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Diani Street Lights 2 optomizedKwale County Government is finally lighting up Diani Beach in an ambitious project to improve security and promote a 24 hour economy as part of Kwale’s County Integrated Development plan which mirrors the national strategy, Vision 2030.

The new 350 street lights (when completed) spanning from Indian Ocean beach club all the way to Mwisho wa Lami.

This covers slightly more than 13km.

The new solar off-grid Integrated street lights are the next generation of solar street light systems. All of the components including the solar panel, Lithium Ion batteries, charge controller, light sensor are housed inside a single Aluminium body.

Harry Kisamwa – (Director Oranje Safaris) : “ Very positive. We hope they all work and they are properly maintained. “

Harry Kisamwa – (Director Oranje Safaris) : “ Very positive. We hope they all work and they are properly maintained. “

The Integrated design not only makes the fixture aesthetically pleasing but it makes installation and maintenance extremely easy.

The County Government of Kwale has actually no immediate plans to expand the project in this financial year. However through the County Ministry of Tourism, the County Government is in discussion with all hotels to reciprocate efforts to light up Diani by having streets on their side of the streets.

This project will not only enhance security and tourism but also open up Diani Beach to further investment.

Visitors and residents will now feel safer to walk up and down Diani beach road with various businesses, which now perhaps are willing to stay open much later than before.

Vikram Korla – (MD of Neptune Group) says : “ A very good idea going forward on opening up Diani “

Vikram Korla – (MD of Neptune Group) says : “ A very good idea going forward on opening up Diani “

The project was funded by the County Infrastructure and Public works department to a tune of Ksh.66 million in the 2013/14 budget. There was a delay in the process due to import problems of samples before approval by the County Engineer.

Lighting up Diani Beach had been a project in the works since the early 1980’s, where the national government always made promises of undertaking the same. The County Government kept promise and showed with the right mind set and budget, projects that were otherwise ignored by the national government could now become a reality.

Dr. Philip Varghese – (Adminstration Committee Chair Rotary Diani) : “ Good news for Diani. Hopefully the County Government will maintain them and Vandals will keep off.”

Diani Beach Street Lights 2015

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About one month ago we revealed that the Killing of our Indian Ocean Beaches here in Kwale County has not stopped as hoped. Still at night the Chinese Sand Dredger ship leaves the port of Mombasa and is sucking tones and tones of our beach sand to support the building of the new railway.

Believe it or not – everybody knows !!!

Meetings were held – all national newspapers were reporting about it – village elders were claiming – tourism stakeholders were shouting – environmental organizations were presenting impact studies …. nothing helped to stop this huge environmental killing.

The question is WHY ?

Dear Eyes-on-Kwale fans and followers – we all know why !! Driven by the Chinese constructing company all important decision makers like NEMA and KPA ( Kenya Port Authority ) and maybe some top national government positions have connected to find their way against the interest of Kwale County.

Last month we asked the Kwale County Government about their position and they confirmed they are totally against the sand dredging. Then we were waiting to see what they would come up with.

We believe that our Governor Salim Mvurya did as much as he can to stop it via his official mandate consulting the related stakeholders – but it looks like without success !!!

NOW – Governor Mvurya came up with a brilliant way to increase public pressure. He placed a one page add in the Daily Nation describing the situation and calling everybody to help stopping this scandal.

To be honest – that is an excellent move !!!

IT IS OUR CALL NOW !!!!!

Let’s share this article and show the entire Kenyan Nations what’s happening here. Let’s share this article and demonstrate that we are behind our Governor Mvurya in his fight against killing our Beaches.

Find here the 1 page advertising he has placed in the Daily Nation on Friday the 8th of May 2015

( Klick on it to enlarge ) :

Governor Mvurya is fighting to stop the killing of our Beach ( Click to enlarge )

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We all will see in a few years that it was a historical mistake for all of us to open investment opportunities for the Chinese government and its industry.

These always smiling “ Kenya Supporters “ have invaded our country and found a Kenyan political class who was and is more than willing to give-in our natural recourses for the sake of so called economic growth. Don´t think they are helping us because they want to see Kenya growing nicely. The Chinese are here only to help themselves.

Kenya is targeted as a very interesting market for their own products and services.

IvoryMaybe you say now: “ What’s wrong with it – that’s normal “ … well it could be normal as long as a business partnership is grounded on ethics and moral that fits both sides. For example. It is more than obvious that the Chinese in combination with other Asians are in love with ivory – only they don’t have enough. But we as Kenyans – we would have enough – but we don’t want to sell it because we are in love with our nature and its belonging elephants or rhino’s.

A business partner with a minimum ethic, moral and a sense of partnership would understand and respect this. Well but not the Chinese. Since the Chinese companies and administration are around in our country poaching is recording new death toll records year after year. More than that they are also the biggest worldwide supporter of NOT stopping ivory trading.

And now – they are killing our Indian Ocean Beach.

dredger What is happening? Our Government has given several huge construction tenders to Chinese companies. This constructions need sand for making concrete. In a south coast meeting – Professor Jacob Kibwage – who teaches at the University of Nairobi and who is licensed by NEMA – gave an outlook of the projects. Prof. Kibwage gave an outline of what the project was about, including the construction of a new KPA terminal at Port Reitz where all the rubbish was being dumped out at sea, approximately 4km off shore. The new railway terminal will also be at Port Reitz but for the construction of the railway line for which 5.000.000 tons of sand would be required and which would be taken from our ocean bed along Diani Beach,. The sand would then be washed at Port Reitz and then used.

Wait a minute: 5.000.000 tons of beach sand will be taken out of the ocean.

WHY ? Because it’s just the cheapest way. These Chinese companies don´t care about our corals, our fishermen our beautiful ocean – they just do it because they CAN do it. The Kwale community has tried to stop it. Driven by Luciana Bazile the SCRA Chairperson ( South Coast Resident Association ) all relevant stakeholders were denying it and came up with a clear NO – stop it !!

All residents including marine experts, voiced their concerns including:

a) Killing of our mangroves at Gazi – mangroves which produce oxygen and filter the air we breath.
b) How come such a marine project was undertaken without consulting any marine experts/scientists on the impact this would have.
c) By removing the sand just across from the reef the hydrology in the area would change and a real possibility that the tides would take the sand from our beaches to fill the gaps and we would remain with sandless but rocky beaches as has happened in front of Sand Island in Tiwi.
d) The Tiwi Fishermen reiterated that they are still jobless as no fishing can be done in their area, and it is 2 years now that they cannot afford to send their children to school.
e) The tourist industry would totally collapse which tourist wants to come to an area which is just rocks, no diving, no fishing etc.
f) The filthy which is being dumped outside Mombasa into the Ocean will also impact us, as the tides will slowly bring this filth ashore along the coastlines.
g) The fishermen were worried as they would no longer have a job.
h) The reef would die.
i) Heavy metals from the mud dumped off Likoni could contaminate the ocean.
j) No scientific studies done nor a proper EIA document produced but merely a slide show praising the new railway.

The sand is goingOur Kwale County Minister of Tourism, Hon Adam Sheik, expressed his disappointment that his Governor had not been consulted on such a project.

Within his County, and the response from our County Government was a definite NO to this project being undertaken here.

But how can we stop our “ Kenyan Friends “ these Chinese sand dredger ?

Let’s shout it to our Governor:

PLEASE – STOP THIS BEACH KILLING – BEFORE IT´S TOO LATE

 

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In these days our county Government is touring around to present and discuss their future budget numbers, ideas and priorities for the 2015/16 – 2017/18 Kwale County MTEF Budget. But the information for the public participation came late and important information documents were not released upfront.

The 2012 Public Finance Management Act requires each of Kenya’s 47 counties to publish budget information during the formulation, approval, implementation, and audit stages of the budget cycle. This information allows the public to shape county budget priorities, discuss trade-offs with their representatives in the county assemblies, and track whether the budget is delivering on what was agreed during consultations between the public, executive, and assembly. But is the requisite county budget information being published ?

We have checked the availability of seven documents on the official Kwale County Website and have seen that only 2 out of seven are available:

  • County Integrated Development Plans
  • Annual Development Plans
  • County Budget Review and Outlook Papers
  • County Fiscal Strategy Papers ( published on the 2nd of april 2015 – far too late )
  • Budget Estimates (Proposed Budgets)
  • Approved Estimates (Enacted Budgets)
  • Quarterly Implementation Reports

Commission on Revenue Allocation chairman Micah Cheserem

County governments must release documents on their budgets to the public at least two weeks before they are formally discussed by a select group of area leaders, the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) has said. In new guidelines on consultation during preparation of county government budgets, the CRA said the public must also be given a notice of at least two weeks before convening the meeting to debate the spending proposals.The time lines are intended to ensure that the public is not caught flatfooted as has been the case in the past when many county governments issue a notice only a day to the meeting. Access to timely and comprehensive information is crucial if the wider public in Kenya are to meaningfully participate in government decision making.

This was the offical message published on the 2nd of april 2015 ONLY 5 days before the first public meetings have started:

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION FOR PREPARATION OF THE 2015/16 -2017/18 KWALE COUNTY MTEF BUDGET

Chapter twelve section 201(a)of the Constitution,2010 read together with section125(2) of the Public Finance Management Act,2012 emphasize public participation in county budget making process .Pursuant to these provisions, the County Government of Kwale hereby invites the public, interested persons or groups and other stakeholders to public hearings in preparation of the 2015/16-2017/18 Kwale County MTEF Budget.

The participation shall be through oral presentations during the scheduled forums to be held in the 20 wards within the county .Written submissions can also be made  to the County Treasury, Kwale County Government, P.O. BOX 4-80403  or vide any of our email  addresses-  county treasury@kwale.go.ke or chief officer finance@kwale.go.ke.

The draft  2015/16-2017/18 Kwale County MTEF Budget Estimates can be viewed from our website www.kwalecountygov.com or at our county  ward offices . The schedule for the meetings is indicated below.

 

DATE TIME WARD VENUE
                                                              LUNGALUNGA SUB -COUNTY
Tuesday- 07/04/2015 10.00 a.m. Vanga ADC Church-Lungalunga
Tuesday-07/04/2015 2.00 p.m. Mwereni Sub county Offices-Lungalunga
Wednesday-08/04/2015 10.00 a.m Pongwe-Kikoneni Ward Offices-Shimoni
Wednesday-08/04/2015 2.00  p.m. Dzombo Menzamwenye Social Hall
                                                      MSAMBWENI  SUB- COUNTY
Tuesday- 07/04/2015 10.00 a.m. Ramisi Jomo Kenyatta Primary School
Tuesday-07/04/2015 2.00 p.m Kinondo Mwabungo Social Hall
Wednesday-08/04/2015 10.00 a.m. Ukunda Red Cross Hall -Mvindeni-Ukunda
Wednesday-08/04/2015 2.00 p.m. Gombato-Bongwe Show Ground -Ukunda
                                                      MATUGA SUB- COUNTY
Tuesday-07/04/2015 10.00 a.m Waa- Ng’ombeni Ng’ombeni Chief’s office Hall
Tuesday-07/04/2015 2.00 p.m Tiwi Tiwi Chief’s office
Wednesday-08/04/2015 10.00 a.m. Mkongani Kizibe
Wednesday    08/04/2015 2.00 p.m Tsimba-Golini Kwale Cultural Centre
Thursday -09/04/2015 10.00  a.m Kubo South Lukore
                                                        KINANGO SUB -COUNTY
Tuesday-07/04/2015 10.00 a.m Ndavaya Ndavaya Ward Offices
Tuesday-07/04/2015 2.00 p.m Kinango Kinango Youth Empowerment Centre
Wednesday-08/04/2015 10.00 a.m. Mwavumbo Kalalani Social hall
Wednesday-08/04/2015 2.00 p.m Kasemeni Bofu Social Hall
Thursday-    09/04/2015 10.00  a.m Puma Vigurungani  Church
Friday-10/04/2015 10.00 a.m Mackinon Road Taru
Friday-10/04/2015 2.00 p.m. Samburu-Chengoni Dzilaz Hotel

 

Important to say that the meetings could not be attended from Kwale people, who have a regular job !!!!!!

 

Budget Process 2015

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Eyes-on-Kwale had the chance to get a first copy of the new Kwale County Budget 2014 / 2015 which is in place already since 1st of July 2014. This is the second budget of our current county government and it was developed within the full cycle of the our new constitution.

While the first county budget was a kind of transition framework – this actual one is showing the significant input of our Governor and his team.

We will start today a small series of budget analysis that will highlight the details of the 5.6 Mio Schilling spending plan. At first find hereafter the total budget separated by departments and entities. It shows how much we spent in total – means the spending includes cost for employees, rent, electricity etc. – PLUS – the development cost.

Kwale County Budget 2014-2015 - Information

Very obvious is the focus on Health and Water with a total spending of far beyond 1.000.000 Schilling. Our Government plans very ambitious improvements in the health and Water-Infrastructure arena – A GOOD MOVE !!!!

Surprisingly is the planed low investment is the Tourism and ICT department. With below 200 Mio is nearly the lowest investment at all. It looks too low compared to the thousands of jobs participating from it.

Kwale County Budget 2014-2015 - Information-2

 

As said – this is the first little overview of the new Kwale County Budget 2014 / 2015. In the coming days we will look into each department more closely and will provide details about it.

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If we have a look into the official documents of the “ Office of the Controller of Budget „ – we can clearly see that our Kwale County Government has received from July 2013 till end of March 2014 a total of about 960.000.000 Schilling for Development Projects.

Think about this number for a minute: 960 mio Schilling = about 11 mio US Dollar – Really a significant amount of money to change our county to the better.

But – if you look what our Government has spent – the frustration comes immediately. Only about 160 Mio of the available funds have been utilized. The remaining 800 Mio are sitting on the treasurer bank account waiting to be spent.

When our Governor Mr. Mvurya and his team started last year to change Kwale to the better, they had come up with a development budget of 1.500 Mio – which was agreed on.

Kwale County Budget

We have talked to many citizens of Kwale county and we got a strong message of frustration about their actual situation of life. Honestly NOBODY ( we talked to )has experienced a change – a positive change !!!

There is a very obvious question:

Why is our County Government NOT able to implement their COUNTY INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PLAN ?

Our Answer – They don’t have a Plan !!!

Since months we are claiming that our County Government is not publishing the KWALE COUNTY INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PLAN. By constitution it should be a rolling 4 years plan that must be the basis of agreed projects. What we all got are just verbal statements and little fragments of initiatives.

Many times we got the info this plan exists but we never got it. So either the Government is afraid to make it public to avoid discussions about it – or – it simply doesn’t exist.But without a clear development strategy by department filled with clear activities and projects nobody could succeed.

But it´s even worse

In these days we have heard about rumors that counties have to return unused development funds to the national government. Immediately all county governors were shouting FOUL and came up with the story of a hidden agenda to kill the Kenyan Devolution Process. Our Governor Mr. Mvurya told us:

“ There is a plot by some people in the country to confuse Kenyans by diverting the attention to counties and forget about billions of cash remaining with the national government without being monitored. The controller of budget office is being used by some people who want to kill devolution by first demoralizing citizens who vehemently voted for the new constitution in 2010 “

Well, well, well – a nice try Mr. Governor.

In fact budget processes around the government-world are more or less the same.

First you submit a budget with projects and plans
Second you get approval
Thirdly you start implementing it

And last but not least … all approved funds ( within one budget year ) that have NOT been spend or NOT committed in real projects – will not been send to the counties or worst-case have to be reversed.  Here is the problem. Our County Government has not spent enough and has not started / committed available funds into real development projects. It’s a Kwale County Government problem – nothing else.

Dear Mr. Governor,

as we have already started in your second year of being our leader, let us tell you: We know it´s difficult – We know you are lacking professional people around you – We know you can not be an expert in all areas – We know even central Government is not straight forward – this all we know.

We are sitting in the same boat. Stop acting like an actor. Let us know your problems and will help. Show us your plans and we will plan with you. We have enough potential in our County – only – you must have the courage to ask for it.

 

 

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From January till March 2014 our Kwale County Government spent a total of Kshs. 1.2 billion – of which only 11% ( 142 mio ) were spent for development projects. Take your time and recap this figure slowly – ONLY 11% for development – that is a absolutly too low.

Befor we go into the details of spending – have a look at this chart which shows the differences of spending between Machakos County and Kwale County. Machakos spend over 40% of its budget in Development !!!!

Kwale County Budget Review - vs - Machakos Beudget Review
Analysis of Kwale´s recurrent expenditure reveals that the County spent Kshs. 484 million on personnel emoluments which translates to 44 per cent of the total recurrent expenditure while Kshs. 604 million was spent on operations and maintenance, accounting for 55 per cent of the total recurrent expenditure. The personnel emoluments include Kshs. 289.7 million that was reimbursed to the National Government for salaries paid to staff performing devolved functions.

Only 142 million were spend in some development projects that the County implemented during January till March 2014 –  included; a food security program of Kshs.122.3 million, Kshs.7.4 for purchase of medical supplies, and Kshs. 8 million for land resource mapping.

Analysis of operations and maintenance expenditure for the County reveals that Kshs. 98.3 million (17.3%) was spent on domestic & foreign travels, Kshs. 36.7 million (6.5%) on office furniture & general equipment, Kshs. 31.8 million (5.6%) fuel and oil and lubricants, Kshs. 28.9 million (5.1%) on purchase of motor vehicles, Kshs. 24.3 million (4.3%) routine maintenance of assets. Other operations and maintenance expenses included; Kshs. 21.8 million (3.8%) spent on printing, advertising & information supplies, Kshs. 11.8 million (2.1%) on conferences and hospitality, Kshs. 9.5 million (1.7%) on utilities supplies and services, Kshs. 9.3 million (1.6%) on communication supplies and services and Kshs. 5.3 million (0.9%) on training.

The County spent Kshs. 35.2 million for payment of sitting allowances for the 33 MCAs against a budget of Kshs. 40 million – an average of Kshs. 118,506 per MCA per month. In Machakos its only Kshs. 67,657 per MCA per month.

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There were big hopes in our Kwale County last year, when the new County Governor Salim Mvurya was elected. First time ever the election run under the new constitution, which devoluted a lot of functions and responsibilities into the county governments. In easy words each county gets it´s own “ little “ government.

The fathers of the new Kenyan Constitution empowered the counties in the big believe that local governments could respond much stronger to local needs than the central administration from Nairobi could do. They believed that a strong county discussion process would start – from Kwale County Government to its citizens and from Kwale citizens to Kwale Government.

Our elected governor – Mr. Salim Mvurya – worked before for years with PLAN INTERNATIONAL a worldwide operating NGO, where he was the dead of the Coast operations. He definitely must has learned how important a communication process is for the success of a company. We have hoped that he could have the capacity to transfer his knowledge to his new “ job “ – as our governor.

Unfortunately – till today – the communication strategy of his government is not really existent – it’s a disaster !!!!

Kwale WebsiteOur government has no existing county website at the moment – as you can see at http://kwale.go.ke

It looks like it went offline a few weeks ago.

The one that was existing before was a skeleton website with absolutely no important information’s in it and has never been updated.

 

Our government has an official Facebook Page – sounds good ?Kwale Facebook Page

Well – have a look at it and make up your mind at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kwale-County-BriefingsUpdates/619996524681174?ref=ts&fref=ts

 


So – how does the governor communicate with his citizens who have elected him ?

He personally does not !!!!

Either his personal assistant or his newly appointed Principal Information Officer are posting some “ information’s “ and pictures into Kwale Facebook groups. If you are not member
of Facebook or not member of these groups – you will not see any information’s.

Please Mr. Governor – Please Mr. Mvurya – stop this unprofessional communication strategy. Don’t make us feel or believe you are doing it to hide information’s from us. We want a digital platform where we can see your plans, your budgets, your achievments.

The times of bushdrums and management by information-hiding are over.

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The county government of Kwale plans to plant one million trees

This would be one of its efforts to conserve environment, says the County Executive in charge of land, environment and natural resources Ali Mafimbo.

“Out of this target, fifty thousand trees have already been planted,” said the minister adding that his ministry has projected to increase the forest cover by 10 per cent. The minister was addressing stakeholders during the official launch of Kwale County Natural Resources (KCNRN) strategic plan at Kwale Cultural Centre in Kwale town.

Mr Mafimbo who was holding brief for the deputy governor, Fatma Achani, informed participants that his ministry was developing a policy that would regulate charcoal burning. While acknowledging that majority of the residents of Kwale were low income earners who depended on charcoal as a source of energy, he said the activity could seriously degrade the environment if sound policy was not put in place.

The Chairperson of Kwale County Natural Resources Network, Ms Mwanahawa Salim presents the organization's strategic plan for 2014-2018 to CEC for Lands, Environment and Natural Resources Mr. Ali Mafimbo

The Chairperson of Kwale County Natural Resources Network, Ms Mwanahawa Salim presents the organization’s strategic plan for 2014-2018 to CEC for Lands, Environment and Natural Resources Mr. Ali Mafimbo

The minister revealed that the county government had set aside a budget to use in purchasing land from residents who were willing to sell their land at competitive rates. He noted that the county government did not have adequate land for expansion and so would resort to buying land from members of the community. He said three companies including East African Exploration Company and Rift Energy were already exploring for oil and gas in Kwale County.

Despite being endowed with enormous natural wealth, Kwale County is rated among the poorest counties in Kenya. The level of poverty and unemployment has skyrocketed with the official national poverty index putting the local poverty level at more than 70%. Not even the proposed mining bill of 2014 seems to have taken into account the wishes of Kwale people as the bill is structured in a way that has got very little, if any, to do with the county governments.

The minister lauded the leadership of KCNRN for its effort to sensitize the community on the need to participate in the natural resources ownership and management.

“ You cannot separate Kwale people from natural resources „

“You cannot separate Kwale people from natural resources,” said the minister adding that his ministry had already given its views on the proposed draft mining bill yet to be tabled in parliament for debate.

“What we have in Kwale is wealth in the midst of poverty,” said Mafimbo. In a recent forum organized by Human Rights Agenda (HURIA) at Hillpark Hotel in Tiwi, participants criticized the bill which they claimed gave the cabinet secretary for mining excess powers while completely ignoring the county governments. The forum was also attended by Mr. Mafimbo and the chairperson of mining committee in the county assembly Mr. Meruphe Ndoro,

In an effort to improve the bill, participants recommended among other things to establish a County Dispute Resolution Board to comprise small scale miners, chief geologist, Chairperson of the mining committee in the county assembly, two members of the county assembly (MCAs) coming from the mining zone and one representative from the national government. The board, they proposed, should be chaired by the County Executive Committee member in charge of mining. The bill as it is currently, gives dispute resolution responsibility to the cabinet secretary for mining.

Today’s forum was also addressed by the county executive for community development Mr. Patrick Mtsami and the chief officer for lands, environment and natural resources Dr. Mohamed Pakia. Others were the former permanent secretary for forestry and wildlife Mr. Mwarapayo Mwachai, the Matuga Sub-county deputy county commissioner, Msambweni Sub-county administrator Mr. Hamisi Mwandaro and a host of representatives from organizations, government and private sector.

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