02.05.2022: The Commission on Revenue Allocation in collaboration with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) visited Magarini, Kilifi County from 24th – to 26th April 2022. The purpose of the visit was to examine marginalized areas in the area and engage with stakeholders on issues concerning the welfare of residents. Magarini Constituency in Kilifi County has several salt manufacturing companies, part of the Salt-Belt in Kilifi County. The Constituency has 26 marginalised areas out of the 78 in Kilifi County identified by the Commission.
The Commission’s visit focused on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities carried out by the salt companies in the marginalized areas and benefit sharing with the local community.
Meeting at the Kilifi County Commissioner’s Office
During a visit to Kilifi, the Commission was hosted by the Office of the County Commissioner represented by Ms Ann Kalimbo, Assistant County Commissioner 1. In the meeting, the Commission shared the contents of the Second Policy and Criteria for Allocating Revenue Among Marginalized Areas in Kenya, with a specific focus on Kilifi County and other areas along the salt belt. This visit also provided an opportunity to gather information for the development of the Third Policy. CRA is currently working with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to identify ways in which companies can assist the lives of people living in marginalized areas.
The Commission pointed out Kilifi County’s 78 marginalized areas, out of which 26 were in Magarini Constituency, where the Salt Companies operate. “We have come here to see whether we can recommend for implementation the CSR activities that are carried out by the salt companies at the national level,” the Commission Chairperson Dr Jane Kiringai stated.
CRA Commissioner Prof Oyugi (right) shares the Second Policy on Marginalization to Peter Thiong’o, Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Magarini, Kilifi County (left) and the Kilifi Salt Sector Chairman Kimiri Wilfred at Kensalt offices
According to Ms Ann Murithi, the Salt sub-Sector Officer from KAM, salt companies in Kilifi County work closely with the County Commissioner’s office. The County Commissioner heads a stakeholder forum with representation from local communities to support the corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts of salt companies.
The Commission also visited the County to learn more about governance mechanisms used by the County Commissioner’s Office and the salt companies to address marginalization.
“We are interested in learning about the governance mechanism on the interphase between the private sector working together with the administration and leveraging their profit-making on the ground to help the communities,” said Prof. Oyugi, CRA Commissioner.
Ms Ann Kalimbo, the Kilifi County Assistant County Commissioner 1, informed members that the County Commissioner’s office was working on resolving matters with local communities surrounding the salt companies, such as land issues. The County Commissioner and the National Land Commission are working on resettling squatters who dwell on land owned by some of the salt companies.
Meeting with Salt Manufacturers at Kensalt Limited
The Commission also discussed with representatives of Kensalt Ltd. on possibilities of partnership in the development of the 3rd Marginalization Policy, to alleviate poverty and reduce marginalization in the country. Salt processing is weather dependent as the companies use sunlight to evaporate seawater leaving salt as a deposit.
The Chairman of the Salt sub-Sector Group and General Manager Kensalt, Mr Wilfred Kimiri, noted that the four salt companies operating in the area – Kensalt, Malindi Salt Works, Krystalline Salt and Kurawa Salt Industries – have supported the local community in many ways, including providing employment opportunities, particularly during salt harvesting. The companies also provide scholarships for needy students in the County – with a target of having at least one student in every village sponsored. The companies also provide relief food when there is a drought in the community.
Further, the salt companies have resettled over 2,000 squatters; building houses for those with land, and giving those who do not have money to buy land and build their houses. The squatters were also compensated an amount equivalent to the value of structures they had on the company land.
Meeting with Community Members in Magarini Constituency
The Commission had an opportunity to meet with community members from Kadzuoni, Gongoni Ward in Magarini Constituency. During the meeting, the community shared the challenges they faced in the area and how the salt companies have assisted them in addressing the issues.
The community appreciated the efforts by the salt companies to provide water and employment, build health centres and provide student scholarships for community members with school fees challenges.
Meeting-with-Community-Members-in-Magarini-Constituency, Kilifi County
Visit to Projects Financed by Salt Companies
The Commission visited several projects carried out in the Gongoni area to observe the extent of the companies’ assistance to the communities living in marginalized areas:
House of a Resettled Person in Kadzuoni, Magarini, Kilifi County. House was constructed by Kensalt Limited
Multipurpose Hall in Marereni Secondary School, Kilifi County built by Krystalline Salt Limited
Water Pan constructed by Kensalt in Gongoni Ward
Classrooms at Kambi ya Waya Primary School constructed by Malindi Salt Works Ltd