Construction of four key jetties in Lamu will start “soon” after a two-month delay, the government has said.
The government had earlier announced that the facilities including Mokowe, Mtangawanda, Manda, and Lamu Mangrove Customs jetties would be built at a cost of Sh649 million.
Public Works principal secretary Paul Maringa had announced that construction would commence in November 2018.
So far no work has begun on jetties, a move that has left users questioning why the government was taking too long to undertake the project.
Addressing journalists during a tour of Lamu County, Mr Maringa said tenders had already been given and that the work was set to begin in three weeks’ time.
He explained that the delay was due to government procedures undertaken before tenders were given to the contractor.
He said they had to spend time on soliciting for appropriate engineers who will undertake construction.
The PS said the government had already released funds for construction of the jetties and called on locals to be patient.
“Construction of the jetties was supposed to commence in November but that didn’t happen. We had to take time to solicit for an appropriate engineer who will construct the jetties in the required standards. Issuance of government tenders is also procedural.
“As we speak, tenders have already been initiated and finalised. We have also identified engineers to do the work.
“All we ask for is a little more time and patience. I expect work to begin in two to three weeks,” said Mr Maringa. According to an earlier breakdown Mokowe jetty was allocated Sh520 million, Mtangawanda Sh62 million, Manda Sh35 million and Lamu Mangrove Customs Jetty Sh32 million.
The jetties are in dilapidated condition.
Rehabilitation of the three smaller jetties is set to take between four to eight months.
Mokowe jetty, the largest, will be ready in two years.
Jetties are a crucial element of the local transport system as they are the main entry and exit points to Lamu town and adjacent islands.
However, all major jetties in the county are structurally unsound due to lack of maintenance.
In September last year, a pontoon detached from its piles at the Mtangawanda jetty and disappeared into the Indian Ocean.
The pontoon has never been recovered and the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) has warned that it’s a danger to navigation.
Local leaders have questioned the delay in repair work on the jetties considering that funds have already been disbursed and the necessary logistics completed.
“We call on the government to treat the matter with the urgency it requires and speed up the work so as to allow for safe transport in Lamu. Our women are suffering while using the jetties,” said Lamu women representative Ruweida Obbo.
Boat operators coming to Lamu town are forced to use one side of the Lamu Mangrove Customs Jetty after the other collapsed due to overuse and lack of maintenance.
The situation is the same at Mokowe where travellers also use one side of the jetty after one part collapsed into the Ocean due to corrosion and lack of maintenance.
The two jetties are the only entry and exit points to Lamu town.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.