Connect with us

News

How US envoy boosts rural economies in his second home

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

It is only when you sit down with US ambassador Kyle McCarter that you get to know his attachment to the country and Kenyans in rural areas.

He speaks glowingly about Mukothima — a lone village in the heart of Tharaka- Nithi County — where his father, the Senior McCarter, hobnobbed with locals between 1984 and 1989 as a missionary.

That was before Kyle came on board to run, and expand, the community projects in Tharaka-Nithi — a rural county he considers as his second home.

“We still have a house there,” he tells me. Occasionally, he retreats here to rewind.

Locals call the place “Kwa Makata”, thanks to the ‘Each One Feed One’ charity that had brought the family to Kenya — and Tharaka-Nithi, where Kyle is considered a Tharaka elder.

Our four-hour drive from Nairobi took us to Laikipia and, the next day, to Chuka to get a glimpse of what the ambassador was up to.

It was a small entourage of tight security and embassy officials racing against time to Laikipia’s Tigithi ward water project, which is funded by the Ambassador’s Special Self Help Fund, which matches contributions of the local community.

It’s a grassroots assistance programme that cuts the funding bureaucratic tape to support community projects.

Tigithi is one such small project and locals had come to officially receive the Sh700,000 grant for a project that will provide tap water to 1,400 homes in 10 villages.

READ ALSO:   US Ambassador ‘thieving leaders’ tweet leaves Uhuru embarrassed

Safety and security

“These small projects are what directly impacts on the people. I am much more concerned about the time girls and women waste while looking for water,” he offers outside a Nanyuki mall, where we have made a stopover.

“With water at home, the women and girls are also assured of their safety and security.”

Nanyuki is on the leeward side of Mt Kenya and is punitively dry.

During colonial days, ranching was the main economic activity. Only a semblance of it remains at the nearby Ol Pejeta Ranch, and a bit of conservancy.

Most ranches have since been subdivided into small farms and new settlements are slowly mushrooming in the area.

With no piped water in the region, the land remains sparsely populated, sun-baked and harsh.

It was this predicament that forced locals to approach the US ambassador for help.

On this day, the locals sit by an open ground next to a water reservoir for a short ceremony that marks completion of the project.

Although a former member of the Illinois State Senate, Mr McCarter makes a three- minute speech — brief by local political standards. He then hands the certificate to an official of Tigithi project and freely mingles with the men and women eager to take selfies.

“My wife once told me; don’t speak for too long, but if you do, you have to be interesting,” he remarks.

READ ALSO:   American ambassador McCarter ‘graduates’ to Sheng to fight corruption

Before the launch of Tigithi water project, women and girls trekked for several kilometres in search of water in an area teaming with wildlife.

During dry seasons, herders from the outlying counties drive their livestock into these plains in search of grass — creating a conflict with local farmers, which often sparks deadly fights.

By providing water and empowering the youth, the ambassador believes most of the problems in rural areas will be half-solved.

“He loves the countryside. He is usually at home among the people and especially the youth,” an embassy official confides.

It is now apparent that the US government is also shifting its focus to devolved units to complement national projects.

“We are supporting devolution because it is much closer to the people and they get more benefits out of it,” says Mr McCarter during a courtesy call on Laikipia County Commissioner Daniel Nyameti.

Bottlenecks removed

“Some people say devolution has devolved corruption. But we shall work with counties that utilise public money wisely. We won’t put our money in counties that cannot account for public money.”

The next stop is at Laikipia Governor Nderitu Muriithi’s office.

“We would like to make Laikipia a perfect tourist destination,” says Mr Muriithi, who is in a buoyant mood. “But more so, the provision of water to residents is a major priority.”

Flower farming is Laikipia’s hidden potential, and the governor has tagged along a farmer eager to tap the US market. It appears there are opportunities that can be unlocked to turn around Laikipia’s economy. The county government hopes to link up its flower farmers with opportunities in the American market.

READ ALSO:   US woos Kenya with big deals, takes swipe at China strategy

The ambassador agrees to help and is eager to ensure the bottlenecks that deter Kenyan flowers from getting to the US market faster are removed. “You only get to hear such stories when you get to the ground,” he offers.

Next is a 130 kilometre-drive to Chuka University where Mr McCarter is expected to attend the graduation ceremony.

He cannot miss the ceremony for a single reason: One of the graduands, Alex Kiera, had been sponsored by the ambassador for a Bachelor of Education degree. Mr McCater is to give him a briquette machine, which will hopefully turn him into a community investor.

“If we can equip the youth to make a living by creating jobs after university we would solve the unemployment crisis,” he says.

“Kenyan youth have all it takes to make the country great.”

When given an opportunity to speak to the youth at the university, Mr McCarter quotes the late Abraham Lincoln: “Don’t worry when you are not recognised, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”

by nation.co.ke


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Navigating through the Covid-19 Terrain and a Story of Exceptional Transformation at Optiven

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Navigating through the Covid-19 Terrain and a Story of Exceptional Transformation at Optiven

Optiven Group has continuously had all its eyes trained on its vision of economically and socially empowering and transforming the society.

This vision was however momentarily shaken by Covid-19, especially on the month of March 2020, when the first case was reported. Soon, all was not business as usual. The pandemic scared our staff and customers alike. With huge loans to pay, massive salary bills and many office rentals to cope with, everything seemed daunting. The worst was when we closed our offices and temporarily sent hundreds of staff home. That was extremely agonizing to bear.

As an entrepreneur, this was one of my worst periods ever. The headaches were not ceding ground and the only thing that was consoling was the power of prayers. It is during such times when the test of leadership comes to play.

Our most affected area of business was our sister venture entities in the name of restaurants. Indeed, we sent hundreds of staff home. We are now however thanking God that 85% of these staff are back and with a projection of bringing back the rest soon, as business starts coming back.

READ ALSO:   US woos Kenya with big deals, takes swipe at China strategy

Importantly, soon after Covid-19 pandemic hit, Optiven Group was swift in adopting new strategies and quickly embracing appropriate technology to counter the new terrain. This is perhaps one of the reasons why the firm is still expanding, especially on the area of job creation and mentorship front.

It is largely courtesy of these strategies that despite the current pandemic, we have managed to launch enormous mentorship programs such as the George Wachiuri School of Mentorship and also engaged in encouraging SMEs that have really been struggling to stay afloat through our business mentorship sessions. Through the latter, we have continued to inspire over 7,000 active participants through George Wachiuri’s Facebook LIVE shows that are also available on my You Tube channel, this has continued to give hope to many.

Still, during this period, we have managed to create over 100 permanent jobs for both senior and middle level employees, plus over 200 casuals that daily work in our projects. This job increase is in line with our goal of creating over 30, 000 jobs by the year 2030.

On the real estate front, we really had to think away from the box and undertake a massive 360 degree transformation that was educated by thinking differently and changing how we used to do things before Covid-19.

READ ALSO:   US: We still support Sh300bn expressway

Thanks to this, we have continued to provide our customers with even more offerings in terms of value additions to our projects. It is during this period of Covid-19 when we decided to put our efforts towards GoingGreen in most of our projects. Matter of fact, we have surprised our customers by further transforming our projects through installation of green energy, massive tree planting, and installation of water recycling systems, encouraging plot owners engage in farming of organic foods and subsequently feed their families from their previously idle plots. Significantly, we also changed from use of Kenya Power electricity in our projects to the use of solar energy on almost all amenities and by so doing, we have now managed to save millions of shillings in terms of KPLC bills. Most importantly, we are glad that we are now fully plugged on the green energy agenda.

All along, the company has continued to flourish through innovation, partnerships, massive philanthropy activities and even more importantly, a commitment to always entrust all our undertakings to God.

We are glad that we are consistently realizing our vision of being pacesetters in social economic transformation through opportunities such as job creation that have a positive multiplier effect on the society.

READ ALSO:   US Ambassador ‘thieving leaders’ tweet leaves Uhuru embarrassed

Guided by the same vision, we always dedicate 5% of what we make in business and channel it to the less fortunate through a registered foundation viz Optiven Foundation. We have hundreds of orphans whom we support to go through school. We also support the physically challenged to get free wheelchairs and support girls to access schools. The Foundation also cares for over 300 families and helps them to get food daily.

Indeed, we at Optiven exist to economically and socially empower and transform the society.

#ChangingLives
#EyesOnTheCommunity
#CreatingJobs
#GoingGreen
#HousingKenyans

Contact Optiven Group:0790 300 300
Email: admin@optiven.co.ke Website: www.optiven.co.ke George Wachiuri Blog: www.georgewachiuri.com
YouTube: https://bit.ly/2VdSuFJ


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

News

Maradona dies at 60 following a heart attack

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Argentina legend Diego Maradona died on Wednesday at the he age of 60 following a heart attack. According to ESPN, Matias Morla, Maradona’s longtime agent, confirmed the news to of his demise.

He suffered a heart attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, according to Argentine media as well as several acquaintances of the former player.

Maradona had recently battled health issues, even undergoing emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma several weeks ago.

Following his death, a statement from the Argentina Football Association read: “The Argentine Football Association, through its President Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest pain at the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You’ll always be in our hearts.”

He was one of the most recognisable people in the world.

Maradona, who was born in 1960, captained Argentina to World Cup 1986 glory as well as reaching the final in 1990. At the height of his club career, at Napoli from 1984 to 1991, he helped the side win its only two Italian league titles. le people in the world.

According to ESPN, in 2004, he was hospitalised with severe heart and respiratory problems related to a long battle with drug addiction.

READ ALSO:   Senator Mwaura narrates his troubles with Secret Service agents in New York

Major news agencies report that he had undergone two gastric bypass operations to control his weight and received treatment for alcohol abuse.

Maradona is survived by his wife, Veronica Ojeda, two daughters, two sons, and his former wife, Claudia Villafane.


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Health

Janet Mbugua shares her Covid-19 scare

Published

on

Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Media personality Janet Mbugua has shared the tale of the time she faced a scare as thought she had contracted Covid-19 last month.

In a video she shared on Instagram, the former Citizen tv news anchor said she experienced Covid-19 symptoms which escalated quite quickly.

The video shows her being taken through the nasal swab test for Covid-19, which is known to very uncomfortable.

Luckily, the result for the mother of two came back negative.

Janet Mbugua said that her scary experience motivated her to fight the fear and stigma related to Coronavirus, and will use her platform to advocate for a vaccine.

This comes as Covid-19 cases continue to rise sharply in Kenya amid a rush by various pharmaceutical companies globally to come up with an effective vaccine.

By NN


Spread the love by sharing this post with family and friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
READ ALSO:   US: We still support Sh300bn expressway
Continue Reading

Special Offer: Own one starting at Ksh 3.7M


poapay3

Like us on Facebook, stay informed

NEWS TRENDING RIGHT NOW

2020 Calendar

satellite-communication1.jpg

Trending