Order, hon. Senators. We need to determine if we have a quorum.
I am informed that we do not have a quorum. Ring the Division Bell.
Order, hon. Senators! We now have a quorum. Let us proceed.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to give notice of the following Motion:- THAT, aware that the pastoralist areas account for the largest proportion of livestock production in Kenya estimated to consist of 81 percent indigenous cattle, 92 percent of sheep, 93 percent of goats, and 99 percent of camels; further aware that livestock is the economic mainstay and source of livelihood for the populations in these areas; noting that it has potential to reduce unemployment especially among the youth by supporting livestock based industries; concerned that this economic potential in production remains untapped while the areas continue to lag behind other parts of the country in development; cognizant of the renewed Government commitment to transform livestock production; recognizing that livestock products enjoy an insatiable market both locally The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, as indicated, this Motion has a balance of one hour and 20 minutes. The last contributor to this Motion was Sen. Beth Mugo who concluded her contribution. Do I take it that there are no other contributors? Sen. Murkomen, you have not given to the Chair strong indication that you want to contribute. This is the only chance. If you do not make use it, there may not be another one. You had better make use of this one. For avoidance of doubt, proceed, Sen. Murkomen Kipchumba.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to make a few remarks in as far as this Motion is concerned. First, I would like to congratulate my colleague and our Chief Whip, Sen. Elachi, for thinking through this. It is important to note that the Jubilee Government has always made an emphasis that the youth should be given opportunities in terms of employment and business, so that we, as a nation, can prosper. We know that the current demographics of the country The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to contribute to support of this Motion. This Motion is crucial to the country’s development. It is also an inspiration to students in this country who complete Form Four and move out and wander around, not knowing what to do. Every year, we have a tune of about 400,000 students who complete Form Four education. About 20,000 of these students end up in universities. This means that the rest of the number, more than 300,000 of them, is out there not knowing what to do. Therefore, if this Motion is passed, it will be an avenue of helping many youth move to the NYS and get trained to acquire skills that are necessary for industrial development in our country. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we note that skilled manpower is lacking in many areas. When we have to develop some projects, the semi skilled manpower is a very important requirement. We have not been able to train our population in certain skills which can only be acquired at the NYS. It is important for us to also consider the people who will train those admitted to the NYS. We need to be careful on how skills will be imparted. We need to get the correct way of training the trainers so that they are not seen like the military type. They should be seen as having a scholarly attitude so that they do not scare away the youth. In the past, the NYS was dreaded by the youth as a den of committing the youth to hard labour. We need to develop a curriculum on who will be trained. The trainers should be experienced graduates who can teach in high schools and universities. The students who leave the NYS should not be seen as people who have just acquired manual skills. In the past, recruits of the NYS were trained on how to construct roads, bridges and so on. Anybody can construct roads. It does not require a lot of knowledge to do this. However, if we can include some engineering, electrical or mechanical aspects, this will attract the youth. After this, it can be a requirement that any employer willing to employ should, first of all, employ a graduate of the NYS. If this is a commitment by all employers in our country and more so the Government, this will attract serious people and we will have a good labour data bank which can be used in developing many projects. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have had a chance of visiting Malaysia with a committee in 2004 and what we saw there was wonderful. The capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, was designed by students. They were the ones who decided the kind of roads and bridges to be erected. They design and come up with very good architectural work which is then used by the Government. The students are given a chance to evaluate their skills. These are the skills that generate very good projects which are enviable. If we can do the same in Kenya, where the students who come from the NYS acquire skills, especially specialised skills, this can develop our country. We will end up not using a lot of money hiring foreign labour. That is one area where the Government uses a lot of money. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very crucial Motion brought by my friend, Sen. Elachi. I support this Motion by saying that time has come for our youth to be engaged in very constructive work. By devolving or creating outlets to counties, the youth will have meaningful work. For example, in my county of Nyamira, there is ongoing construction of Ikonge-Chabera Road. It is surprising that the youth of that area are not engaged because they may not have actual skills. If we had an outlet where there were skilled youth, they would be absorbed in this kind of work. More often than not, we have experienced many disasters in this country, be they fire or road accidents. It takes quite a long time to get rescuers to disaster areas. If we had NYS outlets, lives can be saved. This Motion needs to be supported. We should move all the necessary amendments so that we capture the concept of devolving units to all counties. Recently, I was with some graduates from one of the local universities who had studied marine studies. They went through the in-service training at the NYS. In fact, they graduated the other day after they got the physical fitness training, after what they had acquired in class. That was splendid. I support this Motion so that we move on in this direction. Mr. Speaker, Sir, Cuba has made it mandatory for the youth, from the ages of 15 to 25, to go for in-service training. In those countries, calamities are arrested promptly because there are people who are on standby. When some of us were attending the inauguration ceremony of His Excellency the President, we were driven in buses which are from China. The NYS officers were on board to drive some of us. It is appropriate if these kinds of outlets are set up in counties so that the youth can get employed in hospitals and in road construction. I heard my colleague, Sen. Mwalimu Karaba, say that anybody can do construction of roads. Not anybody can be involved in construction of roads. It is only those who are trained in some specific areas like doing culverts and other areas which require expertise. For some of us who had an opportunity to have some basic training at NYS, even if we were pursuing an academic line, it also assisted us in various areas such as endurance. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. I also want to thank the Secretary General of the “Bus” Party, who is our Chief Whip, for bringing this critical Motion to this House. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Motion reads: - “THAT, aware that unemployment is one of the major causes of insecurity and moral decadence in this country; noting with concern that the youth, who are the backbone of our society, are the most affected and that as a result many of them have become disillusioned and hopeless; noting further that assisting the youth to access employment would contribute towards the attainment of economic and social rights enshrined in Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya; aware that Section 13 of the National Youth Service Act, Cap 208, Laws of Kenya, vests power in the Minister responsible for the Service to divide the Service into branches, units and sub-units from time to time; the Senate urges the National Government to take measures to establish National Youth Service outlets in all Counties where the youth who have completed secondary level of education and who may wish to enroll for courses offered by the Service could enroll and acquire necessary skills and further that graduates from the Service be given the first priority whenever the two levels of government recruit, in areas where the graduates are qualified to serve.” Mr. Speaker, Sir, one of the greatest challenges that we are facing in all our counties, without any exception, is in the area of youth poverty, unemployment and hopelessness. I have been involved with the youth since I came to Parliament, way back in 1992, when we formed the South Imenti Youth Development Programme and tried to see what we could do to uplift the rural youth in our constituencies. This is a very difficult problem with no easy solutions, because there is no Government which will come in Kenya and be able to provide jobs for all the youths. Right now, in fact, every Member of Parliament will tell you that the biggest challenge that we have is unemployment. In every home that you will visit today, you will be given curriculum vitae (CV) and told: - “So-and-so has got this and that skill, be it “O” Level, degree, et cetera.” The problem is big. We are not creating jobs at the same pace as the way people are graduating from universities. Universities, secondary schools and primary schools have mushroomed, but job opportunities have not. It is for us to be very innovative otherwise, we are going to create a very hopeless and dangerous society where people cannot survive. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think that the focus that we had of the National Youth Service (NYS), where we targeted university undergraduates, was wrong. This is because the undergraduates took it as punishment and many of them ran away from Naivasha. We have very many other youth who really need this service. There are those who get a mean The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, Sir. This country has had a tragedy of dealing with the youth, for which it has not planned in terms of activities and what is expected of them. It is a large group of people, 15 to 35 years old, who are so troubled by various factors. Mr. Speaker, Sir, one of the things that are troubling the youth right now, really stems from the family, which is the primary unit that raises any youngster in this country. Many youth come from broken families and are exposed to drunkenness, drug abuse and lack of self-esteem. Many youth in this country are crying for help. The situation is made worse by an educational system that is very formal rather than informal in certain aspects. It has been stated that, especially in terms of technical skills and considering our Vision 2030 and actually ensuring that manufacturing and agriculture become key sectors, these have been ignored in the educational sectors. That is why Sen. Kiraitu said that at the end of the day, there are all sorts of courses that are being offered. Remember that education expansion has been a good thing. Right from Independence up to now, the level of expansion at primary, secondary and university has really increased over time, both in terms of access to, participation in education and attainment for that specific education that students are taken through. Unfortunately, at each of these levels of transition, very little is done to ensure that, that resource is turned into useful labour activities. So, at the end of it all, we expect students to have gone through university. Remember now that the universities have got both what we refer to as Module I and Module II programmes, that means an expanded set of students who are acquiring skills that they are not really about to translate, to make sure that they get into self-employment. Mr. Speaker, Sir, this country has killed innovation among our young people. There is a story of a young man from Kitengela, who has caught the eye of somebody called Ted Turner, who is the owner of CNN. This young man discovered that by just having lights, you can actually detract lions. Since he had passion to ensure that he The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Asante sana, Bw. Spika, kwa kunipatia nafasi hii ili niweze kuunga Hoja hii mkono. Kwanza kabisa, namshukuru Sen. Elachi kwa kuleta Hoja hii hapa. Pili, ningependa kuchangia kwa kusema kwamba kwa kweli tumewakumbuka vijana, haswa walemavu. Kwa upande wa walemavu, unapata ya kwamba sisi hatuna shule ambayo inawafunza vijana. Kwa hivyo, yatakikana vijana wawe waangalifu na wafanye zile kazi wanazopewa. Ningependa pia kuomba kuwa Serikali inapoajiri, iajiri vijana na ikumbuke walemavu kwa sababu vijana walemavu wako na nafasi chache zaidi. Tukiangalia haswa wakati askari wanapoajiriwa, vijana walemavu hawawezi kufanya kazi ya uaskari. Kwa hivyo, tunafaa kuwaangalia kwa upande huo pia. Nashukuru Serikali kwa kutukumbuka sisi vijana ili nasi pia tuweze kupata kazi. Kwa hayo machache, naomba kuunga Hoja hii mkono. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Sen. (Prof.) Lonyangapuo.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I join my colleagues in thanking Sen. Elachi for bringing this Motion at this time when devolution is taking root here in Kenya. We are talking about youth in Kenya, and we are talking about the NYS, which was a very good avenue for churning out skilled labour; and which was funded by the Government as opposed to the polytechnics where parents and youth themselves paid fees. We read that when the NYS was established in the late 1960s, it generated and brought up well thought and well planned syllabi where skilled labourers – tailors, masons, carpenters and various other types of skilled labour that was available then, including even drivers – were trained. During those days, it was said that if you got NYS training and you were a driver, it meant that you had undergone a lot of training and that you were in safe hands; and nearly all of them would get positions at that time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the problem now arose when it looked like the NYS did not tailor and improve on the agenda that had been given to them to produce this skilled labour. It reached a time when it became a place where people would just go to as a stepping stone when they wanted to be employed as police officers, army offices and so on, because they had to go through the NYS. Why was this the case? This is because their syllabus changed from paying attention to skilled labour to training people on physical preparedness where people were trained from dawn to dusk in drills, running and so on; which was good, but that alone was not enough. Again, I think there was also a shortage of funding because the Government did not put sufficient funds in the NYS to the extent that some of the existing outlets – like Sen. Elachi proposes to have more here – were closed down. I know of one such outlet in West Pokot County which was closed down and which was very famous in the 1970s and 1980s, called Lomut NYS. The two main priority activities that were taking place there were cotton production, where they had hundreds of acres; and, number two, they were also keeping a very good breed of animals on top of the other courses that they were offering. I am also told that other NYS outlets closed down to the extent that we now only have the Gilgil outlet – which is not very feasible – and the one in Nairobi. The only time that I encountered the existence of the NYS was about three years ago in 2010, when the Government was rolling out the irrigation scheme in Hola, and the NYS officers were brought in to do farming there. Their work was very brilliant; they cleared the bushes, prepared the canals and this is what they are supposed to do. Today, they still recruit them but we do not know what they do in the stations where they are taken to. Mr. Speaker, Sir, we expected that after they have been trained for one or two months, they are now supposed to go and work in the relevant field on attachments, like in the road works. You will remember that, two years ago, we had a programme called
and it was just manual work. We expected that this type of money would be taken to the NYS so that it can help them. I saw that a lot of donations, like buses from China, were given to the NYS, but we do not know what they do there. Mr. Speaker, Sir, I support this Motion by saying that every county should have an NYS outlet; they can even call it “County Youth Service” if they want. The youth The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Bw. Spika, nashukuru kwa nafasi hii ili niweze kuongea juu ya Hoja hii. Sen. Elachi, ametukumbusha kwamba Kipengele cha 43 cha Katiba yetu kinawapa nafasi vijana wapewe haki yao kiuchumi katika hali ya maisha. Pia Sura ya 13 ya Sheria za Kenya, Kipengele cha Sheria 208, kinampa Waziri anayehusika uwezo wa kujenga vituo hivi vya jeshi la vijana wa Kenya popote anapotaka. Yeye anaomba kwamba jeshi hili litawanywe na kuwekwa kwa kila jimbo nchini. Sio kwamba tunahitaji sheria mpya, kwa sababu sheria ipo na sio kwamba tunahitaji mamlaka mapya kwa sababu yapo, bali ni kumpa wasia Waziri anayehusika kwamba yuko na uwezo na ataanza kusambaza haki ya huduma hii kwa vijana wetu. Jeshi la vijana wa Kenya limeandaliwa hapa nchini kwa miaka mingi, likatumika vile na vile lakini nakumbuka kwenye mwaka wa 2004, jeshi hili lilitumika kwa kukusanya vijana ambao wanaranda randa mjini Nairobi na miji mingine. Walipelekwa The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this Motion and I want to congratulate Sen. Elachi for bringing it. I want to support the Motion because of the following reasons:- The programme will build the capacity of our youths because this is a stage where they will be able to decide which way to go in life. It is a stage that will also take into consideration the issue of age. At some point, youths are faced with challenges that are brought about through peer influence. This programme will support them to decide which way to go in life. It is a programme that will also prepare them to use the Youth Enterprise Development Fund adequately. We all know that youths are not very The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Bw. Spika, nakushukuru kwa kunipa fursa hii ili niweze kuunga mkono Hoja hii. Hoja hii ni ya muhimu sana. Hoja hii inaangazia matatizo ambayo yanatukumba kwa njia tofauti tofauti kutoka kaunti zetu. Maswala ya vijana ni ya kusikitisha sana. Asilimia 70 ya vijana haswa kule ninakotoka ni watu wa kurandaranda na ni watu ambao hawana kazi. Hawa ni watu ambao wamebaki nyuma kimaisha. Kwa hivyo, ni lazima Serikali iangazie swala hili na iwe na njia mwafaka inayowezesha kuleta maisha yao sawa na wengine. Bw. Spika, Kipengele cha 27 cha Katiba kinasema kwamba kila mmoja ana haki sawa na mwingine. Kwa hivyo, yule kijana ambaye hajasoma yuko na haki sawa na mwingine ambaye amesoma. Kwa hivyo, tunasema kwamba Hoja hii ni ya muhimu na yafaa Serikali itilie maanani ili tuwe na mahali pa kuhifadhi na kuwafundisha vijana hawa. Ujana ni kiungo muhimu katika maisha ya mwanadamu. Ujana ni umri ambao kila mtu anapitia na kila mmoja anajua shida ya ujana. Vijana hawa hutumika vibaya, vijana huwa shiftas na hutumiwa kuchukua ng’ombe wa wenyewe na kuuwa watu. Vijana pia hutumiwa na wanasiasa na kadhalika. Kwa hivyo, tusipowatumia vijana vizuri, basi tatizo halitatoka kati yetu. Kwa hivyo, ningeomba Serikali ichukulie Hoja hii kwa maanani. Kila kaunti yafaa iwe na mahali pa vijana. Yafaa tuwe na mahali pa kufundisha ama kurekebisha vijana ili kila kijana akitoka huko awe anaweza kupata elimu ambayo inaweza kumnufaisha usoni. Kwa hivyo, ninaunga Hoja hii na kusema kwamba ninashukuru mwenye kuileta. Aliweza kukumbuka kwamba vijana ni muhimu na ni hatari. Tusiseme kwamba kijana ni yule wa Darasa la Nane bali kijana yeyote wa Kenya. Kuna wengine huwa wanaitwa chokora na ndio wanaleta matatizo. Wale ambao wanaleta matatizo ni wale ambao wamekosa nafasi huko mbele; wale ambao wazazi wao walikosa kuwapeleka shuleni. Kwa hivyo, wale ambao wamepata fursa ya kupata rasli mali Kenya hii ni wale ambao wazazi wao waliweza kusoma na kufanya biashara. Jana katika magazeti, kuna picha za vijana; zilikuwa zimewekwa kwa gazeti kwamba wamepotea na wanatafuta wazazi wao. Vijana kama hao hawawezi kujua wazazi wao. Kwa hivyo, kuna matatizo huko mbele kwa sababu tusipowaangalia vijana hawa, wazungu wanasema, spare the rod and spoil the child . Mtoto asipolelewa vizuri hatakuwa mzuri. Juzi nilisikia kwamba Al Shabaab wananyemelea Kenya na kuchukua vijana. Kwa hivyo, tutakuja kupata Amerika imewachukua vijana wetu. Pia, vijana The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Sen. Melly, it is your turn. I must, however, point out to you that you have only five minutes. The Mover must reply in the next five minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this chance to make my contribution on this Motion that concerns the young people of this country. First, the youth of this country continue to suffer. That is why we talk about insecurity in this country. Previous Governments have allocated money to issues regarding security. You will hear the Government say that it wants to purchase 200 vehicles for the police. The Government may also say that it will employ a number of policemen to take care of the security of this country. If young people were empowered and earned some income as we do, issues of insecurity would be long gone. Secondly, I do not know whether the previous Governments have been serious in dealing with issues of unemployment. The retirement age used to be 55. However, the Government moved this to 60 years. There are a number of young people with new ideas and information who should have been employed by now. This country can be transformed by bringing new ideas and policies on how to deal with unemployment and other things. However, young people are not being given that chance. We increased the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you Mr. Deputy Speaker. I will donate some of my time and remain with only two minutes. I will give Sen. Hassan Omar two minutes, Sen. Wako, three minutes; Sen. Lesan, one minute; Sen. Nobwola, one minute; and, Sen. Lesuuda one minute.
Bw. Naibu Spika, leo nimeambiwa na mwenzangu, Sen. Elachi, kwamba tangu tuje katika Bunge hili, hatujazungumza katika Lugha ya Kiswahili. Msije mkaona kwamba hatuijui. Pili, ningependa kuhimiza tuunge mkono Hoja hii kwa sababu ya kipengele kimoja tu. Katiba yetu ya Kenya imeangazia maswala ya vijana katika kipengele cha 55. Hakuna jambo ambalo tunafanya katika taifa letu ambalo haliendi sambamba na katiba yetu. Kwa hivyo, ningependa kumuunga mkono zaidi. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank Sen. Elachi for giving me three minutes. A lot has been said relating to the fact that this programme will give our youth skills. It is true that the NYS will give our youth skills because it has been shown that 75 per cent of the unemployed people are the youth. However, 94 per cent of these youth do not seek to be self reliant. They seek employment and hence bring about unemployment. I just want to emphasise something that is not connected to skills. This is something that is very critical if we have to develop. This is character. You may have the skills, you may be brilliant but if you do not have a good character or uphold some values; if you do not subscribe to the values enshrined in our Constitution, you will get nowhere. The NYSs all over the world have been used to mould character that would give credit to the skills that one has received. I remember in Tanzania when universities went on strike, they said that the days of colonialism were better than the days after Independence. President Nyerere took these young people to the NYS to re-educate them on the values of Independence. The same thing happened in Nigeria. We also have village polytechnics and other institutions like technical schools but the value of the NYS is that it also equips the youth with the necessary values that they require. Other than the NYS, as per the circular that came out in 2007, the training must be such that it trains the youth holistically in all aspects. If you train these people holistically and they apply their minds to the training, they will end up obtaining their objectives. Without these characteristics, we will get nowhere. I want to emphasise that I support this Motion not only for the reasons given but also due to the fact that the NYS is where the characters of the youth can be moulded for the good of the counties and the development of this country. I support. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for the opportunity to make my contribution to this Motion. I wish to thank Sen. Elachi for bringing the Motion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I just want to mention a few things regarding the provision of skills to our youth. I think that this is a very important thing, that we have ignored for a long time or approached wrongly. In 1983, the youth of this country who were to join the university were taken to the National Youth Service (NYS), but the approach was punitive. Therefore, the ideology of going to the NYS in this country is negative, because of the negativity that was associated with it. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the creation of skills among our youth is a very important thing. This is because there are so many skills within our youth that we have not exposed. Even the seat that you are sitting on there was made by a skilled individual, but in difficult circumstances. We have tried to create skills through the wrong means. The NYS is punitive and the other skills are developed in the prisons. The seats in the The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I support the Motion.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to support this very important Motion and congratulate Sen. Elachi for bringing it to the Floor of the House. This is because it addresses the problem of limited access to training opportunities as well as unemployment. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the NYS was very useful in the development of the national values, particularly discipline and morality, although at one stage, this was killed for one reason or the other. But considering that the problem of the youth and unemployment is rising, I support this training because the Government has released money for the youth enterprise development. But most of our youth do not know what to do with the money if they were given free loans. I was out there in Trans Nzoia where I talked to a few youth. They lack the ideas because they do not have the skills. So, this Motion has come at the right time because it is going to train our youths, so that the Youth Enterprise Development Fund can be put to better use. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to support the Motion.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I think that as a youth, I should have had more than one minute, but let me use my one minute well and adequately. I support this Motion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we cannot overemphasize the importance of empowering our young people, especially even in issues to do with discipline and values, as a nation. I know that for sure, the NYS is one place that will, definitely, impact on our young people. I want to speak for the young people, mostly in pastoralist areas, who do not have formal education. These people are energetic and run with cows for over 300 kilometers when they go for cattle rustling. That energy can be used to build this nation. I know that during the times of the late Mzee Lenges, he took a number of these young people and they were recruited into the Army. We can tap that energy to build our roads and do very many other things. Since there is nowhere else we can take them, we should take them to the NYS where they can undergo basic education and acquire skills. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the young people should not go to a NYS centre because it is in that county. We should encourage a Samburu to go to Kakamega to know what happens there, so that we also build a cohesive nation and not just limit the youth to one county. They should also go to other counties and interact with the young people there. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we can use the NYS as a transition to other Government agencies like the Army, Administration Police (AP) and Police Service. But I have to caution that we should meet the requirements. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, finally, the Committee on Implementation needs to look into this--- The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Order, Senator! I actually think that your one minute was stretched, but it is fine. Your time is up!
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I beg to support the Motion.
Sen. Elachi, you may now take your one minute.
Bw. Naibu Spika, nakushukuru sana. Kwanza, ningependa kumwambia mwenzangu, Sen. Lesuuda, kwamba Sen. Nyongesa alichangia kwa zaidi ya dakika 25. Kwa hivyo, nafikiri kwamba alizungumza zaidi juu ya maswala ya vijana. Kwa hivyo, asiwe na huzuni sana. Bw. Naibu Spika, ningependa kuwashukuru Maseneta wote. Najua ya kwamba tutakapoendelea, nitahakikisha kwamba ninaleta Mswada kamili. Nitaomba msaada kwa Serikali ili tuipitishe Mswada huo na uwe sheria. Bw. Naibu Spika, naunga mkono Hoja hii.
Thank you, Sen. Elachi. Before I put the question, I need to make the usual ruling, under Standing Order No.69. This is a Motion that touches on counties and so, we have to go into Division. Can I put the Question?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I humbly request that pursuant to Standing Order No.51 (3), you defer the voting to tomorrow, at 3.00 p.m.
Of course, Standing Order No.51 (3) gives that authority to the Speaker, to defer the putting of the question. I will accede to your request, but believe that sooner than later, we will have to make a ruling on what “the following day” means. This is because if I remember correctly, tomorrow being Wednesday, “the following day” would mean tomorrow, morning sitting. That is my understanding, but until that vacuum is filled, I will allow your request of tomorrow afternoon for the putting of the question. But I do not want to put a very specific timing, because we do not know what will happen on the other issues. It is ordered accordingly.
Next Order! MEASURES TO PROTECT WATER SHEDS AND RIPARIAN RESOURCES
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I beg to move the following Motion:- THAT, aware that the country cannot solely depend on rain-fed agriculture to attain food security; acknowledging the importance of irrigation-based agriculture in improving food security status; recognizing that our rivers and lakes are the main sources of water for large-scale irrigation; appreciating the efforts by the National Government to put more land in counties within arid and semi-arid areas under crop production; concerned that continued encroachment through human The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I rise to second this Motion. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, you will agree that in the last few days, we have debated in this House very high quality Motions. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we all agreed that we cannot be self sufficient in food if we relied entirely on rain-fed agriculture. This is because weather patterns change and the rain does not come when it is expected. When we experience periods of drought, we are unable to produce food. Therefore, families and the whole country go hungry. As a result, we are all subjected to the indignity which arises when we are not able to feed ourselves. From that perspective, this is a very important Motion because we cannot rely on rain for the production of food and all the water we need. It is, therefore, imperative that, we, as a nation, move away from the reliance on rain. We cannot carry out agricultural activities solely based on rain water. Therefore, I want to agree with the recent initiatives by the national Government to introduce irrigation and to put large tracts of our land under irrigation for the production of food in order for us to become food self sufficient, not just for local consumption, but also for export. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we know that irrigation will be productive. So, if we go into irrigation, we will succeed for sure. We need to preserve water, rivers and lakes. It is from these rivers that we will develop dams. With dams, we can carry out irrigation and put a lot of our land under irrigation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we just saw what happened in Hola about two years ago. At that time, the then Coalition Government decided to put some land under irrigation using the National Youth Service (NYS). At the end of that experiment, we produced so much food that we did not have sufficient storage space for it. Therefore, we know, for sure, that irrigation is good because it enhances our food security. This Motion has been brought here in very good time because our rivers and all the water we are able to harvest can be used to increase food production and to enhance livestock production in this country. Unfortunately, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, we are all aware of the serious encroachment which has taken place along our rivers. We are aware that people have moved in to clear the natural vegetation along the rivers and, instead, to plant exotic trees The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Sen. Obure.
Yes, Senate Majority Leader?
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for this opportunity. I rise in support of this Motion. I think this is one of the best Motions that this Senate has had to consider because it is a Motion about the future of Kenya. I, therefore, want to take this opportunity to thank the Mover of this Motion, Sen. Zipporah Kittony, and also my friend, Sen. Chris Obure, who has seconded this Motion. We, as a country, have to confront the reality that water is a finite resource which, unless we protect it, this country is staring at a serious ecological crisis that can even have implications on its own security. In many of the places where you have seen war and conflict, there is sometimes a natural resource connection. Sometimes, it has to do with water. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Motion, therefore, comes at an important time when we are trying to use the new Constitution as a basis of relooking at our country and identifying the priorities that this country must deal with if we have to face the future as a united, prosperous and stable country. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki): Thank you, Dr. Sen. Khalwale. These are some of the few instances when Dr. Khalwale’s background can be extremely useful as a medical doctor. I appreciate.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I do not think it is helpful in any way for the Senate Majority Leader to impute an improper motive against my background. I would like that he apologizes and withdraws the unnecessary remark.
I do not know, but the only thing I would ask him to apologize for is the sequence. You are not Senator Doctor but Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir.
What is your point of order, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale?
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, are you saying that you are in agreement with the Senate Majority Leader? If, indeed, you are in agreement then may you rule that we have a session where we shall be given an opportunity to lay our resumes on the Table of this House?
Nobody has doubt on your resume, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale. However, I agree with the Senate Majority Leader that you are very useful to him in the contribution. Go on, Senate Majority Leader.
(Sen. (Prof.) Kindiki: Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I wish to withdraw the sequencing aspect with all due respect. Thank you for affirming that I was actually praising Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale’s rich background in medicine. It is only him and, perhaps, and a few others of his kind who can understand that I wanted to refer to cancer causing pollutants. The rest of my friends, including my learned friends here, I am sure were in the wilderness. So, Sen. (Dr.) Khalwale, we really appreciate you for that input. Mr. Speaker, Sir, the nexus between environmental protection, wetland protection and adequate water for irrigation cannot be over-emphasized. This is one area where we want to, not only urge the national Government to put in place effective measures to protect water sheds and other riparian resources, but also to carry out public education among our people. Most of our people think that when they are told to move far away from water bodies, the Government is punishing them. The Government does not want to benefit from the water resources nearby. I remember in the past, even during the colonial days, there were very strict rules. You could not build or cultivate up to a certain distance from a water source. Even now in our Agriculture Act, those regulations are there. I am a lawyer and I have studied legal history. I can remember the history of Kenya since time immemorial. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the short point we are making here is that we need to enforce environmental protection vehemently. We need to protect our water so that we can have adequate water which we can use to provide food for our people so that we can have an environment that protects the interest of the present generation without compromising the interest of future generations. That is what we call inter-generational equity. With those few remarks, I fully support this Motion.
Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute in support of the Motion in front of us this afternoon. I also want to thank the Mover for doing what is required by a nation which is focused to feed its people. This trend of people staying along river banks, people planting vegetation along the wetlands, grazing animals along the rivers, polluting rivers and many other acts along the river is something that is serious. We have had a number of Motions discussed in this House about how people should avoid river valleys because it may cause other serious consequences. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Bw. Naibu Spika, leo tumeamua tuendelee kwa lugha ya Kiswahili. Mimi ningependa kuzungumzia mambo mawili ambayo ni muhimu sana. Sisi kama taifa la Kenya, tumepewa utajiri mkubwa sana katika upande wa mazingira. Sijaenda katika taifa lolote ambapo nimeona utajiri kama tulionayo. Tuko na mabonde, bahari, mito, nyika na kadhalika. Wageni wengi wakija hapa husema tuna kila kitu ambacho kinaweza kukuza uchumi wetu. Lakini kwa sababu ya ukosefu wa mipangilio maalum ya Serikali na utovu wa nidhamu wa raia wetu kwa jumla, utajiri huu hautusaidii. Sisi ni maadui wakubwa wa mazingira yetu. Tumeuharibu utajiri wetu tuliopewa na Mungu. Hili ni jambo la kisiasa. Kwa hivyo, ninaunga mkono Hoja hii kwa sababu ni lazima tulinde na tutunze mazingira yetu. Huu ni utajiri ambao tumepewa na Mungu. Kama vile Kiongozi wa Wengi alivyosema, ni utajiri ambao tunafaa kuudhibiti kwa niaba ya kizazi hiki na vizazi vijavyo. Vizazi vitakavyokuja ni lazima viishi katika mazingira ambayo yanaweza kujidumu. Mimi ninamshuruku yule aliyeleta Hoja hii. Sisi kama wanasiasa hatuna ujasiri wa kufanya mambo mazuri kwa sababu tunaogopa kuwa siku ya uchaguzi itakapokuja, watu ambao tuliwaambia waondoke katika fuo za mito watapiga kura pande nyingine. Wanasiasa ambao wamekaa hapa kupitisha Hoja hii ndio watakaopigwa watakapotaka kutekeleza mambo haya. Ni lazima Wakenya wafahamishwe mambo haya. Tunajua watu wetu wanatafuta riziki za kimaisha. Lakini hali zao haziwezi kuyahatarisha mazingira yetu na maisha kwa jumla. Mtu ambaye anajua anafanya kitu ambacho kinaweza kuleta madhara ya kudumu kama vile mchafuko katika mito na mazingira yetu ni lazima tutumie njia za kisheria kumtia kikomo. Tunataka Wakenya kwa jumla, wale walio sasa na wale watakaokuja baada yetu warithi mazingira ambayo yamedumishwa na sisi. Tunafaa kuwa na mazingira ambayo yanaleta afueni katika maisha yetu sisi sote. Jambo la mwisho katika kuchangia Hoja hii ni kwamba wanasiasa wanafaa kushirikiana na Serikali inapofanya kazi ambayo ni ya manufaa kwetu sisi sote. Tukisema tunataka kwenda Tana River kuhifadhi mazingira, Sen. Bule hafai kukataa ama The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I also rise to support this Motion. Everything we do in terms of livelihoods, wellbeing and anything that is developmental depends on water. This ranges from building of houses, construction of infrastructure, among other things. During the construction of a building, masons use a lot of water. They use it to mix cement with other building materials. Water is the source of all life. I also know that we, as a country, cannot continue to depend on rain-fed agriculture. A country like Kenya which is 70 per cent arid and semi arid, even if it rained from January to December, most of it would not receive enough rain. It is also true that the areas of this country that receive enough rain and have good fertility in the soil are already overpopulated. So, we cannot hope that these areas will one day produce enough food. The way to go is irrigation. If we have to irrigate the one million plus acres of land as it is contained in the Jubilee manifesto, then we need enough clean water. Where do we get this water from? In the past, we have tried to relocate communities that are living in riparian areas, but with little success. I think some minimal civil education is required for them to understand the importance of conserving water. It is my opinion that the solution does not lie in the absolute relocation of communities. For how long are we going to sustain this? Our population is rising. Encroachment is a The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir. I want to support this Motion which has been brought by Sen. Zipporah Kittony. It is appropriate since this is a new Government which is coming up with its policies and rules. We, as Kenyans, have suffered very much for many years, especially people who live along water bodies. Others have watched helplessly as their brothers, sisters or fellow Kenyans go through harsh conditions because of our failure of taking strong measures which Senator Zipporah proposes. As we were growing up, I remember President Moi even used to do it personally. He tried to help the people, especially around Kamba land, to tap water and protect their land which was going to waste because of excessive soil erosion. He would lead the entire Government, physically, to do it. That was the way to go. We also need to come up with regulations and statutes which ought to be implemented to the letter. We have been watching the lady from Kano, which is not very far away from where I come from, crying every year that she wants to see the President, because they are suffering. When she is told why she cannot relocate or do something, she says that she cannot leave the ancestral land. Such communities should be sensitized. It starts with the way you build the houses. You do not have to build houses the way other people are doing it in other parts of the country. Even in the Mexican movies, we see that they live on the shores of the water, but their houses are built up stream. There is room for water. They stay there, year in, year out. Those are some of the issues which the Government can take up and see what to do, so that when water comes up, people do not lose lives and property. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, if all this is done, it shall return Kenya to the rich agricultural State that it used to be when we were growing up. We did not lack food and the poverty level was not as high as it is today. This was because water was not wasted as it is nowadays. The riparian communities were not at loggerheads with the Government. People were living in harmony and everybody knew what they had to do. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, this will help us also to stop the over-dependency on donors. If every now and then we are asking for food, because we are starving, yet we are capable of growing all these crops, it becomes such an embarrassment. We just need to change our systems and come up with more irrigation schemes. This will upgrade the agricultural land and improve the livelihoods of people. It has also been said that this has been done in a certain area in Kenya before, you will find that there is so much food and nowhere to keep it. We can export this food because there are other countries also which need it. We can learn from other countries like Egypt whose areas are arid and semi-arid. How are the countries along the River Nile surviving? These are the best practices that we should bring on board and ensure that our country moves on. Other than the oil and minerals that we are discovering, we should not forget agriculture because it is a very important component within our society. With agriculture, we will be safe because we will always have food and a healthy nation. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, with those few remarks, I beg to support.
Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, for giving me this opportunity. Today’s newspapers were talking about the Kenyan population growing at a rate that it is not going to be able to feed itself. Therefore, when Sen. (Dr.) Kittony brings a Motion like this one which calls for measures to be taken to protect our water The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Senate Majority Chief Whip, Sen. Elachi.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I also rise to support the Mover of the Motion and to congratulate her for reminding us today that it is important to remember the late Michuki. It is during the time of the late Michuki as the Minister for Environment that we saw this country redevelop environmental policies to ensure that we are able to safeguard the rivers and river beds. Madam Temporary Speaker, you remember you were also an Assistant Minister at that time. You both joined hands together to make sure that we could safeguard Nairobi River. Again, I know today that the gains have been eroded; we are back to the same problem. Madam Temporary Speaker, maybe what we face in this country today is an attitude problem. We need to ask ourselves: “How do we deal with this character? I know that Sen. Amos Wako talked about it. I think that is the most challenging thing with all of us, Kenyans. We start something so well, but in between, if we do not have the person insisting and being committed, then it just dies off. The next person who takes over that Ministry, if he or she is not going to do the same, then you find everything just going back to zero. But today, we want to thank God that the policies that the late Michuki started, are continuing. We are able to see their impact in Naivasha, Elementaita and in all the ecosystems which are recovering. We have even been able to understand why we need to conserve our rivers. You can imagine what happened in Mau forest. It is the same challenge we are facing here. We are faced with about 12 rivers that flow down to the Mau forest disappearing. But, again, I think we are now recovering them. These are resources we are talking about. These are the natural resources we can now use to develop the counties that we have. Madam Temporary Speaker, I know also that the late Wangari Maathai was one woman who stood firm to protect the environment. You will remember that in Spring Valley, Nairobi, she was able to push an agenda but, apparently, it was too tough for her that, today, the rich were able to build on top of the water catchment areas that we know would also have sustained the Nairobi River. This is one thing we, as politician, find ourselves tied up. As I would wish to push an agenda, I know that we also have a private sector that is interested in whatever we do. We must encourage a mindset change so that we fight corruption. For example, we need to talk to stakeholders in industrial area so that they stop polluting Nairobi River. We should impose stiff penalties on anybody who pollutes our rivers. I urge the communities living along river banks to safeguard the water from those rivers. These are the same waters that ensure that we have the best Sukumawiki, as you move down to where the Chair comes from, Kasarani Constituency. We admire them. But when they come to the shops, they lead to high cases of cancer among our people. These vegetables are mixed up with chemicals and other effluent from industries. This could be the reason we have many Kenyans and even young children suffering from cancer and diabetes. It is also time we questioned our way of approving things. We must find out what the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is doing about our riparian areas. They are so quiet. We do not know what they are doing. They are supposed to take care of our environment. NEMA is supposed to guide us and to remind us every day that water is life. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Madam Temporary Speaker, may I join my colleagues in thanking Sen. Zipporah Kittony for bringing this Motion at this time when we know that we are faced with a lot of environmental challenges. If we really were to talk about what is happening in Kenya today, we would feel sorry for ourselves. Our forests are depleted. Some of the natural forest covers we used to have are all gone. I remember in the 1980s and beyond, Nakuru was a very brilliant place to stay in. Lake Nakuru was full of life. But the moment the forest behind Egerton University was eliminated, River Ndarugu, the only river that feeds Lake Nakuru, dried up. If you go along River Ndarugu, you will find people farming near the river banks. If you fly across the country, especially around the area where we used to have forests, there are no trees. We only have a few trees near the road. This goes all the way to Cherangany Hills which is the main water tower for Lake Turkana and Lake Victoria. The Government of the day at that time did not do what it was supposed to do to safeguard our natural resources. For example, in the 1980s, the then President led Kenyans in reclaiming land that had been lost due to erosion. You could see the President carrying huge rocks to reclaim the lost soil due to erosion. Along the way, we simply lost it because that energy and excitement of reclaiming the lost soil faded. We continue giving birth at a rate that we cannot control. When population increases, people want to settle on land. So, people went to settle in the forests. The trees were cut down to pave way for settlement. That is why we find ourselves in the scenario that we are in today where, when it rains in April there is disaster in Budalangi. When this happens we run there with relief food. We have all heard the lady from Nyando calling upon the Government to help. We also hear another song coming from Tana River County. We cannot control nature, but there are some things that we can do. When you cut trees, you can imagine the speed at which the floods come and cause havoc. In West Pokot, there is River Swam which emanates from Mt. Elgon. Last year, a whole town called Kong’elai was swept away. You could see sugar and soap floating on the water because all the items from shops had been carried away by the raging water. These are some of the effects that we can see when we do not take keen interest in such matters. This happens when there is no systematic and active Government plan on the ground. Nobody tells our communities that it is healthy to stay with trees or it is not healthy to go and farm near rivers. So, young men for lack of what to do, go to plant
and so on along river banks. I am calling upon the Government to restore all the water towers that we had in this country. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, it appears as if there is no one else interested in contributing to this Motion. Therefore, the Senate stands adjourned. No, no! Pardon me. I think the Mover wants to reply.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I was worried that the House would adjourn without me saying something. I would like to thank the people who have contributed to this Motion. People say that water is life. Indeed, the contributors have said the right things about water and encroachment on water catchment areas. This is a serious issue. It is food for thought. We are playing with fire. I do not know for how long we can sustain the sources of drinking water that we currently have. We are not even sure where the water comes from. Probably, it is not even clean water. If we do not start saving the rivers that have been encroached, then this country will be done. We need to realise that water is life. It is important for the secretariat to continue carrying out research on this so that we get to the root of the matter. We should put in place the right policies and sensitise people. We know that the NEMA is in place. However, what has it done? Article 69 of the Constitution says; (1) The State shall (a) ensure sustainable exploitation, utilisation, management and conservation of the environmental and natural resources, and ensure the equitable sharing of the accruing benefits; (b) work to achieve and maintain a tree cover of at least ten per cent of the land area of Kenya; (c) protect and enhance intellectual property in, and indigenous knowledge of, biodiversity and the genetic resources of the communities; (d) encourage public participation in the management, protection and conservation of the environment; (e) protect genetic resources and biological diversity; (f) establish systems of environmental impact assessment, environmental audit and monitoring of the environment; (g) eliminate processes and activities that are likely to endanger the environment; and (h) utilise the environment and natural resources for the benefit of the people of Kenya. This Motion is very important. I want to thank all those who have contributed to it. I beg to move.
Hon. Senators, this Motion does not affect counties. Therefore, the vote will be on a simple majority. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.
Hon. Senators, there being no other business, the Senate is, therefore, adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, 17th July at 9.00 a.m. The Senate rose at 5.35 p.m. The electronic version of the Senate Hansard Report is for information purposes only. A certified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor, Senate.