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Government’s strategy to dispose of e-waste from digital literacy program

Regrettably, due to a lack of e-waste knowledge, as well as poor separation and disposal methods, the situation is not improving.

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Kenya’s ICT sector has grown an average of 10.8% annually since 2016 with 93.4% of public primary schools now covered by the Digital Learning Program.

As a result, over 22,000 public schools within the country have benefited from over 1.2 million devices.

This goes to show that the production and use of electronic equipment in the education sector continues to grow. By the end of 2021, the country’s ICT sector was expected to account for up to 8% of the country’s GDP and generate more than a quarter of a million opportunities for employment.

Additionally, this shows how e-waste is becoming the country’s and world’s fastest domestic waste stream owing to high consumption rates of electronic equipment, short life spans, and a lack of repair options.

According to the United Nations’ Global E-waste Monitor 2020, the country is grappling with the production of an average of over 3,000 tons of e-waste per year from electronic devices such as computers, monitors, printers, and mobile phones, to name a few.

Regrettably, due to a lack of e-waste knowledge, as well as poor separation and disposal methods, the situation is not improving.

The ICT Authority (ICTA) recognizes this and through DLP have found opportunities to combat e-waste in public schools.

ICTA, through the University of Nairobi, JKUAT and Moi universities, is supporting about 55 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the collection and recycling of electronic waste (E-Waste) from DLP.

Acting CEO of ICTA, Dr Kipronoh Ronoh, stated that during the program’s inception, the handling of e-waste generated by schools was included.

“We have noted e-waste challenges, and the distribution of over 1.2 million devices to various schools across the country appears to be a bit much to add to the already existing e-waste problem. As a result, during the program’s design, we developed a component to address the issue generated by the project into the environment,” Dr Kiprono explained.

“The government, in collaboration with the three universities, developed an e-waste model that has resulted in the employment of the aforementioned SMEs who are ensuring that when the gadgets are broken, they are dropped at specific e-waste centres for recycling under the computer for schools,” he explained.

“To address issues of breakage and faulty devices, we also have a team of 189 technical staff and interns across the country to help with fixing the appliances before they become obsolete,” Dr Kiprono noted.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, is implementing the ‘One Tree by Device’ initiative, which works with schools that have received digital devices to plant trees equal to the number of devices received through the program.

Dr Kiprono stated that as part of the initiative, some schools have adopted tree planting to help contribute to the 10% forest cover goal for a more sustainable and climate-friendly environment, as well as to receive benefits for greenhouse gas mitigation.

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Atheists fault petition seeking to deregister society

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

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President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

Former Juja MP, Dr Stephen Ndichu has moved to court seeking to have the Atheists in Kenya Society suspended on grounds that its continued existence is unconstitutional.

In a statement, the society’s president, Harrison Mumia says the petition is an assault on religious freedom and an insult to the diversity of the Kenyan people.

“We find the petition repugnant to a good conscience,” he stated adding that Dr Ndichu is a Christian fundamentalist who seems to harbour paranoid fantasies about the dangers of atheists existing in Kenya.

He further accused Dr Ndichu of seeing enemies where there is none and that the society was surprised, but not shocked as religion has historically inhibited progress.

He vowed that the society would do everything within its power to defend its right to remain a registered society and urged Kenyans to support fighting the petition.

On Sunday, the society said it will be writing to President William Ruto seeking an invitation to State House, just like the evangelical denominations.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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