The Kenya Forest Service has reversed a decision to hive off more than 2,000 acres of the 14,864-acre indigenous Menengai Forest to pave way for farming practices following a public outcry.
Already, hundreds of acres of indigenous trees had been felled and locals allowed to cultivate crops under the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme (PELIS), formerly known as the shamba system.
Late June, conservationists and Milimani Residents Association protested the move arguing it would lead to serious ecological disasters such as landslides, siltation and other hazardous effects.
An independent survey by the Nakuru County Department of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources revealed wanton destruction of forest resource with total disregard to environmental conservation tenets
“The Menengai Forest ecosystem is so dear to the Nakuru Municipality. We vouch for an ecosystem approach in the utilization of forest and forest resources to strike a balance in conservation,” stated the department’s CO Mr Kiogora Mureithi.
The ecosystem approach has been adopted internationally as a strategy for the integrated management of lands and resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way.
Ecosystem Conservator in charge Mr Francis Misonge ordered the farmers to leave the forest until a meaningful stakeholders’ engagement on the utilization of the forest was held.
“Going forward, Menengai Forest is a no-go zone. However, The County Government of Nakuru has pleaded we allow the farmers to tend their crops and leave upon harvesting,” he stated at a meeting with farmers at the forest.
Kiamaina Ward MCA Wahome Jambo Kenya thanked the County Government of Nakuru for fighting for the locals to harvest their crops saying most of them depended on farming for their livelihood.
An April 2018 report titled ‘Forest Resources Management and Logging Activities in Kenya’ revealed that indigenous forests are over-exploited by logging and abuse of PELIS.
List of newly elected MCAs in Nakuru County
The following are the Nakuru County elected MCAs following the 9th August General elections. The United Democratic Alliance party (UDA) got the most number of seats at 39
The following are the Nakuru County elected MCAs following the 9th August General elections. The United Democratic Alliance party (UDA) got the most number of seats at 39. The Jubilee party managed 6 seats, while the Safina party won 1 seat. Seven of the MCAs were elected as independent candidates. Out of the 55 elected MCAs, 8 are women.
Naivasha Constituency MCAs 2022
- Maiella – Gituku Jane Wanjiru (UDA)
- 2. Naivasha East – Stanley Karanja (UDA)
- 3. Maai Mahiu – Eliud Kamau Chege (UDA)
- 4. Biashara – Elijah Mwaura (UDA)
- 5. Viwandani – Mwangi Muraya (UDA)
- 6. Lakeview – Alex Mbugua (UDA)
- 7. Hellsgate – Virginia Gichanga (Jubilee)
- 8. Ol’Karia – Peter Wanjala Palang’a (ODM)
Gilgil Constituency MCAs 2022
- 9. Gilgil – Rose Njoroge (UDA)
- 10. Malewa – Francis Mungai Kuria (UDA)
- 11. Eburru Baruk – Michael Gathanwa (UDA)
- 12. Elementaita – George Nene (Safina)
- 13. Morendat – Peter Njoroge (UDA)
Subukia Constituency MCAs 2022
- 14. Subukia – Isabella Makori (UDA)
- 15. Waseges – Elijah Murage (Independent)
- 16. Kabazi – George Talam (UDA)
Bahati Constituency MCAs 2022
- 17. Bahati – Grace Mwathi (UDA)
- 18. Kabatini – Leah Ng’ang’a (Independent)
- 19. Kiamaina – Paul Waweru Warege (Ka Wambui) (UDA)
- 20. Dundori – James Gathuita Mwangi (UDA)
- 21. Lanet Umoja -Mwangi Ngarama (UDA)
Nakuru Town East Constituency MCAs 2022
- 22. Nakuru East – Anthony Kamau (UDA)
- 23. Menengai – Wilson Mwangi (Jubilee)
- 24. Flamingo – David Kihumba Muraya (Independent)
- 25. Biashara – Fadhili Msuri (UDA)
- 26. Kivumbini – Neto Sakwa Alukutsa (Independent)
Nakuru Town West Constituency MCAs 2022
- 27. Rhoda – John Macharia (UDA)
- 28. London – Benard Gattuso (Jubilee)
- 29. Barut – Ben Kirui (UDA)
- 30. Kapkures – Robert Ruto (UDA)
- 31. Kaptembwa – Peter Kanjwang’ (ODM)
- 32. Shabaab – Macharia Wathiai (UDA)
Rongai Constituency MCAs 2022
- 33.Solai – Nixon Morogo (Independent)
- 34. Soin – Ellibas Naburuki (Degualle) (UDA)
- 35. Mosop – Dr. Alex Lang’at (UDA)
- 36. Menengai West – Isaac Kiptisya Rottok (UDA)
- 37. Visoi – Hellen Chemutai (UDA)
Njoro Constituency MCAs 2022
- 38. Njoro – Hezy Ndung’u (Independent)
- 39. Nessuit – Samuel Tonui (UDA)
- 40. Mauche – Moses Koros (UDA)
- 41. Mau Narok – Cyrus Dida (UDA)
- 42. Kihingo – Simon Kamau Karanja (Jubilee)
- 43. Lare – Phillip Wanjohi (Jubilee)
Molo Constituency MCAs 2022
- 44. Molo – Joseph Ngware (UDA)
- 45. Marioshoni – Ben Lang’at (UDA)
- 46. Elburgon – David Njuguna (Independent)
- 47. Turi – John Mwangi Macharia (Jubilee)
Kuresoi South Constituency MCAs 2022
- 48. Keringet – William Mutai (UDA)
- 49. Tinet – Paul Lang’at Alvin (Drilit) (UDA)
- 51. Kiptangich – Rose Mutai (UDA)
- 52. Amalo – Robert Lang’at (UDA)
Kuresoi North Constituency UDA MCA nominees
- 53. Sirikwa – Emmanuel Lang’at (UDA)
- 54. Kamara – Joseph Kipng’etich (Chemutwet) (UDA)
- 55. Kiptororo – Alex Bor (Kipyek) (UDA)
Nakuru to host World Bee Day celebrations
The Apimondia Regional Commission (ARC) President, Mr David Mukomana, in a statement, said the three-day program will include technical tours to see beekeeping within Nakuru County and any other areas, exhibitions, seminars and the actual celebrations.
Nakuru City will this year host the Regional World Bee Day (WBD) celebrations from the 18th – to the 20th of May 2022.
The yearly event is commemorated to raise awareness about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humanity in food security, global hunger eradication, and environmental and biodiversity conservation.
Under the theme; “Bee engaged: Celebrating the contribution of bees to the environment, food security and income generation to mankind.”
The forum will share knowledge from across the world, and draw the attention of the public and decision-makers to the importance of protecting bees as well as halting the further loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems following the Paris Agreement.
FAO estimates that bees contribute to the pollination of food worth between $ 235 and $ 580 billion every year and that their decline continues to strain food systems.
Intensive farming practices, excessive use of agrochemicals, habitat loss, and adverse effects of climate among other issues have been identified as key hindrances causing the depopulation of bees and loss of colonies.
With such challenges, there is a need to come up with solutions that are resistive to the increasing bee population globally.
According to FAO, Kenya ranks third in Africa after Tanzania which is the largest producer of honey and produces approximately 31,405 tonnes annually while Angola ranks second producing about 23,500 tonnes annually.
As of 2020, Kenya’s production of honey was at 17,801 tonnes, up from 13,877 tonnes the previous year, this is a change of 28.28%.
Speaking during a past apiculture stakeholders’ workshop, State Department for Livestock Production Principal Secretary, Mr Harry Kimtai, expressed concern that new pests and farm pesticides have hit colonies hard.
“We’re collaborating with devolved units to halt the alarming depletion of bee colonies. Bee colony multiplication initiatives include capacity building, beekeeping equipment distribution, and bee bulking,” revealed PS Kimtai.
Despite the potential of honey production and the benefits of apicultural activity, very little income accrues from the activity.
The government in its progress, in the Big Four Agenda on 100% food and nutrition security, is committed to enhancing honey production from 25,000 tonnes to 38,000 tonnes by the year 2022.
Beekeeping offers an alternative source of livelihood and protects biodiversity and should ideally be established away from human interaction with enough bee forage and all-year-round availability of water to provide favourable conditions for beekeeping.
Nakuru County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Immaculate Maina, says that, ‘’bees have become increasingly endangered with one million species facing extinction. Thus, beekeeping should be embraced as an alternative environmentally friendly income-earning enterprise.”
‘’We hope that by hosting this event, we will be able to proactively assist in the opening up of our county by giving marketing opportunities and investment prospects in the apiculture industry,” Dr Maina noted.
“We also anticipate important topics discussed during the three-day forum, such as the role of women in the sector as those most affected by climate change, solutions to save our bee species from extinction, and how we can continue to rely on pollinators to save us from the current climate crisis,” she concluded.
Acting CEO of the Apiculture Platform of Kenya (APK), Mr Frederick Otieno Odera, says that beekeeping has significant potential in Africa to improve rural incomes and diversify livelihoods.
“We hope the commemoration of the National World Bee Day will showcase new technologies and sustainable measures from across the world in the apiculture industry and provide sustainable solutions to save our bees in the current climate crisis,” said Otieno.
Governor Kinyanjui drops deputy, picks Kamuren as running mate
The county is a cosmopolitan city and was the headquarters of the Rift Valley province under the old Constitution.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has dropped his Deputy of five years and named a woman running mate ahead of the August 2022 polls.
Kinyanjui, who is gunning for a second and final term in office, dropped Dr Eric Kipkoech in favour of Ms Franciscar Jelagat Kamuren.
He explained that Kamuren, 47, is an accomplished grassroots mobilizer with a strong passion for community development and was picked after wide consultation.
“Äfter long consultations with diverse stakeholders, I have decided to appoint Ms Franciscar Jelagat Kamuren as running mate for my second term bid,” Kinyanjui said.
The nominee holds a Masters’s degree in linguistics from Egerton University and has served in various capacities.
The governor is seeking to defend his seat via the ruling Jubilee party ticket under the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition.
He is however facing stiff competition from the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate Susan Kihika, who is the current Senator for Nakuru and his appointment is seen as a tactic to woo the women vote.
His announcement comes hours after Kihika unveiled her running mate in a press conference from Nakuru.
Kihika picked David Kones as the man to deputize her after an interview that attracted half a dozen candidates.
The senator, who is a staunch supporter of Deputy President William Ruto was handed a direct ticket.
Nakuru is among the largest counties in Kenya and was recently conferred city status by President Uhuru Kenyatta, making it the fourth city in Kenya after Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu.