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Relief for KPC as Makueni water cleared for use : The Standard

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Water from springs and rivers around Kiboko area in Makueni County that was feared to have been contaminated in a March oil spill has been cleared for use.
The Water Resources Authority (WRA) lifted the caution but asked residents to exercise caution when using the commodity, through  treatment and boiling.

SEE ALSO : Thange River oil spill victims sue KPC over compensation

The authority said it would continue monitoring the situation by continuously testing samples from the area’s water sources.
“The authority has lifted the precautionary notice issued on May 10, 2019 on the use of water from the springs around Kiboko area with immediate effect,” said WRA manager for Middle Athi Sub-Region Stephen Munyao in a public notice dated November 14.
“After analysis of the water samples from the affected springs, the results so far indicate that the water resources of Kiboko River are free from oil and grease.”

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“However, the Kiboko residents are advised to use treated water and for those drawing directly from the springs and rivers, to satisfactorily disinfect or boil and observe hygiene throughout the water-usage chain.”
While ordinarily a good practice, the treatment would come at an added cost for residents who not only use the water for household consumption but also for their livestock and farming.

SEE ALSO :MPs seek an end to KPC woes

“WRA will continue carrying out water quality and pollution monitoring with close surveillance of Kiboko catchment area… and will advise the water users and stakeholders accordingly,” said the notice.
The cautionary notice followed a leak on the new Nairobi–Mombasa pipeline, commissioned by the Kenya Pipeline Company last year August.
The Sh48 billion pipeline was in the limelight even before commissioning for the long duration it took to complete. The state firm reported a leak incident at Kiboko and siphoning of oil at Mlolongo in under one year of operation.
This led to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) opening a probe on the pipeline, with some Kenya Pipeline Company employees already questioned.
The lifting of the caution will give the firm some relief as it has had to supply fresh water to Kiboko residents over the period the notice was in place.

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SEE ALSO :Pipeline firm fails fresh bid to block Sh17b tax demand

However, Kenya Pipeline Company will be required to stay on the site to complete a clean-up of the areas affected by the oil spill.


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24 health centres set for slums in Nairobi

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24 health centres set for slums in Nairobi

Nairobi Metropolitan Services
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is set to construct 24 new health facilities in Nairobi’s informal settlements at a cost of Sh2 billion, in the next three months. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is set to construct 24 new health facilities in Nairobi’s informal settlements at a cost of Sh2 billion, in the next three months.

The health facilities will be put up in Viwandani, Majengo, Mathare, Kayole Soweto, Korogocho, Kawangware, Gitare Marigu, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Mukuru kwa Reuben, Kibra and Githurai.

This even as plans are also underway to elevate Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital to a Level Five health facility.

The new development comes at a time when Covid-19 cases in the country continue to soar having passed the 10,000 mark with Nairobi County bearing the worst burden, especially the informal settlements.

The capital has been the epicenter of coronavirus accounting for half of the total cases across the country.

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According to NMS Director General Mohammed Badi, the construction of the facilities is part of new targets his administration seeks to achieve in the next 100 days.

“In my next 100 days, I intend to achieve building 24 fully functional hospitals in Nairobi’s informal settlements. Development comes at a cost and we must ensure we do not go back to where we came from,” said Major General Badi.

NMS Health Services Director Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae said out of the 24 health facilities, 19 will be constructed from scratch while the remaining five will be rehabilitated.

Early this month, the new office said Sh300 million will be spent in the current financial year to rehabilitate health facilities across the 17 sub-counties in Nairobi.

She pointed out that 10 out of the targeted number will be Level Two health facilities while the rest will be Level Three.

This, the director pointed out, is in line with NMS’s vision in terms of health care in informal settlements, which is provision of comprehensive and quality health services to city residents living in these areas.

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Consolidated Bank barred from auctioning transport firm’s trailers

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Consolidated Bank barred from auctioning transport firm’s trailers

Consolidated Bank has been stopped from repossessing and auctioning 33 carrier trailers over more than Sh35 million debt that a transport company owes it.
Consolidated Bank has been stopped from repossessing and auctioning 33 carrier trailers over more than Sh35 million debt that a transport company owes it. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Consolidated Bank has been stopped from repossessing and auctioning 33 carrier trailers over more than Sh35 million debt that a transport company owes it.

A Mombasa court made the order after Exon Investment Ltd went to the court lamenting that its properties were likely to be auctioned by the financial institution which had instructed an auctioneer to sell the assets.

The company had borrowed Sh200 million and used some of its assets including the trucks as securities to the loan.

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The ruling by Mombasa High Court Judge Dorah Chepkwony has come as a relief for the company whose property faces auctioneers’ hammer for defaulting on the loan it borrowed in 2013.

“In the meantime, there will be no disposal of any of the motor vehicles that are the subject of these proceedings by either party pending the hearing and determination of the matter,” said the judge.

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The bank has been directed to file and furnish the company with a statement of accounts stating the outstanding arrears as well as documents they intend to rely on to prosecute their respective cases.

The company entered into a hire purchase agreement with the bank for the purchase of 33 carrier trailers, with the lender financing the purchase to the tune of Sh100million inclusive of interest.

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EAC Adopts New Measures to Shield Local Industries

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Countries in the East African Community have adopted new Common External Tariff (CET) import duty measures that seek to protect local industries from cheap imports. The new import taxes took effect on July 1, raising import duty for some products to shield domestic industries, while lowering import duty on critical inputs.

Currently, the CET stands at 25% for finished goods, 10% for intermediate products, and 0% for raw materials.

Categories of the import duty measures include the Duty Remission for Industrial Inputs, Stays of Applications, and Amendments of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004.

Under Duty remissions, local manufactures can import raw materials not available in the region at lower rates. According to the East African Business community CEO Dr. Peter Mathuki, this provision will only apply to gazetted manufacturers who will apply to import specific amounts of imports at lower rates.

“The duty remission measures adopted by the EAC Partner States will ensure that local manufacturers can import raw materials and inputs which are not available in the region at a lower rate,” Mathuki said in a Statement.

READ ALSO: EAC Trade Down by 40% Due to Movement Restrictions

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Stay of Application allows EAC partners to agree on a CET on the final product to stimulate local production. Countries can apply a higher rate than the CET on products like garments, leather shoes and belts, processed tea, coffee, cocoa, edible oil, iron sheets, and metal products to protect local production. In this case, Kenya will maintain an EAC CET 25% duty on margarine and edible mixtures for a year. However, the country will apply a 35% import duty for clothing apparel, both knitted and crocheted for a year as they are sensitive to the country. Most countries in the region have applied duty rates between 35% and 60%, showing a common need to protect industries, and therefore review the CET.

Noting that the EAC cannot manufacture everything, Stay of Application allows countries to set duties lower than the CET on products like mobile phones, wheat, and sugar.

Individual Country Import Duty Could Prevent Uniform Policy.

Nevertheless, Mathuki believes that different stays of application could prevent the region from developing a uniform policy governing imports into the region. Further, it will prevent products that benefit from a uniform EAC CET from accessing the area at a preferential tariff. Mathuki, therefore, recommends a review to fastrack a harmonized CET.

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