Hon. Members, order! Hon. Members, this is a unitary House. The House belongs to all of us and there is nothing that is out of order. We have the requisite quorum and we shall proceed.
The Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House: Cabinet Memorandum on the Acceptance of Amendments to the International Labour Organization, Maritime Labour Convention, 2006; Acceptance of Convention C185 and Convention C188; Acceding to the STCW-F, and Ratification of the Cape Town Agreement from the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing, Urban Development and Public Works. I just want to alert the Committee that will be looking at this, that it is something that they may need to put their urgent attention to. The Reports of the Auditor-General and Financial Statements on Donor-Funded Projects for the year ended 30th June, 2020 and the implementing Agencies: - 1. The Coastal Region Water Security and Climate Resilience Project - Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation; 2. Kenya-Italy Debt for Development Programme - Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation; 3. Kenya Water Security and Climate Resilience Project - Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation; 4. Thwake Multi-Purpose Water Development Programme Phase I - Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation; 5. Water and Sanitation Development Project - Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation; The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
6. Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access for Underserved Counties - Ministry of Energy; 7. Kenya Electricity Modernization Project - Ministry of Energy; 8. Kenya Petroleum Technical Assistance Project - State Department for Petroleum; 9. Sound Chemicals Management Mainstreaming and UPOPS Reduction in Kenya Project - Ministry of Environment and Forestry. For those who are unsure, UPOPS means unintentional persistent organic pollutants. 10. System for Land-Based Emissions Estimation in Kenya (SLEEK) Project – Ministry of Environment and Forestry; 11. Green Growth and Employment Thematic Programme (GGTP) – Ministry of Environment and Forestry; 12. National Action Plan on Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining Project – Ministry of Environment and Forestry; 13. Institutional Strengthening of the Ozone Depleting Substances Project – Ministry of Environment and Forestry; 14. Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project- Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development; 15. National Safety Net Programme – State Department for Social Protection; 16. Kenya Social and Economic Inclusion Project - State Department for Social Protection; 17. Judicial Performance Improvement Project; 18. Kenya Youth Employment Opportunity Project - State Department for Labour; 19. The COVID - 19 Emergency Response Project for the Three Months - Ministry of Health; 20. East Africa’s Centre of Excellence for Skills and Tertiary Education in Biomedical Sciences - Ministry of Health; 21. Global Fund HIV & AIDS Programme - Ministry of Health; 22. Global Fund Tuberculosis Grant Programme - Ministry of Health; 23. Support of the Health Financing Strategy – Output Based Approach (OBA) Programme - Ministry of Health; 24. Transforming Health Systems for Universal Care (THS-UC) Project Grant - Ministry of Health; 25. Kenya Health Sector Support (EMMS) Project - Ministry of Health; 26. Health Sector Support Projects-Health Sector Services - Ministry of Health; 27. East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project (EAPHLN) - Ministry of Health; 28. Global Fund-Expanding HIV Prevention Care and Treatment Services to reach Universal Access (80 per cent Coverage) to reduce both incidence and associated Impact Programme - Ministry of Health; 29. Global Fund - Malaria Round 10 Project - Ministry of Health; and 30. Health Sector Support Project SWAp Secretariat - Ministry of Health. These are reports of the Auditor – General for the year ended 30th June 2020 for donor- funded projects within all those implementing agencies. Thank you, Hon Temporary Deputy Speaker.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Kanini Kega, Chair, Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to move the following Procedural Motion: THAT, notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 232(7) relating to presentation of Budget Policy Statement and the Debt Management Strategy, this House resolves to extend the period for consideration of the Budget Policy Statement, 2021 by a period of 14 days from 25th February, 2021.
The 2021 Budget Policy Statement (BPS) and the Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy were tabled on 11th February 2021. The submission of these documents was in adherence to the provisions of Section 25(2) of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act which provides that the National Treasury shall submit the Budget Policy Statement to Parliament by 15th February each year.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, Section 25 (7) of the Public Finance Management Act further provides that Parliament shall, not more than 14 days after the Budget Policy Statement is submitted to Parliament, table and discuss a report containing its recommendations and pass a resolution to adopt it with or without amendments. It is the experience of this House that the timeline for consideration of this document is too short. The amendment of the PFM Act to extend this period from the current 14 days to 28 days has always been a recommendation of the House in the BPS report. This is an issue that we have been having because the 14 days are not enough. I will be requesting the Leader of the Majority party that, as soon as possible, when we will be having the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, if we can fast-track that and change the 14 days to 28 days, it will actually suffice. The importance of the BPS cannot be overstated as it is the basis of preparation of the annual Budget. It is also a policy guiding document to the vertical sharing of revenue between the national Government and the county governments. It, therefore, requires ample time to enable thorough scrutiny by the departmental committees and the Budget and Appropriations Committee. The Supplementary Budget I for the 2020/2021 Financial Year was also submitted on 9th February 2021. Even though its approval by the National Assembly does not have tight timelines, it is prudent to consider it together since it sets the baseline for the budget ceiling in the BPS. In addition, there is need for an extension of the timelines as the Budget and Appropriations Committee was reconstituted on 15th February 2021 in line with the provisions of Standing Order No. 207 (4). It is, therefore, on this basis that the Procedural Motion is before the House this evening to extend the period of consideration by 14 days from 25th February 2021 to 11th March 2021. However, I am hoping that if everything goes as per the schedule, we should discuss or table the Report by 4th March 2021. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as you are aware, the Budget and Appropriations Committee together with the Liaison Committee carried out a Pre-Budget Conference in Mombasa, last weekend, with key stakeholders to look into the key policy issues underpinning the 2021 BPS and the Medium-Term Debt Strategy Paper. There was also consensus on how the departmental committees and the Budget and Appropriations Committee will concurrently process The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
the BPS, the Medium-Term Debt Strategy Paper and the Supplementary Budget I for the 2020/2021 Financial Year. In this regard, the Budget and Appropriations Committee has a schedule that will guide the process of scrutiny, where it will receive submissions from the departmental committees including other submissions from Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), Office of the Auditor General and the National Treasury. This is expected to take place from Friday, 26th February 2021 through the weekend. The Report shall be tabled before this House on Tuesday, 2nd March 2021. On behalf of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, I request this extension of time and assure the House that my Committee will do everything possible to table the two Reports within the proposed timelines. This is more of a Procedural Motion. I move and request the Leader of the Majority Party to second. I thank you.
Hon. Amos Kimunya.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is my pleasure to second the Motion by the Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. As he has very clearly said, it is something we do every time. We hope that when we review our Standing Orders, we will have this reflected so that we do not have to keep doing it in the Motion and also the PFM Act. As Members will appreciate, first of all, we had a late start because the Committee had to be reconstituted. It is not every year that the Committee is reconstituted, this is the first. It is only done once in the course of the Session. So, we lost a week. In addition, we have obviously had a lot of things to be done. Every day, we are hearing a lot of discussion on the issue of debt in this country. I am not sure how many Members have looked at the Debt Management Strategy Report that was tabled. Even as we talk, out there, about debt and where we are, there is a Report that has been tabled in this House. We hope the Committee will look at it.
Could we be protected from illegal gadgets in the House? The issue of debt is something that I hope the people who have been expressing a lot of interest on debt will take this time to go through the strategy that has been tabled. We hope that they will appear before the Budget and Appropriations Committee and make their proposals so that we can have a comprehensive report on where we are on debt, even as we look at the BPS as the anchor for doing the estimates. The 14 days will grant the Committee the time. Hon. Members, I know this week everyone will be out. The committees are working so hard from last week and all the way to this weekend. It is very encouraging to see so many… Part of the reason why we were creating this extra session in the evening is so that we can fast-track some of these things. I am encouraged that we are actually utilising all the time. So, let us grant the Committee the time so that they can go on doing justice to the document that has been presented to them and enrich them for the betterment of this country. It is a Procedural Motion, we do not usually debate it. With those remarks, I beg to second.
Put the Question. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Is it the mood of the House that I put the Question?
Very well, I will do exactly that.
The Member for Kaiti, you should be well versed with the requirements of the House by now but it is well.
There were Papers to be laid. Hon. Paul Koinange was overlooked. I will allow him to lay the Papers that he has that have been approved by the Speaker. Proceed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Papers on the Table of the House today, Tuesday, 23rd February 2021: Reports of the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security on its consideration of: (i) The Birth and Registration (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 32 of 2020); and, (ii) The Alcoholic Drinks Control (Amendment) Bill (National Assembly Bill No. 35 of 2020).
Very well. Let us move on to the next business.
Hon. Members, on this one we had contributions from quite a number of Members, about 20. The last one on his feet was Hon. Ibrahim Abdisalan who had a balance of eight minutes. Is Hon. Abdisalan in the House and The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
desirous to contribute? Hon. Abdisalan not being present, his time is forfeited. I will, therefore, give the next opportunity to Hon. Osotsi who is top on my list. Hon. Osotsi does not also desire to be present. The next one on my list is… The Members who had contributed to this are: Hon. Amos Kimunya, Hon. Lemein Korei, Hon. Maanzo, Hon. (Ms.) Oduol Adhiambo, Hon. Wangwe, Hon. Kevin Wanyonyi, Hon. Aden Duale, Hon. Oundo, Hon. Kipyegon Ng’eno, Hon. Mulyungi Mutemi, Hon. John Kiarie, Hon. Luyai Amisi, Hon. Wambugu Munene, Hon. (Ms.) Millie Odhiambo, Hon. Jeremiah Kioni, Hon. David Ochieng, Hon. (Ms.) Catherine Waruguru, Hon. (Ms.) Edith Nyenze, Hon. Chachu Ganya and Hon. Ibrahim Abdisalan. The next one on my list is Hon. ole Sankok David.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to also inject my voice to this very important Bill. This Bill No.5 of 2020 is meant to make sure that ours is a reading nation. For a long time, we have seen our youth, who graduate from schools and institutions of higher learning, not even able to comprehend or communicate in English. The Kenya National Library Service Bill will make sure that our youth are impacted with relevant knowledge. I support this Bill 100 per cent.
Very well. Let us have Hon. Sossion.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Kenya National Library Service Bill. As a country that is undergoing reforms in many areas, this Bill is key in realigning the library service in this country. Kenya is doing very well in terms of education, global competitiveness and is first in Africa. We need not lose track of that. Therefore, the National Library Services that we have in this country go a long way in complementing the access to information by the general public and also by the students in this country. There is no doubt that with the passage of this Bill, we will have a more robust library service in this country. It would be prudent that in the spirit of devolution and with more resources envisaged getting to the counties after the referendum, one line-area of social service that needs to be strengthened is the libraries. It would be prudent for every county or sub-county to have a national library that is accessible to all the youth. We have seen the development of youth centres. One great facility that would serve in strengthening the readership by the youth and students of this country is a more expanded library service. As we get down to digitisation of our economy, one area that needs to be strengthened in terms of digitisation and access is the library service. That is one area that should be expanded in our country. Currently, almost everybody is on a digital device. We should be able to access all manner of books and information through this process. I support the Bill.
Let us have Hon. Adagala.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I was not ready for this one.
Very well. We shall move on. Let us have Hon. Rono Kipkosgei, Member for Keiyo South.
I am very ready, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Pull up your mask, Hon. Kipkosgei. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I do not have the Coronavirus.
I am keeping social distance.
Hon. Rono Kipkosgei, there are things we shall joke about and things we shall not. The issue of the Coronavirus is not about whether you have it or not. It is not for you to say whether you have it or not. When you wear this gadget, the mask, you make those around you confident that they are safe. It is not about you. Just put it on.
With humility, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand guided. I thought that social distancing is good enough. Nevertheless, I support Hon. Sankok who said that this Bill is bringing back the reading culture in Kenya. It is very important. If you look around, particularly at our youth, they are glued to their televisions, phones and things that do not even increase their knowledge. It is very important that we strengthen this Service. I also support the information given by our Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) boss who said that we need to go deeper into the counties. I am of the view that we should go even further to the constituencies and after that, to the wards, because this is about a reading culture. Information is king. Where information is king, we need to strengthen that.
Just hold on, Hon. Kipkosgei. Hon. Wangwe seems to have a point of order.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, is my very good colleague and MP in order to say that the KNUT boss has spoken? I am not aware. Maybe you could inform the House that we have a KNUT boss in the House.
A KNUT boss?
Kenya National Union of Teachers boss.
Yes. We have Hon. Sossion who is here.
On top of that, he is a Member of Parliament. First and foremost, he is the KNUT boss. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, may I continue? Before I was rudely interrupted, I have even lost my….
Hon. Member for Keiyo South, as you re-gather your thoughts, Hon. Sossion seems to have something to say about whether he is the boss or not.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I have been referred to by the Member for Keiyo South as the KNUT boss. I confirm that I am the duly elected and registered Secretary-General of KNUT. That is public knowledge.
So, I am the boss.
I thought so. Proceed, Member for Keiyo South. You are in order. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Sossion, for informing the House. This is the information that we are talking about in these libraries. It appears that some people do not even know who the Secretary-General of the KNUT is. Even our Members of Parliament need to be visiting our libraries because they also have that shortage of knowledge.
The other day, a youth was asked who the President of Kenya was and he stood up and said that it is Hon. William Ruto. This is the information that people lack. Hon. Ruto is well-known. However, we need these libraries, so that people can have information. As I said earlier, information is key. If we need to push this information, we have to spread the national libraries as much as possible in Kenya.
I support the Bill, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Member for Keiyo South, you pose that it is necessary for our children to go to the libraries to learn who the sitting President of the country is. However, that is well.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this important Bill. The main object of this Bill is to give effect to the Constitution in order to promote all forms of national and cultural expression through literature, arts, traditional celebrations, science, communication, information, mass media, publications, libraries and other cultural heritage.
This objective is very important to this country because many a time, Kenyans are accused of not being very keen on reading. There is this common saying that if you want to hide your money, you can put it in a book because it is common that not many people will find it and your money will be safe. This Bill will go a long way in promoting that culture of reading. It is a very important Bill.
The Bill also talks about the institutional framework of the Kenya National Library Service. It says clearly how the Service and board will be constituted. It also states clearly the qualifications of the members of the board. There are two functions of the Kenya National Library Service which are attractive. Clause 5(h) of the Bill says that the function of the Kenya National Library Service shall be to establish the national web cat to publish catalogues for all libraries. The idea of having a web cat is very good for this country because we know that many Kenyans can access the internet now. Most of the Hon. Members have hubs in their constituencies where youth can access many things in the internet. When we see this move to have a national web cat, it is obvious that many Kenyans will access a lot of information relating to science and arts from their houses.
Another interesting function of the Kenya National Library Service is to establish and maintain a national virtual library service. We all talk about virtual meetings. When we talk about a virtual library, I am sure we know what we are talking about. In this time when we have Coronavirus pandemic and we do not know what will come in future, this is the way to go. This Bill has captured the contemporary issues which relate to library matters. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
This Bill also talks about the staff who will work in these libraries. It is unfortunate that most of the counties in this country do not have functional libraries, despite us talking about very high literacy levels in this country. The idea of having this Service to establish libraries at the county level is good. It will ensure that many young people will access them and do research relating to what they do. The fact that the Bill determines the qualifications which are required for the staff who will work in those libraries is very good for the country.
The other matter is the resourcing of this Service in terms of money. After getting the human resource, there is also need for financial resource. It is very clear that this National Library Service, just like all other Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs), will submit budgets like any other parastatal three months to the end of the financial year. They will be discussed the way we discuss budgets for parastatals, so that they are well-resourced. At the end of the day, this will confirm that we have a Library Service which can serve Kenyans as per the expectations. This House needs to fast track this Bill, so that at the end of the day, we will have this Service in place. There are already some library services but we will now have a more effective Library Service in place.
I know that this Bill will proceed to the Senate after it is considered by the National Assembly because it also touches on the counties. My humble appeal to the Senate is that when it gets there, the House Business Committee of the Senate will allocate time for it, so that both Houses pass it. As a result, it will be given the final signature to become a law. In short, this proposed Bill is good for this country. It will promote the culture of reading so that Kenyans can read more and become more knowledgeable in science, arts, music and all other things that we have captured in this Bill.
With those many remarks, I support the Bill. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Mwangi Mburu, Member for Lari.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
There was some interruption from a Member here on his way out. We are discussing the Kenya National Library Service Bill. I want to support it. I support that information has to flow to everybody and it has to be correct.
Wear your mask properly.
Sorry, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I have to protect the others, especially Hon. Chepkut who is nearby. Information is power. We must always have the correct information. We must devolve information. We must promote the culture of reading. We must promote the culture of going to libraries. Our children have become very anti-social. They just watch things on their phones and on television. Our reading culture is getting eroded. We are always told that we must promote this culture because it develops the brain. So, like other speakers, I support the Bill.
Very well. Hon. Ombaka, Member for Siaya, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for this opportunity. Libraries are very important for promotion of education and education is power. Part of education is to have a library. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Libraries are important, especially the type that is being proposed in this Bill, where even the board will comprise highly educated people. They will be university graduates with so much experience and managerial skills. I even looked at the composition of the board and it is gender sensitive as well. If the members of the board are weak people who are not well educated, even the running of the libraries can be very challenging. So, I support that the qualifications for the members of the board should be very high.
Hon. (Dr.) Ombaka, please, put on your mask.
The qualifications of the board members are very high, and this is highly appreciated. Secondly, we have colleges and universities in the counties and a lot of them do not have libraries. They only have rooms where a few books are kept. These kinds of libraries are going to promote our image and give opportunity to students to access information and academic materials from modern facilities. Lastly, we have to think twice about colleges and schools in the rural areas. Even though this is a good Bill that will promote and encourage libraries in villages and in the counties, we still need to improve our electricity connection. The Kenya Power Company should ensure that libraries run 24 hours a day instead of experiencing blackouts, making it impossible for people to utilise the facilities. This is a very good Bill, and as an educationist, I highly support it.
Hon. (Dr.) Tum Chebet and Hon. Melly, I see you are wearing your masks improperly. Hon. Members, this mask is not for anyone. It is just for you and for all of us. We can just maintain it until such a time when all of us will not be comfortable not to wear it. Nobody really wants to wear it, but let us show a good example. Hon. (Dr.) Tum, you may proceed.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I rise to support this Bill. We have to inculcate a reading culture in our youths. There is a lot of drunkenness and alcoholism amongst the youth. So, we are to establish a National Library Service that is well equipped. There is the issue of preservation of traditional culture. The National Library Service will encourage publications in native languages so that our children do not forget our cultures. I really support this. There is also the issue of advisory services. The National Library Service will be an advisory centre for all libraries in Kenya, including those in our universities. Therefore, we need to inculcate a reading culture. This will be a legal entity which will ask for loans, gifts and revenue from the National Assembly. So, it will be one of the best equipped libraries like those in developed countries. For example, in some countries, you find libraries that are 15 times the size of this Chamber. You cannot even consume all the materials therein in 20 days. It will have catalogues that can assist our universities. So, there is need to establish a National Library Service in Kenya. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Oyula Maero, Member for Butula.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this very important Bill. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Provision of libraries in constituencies and counties is a very important move to improve education for our children. This Bill has come at the right time. If you recall, some years back, we used to have mobile libraries. These were discontinued and as a result, there have been no library services in most centres in constituencies or in the counties. This Bill is going to encourage the youth who have been idling to spend most of their time in libraries. We should also encourage stocking of relevant books in the libraries. I hope the National Library Service will be advised to make sure that books are provided in the libraries. First, get the libraries constructed in every county or sub-county and then make sure that all of them are equipped with the necessary books. If this Bill is approved, it will be a very good encouragement for education in our counties. With those remarks, I support the Bill and urge all Members to fully support it.
Hon. Jaldesa Dida, Member for Isiolo County.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to support this very important Bill. As it has been said by my colleagues, the importance of a national library cannot be overemphasised. We have had a poor reading culture in this country. It is high time we focused on how to encourage our people to develop a reading culture. More specifically, I am supporting it because I am encouraging the National Library Service function to be devolved to all the counties. Some of our counties do not have library services. As it has been said, this will create job opportunities. It will also reduce the burden on parents in that students will borrow books from the libraries instead of buying them. It will also provide an opportunity for people to study silently without disturbance. In most rural setups, homes are crowded and students cannot concentrate as they study. With libraries everywhere, we will have the opportunity to have serious students. The library service will also give students opportunity to do proper research. Sometime back, I went to China and realised that YouTube does not work there because they encourage their students to dig deep into books instead of getting shallow information from the internet. Therefore, I emphasise the need to make sure that we do not only have nice libraries in big towns, but also have at least modern libraries in all the 47 counties and sub-counties.
As I finish, the young people are faced with many challenges. They have a challenge of getting information and doing proper research. That is why as much as we fairly compete within the East African Community, when you go out there, for some of us who have taken our children for studies abroad, the kind of research that is done by those students compared to ours, calls for serious investment in proper research. This will ensure that we have leaders who can critically think about issues and reflect.
Therefore, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, without much ado, I support this Bill. Thank you.
Hon. Martin Owino, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. The concept of having libraries was started a long time ago in this country. It is just unfortunate that we do not follow through what we initiate to the latter. However, I am rushing to support this Bill because we may catch up with time. The concept of library at this time and age is not only to read print materials. It has been loaded with very many things that can help not only our children, but also the adult population. A The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
vibrant brain prevents lots of old age diseases. Even parents can go to these libraries and have good times reading. I would like this library concept to be funded well so that it can be cascaded to the constituencies, and even wards because we are talking of access. Having them in towns would also limit other people to reach them. Otherwise, they will build strong communities in terms of recreational and academic environment. Nowadays people do not interface with each other; they interface with phones. That is why we are losing connectivity with human beings, and even the natural environment, which if this Bill is passed and implemented well, we will bring back that connectivity. There is also the element of conducive environment. One Member has alluded to the fact that not many homes have the luxury of space, power and quiet environment to read. Families which are impoverished will have an opportunity to go and have quiet time somewhere else. There are also some programmes which they have loaded into modern libraries like holding career development sessions so that children can choose which careers to pursue. Other activities in libraries include information communication technology (ICT), which are now opening and introducing children to learn how to do business in the “cloud”. That will be very important. In my constituency, I have a database for those who are looking for employment. Most of them have studied library science and there is nowhere they can get jobs. This will promote job creation for young people so that they can further their careers. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I support this Bill. Yes, it is timely, but it is overdue.
Hon. Members, I am sure you must be aware that this country has just built a national library just here at Upper Hill at a huge cost of approximately Kshs1 billion. I would like to encourage Members to visit it so that even as we think about spreading it to the counties and constituencies, we would have utilised and patronised the one that we have here in the City, which Members can access. Hon. Shaban, Member for Taveta, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I also want to add my voice that the Kenya National Library Service is a very important service. Some years back, as we were growing up, we used to see some small libraries in towns, but when you went to the rural areas, you would not find those facilities. A lot has been said about this, but I just want to point out that one of the functions of the Kenya National Library Service will be to establish a centre for books to promote reading, writing and publishing in local languages, traditional and cultural knowledge, information and advice, advocacy, book development as well as easy access to books. I just want to point out that it is only the Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) which is the mandate of county governments. Education is a serious national function, and because of that, it is a pity that public community libraries have been left to county governments. I do not think counties are looking at it like a very serious function considering that they are just concerned about ECDE. The Kenya National Library Service will come in very handy especially if it is going to the constituency level. They should work in partnership with Members of Parliament, so that the Kenya National Library Services can be taken to students at the constituency level. I believe that the culture of reading has been eroded. Over the years, our children are busy on the internet looking at pornography, interacting on Facebook and generally spending time on social media. They are not using it for purposes of studying or getting into the reading culture, but The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
for purposes of trying to learn the wrong things. Why? They have been left without anywhere to turn to read, and so, they are forced to visit funny sites on the internet to watch what is not necessary for them. If the Kenya National Library Service is well funded from our budget, I believe we can easily partner with them at the constituency level to develop the libraries, so that they can be useful to our people. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to support.
Let us now hear Hon. Nangabo, Member for Trans Nzoia.
Asante, Mhe. Naibu Spika wa Muda kwa kunipatia nafasi hii nichangia Mswada huu wa maktaba katika nchi yetu ya Kenya. Vile wanenaji waliotangulia wamesema, ni muhimu tuwe na maktaba katika nchi yetu ya Kenya. Ni kweli watoto wetu wameharibika kwa sababu hawajapata nafasi ya kuenda kusoma katika maktaba mahali popote. Wengi wamerudi kuvuta bangi. Wengine wamerudi kwenda tu kunywa pombe. Nilitembea ng’ambo kule England na nikaingia katika maktaba katika nchi hiyo na nikaona kwamba iko na vifaa ama vitabu vile vinatosha kabisa kusema hata historia katika nchi hiyo na hata historia ya viongozi katika nchi hiyo. Ndiposa, kama sisi pia tutapitisha Mswada huu, itakuwa vyema kwetu kwa sababu watoto na hata wazee wetu hawataumia. Ukiona katika nchi yetu ya Kenya saa hii, kila mtu ama mtoto anataka achukue kitu nyumbani auze ndiposa awe na simu ya rununu. Vile Mhe. (Dkt) Shaban amesema, hawa watoto hawatumii simu hizi kwa njia iliyo bora. Wanazichukua na kuangalia picha zisizo na mambo sahihi. Vile wanasema kwamba maktaba hii ni ya kitaifa, ninaona ni vyema na ni heri pia tuwe nazo nyumbani. Vile umesema kwamba tuko na moja yao katika Nairobi hapa, unaona kwamba hao watoto ama watu kutoka kule sehemu za nyumbani hawatapata nafasi ya kuangalia kwamba hii maktaba iliyo huku kwa kitaifa iko namna gani. Ni vyema tuwe nazo kule chini. Hata sisi kama viongozi tutatumia hiyo nafasi kuhamasisha watu na kusema kwamba tukitaka kuwa wasomi wazuri na tukitaka hata kufanya kazi nzuri ama tukitaka kusema kwamba huenda mtu ana kipawa cha kufanya kitu fulani, itakuwa ni vyema kwamba ameenda katika hiyo maktaba na amehakikisha kwamba amepata ujuzi ama anasoma vizuri ndiposa atakuwa anaelewa kitu. Vile wamesema kuhusu hii maktaba, ni vyema kwa sababu imeweka kila mtu katika nafasi hiyo. Ni vizuri kwa sababu watakuwa ni watu wale wamehitimu na watakuwa wanasaidia katika hizo maktaba kuhakikisha kwamba watu wanaoenda katika maktaba hiyo wanapata nafasi nzuri ya kusoma na kuelewa ni nini wanasoma. Shida yangu ni utekelezaji wa hii Miswada tunapitisha katika Bunge letu. Unaona kwamba inachukua muda mno kuhakikisha kwamba imetekelezwa. Iwapo itatekelezwa, nafikiria itakuwa ni nafuu kwetu sisi viongozi na hata kule nyumbani na kwa wale watu tunawakilisha. Nakumbuka nikiwa katika shule ya upili, tulikuwa na hizi maktaba. Lakini unaona kwamba zilikuwa na vitabu hivyo vya historia, ama ukifanya mambo ya lugha, inakupata unasoma hiyo katika maktaba hizo lakini hatukuwa na vitabu vya kutosha enzi zile. Iwapo tutakuwa nazo kama wakati huu, wengi tutakuwa tunafahamu na inatusaidia kujua mambo mengi katika jamii zetu na hata katika mienendo yetu. Ninasema asante na ninaunga mjadala huu mkono.
Hon. Obo Mohamed, the Member of Lamu, you have the Floor. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Asante Naibu Spika wa Mda kwa kunipatia hii nafasi. Ni muhimu sana tuwe na hizi maktaba. Zitatusaidia kuwa na uzoefu au desturi ya kusoma na kutuepusha na mambo mengi ya ushetani. Wakati unaoutumia katika maktaba unaweza kukupunguzia mambo mengi, zaidi kwa wale vijana tuko nao. Lakini zikitengenezwa, ziwe maktaba na sio jina; ziwe maktaba za kiwango cha hali ya juu. Maktaba hizo ziwe na mambo mengi. Hata kompyuta zinafaa kuwa hapo ndani. Hizi maktaba zikiwa, zitatusaidia sana sisi watu wa Lamu maanake katika youth walioharibika zaidi ni kwetu Lamu. Vijana wameingia kwenye mihadarati. Ukienda ukiona watoto wetu, wanasinzia. Kwa hivyo, ikipatikana njia yoyote kama hii itasaidia wale watoto wetu. Ni mambo ya kusikitisha. Tunang’ang’ana lakini bado kuna haja ya kung’ang’ana zaidi. Chochote kinachopangwa kwenye Serikali isiwe kupangwa vile inavyopangwa kwamba kila eneo-bunge lipate maktaba moja. Tukumbuke mazingira na maeneo Mwenyezi Mungu alivyotuumba. Watu wanafaa waende wakatuangalie sisi kule Lamu maanake sehemu nyingi ni visiwa. Ikisemekana sisi tuna maeneo-bunge mawili na ziwekwe maktaba mbili, pia yanakuwa matatizo. Mtu akitoka Kiunga, tuseme aje Kisiwa cha Pate, ni Ksh2,000. Kwa hivyo haitatusaidia. Sasa zile sheria zinazopangwa zipangwe sawasawa. Tuseme, kama hapa Nairobi kuna maeneo- bunge kumi na saba. Kwao ni sawa kila eneo-bunge likipata maktaba. Lakini sisi tuna maeneo- bunge mawili lakini hata maktaba kumi hazitutoshi maanake ukimtoa mtu Msitu wa Boni umuambie aje Kisiwa cha Pate, hakuna usafiri wa kawaida. Usafiri ni lazima uchukue wako, ukodishe boti uende. Hivyo ni lazima tujuane na tuelewane na tuwaelewe watu wengine kwamba maeneo Mungu aliyowaumbia ni tofauti. Lakini hatulalamiki kwamba yale maeneo ni magumu. Hapana. Ni kwa sababu Mwenyezi Mungu ameyaumba vile. Kuna manufaa mengine tumepata. Kama kwetu, mradi wa LAPSSET haungeweza kutengezwa Nairobi. Ni lazima utengezwe Lamu kwa sababu sisi tuna bahari. Pia, tukipata hizi rasilimali tusiwe tutajifikiria sisi. Kama mfano, Nairobi na Mombasa ni tofauti. Pia, Lamu iko hivyo. Tutembee tuone zile sehemu ziko vipi ndio sote tujihisi Wakenya.
Hon. Mwalyo Mbithi, Member for Masinga, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity. I would like to air my views on the Kenya National Library Service Bill. First, I would like to say that we have forgotten the reading culture which the old people had already adopted. Things have changed. The digital era has come and it has brought a lot of changes, especially to the young people. You will find that some are not very keen on reading books. They want to read through their computers. They want to read from the internet. Therefore, they are not willing to read. They should be encouraged to go to libraries. I remember when we were young, we used to read books in schools. We used to go to libraries and conduct research. Whatever was difficult to you could only be got in libraries. Therefore, this should be encouraged. That is where many people have done researches. Their research papers have been placed in libraries. Therefore, for whatever you do not know or whatever you want to know, you can go to a library and pick a book, read and get more knowledge. Especially for us who are growing old and are leaders, we need a lot of knowledge to educate the people that we lead. We should be more informed than those that we lead, so that we can teach them many of the things that they do not know. It is also a good thing to keep the youth busy in libraries reading and getting knowledge. Nowadays you find them in market centres doing a lot of nothing. If there are libraries nearby, The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
they can pick a few books and read for themselves and keep themselves busy. They can then forget about the laziness that some have put themselves in. I have seen a lot of interest amongst the youth who use their phones and laptops at the ICT centres to read, apply for jobs and sit for exams. We should have libraries for non-school going persons rather than what we have in schools that are not accessible to them. A library that will be open for all would encourage people to read and make them happy and busy. In conclusion, I support the Bill. If it is not possible to build libraries in all the constituencies, we should at least have one at each county headquarters. Once that is done, interest can be created and other libraries can be built in the constituencies. The NG-CDF should be given a leeway to build libraries in some of the multipurpose centres, so that we can keep our people informed, our young people busy and, the old people knowledgeable. We can also create employment because we have too many librarians, as alluded to by my colleagues, that do not have jobs. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to ask the Government to set aside funds for construction of libraries in the country. As Members of Parliament, we should make use of our library here and other libraries in Nairobi. I went to the library the other day and found a very nice book that I was looking for and realised that we have neglected very many books that are lying idle in libraries that we can make use of. With those few remarks, I support.
Let us now hear Hon. Koske, the Member for Chepalungu.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Bill because libraries play a fundamental role in the society. Libraries are a gateway to knowledge and culture. Libraries are synonymous with education because they offer countless learning opportunities that can fuel the economy. They also help to preserve cultural heritage and as Mahatma Gandhi said; “No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive”. Distance learning students can access information through the libraries because they might not have time to go to school fully, and if it is working class, they can visit libraries when they are not working. Libraries also make education equal to all. Once they are equipped, they will help students from humble backgrounds to access books that they could otherwise not afford to buy. The PWDs can also access quite a number of skills because they can access books and teaching aids in libraries. With the advancement in technology, it is very possible to equip libraries with computers and selected information can be installed depending on areas or fields of studies by individuals. Libraries support research through journals, research reports and other publications and this is very important for students at higher levels of education. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to contribute. I support the Bill.
Hon. Kibiwott Melly, Member for Tinderet.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Bill and laud the proponent, Hon. Duale for this important Bill. It seeks to operationalise the 2010 Constitution on issues of knowledge through libraries as repositories.
Across the world, including Kenya, we are at the age of information and knowledge is The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
supposed to be disseminated in various forms. If you look at a number of countries, you will find that we have different kinds of libraries. Libraries disseminate historical information such as origins of societies and origins of man and all species in the planet. Libraries update the current generations about their origin. You will note that cultural libraries that are famous in China, USA and various parts of the world assist the current generation to learn from what the earlier generations did. If you look at the various presidential libraries in the US, each leader, starting from the reigns of President Truman, Eisenhower and others have had good presidential libraries that act as repositories for what they did while in office. This enables the current leaders and generation to learn from them on how they handled particular crises and issues that affected them. This Bill will not only help us to get knowledge, but to learn and get information on what has been ongoing in our societies. We can get a lot of information from libraries. A number of innovations and inventions have been done as a result of online journals and inventors have got a lot of information through the library system. As we talk about the old culture of reading books and magazines, there is a lot of information on audio libraries. You have alluded to our national library in Upper Hill, which will assist individuals who do not have money to access online library system to get information for their own use. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, as a country, there are certain things that we must consider. As we establish libraries across the country, they should not be idling centres. I believe the establishment of libraries will change the thinking, behaviour and the reading culture of our society. Our reading culture as a country is very low and very few people, even within our set up, read. If we establish the National Library Services across the counties, people around markets and small towns in our constituencies will know the importance of reading and gaining information. Some individuals in the villages cannot read. They can avail audio information, for example, on the Bible and the Quran to them. Those who cannot read can get information through the Braille system. This is an important Bill. Let the Government invest in it. If the Government is going to put a lot of resources in it, it will enable young people who have no resources to come up with new innovations. A number of young Kenyans, especially the innovators, have developed their innovations through university libraries. I remember the young Kenyans who developed the M- PESA money transfer system. That was a product of young students. So, I am requesting, as much as we are talking about spreading those library systems, let us make sure that we put a lot of money in it so that, at the end of the day, we have enough of those services across the constituencies and villages to enable this country move forward. In as much as we want to put up libraries across the country, let us also plan to have national museums besides them so that they also serve as centres of knowledge and information. I support.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I would like to add my voice to what hon. Members have said concerning libraries. Before I speak on the importance of this Bill, let me first talk about the Kenya National Library Service. Our taxes maintain that institution. In Turkana County, we have six sub-counties. None of them has a library that is established by the Kenya National Library Service (KNLS). I would like to take this opportunity to alert the KNLS that there is a county called Turkana that needs its services because people there also pay taxes. Also, I want the KNLS to know that we have pastoralists in this country that need their services. The KNLS needs to have mobile libraries to move with The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
pastoralists’ students, so that they can get the benefit of having KNLS in the country. Now that I have mentioned that, I hope it will reach to the people concerned. Let me talk about the importance of having libraries in every county. Hon. Speaker, knowledge is power. There is an hon. Member who has said that there was a child who was asked who is President of the Republic of Kenya and he replied that it is Hon. William Samoei Ruto, and we all laughed. Actually, that is what is in some people’s minds. Some people do not know some things. When we have such kinds of facilities, students can know who the President and the Deputy President are. Members have talked about research. Scholars in Turkana County travel to Eldoret to seek library services to do their research. If we can have this service in Turkana County, many of our scholars will enjoy the service and cut the costs of travelling to Eldoret to do research. On mass media; it is an important tool that can be used by our children. It can also be a bad tool. For a child to communicate to other students outside there, they must have those services close to them. They will be familiar with the outside world through communicating with students outside this country. The KNLS needs to put into consideration the content that they will put in those libraries. I was privileged to travel to China. When we went to their institutions, we found that they had put information on their culture in all their computers. The information is on their history, culture and leaders. If we want our children to know their culture, the KNLS must put every tribes’ history, culture and beliefs in those libraries, so that a child, for example, can know a Turkana person, the culture of the Maasai, Pokot and other tribes. Some of our children are born in town and they do not know our cultures. If we have libraries in counties, our children will learn about other cultures before they join universities. On discussions and sharing of information, libraries are important. During studies, students can have time to meet, discuss and share information. This will help them to learn from other students. It will encourage discussions and sharing of information. They will grow up knowing things. The issue of promoting a reading culture in this country has been repeated by many Members. For Christians, if you want to know they are reading the Bible, put something in the Bible and ask them to go and read. They will not read and they will not get what you put in the Bible. It is my prayer that those services will encourage our students to read. If we expose them to a reading culture by bringing libraries near them, it will make them knowledgeable. I agree with the people who have said that, sometimes, YouTube pumps information to children without them working hard for it. During our school days, we went physically to look for a book on a particular subject, so that you could read it yourself. We would get so many books and place them on the table so that we would go through them. YouTube pumps information and that makes our students lazy. I support the Bill and encourage the KNLS to set up a library in Turkana County. Thank you.
That is a good contribution, Member for Turkana South. I still read the physical books. I prefer them to the digital ones. Let us have Hon. Manje, Member for Kajiado North.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this Bill. I support the Kenya National Library Service Bill (National Assembly Bill No.5 of 2020), which is repealing the Kenya National Library Service Board Act (Cap. 225). The Bill has come up at a time when KNLS is a body corporate that manages library services in the country. There comes a time when a country has to be developed by creating The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
a reading culture and acquiring information. That is why we have this Bill that will give a legal framework to realise that. It is very important that the Bill establishes a national body that has been given the mandate to collect and store information in the country, such that if you want to refer to any information, you can walk into that library and get the information. Compliance and reading materials in our schools should be controlled by the library. It will also promote research. If you want to do any type of research, you can go to a library. More important is the storage of biographies, periodicals and any other information that is relevant, especially on culture and how the country is evolving. This Bill has also structured how the libraries will be funded by Parliament through levies collected and royalties. So, it is a good Bill. It is also important to note that the Bill gives institutions the opportunity to become members of the library. For example, county governments can become members. If there is a constituency with a library, they can become a member of the Kenya National Library Service and collaborate to make sure that those institutions are rich. But the Bill should have covered emerging issues. There is a lot of information in the media, which I think we should find a way of safeguarding. If it is a crime, it should be punishable. The Bill should also give guidance to the drifting nature of Kenyan languages towards Sheng and other languages that are not very clear. I can also give some advice. The trend now is towards small libraries. You do not have to create a very big library like the Congress Library in Washington, DC, the biggest library in the world. The trend now is towards virtual libraries. You can store a book in a small disc. You can get e-books and e-materials. There are periodicals that are circulated in the media. So, instead of creating a large library, we should be aware of the trends. We should also encourage big personalities, especially the retired presidents of this country, to establish libraries. What they do in the United States of America is that when a president retires, he creates a library where he stores good information about what he did when he was the president, the culture and what was going on when he was ruling. If you go to the USA, you will find every retired president is associated with a library. I support the Bill.
Hon. Baya Yaa, Member for Kilifi North.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity. The knowledge economy is one of those economies that have continued to do well and have not let down the library system. The KNLS is not just a library; it is a system. It is a system that has physical libraries, digital libraries and mobile libraries. It stores a lot of information. The library system in many other countries is an economy on its own that helps to create very many jobs. Within that system, a lot of innovations and knowledge are created and generated. This helps a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow. Many countries have developed this way. Many states in the USA have a library system that contributes to the GDP of the country. So, for us, as a country, to invest in the KNLS and make it a system, we will create jobs, new knowledge and we will be able to store the knowledge and move the country forward. If we ask ourselves how the Asian tigers left this country behind in terms of development, one of the responses we will easily get is that it is because of knowledge and education. Those countries invested more in knowledge and education than we probably did. Therefore, they were able to make the big leap in development while this country stayed behind. An investment in a library is an investment in education. Any investment in education has very high returns. If you The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
look at the Smithsonian studies, you will find that the USA made a big leap in economy just because of education. When they conducted studies, they realised that the only difference between them and other countries was because they had invested a lot in education and, therefore, they were able to develop the country faster. So, a library service provides an opportunity for knowledge to be taken to every part of this country. If the KNLS is encouraged, through this Bill, to invest in the arts and sciences, then many children will be able to get knowledge and do very well. I am a good beneficiary of the library system. I went to a primary school where there were no books. There was nothing to read. The KNLS had a mobile library that came to our school once in a week, and we borrowed four to five books to read. We would return the books the next week and borrow others. That service helped a lot of people in my cohort. In every neighbouring school, the mobile library would stop by and drop books. This helped many children, because we were in a poor set up. Because of KNLS, we were able to get books that we would not have got anywhere else. So when I see their building in Upper Hill, I remember that it is what made me who I am in many ways. Many children now miss that. There are places, like in Turkana, where children have never read a story book. They have never seen science fiction or those many series that are available. If the KNLS sets pitch there, you will see a whole world of difference in terms of education competencies and outcomes. A library is also a repository of knowledge. Many of our universities are unable to be repositories of knowledge and research because they do not have the system enabled. I am a member of several libraries where I can access papers and information. That is what we need. There is a lot of research that has been done in this country on our culture, science and a lot of other things, but there is nowhere to store them. You store them physically and after one year, they have all been ripped apart by rats and other animals. If we have a proper library system with a proper national repository, we will be able to retrieve a lot of information that can be useful. A lot of research is done in our universities, but it does not help many people because it is not available. We are unable to access knowledge. A library repository will help you to get information about certain things in this country. Sometimes, you get information about this country in another country. When you look for the same information in Kenya, you will not find it. If you go to libraries in other universities, like the Pennsylvania State University, you will find the information there because they have a good repository system which helps to store knowledge for many years. I would encourage the KNLS to develop a national repository so that we are able to access all the researches that have been done in this country. That brings me to innovation. This country has lagged behind in innovation. We have seen a little bit of innovation during the COVID-19 time and young people’s minds have been activated and they have produced many things. However, with libraries, people go there to seek knowledge and look for information. They are able to use that information and knowledge to transform it into an innovative idea that can help this country to move forward. Therefore, for me, using this law that we want to pass in this House to reform the Kenya National Library System and services and ensure that they are accessible, is one big step towards a rejuvenated knowledge economy. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to add that libraries help to spur scholarship. You know there are many people who want to invest in education. They want to become scholars. However, the absence of libraries makes it very difficult to develop sharp and content-based scholars in this country. We have many scholars. I have seen scholars in this country that have used Google to write many of their papers. However, it is also said - and a very popular saying - that “Go to Google you will get a thousand answers to the same question but go to the library and you will get the right answer.” You will get the right answer in the library. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Therefore, we have Google scholars in this country. They only go to Google, look for information, copy paste here and there you know and it cannot pass plagiarism tests. This is because they only go to the internet. However, a proper library will actually help us get the right information in terms of literature review and all that and, therefore, help this country. This is so that our research in this country can be respected worldwide. You know you can produce a lot of research, but it cannot be respected because it cannot pass the test of plagiarism. This is because you only go to the internet and get information. However, a good library will ground our research and make it world known research. In addition, we can be able to publish in world renowned journals that will give our country... When they rank universities in this world, the only university that you will see in Kenya at probably number 800 is the University of Nairobi. The other young universities that we have in this country cannot get there. This is because they do not have libraries to ground their research. Somebody does literature review - I have seen this one because I used to supervise – but the literature review that you see with those students is the one that you see with 20 other students. They have only read one text. They have not read more than five, six or seven texts. Moreover, you will see that if you look at the list of bibliographies, you will see it is the same authors that they have all highlighted. That tells you that there is lack of adequate library materials. Therefore, even our universities need the help of the Kenya National Library Service to ensure that we have books and information that can help produce good quality research and publications and thesis that can not only be read here in Kenya but that, you can go to Europe and have somebody in Cambridge quoting or getting information from a thesis that has been published in Kenya. Therefore, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this law is good. We need to encourage it so that we can develop the education system. This country is implementing the CBC. The Competence Based Curriculum that does not have research repository will not help this country.
You will have one more minute. Go on.
Are you done? No! If you are done it is well. If you are done, there are others who are waiting. Thank you. You have done a very good presentation and I have enjoyed your presentation. Next is Hon. Yussuf Halima.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Let me also rise to support the Kenya National Library Service Bill (2020). A lot has been said. However, I also want to add my voice and say that the establishment of libraries across the country will help our youths to access information. As one speaker has said here, knowledge is power. It is true knowledge is power. I remember when I was growing up as a young girl; there was a library near my school. We used to visit the library. However, those days we used to pay some registration fee. I hope this time round the services will be free because that will enable many people to access them.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, this is a good Bill because, down in the counties, more people will be employed and empowered. There shall be more development because establishing libraries means more devolved funds. So, I appreciate Hon. Duale, the author of this Bill. It is a The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
good one as it will enable our youth to get occupied instead of wasting time on drugs and alcohol. They will have more time to study and be more useful. The libraries that we have at the grassroots are very old and analogue. We used them when we were growing up. So, I hope this will happen sooner than we expect. It is an idea that is long overdue. I support and thank you for the chance.
Let us have the Hon. Ochanda.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Having been to school, I cannot fault anything to do with a library. However, this is one area where a lot needs to be done at the moment. If we do things the very old way on how library services have been run, then we are headed to a direction that might not be very helpful in the country. First, libraries were more useful when we used to associate them with having a place or a center where students would go and read or a place where people would go and pick information. This has changed over time and if we really want to understand, we must check. Now that we have libraries in schools, there is a proper target because students are there. They have time to be in those libraries and they get what they are looking for. In fact, it is mostly not easy to get a student looking for any other manner of information. They would go for their content, look at what could be brought in exams based on the subjects they were doing in the schools and that were it. After they are done with the schools at whatever level, they had nothing to do with the library. This is the most painful thing and so, if we still want to go the old way of doing things by constructing libraries everywhere in every county, then something needs to be checked in terms of whom we are targeting with those libraries. I do not think the target is any more students. It must be somebody else, either who has finished school or is looking for information. Can we define that target that we are doing the library for? Otherwise, the libraries are going to be empty. They will not be offering any service that is useful. What is it that we will store there? What is this that will be pulling people to them? What would, for example, attract me into a library in Bondo as I come from my village which is about 40 kilometers away? What would be the drive? The Kenya National Library Services (KNLS) must get that drive defined and must get it right. Otherwise, as we do this, we will be talking of services; we will be using resources and they will not be used the way they should. It is very clear in schools but not outside there. It lacks clarity. In churches or mosques, people are very obedient and faithful. They go and study their holy books even once in a week. Who are we targeting with those libraries? That takes me to where I am trying to bring in some suggestions that the library boards must now be very clear in terms of what they want. Are we able to cross-match library services with other services offered by the Government or merge them with archives, museums and Huduma Centres? If we did this, then the direction we are taking about libraries will make a lot more sense. This is because one will not be going there according to the idea we have. Anybody who has been to school in this country knows very well that, if you are looking for proper information, you will not go to a public library because you will not get it. If that is still what we want to do, then we must reorganise this and check it again.
We should be clear with what we are stocking and the target. Who wants to go when we are doing this, for example, in agricultural training centres? Can we go to agricultural areas where people will be tempted to go for information on how to do their agricultural business and work? The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
This will drive them to the library. Are we able to look at those libraries in that direction, where they will offer more relevant and clear information?
This is because, in my view, students in many places no longer go to the libraries because they do not stock what they do in school. So, they go to those that stock. Initially, libraries made a lot of sense because books and publications were nowhere you could hardly get them. So, libraries were offering this in a manner that made sense then. But moving forward, I do not think this will be the direction. This is because there are many other places with books. People are able to buy them from bookshops and get information from different alternative sources.
If that is happening and it is working, then why do we want to put more resources in building more libraries? In my view, the issue of somebody who has gone to school is vital and critical. But the direction we are taking our libraries and library services must be rejected, if they are going to be useful. The suggestion is we must get a way of interlocking some of those quiet services that are closer to libraries like the archives. Nobody knows what happens, but every library should have a very serious archival section where you can go for purposes of searching.
If one was to look for a book we were doing in school, we would go for Practical English by Ogundipe or a good population of books that we had at that particular time, even if not for reading. But for showing the kind of books we read in the first system where primary ended in Class VIII. We did Kenya African Primary Education (KAPE) before the system was changed. For purposes of showing what was happening with the education system, those were the kind of books. We may get more of them in the archives and not the libraries.
So, if we encourage library services in this direction to stock things that are more related to archives, they will drive people. People go to museums because there are certain things they want to see like history or cultural things. In my view, if we stocked all those together with the library services, then this is when the library will make a lot of sense. Things must change. We must redefine who wants to use the library. I do not think the library services know who their target is.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Practical English by?
Yes, I remember this one. Thank you. I think you are on point. Hon. Mwirigi Paul, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Kenya National Library Service Bill which will be helpful once it is passed and enacted. Most libraries are not operational because of lack of proper management.
This Bill will help improve the operation of libraries in the counties and sub-county levels. It will promote digital learning or e-learning whereby you can access any material from the library at your comfort area. Also, it will help enrich the knowledge of our fellow young people. They can study the culture of a certain community, or the communication skills which were used then. The current generation is not able to understand the culture of some tribes and what was happening then because many have not been updated. However, when the Kenya National Library Service will be in operation, it will enable the comeback of that information so that, at least, the current generation can learn from it.
Also, when all libraries will start operation, many of the young people from school will have somewhere to go and do their studies. Currently, not many families are able to buy computers or smart phones for their students who are in universities. When we will have operational libraries The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposesonly. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
within the county level, at least, many young people will get updated and also enrich their knowledge with the current things and what they are studying at universities. The revival of the libraries will also help to increase the number of employment opportunities for the people at the grassroots, cognizant of the fact that, many of the Kenyan young people are not employed. When they are operational, those libraries will be a source of employment for the people who have already concluded their studies.
As I said earlier, there are some cultures which were being practiced but, currently, they are nowhere to be found. This service will help to equip those libraries with all those materials so that the people who go to libraries can be updated or can have the information. Through a partnership with county governments, we will see many libraries coming up at the county level. So, it is a good Bill which is supposed to be supported and passed. When this Bill is passed, it is also good that it is operationalised so that, at least, those libraries can start working. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Members, 44 of you have spoken to this Bill so far and there is still interest in it. I see Hon. Mboko Mishi, Member for Likoni; Hon. Gaal Bashane, Member for Tarbaj and Hon. Njiru Muchangi are still here with interest to speak to the Bill. You will have opportunity to speak to it next time it is set down for consideration. Hon. Ochanda and Hon. Bunyasi will, of course, get an opportunity too. Hon. Bunyasi has been here with us. I am sure that the Member for Nambale had very interesting things to say about how we want to do our library system in this country. Hon. Ochanda, I thank you for reminding me about the book titled Practical English, by the great Ogundipe.
Hon. Members, the time being 9.00 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Thursday, 25th February 2021 at 10.00 a.m.
The House rose at 9.00 p.m.
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