Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd vice chair, Titus Naikuni, (Pictured) announced on Friday that out of the 1, 622 students, 103 are university graduates.
“The fund has been paying fees for bright children in secondary, colleges and public universities across the country shared between the communities in Magadi and the larger Kajiado county,” said Naikuni.
Naikuni made the remarks during the first foundation’s Magadi Day Education day which was attended by top officials from the company, county and national governments.
He said the foundation receives 40 university scholarships each year from local and foreign partners of Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd.
There four main group ranches in Magadi division that have greatly benefitted from the fund’s corporate social responsibility program, and they are; Oloraika, Olkiramatian, Shompole and Olkeri.
“We are grateful to Brian Patterson Foundation provides us with 4 university scholarships every year. Other partners of the foundation are County and national governments, Tata Chemicals Magadi, Memusi Foundation, Depoto E Maa, Heart Africa, New Life Ministries, Amref, four group ranches in Magadi and local and foreign churches,” said Naikuni.
Brian Patterson is a former manger of Magadi Soda Company, who passed on in road accident between Kiserian and Magadi towns. After his demise, his father who lives in Chesire, UK, formed a foundation in memory of his son.
The vice chairman, who also doubles up as an advisor to the newly appointed Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd CEO, said he is happy that most of the students sponsored by the foundation come back to work with the local company after university.
“For your information, we are not into education only in this area because we have also prioritised provision of water for the local communities and health services,” said the deputy chairman.
Magadi soda Foundation manager David Aoll says sky is the limit in the foundation’s role in striving to improve education in Kajiado County.
He said TATA Chemicals Magadi Limited cemented its commitment to the local community with the official launch of the Magadi Soda Foundation in 2009.
The foundation, Naikuni said, seeks to promote tangible objectives including health, water and sanitation, education, economic empowerment and transportation.
Key principles emphasized by the foundation, Naikuni said, are sustainability, community involvement, engagement, capacity building and empowerment.
The Foundation supplies water to local community. It assists in the rehabilitation of Sampu water pipeline which serves the four locations.
The Foundation provides water to the local community in the environs of Magadi Township as well as portable water by pipeline from Magadi Township to one of the outlying villages.
Another pipeline has been extended from Magadi to Oldonyonyokie about 15 km away on the Magadi-Nairobi road; The Foundation trucks the water daily on a water bowser to the community, schools and dispensaries.
The train-operated by The Foundation- delivers water to seven underground tanks thrice a week between Magadi and Singiraine.
The Foundation has supported primary schools in construction of classes, provision of learning and teaching materials and installation of solar systems among others. Every year, The Foundation provides six scholarships for tertiary/university education for students from entire wider Kajiado District.
At the secondary school level, over 20 students benefit from bursaries annually and are supported for four years.
In addition to this scheme, last year, The Foundation provided a Special Bursary to students from the division who were not able to pay their school fees due to the drought. The Foundation also runs an Adult Education program.
Five community members have so far received post graduate training and fifty five students in secondary schools benefit from our secondary school bursary scheme.
HEALTH, HIV& AIDS AND A CONSOLIDATED WELLNESS PROGRAM
The foundation supports Magadi Soda’s 60 bed capacity hospital is open to the local community and provides services to over 30,000 community members.
A majority of both outpatients and inpatients are local community members. The Foundation further subsidizes healthcare in the hospital to the local community for up to 70 per cent.
The Foundation has also undertaken Health Awareness Campaigns/vaccinations, mobile clinics as well as HIV/AIDS Preventions and Care initiatives for the local community.
In leading the fight against HIV/AIDS, The Foundation has developed a HIV/AIDS in the Workplace Program that involves and encompasses the local community.
The Foundation has assisted in construction/renovation of Entasopia and Oloika Health Centres. The former has been linked to Magadi Hospital on radio to assist in emergency cases
The Magadi Soda Foundation has championed several programs to improve maternal and reproductive health in Magadi Division and recently partnered with Safaricom and SNW to upgrade the hospital equipment.
THE TENTED CAMPS AND THE COMMUNITY ECO TOURSIM PROJECTS
Magadi Soda Foundation has developed a partnership with the community eco- tourism committee to attract visitors into natural attractions within the division.
Through this initiative jobs have been created and direct incomes provided to community members under eco-tourism initiatives.
The Foundation has supported the community to establish a cooperative, Magadi Multi-purpose Cooperative Society which currently undertakes cleaning jobs for the township and well as other civil jobs. The Cooperative has over 600 community members as it base and gives them a good return. Another women group, Nasaru Women Group is providing cleaning services for the township and offices respectively.
TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE (RAIL & ROAD )
Magadi Soda Foundation provides a Rail Passenger coach for local community transport between Magadi and Kajiado.
It maintains both the 146km railway line from Magadi to Konza as well as the 86Km Magadi-Kiserian Road. It continues to assist the Community in maintaining rural roads.
The rail is used by The Foundation to transport medical supplies and relief food to the dispensaries, schools and local community. During the last drought, the rail provided transportation for relief food to the division free of charge.
DROUGHT PREPAREDNESS AND MITIGATION.
During the perennial drought seasons, Magadi Soda Foundation has supported the Community by contributing to purchase of food for the local community. The Foundation is working closely with Arid Lands Programme in the Office of the President on drought cycle management.
STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION PROCESSES
The Foundation and Community have set up a working committee comprising the four group ranches in Magadi Division and company representatives.
This Committee was formed to assist in implementation of development action plans. The foundation has brought in other development partners. In recognition of the Community support by MSC, IFC/World Bank partnered with the Foundation to fund a Focused Community Development Plan (CDP) in 2003.
The CDP is a framework for development that embodies the aspirations of the community. Through the CDP, the foundation is working in a partnership approach to development in Magadi. Various development partners are working through the community Development Plan such as Practical Action, National Oil, AMREF among others.
The Royal Danish Embassy has provided initial funding to support the CDP. A CDP Steering Committee is leading the process.