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.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kimisho Makadara

Dear Friends,
I was the most happy man last Saturday June the 29th 2013 when His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta joined with Kenyans at Hurumu Grounds for a Clean-up Campaign.
It was very refreshing seeing President Uhuru in casual wear in the trenches.
We want to entrench this further and as such, we are planning to host The National Forum on Waste Management in September with all the 47 Governors to help streamline the question of Waste Management in Kenya. We are in consultation with the relevant Partners to make this happen.
When we launched The Monthly Clean-up Campaigns in September 2010 in Eastleigh, this is what we were looking for; a day when the President of Kenya will roll his sleeves and join with us in the trenches.
The question of Waste and Waste Management has been with us for so long. We are 50 years in to our Independence and still, our Towns are clogged with dirt and waste as if we are so helpless about it. We have mandarins in the Departments of Environment who believe that shifting waste from one place to another is Waste Management. And they will boast of their PhD Status!
Shifting waste from one place to another will NEVER be Waste Management.
We must institute the process of Separation of Waste at Source as the first basic step towards Waste Management. And we must involve all the Citizens in this. We must then create a Data Bank of all Waste Handlers and task each group with Management of one particular Waste Stream. This has been done in so many other places and we cannot pretend about it.
All the Clean Towns across the World just didn't happen by chance. There was a deliberate effort made by the Environment Directors and enforced upon the people. It then became a culture that they have respect and the results can be seen; Cleaner Cities and Cleaner neighbourhoods.
We are happy that at long last the Governor of Nairobi is buying 35 Garbage Collection Trucks. I bet these will be put in to good use and not vandalized by the cannibals at the Department of Environment. We had advised the Governor to do a thorough shake up in that Department and it seems that we are back to business as usual where printing of T-shirts for such events are given more prominence.
I bet the focus should be on the work, not on the sideshows. Not on hiring 20 Trucks at a Monthly cost of Kshs 20 million!
Time is on our side and the hard realities will come, for the Sun must run down to the West as it races to start a fresh each single day. We at The Clean Kenya Campaign are back and we will bring you images of a Clean City or a Dirty City as we continue. The honeymoon is over.
I also met with our Kimisho Team Leaders in Makadara on Saturday the 29th June and I was impressed with the enthusiasm with which Kimisho has been received across all Kenya. The Month of July is our Month for Mobilization and come August, we will host our 1st Annual General Meeting where our Management Team will be confirmed.
Oto with Kimisho Team Leaders in Makadara on Saturday June the 29th 2013
At The Clean Kenya Campaign-TCKC, we are concerned that the cost of living is increasingly becoming unaffordable for many people. The price of Milk, Bread and Unga has risen to Kshs 42.00, Kshs 50.00 and Kshs 120.00 silently respectively and yet, we are still being told of a poor man's Budget when Budget Estimates are read.
The cost of money has simply been placed above the common man and as such, we must all pull together as the Government struggles with the many paralyzing issues they are facing.
Let us all join hands and be partners in Our Journey of Hope across Kenya.

Odhiambo T Oketch,
Team Leader and Executive Director,
Tel; +254 724 365 557,
Email; kimishodevelopment@gmail.com, komarockswatch@yahoo.com
BlogSpot; http:kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Re-energizing The Monthly Clean-up Campaigns

Dear Friends,
I am very happy that what we started in our own small way is now gaining root across Kenya.
When we launched The Monthly Nationwide Clean-up Campaign in Nairobi with the then Mayor Cllr Geoffrey Majiwa on the 18th September 2013, we were certain that this was the way to go.
I am impressed with our Governors who have decided to re-energize this effort. We must all roll our sleeves and work with them as we seek a Clean Kenya.
We are focused on the institution of the process of Separation of Waste at Source as a sure means to managing our waste and we will not relent on this.
Oto adressing the Launch of Eldoret Clean-up Campaign at Hurumu Estate in Eldoret in May 2011. The Clean-up was launched by HE Hon William Ruto- our Deputy President
Let us roll out and join with Gov Evans Kidero and his Team as they Re-launch The Monthly Clean-up Campaign in Nairobi at Hurumu Grounds tomorrow.
It is good for all to know that the responsibility of keeping our Cities Clean rests with the County Governments. They are the implementing and enforcement agents while the National Environment Management Authority are the regulators. We have given them enough time to settle in to office and from July, we will be all over Kenya once more.
We will be hosting the National Forum on Waste Management in September 2013 with all the 47 Governors, Partners and Professionals with the soul aim of streamlining the question of Waste Management in Kenya.
We have done our part and I am happy the effort is now slowly taking root in Kenya. Our Journey of Hope across Kenya has not been in vain.

Odhiambo T Oketch,
Team Leader and Executive Director,
Tel; +254 724 365 557,
Email; kimishodevelopment@gmail.com, komarockswatch@yahoo.com
BlogSpot; http:kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Waste My Responsibility

Dear Friends,
The Governor of Nairobi City County Dr Evans Kidero will be hosting the Re-launching of The Monthly Clean-up Campaign in Nairobi on the 29th June 2013 at Huruma Sports Ground Nairobi in an event that will be graced by His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Cabinet Secretary- Environment, Water and Natural Resources Prof Judi Wangalwa Wakhungu, the Director General NEMA Prof Geoffrey Wahungu and many residents.
The event is being steered by the Governor and his Team at the Nairobi County and we at The Clean Kenya Campaign- TCKC want to sincerely congratulate the Team for this timely intervention. We also want to appreciate NEMA and her Partners for joining in and inviting the various Waste End Users to come and exhibit what they do with waste.
Ms Betty Nzioka- Deputy Director- Environmental Awareness and Public Participation at NEMA Chairing a meeting at the NEMA Boardroom today in preparation for the Re-launch of The Monthly Clean-up Campaign in Nairobi on Saturday the 29th June 2013. She is flanked by Odhiambo T Oketch and other Partners 
Lastly, we want to sincerely appreciate His Excellency the President for accepting to join with Kenyans in working for a Clean Kenya. With his participation, the question of Waste and Waste Management will get a sure short in the arm. This has been well perfected in Rwanda by President Paul Kagame. I know President Uhuru will be a sure constant face at all our National Clean-ups every Month.
We are happy that our effort has not been in vain. We have gone around the various Counties inviting Kenyans to join hands and work with the Government towards Waste Management. We are happy that our Governors have taken this up, and with the resources at their disposal, a Clean Kenya will be realized sooner.
To this extent, we will be hosting The National Forum on Waste Management in Nairobi on the 11th and 12th September 2013, where we will dialogue with all our 47 Governors, Senators and Stakeholders and work towards harmonizing The Monthly Nationwide Clean-up Campaign as a National Event to be hosted every 3rd Saturday of the Month simultaneously across all Kenya.
Other Partners during the Consultative Meeting at NEMA
We will also be rooting for the introduction of the process of Separation of Waste at Source to make it easy for all Waste End Users to get clean waste for their production. Waste only becomes waste once it is wasted and soiled. If we isolate the same at source, we make it easy even for the waste handlers.
This is a dream coming true in our life times and we want to appreciate our Partners, Friends and Kenyans for joining with us in this Journey of Hope across Kenya and for having faith and confidence in us. It has not been easy, but we have been firm, consistent and faithful.
Lastly, I want to appreciate the following institutions for their continued support and for making us come this far;
  1. The Public Service Transformation Department
  2. The Nairobi City County
  3. The Provincial Administration
  4. The National Environmental Management Authority
  5. Akiba Uhaki Foundation
  6. A Better World/SOFDI
  7. Africa Youth Trust
  8. The Various Ministries we have worked with
  9. The Various Counties we have worked with
  10. and the Many Friends and Partners who had faith in us from all over
Let us all meet at Huruma Sports Ground on Saturday the 29th June 2013 and help make Kenya Clean.

Odhiambo T Oketch,
Team Leader and Executive Director,
Tel; +254 724 365 557,
Email; kimishodevelopment@gmail.com, komarockswatch@yahoo.com
BlogSpot; http:kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Monthly Nationwide Clean-up Campaign; Personal Reflections

Dear Friends,
I must start on a sad note. I was in Alego Boro yesterday for the burial of Francis Awuor Kizito. Mr. Kizito was a Member of Kimisho- Busia Branch and he had died in a road accident in Yala the other week.
May the good Lord rest his soul in eternal peace.
In 2009, I was brave enough to initiate The Monthly Nationwide Clean-up Campaign.
We hosted our 1st ever event in Komarock in September of the same year and then invited several partners to this. We then launched this as a Monthly initiative with the City Council of Nairobi on the 18th September 2010 at Eastleigh.
This was then launched across the whole country with tremendous success and partnership. We partnered with many Councils and I a now very happy that our Governors have seen that we must all join hands in managing our waste.
This is the way to go. We can now relax at The Clean Kenya Campaign-TCKC and offer strategic advice where necessary. Time for noise making is over. We did enough of that and now, we are seeing the results.
Who does not know what role we at KCDN and TCKC have played in this arena? And who does not know who our Partners in this Great Journey of Hope across Kenya were? I hence want to salute all our Partners- Friends and Institutions that have made this journey enjoyable and I must make mention of the following Partners;

  1. The Public Service Transformation Department,
  2. Akiba Uhaki Foudation,
  3. A Better World/SOFDI,
  4. The Provincial Administrtion
  5. National Environmental Management Authority,
  6. The various County Governments,
  7. The various Ministries whom we have worked with,
  8. Africa Youth Trust and her Partners,
  9. Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, and
  10. All those Friends and Partners listed in our Web and Blog Pages.

We have moved on and formed a Sacco Society for our Members, and again, I am happy that we are setting the trend. Kimisho Sacco Society Ltd has been well received across the Country and we are happy with the partnerships that we are getting.
I also know one thing; success never comes easy.
If you look at the history of Professor Mohammad Yunus of Grameen Bank, you will find that he faced challenges and even out right opposition from journeymen and charlatans. But he never minded them.
They tried scaring away members and still, he soldiered on.
When we were forming Kimisho, we were very alive to these facts. We knew that amongst us we have very bitter people, but we also knew that the vast majority of our people believed in us and in what we were saying and doing.
This is why we have never wavered. Our eyes are fixed on the success story we are creating and we are heading there with our Members.
We are open to all Kenyans for Registration as Members and as a Team, we have set our own rules and all our Members have agreed to these.
We are happy that our Members believe that we can all do it as a Team, and I will remain focused and trained on the work a head.
Lastly, the coming days are going to be very interesting for us at Kimisho. Watch this space and keep us in good company.

Odhiambo T Oketch,
Team Leader and Executive Director,
Tel; +254 724 365 557,
Email; kimishodevelopment@gmail.com, komarockswatch@yahoo.com
BlogSpot; http:kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com


Friday, June 21, 2013

The story of James Mwangi- CEO Equity Bank

From humble beginnings to World Entrepreneur, the story of equity banker James Mwangi reveals the underlying truths of any successful business (large or small)
Salle des Etoiles, Monte Carlo, Monaco – playground of the world’s rich and glamorous. The tiny state of Monaco, tucked between the Alps and the Mediterranean, has the world’s largest collection of millionaires and billionaires per square foot. It is home to some of the best known film, music and sports stars, while the annual Monaco Grand Prix is considered the glittering apex of the motor racing calendar.
For the last 12 years, another annual event has sent pulses racing in this city state where the average per capita income is over 180,000 euros. The Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Award is the world championship of entrepreneurial talent.
This year, 59 business champions, all winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in their own countries or regions, gathered at the fabulous Salle des Etoiles to witness the crowning of the champion of champions, the World Entrepreneur of the Year.
The stakes were high. Who would win the world’s most coveted business award? Names were bandied about. But as the envelope was opened, a pin-drop silence descended. “The winner is Dr James Mwangi of Equity Bank, Kenya!”
For a few seconds, the hush continued, then the assembly broke into loud cheering and James Mwangi was given a standing ovation as he went up to collect the most prestigious award for enterprise the globe has to offer.
This was an astounding victory, not only for Mwangi, or Kenya; not only for the banking sector, or Africa, but for all black entrepreneurs everywhere. It marked a first in every category.
It also marked the apex of an extraordinary journey that began 50 years ago in a small village on the slopes of the Aberdares in central Kenya – a universe away from the glitter, wealth and glamour of Monaco.
Foundations of success
The Aberdares and Mt Kenya – considered by many as the spiritual heart of Kenya – was also where Kenya’s pre-independence freedom fighters, the Mau Mau, were locked in battle with colonial armies.
“My father fell victim to the struggle,” James Mwangi told me when I interviewed him in London shortly after he had received his award. Mwangi is the sixth of seven children. “My widowed mother had to find ways and means to feed and raise us in a deeply rural setting.”
There was no time for childish games – everyone had to pitch in to keep the home fires burning. Mwangi, like the rest of his siblings, had to do his share of chores – tending to livestock, making charcoal, selling fruits and other produce for small margins.
Although the family was poor, “my mother ensured that we were disciplined and she laid out a set of values which became anchors in our lives,” Mwangi recalled. “There was one point on which she was not prepared to back down or compromise one iota – education. Her children, all her children, would be educated – no matter what it took.”
As Mwangi talked, a picture of his mother, Grace Wairimu, began to emerge. Here was a woman, well past the first flush of youth, who was straining every sinew and using all her ingenuity not only to feed and clothe her children, but adamant that they go to school, and learn.
When she insisted that her daughters also attend school, a shudder of apprehension went through the village of Kangema, their home.
“Girls who go to school ended up as prostitutes!” her neighbours warned. “Maybe so,” she quipped, “but they will be educated prostitutes and will be able to negotiate better terms.” People smiled at her sense of humour but there was a lot of shaking of heads. Her daughters went to school, and were among the first African-trained teachers from the region. Perhaps this inured the young Mwangi and allowed him to ignore a lot of head- shaking later in life when he was trying to reinvigorate a defunct organisation.
Despite enormous social and financial problems, Grace Wairimu ensured that all her children were educated. “Much later,” Mwangi recounted, “when I had my own four sons, their granny supervised their education and kept them away from harmful teenage activities going around. When they got their school reports, they went first to their granny, rather than me, their father. She passed on a wealth of wisdom through storytelling and, in many ways, moulded my family.”
Mwangi’s children have attended the famous Ivy League institutions in the US – Yale, Cornell and Brown – and Carnegie Mellon. “When she had placed the last one in university in the US,” he said, “she rested.”
Grace died last year at the age of 98. Given the enormous role she had played in his life, I glanced at Mwangi to look for signs of sadness. But I only saw pride for his late mother shining in his eyes. Somehow I knew that when he received his award, he had raised it in silent tribute to her.
James Mwangi attended Nyagatugu Primary School in Kangema village. But money was short and the family teamed up to supplement their income by engaging in ‘small business’. While this may have been humbling for the boy, he was nevertheless absorbing invaluable business lessons that would stand him in good stead for his future.
He was learning, without consciously doing so, the basics of business – what people needed, what they were prepared to pay, how to add value to mundane articles, how to negotiate, how to make a sale and turn a profit. With no role models to emulate, he and his family were, in effect, discovering the basics of business all by themselves, based on observation of what worked and what didn’t.
He obtained outstanding results at the end of his primary schooling and this led to a government scholarship at Ichagaki Secondary School. Here he was introduced, for the first time, to accountancy and commerce. “This was an important discovery,” he recollected. “I could see how the systems related to the small businesses we had been doing. We had been going about business in a haphazard way, but here was a systematic method of doing the same things with far better results. It was an eye-opener.”
Mwangi obtained outstanding O-Level results and went to Kagumo High School to study for A-Levels in economics, literature and geography. Whatever he was picking up in theory, he was mentally applying to real-life situations and his earlier, unformed brushes with commerce. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Nairobi, passed a Certified Public Accountancy course and was ready to face the daunting and mysterious world of work.
The Equity Saga
At the age of 28, although he didn’t know it himself, Mwangi was primed, in terms of character, values and down-to-earth business savvy for the major role he was about to play in the nation’s commercial life.
Kenya was going through an uncomfortable transition phase from the old colonial structures to the needs of a relatively new nation. Although there was a huge demand for banking and credit services, the industry remained more or less a closed shop. It was largely shut out of the financial system. The international banks turned their noses up at the prospect of catering to the masses. This led to the growth of numerous indigenous mutual societies.
Many of those who started these savings societies did so with the best will in the world, but lack of expertise meant they were trying to learn the ropes while on the run. The result was a series of crashes involving hard-earned money from depositors – many of them small-scale rural farmers – vanishing at an astonishing rate.
One of these mutual societies, which had remained standing but was severely battered, was the Equity Building Society.
In 1993, the chairman, Peter Munga, and the CEO, John Mwangi, turned to James Mwangi, who had established a reputation for honesty during a period when that commodity was in very short supply, to help wind up the business. It had already been declared technically insolvent.
“That was an understatement,” Mwangi told me. “To cut a long story short, the building society had been making losses of Ksh 5 million every year and was now facing a cumulative loss of Ksh 33 million, the staff had not been paid salaries, morale was at rock bottom and membership was dwindling by the hour.”
But rather than throw in the towel, Mwangi wondered if he could intervene and “reinvent the organisation, transform it completely.”
He became the strategy and finance director. At the time, Equity had 27 employees, 27,000 customers, five branches and stood at number 66 out of 66 in the financial sector rankings.
“I accepted the challenge because I could see clearly how important a properly functioning society was to the mass of the people. It was their only avenue out of poverty. I felt I had to do something – somehow square the circle.”
But he had no resources, no money, no way of raising capital. A banking licence, which might have provided some leeway, was not forthcoming. Public confidence in indigenous organisations was at rock bottom.
“How could I entice people to come to Equity? What could I provide that was needed but not available? I decided to look inside the organisation. If I could change the culture internally, I would have, in effect, succeeded in reinventing Equity.”
Mwangi set about retraining the staff. He introduced a concept which at the time was practically unknown – customer care. “Put the customer and his or her needs first – he is the most important person in the world. Treat people with dignity and respect. Serve to the best of your ability.”
He encouraged his staff to use their own networks – as he did his – to persuade people to join the society. “I told them, ‘trust me’. They believed me because I believed it myself. If you expect anyone else to follow you, you must have absolute confidence in yourself.”
What he felt most at this time was a heavy sense of responsibility. “I knew I could not let down the chairman and CEO and, above all, I could not let down the customers. When I said ‘trust me’, I meant to keep my word.”
The first sign of success, he said, was a complete change in the attitude of the staff. They were now motivated, they had a direction to follow and what they were doing was bearing fruit. “We were able to give them their first raise in eight years. I also persuaded them to use 25% of their salaries to buy shares in the company. Now they were involved. It was as much their company as anybody else’s. They knew that if they succeeded, they had a lot to gain.”
Slowly but surely, like a ship that was almost sunk, the company began to right itself. Customers, many of them peasant farmers, were given red carpet treatment. Accounts were kept meticulously. Confidence blossomed.
In Bangladesh, Muhammed Yunus had demonstrated that the Grameen system of microfinance was transform-ing the lives of millions who had been shunned by the mainstream banking industry. It was also helping the impoverished nation to lift its economy by its bootstraps. But elsewhere, micro finance was seen as something of a charity case – throwing away good money for bad.
Mwangi was convinced that microfinance could not only transform the lives of the masses, it could also turn a profit. Equity’s growing customer base and a healthier sheen to the company’s balance sheet was the proof he needed that the venture was on the right track. Despite the headshaking within the industry, he and his team ploughed on.
“By 1997, we were ready to expand. We invited customers to buy shares in the company and we started to pay them dividends. The word began to spread – Equity was different; Equity could be trusted.”
Mwangi had witnessed how computer technology was altering business out of all recognition. But it was commonly felt that such advanced technologies were expensive and that the masses were ‘too backward’ for such sophistication. He begged to differ. In 2000, he persuaded the European Union to support a computerisation programme. The impact was immediate.
“Transaction times dropped from 30 minutes to five; queues moved faster and customer service improved. The whole process, including signatures, was automated. Equity was now on a rapid, but solid, growth path.”
But expansion needed an injection of capital that was still very difficult to come by for indigenous companies. Approaches were made to Africap, a funding organisation set up by the International Finance Organisation (IFC) and other partners. Africap provided $1.6 million and acquired 16% of the whole enterprise. This led to a second wave of computerisation and further expansion. But in 2004 the company ran out of capital and invited private placements – $10 million was raised in two weeks. “On the last day of August, 2004, we made our biggest and boldest step. We became a bank,” Mwangi said. “We could now roll out a full range of products and services.”
In 2006, Equity Bank listed on the established Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). More capital – this time from the giant Helios fund, supported by IFC, CDC, George Soros and Opic, who bought 25% at $185 million – allowed the bank to become the most highly capitalised in East and Central Africa.
“Now, building on the IT platform, we launched an aggressive growth campaign. In seven years, we increased our branches from 36 to 200, with over 5000 agencies, and the customer base rose to eight million, nearly half of all bank accounts in Kenya,” Mwangi told me.
The figures are mind-boggling. From a loss of Ksh 5 million in 1993, the bank registered a profit of Ksh 12 billion in 2011. Equity now has the largest banking customer base in Africa. It is the biggest majority-African owned bank and the most profitable in East and Central Africa. Since listing on the NSE in 2006, shareholder value has grown 900%, turning a large slice of shareholders into millionaires.
Mwangi expects profits to rise to nearly Ksh 16 billion this year, making it the most profitable company in the region. The compounded annual growth rate over the past 10 years has been an incredible 78% and the bank has been growing ten-fold every five years for the last 20 years. From a staff level of 27, Equity today employs just under 8,000 people, it now has a presence in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, and was among the first financial institutions to open a branch in South Sudan. Its balance sheet of Ksh 250 billion is equal to 20% of Kenya’s budget.
Innovations such as mobile banking – taking the bank to the people in remote areas – and agency banking, where customers can carry out transactions in shops, has made this once given-up-for-dead institution one of the most progressive on the continent.
Stranger than fiction
The story of James Mwangi and Equity Bank – from a young boy selling charcoal on the slopes of the Aberdares to becoming the most successful banker in modern Africa – is so incredible that it almost belongs in the realms of fiction. In this case, fact is far stranger than fiction – and a thousand times more inspiring. But Mwangi remains humble and cheerful, ready to make a joke at the first opportunity. He has never forgotten the struggles of his childhood days and has set up the Equity Group Foundation and sought partnerships to ensure that no deserving youth will miss out on education, nor will anyone forego opportunities through lack of financial knowledge. He spends half an hour every day running on the treadmill and is a voracious reader. “I am up at 3.00 am every day and I read – mostly business and management books and biographies,” he said.
His role models?
“Nelson Mandela. The way he has changed people’s lives inspires me every day. That is what drives me – the feeling that I am changing lives for the better, being an agent of social-economic transformation in Africa.”
Among his business gurus he counts Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, Bill Gates (who he says showed him how to think more broadly about society), Bill and Melinda Gates for their contribution to the disadvantaged in Africa, and Steve Jobs for his technological genius. What makes him most happy?
“Whenever I can bring a smile to someone’s face, I am amply rewarded.”
James Mwangi’s top tips for business success
Be a dream maker. An entrepreneur is someone who identifies gaps in products or services and is willing to take risks to make the dream come true.
Do not go it alone. An entrepreneur is dependent on, and relies on, the skills and knowledge of others. But he must be the leader who can bring these people, their skills and their attributes together to create something new and useful.
Clothe yourself in values. Your values are what will attract all the other components you need – capital, expertise, partnerships – to help you make your vision come to life.
Ask yourself what you can do. “What can I do that will be most useful to most people? How can I change the situation so that what is needed is made available to those who need it most?” Make that your vision and goal and go for it.
Be dependable. If people trust you and you deliver time after time, then when you ask them to jump, they will not ask “why?” but “how high?”
Convince yourself. If you cannot convince yourself that your goal will come to pass, you won’t convince anyone else either. Convince yourself first, with good reason, and others will follow.
Be enthusiastic. Your enthusiasm will infect others and set off a chain reaction that makes even the impossible possible.
Be patient. Equity Bank is showing its best colours after 20 years of hard work.
Never stop learning. Learn something new every day and try to apply it to your life and business.
Be humble. Many factors, and many people, come together to make success of an enterprise.
Learning to fly
Under its Wings to Fly programme, Equity Bank has secured a Ksh 6 billion scholarship fund in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation and with financial support from UKAID, USAID and KFW to provide 10,000 academically gifted but financially disadvantaged children with comprehensive secondary scholarships.
The Equity Bank University Sponsorship and Leadership Programme extends a sponsorship to the best boy and best girl in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) from the districts where the bank operates.
So far, 1,290 students have benefited, with over 65 now pursuing higher education in some of the best universities in the world, including Ivy League schools in the US.
The Equity Group Foundation, in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, has implemented a financial literacy programme in Kenya, aimed at training one million youth and women. Some 400,000 have already completed the course.
Under its Kilimo Biashara initiative, the Foundation has been deeply involved in the agricultural transformation of Kenya in partnership with AGRA, the government of Kenya and IFAD.

A Letter Addressed to Grameen Bank Members from Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus

A Letter Addressed to Grameen Bank Members from Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus on the Occasion of his departure from Grameen Bank

Date: May 15, 2011

Beloved owners and honoured members of Grameen Bank:
Thirty-five years ago, I did not know that I would start a bank, and that I would lend to poor people, especially to poor rural women. Like many other teachers, I was busy teaching in the classroom, far from the realities on the ground. But Jobra village took my future into a completely different direction. I saw, first hand, how the loan sharks enslaved the villagers; I thought that if I were to lend money to the poor, then the villagers could be free from the grasp of the loan sharks. That is what I did. I never imagined that this would become my calling in life. I learned a lot sitting and talking with the women of Jobra; I came to know about things which I had never imagined. I longed to do whatever I could to help them. With my students, I was able to help the women in a small way. Acting as the guarantor, I was able to arrange loans from the bank for the poor people of the village. Alongside the loans, I added a savings program. At that time, women in the village did not have the capacity to save. The savings program started with 25 paisa in savings per week. Today the total amount of savings by the borrowers stands at 6 billion Taka!
Our members, when we started, did not know how to read or write. We started to teach them to write their name, with sticks in the dirt. I then created the Grameen Bank Project. At the initiative of Bangladesh Bank, I took what I was doing in Jobra to Tangail. In the villages across Tangail, I shared with the women of what was happening in Jobra. They too became eager and expressed their wish to do the same thing. From Tangail to Rangpur, Patuakhali, Dhaka, Rajshahi our work expanded. Gradually you, too, came and joined Grameen Bank.
We organized workshops. At these workshops, you told me stories about your lives. You told me about the sadness that you have had to bear. Tears fell from your eyes as you told me your stories. You made songs of your sadness and sang them for me. To turn around your lives, together all of you came to decisions on what you had to do. At these workshops, I collected and noted down the decisions that you reached, and told other women of these decisions. From these, the “Sixteen Decisions” came into being. Those “Sixteen Decisions” have become a part of Grameen Bank. “At our son’s wedding we will not take dowry; we will not take dowry. At our daughter’s wedding we will not pay dowry; we will not pay dowry.” “We will educate our children, at least up to class sixteen.” "We shall grow vegetables all the year round. We shall eat plenty of them and sell the surplus. " “Discipline, Unity, Courage and Hard work – in all walks of our lives”, “We shall drink water from the tube well; if it is not available, we shall boil water and drink it”. These are just some of the decisions.
A lot of people from the villages resisted your joining Grameen Bank. They were opposed to seeing women handle money and earn money. They tried to frighten you by telling you about the horrifying outcomes of accepting money from Grameen Bank. They tried to frighten you by saying that you would be banished to Talpotty if you took money from Grameen Bank. They scared you by telling you that Grameen Bank was a plot hatched by the government to identify you, so that they could take you to the ocean to throw you into the deep sea, never to return. This was the way the government would solve the problem of population and poverty in one step. They said this was a missionary bank whose purpose was to convert you. They threatened to attack you; they threatened that they would bury you wrapped in black shroud when you died; they would not have a burial prayer for you. They threatened to chase you from your homes. And many of you were chased out of your homes and your villages.
But you did not get frightened. You became united with each other. You vowed with deep resolve that you would bring prosperity to your families. That is why from the “Grameen Bank Project”, you managed to create “Grameen Bank”. And you became the owners of this bank. Gradually, you were able to realize each of the Sixteen Decisions. You increased the amount of savings that you hold, many times over. You have educated your children. Through Educational Loans, many of them are today studying to be doctors and engineers. Many of your children have completed their education and are now doctors, engineers and professors.
Today, you know how to provide leadership in society. After gaining the experience of being group chairperson, you went on to become leader of the centre. With that experience you went on to become a Board Member of Grameen Bank. You participated in the Union Parishad elections and you won places on the Parishad boards. In the Sub-district elections, you became Vice-Chairperson.
In 2006, one of the biggest news of your lifetime arrived. Grameen Bank, in other words you, won the Nobel Peace Prize. You brought the nation a very big honour. Representing you, your Board Members travelled to Norway and brought back the Nobel Peace Prize. One of you, Mossammat Taslima Begum, from Pirghachi village in Chapainawabganj district, received the Nobel Peace Prize on your behalf. And she gave her acceptance speech on your behalf to the global television. The entire world watched and listened to her words. Those who had earlier been chased out of their villages now had brought back this great honour for the nation. The entire nation felt proud of you. You have raised your heads in front of the nation. You will never lower your heads again; you will always keep your heads raised high and proud. You will never bow your heads to anyone – this pledge has become a part of each and every one of you.
You are the owners of this Bank. Every time I wanted to go into retirement, you told me through your representatives that until you released me, I would have to continue with my responsibilities at Grameen Bank. I accepted this and carried on. Recently, on the orders of Bangladesh Bank I have been forced to relinquish this responsibility. I am removing myself from the responsibilities of the Managing Director of Grameen Bank, but I am not distancing myself from you. My relationship with you will never be broken. Even after leaving Grameen Bank, I will remain close to you. You and your children still have a long distance yet to travel. And I will remain close to you during this exciting journey.
Of the Sixteen Decisions, decision number one has become extremely relevant right now. It says: “Our lives will be moulded around these four principles – Discipline, Unity, Courage and Hard Work.” You raised your children to follow these four principles. Right now you must hold on to these principles unflinchingly – they are a source of great strength for you. When you were attempting to set up your Centre, even though you faced harsh opposition from people in your villages, you did not let that frighten you. You built and set up your centre. You brought prosperity to your families. In time, you got the recognition you fought for, and gained respectability in your villages. Many of you have been running your centres for ten to twenty years. Grameen Bank is a priceless wealth for you. Do not give away this to anyone. You are the owners of this bank. Do not let go of this ownership. If anyone speaks about taking away the ownership of Grameen Bank, if anyone speaks against your Bank, then you must protest against it; if you do not protest, if you remain silent, this Bank will be taken from your possession.
Soon you will be put under difficult tests. You must prepare yourself from now on to come out successfully from these tests. If you are able to protect this bank then your children and descendants will be able to benefit from its wealth. For their future, protecting this Bank is vital.
I have spoken about many things with you today, some things about the old days and something about what is coming in the future. You have learned over the years to rely on your own strength. That was the reason for your success. Don’t forget to rely on your own strength in the future. Grameen Bank must move on to greater success. You must move on to greater success.
Please remember me in your prayers.
Please accept my salaam, and convey my salaam to all in your family.
May the blessings of God be with you.
Yours faithfully,
(Professor Muhammad Yunus)

The Kimisho Dream

Dear Friends,
I have been listening to the Radio in the recent past and I have noticed that several Banks have all of a sudden realized that they can offer us loans 5 times our savings.
It is interesting and exciting. But I want to sincerely ask; where were these Banks before we started talking about our Economic Revival as a People?
We had realized that we were working for other people as a Community. We are net importers of all food items from Alot, Oduma, Waru, Nyanya, Otungu, Rabuon, Chak etc. And all that we remain with we bank in Foreign Banks. And we have been asking the hard questions; must this continue like this?
The answer has been an overwhelming NO.
Many people have reached out to us and now, we must decide to engage with all our Friends in equal footing. If you want us to buy your food, you must also buy some of our foods in Return. If the Kisii are producing Banana's, we should produce Sweet Potatoes. If the Kikuyu are producing Ndoma, we should produce Vegetables. It must not be a one way traffic.
If the Luhya are producing Mrenda, we should produce Onion. We should then trade- where you bring something to the market and I also bring something. We must not encourage a situation where you bring everything to the market and I only come to consume. We must encourage every Kenyan Community to at least produce something, and then, we must all be ready to buy from each other.
The days of slavery are long gone. The days of colonialism are long gone. We must hence not encourage Economic Neo-colonialism to take root in modern day Kenya.
Oto, Banja, Mary, Philemon and other Kimisho Members in a Group Photo
We must unite as a People to work for our own interest. If we can work towards opening a Bank, premised on the experience of the Bangladeshi People- The Grameen Bank, then so be it. But we must destroy the Funnel that makes us dependent on Aid and more Aid.
When Professor Muhammad Yunus started Grameen Bank 37 Years ago, he did not know that he would be lending money to the poor rural folk. He was a classroom Teacher, far removed from the realities on the Ground.
It was not easy, but Discipline, Unity, Courage and Hard work took centre stage. We want to take these as our guiding principles as we move Kimisho forward. We have a Vision and we are on a Mission where all are invited to play their part. It surely will not be easy. But we must do something for our people across Kenya.
I like the story of Professor Yunus because he faced some of the challenges that we will be facing at Kimisho. We know and we are seeing emerging Initiatives where our People are being enticed with loans 5 times their savings. We also know that like Grameen Bank, we will face resistance. But we are happy that our Members have made some clear decisions that we are moving Kimisho forward and strongly.
We must break the Funnels that have been erected and put in place to fleece our people. We must go back to food production, cattle rearing, business management and we must invest in housing, transport and financial institutions just like others have done.
If the Kikuyu can succeed with Equity, Family, K-rep, KWFT and all those, what can stop other Kenyans from investing in the same. If the Asians can succeed with several Bank Initiatives, we can as well. We also know that there have been lots of bottlenecks placed on the road for other people who want to invest in the Banking Sector. But we as a people must break this Funnel and make it possible for others to also invest in the Banking Sector.
We have a Dream that we will live. It will not matter how many we are. But the number that will join with us are the Team Members who will trek with us in this Journey of Hope across Kenya.
Let us have the inspiration to succeed and we sure will. 

Odhiambo T Oketch,
Team Leader and Executive Director,
Tel; +254 724 365 557,
Email; kimishodevelopment@gmail.com, komarockswatch@yahoo.com
BlogSpot; http:kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 20, 2013

National Prayer Breakfast- a Personal Reflection

Dear Friends,
The National Prayer Breakfast was hosted today at the Safari Park Hotel. It was a nice occasion to watch, from the discordant Parliament Choir to the hilarious Personal Reflections of our Deputy President HE Hon William Ruto.
Now, Hon Ruto knows how to connect with the people. He left all of us in stitches with his personal reflections. The most entertaining was when they had to approach the Chief of the Defense Forces that they were going to kneel down as they were being prayed for during their Inauguration! And when they were at State House for their first ever visit upon being declared President and Deputy- an Aide asked them what would happen if they were told that- hold it guys, there was a problem. You are not the guys who won! To when someone asked that- so God still listens to prayers offered by Yego? I loved it all.
Odhiambo T Oketch addresses our Team Members at Huruma in Eldoret. The function was also attended by Hon Ruto as our Guest of Honour, the Eledoret North DC, Eldoret Mayor, Town Clerk and many more Leaders
It made me also decide to have my own Personal Reflections today. I was invited for Tea yesterday at the Senate Lounge by Prof Peter Anyang' Nyong'o- the Senator for Kisumu County. I found him in the company of Sen John Munyes and as we had Tea, we made our Reflections on many issues of National importance. We also discussed Kimisho Sacco Society Ltd, and I am delighted at the insights that meeting gave me. Prof has always been an inspiration for me.
Sen Prof Nyong'o is the brains behind the National Economic Recovery in Kenya. When we all voted for Narc in 2002, President Emilio Mwai Kibaki appointed Prof Nyong'o to the Planning Ministry as the Minister.
He assembled a Team of Technocrats who developed several Blue Chip Economic Recovery Programmes, the Vision 2030, and worked tirelessly to start and steer Kenya to the right Economic path. I know it was never easy, but we needed men made of such steel to make Kenya survive. I have always delighted in a Poem authored by the Sen Prof where he says that the books he read have not made him impotent. I will post that poem for all to read.
Odhiambo T Oketch with Sen Prof Peter Anyang' Nyong'o when he was the Minister for Mediccal Services
I know of one thing- success is never an easy thing. There must be men of straw, charlatans and pollutants, people who get over-awed by successful people. They will not stop criticizing any thing. Yet, they are not able to even manage a simple chicken farming process. Such men and women are part of our society. We meet them daily and they pretend to be friends, yet, at the slightest opportunities, they hurl mud at you.
Our Journey of Hope across Kenya has been such a journey with snares and traps all along. But we have been firm and solid. Attempts have been made to malign us and they have all come a cropper. People have even invaded our Organization, pretended to believe in what we stand for, pretending that they are working for us, and left making all sorts of noise. But it has never bothered us. It has also never affected our resolve.
I have seen it all, where small minds even discussed my Wife and Family in the social media. But I have never stooped that low to discuss their wives. Because I know one thing; small minds will always keep discussing people. 
We are now building Kimisho Sacco Society Ltd and I am elated at the response we are getting across the whole World. A Friend in the US has even offered to serve in our Board- as our Board Member for the Diaspora. And he is going to come for our 1st Annual General Meeting. And this is great. But we have also faced the usual small minds- people who cannot initiate anything. They get so over-awed to the extent of trying to always bring down what they are not part of.
And when they do this, they hide under the usual NGO slangs- accountability, credibility, due process, integrity and all such things. I even laughed when someone asked how I was recruited to head Kimisho!
I have one advice for them; they cannot bring us down. Kimisho is a Movement that is going to be the next Big Thing. But I wish them well in all that they are doing.
Lastly, I want to invite each one of us and see what we can do for humanity. Are we only Journeymen and charlatans- men full of envy?  Or, are we builders like Prof Peter Anyang' Nyong'o- the Senator for Kisumu?
That is a challenge I want addressed by all God's Bits of Wood.

Odhiambo T Oketch,
Team Leader and Executive Director,
Tel; +254 724 365 557,
Email; kimishodevelopment@gmail.com, komarockswatch@yahoo.com
BlogSpot; http:kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com   

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Can we make Siaya a shining example

The Governor of Siaya and his Team have invited us to join with them in an Investment Forum to be hosted at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University on Friday the 21st June 2013, and I want to really appreciate this.
I have seen many varied responses from across and again, this is encouraging. But then, there is talk, empty talk and action.
Many of our people are known for the first two. We talk so much, develop many theories and then implement none. As we meet on Friday in Bondo, can we kindly shed the first two elements and engage with the Governor and his Team in Action.
Oto joins in a Clean-up Campaign at Kongowea in Mombasa in 2012. Can we all work for a Clean Siaya where waste is viewed as a Resource?
It is 50 years into Independence and with the advent of Devolution, we have great promise on development. What are the key areas that will inspire and drive this. I want to make mention of three areas I would give much prominence if I were the Governor.
1] Infrastructural Development
You may all agree with me that a County with good infrastructural development will attract quality investors. If the Roads are good and well networked, the power supply is consistent and available across the County, there is proper Town planning and medium of communication is functional, then any Investor would be fine.
He would be happy that his produce will reach the markets in good time.
He will be happy that consistent power supply will not interfere with his production.
He will be happy when we have planned Town Residential Houses with working social amenities.
And he will be happy that he can communicate to his markets at will all the times and any time.
If the Governor and his Team can ensure that the Roads across Siaya, especially the one that traverses Kambajo/Othach/Mago, Kambajo/Othach/Uloma or any other such roads with great potentials in Siaya are done and made motorable, then those who might want to invest in Siaya would be a happy lot.
The Governor and his Team must hence invest in good Roads, Quality Town Planning, good Housing, social amenities such as running water, working sewer systems, efficient medium of communications- phones and internet and open up Siaya to Investors.
2] Food Security and Economic Empowerment
Food is such a basic thing for humanity and in Nyanza, it has become very sad that we are not able to feed ourselves from our own farm produce.
We are spending all our money buying food that has been produced some where else. Can you imagine that we are importing maize, vegetables, onions, tomatoes, milk and all such things ending up enriching some other economies?
The Governor and his Team must ensure that many of our people are motivated to engage in food production. At Independence, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta called on his people to go back to the farms. The Governor must also call on us to go back to the farms.
He must then ensure that local produce is given priority in our Markets and Super Markets. It is absolutely very sad to find our local Super Markets stocking food stuffs imported from other Counties. There must be enforcement on the need to stock local produce as a means to spurring food security and food production.
We also know that our people are not lazy. They only luck incentives to motivate their economic empowerment. The Governor and his Team must hence ensure that funds are made available to traders at affordable interests to enable them stock their wares.
We must encourage the Banking Industry to be more friendly to the small scale traders and as such, we must work as a Team to ensure that devolved funds such as Women and Youth Funds are accessed by many of our people.
We must discourage the many road side baraza's that is creating idleness across Luo Land as it kills productivity. There must be some kind of enforcement that bars idle gossip by the road sides. People must be made to be responsible. Nothing comes easy.
3] Education
Education is very key to human growth.
The Governor and his Team must invest in Education and ensure that our schools are well equipped with modern facilities, Laboratories, Libraries, Books and all that. He must find a way of motivating our Teachers, Pupils and Parents so that we all work towards making Siaya an Educational Powerhouse in Kenya.
The more educated people we have, the more developed we will become. We must be patriots who can give back to our society the best we have tapped from our academic achievements. This is why I have been against this thing called Luo 'Professionals'. This is segregation that belittles others who are also excelling in their various ways.
We are all Luos, and in this regard, we are all from Siaya. We can all work towards making Siaya great without sidelining any segment of our people. We must also desist from talking about the Middle Class as the only people who can invest. The Common Man must not be made a working tool for the so called Middle Class.
Finally, let us not have that mental attitude that we are the only ones who know anything, and that the rest do not know. Let us here from all those who can offer their thoughts on how best we can make Siaya great. I am trying to re-arrange my schedules to enable me be available for this Investment Forum. I bet it will not be a platform where people come with very good English and no substance.
The good thing is, the Governor will be having enough Funds at his disposal to engage.
This must not be a talking shop, and can we be humble and respectful to each one of us as we start on this Journey of Hope across Siaya?

Odhiambo T Oketch,
Team Leader and Executive Director,
Tel; +254 724 365 557,
Email; kimishodevelopment@gmail.com, komarockswatch@yahoo.com
BlogSpot; http:kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com   

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Promise of Devolution across Kenya 2

Today was one hectic day.
It all started yesterday when I was hosted at Radio Mayienga as from 5pm to 7pm on matters development and economy.
It then stretched to today when I gave a presentation at the Devolution Workshop at Internews in Nairobi, then ended the day in a closed door discussion with Officers from the Kenya Commercial Bank.
Dr Ekuru Aukot giving his presentation during the Devolution Workshop at Internews in Nairobi. He is flanked by Odhiambo T Oketch 
We all take things so casually as a people. Parliament has been on a war path with the Senate over matters so pedestrian, at a time the Governors are also engaged in supremacy wars with the County Commissioners.
The Court of Appeal recently saved the County Commissioners and now, their place in Governance has been cemented. As the Governors jostle for control of 15% of the National Budget, the County Commissioners are controlling the 85%. Any reasonable Governor would quickly develop a working relationship with the County Commissioners to enable them access the 85% National Budget.
Not that we must boot lick, but we must work smart. There is absolutely no reason why we must work towards a 1964 scenario, where Devolution ran into some deliberate brick wall. We must be smart and be able to see that we are being shepherded towards the same scenario and avoid the pitfalls.
Group Photo after the Devolution Workshop at Internews today.
As a people, we must interrogate how Devolution is working for us. All the Governors have been in office for almost 90 days and we must start asking the hard questions. Are they living to the promises of their campaign manifestos or, were we taken for the normal high goose chase?
These are the questions we must ask. This is why I looked at the Inaugural Speech of Dr Evans Kidero and decided to use that as my pitch during the Devolution Forum with the Journalist. Talking to Journalists is always a delicate act. These are highly trained individuals who might ask you a question that might appear so harmless, yet, it is so loaded. These are rare breeds who can make or break a situation.
We must join hands with our Journalist to start interrogating the Promise of Devolution across Kenya. We must start holding our Governors to account, based on their pledges as they criss-crossed our Country in search of our votes.
A Meeting with Officers from the Kenya Commercial Bank this afternoon
We at The Clean Kenya Campaign-TCKC will do our part and we are inviting all of us to also do our part. Devolution is under threat and we as a people must join hands and ensure that it works for us.
We have given the Governors enough time to settle down in to office, and we will soon be re-launching The Monthly Clean-up Campaigns across Kenya. We are relaunching in Nairobi on the 29th June and in Kisumu on the 6th July.
We want to invite Kenyans to join hands as we all work for a Clean Country. To effect the Promise of Devolution, we must take this as our personal responsibility as a people. We are keen in ensuring that the process of Separation of Waste at Source is inculcated in our National psyche as a People.
As usual, we never give a promise on what we can never achieve. The Honeymoon Period is up for our Governors and soon, we must start separating Boys from Men- for they are all male.

Odhiambo T Oketch,
Team Leader and Executive Director,
Tel; +254 724 365 557,
Email; kimishodevelopment@gmail.com, komarockswatch@yahoo.com
BlogSpot; http:kcdnkomarockswatch.blogspot.com

The Promise of Devolution

17th June 2013
The Promise of Devolution in Nairobi; a critical look at the pledge from the Governor on his Inauguration- A speech delivered at the Internews Forum on Devolution in Nairobi by Odhiambo T Oketch
In his inaugural speech to the residents of Nairobi during his Inauguration as the 1st Governor of Nairobi City County at Uhuru Park some three months ago, Dr Evans Kidero invited the residents of Nairobi to join with him in appreciating Devolution as long as it remain a central pillar in our Constitution.
He gave our historical evolution from being a resting place for the Indian Coolies who were building the Kenya Uganda Railway to the current bustling City in the Garbage. He outlined challenges that were facing Nairobi, challenges that Devolution would surely help tackle.
I hence would like to only address 4 key areas that he covered in his speech and offer some insights as a resident of Nairobi and as a key player in developing our National Agenda.
Bloated/Ghost/Inefficient Work Force
Key in his agenda was having the right staff that felt more motivated and remunerated to provide better services to Nairobians. As residents, we have all along lived with the ignominy of ghost workers at the City Council. With the advent of Devolution and with the coming in of a Governor, we are optimistic that the issue of ghost and bloated work force that has been inefficient will be tackled.
Mr. Phillip Kisia during his tenure as our Town Clerk tried to address this issue when the Stakeholder Evaluation Team at the City Council of Nairobi, which I was privileged to chair then, made some recommendation on how best to address the issue. He invited PriceWaterHouseCoopers to do a Human Resource Audit that exposed the rot in the hiring process at the Council.
However, in his bid to address the menace of the ghost and absent workers, he ran on the thick block of the cartels that benefit from such scenarios. He was unable to address the bloated wage bill that comes with an absent workforce. It is our hope that Governor Kidero will address this issue without pandering to the whims of the vested groups and cartels.
It might be too early to gauge how effective the Governor is going to be, but as a people living in Nairobi, we want this issue resolved. Three months might not be sufficient for the Governor to prune the undesired elements from the County administration, but the devolved system of administration has given much prominence to People Participation. Three Months is sufficient time to lay the bricks. If they have not been done, then we as a people must start asking the hard questions; is Dr Kidero equal to the task or is it just hot air and no substance?
A Stakeholders Forum on the Nairobi we Want can be a first step in solving the issue of ghost, bloated and inefficient workforce that saddles Nairobi.
We also identified that some Departmental Directors had overstretched egos that intimidated the City Council workers. It is our wish that Dr Kidero brings on board his management acumen to help boost the confidence of the City Work Force. One thing we did appreciate is the professional quality of many of the City Staffers. Dr Kidero must motivate and appreciate them. He must not intimidate them.
As residents, we have worked with these staffers at the Council/County and we know them and their various Capacities.
Solid Waste Management
We at The Clean Kenya Campaign-TCKC were happy when the Governor identified Solid Waste as an issue that has bedeviled Nairobi. In partnership with the various Partners both in and out of Government, we had launched The Monthly Nationwide Clean up Campaigns across all Kenya. I am happy that the first such Campaign was officially launched by the then Mayor of Nairobi Cllr Geoffrey Majiwa on the 18th September 2010 in Eastleigh in Nairobi in partnership with us.
Then the Campaign was launched by the then Prime Minister the Rt Hon Raila Amolo Odinga at Markinon Market in Mombasa in February 20th 2011. We then launched the same in Eldoret with Hon William Ruto- now our Deputy President, in Kisii with Ms Janet Ongera- now Nominated Senator, in Kisumu with the then Mayor Cllr Sam Okello, in Kakamega with the then Mayor Cllr Matias Job Sichele, in Nyeri with the then Mayor Cllr Edward Muteru, and in many other places.
The question of Solid Waste Management has been very close to our hearts at The Clean Kenya Campaign-TCKC. And when the Governor talked about it, we were elated. Elated because, we assumed that at long last we had voted in to office a Leader who would streamline the mess in the Department of Environment.
Waste is a global issue and according to the last report on Municipal Solid Waste by the World Bank, the World is generating 1.1 Billion Tonnes of Waste annually currently. Managing this is costing the World USD 205 Billion annually. This is projected to increase to 2.2 Billion Tonnes of Waste by 2025 to be managed at the cost of USD 375 Billion annually. This is huge. And when I look at the kind of games being played at our own Department of Environment in Nairobi, I get convinced that we have journeymen in honeymoon at this Department.
The Dirty Landhis Road in Nairobi
How can we spend Kshs 40 Million every Month on servicing 20 Contracted Garbage Truck Collectors? The question is, who is pocketing this money on a Monthly basis, because, Garbage is not being collected in Nairobi?
This is one area the Governor must zero in, zoom his lenses and cause visible action if he wants the people of Nairobi to help him appreciate the benefits of Devolution. We must start and institutionalize the process of Separation of Waste at Source as a County and track each Waste Handler to tackle a definite Waste Stream. This will not only create order and help restore Nairobi to her lost image as a Green City in the Sun but will make the city feel safer and more secure.
Insufficient Infrastructural Development
Whenever it rains in Nairobi, many people wish it happened when they were already at home, simply because Nairobi gets clogged in a very stupid way. All our drainage systems drain storm water on to the road, and it has left many residents wondering what happened to our Engineers. Did they go to the same engineering classes with the rest of the Engineers or what happened?
This is one area the Governor must address as we put the process of Devolution into practice.
Poor Public Transpot Management System
Nairobi is the only City in the World without organized Public Transport System. Residents spend valuable work hours in traffic gridlocks and it becomes very annoying when you spend a cumulative 6 hours on traffic every day- 3 in the morning and 3 in the eveing.
The Governor and his Team must identify a Transport System that is reliable, timely and efficient to traverse Nairobi. The World Metropolis have the Tram Systems and I do not see why Nairobi cannot have the same. Dr Kidero must put his hands down very firmly and deal with the cartels that keep resisting the development of a working Transport System in our Towns.
We know the Cartels thrive and make more money in such disorders, but as Residents of Nairobi City County, we want to see the Governor break these Cartels so that we can enjoy the promise of Devolution!
In conclusion, as a resident of this great county of Nairobi City, I am urge my governor to;
1.       Ensure we have an efficient and appreciated workforce at the Nairobi City County,
2.       Ensure that we institute the process of separation of waste at source in Nairobi,
3.       Address the insufficent infrastructural development in Nairobi, and
4.       Address the crippling Poor Public Transport Management System in Nairobi
Let us all work for a Clean Kenya and a Clean Africa as a Transformative Deliverable as we turn 50 in Kenya, and as we work for a Clean General Election. 

Odhiambo T Oketch is the Executive Director at The Clean Kenya Campaign-TCKC and the Team Leader at KCDN and KSSL
The Clean Kenya Campaign is an Initiative of The KCDN Kenya