ALIN Awarded 2011 Access to Learning Award by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

James Nguo, ALIN Regional Director, rejoices after the announcement in San Juan, Puerto Rico by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Photo: © BMGF

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Extracts from a fruit tree found in many parts of the world has been identified a non chemical pest control. It’s commonly known as Atis, Cherimoya, Soursop, Sweetsop and Matomoko in Lower eastern of Kenya. The custard apple tree is not especially attractive. It is erect, with a rounded or spreading crown and trunk 10 to 14 in (25-35 cm) thick.
Due to climate change effects most farmers from lower eastern of Kenya validated the use of this tree species for non chemical pest control. The plant part used are: Root, leaf, fruit, seeds. Most of the farmers use the leaves extract because the tree species population is minimal in some areas.  
Formulation of Custard apple leaf extract
-500 grams of fresh Custard apple leaves
-12-17 liters of water
-Cooking pot
Method of preparation
-Boil leaves in 2 liters of water until the remaining liquid is about ½ liter.
How to use
-Dilute filtrate with 10-15 liters of water.
-Fill the sprayer.
-Spray on infested plants thoroughly.
Target pests
-Brown plant hopper
-Coffee green scale
-Cotton stainer
-Diamondback moth
-Green bugs
-Green leaf hopper
-House fly
For more information: 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

ICT training boosts Judiciary

Kyuso Senior magistrate court was started in 2010 at Kyuso market in the far north of  Kitui County and the staffs deployed immediately to bring services closer to the people.

During orientation Mr. Francis Mulinge visited DC’S Compound to familiarize with other government offices he saw community knowledge (Maarifa) Centre within, he was curious to find out what happens in the Maarifa Centre.

On visiting the Centre, Mr. Mulinge was happy to hear about the free services offered. However of interest to him was news about a free computer training opportunity which he enrolled immediately.

Francis Mulinge works at Kyuso Law Courts as an accounts clerk. His office was supplied with a computer but could not use it. “I had a computer in my office but couldn’t use it. I was wondering who could take me through basic computer operation.” he confessed. 

After going through the ICT training for 1 and half months, Mr. Mulinge begun to use the computer in his office. “Nowadays my work is online I sent daily reports online. There is very little paper work in this office.
Mr. Mulinge attributes the efficient in his work to ALIN through one of its centre – Kyuso Maarifa Centre

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Donkey business

 In most of the ASAL area receives low and erratic rainfall as low as (300-500mm) and hence acute water shortage.

People and livestock rely on water on wells and rock catchment usually constructed 2-10 kilometers  and people are forced to use donkey to ferry water.
In a place like Kyuso (kitui county-Kenya), if one asks you to choose between rearing beef animals and keeping donkeys, please take the donkeys. For the few days I have been in Kyuso, I have seen the importance of donkeys. My analysis is as follows:
Rearing beef cattle
Expenses:_ hay @ at kshs 150 per week,
                  :_ water @ kshs 20 per 20 litres per day,
                  :_ veterinary services kshs 800 per year,
                  :_ labour kshs 30 per day.
Revenue:_ sell it at kshs 50,000 at the end of the year.
Profits= 50,000 less ( expenses )
             = 50,000 _ (7800+7300+10950+800)
            = kshs 23150
Keeping donkey
Expenses are far minimal because it will only require veterinary services which amounts to kshs 1000 per annum. 
A donkey carries 100 liters of water which costs kshs 100 and can take a minimum of 5 trips a day.
Assume it only works for five days a week.
Profits = revenue less expenses
             =(500*5*12) _ 1000
             =130,000 – 1000
             =kshs 129,000
The assumption is for one bull and a donkey. 

Love your job even if it looks disgusting,
Be proud of what you do,
Let your goals lead you and,
Be happy and enjoy what you do.
In whatever you undertake look at the benefits.
Money is the determining factor in any small, medium, huge, clean or dirty job but don,t steal.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Maarifa Centres Offer Access to e-Government Services

Jacob Muinde Musyoka is a divisional agricultural extension officer- Tseikuru district. He learnt about kyuso Maarifa when he was working with the ministry of agriculture – Kyuso. Mr. Muinde is one of the beneficiaries of the Maarifa centre. First he started by taking the free ICT training offered by the Maarifa centre. Secondly, when he was transferred to Tseikuru District he realized that there was less Cyber cafe due to weak Internet connectivity in the area.

In late 2011, the government of Kenya introduced Government human resource information system (GHRIS) Portal whose aim is to address all its Human Resource (HR) needs , where the civil servants could updates their profile, download payslips, check leave day balance among other government services. Users of GHRIS are Government MDAs, Employees, and the Public who will benefit from a centralized readily accessible, efficient and transparent system. According to Mr. Muinde they are charged a processing fee of Kshs 800 per payslip in Tseikuru and due to demand of the document civil servants have no option.

Mr. Muinde has been visiting the Maarifa centre every month to access his and his wife payslip. He says that he has been able to secure banks loans easily because the banks will require the last three (3) payslip. “The Maarifa centre has enabled me save a large sum of money” said Mr. Muinde. I don’t incur a lot of cost coming to the Maarifa since I just need to fuel the government motorbike with less than Ksh 300. Secondly my wife stays in Kyuso so I don’t incur accommodation cost.

Due large number of civil servants willing to be helped the Field officer is encouraging them to join ICT training at the centre. Secondly, since this will be a continuous process the Field officer is in a process of coming up with HOW TO manual on the same.