Kitale. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am happy that the Minister is here. In Kitale, we have farmers who still have maize and they have not been paid for their deliveries of last season. They were last paid in February or March. From March, they have not been paid. They are owed over Kshs1 billion by the Government. We are demoralizing our farmers. We must do everything to pay our farmers for what they have produced. Even, more so, we should support farmers in difficult areas like Ukambani who have worked hard to produce. If we are a nation that is ready to pay Kshs3,000 to farmers in South Africa who have exported food to this country, why are we refusing to pay our farmers Kshs2,300 and yet, they have worked very hard to produce maize in this country? Are we really being fair to the farmers in this country? That is my question. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, as I support this Motion, I urge the Government to be more sensitive to the plight of maize farmers in this country. I am a maize farmer. We are not happy with the way the Government has treated maize farmers.
With these few remarks, I beg to second this Motion and urge that the House supports and passes this Motion, so that we can encourage irrigation instead of relying on rain-fed agriculture.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I want to take this opportunity to thank hon. Kaino for bringing this Motion before this House. One of the most critical sectors in this country is the sector of agriculture. Indeed, over 80 per cent of the population in this country is fully dependent on subsistence agriculture. The first point that I want to make is that this House should support this Motion, which in part says; âthis House resolves that the Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, move to set up small holder irrigation schemes of at least 2,000 acres in all constituencies where applicable, so as to facilitate food crop production.â We have in many occasions made resolutions in this House just to be ignored entirely by the Front Bench, who come up with their own Budget proposal to simply re-load and impose the will of Treasury on the people. They will come here on Thursday to do the same thing. In fact, this proposal that has been made by hon. Kaino is, probably, the most important proposal that could help a lot of our rural folks to make a step forward in terms of food security in their constituencies. Here I am particularly speaking on behalf of farmers in Garsen Constituency who are dependent on subsistence agriculture. We need to take this opportunity to make the point that Parliament in the in-coming new dispensation must be given proper power, so that when we pass proposals like this, the Executive will have no option, but to implement it. I want to make this first point that this goes directly into the question of budgeting. When we pass a proposal, we say we want Kshs2 billion to be particularly invested in farmersâ small holder projects across the country, then the Executive will be told that this money has been ring-fenced for this purpose. The Minister for Agriculture will have no opportunity to mess around with a project that has been passed by this House because this is the will of the people of Kenya. Parliament, in the new
dispensation, through the National Assembly and the Senate, will be passing specific Budget proposals with specific money for things to happen. It surprises me when people stand out there, and they do not understand the critical shift of power that we want to make and say that we should not have a new Constitution. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, time has come when this House must stop begging the Executive. If we were in the new dispensation of time, hon. Kaino only needs to talk to hon. Mbau, the Chairman of the Budget Committee to make sure that money is availed to the Ministry of Agriculture, specifically for that purpose. Today, we would not be spending the entire morning session arguing and begging the Ministry of Agriculture. I want to re-emphasize that point on the Budget. The attitude in the Government, which I have served in many capacities, is that when Motions are passed in the House, they are merely persuasive and do not have a force of law. This is why they do not even bother to come and sit when we are discussing important Motions. I challenge---
I am here!
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I apologize. I have not had a paradigm shift in my mind.
Thank you for apologizing. The Minister came in on time.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I entirely apologize. In the past, the attitude of the Executive has been that the Motions that we pass here have been merely persuasive. This is the point I want to make. This is why we must pass this new Constitution, so that the Executive can move with the mood of this country. We must not take this opportunity to lose this chance that has come. Having said that, I want to make this other point that the small holder irrigation schemes development across all the developing world have been shown to be a very key and fundamental mitigation factor as far as dealing with drought and food deficiency is concerned. Despite the obvious which studies can show to be true, it has been very clear that small holder irrigation farms and schemes have been ignored across the country. As my colleagues pointed out when they were moving and seconding, respectively, it is only recently after we had a very serious drought that the Executive led by the President and the Prime Minister took a front role in terms of starting huge irrigation projects. The schemes of Bura Irrigation Scheme (BIS) and others were mentioned. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion is not talking about those schemes. I want to beg the Ministry of Agriculture, and I am glad the Minister is here listening, that the emphasis of this Motion is that food security must be in each constituency. It is not these big schemes that we saw the President and the Prime Minister opening up. We need these small holder irrigation schemes in each constituency to be revitalized because they used to exist.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, these schemes used to exist and they are not new. In Garsen which is my constituency, we had several small-scale holder irrigation schemes which were left by the Ministry of Agriculture to collapse. We are saying, as a House, that the Ministry should go back to the basics to revive these schemes. Small- holder irrigation schemes have also been shown to be a vehicle for the long-term agricultural and macro-economic development in any country. Malawi has been mentioned here in detail. That country, which was food deficient, changed overnight because emphasis was placed on going back to the basics. The small-scale holders, that
is, the people who deal with production at the lower level are the ones we really need to support. Money should be pumped into those areas. We want this to be successful. To be successful, we do not need to go beyond Malawi which availed simple implements to small-scale holders. They made fertilizers available to the farmers at no cost at all. They also availed extension officers to the small-scale holders. There is no magic in this formula. As we speak today, the efforts in Malawi have paid off and the benefits are really huge.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we should go back to the basics. The colonial period left some structures which we abandoned in favour of very large irrigation schemes and left many people out of that bracket. I am looking at Kenya in future.
With those few remarks, I beg to support this Motion.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this important Motion. I want to begin by acknowledging and congratulating the new Minister for Agriculture because it is quite rare for Ministers to stay in the House when matters concerning their docket are being debated.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, the matter raised in this Motion is fundamental to the survival of Kenya. As a country, we have refused to acknowledge that food security is a very critical factor in Kenyaâs survival. I disagree with Mr. Mungatana, when he says that what we pass is mare persuasion. We have reformed our Standing Orders and we now have an Implementation Committee. We expect the Implementation Committee to pick up and focus on this matter once the Motion is passed. So, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of finance, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, will be compelled to make sure that the spirit and the letter of this Motion is achieved.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am sad that the Government has refused to fund the Ministry of Development of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands, which was basically intended to make sure that 80 per cent of the land mass in this country is utilized. You cannot create a Ministry to perform functions that you require and yet you undermine it and frustrate it by not funding it. We want to tell the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance that we will be vigilant this time round. If the Budget that he will read before the House on Thursday does not have sufficient resources to this Ministry, we will propose that the Prime Minister and the President abolish it. They should abolish it completely because it has given us false hopes that through its creation, people in that part of the country will realise development. Why should you create a Ministry and not fund it? If that Ministry was sufficiently funded, together with the Ministry of Agriculture, perhaps the spirit of this Motion would have been realized. This Motion proposes 2,000 acres but there are parts of this country that have huge land mass. Those areas can even irrigate more than 2,000 acres of land. Therefore, this is just a notice to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance. I know he is preparing to read the Budget tomorrow but he must factor in sufficient funding.
Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, if 2,000 acres in every constituency are irrigated, then there is the possibility of creating employment opportunities so that many young people in the constituency will have something meaningful to do. If this is done, then there is a possibility to fight poverty at the grassroots level. Therefore, the lives of
people will improve. This can be done but the Government is reluctant to do it because even the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation require funding in the first place. The officers who work in the Treasury have no idea how Kenya looks like. At least, I know some of them. They do not even know this country because they have never travelled outside Nairobi. Therefore, when they allocate money, they do so based on what they see from where they come from. Due to the fact that the Treasury is not balanced in terms of national outlook, it is very difficult for people to access funding. By the time the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance brings the Budget to this House, the House has no strong possibility to review it. In most cases, it is passed like that. Therefore, I would like to appeal to our friends who allocate these resources from the taxes Kenyans pay to be sensitive to the nature of the country they serve so that this country can get the development that we all aspire for.
If there was a possibility to irrigate 2,000 acres in every constituency in Kenya and particularly, in northern Kenya or North Eastern Province, which has very fertile land but has no capacity for irrigation due to scarcity of water--- You only require to drill 110 metres in Habaswein where I come from to supply water to the City of Nairobi for 200 years. If you can supply water to the City of Nairobi for 200 years, what is the possibility of using that resource to irrigate land? We can not only feed Kenya but the whole of East and Central Africa. That is why the new constitutional dispensation is very critical to us. This is because there will be shift of focus and resources. The resources will go to the Kenyan people.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, you can imagine that in the whole of northern Kenya, there is no single research institution. If this was done in the 11 constituencies of North Eastern Province, then the Government will also be compelled to established research institutions in those areas to see what kind of crops do well there. We could as well grow many other crops but there is no possibility of knowing because there is no desire to irrigate the land or provide funds. That is why I request the Minister for Agriculture to consider the possibility of establishing many institutions of higher learning, particularly an institution that deals with desert science. We can establish a university that focuses on desert science so that we can understand what threat we face in the region and the country as a whole. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, we have spoken about these matters before. The Government has not measured to the threshold of 10 percent for the Maputo Declaration. If this is not done, then we have already fallen short of our own international obligations. We need to find money because the critical things are resources in order to do dams. The more dams you do even at a very small scale where 200 or 300 acres of land are irrigated using the dams has the potential to save the lives of people. We need to do this because the amount of water reservoir that we have, if only these boreholes can be utilized--- In fact, we have them already, but if we can be able to have people who
understand the knowhow to use the water that these boreholes generate, we can have small-scale irrigation so that people can have small farms where they can be able to grow vegetables and sell them to the local markets and, it can spur economic development. There is no desire as I see under the current constitutional dispensation for the Government to move in this format. That is why, as a country, we must vote very resoundingly for Yes in order to change the design or structure of Kenyans. If we do not change the design or the structure, we will continue to complain about Government resources not going to the grassroots time-in, time-out. Therefore, I support this Motion and I want the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance to come here and tell us what he wants to do with the Ministry of Development of Northern Kenya. Otherwise, if there is no increment for that Ministry, I would like the Minister for Internal Security to communicate this to the President; âplease fold up the Ministry, remove it from the shelves of our cabinets. We do not need it if there is no funding. We will only require it in as long as it is funded.â This is a message that I am sure the Minister and his colleague, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, will deliver to the President. With those few remarks I support the Motion.
Thank you Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to support this Motion. This Motion should have been implemented yesterday. I do not want to belabour the point that this House has been reduced to a talk shop. Every time this House comes with a very important agenda for this country, but the Executive has always been taking this House for a ride. It is not only this Motion but every other Motion. If you see the House today and the attendance of the Executive, we had only one Minister who was listening to this Motion. This Motion is not on the order paper by chance. It is the House Business Committee which approved it. I am sure the Executive arm of this Government must be aware it is appearing as a Motion on this Paper. We needed to have the technical personnel from the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance to listen to the ideas that are generated by this Motion by the MPs. But as my fellow contributors have said, it has only been reduced to a talk shop where we come and persuade the Government to do things that most Kenyans have been yearning for and things that this Government should not have been persuaded to do. These are things that this Government should have generated themselves. But even when very good ideas come from the Back Bench or from MPs who are yearning to advance this nation into realisation of its dreams of self-sufficiency, then the Executive arm will just ignore not to post even a single personnel from the technical department to come and listen to what good ideas that we are asking them to implement. For this country to be self-reliant and the fact that we are not an industrialised nation where we can say we will do away with the agricultural sector, then we have to think seriously. I think having small-scale irrigation schemes is key to food sufficiency in this country. That is why this Motion should have the full attention of the Executive arm of this nation and should be seen to be implemented to the letter. The Economic Stimulus Programme that was supposed to be implemented in 2009/2010, was a welcome idea, although we know in many constituencies things have not begun. This was to stimulate the economy at the grassroots. That is why we thought of taking this project down to the constituencies. It is not that we lack potential for small- holder irrigation in this country. The amount of water that goes to waste, and as Members
said before, we do not have a contract with the Indian Ocean that we fill with the waters of River Tana and many others. If this water was harnessed along the River Tana where you and I come from, Bura, Garsen, Galole, up to Mwingi, Tharaka and Nithi constituencies, I think the amount of food that would have been produced from along the rivers would have been sufficient to not only provide food for this country but even for the whole of East and Central Africa. But this is not harnessed. The potential is there, the workforce is there, our people are going to bed hungry every other night; not because they did not have land to till, not because they do not have the muscle to farm but it is because the Government has not been providing the impetus. It has not been providing that level where these farmers can kick off their farming attitudes. That should be done through provision of farm inputs, availability of technical personnel to go and supervise the the farming. I think the current situation where the Government provided some subsidy in terms of fertilizer and seeds to many irrigation schemes across the country and now we are saying the potential has not been realised because we are complaining and crying that because the maize has not been bought in good time and it is rotting in farms, they talk of aflatoxin and the farmer even after putting the muscle, the input, the mind and the work for three or four months of tireless work in the farms, they have not realised the benefits of why they have been toiling for the months. It is because of planning; if this maize was bought in good time from the farmer, then they should have been ready for the next season that is kicking off already. But now, the farmers are even worried to say that, âokay, fine why go to the farms again to till if the three months toil has not been realised.â So, at least we expected that if the irrigation schemes kicked off then we would be thinking of even having more irrigation schemes whether small holder or big scale schemes across the country. So I would urge that this Motion be given the importance it deserves; let the Government avail funds to makes sure we have a kick off of these small holder irrigation schemes as pilots projects maybe, to begin with in all the constituencies just as we are having similar packages for constituencies in various other departments and Ministries like health, education and others. We are now having over-reliance on rain fed agriculture and even sand irrigation. The farmers along the River Tana have always been on the toe end. Once the river has a very low level of water, they cannot irrigate their farms because they do not have the inputs. If the river floods a second time, it washes away all their crops. We have two disasters; one entirely bridging on the side of drought and one entirely just because we are unable to harness our water in the proper way, where now they lose all their effort. That is why the smallholder irrigation schemes would be a blessing for our people not only along the River Tana but across the country. A few MPs accompanied the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Water and Irrigation last year to Israel, and I happened to be one of them. It is amazing that Israel, as dry as it is, was able to have green everywhere as if they were voting for the new Constitution. If a country as dry as Israel is able to have plantations of all sorts of trees, including the mangoes from Hola, Garsen and Bura, why not Kenya when we have all this water being wasted, or allowed to go and fill lakes and rivers across borders?
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if the experience we garnered from Israel is put into use, then I think we will move forward. But if we are supposed to go for studies across the world, go and view beautiful sceneries and then come back and implement
none of them, then we will be wasting Government resources! Why go on tours to see how other countries are progressing and then not come and implement the same in your own country? We just sit back and, maybe, have another delegation ten years down the line going and doing the same things other hon. Members have done for the last decade.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think we should think ahead and not just lament that we have disasters that have happened. I would want to welcome my sister, Dr. Kosgey, to the Ministry of Agriculture; it is a Ministry that means a lot to Kenyans, and to me in particular, because I come from an irrigation scheme. I would like to urge that this Motion gets the support, not only of the Ministry of Agriculture, but also of the whole Executive arm, including the Treasury. It should be funded so as to show that we think ahead. With those few remarks, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support the Motion.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to support this Motion. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I personally want to thank the Minister for Agriculture, who is here. I believe that this Motion is overdue. Its implementation will enable us to produce enough food for our country, and have a surplus to export to neighbouring countries. Irrigation schemes are noble projects in this country. The Government meant well in establishing the few irrigation schemes that we have, including Mwea, Ahero and Bunyala Irrigation Schemes, in terms of boosting the food security in this country. However, you will realise that with all those principles of setting up irrigation schemes in this country â a mandate that has been given to the National Irrigation Board (NIB) to help farmers to produce enough food for this country â because of mismanagement by the NIB, most of those irrigation schemes collapsed. As you know, my constituency is one of the beneficiaries. We do not have only 2,000 acres under irrigation, we also have over 15,000 acres that can be utilised for irrigation purposes. However, due to lack of funding from the Government, for about seven years now after the collapse of the West Kano and Ahero Irrigation Scheme, we have managed to produce rice not to the maximum potential of this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to ask the Minister for Agriculture to take use her full mandate and take rice production in all the irrigation schemes and put them under her docket. This is because what we have seen previously is that the management of rice production, which was left to the NIB, has not done well, because the NIB does not have enough personnel. Talking of personnel, you cannot get an engineer to be a researcher into a good variety of rice. That is why most of those irrigation schemes collapsed. Most of those irrigation schemes do not even have agronomists under the management of the NIB. What the NIB has are engineers. Of late, even with the little support they get from the Government through the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, most of the farmers are suffering from shortage of modern technology because most the engineers within the NIB do not have enough knowledge of the rice production process. Therefore, most irrigation schemes have suffered a number of diseases. As a result, we have what we call âpoor production of riceâ in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, personally, I believe that this is the time. We have a knowledgeable Minister, whom I know will do well in all the irrigation schemes in this country. I believe that even the money that was given to the NIB from previous
Budgets through the so-called âEconomic Stimulus Packageâ was not utilised well. Let me give you an example. The South-West Kano Irrigation Scheme, which is in my constituency, was given Kshs198 million. As I indicated before, if you go there today and ask the farmers how they have benefited from this money, which was channelled through the NIB, you will be surprised I have even reported to the Management of the NIB, because when the money went there, the engineers were not even able to have the farmers go through training to acquire knowledge for producing rice. What happened was that they just gave out seeds to farmers without even undertaking land preparation. So, most of the farmers in that area ended up eating the seeds, and there was no production of rice. I urge the Minister for Agriculture that even as we start the next session, her office should not leave rice production under the National Irrigation Board (NIB). She should take full mandate so that we can be able to give this country enough food. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, research is also lacking in these irrigation schemes. The farmers still use old technology. If you visit my constituency today, you will find that the irrigation schemes we still use the old technology of flooding farms before they cultivate them. You can see the amount of water that is used in that area. That has affected the high yield of rice in that area. Secondly, since the inception of these irrigation schemes, there has never been enough research to come up with what we call a âgood seedâ for the farmers. Farmers are just left to get their hands on any rice seed. The one which is marketable in this country like pishori has been mixed with other seeds. We, therefore, do not have pure pishori rice in this country. I urge my friend, the Minister for Agriculture, to look into ways of purifying the pishori seed. This is because it is the only seed that could give most farmers good returns after harvesting. Cheap imports of rice from other countries have flooded this nation and this has prevented our farmers to compete with others. So, if we can be able to purify the pishori seed so that farmers do not get contaminated seeds, we can be able to boost not only food security but also support our farmers in their income. With those few remarks, I would like to urge the Minister for Agriculture to take the full mandate of rice production in all the irrigation schemes in this country.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity once again to contribute to this very timely Motion. I would like to thank the new Minister for Agriculture for her new appointment. I have a lot of faith that the Minister has the zeal and dynamism to take the Ministry to greater heights of success. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to make a few remarks on this Motion because it is very timely. This is in the sense that when we recall the clarion call of the founding father of this nation back in 1963, he identified three enemies of this nation. These ware hunger, disease and illiteracy. He had recognized hunger as the major concern in terms of maintaining peace and security in this nation. Therefore, he developed the clarion call of â turudi mashambaniâ which was the solution to poverty in this nation. I think he had the vision of a self- sufficient nation in terms of food production. With food production, the nation would have continued to be peaceful, harmonious and would have grown economically. I, however, that pace of development was not kept.
I also think that with food production adequate for domestic consumption and export, this nation would have become vibrant in terms of stability. Look at what happens in China which is the most populous country on this planet and it is able to feed its people. It is also able to export its own technological knowledge to other countries. Therefore, food production is very important. We should also remember that those nations that have invested heavily in agriculture and food production have been able to benefit their communities and others nations that are not proactive. Look at what happens in Sudan. The Sudanese export rice. Look at Egypt again. Rice, maize and even sugar--- We import sugar from this country. Their main water resource is the Nile water which is our resource. We should use it for the betterment of the life of the people in this country. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is important that this nation must be driven to achieve greater heights in terms of wealth, prosperity and even happiness for our people. This cannot happen unless the nation changes its policy to think in terms of reducing poverty in this country. In 1963, the nation had about six million people, but today we are talking about more than 40 million people and yet capacity in food production has not been improved. Therefore, it is important that food must be increased in this nation. You will recall that in 2009, this House requested the Departmental Committee on Education, Research and Technology to move out and find out what was causing strikes in our schools. Some of the schools that we visited went on strike because the students did not get enough food. Therefore, food is very important. If we had adequate food in this nation, learning in our institutions would be very productive. Even our patients should get enough food when they go to hospitals. Our nation is starved in those areas. If we had enough food, generally, the standards of leaving would greatly improve. We cannot also forget that recently when we were faced with drought in this nation, the cost of food went up beyond the reach of poor people. These people were really affected by this situation. We can see what is happening in this nation. If you look at this nation, you will find that the vulnerable groups which are starved are the groups that are affected in this area. If you look at the people who kidnap our innocent children, you will find that they are people who should have been employed in irrigation schemes if they were there. Therefore, it is important that we invest heavily in establishing irrigation schemes. I am confident that the new Minister for Agriculture will request for more funds so that irrigation schemes could be created particularly, in North Eastern Province which occupies about 22 per cent of the land mass of this country. We can establish industries there. We can also establish small industries in the rest of the country. I recall that in my constituency, Lari, we have a huge semi-arid area and we have many idle people there. If only we could have some boreholes, and I hope the Minister for Water and Irrigation is keenly listening to my contribution so that next time she makes allocation, Lari District will be captured. We could create employment for our people. It is very sad that we have been unable to raise the Strategic National Grain Reserve (SNGR) in this nation. Since 1963 we have been talking about 2.5 million bags. This is the time to improve the SNGR from 2.5 million bags to more than 10 million bags so that this nation will not continue begging or looking for contaminated foods from other countries. The best fruits that we are eating today are imported from Israel and it is a very
dry country. You can see what they have done in terms of investment. Therefore, it is important that more resources are given to this Ministry.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, if we establish schemes, there will be adequate production of various crops like cabbages, potatoes, carrots and others. There will be plenty of food. Women of this country are very aggressive in terms of marketing their products. They will be engaged in that area. The youth of our country will have a better opportunity to learn because mothers care more about the children. They will be able to accrue a lot of money to enable kids to go to school. Food processing plants will also be created in all corners of this nation. To spearhead that campaign, both Ministries - Ministry of Water and Irrigation and Ministry of Agriculture â should work together to make sure that every constituency in this nation has, at least, ten boreholes and dams to create the necessary environment to engage our youth. The elderly in this nation will continue to live longer.
This nation is endowed with water resources and people are really hard-working. What we have been lacking is committed leadership and sacrifice to make sure that the nation becomes dynamic and supports its current population.
With those few remarks, I fully support the Motion.
The Motion should end at 12.10 p.m. and so, we have to manage the time as follows: I will allow the Chairman of the Departmental Committee on Agriculture to talk for seven minutes. That means that you will stop at 11.50 a.m. I will then give the Minister or the Official Government Responder ten minutes. She has already donated her time. So, I will give her up to 12 oâclock. Then, from 12.00 oâclock to 12.10 p.m., I will give the Mover time to reply. So I will request hon. Members who really want to speak â I can see Messrs. Ogindo, Chachu and Ms. Mbarire are quite keen to seek accommodation from, maybe, the Mover or somebody else.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I would like to support this Motion. I would like to start by congratulating Mr. Kaino for not only moving this Motion, but he has moved seven others successfully in the Tenth Parliament. That is very encouraging!
Having said that, my heart is heavy when I consider the fact that the current Budget regime - hon. Members are familiar with the budgetary process â much as we are touting that the Ministry of Agriculture and the agriculture sector are enjoying 4 per cent to 5 per cent, the truth of the matter is that women-related projects in that sector only enjoy 0.007 per cent. When you have a situation like that, then this Motion becomes very relevant because they also contribute over 70 per cent of the family labour. By introducing irrigation, we are going to be the envy of Malawi. Currently Malawi, without going into it, has maize to sell to people like Kenyans who have their own misfortunes. They have over 14 million bags. Zambia has about 30 million bags of maize to sell to us. It is not that we cannot produce or we do not have money. It is because we got everything wrong. During the 1970s, this country was food sufficient because the Ministry of Agriculture then enjoyed an allocation of 13 per cent. That has now been reduced to a theoretical â I insist â 4 per cent to 5 per cent which is also available for grabs every now and then because of other factors that do not relate to the Ministry of Agriculture. For instance, there was the financing of post-election violence and resettlement of IDPs.
We need to have a metamorphosis in the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance. We should look at it differently; the way we structure ourselves and the way we relate to the production process so that the type of land which is available now in North Eastern--- Habaswein Swamp can easily accommodate about one million acres. Those people are willing to talk to their brothers, investors and people who can do it. The amount of water that is being squandered on Bura Irrigation is voluminous. Looking at the furrow itself in Bura, it has more than all the water that is used for the development of the State of Israel. I have been there courtesy of the Ministry of Agriculture. I am talking from a point of knowledge. This country can produce in excess--- I have just come from China and the ruling party there invited us. They took us to their top organ and we met the Committee on Agriculture. They patiently listened to us. This is what they told us in return. Currently, Kenya has more poor people than China although our population is 40 million and poverty based on the revised index of US$200 per month per poor person. The difference between us and them is the way we look at the agricultural sector; the question of appropriate subsidy and an environment completely devoid of those cartels, particularly, maize, sugar, pyrethrum and all those kinds of cartels that we have described in the past. Those are the kinds of things that will make it impossible for this Government to buy maize from Bura. Those are the cartels that will make it impossible for this Ministry to operate. That is because if the Minister for Agriculture is efficient, then those people who are busy importing cereals and enjoying billions will not have a chance. They will not be able to support such a budgetary move.
Therefore, this House, first and foremost, has a responsibility to exercise its oversight role to ensure that the Maputo Declaration is honoured. Secondly, the people who are handling things like irrigation should know that it is not meant to be a political tool. The Ministry of Agriculture - and I support what hon. Members have said here - should handle irrigation. It just makes sense. Just to elaborate - and I really mean business - look at the Mossos Dam in Baringo! Kshs4.83 billion was utilized for what? For that amount of money, the Ministry of Agriculture should have done its own dams, maybe about 1,000 dams, and have more water all over and better irrigation for all.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, this subject of irrigation should now be given top priority. The issue of giving money to the Ministry of Agriculture should not just be taken for granted like they did. When you look at the Budgetary Policy Statement (BPS) - the one we had on 21st March - it paints a very grim picture because there is not a single word that mentions âfood securityâ. How can we have the figures when the statement does not recognize that there is something called food security? I support this Motion wholeheartedly and we will be moving to the Budget section and persuading hon. Members that if the Treasury - and I hope they are listening because they are coming to tell us stories here tomorrow â does not give 10 per cent for the agricultural sector, then there is no point for them to waste our time sitting here and yet, the same bad business is going on.
With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me start by commending Mr. Kaino for bringing this Motion before the House. Obviously, from the debate and what we know, we are united in trying to improve the lifestyles of our people. As has been always said, a hungry nation is an angry nation.
Kenya has absolutely no business going round the world looking for food when we can produce it ourselves.
The policy that we want to pursue is one of self-sufficiency in food and not importation. We should seek to export food rather than import. It is amazing that Zambia is exporting food! A few years ago, I think in the 1970s, they were trying to import farmers from this country to teach them how to farm. Now we are on the other side. The United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goal No.1 is food security. As has been pointed out, in 2003, the Maputo Declaration insisted that governments have to put 10 per cent of their budget in agriculture to be able to obtain food sufficiency. In 2006, Kenya put 6 per cent of her Budget in the agricultural sector. Last year, that figure had gone done to 2.7 per cent of the Budget in the 12 Ministries that are responsible for things to do with agriculture. It is, therefore, not difficult to see where our problems are. It is also quite puzzling because if you think about how any economy runs, it will not be possible to see how you can balance any budget without having a food base. Everytime there has been a drought in this country, one did not need to be an economist to know that the budget would not balance. Therefore, to me, really if we are serious about developing this country, we have to start at the level of feeding the Kenyans. I find it a matter of puzzle, to me, that today Malawi produces food and exports to us. Kenya was ahead of this region in so many things, especially agriculture. One of the speakers today talked about livestock. It was Kenyans who taught Botswana about the meat commission. In the end, ours went under and we lost the quota even in the European Union, of what we could export to them. I think we also lost the quota on sugar. So, these things are there.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, as I said, the policy must be and should be one of food self-sufficiency. We cannot obtain it without water and irrigation. One of the Members talked about the floods and droughts. Yes, of course, we dealt with the drought and we had difficulties. Many people and lots of livestock died, because these people were not cushioned in any way. As you know, drought kills you slowly but, surely, floods kill many people very quickly, and we have to stop that. If we have dams, then we will be able to even plant trees and other vegetation which would slow the flow of water and, therefore, minimize the floods when we have them.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, fertilizer is very expensive. We know that countries like Bangladesh have a form of fertilizer that does not need to use as much as we are using. In fact, it does not deplete the soil. This knowledge is around, but we have not done very much, because we really slept on the job. But at the moment, with this kind of legislation coming up now â this Motion â it should be understood that we do know these things. There is a problem of financing. Regarding the issue of aflatoxin, this morning one Member suggested that driers could have been bought before. But the manner in which the Government finances work is that had anyone asked for driers before there was a disaster, he or she would have been laughed out of town. That is the truth. We have now asked for funds given the disaster we have. I keep saying âwe have askedâ because we do not control the budget that we get. I just think the hon. Members have to be commended for taking a strong stand on how we feed our nation. We rely on you to work with us openly to try and see what we can do for this country.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, some hon. Members even this morning kept asking me: âWhy do you buy this maize? Maize which is rotten should be left to
disappear.â There were two reasons for it, and I made that statement last Friday in Meru. One of them is that if the maize is really bad and is going to kill people, you have to mop it out and see what to do with it, so that you remove it from the food chain. When I got to the Ministry of Agriculture, I was told that there was aflatoxin. The first week there was nothing else we discussed except aflatoxin. Within a few weeks, I think on 24th May, is when scientists from five different groups said that, definitely, it was a fact. We called a meeting on 28th and 31st. Some say âdo not pay at all,â others âpay them moreâ, and others âpay them very little.â My point of view is very simple. These people who have been affected this time are not our regular maize farmers. Unless one is able to cushion them to the level of their production costs, they will refuse to grow maize in future and we will be back to buying maize from outside the country. This is not what we should be doing. However, in a collective sitting situation, I lost that position and we got only half of what we wanted. Sometimes we have to tell the truth. So, that is where we are. I still believe that they should be cushioned to the level where they will go back to farm. After all, Government spends some money on the inputs and, therefore, we should see to it that we do not drive them under. I still hold that position and hope that somewhere along the line, we can make it easier for them. I do not understand why we do not have a seed producing mechanism for rice. Rice is food and it could ease our reliance on maize. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, since we are talking about agriculture, let me briefly say that while we have food problems and we know where they are; they include dams, irrigation, inputs and lack of subsidized agriculture. Everybody in the world says that they do not subsidize agriculture, but they do. We must, therefore, do something. That is where we must start our development. But there are other crops in the Kenya which affect our economy. They are tea, coffee, horticulture, cotton and pyrethrum. A lot of them are in the sick bay and we need to work a little harder. They have problems of high costs of energy, labour; to say nothing of the 13 different taxes that some of them have to go through. That is my problem and I will work with the other institutions that deal with this. When we need support from here, we shall come. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me once more say that this Motion is very timely and apt. From the debate that we have had here â and I am happy I was here to listen â it is well supported. The Ministry of Agriculture and I support it too. I am sure that the related Ministry of Water and Irrigation supports it too. So, what will stop us from moving forward? It is very simple; the key is called funds. This is because with the best will in the world, without the funds, we cannot make progress. That is why I can see that collectively and, obviously, we have the right vision, that is, to develop agriculture. You do not need to persuade me. I will persuade you to work jointly with us to make sure that the agricultural sector gets the funding it requires which must be monitored by all of us. If we are planting our own maize, we do not need to buy maize from somebody else. That way, we can save the funding for other things in this country and develop our economy. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support.
Now, I want to call the Mover to respond but, please, indicate if you have given accommodation and to how many people and minutes.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am glad for the support that both the Minister for Water and Irrigation and the Minister for Agriculture have shown.
The hon. Members in the House really wish to add their voices to this very important Motion. I will give each of them two minutes of my time. They are hon. Ogindo, hon. Mbarire, hon. Chachu, and ole Metito, the Assistant Minister for Regional Development Authorities. I will start with hon. Ogindo in that order.
Thank you, Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister for Agriculture on her new appointment. I rise to support the Motion and to say that food security must never be compromised and every effort must be made deliberately to ensure that our country is food-secured. It is regrettable that we still do not have a well-capacitated budget office that would effectively allocate funds where they are needed most. With an investment in the agriculture sector through irrigation, because the old story we keep on hearing is that we did not meet our target because of drought, it is important that we get over this once and for all. By ensuring that we have irrigation-based agriculture, we will secure our food security. We will also increase on our GDP. You know agriculture is very critical. It is the most significant contributor to our GDP. Thirdly, we will ensure employment. This country has always got its priorities wrong. The amount of money we spend on relief food would better be invested in a more sustainable food production. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want from the onset to really thank the Mover of this Motion, Mr. Kaino, for bringing a Motion whose time has come and at the very nick of time when we should be thinking about food security and creating employment for our people. I also want to congratulate the Minster for Agriculture who has very ably supported this Motion and agreed with every one that this is something that must be taken into consideration. I believe that in her able leadership, we will be able to achieve this policy guideline that we are passing today. Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, irrigation is critical not just to provide food security for our people but also to create employment for the many young people who are out in the villages and have no jobs at all. This Motion is not just about the dry zones. It is about every constituency where many farmers are now getting smaller and smaller pieces of land. I believe through irrigation we can focus on things like horticultural farming as is happening in many constituencies like in Meru where we have seen farmers really growing bananas and horticultural produce for export and being able to be economically independent. We look forward to the Government really providing the necessary resources. I am happy that the two critical Ministries that will push this particular agenda are under the leadership of two able ladies who I believe understand how important it is for a mother to have food on the table for her children and, therefore, will ensure that this particular Motion is implemented. I think we need to move a step further. The Ministry of Agriculture probably needs to think of coming up with a Bill addressing this particular issue so that it really becomes a Government project because many times, we pass Motions here but they just end up here. We hope that we will see the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation advance this particular agenda.
To the Members of Parliament, we will be reading our budget this week. I hope that we can insist on more money being pushed to these two critical Ministries so that Kenya can have economic growth and achieve Vision 2030. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support this Motion and compliment Mr. Kaino for having moved this very relevant and timely Motion. I also commend the Minister for Agriculture for really taking the challenge of food security head on. Today, Kenya is food secure than it was two years ago just because of reviving those irrigation schemes. Today, areas like Tana River, Bura and Hola have food in surplus. I think that Members of Parliament should support this Ministry and make sure it gets more money in the Budget to make this country even more food secure in the future. I wish the Minister well. I know she has all it takes to take this Ministry to another height. Having said that, I want the Minister to consider investing in arid-lands farming. Places like Israel and many arid areas are food secure simply because they have invested in arid lands farming. There are crops that do very well there and because of that, they are food secure today. We should look at other countries. You should think outside the box and consider those arid areas. If nothing else, you should enable us to produce fodder for our livestock. Let us feed our livestock so that it will feed us. In the end, we will be food secure and we will not need any famine relief. So, we need to do that. We need to invest in rain water harvesting, building dams, water catchment and even dew harvesting in some of those areas. If we do that, for sure, those areas that normally receive famine relief and are prone to drought will be able to feed other parts of this country. With those few remarks, I support the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would also wish to thank the Mover of this Motion for giving me two minutes. I will say three points. First, I support the Motion. This is the right place to channel the Economic Stimulus Package. We should stimulate the agricultural sector, and as he has rightly pointed out, this is an agricultural economy. I think we should push the Treasury to allocate this money as an economic stimulus package for the agricultural sector. It is also good to harmonise some of the water institutions. We should put the Department of Irrigation under the Ministry of Agriculture so that they can streamline all those water bodies that deal with food security issues. Finally, if we get the 2,000 acres per constituency under irrigation scheme, this will help a lot in creating employment for our youth. It will be labour-intensive. Instead of exporting our youth to other countries that are not all that secure to look for jobs, we can create jobs for our young people using such schemes through the Economic Stimulus Package. Thank you. I support the Motion.
Mr. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Sir, let me start by thanking my colleagues for supporting this Motion. It is shameful. We have been told about Zambia, Malawi, India and other countries in the world that were behind us but are now exporting food to other countries. The Government is not really doing things right especially on allocation of funds. My desire is that in future, we should have an Inter-Ministerial Committee which will
include the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water, Ministry of State for Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands and Ministry of Regional Development Authorities so that they can persuade the Treasury on proper allocation of funds to this very important Ministries. There is nothing important like food. Food is above everything else. People talk about food or other things when their stomachs are full. I thank everybody who has contributed on this Motion and wish that the Government would be serious in future in allocating funds. With those few remarks I beg to move.
Hon. Members, I am informed that the mover of Order Number 9 is not here. I am also further informed that the Mover of Order No. 10 is also not here.
Hon. Members, it is now time for interruption of business . The House is, therefore, adjourned until today at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 12.10 p.m.