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More Work At Kengen’s OlKaria V Power Plant After Safety Incident

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Commissioning tests have resumed at Kengen’s Olkaria V power plant after a brief disruption over the weekend. Activity at the power plant was put on hold on Friday evening after an incident at the station left 10 workers with injuries. Although some unverified reports state that steam pipes burst which led to the injuries, Kengen’s official statement attributes the injuries to a stampede among the workers.

The incident occurred on Friday, July 12th, 2019 at about 4 pm, while the team was preparing one of the units in order to step up power from 43MW to 65MW. The incident occurred after the operation of high-pressure safety safeguards. The safety system operated as designed but in the process, this triggered a stampede among the workers in the vicinity, some of who sustained injuries and were rushed to hospital in Naivasha,” read the statement by Kengen.

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As per the report by the energy company, 9 employees were treated and discharged while one is undergoing treatment at a Nairobi Hospital.

The power plant, which is in its last stages of construction, was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta in April 2017 and cost KSh40 billion to put up. The plant is expected to add 165MW to the national grid once it is fully operationalized.

 

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Raila Odinga protests probe against bank executive: The Standard

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Embattled AFDB President Akinwumi Adesina

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The bank’s whistle-blowing and complaints handling policy will also be reviewed

Africa Union has thrown its weight behind embattled Africa Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina over claims touching on recruitment and procurement at the institution.

A whistleblower has made allegations of violations of procurement, contract issuance, and recruitment procedures putting into question Adesina’s leadership at the bank.
The allegations however were investigated by the executive board through its relevant committee and a determination made that they were baseless. Individuals who were not satisfied by the Board’s findings and determination decided to pursue the issue outside the bank’s processes and procedures by calling for an independent inquiry.
The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Board on Thursday said it stood by an internal investigation that had cleared its president of improper conduct, but it would carry out an independent review of the report in the interest of due process.

SEE ALSO: Tactical retreat or slow surrender: What next for DP Ruto after purge?

Raila Odinga, The Africa Union high representative for infrastructure development in the continent rubbished call for second investigations into the allegations. He at the same time outlined the progress the multilateral lender has made under the leadership of Adesina, a former Nigerian minister.
“We reject the attempt to operate outside the laws governing the operations of the bank. If not checked, these maneuvers can distabilise a well-functioning institution at a time the continent needs it most,” Raila said.
In defending the bank, Raila pointed out that Adesina’s leadership has yielded commendable results, among them raising capital from USD 98 billion to USD208 billion in 2020.

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Part of Raila protest letter posted on his Facebook page

The United States, AfDB’s second-largest shareholder, has demanded a new independent probe into the allegations, rejecting the bank’s investigation over reservations about the integrity of the bank’s process. Meanwhile, top shareholder Nigeria has voiced its support for Adesina.
In a statement, AfDB’s board of governors said it believed the bank’s ethics committee, which produced the report, had carried out its role correctly. But the board has nevertheless agreed to authorise a review.

SEE ALSO: Bromance, then boom: The parallels

“The independent review shall be conducted by a neutral high caliber individual with unquestionable experience, high international reputation, and integrity,” it said.
On Tuesday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari gave his backing to Adesina in his bid for a second term as AfDB president despite the allegations.
Adesina later this year plans to pursue a second term as the head of the multilateral lender, which is headquartered in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan.
The board said the review of the investigation would take no more than four weeks and not interfere with the bank’s electoral calendar.
The bank’s whistle-blowing and complaints handling policy will also be reviewed at a later date to ensure it is being properly implemented, it said.

SEE ALSO: MCAs blame Atwoli, Oparanya for Wetang’ula woes and Luhya division

Additional reporting by Reuters

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Kenya re projects Sh1bn drop in earnings as COVID-19 reality sinks in

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 5 – The Kenya Reinsurance Corporation is staring at a revenue drop of at least Sh1 billion, an equivalent of five percent of its total earnings this year occasioned by lost contracts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lion’s share of the impact will be as a result of increased claims and rebates on premiums as businesses globally seek to re-negotiate their contract terms with underwriters and re-insurers.

According to the managing director Kenya Re Jadia Mwarania, the five percent hit will be “the worst case scenario” for the corporation in the wake of anticipated business losses occasioned by the pandemic.

“At the moment, we have over 265 re-insurance contracts spread across over 70 countries in diverse segments such as medical, trade credit, lawyers’ liability fees among others. We expect the business to shrink in tandem with the lower GDP growth as projected by the government at the rate of 2.6 percent this year. On our end, we estimate the industry growth to shrink by at least 2 to 3 per cent” Mwirania said in an interview.

This year, Kenya Re had projected an income of over Sh19 Billion based re- insurance premiums, property, investment income and business diversification.

Faced with the gaping hole in its books, the corporation has started to aggressively collect premiums from underwriters and brokers from the existing contracts to plug the gap.

“We are generating weekly reports to monitor targets and performance. At the same time, we have enhanced turn-around times for claim processing to a maximum of 48 hours”, said Mwirania.

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To cushion the corporation on the investment side, the MD said the focus for the next half of the year will be to increase dollar reserves in order to accumulate hard currency reserves in anticipation of foreign contract claims.

Other measures being implemented include investing in fixed income instruments such as treasury bills, bonds and fixed deposits to mitigate the effects of volatility.

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While cautiously noting that pandemics like COVID-19 are not covered in insurance contracts, Mwirania said that it will be the responsibility of each party to come up with the right solution to cushion both the client and insurer based on negotiation.

“We are well aware of the circumstances that have been occasioned by the pandemic. Most of the claim settlements will be based on negotiation and evaluation the best case scenario for each contract with mutual agreements between the involved parties” he said.

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Fairtrade International releases Sh70.5 million relief to cushion farmers

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Fairtrade International releases Sh70.5 million relief to cushion farmers

Chris Oluoch Fairtrade Programme Director (left), Executive Director Dr Nyagoy Nyong'o, Madeline Muga, Strategy and Impact Director and Oscar Ochieng-Finance and Administration Director during the launch COVID-19 Relief Fund of 600,000 Euros
From left: Chris Oluoch Fairtrade Programme Director (left), Executive Director Dr Nyagoy Nyong’o, Madeline Muga, Strategy and Impact Director and Oscar Ochieng-Finance and Administration Director during the launch COVID-19 Relief Fund of 600,000 Euros to support vulnerable producers and workers in the region on June 2, 2020 in Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Fairtrade International Network has announced a Sh70.5 million fund to support Kenyan farmers from the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

The fund, which is divided into the ‘Fairtrade Africa Producer Relief Fund’ and the ‘Fairtrade Africa Producer Resilience Fund’, will be directed into safety and livelihood programmes.

It will fund purchase of masks and basic protective and medical equipment, wage payments, food security initiatives, awareness of safety campaigns and business continuity costs.

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“Fairtrade Africa would like to inform all Fairtrade certified producers that Sh70.5 million has been allocated for disbursement to support vulnerable producers and workers in the region at this time,” the Africa Fairtrade Network announced in a statement.

“The Resilience Fund is established to meet the longer-term needs of producers as they begin to look at life post COVID-19 such as business restoration, technology-based capacity building, addressing human rights risks in value chains through programmatic interventions, support for strengthening finances to tackle future risks, and advocacy.”

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This comes at a time when the country’s horticulture industry is struggling to cope with decline in overseas orders amid cancellation of flights as well as travel restrictions.
A drop in revenue has seen flower and fruit companies cut thousands of jobs amid rising costs.

Horticulture exports fell seven percent in 2019 to Sh142.72 from Sh154.7 billion.

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