Embrace Effective Resource Mobilisation and Management

                                    Press Statement

The 12th session of the Regional Conference of the NCCK South Rift Region has met here at Jumuia Guest House, Nakuru, on 24th and 25th May 2015 under the theme Effective Resource Mobilisation and Management (Proverbs 27: 18). The Regional Conference is the supreme governance organ in the region and meets once every three years. More than one hundred delegates from the NCCK membership participated in the Conference, which focused on matters of concern to Baringo, Bomet, Kericho, Nakuru, Narok and Samburu Counties. In our deliberations, we drew critical lessons from the theme verse – Proverbs 27: 18

He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honoured.

We now wish to share the following message with the residents of our region and the entire nation:

1. Enhance Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation
It is with great sorrow that this Regional Conference shares condolences with all the families and friends whose loved ones perished after the collapse of the Patel Dam at Solai. We have prayed for you that God will console and strengthen you as you rebuild your lives. We have also prayed for all those who were wounded physically, emotionally and psychologically that God will grant you full and quick recovery. Our condolences and prayers also go out for families of the more than 200 Kenyans who have died in flood related incidences across the country, the thousands who have been hurt, and the hundreds of thousands who have been displaced.

But even as we share these condolences and prayers, we wish to remind His Excellency the President and all the County Governors that the governments they head have the primary responsibility for disaster preparedness and prevention. The lives of Kenyans must not continue to be cheapened by your officials who accept small bribes from business men and property owners who disregard safety standards. Unsafe buildings, dams, roads and other public and private facilities need to be identified and rectified immediately.

Further to this, we remind all Kenyans that after these extended rains, it is expected that there will be an extended drought. Let each of us in our own ways put in measures to harvest and store water and extra food to ensure we won’t be in need of relief food shortly after the rains.

In the meantime, we welcome donations of building materials to enable the families affected by the Solai Dam to rebuild their houses and restart their lives.

2. Enhance Personal Resource Mobilisation
This Regional Conference recognizes that economic empowerment is critical in the life of every individual, as it provides “food on the table and money in the pocket”. Economic empowerment will contribute immensely to poverty eradication, which will radically transform the lives of the people and set them free from the virtual servitude to politicians that afflicts many Kenyans today.

To promote effective mobilization of resources at individual and community levels, we recommend the following measures:

(a) Embrace irrigation agriculture to facilitate higher yields that are available throughout the year. The need for irrigation is highest among pastoralist communities who are often affected by changes in weather
(b) Establish producer groups to enable you benefit from cheaper farm inputs as well as higher sales since your bargaining power increases and middle men are bypassed
(c) Establish small scale value addition processing units so as to extend shelf life of local produce and also maximize on profits
(d) Engage agricultural extension officers to identify the best crops and animals for each specific area

On our part as church leaders, we will:
(a) Facilitate trainings on strategies for economic empowerment as well as family and business financial management
(b) Advocate for well maintained all weather roads to all the localities in our counties
(c) Promote health seeking behavior among the people with special focus on enrollment in a health insurance scheme

3. Eradicate Corruption for Effective Resource Management
This Regional Conference recognizes that corruption is a cancer that has spread in our nation and is progressively killing all of us. We especially took note of the warning the Bible gives in Proverbs 13: 23
A poor man’s field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away

No Kenyan is able to enjoy an abundant life so long as there is corruption.

In this regard, we embrace and reiterate the position taken by the NCCK Executive Committee which recommended:

(a) Declare Corruption a National Disaster so that all Kenyans recognize the seriousness of the scourge
(b) Offer past corruption offenders an amnesty from prosecution if they return what they stole and also name those they partnered with in the stealing
(c) Change the punishment for corruption to life imprisonment
(d) Ruthlessly enforce asset recovery to take back what any person has acquired through corruption

If the responsible state organs fail to take speedy, visible and punitive actions on corruption, Kenyans will in a short while snap out of their stupor and stage a revolution of unimaginable proportions and consequences.

4. Reverse Ban on Night Prayers
This Regional Conference is greatly shocked at the decision by Narok County Commissioner to ban night vigil prayers, commonly known as “kesha”. The Commissioner reportedly said this was in response to the increase in number of teenage pregnancies in the county. However, it is absolutely immoral and irresponsible for the Commissioner to blame church prayers for that social problem, yet churches are at the forefront in championing responsible sexual behavior. That decision was also made when the government has at its access the report by the Ministry of Health, African Institute for Development Policy, and NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) titled “Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Narok County”. The report drew a correlation between teenage pregnancies and low use of contraception, low level of education, Female circumcision, and early marriages.

These factors are collaborated by findings in researches conducted by different universities. None of them blamed keshas for the teenage pregnancies. We therefore call upon the government to lift the ban since it is a clear case of denying our people the right to practice their religion.

5. Embrace National Dialogue
This Regional Conference recalls that our region has in the past been heavily affected by ethnic and politically instigated clashes. We therefore greatly appreciate the prevailing calm and peace in the country. To safeguard it, we recognize the need for an inclusive and legally founded national dialogue process. This process will enhance national cohesion while also facilitating identification and implementation of necessary legislative and constitutional reforms.

6. New Leadership Team
This Regional Conference is honored to announce that as provided for in the NCCK Constitution, a new leadership team has been elected. We thus inform our member churches and organisations that the following have been elected to the Regional Committee:

Name Position
Chairman Rt Rev Ernest Ng’eno
Vice Chair Rt Rev Peter Muiruri
Honorary Treasurer Rev Sarah Mainye
Women Representative Canon Jane Lelena
Youth Representative Pastor Joram Kiarie
Persons with Disabilities Rep Samuel Lemurt

We conclude by thanking God for continuing to extend grace over Kenya. We also urge all Kenyans to continue working hard so as to enhance individual economic empowerment. Let us learn from 1 Thessalonians 4: 11 – “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody”.

May God bless Kenya now and forever more.

Signed on this 25th day of May 2015 at Jumuia Guest House, Nakuru

Rt Rev Ernest Ng’eno
Regional Chairman, NCCK South Rift Region