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Archive for June, 2011

Man gets 3 years for stabbing girlfriend

Posted by Administrator on June 29, 2011

A criminal court in Abu Dhabi sentenced a Kenyan man to three years in prison for stabbing his girl friend nearly 20 times after suspecting she had a relationship with another man, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The man told court that the woman is his wife but she denied his claims, saying their marriage was not completed because of his behavior.

The unnamed defendant confessed to stabbing the woman after seeing her drinking with another man but told court he did not mean to kill her.

“The court charged him of attempted murder as she was saved when neighbours intervened and stopped her boyfriend….the woman refused to drop the case, prompting the court to sentence him to three years and order his deportation,” the Arabic language daily Emarat Alyoum said.

Source: http://www.emirates247.com/news/man-gets-3-years-for-stabbing-girlfriend-2011-06-22-1.404012

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Kenyans chew potency drug to extinction

Posted by Administrator on June 29, 2011

There is a tiny shrub sold along roadsides, in market places and on Kenyan streets. To the casual observer or uninitiated it may not amount to much. However, those who have sampled it and understood its ‘secrets’ – know that this common shrub is also panacea for all bedroom misfortunes and misadventures.

By Caasi Sagala, Nairobi

Mukombero, or white ginger as it is commonly known in Kenya, is becoming a popular alternative to commercial aphrodisiacs like Viagra.

Men rate it highly, boasting virile prowess and extraordinary abilities in the bedroom. Recent Kenyan media reports indicate that the herb is being chewed almost into extinction – mostly by men.

“It never disappoints, my wife is one happy woman. Mukombero allows me to go the extra mile and be naughty with other women as well, it has guaranteed results,” chuckles a man called Wanyama. A mischievous grin stretches across his bearded face, when I find him on the streets of Kakamega town getting his portion of the ‘drug’.

Overwhelming demand
Boaz Romora, a dark skinny man with large sinewy hands carries a paper-bag full of the shrub. He earns his living by selling Mukombero. His large owl-like eyes glisten when I ask him about the shrub.

“I am overwhelmed by the demand, Kenyans have rediscovered the potency of Mukombero – it runs out too fast. Even in the forest where I get it from, I have to go in much deeper to get a mature plant. It is running out. Mukombero works because it is cheap, and can be eaten raw or ground up for drinking. I use it as well, and I can guarantee you that my two wives are not going away anywhere soon because of my performance under the sheets.”

Shortage of condoms
A Nairobi based gynaecologist, who prefers to remain anonymous, concedes reluctantly that there is some support in the scientific community for Mukombero’s aphrodisiac properties. However, there may be another explanation for its sudden rise in demand amongst Kenyan men:

“The recent shortage of condoms in the country, which even prompted some people to wash and re-use them points to the fact that Kenyans are not just sleeping in their bedrooms. There’s plenty of activity there. It’s the women. I’d say the previously inhibited Kenyan woman has become conscious of her sexuality. She is more assertive and demanding, leaving the poor men under pressure to deliver and satisfy by all means. Mukombero is a cheap convenient choice for most. Little wonder it is being chewed into extinction”.

1 euro aphrodisiac
Romora the vendor tells me that he makes 5 euros per day – not bad by Kenyan standards. He asserts that indeed 1 euro’s worth of Mukombero is enough to give me an erotically ‘lethal’ kick behind closed bedroom doors. He dares me to sample it which I do.

The shrub has a bitter sweet, gingerly taste. I expect instantaneous results – perhaps an electronic surge in my system. I purchase an extra bunch, just in case… Three hours later, I don’t experience anything unusual.

Source: http://www.rnw.nl/africa/article/kenyans-chew-potency-drug-extinction

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Police arrest woman who had abortion

Posted by Administrator on June 29, 2011

A 23-year-old woman was yesterday arrested for allegedly procuring an abortion and disposing the foetus in a neighbour’s farm. Ann Wangui was nabbed by police in Mau Narok after the residents reported her.

Police chief Johnston Ipara said the suspect procured the abortion under undetermined conditions and thereafter dumped the foetus in Muthere Farm within the Mwisho wa Lami area. “Her decision to perform the action was illegal and she did not undergo any medical check-up to indicate her misfit to carry the pregnancy to birth,” said Ipara.

Ipara said area residents were surprised to see her with neither the pregnancy nor the baby before the completion of the nine month’s pregnancy period. “They questioned her and she revealed that she had done an abortion and directed them to the place she had dumped the baby,” said Ipara.

Ipara said the suspect claimed that she did not want to bear the public shame of bearing a child before being married. The police later visited the scene and took the foetus to Nakuru Municipal Mortuary. Wangui will appear in court today.

www.nairobistar.com

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Police meeting dead ends in Keino murder probe

Posted by Administrator on June 29, 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 28 – Police are now saying that they have so far not  unearthed any evidence to show that University of Nairobi student Mercy Keino  was murdered.

Detectives investigating the mysterious death told  Capital News that the case was proving to be an “outright road accident.”

They spoke as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko directed  Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere to finalise investigations within seven days  and hand over the file to him.

“Following media reports on the mysterious  death of University of Nairobi student, Mercy Chepkosgei Keino, the Director of  Public Prosecutions on Monday, 27 June 2011, directed the Commissioner of Police  to immediately constitute a team of investigators to takeover and carryout  thorough and expeditious investigations into the circumstances surrounding the  death of the student,” a statement from his office said.

“The  investigation team shall be assisted in the course of the investigations by two  senior prosecuting counsel from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions,” it  added.

The DPP further directed that the findings of the investigations  and accompanying investigation file should be submitted to him within seven  days.

“There is a lot of speculation about this case but we have not been  able to get anything to link the death to the speculations flying around. People  are talking too much but they are not providing any assistance,” one senior  detective at the Parklands police station said.

From what is emerging,  the detective said, Mercy Keino – who was pursuing a Masters Degree Programme at  the University of Nairobi – “was too intoxicated and might have been run over by  a motorist or motorists on the highway.”

The green Mercedes Benz which  was taken to the Parklands police station on Monday as part of the ongoing probe  is still being detained for analysis.

Police officers there said they had  received reports that the vehicle may have been painted lately and they were  interested to know if the new coat of paint, if any, was applied before or after  the accident.

They were particularly keen to establish if the vehicle had  ran over the woman and got dented.

“That is information we are trying to  verify.  The owner is free but we have his contacts and he is readily  available to come to assist us whenever we require him. He is very cooperative  with us and in fact, we are impressed because he offered to present himself,”  the detective speaking on condition of anonymity said.

Police said they  had contacted mechanics who have been serving and repairing the Mercedes Benz to  assist in the investigations on the latest development.

“The  investigations are far and wide.  We are also awaiting a report of tests  carried on samples extracted from the woman’s body to ascertain if she was raped  before the death. We are exploring all the angles because we want Kenyans to  know the truth,” he added.

A pathologist who conducted a post-mortem on  the body of Mercy Keino has told police the results of the tests will be out in  due course and will be valuable in the investigations.

By Tuesday  afternoon, 18 witnesses, mainly people who attended a party with the woman at an  exclusive apartment block in Westlands on the night her body was discovered on  Waiyaki Way had recorded statements at the Parklands police station.

They  include Juja Member of Parliament William Kabogo, his two bodyguards, workers at  the apartment block and guests who attended the party as well as guards who  reported seeing the body being tossed out of a Mercedes Benz.

The owner  of the vehicle who turned up at the Parklands Police station on Monday said  slowed down when he spotted the body on the highway but proceeded on with his  journey like other motorists.

University of Nairobi students have given  notice of a massive demonstration in the capital Nairobi on Wednesday, where  they intend to vent their anger at the police for failing to unravel the  mysterious death of their colleague.

Source:  http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/Kenyanews/Police-meeting-dead-ends-in-Keino-murder-probe-13398.html#ixzz1QfM4JFJf

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How banks are manipulating shilling to gain

Posted by Administrator on June 28, 2011

Central Bank of Kenya governor Njuguna Ndung’u at a press conference in Nairobi Thursdy. William Oeri

Central Bank of Kenya governor Njuguna Ndung’u at a press conference in Nairobi Thursdy. William Oeri

The shilling has been the subject of a “financial terrorists” attack, causing it to depreciate against the major global currencies.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) governor Prof Njuguna Ndung’u blames four unnamed banks for exerting speculative pressures on the exchange rate.

Currency  manipulation is a serious matter that is no different to any other terrorist attack that could cause a lot of suffering to  Kenyans. The 1997 Asia financial crisis  which impoverished millions of people was caused by institutional currency speculators deliberately manipulating the market.  After the Malaysian government froze trading in the ringgit in September 1998, the then Prime Minister Dr Mohammad Mahathir described the currency speculators as “gangrenous leg”  that should be chopped off”.  Currency speculators take advantage of the flaws inherent in the global financial system.

Know their game

They are very knowledgeable about financial markets and they use this knowledge to “attack” currencies so as to bring its value down and make huge profits.  When they collude as these banks are alleged to have done, they can cause a lot of damage to an economy.

While the CBK could counter such attacks to keep exchange rates within reasonable levels, a continuous attack can be difficult for the central bank to match. This is because speculators can take on huge leveraged positions while the central bank would need large amounts of its foreign reserves to counter this. Inability to match the speculators would only cause the exchange rate to plunge further.

So how do they do it? The whole process starts with what is commonly referred to as “shorting a currency”.  Shorting means borrowing and selling currencies that you do not own. In contrast with going long-term, you profit in a short trade if the price of a pair gets cheaper.

Here, you buy back the currencies that you initially sold at a lower price. You then return these to the person you had borrowed from. The difference  between the price sold and how much you bought the back for  is your profit. Confused? Here is a practical example.

Let us assume an initial exchange rate between three currencies, say, the shilling, dollar and euro as follows; Shilling exchange rate is 90 and 128 to one dollar and euro respectively. The euro/dollar cross currency exchange rate is thus 1.4222 (128/90).These exchange rates are in equilibrium since no one can make profit by just trading between the three currencies. If one starts with a dollar, exchanges it into euro, then changes the euro into shilling and then back into US dollar, he would end up with exactly a dollar again.

Now assume that the “shorting” of the shilling by the speculators pushes the exchange rate to Sh 95 per US dollar. By attacking the currency this way, the traders will make two types of profits: first speculative and second arbitrage profits.

Speculative profit comes from betting that a currency would appreciate or depreciate. In our example above, speculative profit is made as follows. First, the traders or the commercial banks sell short Sh90 million at the initial exchange rate of 90 per dollar. This equals $1 million and would be credited to their account. Assume now that the “sell attack” caused the shilling to depreciate to 95 per dollar.  Now at this new exchange rate the Sh90 million is worth only $0.947 million. Because this  attack caused the shilling to depreciate, it would only require $0.947 million and not $1 million for them to buy back the Sh90 million. They would therefore close their position by buying back the Sh90 million at this new rate and makes a handsome profit of $52,631.58. The profit does not end there though. There is another profit to be made — the arbitrage profit.

Earning profits

Arbitrage profit is made from the mispricing among the exchange rates. An arbitrageur buys currency B spending A, then buys C spending B and lastly returns to A selling C, earning a profit in the process.  The chance of profit is maximised by trading with higher amounts. This mispricing happened when the speculators moved the shilling’s exchange rate from Sh90 to Sh95 to the US dollar. In the above example, this is how the arbitrage profit would be made:

First, the trader will borrow $1 million and exchange it into Sh95 million at the new prevailing exchange rate of Sh95 per US dollar. Second, the trader will exchange the Sh95 million into  742,187.50 euros (at the exchange rate of Sh128 per euro). Third, the trader will then exchange the 742,187.50 euros into $1,055,555.56 (at the exchange rate of $1.4222 per euro) and finally they will return back the loan of $1 million, and keep the remaining  $55,555.56 as arbitrage profit.

The total speculative and arbitrage profits from nowhere will thus equal 52,631.58 + 55,555.56 = $108,187.13.  Although I have used small amounts to simplify the process, currency traders, however, trade in billions of shillings. You can imagine the amount of profits they made during the week 9-16 June in which according to CBK there had been an outflow of $237 million.

There is a need to penalise currency speculation. It is  time to impose a financial transaction tax that could be used to limit this sort of speculative and arbitrage activities.

Mr Wehliye is the vice president, financial risk management, Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/How+banks+are+manipulating+shilling+to+gain/-/539546/1190068/-/jst8s5/-/index.html

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Motorist in girl’s death mystery gives himself up

Posted by Administrator on June 28, 2011

Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE/NATION Mr Wycliffe Okelo (inset), the owner of the dark Mercedes Benz, denied any wrongdoing, saying he saw the body on the road and swerved to avoid it. He also denied being at the party attended by Ms Mercy Keino and Juja MP William Kabogo.

Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE/NATION Mr Wycliffe Okelo (inset), the owner of the dark Mercedes Benz, denied any wrongdoing, saying he saw the body on the road and swerved to avoid it. He also denied being at the party attended by Ms Mercy Keino and Juja MP William Kabogo.

A man on Monday presented himself to police as the owner of a vehicle mentioned in connection with the mysterious death of a university student.

Mr Wycliffe Okelo, however, denied any wrongdoing, saying he saw the body on the road and swerved to avoid it.

He also denied being at the party attended by Ms Mercy Keino and Juja MP William Kabogo.

Ms Keino was reported to have had an argument with a man, stormed out of the party and was dragged back by well-built men.

She ran out a second time with the men in pursuit and was found dead hours later on Waiyaki Way, having been run over by motorists.

A witness called police to report that he had seen a body being tossed out of a dark Mercedes Benz.

Mr Okelo, popularly known as General Defao, apparently because of his prowess at dancing to Lingala music, is a second-hand car dealer.

He becomes the 10th witness to be interviewed by police over Ms Keino’s death. Mr Kabogo and his bodyguards have given statements. (READ: Kabogo questioned on university girl’s death)

Detectives have been looking for the car described by the witness, who gave them the vehicle’s registration, but it is not clear if Mr Okelo’s car is the one they were looking for.

Whereas Mr Okelo’s car fits the description — it is a dark-coloured 1998 Mercedes Benz— there could be questions as to whether the registration number, KBM 400H, is the one given by the witness.

The registration number obtained by the Daily Nation from its police sources on Saturday checked out to be a Toyota GX100.

The number obtained by Ms Keino’s family from the police is a Nissan pickup registered to a company.

On Monday, Mr Okelo drove his green Mercedes Benz to Parklands, parked his car outside the police station and walked to the report desk and identified himself.

Detectives on the case had started talking to him when another team arrived and took him away. They told their colleagues the case had been taken over by the provincial CID office.

Police found the body at 4.15am, on June 17. Ms Keino had been invited to the party, held at Wasini Luxury Homes on Church Road — off Waiyaki Way, Nairobi, by a cousin.

The woman’s sister, who declined to be named, said it’s not the first time the two had gone out together. However, she said its was their first time at Wasini and the first time they met the MP.

Mr Kabogo also told the police in his statement that he had not met Ms Keino before. “My sister is very traumatised by what happened. She is very innocent,” she told the Nation.

An initial postmortem report showed her legs were broken, and the upper body disfigured, probably after she was run over by vehicles.

A more detailed report is expected once tests have been carried out on samples taken from the body.

On Sunday, Mr Kabogo said: “I have recorded a statement with the police and you can get all the details there. I do not know where you got the report about a dark Mercedes Benz allegedly seen dropping a body.”

The MP said he had nothing to do with the student’s death and challenged those with information about the incident to report to police.

“Sometimes I don’t understand you people (media)… you seem to have more information than we have, give it to the police,” he told the Nation by phone.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Motorist+in+girls+death+mystery+gives+himself+up+/-/1056/1190274/-/13sg89j/-/index.html

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Kabogo questioned on university girl’s death

Posted by Administrator on June 27, 2011

Juja MP William Kabogo (pictured) was one of the guests at a party where the post-graduate journalism student was reported to have had an angry argument with a man before her death on June 17. Photo/FILE

Juja MP William Kabogo (pictured) was one of the guests at a party where the post-graduate journalism student was reported to have had an angry argument with a man before her death on June 17. Photo/FILE

Juja MP William Kabogo has been questioned by police officers investigating the mysterious death of a university student whose body was found dumped on a busy city highway.

Mr Kabogo was one of  the guests at a party where the post-graduate journalism student was reported to have had an angry argument with a man before her death on June 17.

“I have recorded a statement with the police and you can get all the details there. I do not know where you got the report about a dark Mercedes Benz allegedly seen dropping a body,” said Mr Kabogo.

The MP said he had nothing to do with the student’s death and  challenged those with information about the incident to report to police.

“Sometimes I don’t understand you people (media)… you seem to have more information than we have, give it to the police,” he told the Nation by phone.

The party attended by the MP was held at Wasini Luxury Homes on Church Road — off Waiyaki Way, Nairobi — the night before Ms Mercy Keino was found dead after allegedly quarrelling with a man.

Ms Keino, 25, was found dead on Waiyaki Way her body in a terrible state, having been run over by vehicles.

Police are reported to be linking two reports, one about the discovery of the body on the road and another by a witness who claimed to have seen a body being thrown out of a Mercedez Benz on Waiyaki Way.

Detectives at Parklands police station said the MP told them he had met Ms Keino at the party for the first time.

And Gigiri police boss Josek Nansio said they had mounted a manhunt for the owner of the dark Mercedes Benz mentioned by the witness who had called the police. The car had been officially identified.

“We got his particulars of the motorist just yesterday (Saturday). He never came to police in the first place and so we have to look for him,” he said.

Police had not found him by the time of going to press last evening.

Mr Nansio said until then, his detectives could not be fully sure they were investigating murder.

A source who spoke to the witnesses said an MP arrived at the party shortly after midnight.

Mercy had arrived with her friend earlier in the evening.

He said the host served juice, and the partying went on well until someone in the group produced an alcoholic drink, described by the source as “hard stuff”, possibly a description of spirits, and moved round the room pouring into glasses.

At this point, Ms Keino is reported to have protested, saying her faith did not allow her to be in such a gathering.

She was a staunch follower of Seventh Day Adventist Church.

The source said Ms Keino walked out of the house in protest and  was followed and dragged back by several well-built men.
A scuffle ensued and Ms Keino is reported to have broken glasses as the men struggled to restrain her.

She is reported to have walked out a second time with the men in pursuit.

Her body was found at around 4.15 am, according to a police report.

An initial report by a pathologist indicated her legs were broken, and the upper body disfigured, probably after she was ran over by vehicles.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Kabogo+questioned+on+university+girl+s+death+/-/1056/1189500/-/item/1/-/gv5equ/-/index.html

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Killed varsity student was ‘upbeat about settling down’

Posted by Administrator on June 27, 2011

Frank, outspoken, intelligent and disciplined. That is how friends described Mercy Chepkosgei Keino, who died in questionable circumstances nine days ago.

Mr Wisley Moturi, who was her Bachelor of Education classmate at Baraton University and later at the University of Nairobi where they were pursuing master’s degree in communications, said it was unlikely she had been drinking.

“I did not know her as the kind of person who would take alcohol and get intoxicated as suggested,” Mr Moturi told The Nation on Sunday.

He said the young woman was upbeat about completing her studies and settling down into family and professional life.
“This was her year.

She was excited about completing her master’s degree and she was also looking forward to her wedding in December,” Mr Moturi said.

He said Mercy was likeable and got along well with her classmates.

“For us, her friends, it is painful to accept her death as there are too many questions that are yet to be answered. I cannot bear to think what her family is going through,” he said.

Another friend, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, said Mercy had accompanied a cousin to the party at Wasini Luxury Homes in Nairobi’s Westlands area.

The high-end  apartments are located on Church Road, about 150 metres off Waiyaki Way.

A single gate leads into the exquisitely maintained compound, with four blocks of three-storeyed apartments shielded from public view by a high perimeter fence.

The gate is manned at all times, and guests are required to provide a national identity card, even if they are making enquiries and not entering the compound.

A security guard refused to let the Nation team in, saying that only the manager, who was away for the weekend, could authorise entry for the media.

All our enquiries about the fateful night drew blanks, as the officer said she had been deployed to the apartments three days ago.
That the compound is well guarded is not in doubt, and there is at least one closed-circuit television camera at the gate, which would also have been well-lit at night.

The security cameras may help detectives piecing together Mercy’s last moments identify the time she walked in, who accompanied her, the time she left and with whom.

The apartments are advertised online as having a “sophisticated security system, CCTV monitors, an electric fence and

firefighting equipment”. Residents also enjoy a spa, gym, swimming pool and high speed internet access.

They also need not worry about power outages as there is a standby generator.

The Nation could not establish the cost of renting an apartment at Wasini but the website has a special offer for a

“Honeymooners Weekend Escape” at Sh27,000.

Ms Keino’s body was found on Waiyaki Way hours after she stormed out of a party at the premises.

She allegedly had an altercation with an MP at the party.

Her friends, with whom she attended the party, only learnt of her death on Saturday, June 18, more than 12 hours after she left the apartment.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Killed+varsity+student+was++upbeat+about+settling+down++/-/1056/1189496/-/5c5t5m/-/index.html

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Anxiety hovers over Kenya’s nuclear energy development plans

Posted by Administrator on June 27, 2011

Nuclear power plants

Nuclear power plants

Questions have emerged about plans by Kenya to continue investing heavily in the research and development of nuclear power to meet the country’s rising energy demands in the wake of concerns about the safety of the technology.


Following the shocking Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster in March this year bias over the need to replace atomic power with renewable energy sources is gaining currency in many parts of the world underpinned by the long-standing debate over the extremely high costs and rigorous safety requirements of nuclear energy development.
This time however, the debate has evolved into decisive action with most countries especially in the West moving to re-examine and alter their nuclear policies.
Amid all the debate on the viability of nuclear power due to its safety concerns and high cost factors and as first world nations move towards shunning atomic power in favour of renewable energy sources  such as wind, solar and hydro, observers have raised questions on whether there is need for Kenya to channel enormous financial resources towards research and development of nuclear energy.

Nuclear power stations are extremely expensive to build. In addition the maintenance and running of the power plants call for rigorous and costly safety requirements.
According to David Maina, the director of the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (INST), at University of Nairobi, Kenya’s nuclear energy initiative is expected to set back the country a staggering Ksh 80 billion (U$ 1 billion).
Already sites for possible nuclear power plants have been identified in areas in the Kenyan coast and Western Kenya near Lake Victoria. Consequently an environmental study in the identified sites is slated to commence once the Radiation Protection Board and the National Environment Management Authority approve them.
Among European countries that have prominently implemented policy changes marking this global shift from nuclear energy development include Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

European industrial power house, Germany, recently announced a reversal of policy that will see all its nuclear power plants phased out by 2022.
An estimated 12 percent of Germany’s electricity consumption comes from nuclear power. Despite these however, Germany says it plans to shut down all its nuclear reactors by 2020. The government is investing in other energy sources, such as wind power.The country has already shut down 7 of its own nuclear reactors and the remainder will be subject to a safety review by the independent Reactor Safety Commission.
This is notwithstanding the fact that Germany’s energy sector is one of the biggest in the world and the nation is also one of Europe’s largest consumers of electricity.
Explaining the changing stance on nuclear power German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the need for “safer and at the same time reliable and affordable” energy.
“We learned from Fukushima that we have to deal differently with risks,” she said.
Another European industrial giant, Italy, has turned its back too on nuclear power. Recently Italians voted in a referendum overwhelmingly to give up nuclear energy.
The Swiss government is the other nation to have joined the fray, announcing recently, that it plans to end its use of nuclear energy in the next 2 or 3 decades.
“The government has voted for a phase-out because we want to ensure a secure and autonomous supply of energy,” Swiss Energy Minister Doris Leuthard said while explaining the decision. “Fukushima showed that the risk of nuclear power is too high, which in turn has also increased the costs of this energy form.”
Statistics show that safety measures implemented by the Swiss Government on its nuclear plants have proved to be hugely expensive with one plant known as the Beznau 1 plant having spent an estimated more than $ 1billion on supplementary diesel generators, which would, in the event of an earthquake, cool down the fuel rods in an attempt to prevent a meltdown.
Kenya seems intent however on going on with its nuclear programme.
Speaking in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster Ochilo Ayacko the Nuclear Electricity Development Project chairman maintained that the incident in Japan ‘only served as a lesson on the safety measures Kenya would adopt while implementing the project.’
“By the time we are authorised, the International Atomic Energy Agency will have come and reviewed Kenya and said that Kenya is ready to use nuclear technology,”  Ayacko told journalists in the wake of the incident in March.
His view not only greatly contrasts with that fast gaining currency in energy circles in the world at the moment but also with that of other energy experts who believe that other forms of renewable energy supplies are the only way forward for Kenya to deal with her energy demands.
Locally many energy experts are also of the opinion that Kenya can cost effectively deal with her energy demands by harnessing her abundant resources of renewable energy such as geothermal.
Speaking recently when he took the press on a tour of a new geothermal site under development in the Rift Valley, GDC managing director Dr. Silas Simiyu called for support in the development and harnessing of geothermal energy saying it marked a tried and tested cost effective option for the country to rid herself her energy challenges.   Simiyu noted that indeed Kenya could rid herself off its energy challenges in less than five years following the strike of geothermal steam in the first of a projected 120 geothermal wells in the Menengai area.
And in what he said could be a game changer for the country in dealing with her energy needs, Dr. Simiyu said the model of harnessing geothermal energy employed by GDC in striking steam in the first well in the area, is not only fast but also low cost as compared with other models of harnessing geothermal energy.
“This well has been drilled at half the costs of the other wells that are normally drilled here in Kenya,” said Dr Simiyu during the opening of the first well in Menengai  in May.
The reduction in the cost of drilling and the concept of early well head generation unit Dr. Simiyu explained will bring down the cost of power generated by a half.
“When we use our rigs and our engineers, we cut the cost of drilling by 50 percent. Our own drills have enabled us to keep it running. This is a major saving on the part of the government and it means that it will have a corresponding drop on the electricity tariffs when its steam is converted into electricity,” he said.
The Menengai area is said to have the largest potential for geothermal generation in the world apart from “The Geysers” the world’s largest geothermal facility, built in the 1950s on a steam field in Northern California.
The Parliamentary Committee on Energy has since expressed reservations on the government’s plan for continued investment in nuclear energy development with one of its Committe members Nicholas Gumbo, saying ‘Kenya could be very reckless if it decides to go nuclear before developing local human resource capacity in terms of nuclear scientists’.

Source: http://www.busiweek.com/11/news/kenya/1253-anxiety-hovers-over-kenyas-nuclear-energy-development-plans

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The dazzling Konza Technology City project

Posted by Administrator on June 26, 2011

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