Diatomite exploration set to begin in Baringo
Baringo County is endowed with varieties of natural resources like diatomite, gemstones, ruby, gold and vast deposits of construction material which when fully exploited will turn around the livelihoods of itscitizens.
In view of the above, Baringo County Government has partnered with two Chinese companies; Chuanshan International and ZhengWei technique (K) Limited to exploit diatomite in Kaboryon area in RipkwoKositei Ward in Tiaty Sub County and Kapturo area in Bartabwa Ward, Baringo North Sub County.
The mining project that is set to cost the two Companies more than 10billion US Dollars is expected to commence before the end of this year 2019.
Speaking athis office in kabarnet, County Chief Officer in charge of Mining and Natural Resources John Kisang said the investors have hinted on extracting more 400, 000 tonnes of Diatomite annually.
According to Mining Act 2016, 70% of mining proceeds goes to the National government, 20% goes to the County government and the remaining 10% is given to the community where mining operations is carried out.
Kisang said the two explorations presents to the County with an opportunity to get revenue and also host community receive resources for development as well as create about 300 direct employment opportunities for the County.
‘’The goodness with these two Chinese investors, they have complied with our condition of not exporting any raw material but rather establish the factories at site to be able to process the raw material before commercializing it”, Kisang pointed out.
Diatomite which is purely a sedimentary deposit comprising of majorly silica arising from fossilized diatoms is very mild abrasive mineral sought for use in making plastics, tooth paste, absorbents, manufacturing paints, metal polishes and paper. It is used also in bricks, soaps, detergents and filler.
Chuanshan International company has already acquired a mining license after getting a nod from National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) who had raised concern over the exploitation of the resource since it is situated in a fragile environment i.e. a semi-arid area that may take a very long time to regenerate while ZhengWei technique (K) Limited has just commenced prospecting operations.
The Chief Officer assured the members of both communities that the project will bring enormous developments including improvement of infrastructure, electricity and water since the area will attract investors from all parts of the country and that they should accord them the necessary support they may require.
As expected, two companies will have to carry out social corporate responsibility activities particularly building schools and hospitals, paying bursaries, constructing roads and water supply structures like water pans, boreholes, tanks and supply of water pipes, power supply units like solar and other social amenities.
The diatomite lies in an area of conflict dominated by Tugen and Pokot communities who have continued to experience instability due to cattle rustling but both communities have vowed to hand over to the authorities any criminal who will come in between them that can jeopardize the project.
Mr. Khai He, a representative from ZhengWei said they will abide by the Mining Act of 2016 and urged residents to be patient saying that exploration of such a resource requires huge resources and patience.
Baringo diatomite mining operation becomes the second one after African Diatomite Industries Limited exploited for the resource in Karianduzi area along Naivasha-Gilgil road in Nakuru County on Nakuru-Nairobi highway.
County Youth Forum finally in place
Baringo County government has joined a few counties in Kenya which have put in place elaborate structures to address youth maters among them formation of county youth forum which will be the official mouth piece on matters concerning the youth in the county.
This came into being after the county government department of youth; gender and culture successfully concluded the election of county youth officials at Kenya School of Government- Kabarnet, in partnership with Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission, IEBC.
During the one day exercise which was a culmination of the process that was initiated at the sub county level all the way to ward and finally county level, Governor Stanley Kiptis said the initiative will provide the youth an opportunity to engage with both County and National government on issues affecting them particularly economic, social and culturally to enable them realize their dreams.
The county boss urged the youths to prudently utilize resources that are allocated to them by both levels of government and its strategic partners to develop their lives and secure their future by doing productive activities.
At the same time he stated that his administration was able to absorb more than 400 youths under internship programme as a way of helping them get on job experience.National Assembly nominee for youth affairs Gideon Keter presenting a certificate to a youth leaders during the inauguration of Baringo County Youth forum held at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Baringo Campus.
County executive in charge of the department Hon Thomas Ole Nongonop challenged the youth who were elected to be steadfast in championing for the rights of the young people across the County once called upon.
He added that the established youth structure will make it easy for the county government and other stakeholders to engage them in matters development.
The CEC also urged the youth ensure they fully take part in the county’s development agenda by availing themselves during public participation forums to articulate on issues affecting them.
He at the same time hinted that the county youth policy which is currently at draft stage will be of great help once implemented since it will offer guidelines on the best way the county government will address the myriad challenges facing the youth.
Nongonop congratulated the officials who were elected and urged them to concentrate on their mandate of championing for youth on their matters and how to resist temptations not to be swayed from their responsibility.
Those elected to represent the youth at County level include JonothanMaigong Chairman from Kabarnet Ward, the vice chair ZephaniaKipkurui from Mochongoi ward, Evans Barsongol from Kabartonjo ward as Secretary General and Edwin Kiprono from Emining ward as the deputy secretary general. The officials will assume office for a three year term.
Baringo governor H.E Stanley Kiptis (Centre) and National Assembly Nominee for Youth Affairs Gideon Keter join elected Baringo County Youth during the inauguration at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Baringo Campus.
Baringo County has for the second year running benefited from World Bankperformance-based development grants under the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP) which supports capacity building at County level in five key result areas (KRAs) due to its prudence in financial management as stipulated in the PFM Act 2012.
The five key Result areas under scrutiny include public financial management, planning, monitoring and evaluation, human resource and performance management, devolution and inter-governmental relations and civic education and public participation.
The programme which rewards Counties for its financial prudence takes into consideration how Counties have been able to provide access to information through timely publishing of financial reports including Annual Development Plans, County Integrated Development Plan, and County Budget Review Outlook Paper. This is also in addition to a County obtaining a favourable audit outcome and its adherence to public participation in the budget making process.
The Kenya Devolution Support Programme is 200 million USD a four year program financed by World Bank to support capacity building and technical assistance at County level.
In the 2017/2018 financial year, Baringo County received 173 million from KDSP which has been invested in the development of a surgical bloc at Baringo County Referral Hospital. Once completed, the surgical unit will greatly ease congestion which is experienced in the general wards.
‘’The County is yet to decide on the 138 million development grants it got from the programme in the 2018/2019 financial year but it will ultimately go to a project that will transform the livelihoods of the residents of this great County’’ said finance County Executive Dr.David Sergon.
He added that as a department that they will continue to demonstrate strict adherence to prudent financial management and maintain the highest standards of accountability and transparency in their undertakings.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, in a Gazette notice, announced the allocation of the conditional grants to the eligible county governments under the KDSP programme.
Despite the counties having been ranked based on prudent use of funds, the allocations considered other factors like poverty index, population and hardship areas.
Civic Educators target participatory public forums
It is often said that a village which is not discussed is not build; discussions by the people bring about a sense of ownership through exercising powers when making decisions that affect them.
Globally, devolution of power and resources is key in promoting and advocating for democracy, transparency and accountability. It also enhances local development, and effective service delivery to the people.
Public participation is key as stated in the constitution of Kenya 2010. It is entailed in the national values and principles of governance as stipulated in article 10 (2) and 174 (C) of the 2010 constitution which recognizes rights of communities to manage their own affairs and put their own priorities first on matters development.
The citizen needs to engage with their government and air their plights and issues in order to improve their status quo and livelihoods.
According to County director of Civic Education Wesley Kiprop, Baringo has made huge strides involving residents through public participation, in budget making process as well as prioritizing projects that will greatly improve the livelihoods of the county residents.
Kiprop added that Baringo was recently rated by KDCC as the best county in terms of prioritization of projects as well as diligent use of public funds. “Baringo County is rated the best county in terms of prioritization of projects through public participation.” Said Kiprop.
Mr. Kiprop stated that civic education department is planning to organize more public participation forums in order to reach more publics as this will enhance decision making hence strengthening service delivery and accountability in the national and county projects.
“We are seeking to empower the people by giving them the powers of self-governance for them to make informed decisions in order to best improve devolved function,” said the Civic Education director.
He applauded Konrad Adeneur Staffing and Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) for partnering with Baringo county government in conducting civic education across all the 30 wards of Baringo.
Baringo County director for Civic Education Wesley Kiprop during a civic education exercise at Tangulbei, Tiaty Sub County
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