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A dynamic and highly talented holder of a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree and a post graduate Diploma in Media Ethics & Governance, currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Administration.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor

The handshake, as captured and captioned by a leading media house. PHOTO: Courtesy


THE PRESIDENT’S LEGACY: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor

Jeremiah Mutuanga

S
ince time immemorial, the more enlightened among the common folk have lamented about the wide gap between the rich and the poor in Africa.

However, an unexpected move by some of the brightest leaders we have today, has culminated into an arrangement that will go down in history as one of the noblest.

Never before has such a move been made, where the rich puts in efforts to close the gap between themselves and the poor. It is only through the Building Bridges Initiative that President Uhuru Kenyatta brings to reality that ancient piece of wisdom that had advised the rich to share their riches with the poor before the poor shares their poverty across board.

Intriguingly, those mortals who have become too accustomed to and taken unto themselves to pass over opportunities repeatedly (POOR is the acronym) will resist a present presented to them on a silver platter! A close look at things will reveal that this could be the best step taken in the direction of narrowing the poverty gap in Kenya today.


Building Bridges Initiative, now commonly and simply referred to as BBI has elicited mixed reactions from various ‘classes’ of citizens, depending on their corresponding standards of living. Upon realization cum implementation of the Initiative, the self-stratified POOR will certainly have the opportunity to inch closer to wealth while the rich get richer, still.

This shall be a phenomenal move that shall overt the otherwise possible state of political capitalism that had threatened to take Kenyans by surprise, in their bid to identify with a poor man (hustler) that never was!


Tuesday, 26 November 2019

GREATEST ICT QUOTES OF OUR TIMES

Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple
Greatest ICT Quotes of our Times

Over the years, some of the greatest human beings have uttered statements that if taken seriously will lead the readers to become great themselves. From Einstein to Steve Jobs all the way to Bill Gates, timeless quotes in regard to Information and Communications Technology have been recorded.

Those who will have the opportunity to attend the Kikao Kikuu forum, an interactive platform organized by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) in partnership with Embu County Government can expect to experience first hand the reality of the quotes below:

1. “Technology is best when it brings people together.”
       - Matt Mullenweg, Social Media Entrepreneur

Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress
2. “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
       - Albert Einstein, Scientist

3. “It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are.”
       - Clive James, Broadcaster and Journalist.

Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web
4. “The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.”
      - Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web.

5. “If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.”
      - Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect

6. “If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more        than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.”
    - Lyndon B. Johnson, Former President of the United States of America

7. “Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road.” 
      - Stewart Brand, Writer

8. “It's not a faith in technology. It's faith in people.”
      - Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple.

9. “Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.”
      - Christian Lous Lange, Historian

10. “The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don't really even notice it, so it's part of everyday life.”
      - Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft.
Bill Gfates, Co-founder of Microsoft

Monday, 25 November 2019

Embu County set to host Communications Authority for 'Kikao Kikuu' Forum

A Kikao Kikuu setting when the Communications Authority held the forum in Nyandarua County earlier in the year. PHOTO: File 

EMBU: Communications Authority of Kenya's Kikao Kikuu to be held in Embu. 

Areas in Embu that have been facing mobile network challenges are set to get a communication uplift as way of connecting them to the world. 

This comes after Embu County government partnered with the Communication Authority of Kenya to provide mobile network to areas that have been experiencing network issues in the past. 

The authority, together with the Embu County Government, will from 25th to 28th November hold a County ICT Consumer Forum at the University of Embu. 

Through the forum, dubbed 'Kikao Kikuu', the Authority is set to provide platforms of interaction with ICT consumers and service providers among other stakeholders to explore solutions to challenges in communications with the devolved units.

Embu will be the 19th county to host the forum as C.A targets to traverse the 47 counties in Kenya.

The forum’s theme is ‘Using ICT as an enabler of opportunities’.

The regulator whose mandate is to facilitate development of the information and communications sectors including; broadcasting, cybersecurity, multimedia, telecommunications, electronic commerce, postal and courier services, uses Kikao Kikuu forums to create a sustainable link that promotes value in the way consumers interact with systems and processes.

In addition, it helps to bridge the gaps between the policy and legal framework by deepening the awareness and building individual capacity.

CA is charged with safeguarding the interests of consumers of ICT services. This is achieved through the enforcement of consumer regulations as well as educating users of these services on their rights and responsibilities.

In the past, it has carried out consumer education outreach program targeting users of mobile and internet services (“Chukua Hatua: Pata Huduma ya Mawasiliano Unayostahili”), Postal Courier Consumers (Kaa Macho), SIM Card Registration (Pata Ukweli wa Mtambo), Number Portability (Namba Yangu Milele) and Child Online Protection.

According to Kenya’s Digital Economy Blueprint, digital skills are a prerequisite for benefiting from any technology, across all sectors of the economy, and at all levels of the skills spectrum. 

“Digital skills will enable every Kenyan to have access to digital technology, having the literacy and know-how to use this technology, and being able to participate in and create with this technology,” reads part of the digital skills pillar that is focused on developing digital skills for its citizens [Mostly ICT professionals] to meet the competencies and expertise required for the digital economy.

The Blueprint identifies the five pillars of the digital economy, that are described under the headings, Digital Government, Digital Business, Infrastructure, Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship, and Digital Skills and Values


Monday, 11 November 2019

Embu County forges ahead in the war against cancer

Health CECM Dr. Joan Mwende (center) speaks to the press during the cancer screening exercise at Runyenjes Level 4 Hospital. PHOTO: Martin Fundi

Embu County forges ahead in the war against cancer

By Jeremiah Mutuanga


Health experts have raised concerns that Embu men do not seek medical attention from hospitals leading to late diagnosis of diseases.

Runyenjes Level 4 Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr. Samson Iliwa said that Embu men are generally wary of hospitals and contemptuous of health checkups.

While speaking at the health facility over the weekend during a free cancer screening exercise, Iliwa said that a high number of people seeking regular medical checkup were women.

Runyenjes Level 4 Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr. Samson Iliwa (right) attends to patients at the facility during the exercise. PHOTO: Martin Fundi

More than 3,000 residents were screened during the exercise that was organized by the county government and Indian doctors. Cuban doctors and a number of local healthcare service providers aided in the free medical camp.

Speaking at the venue, Embu County Executive Committee member (CEC) for Health Dr. Joan Mwende said that men need to be sensitized on the importance of taking regular health checkups.

"The problem with our men is that they wait till they become very ill to go to hospital", she said.

Dr. Mwende added that this was the third of such medical camps held in Embu in so few weeks. 
Patients receive services at the facility during the medical camp


The first one, hosted by The Beth Mugo Cancer Foundation was held at Embu Teaching and Referral Hospital (ETRH) on 31 October 2019.

The function, in which Senator Beth Mugo attended in person and received by Embu Governor H.E Martin Wambora, Embu Senator Hon. Njeru Ndwiga together with several other high profile dignitaries saw to the screening of 421 people.

According to the Health CEC, all those found to be afflicted with cancer are sent to the recently established Oncology Unit at ETRH for palliative care and treatment.


"One of the major challenges we are facing is the unavailability of resident Oncologists and Radiologists at our Cancer Center", says Dr. Mwende.

She alluded that recruitment of more specialists would make it possible for patients to receive daily services at the Oncology Unit as compared to the current once per week clinic.

The Cancer Center is fitted with State-of-the-art equipment and a 120 bed capacity inpatient ward.

(Edited by Martin Fundi)

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

600 Embu farmer groups to benefit from a Sh80 million NARIGP project


Agriculture CECM Anne Nyaga (holding flag) flags off the NARIGP roadshow truck at the Department headquarters in Embu. PHOTO: Martin Fundi

EMBU: Sh80 Million Grants for NARIGP Project

By Jeremiah Mutuanga

600 farmer groups in Embu are set to benefit from a Sh80 million National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project. 

The project lies under the Embu County government's ministry of agriculture. 

County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Anne Nyaga said that the project will benefit farmer groups in 20 wards across the county. 

While addressing the media, Nyaga revealed that more than 50 percent of the targeted groups had already applied for the Agricultural grant. 

 
The CECM speaks at the event venue
“Already 340 groups have done proposals and have been trained on conservation agriculture," she said as she encouraged more groups to apply.

The agriculture minister said that the project encourages and sensitizes youth to take up agribusiness. 

Further, speaking in the same event, County Executive Committee Member for Water, Richard Mbogo called on residents to find ways of harvesting rain water for Agricultural use. 

“There cannot be agriculture without water, the government has constructed water pans so that we can be able to harvest rain water for irrigation and other domestic use," said Mbogo. 
 
Young dancers hired for publicity of dramatize the gains of agribusiness through dance, before the flag off.
NARIGP is a World Bank-funded program that has been rolled out in 20 other counties in the country. 

The Project Development Objective is to increase agriculture productivity and profitability in the region as a way of averting future cases of drought and hunger. 

Earlier this year Governor Martin Wambora launched a Youth in Agribusiness Strategy through the county's ministry of agriculture. 

Speaking during the launch that happened in February 2019, agriculture CEC Anne Nyaga said that the strategy focused on four value chains. 

"The four value chains are dairy cows, indigenous chicken, green grams and mangoes," she said. 


(Edited by Martin Fundi)



Friday, 25 October 2019

Governor Wambora to tarmac Kagaari North, Kyeni North feeder roads

Embu Governor Martin Wambora (left) having a chat with Kyeni North Ward Administrator Seth Kamau (second left), Infrastructure CEC Suleiman Kariuki (center) and area MCA Patrick Mukavi (in sweater) during a survey of the roads to be tarmacked.  
Wambora Legacy set to be a reality


By Martin Fundi

In His tireless efforts to improve infrastructure and leave a legacy, today Governor Martin Wambora led a team of county government officials and area elected MCA’s in a ground survey tour of Kagaari North and Kyeni North ward.

In Kagaari North, a feeder road connecting Muthege area to Kirimiri coffee factory has been earmarked for tarmacking, Muthege area sits along Runyenjes Mukuuri road.

In Kyeni North ward, a feeder road connecting Mufu tea buying Centre, off Runyenjes Meru highway, to Kaithege tea buying Centre has also been mapped for tarmacking.
The Governor at the site of the projects in Kagaari North

MCA’s Patrick Rugendo of Kagaari North said that Muthege-Kirimiri coffee factory feeder road comes as great relief for Muthege coffee farmers who have been using a longer route while delivering their berry to the factory.

Kyeni North’s Patrick Mukavi said that Mufu-Kaithege stretch has been a thorn in the flesh of the area residents especially during the rainy season and when tarmacked it will open so many business opportunities.

Governor Wambora further said that the road stretches through more than 20 private and public institutions.

(Edited by Jeremiah Mutuanga)

EMBU 25TH October 25, 2019. Kangaru-Kairuri road already in use (Photos)

Motor cyclists riding through Kangaru-Kairuri road which has been upgraded to bitumen standards by Embu County Government in collaboration with The World Bank. PHOTO: Martin Fundi
A public service vehicle plying the Kangaru-Kairuri road. PHOTO:Jeremiah Mutuanga
A pedestrian walks towards the signboard showing the details of the road upgrade project. PHOTO: Martin Fundi

Riders and Motorists said the newly upgraded road has come a long way in easing their daily activities and maximized their profits as they are no longer forced to incur regular repair costs mainly caused by poor roads.

Further, road users and residents living around the upgraded stretch said the project has opened up businesses and other new developments along the area.

Source, Embu County Communications Office

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Athi Catholic Church to reopen boarding primary school after community urges.

Father Simon Kithinji having a light moment with pupils at St. Thomas the Apostle Primary School
Athi Catholic Church to reopen boarding primary school after community urges.

By Martin Fundi

Athi residents in Meru County have lauded the move by Athi Catholic parish to turn St Thomas the Apostle Day Primary School into a boarding school. 

The residents said that there is no boarding school in the whole region and they are forced to take their children to boarding institutions outside the region. 

"The school was a boarding sometimes back and it used to produce the best students, some have gone to the university and others are working. We appreciate that they have rethought the idea to make it a boarding school again," said a resident. 

St. Thomas the Apostle Primary school pupils playing at the
school compound
Athi parish priest, Father Simon Kithinji, who is also the Administrator of the school said that the church decided to return the school into a boarding after receiving overwhelming requests from those living around the vicinity of the school. 

He said that the school was once a boarding school when well wishers from Italy used to sponsor pupils from the region go through boarding Education. 

However, the man of cloth said, after sometime sponsors started sending school fees directly to the parents. 

"This did not work out well, parents opted to use the money sent to them in other things and take their children to public schools," said Father Kithinji. 

Kithinji said that the school has now mushroomed and in efforts to satisfy the urge of the residents the church is now pumping resources to modernize the institution. 

"From next year, the institution will be a boarding school, we are putting all into place, from infrastructure to everything," he said. 

The priest said that the school has a goodwill of the community and urged people from the larger Meru County to take their children to the institution teeming it as a holistic institution. 

He said that pupils are not only taught class work but other life skills such as agriculture as also taught in the school. 

He said that Interviews for all classes for next year will begin on October 26 Saturday 2019.

The institution's sign board



(Edited by Jeremiah Mutuanga)

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

HEALTH, EMBU: Embu steps up fight against TB

A professional demonstrates how the TB screening system works to CECM Health, Dr. Joan Mwende (right), Deputy Governor David Kariuki (in blue suit and tie) as other senior government officers look on. PHOTO: Jeremiah Mutuanga

Embu steps up fight against TB


By Jeremiah Mutuanga

Embu County residents are set to benefit from free tuberculosis screening from the county’s department of health.

Those that are already suffering from the disease will also receive free treatment and follow up in an exercise that begun on October 7.

While speaking at Embu Stadium during the launch of the exercise, county Executive Committee member for Health, Dr. Joan Mwende said the exercise will be happening yearly.

“This year’s event will go on until towards the tail end of this month and we will have similar exercises every coming year,’’ she said.

The exercise that started at Manyatta Constituency will wingspread to all the other three Constituencies.

Dr. Mwende said that the county government, through the Department of Health, had partnered with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and the Ministry of Health to offer free screening and treatment.

The CEC noted that this comes after 18 people diagnosed with TB in the region ran away from treatment raising concerns that they might be spreading the airborne disease.

‘’The 18 were on regular treatment but they absconded. They are being sought on court orders. They will be confined in wards for about eight months until they get healed," she said.

The biggest risk with having TB patients who fail to carry through with their treatment is, such persons become resistant to further medication. 

‘’They therefore pose a bleak danger to the general public as anyone in their vicinity with weak immunity is susceptible to infection,” Dr. Mwende said.

The event was graced by Embu County Deputy Governor, David Kariuki and attended by other county government officials.

Kariuki reiterated Mwende’s sentiments urging area residents to consider healthy eating habits to avert other emerging cases of such ailments brought by human lifestyle.


(Edited by Martin Fundi)



Saturday, 19 October 2019

Embu hosts Regional Vocational Training Centers’ Games





EASTERN, EMBU: Embu hosts Regional Vocational Training Centers’ Games.

E
mbu County has for the second time hosted the Eastern Region Inter vocational Training Centers Ballgame competitions.

The two day games that kicked off on Wednesday 16 pools together participants from seven counties participating in three disciplines including football, handball and netball.

While addressing participants during the launch at Kigari Teachers Training College ground, Embu county Executive Committee Member for Education John Kiamati said that all the games will be played at the college grounds which is the most conducive in the region.

Embu, Marsabit, Kitui, Meru, Machakos, Tharaka Nithi and Isiolo counties are being represented by teams drawn from different vocational training centers in their respective counties.

‘’We are gathered here as vocational training centers for ball games, all the other counties are being hosted here for two days, we will be here for two days,‘’ said Kiamati.

The CEC said that the games are set to bring together technical students from different counties to give them a chance to showcase and grow their talents.

Kiamati said that those who will qualify will proceed to Nairobi for national competitions.

‘’Talent is now an economic activity, we want them to showcase their talents so that we can nurture them for their own self growth,’’ he said.

Further the County Executive member said that Embu was ready to host the event and had enough facilities adding that local business people had seized the opportunity and improved the hospitality services.
Five years have seen to the tremendous growth of Vocational Training Centres. For instance, Marsabit County had 3 VTCs but today there are 6 centers with 700 students in comparison to less than 200 before. Taking such sporting events seriously plays a major role in portraying a better public perception towards VTCs.
Speaking at the venue, the CECM for Education, Youth Empowerment and Sports in Marsabit County, Mr. Mulle Godana said that the occasion provides an opportunity for counties to benchmark with others hence uplift economic performance across the region.
Marsabit Education CECM Mulle Godana
“Before the onset of devolution, there had been no opportunity for such events as this to take place. Such events serve to bring the youth together in recognition of their capabilities, now made possible by the availability of necessary resources” He said.
Mr. Godana urged the Council of Governors to ensure the continuity of the annual competitions to serve as motivation to attract more people to enroll in the institutions.
“Such sporting events enable the people to see the other side of VTCs. There have been cases whereby one joins a VTC thinking of himself as only an electrician, for example, only to realize that he was also a footballer. Such discoveries are made through such events as this” Mr Godana added.