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Sunday, December 2nd, 2018


How is the humanitarian system performing?


This report outlines humanitarian needs over the past three years; provides an overview of the resources made available to address these needs; describes the current size and structure of the humanitarian system; and presents an assessment of the system’s performance in addressing humanitarian needs.

The State of the Humanitarian System project aims to provide a longitudinal assessment of the size, shape and performance of the humanitarian system. It reports every three years. This is the fourth report, covering the period 2015–17. It is based on the same broad structure, methodology and questions as the previous editions, to allow an assessment of progress over time.

Composition of the humanitarian system

In 2017, the total combined field personnel of the humanitarian sector numbered approximately 570,000. This represents an increase of 27% from the last SOHS report (450,000 in 2013). Growing numbers of national humanitarian workers appeared to drive this increase, while the number of international (expatriate) staff remained stable. On average across humanitarian organisations, this growth in personnel did not keep pace with the overall rise in operational expenditure.

The majority of funding continued to flow through UN agencies, with the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) the three largest in terms of expenditure. Much of this funding was then passed on as grants to non-governmental organisations (NGOs). These three agencies were also among the largest in terms of staffing, although for the first time they were outstripped in staff numbers by an NGO (Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)). As in 2015, UN agencies and NGOs spent similar amounts overall ($16 billion for the UN and $16.8 billion for NGOs). Expenditure by the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement fell in proportion to both UN organisations and NGOs as a result of reduced expenditure by National Societies. The concentration of funding flowing through a small number of international NGOs evident in previous editions of The State of the Humanitarian System continued, though it was less marked than in the past: in 2017, 23% of funding went through six large international NGOs, compared to 31% through five in the previous edition of the SOHS.

Counties rush to meet Sh38b grant deadline

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Meru County has inaugurated its municipal board, even as Isiolo forwarded the names of nine nominees to the assembly for vetting as they seek to benefit from two key grants amounting to Sh38 billion.

The United Kingdom will give Sh8 billion to municipalities under the Sustainable Urban Development Programme, as the World Bank funds the Kenya Urban Support Programme to the tune of Sh30 billion. Only counties with municipal boards are eligible for the funding.

Last Friday, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi introduced the board, chaired by Bishop Kirimi Buria, to the business community and asked it to support the team.

The meeting was also attended by Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)’s Meru Chapter officials.

With the board in place before the December 10 deadline, Meru County is now set to apply for funding.

Some of the programmes that will be implemented in the projects include rebuilding of roads in the town, refurbishing markets and construction of modern kiosks.

“We request your associations to work together in achieving these goals. We have invited UN Habitat to work with us, which they have accepted. Meru town upgrading has also been funded by the World Bank at Sh100 million in a project that will commence in March next year,” the governor said at the meeting.

Concerning the kiosks, Mr Murungi cautioned MCAs against politicising the project by threatening to protest in a bid to have the project extended to their areas.


Trade, Tourism and Co-operatives Executive Maingi Mugambi said his department would facilitate setting up of market associations in all towns across the county.

“We have outlined their structure, procedure to be followed in the election of officials, their functions and responsibilities. The associations will work with all stakeholders to ensure that the projects are a success,” Mr Mugambi said.

The projects come at a time the government has pledged to rebuild infrastructure in Meru Town at a cost of Sh1 billion.

This includes construction of a five kilometre dual carriageway from Gitimbine on the east of the town to Gitoro, along the Meru-Nanyuki road.

Currently, the Kenya Urban Roads Authority is building two bypasses — eastern and western — which are expected to ease congestion in the town — at a cost of Sh3 billion.

In Isiolo, County Assembly Speaker Hussein Halakhe said the clerk has received names of the nominees but was yet to table them in House.

“A special sitting might be convened to vet the nominees for approval since MCAs would have already proceeded for recess,” he said.

In July, the assembly approved a municipal charter which was later approved by Governor Mohamed Kuti, paving the way for Isiolo Town to attain a municipal status.

The county executive had delegated the process of competitive recruitment of the board members to the County Public Service Board.

He said his government has already drawn up a strategy that will see streets expanded, sewerage systems overhauled and markets rebuilt. He asked MCAs to support the programmes.

Working together to nurture prosperity

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This has been an extraordinary year for China and Kenya. It is not only the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up, but it also marks 55 years of diplomatic relations between China and Kenya.

Over the several past decades, the level of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has reached an unprecedented level.

China has become Kenya’s largest trading partner, the largest source of investment, and the largest engineering contractor. There is an old saying in China that it takes 10 years to grow trees, but a hundred to cultivate people.

Talent is a country’s most valuable resource and the core element of Africa’s enhancement of its development capacity.


During the opening ceremony of 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Summit in September, President Xi Jinping announced eight major initiatives to support the development of African countries.

He stressed the need to implement capacity building initiatives, exchange experiences between China and Africa, and provide human resources training.

This has always been an important area for deepening cooperation between China and Kenya. Since the launch of the Foreign Aid Human Resources Training Programme in 2001, nearly 10,000 Kenyan government officials have been to China to participate in training seminars.

After studying in China, many officials have been promoted or transferred to more important posts.

China will increase foreign aid training to meet the needs of Kenya’s economic and social development. From 2015 to this year, Chinese enterprises have offered 60,000 opportunities for training managers, skilled workers, doctors, teachers, and industry personnel.

It has also assisted in the completion of the Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre and will help to expand the Kenya Railway Training Institute and establish the China-Africa Teachers College of Vocational Education. This will help to equip Kenyans with advanced acknowledge and technical skills.

The Chinese Government has funded more than 1,000 Kenyan students to study in China. This year, more than 100 students have won the Ambassador Scholarship, Chinese Government Scholarship and Ministry of Commerce Scholarship.


In addition, hundreds of students have obtained scholarships from Confucius Institutes and other Chinese enterprises and organisations.

From next year, the Kenya- China Economic and Trade Association (KCETA) will invest Sh2 million a year to finance the students from vocational and technical colleges.

There are four Confucius institutes. The International Language and Culture Centre at Kenyatta University, aided by China, was completed.

China will help to accelerate the realisation of ‘Big Four’ agenda. We hope to continuously develop the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between our countries.

Dr Guo Ce is the economic counsellor, China Embassy in Nairobi

Constitutional independence must serve citizen aspirations

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Whenever I have had an opportunity to discuss his vision for the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), one thing stands out for director George Kinoti: Not once has he mentioned the word independence. That notwithstanding, I have not met anybody within or without, who doubts the DCI’s professional independence.

In the past, whenever a case involved theft of huge sums of money, a big shot or both big money and big shots, investigating, prosecuting and judicial agents displayed such paralysis that people lost hope. You would be lucky to meet anybody who knows what happened with such public heists as Goldenberg.

It is understandable that after the 2010 Constitution created new big shots in the name of governors and independent offices, these new big shots have not betrayed their expectation that one of the perks they expected to enjoy was immunity from the law, and especially, the right to facilitate and partake of the proceeds of corruption without being subjected to the shame and rigor of a criminal justice process.


Of course, the cabal of lawyers who ensured their share of the loot through endless injunctions and legal technicalities is still intact, ready for the game where the public always loses on technical grounds.

The lucrative game would have gone on had the Executive not suddenly changed tune and made substantive reforms to meet the expectations of Kenyans by moving firmly to prosecute corruption regardless of who or how much is involved.

It has come a time when the narrative of bringing criminals to justice by jailing chicken thieves as felons flaunt obscene opulence, must stop.


Of course, this new mood has caused some discomfort. Whereas this was not unexpected among the political class, the murmurs of discomfort from justice system are a matter of serious concern.

The gravity of the matter has been exposed by the case where our justice system prevaricated extradition of suspected drug traffickers until the Executive stepped in.

The fellows were taken for trial in the USA and instead of waging a court battle they (rather speedily) opted for a plea of guilty.

This is not a small indictment of the way judicial officers and those responsible for supervising them interpret the sacred duty bestowed on their shoulders when the Constitution provided for independence of the Judiciary.


Societies do not give governance institutions constitutional independence so that it becomes an end in itself.

When treated as an end in itself, it works against the citizen because it emphasizes the stature, profile and capacity of the practitioners (especially those in authority) to loot public funds.

You just need to look at our MPs and listen to stories of court buildings costing Sh400 million in Turkana as citizens starve, to understand this assertion.

To remain legitimate, independence must be exercised to protect citizens from big thieves, build their resilience to withstand conflict and resist those who survive on creating controversies, including professional interest groups such as lawyers who can easily capture citizen interest for their own survival.


For the Judiciary, constitutional independence was meant to free the courts from political and other forms of manipulation.

It was never meant to free the courts from the people’s legitimate aspirations. During the constitution making; the impunity of the big thieves in schemes such as Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing were big motivators.

Kenyans want corruption killed, in a brutal, swift and conclusive manner. They want this monster viciously hunted wherever its is without exception, ceremony or excuses. They want their children protected from narcotic drugs, terrorism and other crimes.

The talk of “we have our share of rotten eggs” is simply disparaging.

Mr Kiraithe is the Government Spokesman

Gender equality campaign is more serious than lipstick talk

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I will start by saying that I emphatically support the Bill on gender equality. More so now than ever before. There is every reason to have more women in Parliament at least to teach men the difference between a slay queen and a woman of substance.

Slay queen can, of course, be a woman of substance depending on which man is judging. After all, it took two to tango to birth the term slay queen.

To suggest that the slots being created for women will be filled by slay queens is to suggest women have very little to offer the society than red lipstick and heels.

Prof Wangari Maathai did not need to play a slay queen card to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The first African woman to do so. Her achievements went uncelebrated at home for a long time because our patriarchy was still trying to get to grips with whether a woman could scale such great heights of success.

Now we know she can!


The slay queen claims surrounding the gender Bill have all the hallmarks of intimidation and bullying by the patriarchy to silence the only voice still unrepresented at the policy making table. Why can’t she speak for herself? Kenyan women do not need to be objectified in order to be pulled down before the battle even begins.

Neither is there a rule against a mother with a rainbow of children being appointed. If she failed the integrity test because she had children with different men, as it is claimed, so did the fathers of the children. Not all circumstances of single mothers are the same.

The moral threshold does not need to be higher for a woman because she is just that, a woman in the eyes of the sexist men.

Accepting the gender Bill shows that we are ready to take humanity to the next level of sophistication. Equality shows that we value everyone in the society by giving opportunities to all without judging the physical attributes.


Equality is about taking the human race up one rung on the prosperity ladder. This is about showing the progress we have made over the years by letting go of archaic patriarchal systems that have undermined women’s progress for centuries.

It is about being secure in our skin and accepting others as equal and useful members of the society.

One argument given in objecting to increasing women’s representation in politics is that it will be unaffordable.

The same Parliament turns around and demands more allowances for MPs. This is either a classic case of misogyny or Parliament is selfish beyond redemption.


I agree there has to be a formula to appoint women to the slots reserved to avoid abuse of the system. However, this argument should not hinder the implementation of the Bill. It is negligible in the grand scheme of things. The benefits of having more women in politics will definitely far outweigh the cost.

The Bill would give women from marginalised communities equal opportunities. Without it most of them will continue to be exploited as exotic creatures only fit on a postcard for tourists.

Some advanced communities will have women strong enough to be able to fight it out with men but for others it is still a pipe dream for cultural reasons. There are men in Kenya who still believe a woman is nothing but a child with big feet.

However, a woman’s ‘big’ feet will become dependable in the absence of the man in case of death or divorce.

The 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals had Gender Equality as one of the 17 to be achieved globally by its member states as part of Vision 2030.


The UN indicated at the time that: “gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will nurture sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large” There you have it.

Leaving out half the population because they do not fit the bill due to their gender, is absurd. We need everyone on board if we are to secure ours and the UN’s 2030 SDGs. Otherwise, we would be the only country left behind in the advancement of women’s rights.


We have opened up the space for girls to study and acquire jobs, but many more are still left behind in the political arena.

The gap needs to be bridged in the political sphere where we lag behind other countries so that we can have the right women in the right places to fight for the rights of women.

The gender Bill will help to expand representation in politics and in other areas of leadership. Let us not be sexist but rational by allowing positive discrimination of women to enhance their visibility now in order to lay a strong foundation for them in future social, economic and political arenas.

Detectives probe link between circumcision and Mungiki sect

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Detectives are investigating the link between the just-concluded initiation period and the resurgence of the dreaded Mungiki sect in Central Kenya.

Security agencies say they believe the outlawed sect has been using the ceremonies surrounding circumcision as recruitment grounds, hence the sudden surge in its activities.

Central Regional Commissioner Wilson Njega told the Nation in an exclusive interview that investigations are underway to establish how the sect has been luring initiates to join it.

“That is something we are already looking into because we believe it is a breeding ground for the group. We must know where these activities are taking place and by who,” Mr Njega said.


The investigations come as debate over who should conduct the rite intensified. Already, there is a sharp rift between elders and the church, with the elders accusing the church of turning the rite into a business. the issue.

According to Kikuyu culture, elders should preside over boys’ initiation, but after decades of westernisation, the culture has been slowly disregarded, allowing other groups, including the church, to take up the role.

Without clear guidance on who should preside over the ceremony, it has been largely commercialised.

Since circumcision is considered a mandatory rite of passage, parents choose where to take their sons. Groups usually charge between Sh5,000 and Sh8,000 to cater for the operation, accommodation and counselling sessions. Parents who cannot afford the fees take their sons to local health centres for the procedure.


It is due to this confusion that police believe that the practice has become vulnerable to manipulation by criminal gangs.

Traditionally, youth in older age sets would counsel the initiates under the supervision of elders. But criminal outfits have been using this unwritten rule to recruit initiates under their care into gangs and crime.

“It is what the initiates are taught during the healing process that we are concerned about. It is easy to recruit them during this period,” Mr Njega said.

He added that groups offering the service will have to be vetted and monitored.

This is what athletes need

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The decision by Athletics Kenya (AK) to convene a three-day athletes’ conference from Thursday in Nairobi is laudable.

More than 150 athletes will be addressed by experts from various fields, including International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), who will delve into investment, finance management, health, anti-doping and social life.

Arguably, the focus over the years has mainly been on the doping scourge and never career transition. Many athletes, who have earned millions of shillings from track and road running, have ended up as paupers due to lack of proper planning.


Some have raced up the path of career destruction through alcoholism and other vices. In fact, many athletes are now battling to quit the vice and not the feared doping menace. Many quit school just to focus on athletics, ending up with little knowledge on how to manage their finances.

It goes without saying that sportsmen and women need the right skills and tools to manage their resources and benefit from them after sports.


The conference comes sevens month after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Carrier Transition workshop that was held in Nairobi with athletes from across the various disciplines taking part.

The workshop was conducted by retired Malian international basketball star Kadiatou Tounkara, who noted that most sportsmen and women end up squandering their huge fortunes and fame gained from sports due to lack of knowledge.

Other sports federations should also take the cue and educate their sportsmen and women. Such seminars should also be taken to the grass roots to benefit more.

Higher teacher entry grade vital for quality

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The row over the entry grade to teacher training colleges was unwarranted. And it is fitting that Attorney-General Paul Kihara Kariuki has given an advisory retaining the status quo.

The Kenya National Qualifications Authority sparked off the debate when it proposed reducing minimum entry qualification for certificate training in teacher education to Grade D in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and Grade C- for diploma training.

Currently, the minimum grade is C- for certificate course and C+ for diploma. This has been informed by the need to upgrade the quality of teachers and uplift the standard of teaching in schools.


In many parts of the world, only those with very good high school grades become teachers and are highly rewarded. That guarantees quality of teaching.

But ours has been turned upside down. It is those with low grades that join TTCs, meaning that we send weak people to teach our children. It is a skewed system that has to go.

This why experts have been rooting for higher qualifications. All along, neither Qualifications Authority nor Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed gave convincing reasons for lowering the grades. No consultation was done to arrive at that decision. Worse, the pronouncement came when the National Curriculum Review Steering Committee was making serious proposals to upgrade teacher training in line with the new curriculum. It seems the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing.


As ruled by the AG, determination of the qualification of those entering the teaching profession is the domain of the employer, the Teachers Service Commission.

If the Qualifications Authority or the minister wish to effect any change, they have to consult. But there was no necessity in the first place to force change.

Nobody had complained. On the contrary, the proposed changes were retrogressive.

We need higher calibre of teachers and that starts with the entry level and content of training they go through.


While at it, this is the chance to re-examine the kind of training at TTCs and schools of education at university.

New pedagogical skills must be introduced to prepare the teacher for the future. Equally, the TSC must continually improve the terms and conditions of service for teachers to motivate and retain them.

In sum, the only way to guarantee the quality of teaching and learning in schools is through good training offered to the best qualified candidates.

Child marriage costs Africa trillions of shillings, World Bank warns

Early marriage is a form of violence against girls, say researchers


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Child brides are, on average, less educated, poorer and more predisposed to sexual and physical abuse than women who marry later in life, reveals a Nation Newsplex review of early marriage and reproductive health data.

As the world continues to mark the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, a new World Bank report finds that when the economic impact of early marriage is added to this grim tally, the bill is quite incredible.

According to the report Educating Girls and Ending Child Marriage: A Priority for Africa, child marriage costs 12 countries that account for half of Africa’s population about $63 billion (Sh6.3 trillion) in lost earnings and productivity. A simple extrapolation suggests that the amount could be double (Sh12.6 trillion) for the entire continent. Ending the custom could add more than $4 trillion (Sh400 trillion) to the global economy by 2030 through ending early childbirths alone, according to the global version of the report compiled jointly with the International Center for Research on Women.

Nearly half (46 percent) of girls who started Standard One in 2007 did not sit for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KSCE) examination in 2018, meaning that just 54 percent completed their secondary education this year.

In Kenya, one in eight females age 15-19 is either married, separated, divorced or widowed, compared with less than one percent of males in the same age group, according to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2014.

More than three million or a third of girls in sub-Saharan Africa marry before their 18th birthday each year, finds the Africa report. The region has the highest prevalence of early marriage in the world, 35 percent, well above the world average of 19 percent.

KSCE examination

Child brides are much more likely to drop out of school and complete fewer years of education than their peers who marry later. They are also more likely to have children at a young age, which affects their health as well as the education and health of their children. In Kenya, one in six teenagers age 15-19 is pregnant or a mother.

While many African countries have achieved gender parity in primary education, the report notes that girls lag behind boys at the secondary level. In Kenya, enrollment figures from the 2017 and 2018 Economic Survey reports and the Kenya National Examinations Council indicate that nearly half (46 percent) of girls who started Standard One in 2007 did not sit for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KSCE) examination in 2018, meaning that just 54 percent completed their secondary education this year. Additionally, two in five girls who started Standard One in 2007 did not join Form One nine years later in 2015.

In sub-Saharan Africa, seven out of 10 girls complete primary education, but only four out of 10 complete lower secondary school. “Primary education for girls is simply not sufficient. Girls reap the biggest benefits of education when they are able to complete secondary school, but we know that girls very often don’t stay in school if they marry early,” Quentin Wodon, lead economist at the World Bank and principal author of the report, said in a media release.

A Kenyan woman with primary school education is twice as likely as one who has completed secondary school to be physically or sexually abused often, according to KDHS 2014.

Domestic violence

The report also documents the impact of early marriage and girls’ education on more than three dozen other development outcomes. For instance, child marriage leads to a higher risk of intimate partner violence, and lower decision-making in the home.

Child brides are also more likely to believe that a man is justified in beating up his wife. About 45 percent of teenagers aged 15-19 in Kenya think a husband or partner is justified in hitting or beating up his wife or partner, according to the KDHS. Further, two in 10 female teenagers in this age group do not believe that a woman is justified in asking her husband to use a condom if she knows he has a sexually transmitted disease compared with one in 10 women age 20-24.

Other past studies have shown that globally, girls who marry before age 15 are 50 percent more likely to face physical or sexual violence from a partner.

Child deaths

Early marriage also affects the well-being of the children of young mothers, including presenting higher risks of death and malnutrition for children below the age of five. On average, three in 100 deaths among children under five are directly attributable to early childbirths, according to the global report on the economic impact of child marriage.

The report reaffirms that keeping girls in school is one of the best ways to avoid child marriage. Each year of secondary education reduces the likelihood of marrying as a child before the age of 18 by about eight percent in Africa. It also finds that introduction of universal secondary education in the continent would reduce early child birth by three-quarters and almost eliminate early marriage.

On average, women who have a secondary school-level education are more likely to work and earn twice as much as those with no education while those with even higher education are likely to earn five times as much, indicates the report.

Ending early marriage by 2030 is a target under the Sustainable Development Goals, yet relatively few countries have adopted comprehensive strategies to end the practice, and investments in programmes and policies focusing on preventing
and ending the harmful practice remain limited, concludes the World Bank report.

Police and State should do more to end insecurity in Kerio Valley


For decades, cattle rustlers have terrorised Kerio valley.

The vice has continued unabated because the security forces do not take it seriously.

The government has attempted to bring peace to the region without any meaningful success.

The recent recruitment of police reservists has bolstered surveillance and can help combat the vice.

Senseless attacks, especially by groups from Tiaty, have stunted economic development, business and agriculture.


One of the reasons contributing to cattle rustling is that police officers do not make a point to recover and return stolen animals.

Communities in the valley have co-existed peacefully for hundreds of years, save for occasional livestock theft.

Police and other security agencies do not respond effectively when rustlers strike.

On countless occasions, peace-loving residents of the valley have volunteered information to police about the bad elements in their midst but get disappointed because no action is taken.

Some “warriors” take to stealing cattle because of poverty. Others think it is the only way they can get animals for bride price.

The people of Kerio want better health, education, agriculture and other services, just like the rest of Kenya.

Security officials should be serious and help us end cattle rustling and insecurity.