Government Regulations

Are there any government regulations etc that might affect their enterprise development?

  • Policies, Institutions and Processes

    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 project.

    Government institutions

    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.

    Administrative units: 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.

    Government ministries: The most important in the area include the Water Department, the Land Adjudication Department, the Ministry of Public Works, and the Ministry of Health.

    Local authorities: 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

    Non-Governmental and private organisations

    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.

    Land Act
    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.

    Water Act
    The Water Act controls the extraction of water from Tungu river for irrigation purposes.

    Power Act
    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.


  • Micro-hydro electricity

    Before you begin

    Web References

    Background to Kenya

    The Mbuiru Community

    Practical possibilities for small scale enterprise



    Vulnerable Groups



    Energy Supply





    Potential markets

    Existing small enterprises

    Design possibilities