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Posts Tagged ‘Siaya’

Kenya: Jigger increase reported in Teso Constituency

Posted by African Press International on August 27, 2013

    • GODFREY WAMALWA, API, KENYA
 Residents from Okuleu area of Teso North Constituency in Busia County have raised concern over the rampant  increase of jiggers menace in the area.

Several elderly persons have so far died due to jigger infestation and the latest case is of a 70 year old granny who died at the Kocholya Teso District Hospital.

The late Ann Asitei succumbed to Jigger infestation before  she was rushed by the neighbors to the hospital after the problem had persisted.

Led by Martin Isara, the locals appealed to the County government to move in with haste and rescue them from Jiggers menace which they said is disturbing them and their families.

“The drugs that are being distributed by community health workers are not effective and we urge the County government to provide us with jigger solution,” said Isara adding that many elderly persons are falling prey of jiggers.

Apart from the elderly persons who are very susceptible to the problem, School going children notably nursery and primary school pupils are entirely affected.

The issue is posing a danger in education sector in the district as such children cannot walk to school hence miss a lot in schools. The schools mostly affected are Kamolo, Amoni, Totokakile and Ikapolok where jiggers have invaded the children and hamper their learning.

Many NGO’s have moved in to curb the infection but according to Villagers the problem is still persisting since the jiggers have invaded a vast area.

The locals are calling upon Busia County leaders to find a long lasting solution to the problem that is slowly killing people and affecting the education sector.

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Kenya: Polio vaccination targetting 750,000 children

Posted by African Press International on July 3, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal, In Kenya.

THE government targets to vaccinate 750,000 children under the age of 5 years against polio infection in four counties out of the six in Nyanza region.

The outgoing Nyanza Director for Public Health and Sanitation Dr Jackson Kioko said the vaccination will kick off on July 6 to July 10, 2013.

Dr Kioko said the exercise will be conducted in Migori, Homabay, Kisumu and Siaya counties to prevent the children against polio infection.

He disclosed that extensive mapping is being carried out by district public health officers in these counties to identify where the children are.

He said awareness campaign is going on in the markets, schools, public chief barazas and churches to encourage parents to avail their children for the vaccination.

“We want parents to understand the importance of polio vaccination to protect the children against the infection,” he said.

He stated that the vaccination will be conducted door to door saying they will mark the households that children have already been vaccinated.

According to Dr Kioko polio prevention has improved tremendously since 2010 which is above the national index.

He disclosed that Nyanza region stand at 90% under the Oral Polio Vaccine 1 and 81% under the Oral Polio Vaccine 3.

He said the national index stand at 80% under the Oral Polio Vaccine 3 and called upon health providers in the counties to ensure they hit 90% target.

The medic appealed to the parents, chiefs and other stakeholders to bring their children under the age of five for the vaccination.

He said the street children will not be left out in the exercise saying they are working closely with the children departments in these counties see them vaccinated.

“Street children need a lot of medical attention given the risk they undergo in their daily lives,” he said.

 

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Kenya; Sugarcane Farmers hit-out at Kenya Sugar Board.

Posted by African Press International on June 20, 2013

  • By Gilbert Ochieng Achieng.

The Kenya Sugar Board is directly responsible for the sugarcane poaching crisis that has nearly crippled the operations of the country’s leading sugar producer Mumias Sugar Company.

More than 500 sugarcane farmers from Busia and Mumias sugar belts yesterday accused the sugar board director for the two belts, Billy Wanjala of being part of the sugarcane poaching syndicate that has gripped the multi-billion shillings business in a stranglehold.

The farmers’ spokesman, Nicholas Makokha Shikanda said Wanjala who is in charge of Mumias and Busia sugar belts that are the lifeline of Mumias Sugar in cane supplies should explain why sugarcane poaching has for the last two years remained rampant in these two belts.

“We also challenge Wanjala to explain why the Kenya Sugar Board introduced West Kenya Sugar Company to buy cane in these belts when it knew that farmers here are all contracted to Mumias Sugar,’ said Shikanda, adding that as a KSB director representing these belts he has failed to spearhead a decisive action to be taken against the poachers.

The irate farmers were reacting to reports carried by a section of the media outlets quoting Wanjala as saying that poor planning and management was responsible for the crisis facing the sugar industry in Busia and Mumias sugar belts.

The Director was also quoted as saying that KSB expected Mumias Sugar to increase sugarcane acreage after releasing Kshs. 140 million to boost sugarcane development in the two areas as he welcomed the sacking of the MSC agriculture and factory managers and calling for the assessment of the current Chief Executive Peter Kebati to ascertain his capabilities.

“We know that. Wanjala has for years been closely operating with the former agriculture manager, West Kenya Sugar Company and the resulting cane poaching crisis. If there had been poor planning and management, Mumias Sugar could not have invested more than Kshs. 3 billion in sugarcane development for the last two years, what is Kshs. 140 million compared to three billion?,” said Shikanda.

The farmers at the same time accused Wanjala and the Sugar Board of introducing West Kenya Sugar Company into a territory occupied by farmers contracted to Mumias Sugar, just about the time Mr. Kebati took over management of Mumias Sugar to deliberately sabotage the company’s operations.

They challenged Wanjala and the Sugar Board to explain why it had completely failed to stamp out the cane poaching crisis and instead given a go ahead to West Kenya Sugar that does not have contracts for cane supplies with any farmer to build a factory in Busia belt under Mumias when it is not qualified.

The farmers defended Mumias Sugar CEO saying that though he had been at the helm for a short period of time, the restructuring programme he has embarked on at Mumias Sugar was the right direction, but KSB must put in place its act and take immediate action to stop sugarcane poaching to save the entire industry from total collapse.

The farmers’ organizing secretary Beatrice Wesonga said since its establishment in 1976, Mumias Sugar has been the most successful and profit-making sugar company in the country.

Apart from producing the largest tonnage of sugar in Kenya, it has the largest product range, because over the decades there was never rampant cane poaching in its zones of operation as is being witnessed today.”

Mrs. Wesonga dismissed. Wanjala’s call for the expansion of sugarcane production acreage in Siaya, Busia, Kakamega and Bungoma Counties saying it was not the solution to the cane shortage crisis since the critical problem was poaching which must be killed once and for all.

She said the Kshs. 140 million loan advanced by the KSB to Mumias Sugar for cane development was a drop in the ocean because the undertaking was very expensive right from land preparation through planting, fertilizers and other farm inputs including crop husbandry costs among others.

The farmers said that they had total confidence with the management of Mumias Sugar and the Company’s ability to succeed in its operations adding that the perception that it was ailing was wrong since the whole business was man-made by a few individuals who were out to make a killing out of the mess.

They further told Wanjala the delayed payments problems being experienced by the company were a direct result of the KSB’s activities and its role in the cane poaching crisis and threatened to ensure that he was voted out of office at the next KSB Directors’ elections.

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Kenya: Desist from Drug Abuse Kisumu County Youths told

Posted by African Press International on May 23, 2013

  • By Maurice Alal, API Kenya

Youths in Kisumu County have been told to desist from drug abuse and engage in productive activities that will change their lives.

National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug (NACADA) Nyanza Regional Manager Esther Salim Okenye said there is high rate of drug abuse in the six counties.

www.africanpress.me/ - National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug (NACADA) Nyanza Regional Manager Esther Salim Okenye

http://www.africanpress.me/ – National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug (NACADA) Nyanza Regional Manager Esther Salim Okenye

Okenye urged youths to go for loans to start-up small business saying the government is set to allocate funds to empower them in a bid to curb the rampant vice of dependency in the societies.

The National statistics of drug and alcohol abuse stands at 13 % meaning in every 100 people 13 are involved in drugs abuse. “This is high rate that call for immediate address by all stakeholders,” Okenye said.

She stated there is need for more sensitization of youths on drug and alcohol abuse adding that people between the age of 15- 65 are involved in drugs.

Okenye adds that in Nyanza, alcohol and bhang is the mostly abused by people especially youths. “We are second in bhang abuse after Western region,” she revealed.

In curbing the misuse of drugs NACADA has now embark on awareness creation through competition such as choir, music and ball games to bring youths together in all the 47 counties.

Okenye said the authority is currently undertaking various competition targeting youths in Siaya, Kisumu, Nyamira, Migori, Kisii and Nyamira Counties with winners proceeding to perform at national level.

She made remarks during Kisumu County Choir Competition on Alcohol and Drug Abuse held at Social hold where over 200 youths attended.

During the competition Ngege Youth Group Choir emerged the winner with Kobala Youth Group from Homabay County in second position.

The two groups will represent their counties at regional level before proceeding to national level.

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