Welcome to KCDN

This is KCDN, an Environmental Management, Economic Empowerment and Poverty Eradication Civil Society.

We welcome you to our site. Kindly feel free to share with us your thoughts. Ideas that add value will be appreciated. Ideas that want to make us improve our physical environment will be welcome. And more so, ideas that redirect us from the lost cause will be of immense value.

It is us who will improve the lot of our Environment, our Economy and make Kenya a Clean Country, where People join hands to work for our own Economic Emancipation and where Municipal Solid Waste Management is looked at as a resource, not as waste.

We need to set the standards in this region of the World and become the referral point in how a people can join hands and work for their own Economic Liberation, where waste can be used as raw material and become a source of employment for our people.

Our collective actions will surely make a difference. This is why in partnership with our Key Strategic Partners- The Public Service Transformation Department, the National Environment Management Authority, the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation,other key Ministries, the Local Authorities in Kenya, the Provincial Administration, A Better World, Akiba Uhaki Foundation and other Partners, we are moving deliberately in sensitizing and mobilizing Kenyans to work towards A Clean Kenya where waste is separated at source.

And this is why we are inviting Kenyans to join with us in The Clean Kenya Campaign and be a Member of Kimisho Sacco Society Ltd


Odhiambo T Oketch,
Team Leader & Executive Director,
Tel; 0724 365 557,
Email; komarockswatch@yahoo.com, kimishodevelopment@gmail.com
Website; www.kcdnkenya.org.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

In support of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

In 2008, through your support, we gave books, stationery and uniforms to 250 orphans and vulnerable children in a ceremony that was presided over by the Director of Education in the Ministry of Education Mrs Leah Rotich.

Last year, we supported a total of 1950 OVCs with books, stationery, uniform and food staff, again through your generous contributions.

We know what these children go through in their quest for education. Some are total orphans and as such, need more attention and support. Some are partial orphans and yet more are just children from poor family back grounds.

At KCDN, we have been asking ourselves, is it fine that we live in a world of such disparities, where some children have more than they need as their colleagues live in complete want? Can we do something about these children who have no parents, whose parents cannot afford the basics of life?

We believe that with a little support, we can make some difference in the lives of many. We really appreciate the support that we have received from people of goodwill, the ones we call Friends of KCDN. As a compatriot, a Friend, what can you do to help us move this support to a more sustainable venture; where our needs are catered for as we help more in our society.
The area Chief Hilary Chumo[5th L] area Councillor John Muchiri[4th L] Assistant Chief Dave Omedo[3rd R] joins in the clean up exercise with Odhiambo T Oketch[2nd R], Mrs Pandy Njue- Branch Manager Family Bank Komarock[R], Flo Kanyua[L] and Sam Mugweru[2nd L] on 6th Feb 2010

We are inviting Friends and People of Goodwill to join hands with us to make this difference. We are willing to discuss partnerships that will create a difference in the lives of these Children.

They are also 'God's Bits of Wood', to borrow from Sembene Ousmane.

Odhiambo T Oketch
CEO KCDN Nairobi.
Tel; 0724 365 557
Email; komarockswatch@yahoo.com

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kenyan Judiciary in the Dock

The recent ruling by Judge Joseph Nyamu of the Court of Appeal, Judge Mathew Anyara Emukule and Judge Roselyne Wendoh both of the High Court on the illegality of the Kadhi’s Courts has nailed the Kenyan Judiciary on the cross. Its timing was definitely wrong and it has brought to the fore the need for a total overhaul of the Judiciary.
Kenyans have yearned for justice for a long time. And a walk down the corridors of Justice is laden with cases of delayed Justice, compromised Justice, corrupted Justice, sold Justice and lack of Justice. Litigants are left wondering which law the Judges normally apply to the myriad of cases that are often filed.
If you will all remember, when we voted in the last General Elections in December 2007, the Chief Justice himself was at hand to swear President Mwai Kibaki at dusk, against all known swearing provisions. One is supposed to be sworn to office between 8.00am and 6.00pm, but here was the Chief Justice himself swearing in one at almost 7.00pm. Again, the speed with which they all assembled for the swearing ceremony was suspect.
The elections results had just been announced at around 6.30pm and 5 minutes down the line, all and sundry had assembled at State House to witness Mwai Kibaki being sworn in as our President. That was suspect and it was presided by none other than the Chief Justice- the head of the Judiciary in Kenya; an arm of Government that is supposed to be independent.
Then, because of the fraud presided over by the Chief Justice, the person who supposedly won that election, the current Prime Minister the Right Hon Raila Odinga, refused to go to court to seek remedy. Many urged him to go to court to challenge the election of Mwai Kibaki as President, but he refused, basically on the grounds of compromised Judiciary.
That was one of the cases where the Judiciary, despite the claim of independence, was being used to settle political scores, and Kenyans took note.
Now as we are gearing up to vote in a landslide Referendum to usher in a new constitutional order, Judge Nyamu has come down to the High Court to help scuttle the process. It comes at a time when many Kenyans firmly believe that the Judiciary needs to be rid of people like the Chief Justice Evan Gicheru, Judge Nyamu, Judge Wendow, Judge Emukule and many more who do not deserve the honour of being called Judges. These are people who have never believed in the rule of law.
They believe in fixing cases to suit ulterior motives. How can the Chief Justice preside over a swearing ceremony at dusk? How can the Chief Justice be invited in advance to State House even before the results of an election are announced to prepare to swear in one who is losing in that election and he accepts?
Kenyans chose to forgive, forget and move on despite the contradictory role of the Chief Justice himself. But as we are gearing to firm Kenya on the right path, the Judiciary is back again with more spanners to the works! This we cannot forgive, forget and move on with.
We must fix this thing now once and for all.
You all remember when Kenyans voted in December 2002 for Mwai Kibaki to become our President. We were all united in one thing; giving Kenya a new beginning. We were even touted as the most optimistic people in the world then. Then President Kibaki killed our hopes and dreams.
He chose to play safe and soon, he had made friendship with the corruption cartels that have ruined Kenya. Instead of tackling the corruption cartels, he chose to weed up the Judiciary of Judges who could stop in their ways as they planned more mischief against Kenyans. They set up Justice Aaron Ringera to go after Judges who could stand on their way.
The result was the so called Radical Surgery in the Judiciary that was neither radical nor a surgery. Out went Chief Justice Bernard Chunga and in came Justice Evan Gicheru. Out went many more Judges and Magistrates on trumped up charges of corruption and in came Judges and Magistrates who could massage corruption.
Soon Anglo Leasing was planned and executed as the Judiciary watched. Soon Grand Regency Hotel was sold as the Judiciary watched. Soon our maize was sold from the national reserves as the Judiciary watched. Soon our oil was siphoned out as the Judiciary watched. We have lost vast acreage of land as the Judiciary watches. Then, the last nail on the coffin of the Judiciary from Judges Nyamu, Wendoh and Emukule themselves.
If I have to quote Azdak in the Caucasian Chalk Circle, he says that Justice when pronounced must be pronounced with absolute gravity. It must not be delayed. It must not have feelings. It must be fair and just. But in the case of Justice in Kenya, it has been the reverse. Justice is sold to the highest bidder. The more corrupt you are the more likely you will win all your cases.
And that is the sad reality that many litigants face in the Judiciary in Kenya. Justice has never been about the rights of the people; it has been about the rights of the Executives and the corrupt. Justice has never been given in time in Kenya, unless you are the mighty and the corrupt. The poor will be taken round and round and ultimately they wear out.
It is like the Judiciary in Kenya has been designed to fight the poor and deny them Justice.
As we all marshal Kenyans to vote for the Proposed Constitution, Judiciary must be put in the hands of the many able lawyers who will listen to litigants and give them hope. There MUST be a radical surgery in the Judiciary that will truly be radical and be a surgery that will remove the Gicherus, the Nyamus, the Wendohs and the Emukules of the current Judiciary.
The Judiciary must be made to be truly independent and they must bring relief to the poor, succor to the oppressed and Justice to all.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Komarocks Community Developmet Network

Dear Friends and People of Goodwill,
We have been engaged in some social transformation that is home grown and people driven at Komarocks Community Development Network for the last 2 years where support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children has taken centre stage in a pro-active way.
It has been a great challenge for us but we have been determined to help make a difference by being part of the solution, and not part of the group that will always criticize and complain.
At KCDN, we focus on 3 core functions;
  • KCDN Child Support Initiative; where we mobilize Friends and people of goodwill to help us give educational support to orphans and vulnerable children in our programme. In 2008, we supported 250 such children in a function that was presided over by the Director of Education in the Ministry of Education. Last year, we did support 1950 through various interventions from several Friends of KCDN as well as corporate that came on board to make provisions of some of the basic items these children need.
  • KCDN Peace Building Initiative; where we mobilize these children and their parents/guardians and the community to come together to advance the need for Peace, National Healing and Reconciliation. Currently we are taking the PEV Photos across the country but the main event is an annual celebration of Peace that we host on the 2nd Saturday of June every year. We will host this on 12th June 2010 in Komarock.
  • KCDN Environment Management; where we mobilize the children, their parents/guardians and the community in environmental conservation efforts.
We have been posting all our events at our blogspot and we are inviting all persons and institutions of goodwill to kindly visit with us; http://kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com
The good that we have been doing to these children cannot be gainsaid. They have benefitted from the largesse of the Friends of KCDN where we have made available educational materials such as books, stationery, uniforms and PE Kits. We have also made provisions for food stuffs when the times were so had for Kenya.
In our continued support to these children, we face numerous challenges. And amongst all the challenges that we face, financial challenges is the most pronounced. As we engage in our activities, we must pay for our office rent, an area that has been so challenging to an extent that our landlord had to move in and impound our office equipments. We need to create partnerships with Friends who can come on board and help us sort out the office issue once and for all. Office space is pushing us so badly and it is our earnest desire to work with a Friend who can help us address this issue.
Secondly, we have been working with university students who join us during their vacations. As much as they are volunteers, we must be in a position to take care of their very basic needs such as transport and office maintenance. Without the needed financial support for our programmes, maintaining such dedicated staff becomes real difficult. And we would like to invite dedicated Friends who can help finance our day to day office maintenance. This will enable us pay our telephone bills, electricity bills, transport for our staff, office stationery, internet connections and even make some tea for staff in the office.
Thirdly, in the course of our duties, communication is of real importance. The successes that we have had so far are purely based on our prowess at communications. We would like to do a lot more if we could be well empowered so as to reach far and wide. This is one area where we could do with support from Friends who can handily come on board.
Having enlisted all these, and because we cannot list all that enables a successful outfit, it is our firm conviction that to elicit support from Friends and People of Goodwill, we must start by being in the field and do the actual work, despite all the limitations. Then, a Friend or a Person of Goodwill will come across and see the bit that you are doing and marvel at how much you are achieving with so little.
It is with this in mind that we make this appeal to all friends and people of Goodwill to join us make a difference to the lives of these children.
I believe that we can build a working partnership on these areas as I leave you with this short poem;
I will wake up every morning and go to my garden.
I will clear the bush in readiness of the planting season.
I will plant in time for the rains.
I will weed my crops and God willing, some will bear fruits and some will not.
Some seedlings will fall on hard rock and will be eaten by the birds,
Some will fall on thorns and will dry up.
But some will fall on moist land and will bear fruit.
Anybody who wants to help me better join me in my farm.
Odhiambo T Oketch,
CEO KCDN Nairobi,
PO Box 47890-00100,
Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel; 0724 365 557, 0735 529 126
Email; komarockswatch@yahoo.com
Blog; http://kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com
Group Mail; friendsofkcdn@yahoogroups.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What should motivate us to vote?

Now that the Hon Attorney General has published the Draft Constitution, are we energized to read the document and come the date of the referendum, go out and vote?
On either side of the divide, what are the issues that concern us most as Kenyans, issues that can stop us from going to vote? Is it only fine to get a voters card and be a voting machine every five years? Are there issues that when well handled by the Government will make it lively for as many Kenyans to come out and vote?
Having read the Draft Constitution, I am convinced that it is offering us some hope. It is geared towards Service Delivery by the state organs. It is geared towards creating accountability and ensuring that the buck stops with the officer in charge.
It has effectively created a powerful President but not one that will be rogue. The President will seek the support of the Legislature in all State appointments. This will reward competence as it addresses issues of National Cohesion. The President will not just run amok and create as many districts as is currently obtaining. He will not reward cronies and friends in state appointments and he will have nothing to dish out in terms of ministerial appointments to political allies.
The Draft Constitution has effectively trimmed down the size of the Executive. There will be between 14 to 22 Cabinet Ministers whose titles have been changed to Cabinet Secretaries. We will have no Assistant Ministers. Some good savings here.
This is a good measure because we have all along had a bloated government whose loyalty is not to the Constitution and the people of Kenya but to the appointing authority.
The Draft has also declared the 2nd Tuesday of August in every fifth year as the date for holding the General Elections. This must be a welcome departure from the date of elections being used a secret weapon by sitting Presidents, where in most cases, our Christmas holidays has been interfered with.
The Executive arm of Government has hence effectively been contained and trimmed towards Performance and Service Delivery to Kenyans. This comes in line with the introduction of Results Based Management as a tool of enhancing and making visible what Government does to Kenyans. And we will demand no less.
The Draft has also given some muscle to the Judiciary and attempted to make it more Independent as a separate arm of Government. Just like the Legislature has succeeded in ceding off the Executive baggage, the Judiciary must also cede off the excessive Executive baggage that is weighing it down. If this succeeds, and it can only succeed by pruning off the current team that is headed by a Chief Justice who is ready and willing to trample on Justice in pursuit of sectional interests, Kenya will be on the right track towards rapid development.
Having set all these in motion, what are the issues that will make Kenyans come out in large numbers as partners in the voting process. I bet we will need to go with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where we fulfill the needs from the very basic such as the need for shelter, food, to the more mundane needs of fulfillment and self actualization.
The people will want to see how the Government hands the need for Shelter as an immediate step. A quick tour of Nairobi will show you that next to any posh human settlement we have a slum. Muthaiga is shadowed by Mathare. Karen is shadowed by Kibera. Loresho and Lavington are shadowed by Kangemi. Kileleshwa is shadowed by Kawangware and it goes on like this. The Government must come up with immediate steps to reduce such disparities where some people live like human beings and the majority are putting up in human settlements that defy even a pig sties. Decent housing units must be a priority for this Government to help re-energize the involvement of the people in voting every 2nd Tuesday of August in the fifth year.
46 years down our Independence history, we are still grappling with food security. This is one area that must be addressed now to enable Kenyans feel that their vote truly counts. Food is so basic to all human beings. We cannot live in a society where the prices of basic commodities is well beyond the reach of the people. The government must address this and ensure that food production becomes a number one issue in the in-tray. We must produce enough to eat before we start talking of exporting anything. Food security will bring the people out in large numbers and every 2nd Tuesday of August in the fifth year, the lines will be very long during the voting exercise.
Good roads are key to rapid development. It is encouraging to note that the Government has put in a lot of efforts at improving our road network in Kenya. However, this is quickly cancelled by such dilapidated roads in the middle of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. A drive through Eastleigh roads is a nightmare. More so the patch next to the former Kenya Bus Depot.
Another worse spot is the notorious Kangundo Road, Spine Road in Komarock next to Family Bank, Ngong Road just after passing the Shade Hotel as you approach Ngong Town and we have many more roads that are beyond redemption. The Government must ensure that these roads are motorable. These are the roads Nairobians use on a daily basis, and it is these roads that will invite their participation in elective politics more readily. They will be having a reason for voting or abstaining. These roads must be fixed.
We are living in the age where electricity has ceased to be optional. It has become a necessity in our lives and it is discouraging when 46 years down in to our Independence, we still have homes and houses in Nairobi not connected to electric power. Again, for those such connected, the way bills are being generated has left a lot to be desired. These are issues Kenyans hold dear and they contribute a lot to our making decisions as to whether we will vote or not. You feel cheated when you pay for power that you never consumed and yet you are helpless, you cannot sue to seek remedy. The Government must work for Kenyans in ensuring that electric power reaches far and wide and that the mode of billing accurately reflects the units that we have consumed.
Our Education system is falling in to shambles. We are living in times when as parents we are not sure which text books are the guiding texts for instructions in Kenya. In the past, we used to know which books were the guiding tests. We had Safari Book 1 to 4 as the Principle Guide Texts for upper Primary pupils for English Tuition; Primary Mathematic from KIE for Mathematics, and these books were standard all across Kenya.
Currently, we have class 1 pupils reading all sorts of books from agriculture, music, religious studies, social studies, mathematics, English, Kiswahili, arts and craft to geography and history. Our kids are being turned to robots just because the Government has not come out with clear instruction manuals for education of our children. Parents are hence being burdened by heavy annual costs of buying and replenishing books that would otherwise not be necessary.
These are some of the issues that the government must address to ensure that parents and more Kenyans feel welcome to the voting process. Many people are so such burdened by the inequalities of life that they give up in being participants when elections are held. They feel that this is not their Government that they are electing. They have a feeling that their vote help to perpetuate a culture of man eat man society, where the leaders feed on the blood of the led.
This must be rectified and this Draft Constitution attempts to address such inequalities. Let our vote be seen in Performance and Service Delivery from those whom we have elected. Let our votes speak for ourselves that we need adequate shelter, that we need affordable food on our tables, that we need a sure education system, that we need a just metering system for the power we consume, that we need quick dispensation of justice to all litigants, that we need good roads even in Nairobi, that we need clean and constant water in our houses, that we need present medical care, that we need accountability from our leaders at the end of it all.
Only then will we see an enthusiastic turn out of voters; people who feel that they are truly voting in their Government.
Odhiambo T Oketch                                                                                                                                      Nairobi, Kenya.                                                                                                                                             9th May 2010  http://kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 17, 2010

Donor Syndrome; most stand condemned

Every so often, many NGOs are on the look out for invitation for proposals from Donors who are keen on funding programmes that fall in line with their missions in Kenya, or their lack of it.

When such calls are made, many people invite experts who know their way with the donors to help make their proposals. Many are very creative. They imagine all sorts of things and develop winning proposals online about programmes that do not exist.

Such groups are the ones who in most cases end up winning the donor confidence; not because they are doing something on the ground, but because they are creative enough and they know their ways with the donor imaginations and as such, they have the confidence of the donors.

Many groups who are actually on the ground struggling to make a difference in our lives are often given regret letters. The donors end up funding phantoms at the cost of reality. And they are given very nice reports which document the kind of progress that would have made Kenya be amongst the League of Nations in the 1st world.

I make these observations from an informed point of view. And as I make this point, I will not condemn all donors as Phantom Driven Enterprises. We have some who actually engage with the people for sustainable and measurable results. They will engage with you and understand what you are doing, what challenges you are facing and help you offer solutions that will take you to the next level.

For this category of Donors, I salute you.

But for the vast majority who fund hotel workshops where reality is never lived, it is time we also took stoke and asked ourselves; what is the driving motive for calling in proposals when a list to be funded has already been made?

Why must you call for proposals when you only want to steal the intellectual inputs from the many brilliant Kenyans who make very nice and moving proposals, when you already have someone in mind to fund?

Being a 3rd world country, Kenya and Kenyans may be desperate for donor support. At the national level, we all know how we have been taken for a ride by donors. We have been given aid that ends up serving the interests of the donors and political elites rather than of Kenya and Kenyans. 46 years down the road, Kenya is in monstrous debt owed to foreign bodies, yet, in the same period, we have received a lot of aid and grants that we see nothing to be proud of as Kenyans.

It was only until the Narc Government came to power did we start seeing some semblance of order. We could talk of the acclaimed Free Primary Education, which was largely funded by the high taxes our Government imposes on Kenyans. This was subsidized to a small extent by the donor community. When they realized that this was going to become a success story, they created phantoms and threw spanners in the works, alleging that some moneys had been stolen. And promptly, some donor driven NGOs came on board to support, not because of facts on the ground, but because there was donor money to be spent.

We saw a lot of donor talk, studies and hotel workshops about cleaning the Nairobi River, and nothing was hapenning until Hon John Michuki moved on the ground and dispensed with studies, workshops and theories. Only then has work been done on the Nairobi River.

We saw a lot of studies, workshops and theoris about the destruction of Mau and nothing was being done until Hon Raila walked on the red carpet to plant trees there.

We saw a lot of donor support for Peace Building initiatives in hotels and workshops as Kenya was burning. And nothing was done until Kenyans of goodwill moved in and started engaging with each other. In the meantime, donors were still funding workshops and party making.

Can this inform us of who these people are and what they stand for? Nothing will move until we move to the ground. Donors will largely remain comfortable addressing seminars and dining and going to the Mara every weekend to watch animals as Kenyans die of dire need.

We have seen massive progress with the expansion of the road networks across Kenya thanks to partnerships with some donors. At the same time, some big chunk of this donor support is funding their own expatriates; people who know very little compared to our own Kenyans. A junior officer from the donor community seconded to the same project is being paid 5 times his Kenyan colleague who knows what is being done. Yet, because it is donor money, we must dance and play to their tunes on the fear of reprisals.

This is the kind of fear donors have instilled on the local CSO sector in Kenya. We are being made to dance to foreign tunes, to music we do not understand, just to secure donor funding. While the elite from the CSO sector, people who do nothing, are being funded to make merry and host workshops where people talk to each other about what all of them know.

I think time has come when we must ask ourselves some heard question. When I have a garden and I want a bumper harvest, do I wait for a donor to come on board before I start tilling my land?

NO. Donor or no donor,
I will wake up every morning and go to my garden.
I will clear the bush in readiness of the planting season.
I will plant in time for the rains.
I will weed my crops and God willing, some will bear fruits and some will not.
Some seedlings will fall on hard rock and will be eaten by the birds,
Some will fall on thorns and will dry up.
But some will fall on moist land and will bear fruit.
Anybody who wants to help me better join me in my farm.

But one thing I am sure about; I will not become creative to win donor support and confidence. The Kenyan in me tells me so, and so be it.

And the Kenyan in me makes me proud to be associated with all Friends of KCDN, people and institutions who have seen our potential and joined us in our garden. You were friends enough to join us in the garden, not to invite us for food at the shopping centre.

Odhiambo T Oketch,
CEO KCDN Nairobi,
PO Box 47890-00100,
Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel; 0724 365 557,
Emai; komarockswatch@yahoo.com