In July 2018, we brought you the nitty gritty of the first ever Global Disability Summit in London, that had been co-hosted by Kenya and the U.K governments, on The Chamwada Report. We focused on the plight of persons with disabilities under the hashtag #LeaveNoOneBehind. The key pointers discussed in the 2018 summit included; finding ways to increase disability inclusion ad tackle stigma in low-income countries.

See also; https://youtu.be/Z1l3FEPx5uA?list=PLkQC7V6xE-b7vJ-IQC9_-NJ0r9l-EuEoy

This time round,  CHAMS media team takes you through what has happened since then. One year on, key stakeholders gathered at National Council for Persons with Disabilities in Westlands, Nairobi; on Friday 26th July 2019, to celebrate the achievements the country has made towards disability inclusion and to reflect on what more needs to be done. During the function attended by the outgoing British High Commissioner to Kenya Nick Hailey a new initiative to boost inclusivity in education was launched.

The British High Commissioner launched two key initiatives; Innovation to Inclusion and Inclusion works. The two new launched UK funded programs shall bring together a consortium of influential partners who will work collaboratively to ensure persons with disabilities, a critically under-utilized talent pool, are actively recruited and retained in meaningful employment in the private sector.

Other key take-home messages from the summit were inclusive education and the use of technology and innovation to empower persons with disabilities.

 

 

Like in many other areas, Kenya has put in place progressive policy and legal frameworks with the intention of improving lives of Persons with Disability. However, implementation of these and many other policies and legal frameworks, have been weak. This is what stakeholders hope will change even as Kenya stays true to the commitments made during the Global Disability Summit.

 

 

Digital lending is on the rise in Kenya. It started about five years ago and has grown in leaps and bounds to see over forty companies join in to share the market stake. Tala and Branch are some of the household names in this sector but many more are steadily coming up.

"Since we launched 5 years ago, digital lending has now grown in tremendous speed," says Ivan Mboa, East Africa Growth,Tala. "When we fist came in it essentially was Mshwari that had come in first, simply followed by TALA, but now we are looking at 45, around, over 47 digital lenders."

More digital lending apps have seen the number skyrocket as the demand for credit by Kenyans continue to rise...and rise. It is estimated that about seven million Kenyans are currently accessing mobile loans out of the 46 million Kenyans who own mobile phones.

More applications

Zenka loan app is one such company. Founded just about six months ago, but has made inroads into the fin-tech market as explained by Robert Masinde, Zenka chief executive officer.

“What we have done is try to provide access to them (customers) in a way easy and user friendly without the intimidation that they have to go through when they have to get a bank loan,” says Masinde.

Zenka app also offers its first time borrowers interest-free loans. This means that those who borrow for the first time will pay back the exact amount borrowed.

Also Read: What kind of loans you can get through digital apps

“We are bringing people who otherwise would have been stuck in the periphery of financial inclusion and migrating them to a position where they can access fiancé in the formal sector by starting them at a level they can manage,” adds Masinde.

Regulation vs innovation

But there is a challenge posed by the rapid growth of the sector, catapulted by high demand and appetite for quick cash.  Regulation is one such issue that stakeholders are grappling with, alongside transparency among practitioners in the sector. So, what will be the impact of regulating the sector?

"I must mention here that regulation is necessary to protect Wanjiku, to ensure consumer protection issues are addressed to ensure that the consumer is not exploited by service provider," says Habil Olaka, Kenya bankers association chairman.

But is the sector totally unregulated? Phyllis Kamau, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya who specializes in fin-tech and policy opines that there is self regulation in the sector.

"There is a lot of regulations that regulate mobile payment systems where this payment is happening," she says.

Adding that, "There are regulations around anti-money laundering that will by extension apply to those who are not licensed by any institution."

Digital lending has indeed taken the the country by storm. It is the new thing, here to stay as stakeholders admit that despite the challenges,  it has bridged a wider gap that existed before.

“What digital lending has done is that it has improved financial inclusion in the latest fin-access survey by FSD Kenya, which reported an increase in financial inclusion,” says Phylis Kamau.

“It means that the people who have not been able to access banking services have now been brought into the formal borrowing industry,” she adds.

Divided opinions

Beneficiaries also share their varied opinions about the new wave. Francis Kimani, a vegetable vendor in Nairobi's Ngara estate narrates the importance of mobile loans an how they have helped him boost his business.

"Long time ago, accessing loans from banks was a difficult task," says the 42-year-old. "But now small scale traders like us can access loans all thanks to mobile loans, the process is quite simple."

While most of them admit that mobile loans have helped them boost businesses, others are concerned about being listed a the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB).

"The way these lenders share details of those who owe them with the CRB is not good and they can share your details without your approval," says Edwin Asila, a borrower in Nairobi.

Click here to know more about ZENKA LOAN APP 

You can also watch The Chamwada Report show on this topic in the video embedded.

Ever borrowed a loan from digital lenders? How was your experience and what did you take home from that experience?  Well, this week, The Chamwada Report focuses on digital loans,pros and cons and to demystify the entire sector.

Digital lending is on the rise in Kenya. Started about five years ago and has grown in leaps and bounds to see over forty companies join in to share the market stake. Tala and Branch are some of the household names in this sector but many more are steadily coming up.

Zenka loan app is one such company. Founded just about six months ago, but has made inroads into the fin-tech market as explained by Robert Masinde, Zenka chief executive officer.

"What we have done is try to provide access to them (customers) in a way easy and user friendly without the intimidation that they have to go through when they have to get a bank loan," says Masinde.

Zenka app also offers its first time borrowers interest-free loans. This means that those who borrow for the first time will pay back the exact amount borrowed.

Also Read: What kind of loans you can get through digital apps

"We are bringing people who otherwise would have been stuck in the periphery of financial inclusion and migrating them to a position where they can access fiancé in the formal sector by starting them at a level they can manage," adds Masinde.

More than forty-five digital lenders have come on board to share the market stake that has taken the country by storm. It is the new thing, here to stay as stakeholders admit it has bridged a wider gap that existed before. So, why the instant rise in demand?

"What digital lending has done is that it has improved financial inclusion in the latest fin-access survey by FSD Kenya, which reported an increase in financial inclusion," says Phylis Kamau, Corporate finance advocate.

"It means that the people who have not been able to access banking services have now been brought into the formal borrowing industry," she adds.

Click here to know more about ZENKA LOAN APP

On the show, Alex Chamwada talks to other stakeholders like the Central Bank of Kenya, the Kenya Bankers Association, Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) and beneficiaries.

Catch the informative show this Thursday at 8.30pm on KTN News channel- a Chams Media production.

An in-depth article will follow...

Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) is an everyday occurrence; it exists within family units, communities, and sadly, not so much is done to curb this heinous act. Many vulnerable victims, including women and girls from violence prone communities and people with disabilities have gone through this ordeal, and most of these cases end up non-resolved. This week on The Chamwada Report, Chams media focuses on the need for SGBV survivors to access justice and support from all across; in consideration to an organisation that has taken initiative to walk with these survivors of SGBV through their pain and trauma, recovery journey and in their quest to access justice.

COVAW holding a legal awareness forum in Kisumu at the Manyatta Social Hall

Enhancing access to justice for the victims requires a concerted effort and the Coalition on Violence Against Women is one of the organisations championing accountability and justice for victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence. So far, COVAW has litigated on 11 matters in Nairobi, Kitui, Nyeri, Laikipia and Kiambu counties, with 3 cases still pending before court. The organization is documenting and providing response to survivors of sexual violence (SV) under a project known as Access to Justice and Women's Rights (AJWR).

See also: https://youtu.be/bIiXP-iH2xo

From psychologists and counselors, to pro bono lawyers and community legal awareness forums, COVAW is on the front line in ensuring these survivors eventually have Access to Justice. It is quite unfortunate that within our societies, vulnerable women and girls including people with intellectual challenges are being sexually violated. Thanks to institutional challenges such as lack of support from police, or gaps within the legal systems or even poor health facilities and/or services, these victims find it hard to access justice and are forced to move on with their pain and trauma. Yet this should not be the case.

Find out about this and more tonight on The Chamwada Report on KTN News at 8:3opm.

KISUMU COUNTY- Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water lake in the world, after Lake Superior of North America. It also stars as Africa’s largest lake and the largest tropical lake in the world. The lake has a surface area of 68,800 square kilometers, which matches the size of Republic of Ireland. Lake Victoria is located in East Africa whereby It serves Kenya- 6%, Uganda-45% and Tanzania 49%.

The lake, a major resource to the East Africa has a lot of benefits to the region, currently suppressed by the jeopardy, water hyacinth. “Under the blue economy, maritime transport would be the low hanging fruit that we have,” Dr. Ali-Said Matano, Exec Sec EALBC

Economic activities around the area feed the hyacinth. Industrial effluent, farming activities and soil erosion, contribute to the detrimental development of the harmful weed. This urgently calls for control of the feeding factors.

"Motorboat engines screech, worse still going off if the boat is not strong," lamented  Philemon Haruni, assistant captain.

Mbita area in Homa Bay county, however, prides itself of clean water with no hyacinth. Residents of Siaya and Homa Bay Counties and Takawiri, Rusinga Mfangano islands Luanda and Kotieno islands are happy beneficiaries of steady water transport. Two water buses cruise through the area, serving  fast yet safe and convenient  transport through the lake. People of this region use motorboats as an alternative means of transport.

Ironically, to the hapless people of Kisumu the experience in Mbita is just but a dream due to the water hyacinth menace that hinders transport. Water hyacinth is occasionally swept by currents, depending on their direction.

Alarming statistics according to The Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, indicate that the area covered by the weed increased from 6,142 hectares on February 11 to 7,583 hectares on February 15th this year.

Restoration of transport on Lake Victoria is underway as a flagship project spearheaded by the Lake Region Economic Bloc t revive the vast, yet dwindling resource.

“We have a directive from the governor, right honorable Raila Odinga and the President that all agencies including the regional bloc and counties must now think together. Our only term of reference is to rid the lake of the hyacinth and to dredge, that is all the principals want to hear,” Dr. Mathew Owili, Deputy Governor of Kisumu affirmed.

Bigger reliable machines are expected in at most 3 months and with a time frame of 15 months to complete the entire process of harvesting the water hyacinth, and thereafter dredging process to allow time for the construction of the new port awaiting the arrival of SGR.

The 14-Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Busia, Homabay, Bomet, Kericho, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Kisii, Nyamira, Bungoma, Kakamega and Vihiga -counties within the lake region economic bloc, parastatals directly linked to Marine transport are key stakeholders of the revamp process. Governments of the EAC members too are expected to take part.

Professional skills are a yardstick for the success of the project. “We need more marine vessels, we need more people to train in the marine industry so that we work in a professional way,”AnkolMwakazi, Captain, Water Bus.

Lake Victoria holds a fortune that is yet to be utilized and this will only happen upon its reclamation.

“The Kenya Pipeline has built a huge tank in Kisumu, the tank is ready to pump oil into big ships that can carry even 4 million liters of oil to Uganda and Tanzania Uganda consumes 4 million liters of oil in one day under the old way of transportation.

The big ships will be able to easily transport oil from Kisumu pipeline to Uganda and it will find its way to Rwanda, Congo and Southern Sudan and Mwanza and Musoma. That is a major milestone for the port of Kisumu… Abala Wanga, CEO, Lake Region Economic Bloc

Safety in transport is key and this could not have been overlooked. The inland port will bank on railway transport for the delivery of goods from Mombasa to the lake front and distribute to the respective counties through the lake. This is also expected to ease traffic and save time. Water transport and railway transport in sync is expected to bring a significant boost to economic growth in the lake region.

The reclamation plan comes with safety concern of those marine operators. “We have gazetted a number ‘110’ where a fisherman will be able to sound an alarm and we will be able to respond immediately,” ascertained Dr. Ali-Said Matano, Exec Sec. EALBC

 

Ronah Saada contributed to this article.

DUBAI, (UAE)- This week's The Chamwada Report brings you a special gift to commemorate this year's Valentines Day, a day on which loved ones share special moments. The show focuses on one special commodity that will surely exchange hands on that day and at some point in life. It is the flower.

A common commodity in Kenya, but rare in some countries. While everyone in love shares the red roses, the white flower is equally important.  And so tonight's show gives special focus on the white rose flowers as Alex Chamwada traces the commodity from a farm in Kenya all the way to Dubai. To find out why Kenyan flowers are in high demand in international markets.

"While nothing beats red roses in saying I love you on Valentine’s day, the white rose on the other hand symbolizes purity, chastity and innocence," said William Gwaro - Production Manager, Black Petals Ltd. "White flowers can be used to convey sympathy or humility."

Kenya is the lead exporter of flowers to the European Union markets. PHOTO| COURTESY

Statistics from the Kenya Flower Council indicate that Kenya's market share in the European Union (EU) stands at 38 per cent thus making her the lead exporter of flowers. Although there is growth in direct sales, 50 per cent of the Kenyan flower exports is still sold through Dutch Auctions.

Further KFC stats indicate that over 500,000 people, including 100,000 flower farm employees depend on the the Kenyan flouriculture industry, making an impact to the lives of more than 2 million people. Kenyan flowers are sold in 60 countries across the world. But it is not all about the red roses for Valentines. The show focuses on the ever popular white roses.

Chams Media CEO Alex Chamwada traced flowers from a Kenyan farm all the way to a buyer in Dubai. PHOTO| COURTESY

 

ISTANBUL, TURKEY- This week on The Chamwada Report, we sought to dig deep into the Israeli-Palestine war that has been going on for decades and counting. The genesis of these findings was a media conference which was held in Turkey's capital, Istanbul, late last year.

The conference, whose theme was to focus on the future of Palestine in global media, brought together journalists (including Chams Media's Elijah Mwangi), leaders and other stakeholders from across the world, to identify the challenges that media faces in covering the civil war pitting Israel and Palestine.

To identify the loopholes and or biasness in coverage and ultimately, to address the most modest way through which to disseminate the right information to the world. Nothing but the truth. But why is there war in the first place?

Historian Saleh Halewani told Chams Media that the war is between two factions who accuse themselves of invading one another's land.

"The Palestinians considered the Jews who came here as emigrants, as people who took their land and are trying to kick them out of here," said Halewani.  "It goes back to Abraham, when God promised this land to Abraham," he added.

You will remember that the  Israeli and Arab Palestinians have been fighting for a long time now and the major bone of contention is nothing short of history between the two countries.

The Jewish people settled in Palestine, a country they considered their own home but little did they know that this would rub the Arab inhabitants the wrong way. And they would not take it lying down.

So what exactly is this war and why has it been going on? And can the global media play a role in  stopping the war?

Watch the full story in the video attached.

And here are some of the responses from our viewers...

Israeli Palestinian conflict can only be resolved by Israelis and Palestinians. 2 states living side by side would be an amicable solution.

5

Mandere George
So all government offices to relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem....
Imhotep Genius
Completely outrageous. How can you as an african, albeit a low iq one, support european colonial settler state in north africa? In case you didn't know...there is nothing like the "middle east" its north africa. Those racist fake jews there have the highest skin cancer rates because their native land is poland and not africa....its a real shame slaves like you "alex" have influence in society...
Hide replies
Ouma Ernest
Imhotep Genius what great achievement/discovery have you made to place your IQ above ours we blacks?
Imhotep Genius
@Ouma Ernest my friend the fact that you have a european name placed prominently in front of your own ancestral name shows how stupid you africans are....shamelessly proud of being slaves...thats why all other humans on earth despise you idiots

 

LOITA, (NAROK COUNTY) -While the war against poaching and encroachment of the Mau Forest jumped from a good initiative to politics and war pitting communities against each other, it is a different picture in Loita Forest, about 147km away from Narok town.

Here, in Loita village, residents have taken it upon themselves to conserve the forest; fight against poaching and cutting down of indigenous trees. Loita, fondly known by locals as Naimina Enkiyio (forest of the lost child), is one of the remnants of indigenous forests in Kenya.

Locals believe it is theirs to treasure, aided by a global non-profit organisation - International Fund for Animal Welfare Protection (IFAW) and Ilkimpa Community Conservation Association (ICCA).

The Ten Boma model is akin to national government's Nyumba Kumi initiative and brings together members of the community into conserving the environment. It includes elders like the Oloiboni, community scouts, rangers and morans with a common goal of conserving the environment.

Faye Cuevas, Senior Vice President of IFAW, said they developed the idea following the suspected killing of elephants in Loita Forest in 2016."It was then that we started looking at what we as IFAW could do to help the community conserve Loita Forest,” she said.

"Ten Boma is a wildlife security initiative that focuses on providing security for wildlife and people that live near protected areas," Ms Cuevas explained.

"It works in such a way that we built a system that data information about security threats, analyses that data and delivers it to the law enforcement agencies," she said.

Members of the community were divided into enough groups to protect the land and according to their leaders; they have played significant roles in its conservation.The project addresses the Loita Maasai sub-clan of the Inkidongi (Laibon) lineage, a community of about 3,272 men and women and another 25,000 indirect beneficiaries in the wider Loita community.

"We have community rangers and scouts who act as our eyes because we cannot access Loita Forest all the time," said ICCA Director Crescentia Senteu.

The Oloiboni, who is the spiritual leader of the Maasai community, leads the elders and the entire team in conserving the forest. Loita Forest is a sacred place and no one is allowed into the forest without the direct and authoritative permission of the Oloiboni.

Among the groups, there are two special categories whose roles are more advanced. First are the scouts; eight well trained, equipped and dressed passionate men whose role is to tour the forest, guard it, record coordinates and compile reports in an occurrence book before sending verified data to their main office.

Secondly, and more interestingly, are the women photographers from an empowerment group called Nkonyek Oolkimpa. These are aggressive women who believe that pictures can indeed tell a story. IFAW, in conjunction with Lensational, provide them with cameras and photography lessons.

They are then asked to document whatever they encounter around Loita Forest.Kenya Wildlife Service through the Narok County Senior Warden Dickson Ritan plays an advisory role to the community and believes community organisation plays a huge role in forest conservation.Working together"We have been working together with communities in the land around Masai Mara National Reserve and so far we have 16 community conservancies," Mr Ritan said.

Compared to other forests in Narok County, Loita seems to benefit hugely from the Ten Boma strategy and so begs the question, why can't other communities, including those around Mau, do the same?

Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya, who has been at the center of fighting encroachment in Mau Forest, said the two scenarios were different.

“What we are seeing in the Mau is that the forest was left for everyone. No one is responsible. That is why people come from as far as Kisii, Nyamira, Nakuru and other places to invade the forest,” he said.

A similar edition of this article was published on the Standard Digital 

KWALE COUNTY- It is known all over the world for its beaches of the Kenyan South Coast, the most popular being Diani. However, Kwale being one of the marginalized Counties in Kenya, many places here are prone to poverty hence many school going children find their way out of school to seek alternative means of income.

This income is used to support families and is often relied on by the young boys and girls for their day to day necessities of life.

It was observed that parenting, poverty, and lack of education are the main contributors to high numbers of school drop outs in Kwale.

Wairimu Munyinyi Wahome who is the Executive Director of Coalition on Violence against Women (COVAW) told Chams Media that Kwale is one of the region with high prevalence of school dropouts and her organization is striving to change the narrative.

“Kwale County is one of the counties in Kenya that has very high numbers of girls that are out of school, the enrollment rates are low and even for the few girls that make it to school, their retention and transition rates to secondary school are even lower," she said.

One of the facilitators taking the girls through training at Kingwede Girls. PHOTO| HUMPHREY ODHIAMBO, CHAMS MEDIA

However, various stakeholders have come in to rescue the girls from early marriages, teenage pregnancies, and rampant school dropout cases.

According to Joyce Karigia of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, partnerships have been key. She says “In Kwale, we partner and work closely with the Kwale Child Rights Network and also the Gender Technical Working Group in Kwale to advocate and lobby with the girls.”

Through Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) program under implementation by the COVAW and Terre des Hommes Netherlands, at least 21 women and girls working groups have been identified.

These girls are trained on how to champion and advocate for their rights. For instance, at the training done at Kingwede Girls Secondary School in Msambweni Sub-County last week, the girls actively participated.

Through such training, the girls and young women get empowered to appreciate life and work hard towards self-reliance.

It is expected that such trainings will help change the mindsets of the community that has overtime relied on backward cultural practices so that girl’s rights are upheld.

World leaders gathered in Katowice, Poland for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24). The key agenda was to negotiate how to tackle climate change.

In Kenya, climate change is the main environmental threat that affects every aspect of our lives. Dr. Richard Munang, from UN environment, explains that Africa is losing 68 billion US dollars as a result of environmental degradation.

With global warming being the major subject discussed at the COP24, Kenyans have a reason to be worried. This is because, just like in other developing countries, Kenya is at the tipping point of global warming. Experts claim that not much is being done to handle climate change in Kenya.

experts are now advocating for the use of renewable energy

As a result of global warming, an increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts and floods has hit various parts of our country. for this reason, experts are now advocating for the use of renewable energy as a mitigation measure to combat adverse impacts of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

From what is gathered at the COP24, many countries with emerging economies appear committed to fighting climate change, but very few are actually on track to achieving these goals. David Fredrick, a naturalist, explains, "If we do not take action on climate change, the extinction of most of our natural world will be on the rise."

All this results in one major question, 'What role can a corporate play in mitigating climate change? On this show, we focus on the African Guarantee Fund, an organization that saw the need to save Kereita forest in Kiambu County, by planting trees.

They are aware of the benefits of trees in mitigating climate change and for that reason, turned up in large numbers of more than 300 people, including AGF's partner financial institutions, and planted more than 10,000 trees.

AGF conducting a tree planting day at Kereita forest

Felix Bikpo, AGF's CEO noted, "SME's need to acquire the right green technology for them to be competitive tomorrow." Various corporates agreed on the fact that climate change is real and is man-made.

According to experts, Kenya is yet to achieve the United Nation's recommended 10% forest cover. Many organizations, however, have proven to be doing all they can to ensure they come up with new strategies to tackle climate change. One of such strategies is the Green Facility by the African Guarantee Fund.

The Green Facility is a financial instrument as well as a risk management tool that AGF uses to support the various green initiatives available in the market to address climate change.

Knowing that SME's have a key role in mitigating climate change, this should be the language of every corporate. In so doing, the already known and dreaded major environmental challenge will soon be done away with.

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