Policies, Institutions and
Various policies, institutions and processes obviously
impact on the livelihoods of people in Mbuiru. The study looks
at how these affected the community before the project intervention.
Of interest is considering changes in PIPs that might ensure maximum
livelihood benefit results from the operation of the micro-hydro
Government institutions are custodians of legislation
and regulations on the use of various public resources found in
the area. For example, the water department provides the community
with the licenses to use river water for domestic, irrigation
and energy purposes. The Ministry of Lands furnishes people with
title deeds and carries out land adjudication activities. The
Local Authority, apart from facilitating business and micro-enterprise
development, administers taxation of the same. The administrative
units provide law and order, and administer all social and development
activities in the area.
Mbuiru is in Karingani location and is administered by the local
Chief, who heads the location's development committee. It falls
under the Chuka Division, Meru District. Policies 'trickle down'
from higher authorities to the Location.
The most important in the area include the Water Department, the
Land Adjudication Department, the Ministry of Public Works, and
the Ministry of Health.
Mbuiru community falls under Meru South County Council, which
administers all services and controls activities at Kaanwa Market
Educational and training
institutions: There are 7 primary schools in the area,
serving Mbuiru and neighbouring communities: Mbuiru, Miraja, Kiegumo,
Ndumbeni, Kiganju, Mwanjati and Kaanwa. Ekangaria is the only
secondary school, while Kiriribo Youth Polytechnic offers apprenticeships
in carpentry, tailoring and masonry.
Village Development Committee:
There is a Village Development Committee (VDC) which has a mandate
to articulate local development needs and priorities to the Location
Development Committee to District Development Committee. However
it has not been very successful due to a lack of capacity, and
its perception as part of a Government instrument rather than
the true voice of the community
Several church groups in the area administer to
people's spiritual needs and are active in community development
activities. For instance, two church groups, The Presbyterian
Church Of East Africa (Chogoria Mission) and the Anglican Church
Of Kenya, run the two dispensaries in the area. The Catholic Church
and the Christian Mission sponsor some schools and give bursaries
to needy students. There are more than eight churches in the area.
Policies and Processes
Policies with a definite influence on people's
livelihood strategies include the Land, Water and Power Acts.
The Land act has certainly affected the
development of the area, with a lack of title deeds and the process
of land adjudication directly impacting on people's livelihoods.
Land adjudication involves surveying and registration
of land for the purpose of establishing individual ownership through
the issuing of Land Title deeds. Land in Mbuiru area had not been
adjudicated and so people have no legal ownership. They own it
as a communal land but do not have individual ownership. However,
land adjudication is taking place and soon the community will
be issued with land title deeds.
The Water Act controls the extraction of
water from Tungu river for irrigation purposes.
The Power Act is particularly relevant to schemes proposing exploiting
rivers for micro-hydro power. The Electric Power Act, 1997, relates
to the generation, transmission and distribution of all electrical
power in Kenya. In relation to community hydropower, the Act does
not allow power to be distributed (except by the official Kenya
Power and Lighting Company) although power can be generated up
to 100 kW. There are also no set standards for micro hydropower-
only for larger hydropower schemes.
The only market for farm produce in the area,
as discussed, is Kaanwa trading centre, administered by the County
Council. British American and Mastermind, meanwhile, largely control
the process of selling tobacco.