Five Wind power companies to invest in Meru

By Ciameru

Gulf Energy is the fifth wind energy investor to show interest in investing in Meru.

A study shows that Marsabit, Meru, Isiolo and Embu counties are potential wind power generation centres.

Kengen, Maralal energy, BlueSea Energy and Windlab Developments are other firms planning to pitch tent in Meru.

Kengen and Gulf Energy are eyeing Tigania while Maralal Energy and Bluesea energy have shown interest in Buuri.

During the second investment conference, Windlab Investments from South Africa pledged to invest up to Sh10billion in Meru if land is availed.

If the projects are implemented, Kengen will spend about Sh27 billion for 100mw, Bluesea Sh9billion for 40mw, Gulf Sh36 billion for 100mw and Maralal Energy Sh4.5billion for the first phase of 60mw.

In Tigania, there is emerging disquiet over plans by Kengen to use 18,700 acres of land at Kandebene in its project.

Residents say they are yet to be consulted over the developments.

Residents Protest over grabbed stream

Residents of Kamarima in Tigania West have called on the Water Resources Management Authority (WaRMA) to investigate claims that a spring that feeds a major stream in the area has been sold off.

The residents who held demonstrations over increasing illegal water users on Baitikua stream which supplies more than 1, 000 people.

Mr Peter Mugambi, a resident, said the owner of the land on where the stream originates had sold the spring at Sh100, 000.

They have accused Water Resource Users Association leaders of taking part in putting up illegal intakes.

“The owner of the land where the stream originates told us that he had sold two points of land together with the spring. He told us if someone buys a goldmine, the gold within belongs to the buyer.

There are seven water intakes served by the stream. We want the government to clarify whether an individual can buy and own natural spring,” Mr Mugambi said.

He said the buyer has started constructing an intake at the spring which will deny downstream users access to water.

Mr Bruno Muriungi the Chairman of Munguiti Water Project said the illegal water users had also dug trenches in the middle of the road after they were denied access by land owners.

“We are calling on the WaRMA officials to come to our rescue because our intakes will run out of water if the illegal ones are allowed. The road has become impassable after they laid pipes on it. Any legal intake should be constructed downstream after considering other users. They are tapping water from the eye of the stream,” Mr Muriungi said.

In 2012, WaRMA’s Kathita/Mutonga sub region office directive that all the six water projects on the stream use a common intake has been ignored.

However, Kathita/Mutonga Subregion Manager Anthony Ndung’u said the office has not received any formal complaint over the conflict.

He said all illegal water intakes in the stream would be demolished.

“We have to get an assessment report from a consultant which we also verify before issuing a water intake permit. We consider other water users and ensures that it is enough. We will investigate the claims to ensure the resources are protected,” he said.

Mr Ndung’u further said a land owner has no right over a water source and is required to give access to the stream.

Youth can lift 50kg with teeth

By CIAMERU

Mr Joseph Munyua’s rare feats leave many in disbelief but he says that he has learned them through practice for several years.

Mr Munyua, 31, has been a construction worker for the last 10 years where he started out as a cement loader among other menial jobs at construction sites before rising through the ranks to oversee construction projects.

“My first unique skill to learn was riding a bicycle backwards about 12 years ago. While working at construction sites, I realized that I could lift a cement bag with my teeth. My friends would attempt but they could not make it,” Mr Munyua recounts.

He says that he has been practicing this feat over the last 10 years and has showcased his abilities during the Meru National agricultural show as well as other public functions.

Mr Munyua further says that he has learned more stunts that include opening a bottle of soda with bare fingers as well as inflating a bicycle tyre tube with his breath.

The young man from Kambakia village in Meru County disputes that he has strange powers adding that any person can do anything they put their mind to do.

120,000 title deeds for Meru and Tharaka Nithi

By DAVID MUCHUI
Over 120,000 residents of Meru and Tharaka Nithi Counties are expected to end the 50 year wait for title deeds with the Presidents two day tour of Meru County.
There are mixed reactions across the counties as residents wait to see who will receive the much valued document.

Late last year, the Ministry of Lands dispatched 183 adjudication officers to Meru and Tharaka Nithi to undertake a crash programme that would see an estimated 200,000 title deeds issued in the region.

Mr Joseph Thiaru, a resident of Kiguchwa in Tigania East who expects to benefit from the adjudication crash programme said they had given up hope until the government sent officers from Nairobi.

“We started the adjudication process in 1968. Our grandparents died and our fathers have long passed on yet we have not got the title deeds. We have severally come close to receiving the documents but everything comes to a stop. We are glad that the government has heard our cry,” Mr Thiauru said.

According to Meru County executive in charge of Lands and housing Martin Bikuri, the issuance of title deeds is a major milestone for the residents.

“Many people have been held back on development due to lack of title deeds. The issue had led to rise of social evils due to increasing population where family conflicts had become the order of the day. The coming of the president this weekend is a reprieve to many,” Mr Bikuri said.

He said that the rapid results initiative undertaken by the national and county governments is working on 29 adjudication sections.

“The officers managed to conclude the process in 14 adjudication sections. We expect to declare seven new adjudication sections in two weeks to ensure all residents get title deeds. We are expecting 100,699 title deeds from the records forwarded to Nairobi,” he said.

According to Igembe North MP Joseph M’Eruaki, the Nyambene region that has been synonymous with land conflicts and assault cases related to land is the major beneficiary of the title deeds.

“We can’t wait to receive the title deeds because many people will rest from many years of waiting. Our region has lagged behind in development due to lack of title deeds. Residents of areas like Mutuati in Igembe North will be seeing the document for the first time,” Mr M’Eruaki said.

He said that the President will issue a total of 120,052 title deeds in Meru and Tharaka Nithi with Tigania West Sub-county getting the biggest number of 26,000 title deeds.

Mr M’Eruaki said that another 335, 190 title deeds are at various levels of preparation and more residents are expected to benefit.

Other Sub counties expected to receive title deeds include Buuri 5,132, South Imenti 1,267, Igembe Central 17,417, Igembe North 11,600, Igembe South, 3, 161, Tigania East 14,609, Maara 11,777, Chuka 14,093 and Tharaka 10,323.

Mr Bikuri said that Meru leaders are banking on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to address boundary disputes between Meru, Isiolo and Tharaka Nithi as well as protection of public land from grabbers.

Up to last year the unregistered land in Meru was close to 40 percent of the total land area which is about 2,064,000 hectares.

ENDS…

Meru, Isiolo Governors advised to keep off boundary issues

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LDGI Executive Director Mwenda Makathimo. He is a renowned Land economics expert.

LDGI Executive Director Mwenda Makathimo. He is a renowned Land economics expert.

By DAVID MUCHUI

Meru and Isiolo County Governors Peter Munya and Godana Doyo have been urged to follow the law in addressing boundary disputes between the two counties.

Recently, the two governors clashed after Meru Governor Peter Munya removed Cess collection barriers belonging to Isiolo County which he said were placed in Meru leading to retaliatory destruction of Meru Cess points by youths from Isiolo.

Speaking during a Meru leaders’ forum on land matters at Thiiri Centre, Land Development and Governance Institute (LDGI) Executive Director Mwenda Makathimo said that the Meru-Isiolo border is clearly defined and documented hence the dispute has no basis.

“There is no dispute between the Meru and Isiolo people because they have coexisted and worked together for long. The dispute is between the two governors. The Meru Isiolo boundary has never been changed even after it was gazette in 1992 following the addition of new districts. The documents are with the Office of the president and director of Survey,” Makathimo said.

He noted that having worked as a commissioner in the Interim independent boundaries review commission (IIBRC), he is aware that all boundaries were retained as per the 1992 gazette notice and adopted in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

Mr Makathimo said that governors have no mandate in interfering with boundary issues hence the two county chiefs should leave the matter to relevant government bodies.

“The two counties should not be fighting over Cess collection points. There should be joint plans on how the two counties can benefit from the LAPPSET and the Isiolo resort city rather than fueling conflicts among the people,” he advised.

The land economics expert cited article 188 of the Constitution of Kenya which directs that a County boundary can only be altered through an independent commission formed by parliament whose recommendations must win support of two thirds of National Assembly and the Senate.

“As at now not the IEBC nor the National Land Commission or any government body can initiate a boundary change until the parliament forms an independent commission. It is a long process hence the need to respect the 1992 boundaries. Governors have no duty on changing boundaries,” remarked Makathimo.

The LDGI Director further advised county governments to follow the law when implementing any developments on community land to avert stirring disputes among affected communities.

“If there is any development on community land the County government must respect Article 63, sub article 4 must be respected. It requires the County to keep the land in trust of the community until a law by parliament is provided to guide its use. Community rights over resources must be respected,” he said

He called for involvement of the communities so as to foster development in areas where land is communal.

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