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>>>INSIDE>>> News.........................................1-43 Interview................................ 44-45 Highways................................ 46-49 Tragedy................................... 50-51 Budget.................................... 52-55 Gibe III Dam........... .............. 56-60 ESA.............................................. 61 IEK................................................62

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Cover Story Pg 52

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EDITORS NOTE A Definitive Publication of Engineers in East Africa & Beyond, since 1972


Editorial Committee: A A McCorkindale – Chairman F W Ngokonyo - Vice-Chairman N O Booker J N Kariuki Prof M Kashorda S M Ngare Allan Muhalia A W Otsieno S K Kibe M Majiwa J Mutilili Editorial Assistants: Peninah Njakwe Edna Kivuva Editors: Articulate Edits Design & Layout: Alex Ireri Kithumbu Sales & Marketing: Roseline Okayo Joyce Ndamaiyu Phylis Muthoni

Editor’s Note The Highlights Budget Review: Planned or coincidence? All East Africa Community member countries availed their budget on the same day, the total Kenyan national budget is approximated at Ksh.1,459.9 billion up by 30% from last years. The domestic revenue stands at Ksh. 956.9 billion.Nairobi commuter railway system gets Ksh.50 billion and each county government to get 148 billion. Eurocopter tragedy: The hard questions; the pilots competence, the helicopters reliability and maintenance status,the weather, the security of the police Air-wing at Wilson airport, the possibility of sabotage. National Highways: An elevated highway to decongest the City, a report from the Kenya National Highway Authority, Director General Meshack Kidenda. Regional: Gibe III on Omo River and its environmental effects to Lake Turkana; Is Kenya trading the Lake with power purchase agreement from the Ethiopian government? Massive new gas deposits have been found off the Tanzanian coast adding to the enthusiasm of hydrocarbon exploration in Eastern Africa. Legislation: New law to penalise scrap metal merchants come into force,a fine of up to 1 million if found holding stolen materials from power lines or telephone cables. Enjoy your read!

A A McCorkindale - Chairman Editorial Committee Published by:

Next Issue will be out on 1st of November P O Box 45754-00100 Nairobi Tel: 4443649/50/72, Cell: 0719 207 712 Fax: 4443650 Email:

Correspondence should be addressed to the Institution. Kenya Engineer is published every two months. Views expressed in this Journal are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the Institution.

©Copyright: Reproduction of any article in part or in full is strictly prohibited without written permission from the Institution of Engineers of Kenya.



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Oil Storage Facility to be put up in Konza

A Tea Factories opting to produce their own Power


enya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) announced plans to set up yet another hydro-power plant for its line of factories. This came barely a month after another tea producer, Sasini Limited announced plans to set up their own mini-hydro power plant to curb high factory power expenses. KTDA will set up the Sh1 billion hydropower plant dubbed Setter Power Generation Company in two phases on Itare and Kipsonoi rivers in Bomet County. Members are said to have contributed over Sh1.2 million and other factories also chipped in. The tenders are expected to be awarded in September this year. KTDA manages more than 60 tea factories for 500,000 small holder tea farmers. It plans to set up a total of 16 hydro power plants on rivers close to these tea factories. The 16 sites with

potential of producing 28.33 megawatts were proposed by the Ministry of Energy. In earlier reports,KTDA had announced plans to set up a Sh400 million hydroelectric power project for three factories in Embu County . The plant intended to produce one mega watt of electricity, was to tap water from Thuci River and supply power to Mungania, Rukuriri and Kathangariri factories. Imenti Tea Factor Company was the first to set-up a power plant under this project and is already generating 1 megawatt through the Imenti mini-hydro project. The power purchase agreement with Kenya Power authorizes Imenti to supply surplus power to the national grid. Another project is the 17.8 MW fourfactory partnership at Gura River in Nyeri that serves the KTDA factories at Gitugi, Irani and Gathuthi.

new oil storage facility being put up in Konza is seeking to serve the Nairobi region and is likely to drastically cut the time marketers take to access their products. The project whose construction commenced in January 2012 is being undertaken by Petrocity Energy. It is meant to ensure timely supply of fuel which is likely to translate into cheaper fuel prices if marketers pass on the saved costs to the consumers. The refinery is meant to compliment the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited (KPRL) in Mombasa as Kenya does not have enough oil reserves. The facility, with a reserve capacity of 40 million litres in the first phase, will be able to load petroleum products to 16 tankers simultaneously. Once completed, the Sh1.5 billion oil terminal will have 12 storage tanks with a capacity to store up to 150 million litres of petroleum product. The petroleum marketer will use an advanced stock-controlling computerized system established by A m e r i c a n C o n g l o m e r a t e Company Honeywell, to offer oil marketers with instant and live stock standings.




World’s Biggest One-Off Geothermal Project Launched


enGen commissioned another one of its line of geothermal plants in Olkaria. The 280 mega watt geothermal project becomes Africa’s largest geothermal plant so far and the world’s biggest one-off geothermal project. The project will see KenGen raise its current generating capacity by 25 per cent. This marks over 80 per cent


increase in electricity from green sources with geothermal contributing 35 per cent up from 10 per cent of KenGen’s total capacity. “The project is certainly a game changer in our generating mix”, said KenGen’s managing Director Eddy Njoroge in a statement. The project will encompass two plants each having two-units and generating


a total of 140MW of electricity from geothermal sources. It will be based in the Olkaria complex where two other geothermal plants-Olkaria I and II are located. Olkaria I has an output of 45MW with three installed turbines while Olkaria II has also three turbines with a total output of 105MW of electricity. The Olkaria complex currently generates a total of 150MW of power. Once the

NEWS Mertz of New Zealand. A field optimization study recently concluded by Mannvit Consortium of Iceland confirmed the availability of more steam able to generate a further 560MW of electricity.

President Mwai Kibaki officially opens Olkaria IV geothermal project accompanied by Patrick Nyoike PS Ministry of energy and William Ole Ntimama

Once the 280MW project is complete in 2014, the area will be generating a total of 430MW electricity.

280MW project is complete in 2014, the area will be generating a total of 430MW electricity. Steam wells for the project have been drilled already. With successful piloting of the wellhead generators, power

generation from these steam wells will continue even as the permanent power plants are constructed. The project being funded by the government of Kenya,KenGen,World B a n k , J I CA , A F D, E I B, K f W w i l l b e implemented in lots by KEC of India, Sinopec of China, a consortium of Hyundai of Korea and Toyota Tshusho,KenGen and Sinclair Knight

Kenya Ups Geothermal Investment Geothermal power is increasingly getting boost as the country is seeking to cut overreliance to hydro-power. The government’s arm responsible for the country’s geothermal development, Geothermal Development Company (GDC) will acquire two rigs from China in an effort to speed up drilling of steam wells at the Menengai geothermal project in Nakuru. The Sh5 billion rigs will be acquired by February next year bringing the total number of drilling rigs in Menengai to six. Menengai is considered to have a potential of up to 1600MW with the first phase, financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) expected to produce 400MW while the second phase is expected to produce 800MW. AfDB will also fund procurement of a modular power plant to supply power to the rigs and camping facilities, drastically reducing cost of drilling. Drilling of the first well started on February 2011 and was completed in May same year. Four wells have been completed so far and are discharging steam capable of producing 24MW while three others are undergoing tests. Nine local and international firms have expressed interest to build the four modular power plants that are to be built at the Menengai site by 2016. Kenya has a potential of 10,000MW of geothermal power. The US government promised to invest Sh26 billion in clean power projects. The money will be used to double the Olkaria geothermal plant under Orpower.During a visit by the Korean Prime Minister, Kim Hwang he expressed his country’s interest to help Kenya exploit electricity geothermal sources to meet growing demand. According to KenGen, they plan to increase geothermal power production to account to 50 per cent of the power it sells to Kenya Power by the year 2018.




Tullow Oil Finds Success on Kenya’s Rift Valley Frontier


o commercially exploitable oil had been discovered in Kenya until Tullow Oil began drilling in the blazing savanna of the Rift Valley, about 250 miles northwest of Nairobi. In May, the company said that its first well had produced promising results, finding more oil-bearing sands than wells drilled in the geologically similar Lake Albert region of Uganda, where Tullow discovered a 1.1billion barrel field in 2006. If Kenya turns out to be another Uganda, Tullow will have been instrumental in opening up no fewer than four new oil basins in the last six years. Three, including the jumbo-size Jubilee field in the deep waters off Ghana, are in subSaharan Africa. The fourth, off French Guiana in South America, was the payoff of a bet that the same oil-bearing rocks found in West African waters would also be present off the coast of Latin America. Is it luck? Competitors do not think so. “On their track record – you have to say it is really good,” said Neil Piggot,


a long time explorer, who now heads explorations in Brazil for BP. Named for a small town outside Dublin, Tullow was founded in the mid-1980s by Aidan Heavey, an accountant for the Irish airline Aer Lingus. He was intrigued by the idea of working over small oil fields in Africa that the large companies had missed. He knew little about the industry, but a friend at the World Bank helped him gain access to some gas fields in Senegal. Under Mr. Heavey, who remains chief executive, the London-based company has grown into an exploration juggernaut with operations in more than 20 countries, a stock market valuation of about $22billion and an exploration force of some 200 geologists and geophysicists the best people. “The company’s output is growing fast, but remains small at 78,200 barrels a day of oil and oil equivalents for 2011. Analysis place Tullow in the vanguard of a cutting-edge group of oil companies that also includes the American companies Anadarko Petroleum and Kosmos Energy. “The thing that is incredible about Tullow


If Kenya turns out to be another Uganda, Tullow will have been instrumental in opening up no fewer than four new oil basins in the last six years

over any of the other companies is their consistence track record of going into frontier basins, where no one else has found anything, and turning that into hundreds of millions of barrels,” said Rob West, an analyst at Bernstein Research in London. “They are an absolutely top performer.” Tullow strikes oil in about 70 per cent of its exploration and appraisal wells, about double the industry average, according to Mr. West. Tullow’s challenge is that as it grows bigger and tries to produce oil, not just find it, it will run into increasing problems and costs. For instance, the company has encountered delays and been hit with a $472million tax bill in


Minister for Energy Kiraitu Murungi displays a bottle containing crude oil during a press conference

Uganda, which it is disputing. “They are trying to turn themselves into a Shell. It is difficult to do that successfully,” said Stuart Joyner, an analyst at Investec Securities in London. The Company’s exploration chief, Angus McCoss, who moved to Tullow from Royal Dutch Shell in 2006, said that Tullow ignored industry dogma and did “Its own thing.” BP, for instance, decided not to participate in early drilling in the deep waters off Ghana, because the type of geology there often leads to expensive dry holes, according to Mr. Piggot, the BP explorer, Kosmos and Tullow wound up finding Jubilee, one of Africa’s larger fields, in 2007. Once Tullow’s geologists discover oil, they try to think about what other areas might be similar. Mr. McCoss says he believes the Jubilee field is part of a rich geological trend that stretches up the coast of West Africa and is found across the Atlantic. According to this theory, under the waters off Latin America is a mirror image of the rich oil deposits off West Africa, left there when an ancient land mass called Pangaea split apart. Late last year, Mr. McCoss tested his thinking when Tullow drilled a well off French Guiana. By then, Tullow had enough credibility to draw in two European majors, Shell and Total,

to assume much, of the estimated $ 250million cost. Mr. McCoss says the field could be larger than Jubilee, with a billion barrels or more of recoverable oil. Last month, Tullow announced a discovery off Ivory Coast, buttressing Mr. McCoss’s theory. The Kenya discovery is a land-based application of Mr. McCoss’s approach of findig oil in one place and then looking for analogies. After raising cash from its Uganda find by selling two-thirds to Total and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, (CNOOC) for $2.9 billion, Tullow went in search of similar Rift Valley plays in Kenya and Ethiopia. Taking advantage of the lack of interest in those countries, Tullow has been able to put together about 62.123km of exploration territory, an area about the size of Indiana, for only about $23 million. There are risks, of course. The company’s earnings and market valuation will very likely be tightly pegged to the price of oil, which has fallen sharply in recent months. Deepwater exploration wells can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and a run of bad luck could sour investors. In addition, as the company expands, new finds will have less impact. The company could also run into political difficulties in countries new to oil. Still, the industry is likely to keep pouring money into sub-Saharan Africa because

it is less explored than other parts of the world and because of its proximity to China and other energy-hungry Asian economics. “Africa is very much an important exploration province,” says Martin Kelly, chief sub-Saharan Africa analyst at the Edinburgh-based consulting firm Wood-Mackenzie. As Tullow and other companies move into areas new to oil drilling, one concern is disruption to local environment and culture. Tullow, for example, is working in the Turkana Basin of Northern Kenya, the location of some of the richest early hominid sites on the planet. The paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, who has been working in the area since 1968, said he was worried when Tullow obtained its licences. In a telephone interview, Dr. Leakey said that there were still scars on the landscape from Shell’s exploration activities years ago. But Tullow’s attitude has been different, he said, giving credit to Mr. Heavey. “He has shown himself to be a very decent person with a very good attitude toward the responsibilities an oil company might have to an area like this,” Mr. Leakey said. Mr. Heavey said his company was open to creative ways to share the wealth. For example, Tullow has listed its shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange. “We have to make sure we are transparent and do things properly,” Mr. Heavey said.






Kenya-Ethiopia Power Link Approved by World Bank

T Developing Interconnectivity, Maximizing Resource Sharing Within E.Africa


anzania will be hosting the 14th annual East African Power Industry Conservation (EAPIC) from the 10th of September to 13th this year at the Serena Hotel, Dar es Salaam. The conference brings together the region’s power sector players, international consultants and experts, project developers and investors and the financial community. The East African region is considered to have abundant untapped natural resources but only a small fraction of this potential has been developed. The conference is thus aimed at developing interconnectivity and maximizing resource sharing based on the resources that each country has been endowed with. The gap analysis for each East African country is common knowledge but due to lack of long term planning to meet the spiraling demand, the frustrating and extremely expensive use of emergency power is proving to be cost ineffective. This in turn is pushing the region to invest in viable, sustainable and more efficient alternative sources of power

generation for the long term future of the East African power sector. Tanzania recently discovered new natural gas fields off the Lindi coast. This is expected to significantly boost the country’s gas to power potential, helping to reduce its dependency on hydropower which has caused such chronic power shortages and outages in the past few years. The well, discovered by Norwegian firm Statoil and US firm Exxon Mobil, contains an estimated 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is said can be used to generate power for cars and homes. The conference will then be followed by a 1 day post-conference site visit to KenGen’s Olkaria III on the last day of the conference. This will showcase KenGen’s latest technology on power generation – the geothermal well-head drilling technology. Kenya is the East African pioneers in Geothermal, aiming to generate 50% of its energy mix from Geothermal by 2020 – currently at 15%, 200MW of electricity. Ethiopia also produces close to 10MW of electricity from Geothermal sources.

he World Bank approved loans worth $684m for the Eastern Electricity Highway Project, which aims to transport surplus Ethiopian power to Kenya and beyond. This marked the first phase of a regional 1.3 billion-dollar power integration program aimed at opening up the East African power network. It has however attracted controversy due to social and environmental worries over the knock on effects of hydro-power in Ethiopia. The Bank’s International Development Association fund will provide $243m to the government of Ethiopia and $441m to Kenya to finance the construction of a 1,000km crossborder power line between the two countries that is due to come online in 2018. Kenya is currently seeking to import electricity to meet shortfalls, while Ethiopia hopes to export its electricity surplus from new hydroelectricity projects underway. The approved project will be another connecting link between the two countries this time with electrical grids. Power sharing between the two is expected to reduce energy costs and pave the way for more dynamic regional cooperation between the countries of East Africa. The expected expansion of the oil and gas industry in Kenya following a flurry of recent discoveries will place further pressures on the electricity system and thus need to increase the capacity in the national grid.




Kenya Prospects a 800Mw Steam Power Project


h e g o v e r n m e n t ’s a r m f o r geothermal exploration in t h e c o u n t r y, G e o t h e r m a l Development Company has called for expressions of interest in the development of a phase 1 BogoriaSilali steam block. GDC intends to develop a 800 mega watts steam at Bongoria-Silali geothermal block Phase-1 scheme. The project is intended to be undertaken by four equity investors where each will get the opportunity to develop 200mw of steam. The block comprises of Bogoria, Baringo, Arus, Korosi, Chepchuk, Paka and Silali prospects. Surface studies estimate the block could have a potential of 3000mw.The current plan is to develop the block in four phases; Phase I-800MW by 2019, Phase II400MW by 2021, Phase III-400MW by 2024 and Phase IV-400MW by 2026.Modular electricity generation units will be deployed to utilize the available steam while waiting for the conventional power plants to be commissioned. GDC with the selected investor will sell the steam to selected power plant operators for electricity generation including the modular unit’s operator. A total of 210 wells are expected to be drilled in this phase of which GDC will be responsible for reservoir management and the brine reinjection system.GDC will however obtain all land rights, permits and undertake construction of the road network, drilling water reticulation system, drilling of exploration wells to confirm presence of the resource.


International Investors Called to Bid for Coal Mining


n the quest for cheaper energy, the government floated tenders inviting international companies to explore coal in the eastern part of the country .Those interested were given up to 16th June this year to submit expression of interest for exploration. The coal blocks, namely A and B are located in Kitui County. Ten out of the total 15 wells drilled by the government in both blocks encountered coal at depth of 11m and 150m with fossil fuel thickness varying from 0.2m to 7m. The exploration areas- A (121.5km2) and B (117.5 Km2), will be leased to those investors who show ability to raise over $200 million. Applicants were to show audited balanced sheets for the last three years with capital base of $100 million and an annual turnover of over $100 million with ISO 9002 quality control system


certification. Accompanying this also was to be a certification of incorporation, organization structure, demonstrate effective environmental preservation as well as corporate social responsibility of projects undertaken at least in three developing countries. The applicants were also expected to show capability of undertaking the projects with daily output of at least 3,000 tonnes of coal and set up a coal fired electricity generating plant. Other coal exploration sites in the country are block C and D which were awarded to Fenxi Mining Industry Group of China in 2011.However, parliament’s approval is required before coal production starts by 2014.Fenxi is required to pay $3-million for block C and $500 000 for block D, in return for a renewable concession of 21 years, subject to approval by parliament.


Atomic Energy and Policy Bill in Progress


Ngamia-1 Well Encounters More Oil


he Ngamia-1 wildcat well in Kenya Block 10BB was suspended for future flow testing after drilling to a total depth of 2,340 meters making a significant light oil discovery. In addition to the greater than 100 meters of net light oil pay in the Upper Lokhone Sand section previously reported, the well encountered an additional 43 meters of potential oil pay based on logs and the recovery of light oil on an MDT sample over a gross interval of 150 meters. Testing equipment including down hole pumps is being mobilized and the intention is to flow test a number of the zones in the Upper and Lower Lokhone Sands in the near future to confirm the full potential of this discovery. Oil was encountered in sands throughout a 1,100 meter interval, including a 300 meter thick section of Lokhone Shale, which is believed to be the primary source interval in the South Lokichar Basin. Over one hundred leads and prospects have been identified in seven separate basins in the Kenya and Ethiopia Tertiary rift basin acreage. Those located in the South Lokichar Basin have been substantially de-risked due to their proximity to Ngamia. “The Ngamia discovery has been an amazing start to our East African drilling campaign. The large number of leads and prospects developed to date shows

the major upside potential of these basins and many of these have now been de-risked by the success at Ngamia”,said Keith Hill, President of the Canadian oil and gas company, Africa Oil Corp ,” We look forward to several more high impact wells this year as we accelerate the exploration of these highly prospective trends.”, he added. Drilling concluded 360 meters shallower than pre-drill estimates when the well encountered the basin bounding fault, which is interpreted to have cut out some 100 meters of prospective reservoirs. Further away from the fault it is expected to encounter the complete reservoir section and for reservoir thickness and quality to improve. The rig will move to drill the Twiga-1 well, 30 km north east in Block 13T along the western basin bounding fault on trend with Ngamia. Once this drilling is complete, the rig will return to Ngamia-1 for the flow testing. Two additional rigs are being sourced, one for the Pai Pai prospect in Kenya Block 10A and one for the Sabisa prospect in the South Omo block in Ethiopia. These wells are expected to spud late in the third and the fourth quarters of 2012, respectively. Three seismic crews are now active in the Teritiary rift trend and a proposal to acquire 3D seismic over the Ngamia discovery is under consideration.

n order to curb growing demand for energy, Kenya has shown interest in developing nuclear energy in the next ten years. It is thus in the process of developing a comprehensive Atomic Energy and Policy Bill to address issues related to peaceful application of nuclear technology. If the bill is passed after completion, it will lead to the establishment of agencies responsible for the regulation, promotion and research of nuclear energy. The agencies to be established will include Atomic Energy Commission, Nuclear Electricity Board and an Atomic Energy Research Institute. The bill is however under the stakeholders in line with the requirements of the constitution and will then be presented to the cabinet for further revision. Nuclear is considered a reliable option in achieving Vision 2030 as the country’s energy demand will have gone up by far. It is also being recommended for the health sector for cancer treatment and in agriculture. Speaking during the 23rd African Regional co-operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology held at Mombasa mid this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency deputy director General, Kwaku Aning said they were willing to help the government with resources in its quest to embrace nuclear technology.






Kenya’s Deal To Import Oil From Iran Cancelled

K Sh21bn to Facilitate Refinery’s Shift to Merchant Facility


enya Petroleum Refineries Limited received a Sh21.2 billion loan from Standard Chartered Plc to help in implementing the company’s plans to shift from a toll refinery to a merchant one. The plant has been running as a toll merchant since inception 50 years ago where oil marketers import crude oil and process 50 per cent of it at the refinery for a fee. It will now buy and process its own crude oil and then sell it to local and international marketers. The conversion to a merchant refinery has twice been postponed from the initial December 2011 and March 2012 deadlines due to lack of a legal framework and inadequate funding. The facility will need some upgrade works as it is running on old technology which will not allow it to efficiently meet the expected results once it starts to operate as a merchant refinery. Upon upgrade, the refinery’s annual production is set to increase from the current 1.6 million metric tonnes to 4 million metric tonnes of petroleum products.

The upgrade will also provide water desalination facilities and ensure that its products comply with the international environmental standards. The plant has also secured a $13.5 million loan from Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited to build its own 9.3 megawatt power plant. The plant will help ensure stable electricity supply to the refinery as well as reduce the cost incurred in settling the refinery’s electricity bill. The move by KPRL will free marketers to buy products from other international refineries as opposed to the current structure that requires that they process about 50 per cent of the monthly demands at the refinery. According to many marketers, processing products at the refinery is more costly than importing already refined products. It will also allow them to import large amounts of refined products and remove the risk of shortages should the refinery breakdown. The upgrade is expected to sharply reduce the cost of refining oil and increase the amount of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) produced locally, leading to lower prices for consumers.

enya had signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran to be importing 4 million tonnes of Iranian crude oil per year. This was however cancelled following the United States declaration of total trade embargo on the country if it continued with the deal. The cancellation of the agreement is to avert economic sanctions that the United States could have imposed on Kenya. This could have greatly hurt the multi-billion shilling trade flows between the two countries. Western powers are implementing sanctions against Iran for its controversial nuclear programme. The sanctions are meant to reduce oil and other revenues used by Iran to further its nuclear program. Most of the other importers of Iranian crude oil have sharply reduced purchases to earn exemptions from the US financial sanctions. The European sanction like the ban on imports of Iranian oil by EA states make it difficult for other countries to trade with Iran. Under the proposed contract with Iran, Tehran could have given an extended credit facility of 90 days, saving the country millions of shillings currently used to import e x p e n s ive c r u d e o i l t h r o u g h overdraft facilities. Iranian crude oils are also considered to have sulphur content and are hence cheaper.






New 3rd Unit Installed at Kindaruma


World’s Leading Temporary Power Producer Enters Generator Leasing Market


ggreko entered the East Africa generator leasing market a week after opening a business hub in Nairobi. The world’s biggest temporary power provider intends to ease the regions energy output through its $50 million investment planned for East Africa. The company’s entry into the business will save businesses the burden of raising money to acquire generators and instead use the capital for other core activities. The leasing business is increasingly being preferred by many as it saves a company the burden of borrowing money for getting the machinery which will only be useful when there is a power shortage or none at all. Aggreko’s presence in the region has been mainly through public sector partnership, supplying emergency power to the national grids. In Kenya, the company supplies between 60MW

to 290MW while in Tanzania, 100MW. It exited 100MW supply to Uganda following the completion of the country’s Bujagali hydro project early this year. The increasing demand for emergency power is said to be fueled by the expanding manufacturing sectors across the region and growing connections in the rural areas both of which are exerting pressure on the national grid. The East African Community integration is increasing the market opportunities for manufacturers who are now investing in more production in markets without reliable power supply system. It is however assumed that it will take at least five years before meaningful new generation projects start operation. Reduction in financing is partly because of the European debt crisis as the region has been traditionally the main source of financing for Africa’s projects.

he third unit of the Kindaruma plant was handed over to Kengen after months of expansion of the plant. KenGen received the newly installed third unit at its Kindaruma plant from the project contractors, Andritz of Austria who carried out the electrical and mechanical works and Farab International of Iran that implemented the civil works. Kindaruma was designed to accommodate as many as three units while only two were installed to begin with. The newly installed unit is supplying 24MW of the more affordable hydro generated electricity to the national grid and has also undergone reliability tests. The Kindaruma plant upgrade will also see the two existing units that generate 20MW each refurbished to generate 24MW each. The total output from the plant is thus expected to increase to 72 mega watts of power once the entire project is complete. The upgrading project is being financed by KfW and KenGen. Also included in the project is modification of SCADA to include the new third unit at Kindaruma and Kamburu control rooms, construction of 12 semidetached houses for operators’ camp and Annexe building offices. The project which was commissioned on February 2010, was completed in 28 months, as was scheduled. KenGen received the unit and handed over Unit 2 to the contractors to commence on the refurbish works. The project is considered a big boost to the company’s efforts to generate most of its power from renewable, affordable and stable sources, which are also environmental friendly.





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ii) An Equivalent Engineering Degree recognized by the University Senate iii) Second Class HonoursLower Division With a Minimum of 2 Years work experience Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication and Information Engineering Bachelor of Science in Mechatronic Engineering Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

(i) KCSE applicants: aggregate Grade C+ and the following minimum Grades in the individual cluster subjects. Mathematics C+, Physics C+, Chemistry C+ or equivalent qualifications obtained in other examination systems. NB: Holders of a corresponding Diploma in Engineering with at least a credit pass will be admitted into second year of study.

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For more information please contact : Dean, School of Engineering, P.O Box 657-10100, Nyeri. Tel. 016-201048 Cellphone: 0713 805 969

Kimathi University


imathi University College of Technology’s School of Engineering has scored the country’s first by introducing a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management (MIEM), adding to the institution’s existing list of five Engineering programmes. The institution, located about 160-kilometres to the East of Nairobi in Nyeri town, already offers bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical, Mechatronic, Electrical and Electronic, Telecommunications and Information Engineering and Civil Engineering, as well as Geomatic Engineering and Geospatial Information systems and Geospatial Information Science. The MIEM programme, offered from the university’s Nairobi CBD centre based at Union Towers along Moi Avenue, commenced in January 2012 and targets all Engineering graduates already working in various industries. “Kimathi University is focused on technological and engineering teaching. We have invested heavily in facilities and

Prof. P. N. Kioni, Kimathi University’s Principal

resources required to effectively deliver the courses. The implementation of the programmes is being made in line with Engineer’s Registration Board Guidelines (ERBG) as well as the American Board of Engineering Technology (ABET),” said Prof. P. N. Kioni, Kimathi University’s principal. The goal of the university is to ensure that the graduates from the programmes will eventually qualify for professional recognition and licensing in Kenya as well as internationally. The MIEM programme is an alternative to an MBA and is a pioneer programme being made available in Kenya through Kimathi University. It focuses on the “engines” of the technical systems, teaching students how to manage them. The course is designed to help candidates develop a capability for independent pursuit of research and scholarly works, as well as meeting the requirements of industries through application of the technology. The programme, which takes a total of two years with two semesters per academic year, consists of the following courses:

General Industrial Engineering and Management; Specialized Engineering and Management and finally, research thesis.The school of engineering works closely with the Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK). Indeed, the school serves as the secretariat of the IEK Central Kenya branch. The programmes are implemented with the support of an international faculty in universities from Japan and Belgium who make annual visits to Kimathi University. KUCT is expected to emerge as a unique technological University with a major impact on national development when it implements most of its development plans. Development in infrastructure at KUCT has seen the establishment of a range of specialized teaching facilities. These include an ICT centre that is charged with coordinating and rendering fully computerized services to the university and to provide a platform for efficient delivery of academic programmes by both locally and international based faculty.







German Firm Signed to Build Heavy Fuel Power Plant


AN Diesel & Turbo was ch o s e n t o b u i l d t h e independent heavy fuel oils (HFO) power plantThika Power. MAN Diesel & Turbo, a German firm is a subsidiary firm of Volkswagen AG’s. It will build the Sh12 billion plant following a contract signed with the project owners, Thika Power Limited (TPL), which is a unit of Matelec Group of Lebanon. The project which earlier received Sh3 billion from the World Bank through its private lending arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC) will see to the setting up of a new Medium Speed Diesel (MSD) power plant of an estimated output of about 95 mega watts. The diesel engine will have an output of about 88 MW. The waste heat from the engines will be used to power a MAN MARC2 steam turbine, which will generate a further 6.8 MW of electricity. The project is a result of the Kenyan government’s tender of three power plants in 2009 to encourage private sector participation in electricity supply. The HFO plant will use both diesel engines and steam turbines. A combination of both will improve the efficiency of the plant, which will produce nine per cent more electricity from the same fuel consumption. “With the massive growth in energy demand in Africa, Independent Power Projects can add reliable and sustainable capacity to the power network,” said Samer Nasr, Managing Director of Melec PowerGen Inc. The proposed site for the Project is

adjacent to the Nairobi – Thika highway, approximately 30 km north of Nairobi city centre and 5 km south-west of Thika Town. Th e T P L P r o j e c t w i l l o c c u p y approximately 4 hectares of the 8 hectares of land acquired by Kenya Power from Agro Tropical for the purpose of constructing a substation as part of the wider Kilimambogo – Thika – Githambo – Kiganjo (Nyeri) and Thika - Kiganjo (Gatundu) 132 kV Transmission Lines and Associated Substations Project. Preparatory work has already commenced on the project site with power supplies expected on the national grid next year. TPL will sell all output to the national distributor, Kenya Power increasing the supply of reliable electricity in the country as well as help diversify Kenya’s electricity away from hydropower. HFO plants are considered a quicker option to address energy deficit, given the relatively long period of developing other sources like geothermal and coal energy. It is estimated that only 25 per cent of the country’s population has access to electricity while the rural grid access is about five per cent. According to the World Bank, power shortages currently cost the Kenyan economy 2 percent of GDP growth. Also funding the project is the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Absa Capital will contribute €28 million to the project. IFC is also investing in another winning bidder, Gulf Power Ltd.

Remaking the Highways of Nairobi


he notorious traffic jam along the Uhuru Highway could be a thing of the past if the newly released proposal for the upgrade of the road is implemented. The project to be financed by the government and World Bank has the design of an elevated highway to run above the existing Mombasa Rd-Uhuru Highway from Likoni road junction at Ole Sereni Hotel to James Gichuru junction off Waiyaki Way. The design done by Otieno Odongo Engineering Consultants will get rid of the roundabouts between Nyayo stadium and Westlands which are considered a main cause of the traffic along the route. The Nyayo Stadium roundabout will be replaced with single point diamond interchange. An elevated roadway-viaduct will be constructed towards Haile Selassie roundabout and end past the University Way roundabout.Haile Selassie road, Kenyatta Avenue and University way will all pass below the elevated roadway viaduct. The 12km road upgrade project is set to start in January next year and be ready for use in 2015. It is part of Kenya National Highway Authority’s (KeNHA) larger plan to improve the thoroughfare from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Rironi. Other improvements will include proper pedestrian pavements, service roads and a functional storm water drainage system.



NEWS Sh25B Loan for Urban Road Projects


he World Bank approved a Sh25 billion interest free loan to be used on upgrading roads in major urban cities in the country while the government will provide an additional Sh9.5 billion. The finance under the National Urban Transport Improvement Project (Nutrip) will expand the capacity of Uhuru Highway, which bisects Nairobi’s central business district and initiate rapid bus transit and commuter rail systems. “By helping to ease traffic congestion and develop a modern commuter system, this project will enable Nairobi to remain a great city to live in and do bussiness”, said the World Bank country director,Zutt Johannes in a statement. Kenya had been tasked by the global lender to develop new mass-rapid transport systems to reduce traffic congestion in the major towns so as to boost the country’s regional competitiveness. The government will establish a national Metropolitan Transport Authority to coordinate and regulate public transport. The authority will also recommend policies on pricing and investments, financing equipment and related traffic management systems. The project components include expansion and upgrading of the highway, service and access roads from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport through Nairobi Rironi on the Northern transport corridor. Others are; construction of by-passes in Kisumu, western Kenya and Meru in the East. The project will also see to the financing of, building and operation of new rapid bus and rail transport systems to increase the volume and speed of passenger and freight services around the urban areas. The project will be implemented by agencies working for the ministry of roads and Transport.


A Road to Open up Africa’s Largest Wind Farm


ake Turkana Wind Power signed a sh3.2 billion road construction deal to open the farm which in turn will open the town to trade and other opportunities. The sh3.2 billion tender for building transmission lines and access roads was awarded to Civicon who will rehabilitate 204 kilometers of access roads and another 109km within the site. The construction of the road is expected to take 15 months paving way for the delivery of 365 Vestas wind turbines and the Siemens transformers to the site. Construction of the wind farm will then begin with the first output from the plant, 90MW expected in the year 2014. A c c o r d i n g t o Ke n ya E l e c t r i c i t y Transmission Company (Ketraco), they will start construction of a double circuit 400kv, 428km transmission line in September to deliver the electricity to consumers. The transmission lines will be set up by a Spanish firm, Isolax between Loyangalani district and Suswa near Mt.Longonot at a cost of Sh15 billion. The Sh75 billion wind project cofinanced by the Spanish Government and various international lenders will be Kenya’s largest single private investment in history. It is aimed at providing low cost wind power as the country is increasingly diversifying its investment in power to reduce over-reliance on hydro-


power. The lead arranger of the debt financing is the African Development Bank with Standard Bank of South Africa and Nebbank Capital of South Africa’s co-arrangers. The Project proponent is the LTWP consortium comprising KP&P Africa B.V, Aldwych International, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), Industrial Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), and N o r w e g i a n I nve s t m e n t F u n d f o r Developing Countries (Norfund). LTWP is solely responsible for the financing, construction and operation of the wind farm. Aldwych, a power company focused on Africa, will oversee the construction and operations of the power plant on behalf of LTWP. Vestas will provide the maintenance of the plant in contract with LTWP. A c c o r d i n g t o a Pow e r P u rch a s e Agreement (PPA) signed, the electricity produced by the plant will be sold to Kenya Power at a fixed price over a 20 year period agreement. The project had earlier faced stall controversy following the government’s delay in giving a guarantee of how much power it will purchase from the farm. Also in question was the failure to breakdown how much power could be absorbed into the national grid at the various demand periods.


State Appeals to Investors to Finance The Lapsset Corridor Project


enyan leaders continue to urge for investors to help finance the implementation of Kenya’s biggest infrastructure project, the Sh2 trillion LAPSSET Corridor. “We appeal to our partners to work together in this line”, said the Prime Minister. He was speaking during the fourth development partnership forum held in Nairobi. The president had earlier made the same remarks to possible investors. He pointed that the completion of the new transport corridor development to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia would dramatically alter the entire African continent. The premier said the government had organized an investor conference in September to drum up support for the project whose implementation would

make intra Africa trade a reality. The project is expected to transform regional economies through increased trade, intergration and inter-connectivity. Infrastructure is a major component of attracting investors into the country and thus the government is keen on investing much on the country’s infrastructure. I n t h i s ye a r ’s b u d g e t , t h e r o a d infrastructure was awarded Ksh.123.6 billion, an increment from last year’s budget. The project opened by three heads of State early this year seeks to integrate the economies of Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, East and Central Africa as well as open up the region to global trade opportunities. It will comprise of a railway line, oil refinery, oil pipeline, airport, highways and resort cities.

Automating the Weigh Bridges


he counrty’s weighbridges could seize to be corruption hubs following the government efforts to automate them. The weighbridges will be fitted with new and modern gadgets in six months time to detect overloading and other corrupt practices. They will also be fitted with CCTV cameras. The automated programme will not only reduce corruption but also reduce time spent at the bridges. It will help curb overloading which has for long damaged the roads. The country has been in the efforts of reducing inconveniences caused by the weighbridges. During the budget

reading, finance minster, Robinson Githae mentioned that the government was reviewing relevant regulations and guidelines to ensure all weighbridges were relocated to ports of entry and roadblocks either removed or reduced to bare minimum. The bridges are a major issue as they even affect trade between the East African Community (EAC) region. Some of the countries are landlocked forcing them to import goods via Kenya and others. Kenya was earlier this year pushed to abolish the Amagoro and Eldoret weighbridges to enhance movement on the Northern Corridor.

Proposed New Road Links to ease City Traffic


he government in partnership with the European Union will finance the proposed Sh3.5 billion road project that is aimed at creating new links to-and fro the city. The project to be undertaken by Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) will see new links created to open up some parts of the city, improve security as well as ease congestion to encourage business growth. The Eastern missing road links are part of the Vision 2030 flagship projects intended to open up the city. One link, 16km, will be an overpass from Accra road in the City centre to Ngara. Another one will run from Pumwani Maternity Hospital, cut through Muratina road and join the Thika Superhighway at the Mathare Mental Hospital. Another link will connect Limuru road (pass between City Park and the Civil Servants Housing Scheme land) to the Superhighway. Quarry Road, currently under rehabilitation, will be overhauled and a new road replace it from Park Road to link Landhies Road. The Lusaka Road will also be dualled from the Car General Round-about to Toyota Kenya as well as an 11km Non-Motorised Transport road. Other road works under the project include rehabilitation of roads in Eastleigh and Jogoo Road, re-duelling of Outer Ring Road and ongoing construction of the Nairobi Western Ring Roads and Upper Hill Roads.







Cement Maker Invests in their Own Power


ement manufacturer Athi River Mining (ARM) has entered into a financing agreement with Aldwych International Ltd, a specialist in power projects, to fast-track its coal-fired plant. The cement firm is seeking to cut high energy costs that have been eating up its gross margins and ensure its own stable power. ARM will join a list of other companies in the country that have decided to produce their own power in order to reduce costs and ensure consistent supply. The

country experiences power fluctuates with rainfall patterns as it over rely on hydro-electric power. Energy costs in the country have been listed as one of the factors discouraging the setting up of production factories in the country with companies opting for Egypt and South Africa. Economic activities requiring energy input have also grown at a faster rate than the investment in energy production, leaving a big gap between its supply and demand.

Fish Plant to Boost Fishing in West Kenya


“Kenya is a Good Ground for Business” - Egypt’s Leading Manufacturers


he Egyptian Engineering Export Council and The Egyptian Chamber of Engineering Industries were on a three day Trade and Investment Mission to Kenya from 10th July at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC). The mission to the East Africa (Kenya and Uganda) was hosted by delegates from leading manufacturers of technology and engineering products in Egypt. It was held at the Aberdare hall with the aim of creating an opportunity for joint trade and cooperation between Kenya and Egypt.Speaking to Kenya Engineer, John Ojanji a director at the Nairobi Chamber of Commerce remarked that this was a good opportunity for the two nations to trade the technologies as well as establish joint trade. “New links will promote technology transfer which we need in achieving our Vision 2030”, said Mr.Ojanji. He also added that investing in economically viable agribusiness would

greatly boost the country’s efforts to achieve the Vision 2030. The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 1965 as the umbrella organization of businessmen and industrialists in the country. It provides business people with the opportunity to cost effectively market their products to other world markets giving them distinct advantage. The exhibitors from leading Egypt companies showcased their ideas and products to visiting Kenyans. They also expressed their interest in doing business with and in Kenya.“Egypt looks at Kenya as a good business ground”, said Hatem Ali one of the delegates of Horus Energy system in Egypt. He pointed that the country has a promising market considering its location and the open mindedness of the people. “We are looking at opening branches here sometime in future depending on the feedback we get” added Hatem.

fish factory in Kakamega is set to start operation by August this year. The Sh60 million fish factory is expected to boost earnings from fish farming in the region. The county however has a low fish production causing the processing plant to operate under capacity. The current production by farmers from their pond stands at 1.8 tonnes whereas the plant has the capacity of processing between three and five tonnes of fish daily. According to a report by Aquaculture Collaborative Research Support Program, Kenya is endowed with numerous aquatic resources with aquacultural potential. Rural fish farming gained popularity in the 1960s when the Kenyan Government launched the “Eat More Fish” campaign; as a result of this effort, tilapia farming expanded rapidly, with the construction of many small ponds, especially in Kenya’s Central and Western Provinces. In the mid 1990s, fish farming in Kenya however followed a pattern similar to that observed in many African countries, characterized by small ponds, subsistence-level management, and very low levels of production. Following the renovation of several government fish rearing facilities, the establishment of research programs to determine best practices for pond culture, and an intensive training program for fisheries extension workers, there is renewed interest in fish farming in Kenya.




State-of-art Container Freight Station Gets Approval


he Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) together with National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) approved the construction of a multi-billion shilling Container Freight Station (CFS) in the country. The Changamwe based Great Lakes Port CFS will be built near the Moi International Airport. Documents from the two agencies state that the freight station met the required conditions among them construction of a collapsing fence to demarcate the approach funnel (the path an aircraft follows as it prepares to land) located 200m from the fence. They have set aside two acres of land within the collapse fence surrounding the CFS for a vehicles yard and the rest of 14 acres to be used as the containers yard. The two yards will be more than 150m apart. According to a technical report, Great Lakes are required to put up a white light system with non-glaring qualities to avoid confusing pilots landing at the airport. The maximum allowable height for the containers and buildings shall not be more than 17 metres. This will apply also for the cranes that will be used in lifting the containers. The state-of-art facility which has already cost the firm Sh1.5 billion will be the first in the country to be linked with a railway line for effective transportation of containers from the port of Mombasa to different destinations. The land is projected to handle 5,000 containers as well as include a weigh bridge to help transporters carry the stipulated load limits.


Bringing Gas Closer, New LPG Plant in Kisumu


nvestors have come together in Kisumu and are now setting up a Sh100 million gas refilling plant to serve the region. The plant, one of its kind in the Western region, is however still under construction. Construction works commenced in January this year and are expected to take a total of 18 months. The depot is aimed at reducing the price of gas by a margin of between 10 and 15 per cent. This is possible as suppliers will not have to incur the cost of transporting the containers from Nairobi and other

places which is then transferred down to the consumers. The project being funded by the International Development Bank (IDB) was motivated by the huge demand for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the region which is not adequately served by the Eldoret depot. The plant is located at Nyamasaria along the Kisumu-Nairobi road and will be able to fill a thousand cylinders per hour. The raw materials, petrol, will be gotten from depots in Kisumu.

Tea Firm to Build Own Mini-Hydro Power Plant


ollowing the rising cost of fuel which struck the country from last year, companies are turning to alternatives which could save them from incurring more loss than they already have. The cost of fuel is unpredictable and changes unexpectedly. Sasini Limited announced plans to set-up its own mini-hydro-electric power plant to help cut the operational cost of the firm. The tea producing firm which has


been running on diesel was greatly hit by the risen fuel costs causing its profit to fall by 19 per cent due to the increased cost of production. Hydro-power adds to the country’s 60 per cent of total power production. The country is however in the efforts of shifting from this source of power as there are other cheaper sources available. Diesel power production is in most cases installed as back up as it is expensive.


Airport Authority On Improvement Works

I UN Calls Entries for Shs.13 Million Innovation Prize


he United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) have called for the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). The winning proposal will be awarded a cash prize of $100,000 (shs.8.4 million) with the two runners-up receiving $25,000 (Shs.2.1 million), all totaling to $150,000 (Shs.12.75 million). According to the award organizers, the prize aims to support Africans’ efforts to develop new products, increase efficiency and drive cost-savings. At an event organized by the ECA and AIE researchers, entrepreneurs and innovators will be invited to propose projects that unlock new African potential under one of five categories which include: agriculture and agribusiness; ICT applications; health and wellbeing; environment, energy and water; and manufacturing and services industries. “The IPA team believes that best way to

build Africa’s capacity is to invest in local Innovation and entrepreneurship,” said AIF Chairman Walter Fust. “This prize encourages Africans to develop creative ways to overcome everyday challenges.” Only Africans are eligible to enter, Africans in the Diaspora can also apply if their innovations are of significance to Africa. The organizers said they expect the prize to promote among young Africans the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers and business applications and mobilize leaders from all sectors to fuel African innovation. This will also promote innovation across Africa in key sectors of interest through the competition as well as promote science, technology and engineering as rewarding, exciting and noble career options among the youth in Africa by profiling success applicants. The registration deadline for the 2013 prize has been set for October 31.

n the race to meet increasing demand for air travel in the western region, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) refurbished its airstrips. The authority revamped runways at Lodwar, Kakamega and Kitale airstrips due to the rising number of flights and passengers. The Lodwar and Kakamega Airstrips began repair works together which lasted for one year. Operations at the Kakamega airstrip were however disrupted but not in Lodwar as there is sufficient land to divert planes for temporary landings. Business in Lodwar is said to have tremendously improved owing to the bad state of Kitale Lodwar road who opt for air rather than road transport. Horticultural producers and exporters are said to meet soon to plan on how to increase cargo volumes to meet demands in foreign markets. The government has also put up stringent measures to control the use of the Eldoret International Airport as a route for contraband goods and to improve revenue generation. These include introduction of cargo scanners and a strict regulatory system to check any security lapses. KAA also extended its cold room storage at the airport from 150 metric tonnes to 300 metric tonnes to ease storage for the horticultural exporters.




Curbing Port Delays at the Mombasa Port


Regional Railway Line Approved


he cabinet approved the construction of a new, modern, standard gauge railway from Mombasa to Kampala to enhance the movement of goods and passengers within the region. The new railway will be built along the old ones though the old railway which in existence now is substandard and very slow. The old rail connection has been starved of repair for over 20 years explaining its poor state. Other sources indicate that the railway line will extend even to Rwanda, Kigali originating from the South Western town of Kasese through Mbarara and Kabale. Railway system has been praised as the cheapest with an advantage of its ability to withstand heavy luggage. When complete, the high speed railway is


expected to reduce the current high cost of transport. Rift Valley Railways Group is looking up to an improved efficient system following increase in capacity as well as speed. It is expected to bring reprieve to road users by minimizing the heavy trucks on the road since traders will prefer to use the cheaper railway system to ferry. The construction is however not decided when it will start and how much the project will cost but the feasibility studies for the project are to begin by early next year to determine the financial cost and the technicalities of the investment. Funding modalities of the project are yet to be done to determine whether the project will be financed by the regional community (EAC) or the partner states involved in the project.


enya Ports Authority will receive Sh2 billion to fast track construction of three berths at the port of Lamu. This was announced by the Transport Minister, Amos Kinyua who directed the management to start calling for contracts once the money was in their hands. The port has been in the spot light following continued delays in release of cargo causing the State to attract Sh301 million from Investment Climate Facility through the Kenya Trade Network Agency. The money is to be used for setting up an Electronic Single Window System to reduce delays and improve revenue collection at the ports entry. The East Africa community is considered a leading regional block in intra trade but the delays at the port raise major concerns. The system will automate cargo documentation and integrate a Single Window System with national Payments system to facilitate payment of duties on both exports and imports. It will also ensure an end-to-end electronic solution in trade logistics which will help curb corruption at the port. According to earlier reports, the construction of the berth was to be undertaken by China Roads and Bridges at an estimated cost of $66.7 million. The berths, under KPA’s expansion plans-will greatly help reduce delays at the port


Keroche Spirits Plant


New Machinery, a Touch of Life to Textile Industry


textile maker, Rivatex East Africa upgraded its machines to improve efficiency as it looks up to bigger markets. The factory owned by Moi University bought new equipment moving its production from 200 metres to 20,000 metres of cloth per day. The university acquired the factory in 2007 after it collapsed at a cost of Sh250 million. The new machinery has reduced the need for the factory to hire more staff as well as increase orders. One such machine is the Autocoro S 360, a digital piecing tool which ensures that reports are generated electronically and settings are done through touch screen. Rivatex sells its products locally and in the region. Out of the 600 tonnes of cotton that the factory requires per year for optimum production, 250 tonnes are imported mainly from Uganda and Tanzania. Other than the dyes and other chemicals, the factory also imports about 80 tonnes of man-made fibres per year.

Expenses of dyes has however reduced following the discovery of a natural dye produced from tagetes minuta,a herb commonly referred to as Stinking Roger. It grows naturally in different parts of the country and seven colors including green, brown and orange-can be extracted from it. Ravitex has purchased 5,000 acres in Mwingi, 1,000 in Kerio Valley and 100 in Mogotio for growing cotton. This will ensure the firm has its own source of cotton with individual farmers supplying the rest of the crop. Cotton farmers in the North Rift have been urged to increase production. The textile industry has a long way to go following closure of some factories. Some of those closed include the Mount Kenya Textiles and Kisumu Cotton Mills which collapsed in the 1990’s and are yet to be revived. The mitumba industry is also another big disadvantage to the local textile industry as it tends to attract more market.

eer maker, Keroche Breweries in May this year opened a spirits plant at its other plant in Nakuru. The plant equipped with the latest technology will see the firm increase its production capacity of 15,000 bottles per hour this year thus boosting its market share from twenty (20%) percent to 40% percent in the next 3-years. The 14 year old brewery marked another milestone with commissioning a half a billion crescent spirits plant with a production capacity of 10,000, 750ml bottles per hour. The plant is the latest 21st century technology and the first of its kind in East and Central Africa. “We want to capture 30 percent of the spirit market share as we position ourselves as the beer, spirit and wine manufactures of choice of the 21st century”, said the CEO of the plant, Tabitha Karanja at the launch of the plant. The new investment is said to have enough capacity to satisfy the local market and also serve the East and Central Africa market. It will also offer job opportunities to more than 50 highly skilled professionals in addition to the existing 250 highly qualified employees. According to Tabitha, 99 % of the spirit brands in the market are imported despite the fact that the country has the potential to manufacture its own locally. She urged statutory organizations such as the Kenya Bureau of Standards to be ahead of the manufactures by setting rules that meet international standards as firms are operating in an open and competitive market competing with brands from all over the world.




Nandi Dam Project Still On


fter ranging controversy of the dam proposed to be set up in Nandi which led to the stopping of the project mid last year, the Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) confirmed that the project is still on. “LBDA is the implementing agency and our position is that the project is still on”, said managing director LBDA, Peter Kabok. The government and donors have agreed to go ahead and develop the dam.The Sh50 billion multi-purpose dam had earlier faced opposition from environmentalists together with the community in fear of destroying the environment. The dam will see to the clearing of up to 5,000 acres of space of indigenous forests in the region. The LBDA-who is undertaking the project, had in earlier reports promised to plant 3,000 hectares of forests in return.

Regional Development Authority Launches a 20102040 Master Plan

Water Projects in Kenya Get a Boost


enya is set to benefit from the East Africa Community (EAC) water projects fund that will touch four towns in the countryKericho,Keroka,Isebania and Sirari. The projects estimated at Sh1.1 billion will fund the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation programme wh o s e b u d g e t has l ai d much emphasis on improving water supply by over 30 per cent. Other regions to benefit from the second phase of the project are Muyinga, Kayanza and Ngozi in Burundi, Nyagatare, Kayonza and other regions in Rwanda, Tanzania and neighboring Uganda. More than Sh10 billion has been earmarked to run the EAC budget next year of which Sh3.2 billion has been awarded to the water sector. The projects set to benefit nearly four million people will be fast affected at the availability of the funds.



he Ministry of Regional Development Authorities launched the Integrated Regional Development Master Plan 2010-2040 for the Ewaso Ngi’ro North Development Authority (ENNDA) in an event held at the KICC. The plan launched in collaboration with United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), University of Nairobi and other stake holders is aimed at achieving a thriving regional economy with vibrant and sustainable livestock, agriculture, tourism and industries in the ENNDA region which is mainly arid and semi-arid. In a statement by the minister of Regional Development Fred Gumo, he pointed that Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) have for a long period of time been given second reference due to the assumption that they do not have high rates of return to investments. He said that the ASALs cover about 80 per cent of the country’s land surface and the communities in these areas are a


major contributor to the national wealth. He thus urged the government to invest more in these areas. ENNDA is one of the six regional development authorities (RDAs) under the ministry to promote integrated basin based development in the country. Others are Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA), Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA), Ewaso Ng’iro South Development Authority (ENSDA) and Coast Development Authority (CDA). The RDAs are aimed at promoting development based on the country’s drainage basins rather than on political or administrative boundaries. Among the projects under the plan include water resource management, natural resource conservation, water catchment conservation among others. They will be funded by the Goverment of Kenya together with the African Development Bank.



Airport Goes Solar


okichogio Airport went all solar powered after installing a solar power system as opposed to diesel generator power which it has been using. This was a move to help lower operational cost of the airport occasioned by high fuel prices. The 20KVA solar system installed by Chloride Exide replaces the diesel generator which will be used for back-up only. This will see the airport’s 12 hour continuous electricity requirement reduce from more than Sh3 million. Solar energy is speedily being endorsed in the country as it is cheaper than many other sources. Companies have gone ahead to excel in street lighting business as well as home lighting.

Mining Bill Set for Debate in Parliament


he proposed Minerals and Mining Draft Bill was set to be tabled in parliament by mid this year. The current bill, considered outdated was last reviewed in 1940.Proposed amendments however are currently being finalized by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. According to the Kenya Chamber of Mines (KMC), the lobby group had requested for the Bill to have a revenue sharing structure taking into account the investors of the central government, counties and local communities.

Successful Landing on Planet Mars


fter traveling hundreds of millions of miles through space, NASA’s Curiosity rover finally made a challenging landing on the red planet, Mars. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from


a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that carried the $2.6 billion rover succeeded in every step of the


After funding prospecting of minerals, firms are to meet the cost of the mining activities upon obtaining requisite approvals, paying taxes and royalties while balancing the need to make a return on investment. The law will not allow anyone to extract minerals without a license, official office address and information about business income. The miner will then ensure their operations do not damage or endanger the lives of people.

most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack. According to NASA, the spacecraft had been traveling away from Earth since November 26 on a journey of approximately 567 million kilometers. The mission is aimed at answering if age-old questions about whether life ever existed on Mars or if the planet can sustain life in the future. The vehicle, which will be controlled from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has a full suite of sophisticated tools for exploring Mars. They include 17 cameras, a laser that can survey the composition of rocks from a distance and instruments that can analyze samples from soil or rocks. If all goes according to plan, Curiosity’s first stop will be Gale Crater, which may have once contained a lake. After at least a year, the rover will arrive at Mount Sharp, in the center of the crater. The rover will drive up the mountain examining layers of sediment.


Traces of Gold Discovered in Taita Taveta


Ore Lab Set-Up in Kisumu


South African based geological consultancy firm, Rock and Stock East Africa established an ore testing lab in Kisumu, a branch of what they already have established in South Africa. The lab established alongside a mineral sampling prep lab -Kenya Mineral Services-is to help tap into ore mining market in the country. According to mineral analysts, the industry is poised for a significant expansion, with mining companies racing for the share of the resource. The country is said to be losing over Sh300 billion due to untapped revenue because explorers cannot access some areas

where minerals are presumed to be. The firm, focusing on East Africa drills the mines for explorers and also carries out a sample analysis of the ore. It is said to have chosen Kisumu as it is closest to regions with great potential like Bondo, Migori and Kakamega. The western region of Kenya is said to have prospective mineral exploration sites some of which are still unexplored. This comes at a time when the country is in the process of revising the mining act. The act had not been revised since 1940 causing many loopholes that have contributed to the sector’s poor performance.

mining company announced discovery of traces of gold Kishushe area in Taita Taveta County. This is according to Wanjala Mining Company which is mining ore at Kishushe area in Wandunye constituency. “ We a r e s t i l l d o i n g p r o p e r prospecting in the area after discovering signs of gold in the iron ore”, said Kaburu Sangani one of those mining ore in the area. Geological surveys indicate that substantial quantities of the mineral deposits are yet to be fully explored and developed in the region due to financial and technical constrains. The Minister for Enviroment, Chirau Ali Makwere in a visit to the site announced that the government was planning to undertake a Sh16 billion three-year survey of minerals across the country. “Our country is very rich in mineral resources, but we have not conducted an aerial survey to establish the type and volume of mineral resources”, said the minister. Taita Taveta County is home to more than 40 high value gemstones. It is also said to have other industrial minerals like copper and cobalt. Discovery of gold will not only be good news to the residents of the area but will add Kenya to Africa’s list of gold mining nations.




Fourth Generation Network to be Rolled Out in Kenya


enyans will soon enjoy faster internet speeds following the treasury’s approval of the consortium of nine private firms in partnership with the government to implement the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. LTE is basically the fourth generation (4G) mobile network with faster speeds and higher bandwidth for multimedia services. The roll out to cost an estimated of Sh42 billion is expected to be up in some parts of the country by the end of this year. The consortium will include the country’s four main mobile phone operators, hardware manufacturersNokia, Siemens Network and AlcatelLicent, Kenya Data Networks (KDN), South African mobile operator MTN and an unnamed US telecom firm.

Kenya to License its Water Vessels




he Kenya Maritime Authority has called upon all vessel owners, operators, agents, ship masters and coxswains to get licenses as described by the new law so as to continue with business. The law gazetted by the Minister of Transport will have all traders operating solely within the territorial and inland waters of Kenya licensed. The move supported by Kenya Shippers Council will help improve safety of ships operating on Kenyan waters. The registration of the vessels will allow for only Kenyan vessels to trade within the country’s territorial waters. The vessels will also be subjected to annual inspection to ensure the seaworthiness. The licensing process will go on until end of August this year. The law targets ships of more than 24 metres length and below 300 tonnes. The international Maritime Organization regulates only the ships that are more than 300 tonnes with international trading routes. In Kenya, there are a total of 19,000 ships and vessels operating solely on Kenya waters with only 40 of which are licensed.


More Dams for Hydro-electric Power


New Bike Powered Water Pump to Boost Farming


new motorbike powered water pump has been unveiled to boost local farming. The water pump, introduced by Farmlink Africa in Kiambu is fitted into a motorbike and can be used for irrigation, car wash, fire fighting, spraying crops and fumigation. Farmlink Africa director Peter Mbuguiro said many youths in Central Kenya are engaged in farming and the pump will help them draw water from rivers and boreholes for their crops using motorbikes. He said the pump uses 0.4 litres of petrol per hour to pump 22,000 litres of water. The pump can also be used to wash cars and put out fires. “The pump which costs Sh10, 000 uses only Sh40 of petrol to pump water per hour,” he said adding that Farmlink Africa will lend the pump to those who cannot afford it.

Ndumberi coffee growers cooperative society chairman Raymond Gitau said he introduced Farmlink Africa to the youth adding that the pump technology is borrowed from China. He said he has been persuading parents in Kiambu to allow their children to be involved in coffee farming. “I realised so many youths had no jobs and were being involved in drug abuse and alcoholism. I decided to talk to their parents who agreed to give their children several coffee bushes to manage,” Gitau said. Mbuguiro said the pump can be a good source of income if used well “Boda boda industry in Kenya has thrived and I thought of a way to help the youth earn an income even when they are not carrying passengers,” Mbuguiro said. He urged the youth to embrace the technology.

he country’s major reservoir, Tana River will see to two dams created on it. The reservoir which already holds five power generators will have two damsKarura and Mutonga developed separately by KenGen and Tana and Athi River Development Authority (Tarda). Water dams generate nearly half of the total power in the country. The current output of the dams along the Tana River (453MW) is expected to increase to 800MW after completion of the new dams. The Karura dam being promoted by KenGen will be built between Kiambere and Kindarumadams. Other existing dams in the area are Masinga,Gitaru,Kamburu,Turkwell and Sondu. The two dams being promoted by the Kenya Investment Authority are part of the flagship projects under the Vision 2030 economic blueprint. Mutonga dam will be multi-purpose dam for domestic and agricultural use. Both dams are expected to boost agriculture, power generation, drinking water supply as well as help manage perennial flooding in the area.







ICT Board Pushing for Bill to be Signed into Law

T Microsoft Smart Phone Software


icrosoft unveiled nextgeneration Office software overhauled to stay popular with people using tablets or smartphones to access programs in the Internet “cloud”. Chief executive Steve Ballmer pulled back the curtain on the new software at a press event in San Francisco. The popular suite includes Word for documents, as well as programs for spreadsheets and other functions, and the latest version is adapted for devices with touch, stylus and mouse interfaces and links to the cloud to allow access to documents. Office was designed “from the ground up” to work in harmony with the Windows 8 operating system to be released by Microsoft in October and work intuitively across the range of devices supported by Windows 8, Ballmer said. “The industry continues to move and

change and advance dramatically,” Ballmer said. The new Office comes as Microsoft readies a Surface tablet computer to take on the iPad and seeks to expand in the smartphone market with version of Windows 8 tailored for mobile gadgets. “Office is a service first,” Ballmer. “Office is transforming because of the new systems and operating systems and hardware it can support.” Microsoft corporate vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer used a tablet computer to demonstrate Office features that let people collaborate on projects and share data online in a challenge to the Google Docs software suite. Skype was integrated into Office to let people launch Internet video calls instantly. The newest version will also link to the online version known as Office 365, which is a cloud-only subscription service.

he Kenya ICT Board is calling for speedy enactment into law the Freedom of Information Bill to make relevant the open data website. The sector, once considered the fastest growing sector in the country is experiencing delays as the country is embracing the e-governance. The open data project was launched last year by the president after a Sh594 million funding by the World Bank. It is aimed at bridging the information gap between the government and the public. This has however not been fully achieved resulting to criticism from users some of whom term the content from the website too basic. Others claim that they are not aware of the project, and thus call upon the ICT Board to create awareness and refresh the sites content to improve on the investment’s uptake. The efforts to make appealing the Kenya Open Data project suffers delay which is attributed to the delay in implementation of certain policies. Many involved institutions are not ready to give out certain information as they are bound by certain secrecy oaths which bar them. The board is thus appealing to the parliament to push for the bill to become a law so that they can get information from both private and government sectors to be used for the site.




A Partnership to Offer Cloud Computing Security Services


multinational security software maker, Symantec Corporation and Kenya’s Internet Solutions Kenya (IS) announced a strategic partnership to market cloud hosted security services in Kenya and in the region. The partnership will see IS Kenya become Symantec. cloud’s route to market in Kenya with dedicated Symantec Software as a Service (SaaS) data centre hosted on internet Solutions’ infrastructure. The move comes on the heels of a growing uptake of Cloud computing, promising both medium sized and well established companies a subsidized IT investment. LG had earlier this year launched an e-learning for schools in partnership with the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) that is based on cloud computing. Symantic.clouds’ hosted security solutions will offer various services including email archiving, with rigorous service level agreements, to provide additional confidence and performance assurance.


Samsung’s Engineering Academy Kicks Off


n the mission to curb rising shortage of technical engineers in the country, Samsungs’ pioneer class at the new Samsung Engineering Academy officially kicked off its academic programs with a class of 200 students in June this year. The Samsung Engineering Academy established early this year in Westlands at a cost of more than US$ 1million is the second of such training facility in Africa. It has welcomed its full scholarship pioneer student intake as part of a wider goal to develop 10,000 electronic engineering apprentices across Africa by the year 2015. “The pioneer class will be delivered as a modular training program covering digital electronics repair and service skills”, said Ms. Betty Radier, Samsung Electronics East Africa Marketing Business Leader during an induction and orientation session for the pioneer class.


The students will receive free training and exposure to modern electronics engineering practices, as part of the firms’ bid to deepen technical skills and facilitate job creation options. The training programs at the Samsung Academy will help bridge the existing skills gap for qualified service technicians to repair new generation electronic equipment such as LED/LCD TV’s, Laptops, Refrigerators, Mobile Handsets and Tablets. The initiative-anchored firmly on the company’s Built for Africa Strategy-also opened a Customer Service Plaza in the same building as the Engineering Academy. The students will receive an intern opportunity on the company’s Customer Service Centres and thereafter work as independent service technicians or employees in their retail channel partner outlets across the region.





Interviewing The Engineers in Private Sector: Kenya Engineer Team had One on One Interview with The CEO of Soliton Telmec. Q: In brief who is Abdirahman Omar Sheikh? A: An Engineer with diverse business i nt e r e s ts in Te le communi cat i ons, Construction, Insurance and Healthcare. Founder and the Chief Executive of Soliton Telmec Limited. Q: In term of training, did you pursue your education locally or abroad? A: I went through Alliance high school before proceeding to Turkey for my undergraduate Q: Why Turkey and how different was it from the local University? A: I was admitted at the University of Nairobi before proceeding to Turkey as a beneficiary of a scholarship program. There’s not much difference other than the environment. The academic programs are the same. Q: Are you a member of any professional body? A: Yes I’m a registered Engineer with the Engineers Registration Board of Kenya and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Q: A brief of your company background and what you deal with. A: Soliton Telmec is a locally incorporated and 100 % Kenyan owned company. It is now in its seventh year of successful operations in Kenya. By far, the largest operations and workforce is based in Kenya but the company has interests in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. Soliton Telmec plans, designs, builds and supports telecommunications infrastructure and networks. We develop the main backbone networks for service providers both for inter-city connections and intra-city connectivity. We also provide access networks solutions for carriers, service providers, real estate industry as well as corporate and individual customers.


Q: What are some of the Challenges you face as a networking company in the country A: We deal with large infrastructure projects and we are a local Kenyan company. This in itself is a problem. This space is usually reserved for European and nowadays Chinese multinationals. It is therefore nearly impossible for local companies to find and maintain their footing in this area. As you know Kenya is a free market economy – I mean totally free market and, way ahead in this open market policy, of North American, European and Chinese markets. Consequently unfettered flow of technology, labour and capital is allowed and even encouraged. One of the effects of this in our industry is that well-established international companies are free to compete with newly created local companies. Middle aged Engineers and Technicians from Europe and China jostle for customer attention with 20 – 25 year old Kenyan youth. Kenya is also a poor country. This means that at least in the public sector, there is no money to fund ICT infrastructure projects. Traditionally, funding used to come largely from Europe and consequently, European companies implemented projects here. In this scenario local companies used to get the crumbs working as subcontractors for European multinationals. Lately, as you may know, Chinese companies have all but obliterated most of their European counterparts. Chinese companies are therefore at hand with state backing, money and technology not only for public sector projects, which they dominate, but even for the private sector projects. They are a bank, contractor and more rolled into one and with their take-noprisoner attitude they generally leave nothing on the table.


Eng. Abdirahman Omar Sheikh CEO Soliton Telmac

This leaves local ICT infrastructure companies to do small low-tech jobs and denies them much needed capital to acquire plant, equipment and training facilities – creating the proverbial “vicious circle”. Q: What is your take on the ICT sector in the country as compared to other countries where you are also based? A: We have a dynamic industry and very hard working people in this sector. Kenya’s ICT sector is way ahead of the other countries we work in. The major factor is the highly educated and extremely confident young Kenyans we have. Individually, you will find Kenyans working for the larger multinationals even in neighboring countries. The market we operate in is unique in that it is highly regulated market. In terms of regulation, we have enabling environment that is better - as compared to some countries in the region. I think this has made this sector a highly competitive one and created greater

INTERVIEW NEWS choices for consumers of connectivity services. So far, the market regulator has focused on creating a competitive environment to make services more affordable. We now need greater focus in creating environment for growth, fair competition and consumer protection. Q: Do you have any current or past major projects you have participated in or commissioned? A: We have been involved in major projects building over 6,000 route kilometers of fiber optic networks. Currently, we are involved in a major infrastructure project for Frontier Optical network, an open access fiber Infrastructure company emphasizing on open network metro fiber. We believe this project and related ideas are of major strategic importance to the industry. Q: What are your comments on the overpublished Shift from analogue to digital, how has this affected your business. A: I believe you are referring to the migration to digital TV broadcasting. The efforts have been going on since 2006. Our country is meeting its obligations in part as a member of an international community of states and we commend the great job that is being done by the Ministry of information and communication, CCK and others. I think we are on schedule – even ahead of schedule in this effort. In our business, we enable the transport of content. We expect to see more demand for fiber in the core as more channels come into market. We now have two signal distributors. These are designed to provide shared signal distribution infrastructure and services. In effect what this means is that the capital required to build a nationwide TV broadcasting services will have been drastically reduced. In addition the migration to digital is expected to provide service quality and enable more services to be offered. We therefore expect increased number of players and increased content volume. Q: What’s the country’s ICT potential and how do you think this can be achieved?

A: Business related to the ICT industry holds great potential. In general, this is growing industry everywhere and Kenya is not an exception. The greatest benefits we see are related to the impact ICTs can have on our activities such as financial services, education and health care to name a few. We can use these technologies to improve security and generally run state functions more efficiently. As a developing country, we do have a lot of work to do. We will definitely enjoy the residual benefit of ICT technologies once job is done. However, much like any other activity, there are investments and trading involved. I think we need to emphasize on how we can maximize our national benefit from this industry. First we have to demystify the whole thing. We need to use common sense and get into commercially sensible transactions with others. Focus on technologies we need to have and insist on increased local content. We have to struggle to add value increase our activities in research and training. Q: Draw a comparison between fibre optic cable to other network link lines? A: Fiber optic cable provides lower cost and higher capacity when compared to other transmission technologies. Deployment of the fiber network may require higher initial investments but fiber emerges with lower total cost of ownership in the long run. Fiber based networks consume considerably less power than competing technologies such as copper or radio. In this respect, fiber is a greener technology. When managed properly, fiber cable can be shared. If one wants to build a shared network infrastructure, fiber is the way to go. Q: What are your Comments on the budget in regard to the ICT sector? A: One key item directly affecting our business is the measure on scrap metal dealers. Traders in scrap metal will require registration and failure to comply will be an offence liable to a maximum fine of KShs.1, 000,000 or imprisonment for a maximum term of three years or both.

This is very good measure. The demand for scrap metal from unscrupulous traders has encouraged vandalism of telephone and electricity cables as well as manhole covers and other infrastructure. Before this measure was introduced the police were helpless to apprehend the culprits in the absence of suitable legislation. We hope that now only registered traders will be seen carrying scrap metal and those found in possession of stolen phone and electric cables with be dealt with. We look forward to the enforcement of this measure. Q: What is your participation in achieving the Vision 2030? A: As you know the vision 2030 to quote the document “aims to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing middle income country providing high quality life to all its citizens by the year 2030”. The vision developed in 2006, is quite specific on how to achieve this and has identified 3 pillars – Economic, Social and Political each target specific activities. If I may comment on the Economic pillar and specifically on the IT enabled services – the vision focuses on business process off-shoring (BPO) - “it involves providing business services via the internet to companies and organizations in the developed world e.g. Britain, USA, Canada etc.” Today, Britain and the USA are both facing serious financial problems and rising unemployment. Greater business opportunities are presenting themselves in the region and in Africa where in my opinion we need to put greater focus on. We are not in the BPO business directly but we create and support the enabling infrastructure and environment to successfully carry out this kind of business in addition to supporting great many other activities including enhancement of local and regional trade, manufacturing, education, health and others. Q: Parting shot A: Thank you for your visit and I wish you – the Kenya Engineer team all the best.




Eng. Meshack Kidenda, Director General Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA). Like all Kenyans Eng. Kidenda has assured property owners that the design has restricted itself to road reserves with no need for acquisition.

A109: Kenya’s Elevated Highway If Nairobi -Thika Superhighway is anything to go by, then the proposed elevated highway is one project that will place Kenya at a whole new level when it comes to infrastructure. Kenya Engineer looks into the design, investment and public expectations. The proposed designs of the elevated highway to run on top of the existing Uhuru Highway. The project will cost approximately Sh16 Billion and is expected to kick off in January 2013 and be completed by 2015.




ven before the opening of the Sh27-billion Thika Superhighway, the government announced its ambitious plan to decongest Mombasa Road via an elevated highway running on top of the now existing Mombasa Road-Uhuru HighwayWaiyaki Way. The artistic impressions of the proposed highway classified as A109, were unveiled last month and like in the case of Thika Road, major roundabouts on Mombasa Road will be a thing of the past. This is the latest plan by government through Kenya National Highway Authority, to improve roads infrastructure. This project will help reduce traffic snarl ups right from the Junction of Airport north road and Mombasa road, at the


Illustrations of the new look Nairobi and its feeder roads. Parts of it have already been achieved with the near-completion of the Thika Superhighway. Construction of the Elevated highway to run from Mombasa Road to Westlands will kick off in 2013.

Nyayo Stadium Roundabout and Uhuru Highway all the way to Waiyaki Way. In a stretch that one should take less than ten minutes, motorists would spend close to three hours, maneuvering their way through the infamous traffic snarlups. After the completion the project will ease the flow of traffic from Likoni Road to the James Gichuru Interchange. The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) Director General Meshack Kidenda said the construction is scheduled to begin in 2013, a development that is estimated to last not more than two years. “The section we are working on is 12 kilometers between St James Hospital (near the Airtel Headquarters) and James Gichuru (directly opposite Kabete Barracks), building an elevated road or flyover. We will replace all the roundabouts as well,” he said. This, the engineer said would be the solution to traffic snarl-ups being experienced in the capital. Other improvements include installation of proper pedestrian pavements, service

roads and a modern storm water drainage system. In addition, the design will also include a bus rapid transit lane to streamline the flow of public service vehicles on the highway. “Bus rapid transit is a concept where you use high capacity buses that carry around 200 people in a dedicated lane so they have the right of way. They are programmed and timed to boost their reliability,” he said in an interview. The project, funded by the government and the World Bank, is part of Highway authority’s larger plan to improve the thoroughfare from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Rironi. COWI, the consulting firm and its local partner Otieno Odongo and Partners were commissioned by the Kenya National Highways Authority to design the expansion of the Likoni Road Junction to James Gichuru Road Junction on the A104 – a highway stretch. The assignment involves capacity improvement of the existing two to three lane dual carriageway by design of additional lanes and grade-separated

intersections in the form of flyovers and elevated road sections. The designs as proposed by the consultants will see the demolition of Nyayo Stadium and Westlands Roundabouts. The overpass will begin from the Popo and Kapiti Road junctions where traffic on the highway always picks up. This overpass will go all the way to James Gichuru in Westlands. Analysing Designs and Estimated Cost The designs by Danish firm COWI are at the consultative phase involving local stakeholders who have been called upon to give suggestions that will lead to long term solutions. One of the challenges for COWI’s design team is to come up with an aesthetical solution that respects the need for increased traffic capacity as well as the pristine surroundings. This means that the design only restricts itself to road reserves without acquisition of private property. To ensure this happens the design proposes special links from surrounding estates into the highway.




This Way, Mr President. President Mwai Kibaki , Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Roads Minister Franklin Bett discussing locations through which the elevated Highway will run. The modernization of the Road is expected to cut on huge traffic on Mombasa Road and Westlands

For example motorists from South B will join the highway via a diamond ramp while South C will have a quarter link positioned behind the estate. Langata and Upper hill roads will also be affected. Here the design proposes that Langata Road be linked to Lusaka Road in Industrial Area, via an overpass while Upperhill be linked to Bunyala Road via a different overpass. The Bunyala road roundabout will also be demolished and replaced by an interchange to allow motorists from Upperhill to access the highway. “In the design phase, COWI not only considers the city’s surroundings but traffic simulations and analyses will also be used in order to ensure that the city’s traffic congestions will in fact be significantly reduced with the expansion of the highway,” said Anja Basilio Fabech of COWI. On reaching the City Centre, the design proposes demolition of Haile Selassie


roundabout and have the elevated highway run through to Westlands past University Way Roundabout. The initial estimate of the project is placed at $200 million approximately KSh16 Billion and will be funded by the Kenyan government and the World Bank. If everything goes as planned then the country will be ready to use the road by 2015. Thisfunding by World Bank affirms statements by Makhtar Diop (the bank’s new vice president for Africa) who said; “The World Bank will prioritize funding support for Kenya in roads construction, energy, implementation of the new constitution as well as reforms in the justice system,” Public Response and Expectations The business community says the unlocking or opening up of the Mombasa Road through Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way will impact positively on cross-border trade, especially with


Langata Road be linked to Lusaka Road in Industrial Area, via an overpass while Upperhill be linked to Bunyala Road via a different overpass

Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. Today, goods being transported to these countries from the Port of Mombasa take over a month to reach its destination. This is three weeks more than the desired duration of six days if the goods are ferried by rail. Due to multiple road hitches, even those goods transported to Tororo take over two weeks, a move that has been exacerbated by the rising nontariff barriers, frequent accidents and unreliability of Kenya’s transport system.


An example of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Turkey. Bus rapid transit is a concept where you use high capacity buses that carry around 200 people in a dedicated lane so they have the right of way The proposed Uhuru Highway is expected to have a BRT

Betty Maina, the chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers says businesses are choking even more with the sorry-state of the country’s roads which is occasioned by numerous accidents, police roadblocks, cargo thefts on the highways and heavy traffic jams in Mombasa and Nairobi especially on the northern corridor – Mombasa road. The association says road transport is one of the mediums through which non-tariff barriers continue to hinder business growth. Analysts say with these challenges, the much-anticipated appreciation of crossborder business in East Africa that would have come with the realization of the Common Market Protocol is unlikely to be achieved. Transport challenges also manifests itself in the cost aspect of it where to ferry a 20-tonne container from Mombasa to Nairobi costs $1,300. A similar container from Mombasa to Kampala and Kigali costs $3,400 and $6,500 respectively. This is more than double the $1,200 one would incur to ship the same goods

from United Kingdom to Mombasa. Integration experts say transport costs of high proportion of the value of goods result in an increase of consumer prices for imported goods, and undermine the competitiveness of exports in foreign markets. This limits a country’s participation in international trade. “With the development to modernize the Uhuru Highway, it is indeed a development that will impact hugely on manufacturers, not only in Kenya but across East Africa. It is our hope that the developers will move with speed so that the returns from such an investment trickles down to people and the entire economy,” Ms Maina said. According to Roads Minister Franklin Bett the government had set aside Sh63 billion for roads project next year. The fund will see three bypasses built and special overpass on Uhuru Highway built. “We are building three bypasses that will form one big ring around Nairobi. We are also set to build the Nairobi Urban Toll

road that will start from the Machakos turn off to join Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki way via an over-pass,” said Mr. Bett. He said the by-pass over Uhuru Highway — the first of its kind in the country — would be a dual carriageway, terminating at Westlands. According to Road’s Permanent Secretary Michael Kamau, the country is seeking Sh24 billion for the urban transport improvement programme, which includes money for construction of the Nairobi flyover that connects Mombasa road to Westlands, studies on the Bus Rapid Transit project, Meru bypass, studies on light rail network by Kenya Railways and the improvement of the airport – Rironi road, Nairobi. In the just released budget, Treasury set aside Sh268.1 billion for infrastructural development. Roads budget was upped to Sh123.6 billion from last year’s Sh104.3 billion. This is a relief for the ministry of transport whose minister is optimistic that all projects will kick off as scheduled.




Eurocopter AS350 B3e Ecureuil Helicopter By Kenya Engineer Correspondent


viation experts from France together with a team from the manufacturer of the A350 B32 or Squirrel helicopter, Eurocopter, are in the country to support the local team put together by the president to unearth the mystery surrounding the police helicopter crash. The crash killed six people two of whom were top government officials on 10th may 2012.Details that have surfaced indicate that the aircraft, Kenya police helicopter 5Y-CDT was barely five months old. It was obtained from Eurocopter South Africa, a subsidiary of Eurocopter group Europe. The Transport Minister Amos Kimunya told ministers in a live broadcast that the flight left Wilson Airport in Nairobi at 8:32 a.m. in good weather with some fog and visibility of 8 kilometers (5 miles). “The pilots lost contact with the control tower at about 8:38 am, and four minutes later the aircraft fell to the ground�, added the minister. The aircraft logged about 230 flight hours since it was built last year and delivered to the Kenyan police in




A Team of Bomb experts searching through the debris of the eurocopter that crashed

December; Eurocopter said the planes’ last maintenance check was at the end of May. The Kenya Police Air-Wing is the first African customer for the AS350 B3e, which boasts several enhancements over previous AS350 variants, including an up rated Turbomeca Arriel 2D turbine engine allowing better take-off performances while decreasing maintenance costs. The Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil-Squirrel is a single-engined light helicopter originally manufactured by Aerospatiale now part of Eurocopter Group. This is a unit of European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co. (EADS). The Eurocopter group was created in 1992 with the merger between the helicopter divisions of Aerospatialematra (France) and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Germany). The group is now a subsidiary owned 100% by EADS, one of the three largest aerospace groups in the world. By a process of successive integrations, Eurocopter has become Europe’s leading fully integrated aeronautical group and is, at present, composed of three entities: the parent company, Eurocopter, the German subsidiary, Eurocopter

Deutschland; and the Spanish subsidiary, Eurocopter España. Technical Details of AS350 B3e The AS350 B3e is a member of Eurocopter’s rugged and proven Ecureuil family. Some 4,900 Ecureuils have been delivered in 98 countries for some 1,600 operators. These aircrafts have cumulated more than 22 million hours. The powerful, high-performance AS350 B3e is designed to carry out the most demanding missions in extreme weather and geographical conditions. A member of its family AS350 B3 is on record as having climbed to 3,000m / 9,900ft in 2mins 21sec and made a world record landing on Mount Everest in 2005. Its exceptional lifting capability, high endurance, extended range and fast cruise speed make the AS350 B3e the leader in its class. The helicopter is designed to carry out comfortably all the demanding policing operations. The EDR-event data recorder, together with the blade-creep monitor, further shifts the emphasis from traditional to preventive maintenance. These innovations also drastically reduce

unscheduled removals and significantly improve helicopter availability. Th e AS3 5 0 B3 family h a s m a ny technologies like the FADEC that automates the start-up sequence and optimizes engine performance to suit outside conditions. The cockpit features a 3-axis autopilot and dual LCD-screen Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD). The use of composite materials for airframe, rotors and main rotor head combine to give the AS350 B3 the best protection against corrosion and, consequently, reduce the maintenance costs. The AS350 B3e features the latest technologies and can be equipped with a wide range of certified optional law enforcement equipment. Police forces in some 30 regions across the world already operate aircraft from the AS350 B3 family. The AS350 B3e is capable of high-speed pursuits and offers excellent maneuverability. With the above adoration and praise for the helicopter, the experts’ job is well defined to establish the chink in this machines amour or affirm its credentials and fault some other cause.



The completed Thika Super Highway

Is Infrastructure Budget the Solution for Economic Growth? By Edna Kivuva


he Engineers have a reason to smile in the Financial Year (FY) 2012 to 2013 budget. Infrastructure was given the biggest allocation receiving Ksh268.1 billion for various projects including roads, energy, rail, and ports from the total of Ksh 1.45 Trillion. The Education sector got Sh. 233 billion; Sh. 300 million for sanitary towels for poor girls in the country, Sh.1.8 billion for construction of more classes and free Secondary education received Sh19.3 billion. Another Sh. 480 million to buy computers for schools, Sh1.6 billion to hire pre-unit teachers, Sh1.9 billion on classrooms a n d p hy s i c a l f a c i l i t i e s i n b o t h primary and secondary schools.Sh8.1 billion was given for development of infrastructure and public facilities in public universities. Meanwhile Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC’s) received Sh. 4.4 billion whilst deserving elderly people


received Sh. 2,000 monthly from the Sh. 1 billion Fund. A sum of Sh. 1.1 billion to cater for bright students bursary. Kenya Youth Empowerment project received Sh. 490 million while the Youth Enterprise and Women Funds got a boost of Sh. 450 and Sh. 550 million respectively. Other highlights include: CCTVs to be installed in the Central Business District (CBD) at a cost of Sh. 4.15 billion; Sh. 148 billion for the county governments and Sh. 1.8 billion for resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Th e a g r i c u l t u r e s e c t o r g o t S h . 8 billion for irrigation, Sh. 10 billion for agribusiness and Sh. 1.5 billion to wave off farmer’s debts. The Rift Valley Railways (RVR) was given Sh.1.45 billion for rail commuter system, Sh. 83.5 billion was allocated for security and a zero-rate duty on set-top boxes to be used in digital TV migration.


The Infrastructure budget Th e M i n i s t e r f o r Fi n a n c e , H o n . Robinson Njeru Githae looked at accelerating development of public investments such as roads, energy, railways, port and water supplies. H e s a i d t h a t i t wa s e s s e n t i a l t o sustain a faster economic growth, open up economic opportunities for households, to hasten regional economic convergence and equity. “Fo r th is reas o n th e gove r nm e nt will continue to provide substantial resources toward infrastructure development. To this end, I have in this budget a total of Sh. 268.1 billion for various infrastructure projects”, said the minister. Githae attributed that the overall budget for the Ministry of Roads was Sh. 123.6 billion, a raise from the previous FY of 104.3 billion. He said that this would continue with improving the general conditions of the highways, urban and rural roads.

BUDGET 2012/13

A train at the Syokimau Railway Station

Some of the projects in the ministry of energy include: national grid system which was allocated Sh36.35 billion while the geothermal and coal resource exploration and development received Sh27.15 billion. The Rural Electrification program got Sh10.967 billion and petroleum exploration Sh1.78 billion Githae stated that the Ministry for Energy had been allocated Sh. 79.9 billion in order to facilitate for reliable and affordable energy to sustain economic growth. He asserted that in order to modernize commuter railway, a project that started two years ago, he had been allocated 1.45 billion. This was for the completion of the line linking the airport to central railways station. The first phase of the commuter rail upgrade project will provide a faster and affordable transport for international guests and residents who use the busy Mombasa highway. “Despite huge resources dedicated toward infrastructure projects, their implementation continues to face challenges. To overcome this past legacies, the government will develop and institutionalize a framework

for efficient and effective planning and management of public sector investment projects”, Githae declared. Comparison of 2012- 2012 and 2012 -2013 budget The 2012-2013 budget which is at Ksh 1.45 Trillion is higher compared to last years’ which was Sh. 1.2 trillion. This FY saw an increase in the budget allocations for various sectors especially in infrastructure. The overall budget for the Ministry of Roads is Sh123.6 billion, up from Sh104.3 billion in the 2011/2012 (FY). The Ministry of Energy was allocated Sh79.9 billion, up from Sh57.5 billion in the previous budget. The Education sector was given an additional Sh19.2 billion pushing its envelope this FY to Sh233.1 billion. Some Sh118.7 billion of this cash is to be spent on salaries for teachers, including recruitment of additional 10,000 teachers. Meanwhile the government set aside Sh. 8.1 billion from the infrastructure budget for development of public facilities in public universities, an extra Sh. 480 million to buy computers for schools, a further Sh. 1.6 billion to hire pre-unit teachers, and Sh.1.9

billion on classrooms and physical facilities in primary and secondary schools. The treasury allocation for National security was enhanced from Sh78 billion in 2011/2012 budget, to 83.5 billion in 2012/2013 to respond to the increased insecurity. The Ministry of health got Sh. 85 billion as compared to last year’s 73 billion. The Sh12.3 billion increase from the previous budget is meant to recruit an additional 5,200 health workers including 900 doctors, allowances and construction of more health facilities. The Judiciary was allocated Sh. 15.4 billion from Sh. 9.3 billion in the previous budget. Low income earners were appeased by the mitumba tax reduction from Sh. 1.9 million to 1.1 million. Civil servants on the other hand were the biggest losers after the proposed Sh. 15.1 billion pension scheme was deferred to July 2013. This means retiring civil servants will not benefit from the scheme. Ministry of Roads The Minister for roads Hon. Franklin Bett was pleased with the Sh126 billion allocation to his ministry in this



year’s budget. He said it was a major increment compared to the 20112012 FY, where the ministry was given Sh104billion. “I actually required Sh200 billion to fix roads damaged during the longrains and the rural access road. I am however happy with the budget for infrastructure development this year”, enthused the minister.His counterpart, the Permanent Secretary in the same Ministry Mr. Michael Kamau, pointed out that weighbridges would not be removed. He verified that Githae had proposed in the budget to eliminate weighbridges on the Kenyan side of the great North route from Mombasa to Uganda and Rwanda. However this will await a plan to harmonize the axle load before a decision is made. “The Minister for Finance actually meant to reduce the weighbridges to the very optimal. There is a plan to harmonize axle load within the east African Community and until this is


done, we will not be able to tell which ones to remove”, said the PS, Kamau. ICT expert M r. Fra n c i s H o o k , t h e R e g i o n a l manager of International Data Corporation (IDC) said it was fair for the government to forgo revenue from import duty on software since it has not successfully upheld copyright protection laws. “Software vendors have hitherto had to bear the cost for piracy as well as import duty, making their products more expensive and therefore feeding the cycle of piracy” he authenticates. According to Mr. Hook, the budget should have an impact on commonly used software like operating systems ( Wi n d ow s 7 , Wi n d ow s X P, e t c ) . It should also consider reduction of the overall price of laptops/ desktops especially where hardware manufacturers have OEM agreements with software vendors. He said that as it were, there is a


trend in the market to sometimes sell laptops/desktops without an operating system, thus such purchasers can either use open source operating systems (e.g., Ubuntu, Red Hat Linux, SuSe Linux, etc) or actually procure pirated software. This front allows for overall lower cost devices. “On the flip side, for any software that can be locally developed like payroll systems, financial accounting systems, it will affect the local developers negatively” noted Hook. He added that if the price of imported software came down and competed w i t h l o c a l l y d e ve l o p e d s o f t wa r e then the local software developer community would lose protection against imported software potentially dampening them. “Definitely a plus as we migrate to digital TV, this will allow anyone who has bought a TV in the last couple of years to continue using it rather than be forced to buy a digital TV” Hook

BUDGET 2012/13

Syokimau Railway Station, (Inset) Kenya Railways MD Nduva Muli during an Interview in his office

commended. He applauded the Sh. 480 million budget allocation for purchase of computers for schools saying it was a good gesture especially if such devices could be placed in rural areas where they are mostly needed. He conveyed that the penalty on scrap metal dealers is a plus for telecommunication companies and power providers who have been suffering the cost of replacing equipment. However, he admitted that just as with any proposed law, the actual enforcement is what would bring about the difference. Kenya Railways Corporation Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), M a n a g i n g D i r e c t o r, M r. N d u v a Muli, affirmed that they had already contracted El Noor Construction to build the Syokimau station. “We will partner with Rift Valley

R a i l w ay s ( RV R ) i n r e f u r b i s h i n g and construction of new railway lines, mostly because there are no specialized contractors for this kind of work, and RVR has technical capacity,” he disclosed. According to Muli, other than the Nairobi commuter rail, the KRC has plans to undertake similar projects in Kisumu and Mombasa in the long term. In its national railway master plan, it will also put up a standard gauge railway between Mombasa and Malaba. It will also build a new line connecting Lamu and Southern Sudan, Nairobi and Addis Ababa. The electric rail valued at Sh200 million is the first of its kind in Kenya. The new service is targeting commuters from Syokimau, Kitengela, Athi River Machakos and Mombasa Road. The project will also open up new opportunities for employment and housing. Mr. George Tatache, KRC, General

Manager Corporate Affairs estimates that the commuter train and electronic ticketing will be expected to move 10,000 to 20,000 passengers daily. According to Mr. Tatache the first phase of the new railway will have six refurbished coaches, then later they will be increased to 20, each with a capacity of 200 passengers. He stated that the network will have two trains moving in different directions handling a capacity of 60 million passengers from the current five million. “KRC is working on the preferred schedule and cost I am optimistic there will be an increased frequency of trips between the Central business district (CBD) and its outskirts” Tatache hopes. He also added that the corporation had already established 2,500 parking spaces that would be available at a small fee at the Syokimau station, c o m p l e t e w i t h ve h i c l e s e r v i c i n g centres and petrol station. “The matatu terminal at Kenya railways is a big challenge as many middle and high class commuters would stay away from this stage due to the congestion and risk of being pick pocketed” Tatache complains. He added that officials from the KRC fear the benefits of the new rail may be revoked due to the densely populated Mukuru slums. People living there may pose as a security and safety challenge. “We have plans to decongest the railways matatu stage and do away with the menace, thus we will have established taxis to transport passengers from the railways terminal to CBD” he assures.



Omo River joining Lake Turkana. Formerly known as Lake Rudolf. The Lake is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and the world’s largest alkaline lake. By volume it is the world’s third-largest salt lake, among all lakes it ranks twenty-fourth.

Gibe III Dam: Is it Worth the Environment Risk? “Proponents of the project say the energy potential of the dam will curb power deficits in Ethiopia and its neighbours, like Kenya.But environmentalists think otherwise” By Kenya Engineer Correspondent


he proposed construction of a hydropower dam brings with it hopes of increased energy supply to the ever increasing demand for it. Gibe III, on River Omo brought such hopes but the neglect to properly assess environmental aspects of the project could lead to its sudden halt. To the more than 15 tribes in Ethiopia and Kenya, the construction of the dam means an end of livelihood which the locals now translate simply as death. Located in East Africa’s Rift Valley, Lake Turkana, a World Heritage Site is the largest desert lake in the world. Over the past 40 years, climate change, irrigation


projects and upstream dam projects have steadily lowered Lake Turkana’s water levels. In 2006, Ethiopia began construction of the Gibe III Dam along the Omo River, the source of 90 per cent of Lake Turkana’s water. Often compared to China’s Three Gorges, the Gibe III Dam, if completed, would be the largest hydroelectric plant in Africa, and the fourth largest in the world. The dam is expected to cause the lake’s water level to drop by as much as 23 to 33 feet within the first five years. Despite efforts by non-governmental organisations such as the Friends of Lake Turkana urging the Kenyan Government to stop the deal, the


two nations entered into an agreement that saw Kenya promised a third of the total power that would be generated from the controversial dam. It has been established that World Bank, the main financier of the project, withheld the funding for the Gibe III hydropower project, after water activists petitioned it over the survival of the lake. Currently, the Gibe III Dam is 40 per cent complete as the Ethiopian government is struggling to secure additional funding following the withdrawal of the European Investment Bank and the World Bank. Gibe III- The Good and the Bad The project is poised to be Ethiopia’s single largest investment, with a $1,7-billion price tag and capacity to generate 1, 800 MW of electricity some of which will be exported to Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti. Kenya is expected to import more than 500MW to help it solve the recurring power outages. According Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation,


The ongoing construction of one of Africa’s hugest dams, Gibe III in Ethiopia which is 40 per cent complete. The dam is set to supply energy to Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti.

more than 200 MW will be exported to both Djibouti and Sudan. Additionally, a feasibility study is underway to consider exporting 50 MW to Yemen via Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea and Egypt. The country expects to earn $407 million annually from power exports. Environmentalists say the construction of a dam along the Omo River will drastically reduce the inflow into the lake, increase the lake’s salinity and severely alter the lives of thousands of people and millions of animals dependent on the lake for survival in the droughtstricken northern Kenya. In 2008, the immediate former World Bank vicepresident for Africa ObiageliEzekwesili raised a redflag over the way in which the Ethiopian government was managing the otherwise shaky project. In particular, the Nigerian chartered accountant queried the environmental impact assessment saying it was not conclusive. She also questioned the manner in which the Ethiopian authorities awarded

Construction of Gibe iii Dam Continues in Spite Controversy Construction of the Gibe III dam continues even after a new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature indicating that the dam poses a threat to the Lake Turkana. The lake has now been listed as a World Heritage site in danger after an assessment by the nature of threats to the environment, wildlife and people’s livelihood. The dam set for completion next year has been under a lot of environmental controversy with fears that the dam in Ethiopia will greatly affect the heritage of the world’s largest population of Nile crocodiles and hippos.The 243m high rollercompacted concrete dam with an associated hydroelectric power plant on the Omo River in Ethiopia which will become the largest hydroelectric plant in Africa with a power output of about 1870 Megawatt (MW).The dam is part of the Gibe cascade, a series of dams including the existing Gibe I dam (184 MW) and Gibe II power station (420 MW) as well as the planned Gibe IV (1472 MW) and Gibe V (560 MW) dams. Kenya one of the countries set to benefit of the power from the dam.

the contract to an Italian firm, without competitive bidding. Apart from World Bank, European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), who were expected to inject some colossal chunk in the project, have slowed down their financing intentions to the controversial project. Locals Fight the Project In Kenya IkalAng’elei, the chairperson of the Friends of Lake Turkana has led a campaign to ensure the collapse of this project due to the environmental risks it presents. MsAng’elei is currently working to ensure Kenya complies with the resolution passed by Parliament demanding that Kenya pulls out of its agreement with Ethiopia to purchase one-third of the electricity. Should Kenya pull out of this project the Chinese government may not be in a position to justify its investment due to diminished demand. China is the only big investor still interested in funding the project.

In August 2011, the Kenyan Parliament passed a unanimous resolution for the Kenyan government to demand an independent environmental assessment from Ethiopia. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee also responded to her appeals by passing a resolution to halt dam construction until further investigation. Despite launching innumerable petitions to these institutions, MsAng’elei says there is still more to be done to ensure that the project stalls, and finally, collapses. At some point in 2009, a bitter exchange ensued between the Tunis-based African Development Bank (AfDB) and The Friends of Lake Turkana over the project. The AfDB is alleged to have said that the project had reached “a no-return point.” The bank claimed that when implemented, the power project will create significant economic and social benefits and will contribute to the attainment of the country’s priority goals and ongoing national efforts to accelerate



GIBE III economic growth and alleviate poverty. Ironically, the bank on the other hand said that unless mitigated, the powergeneration project can create various potentially adverse environmental and socio-economic effects in the form of displacement, disruptions of livelihoods, and loss of assets and property of project affected persons. Environmental Impact Assessment Report- EIA An Environmental impact assessment auditing of the project by a team of researchers from CEE Bankwatch Network based in Europe reveals that in 2006, the Ethiopian government set up an Environmental Monitoring Unit whose goal was to monitor the environmental impacts of construction and operation of project and prepare Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for transmission lines. However, the unit is said to have had limited capacity and at the same time, no power to enforce compliance with environmental safeguards. While the monitoring team appreciated that the dam will have devastating effects on Lake Turkana, the researchers allege that they cannot “actively pursue the issues of hydropower dams due to legitimate concerns of government persecution.” The team said the construction of such a mega-dam and, the consequent creation of this large reservoir will compromise a very fragile and unique ecosystem as well as the social environment of the entire region which is identified as a protected area. R i ck G ra e t z , a r e s e a rch e r a n d Geography lecturer at the University of Montana says that the proposed dam on the Omo River, known as Gibe III, will have major destructive impacts on the Lower Omo River Basin’s fragile semi-arid environment and on the Basin’s indigenous population of atleast 200,000. DrGraetz said the Ethiopian institutions involved have made no effort to prevent or redress this looming crisis. “The Gibe III project will have major trans-boundary impacts specifically in Northeastern Kenya where both the Omo River and Lake Turkana are located, and in the Ilemi Triangle of southern Sudan.


River Omo that supplies water to Kenya’s Lake Turkana. Activists are against the construction of Gibe III which will affect supply of water to the lake.

The highly fragile lacustrine and grassland ecosystems while having many unique features are regional in scope, transcending national boundaries,” he said. In addition, DrGraetz says the Lower Omo Basin is internationally recognised both for its extraordinary biodiversity and for having one of the few remaining ‘pristine’ riparian forests in semi-arid Africa. “There remains strong potential for conserving this natural heritage area of Ethiopia and for a program of sustainable development that protects the environmental integrity of the region.” He said. Weighing the good and the bad “While the social and environmental impacts of building this project are huge, Ethiopia would benefit from this dam. As a matter of fact, Ethiopia’s electricity generation capacity will more than double when the dam is up and running, allowing economically debilitating power cuts to be reduced and electricity to be extended to at least some of the more than 70 per cent of the population without access,” said SeleshiBekele, a senior researcher with the Addis Abababased International Water Management


Institute. Currently, the country has the potential to generate 30,000 megawatts of hydropower electricity; Gibe III realises just 1,870 megawatts, adding to Ethiopia’s current meager 790. More critical, MrBekele says, is that power exports will bring revenue into the country, helping to lift annual per capita income above its current level of about $150. “The project’s water storage capacity will reduce the perennial impacts of droughts. On the other hand, the impacts of floods will be reduced by “checking” the Omo.” Six years ago, a devastating flood claimed the lives of at least 360 people and thousands of livestock in the lower Omo River basin - downstream from the proposed dam. The Omo valley’s 15 tribes use the river’s seasonal floods to nourish their crops. Each March and September rains fall onto the highlands, causing the Omo River to spill over its banks. It then retreats – ready for the people to return to newly replenished river banks to plant maize and sorghum. Once the dam goes up, the floods will stop. “If the dam is built we will die,” Olikoro an elder in Loyere village says.

GIBE III Terri Hathaway, from International Rivers, an organisation working to protect rivers and encourage sustainable energy, says when the Ethiopian government began building the dam environmental impact assessment papers – meant to highlight all possible negative impacts – made no mention of the tribal people living downstream. The Mursi tribe are agropastoralists---they practice what’s known as flood-retreat and rain-fed agriculture, as well as cattle rearing. “Each of these activities is important because it supplements the others,” says David Ekiru, an anthropologist in Lokitaung. But it is not only the Mursi tribe whose livelihood is pegged on River Omo. Further down the river, there exist the Dassenech people, who live in the Omo Delta. Here, you find thousands of cattle, grazing in a vast field of green grass, most probably due to the fertile soils around the bank of the river. Floods across the broad zone rejuvenate the ever-green grass, providing food to cattle during dry grazing season. With River Omo going bust, it definitely means thousands of people and cattle will die. Ethiopian Government’s Position Even as communities around draw their lifeline from the river, the Ethiopian government says the country is thirsty for power. It needs to increase its power generation if it is going to develop fast. So, the dams must be built, it says. Its rigidity could be well founded. The country has few exploitable natural resources, except hydropower, thanks to numerous river basins. Half the power the government plans to produce will be exported to its energy-strapped neighbours. “Anyone opposed to the dams should suggest alternative solutions to creating vast amounts of energy to feed the fastest growing non-oil economy in Africa,” said Gail Warden, a spokesperson for the Ethiopian government. It is hoped that Gibe III will solve Ethiopia’s energy crisis allowing it to expand its national grid and bringing an end to industry closures due to power cuts – power shortages have crippled the manufacturing industry. Ironically, the proposed doubling of Ethiopia’s power

will only benefit those in the cities. The communities living along the Omo will still have no electricity. “We know the power is not for us. We don’t know about electricity. But we would prefer the river as usual. We just need food and water,” says a Mursi elder. Yet the government maintains local tribes will benefit from the dam. “Electricity is essential for rural transformation, providing the basis for businesses in small towns and mechanised agriculture,” says AlemayuTegenu, of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Energy. “We have identified 6,000 rural towns and villages in an ambitious rural electrification plan, penetrating half the country within five years.” The proponents of the controversial project argue that the dam’s hydropower is clean, renewable energy. Charcoal burning is enormous problem in Ethiopia, and with a growing population, there are fears that the rate deforestation will lead to devastating environmental effects. Gibe III is a colossal project: designed at 240m in height it will hold back a reservoir 150 kilometres long, retaining 14 billion cubic metres of water, making it one of the world’s largest dams. Costing $1.7 billion, it will be Ethiopia’s biggest infrastructure investment. Gibe I and II have been built; IV and V are coming soon. It is argued that critical legal procedures were skipped while undertaking the studies on the construction of Gibe III. According to CaterinaAmicucci, from the Campaign for the Reform of the World Bank, the Government’s development plans resting on Gibe III, was rushed through – skipping critical legal procedures. The lucrative contract for building Gibe III was given to Salini, an Italian company, without any competitive bidding – resulting in the World Bank refusing to fund the dam. Transparency International says large public work projects like this one are one of the world’s most corrupt sectors. “With a deal worth nearly two billion dollars this assessment was never going to be objective. The assessment is deeply flawed, with many omissions and its science is in dispute. It was an inside job to get international funding,” said the Kenyan

Why the project is crucial for Ethiopia Ethiopia is Land-locked, densely populated and poor. At least 80 per cent of the population are small scale farmers while government supports its national budget through foreign aid. Due to continual over reliance on forests and rivers these resources have suffered consistent degradation hence reduced agricultural productivity. In terms of power the country has the lowest rates of electricity access in Africa. With these factors in mind the government saw the need to introduce measures to diversify its revenue while developing its economy. Gibe III is one of the aggressive plans that were introduced in which the contry would massively produce hydropower for internal use and export. If commissioned, Ethiopia predicts a domestic peak demand of 1,418 MW and dependable capacity of 3,759 MW. With these only public services and not households will be connected to the power. The government also expects to cash in $407 million in electricity exports. Major Concerns • Neglect to properly conduct an environmental Impact assessment • Drainage of Lake Turkana in Kenya hence loss of livelihood • Economic and social impact for Ethiopians dependent on the river Omo. • Manner in which procurement was awarded to the Italian company Salini • Insufficient scientific assessment to validate capacity and potential of the dam • Lack of consultation with the locals especially the indigenous groups that will be affected by this project. • The need by Ethiopia to rush the project while ignoring the factors above.



GIBE III Fact Box: Gibe III Location

On the Omo River. 300 km southwest of Addis Ababa.

Dam Design

Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) gravity dam Height: 240 metres tall (making it the tallest in Africa) Length: 151km Surface: 211Km2

Storage Capacity

11.75 billion m3

Transmission Line

400KV transmission line, 65km long with a substation

Estimated Power Potential

1 870 MW translated to 6, 500 GWh/ year. This is more than


$1.7 billion


2006-construction begins 2012- project completion

conservationist Richard Leakey. On the contrary, probably in a bid to protect ‘their own’, Ethiopia’s Protection Agency says the assessment was done diligently, as is required by the laws of the land. “Developments come with some bit of environmental cost,” says Dr.Tewolde Egziabher. “The dam’s positives outweigh any negatives to the environment.” Climate change poses a huge risk to the dam’s economic viability;with the chance it may generate less power than hoped or dry up completely. “Instead of the government bulldozing, it would be better to consider alternatives to the dam like other renewable energy projects that are more sustainable against climate change,” says Professor Eric Odada, a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board. Statistics show that the country already has a lot of dams and anticipates eventually becoming 95 per cent hydrodependent. “Ethiopia is known to be drought-prone so it is ridiculous to focus entirely on water-dependent power,” Leakey says. How Kenyans will be affected Gibe III is more than just a problem in Ethiopia: its effects will also be felt in Kenya.Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake is abundant with plants and


animals. The River Omo is its main freshwater source. With a reduced flow the lake will dramatically shrink and become saltier, destroying its ecosystem. Turkana, named the cradle of mankind, is an important ancient environment, fertile in fossil remains. Around 300,000 Kenyans rely on the lake for their livelihoods. As evening draws in the lake is full of fishermen returning in their hand-carved boats, with Tilapia, Nile Perch and Catfish. But the Ethiopian Government maintains the dam will restore the lake rather than deplete it. It claims it will fix the problem by creating an annual 10-day artificial flood, making the floods “more predictable” – which they claim will benefit the people. Critics, however, doubt this. “The natural flood builds slowly – rising and falling over several months, depositing nutritious silt all the time and letting the moisture sink in deep,” says anthropologist Turton. “It’s difficult to believe that 10 days will be enough.” The Government will want to maximise electricity after the huge cost to build the dam – and releasing water means reducing power. With the dam’s promises of progress, political expectations are riding high on it, the body says power naturally comes from controlling water. This has been


witnessed in the historic conflict over Egypt’s monopoly of the Nile. Even as key financial institutions such as the European Investment bank and African Development bank are carrying out new studies on its impact, fears are fast growing that China, which rarely attaches conditions to projects, will fund it. This has prompted the Friends of Lake Turkana to write to China, asking it to be careful with the otherwise volatile project. Indeed, Richard Leakey remains optimistic there is still a chance of stopping the dam’s completion. “If they do not get international funding, they cannot continue.” Can Kenya Say No? Ms.Ang’elei, the chairperson of the Friends of Lake Turkana, fears that the Kenyan government might have bartered the region’s fundamental resource to Ethiopian authorities for cheap energy. In what appears to corroborate her argument, in the recent African Union conference in Addis Ababa, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi met at the sidelines and signed a deal for power-grid connection that will enable Kenya tap into cheaper electricity. The ink-on-paper agreement took place at a time a fierce fight erupted between the Turkana and Ethiopian authorities over the future of Kenya’s second largest lake. The signal of the under-table dealings between the two governments came into light five years ago when an Ethiopian government official told the World Bank that there had been no use of the Omo River by any other country and the river enters Lake Turkana within the boundaries of Ethiopia. “While most of the lake lies within Kenyan territory, that is sparsely inhabited semi-desert pastoralist region with no significant use of the lake’s waters. It should therefore be relatively easy to negotiate a ‘no objection’ from Kenya should that be required for multilateral funding. It is difficult to tell how this is going to unfold, as the two nations recently signed a pact on bilateral trade, a move that could swiftly compel Kenya to rejuvenate its quest for additional power from Ethiopia.


Student Engineers Hold Elections


he University of Nairobi’s Engineering Students Association (ESA) has a new executive committee. This follows the peaceful and well organised elections that took place on the 11th of May next to the dean of the school of engineering’s office. This year’s election saw a high turnout of aspirants and voters and the following members were elected: 1. Sally L. Musonye – Chairlady 2. Lekura B. Morintat – Vice-Chairman 3. Bob N. Odhiambo – Secretary General 4.Catherine Mbinya – Financial Secretary 5. Nancy J. Ogechi - Academic Affairs Secretary 6. Gakii Nyagaki – Vice - Academic Affairs Secretary 7. Samson K.Keter – Publicity Secretary

E x p l o r e To A f r i c a

8. Austine O. Otoyi – Social Affairs Secretary 9. Makario Sylvia - Geospatial Representative 10. Anthony Mumenya - Mechanical Representative 11. Fredrick Wanjala - Environmental and Biosystems Representative Sally Musonye’s Profile Sally Musonye is a third year Bsc. Electrical and Electronic Engineering student. She has been an active member of ESA since 2009 and has contributed positively in events and functions within the association. Her motivation to serve is inspired by the desire to improve the life of everyone around for a better society. She plans to raise the status quo in the new body, a notch higher than the level

impressively achieved by the previous body. Having being at the helm of various organizations, she hopes to use her knowledge and experience together with the incoming executive committee and the engineering students to achieve a common goal. Bob Narman Odhiambo s Profile Bob Narman Odhiambo, an electrical engineering student at the University of Nairobi. He is currently serving as the Secretary-General, Engineering Students Association. He enjoy working together with the engineering student fraternity to enable me achieve his dream. He finds complete gratification in being part of a career that models the future of the world by use of mathematics, with interest in coveting telecommunication and microwaves.

O n e O f T h e Wo r l d s To p E m e r g i n g M a r ke t

16 th


Industrial Products, Hardware Tools, Equipment & Machinery EXP GROUP TRADE EXHIBITIONS WORLDWIDE





POSITION NAME Chairman Eng. J M Riungu 1st Vice Chairman Eng. R K Kosgei 2nd Vice Chairman Eng. M E Okonji Hon. Secretary Eng. M Shiribwa Hon. Treasurer Eng. R K Chepkwony Member Eng. H J Nyaanga Member Eng. W R Okubo OGW Member Eng. R Kung’u Member Eng. C Ogut Member Eng. H S Amaje Member Eng. J Mutilili Member Eng. C Juma Retiring Past Chairman Eng. D M Wanjau Chairman Mombasa Branch Eng. Z Anganya Vice Chairman Mombasa Branch Eng. M Owuor Branch Sec/ Treasurer Mombasa Branch Eng. J O Odumbe Chairman Western Branch Eng. P M Wambua Vice Chairman Western Branch Eng. S K Mahanu Branch Sec/Treasurer Western Kenya Eng. I Chebii

FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION Eng. J M Riungu Chairman Eng. M.Shiribwa Member Eng. R Chepkwony Member Eng. R K Kosgei Member Eng. M E Okonji Member MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE Eng. M E Okonji Eng. M Shiribwa Eng. S N Charagu Eng. Rosemary Kung’u Eng. W Okubo Eng. John Nyaguti

DISCIPLINE AND ARBITRATION COMMITTEE Eng. Francis Ngokonyo Member Eng. Shem O Noah Member Eng. E Mwongera Member Eng. W Okubo Member TRAINING COMMITTEE Eng. J Riungu Eng. S Ouna Eng. C Ogut Eng. G. Njorohio Eng. P Okaka JOURNAL COMMITTEE A A McCorkindale F W Ngokonyo N O Booker J N Kariuki Prof M Kashorda S M Ngare Allan Muhalia A W Otsieno S K Kibe M Majiwa

Davis & Shirtliff is the region’s largest water equipment supplier with an unmatched product range, a wide network of branches and stockists, extensive stocks, full service support and ISO 9001:2008 certification. Call the Professionals for the best water management solutions available!

Chairman Member Member Member Member Member

Chairman Secretary Member Member Member

Chairman Vice-Chairman Member Member Member Member Member Member Member Member

WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT Eng. R Kosgei Chairman Eng. D M Wanjau Member Eng. J Riungu Member Eng. A Kosgei Member INDUSTRIALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT Eng. H.S Amaje Chairman Eng. M.E .Okonji Vice Chair

know HOw through experience 2









Kenya Engineer Journal, Sept-Oct 2012  

September-October 2012