Friday 23 June 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/03/17)
The sight of overflowing heaps of plastic waste at Gioto, the largest dump in Nakuru County, in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, was an eyesore that turned photojournalist James Wakibia into an environmental activist. Knowing plastic was a national problem, he decided to look beyond his hometown of Nakuru, seeking a way to capture the attention of government and consumers in urban and rural communities across the country. In 2015, Wakibia started a social media campaign, using the Twitter hashtag #banplasticsKE, to call for a ban on plastic use, focused on bags. A few months later, after Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu tweeted back her support, he changed the hashtag to #IsupportbanplasticsKE. Wakibia would go out...
(The Guardian 05/03/17)
Arrival of hundreds of poor tribesmen seeking grazing lands for their cattle has triggered outbreak of violence in Laikipia. Early one morning last week, Richard Constant drove across the 24,000-acre ranch that he part-owns on a high plateau in central Kenya to discover what remained of his home. In March, Constant’s friend and business associate Tristan Voorspuy, a British army officer turned safari operator, had been shot dead on his horse while inspecting the damage caused by armed herders who had driven tens of thousands of cattle on to the ranch. Constant, a 62-year-old Yorkshireman, arrived as the day’s first rays of sun fell on the ground. He heard distant gunshots, a reminder that the deadly unrest that has pitted...
(Xinhuanet 05/03/17)
The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday that it has secured 10.7 million U.S. dollars to help roll back famine in South Sudan and to assist hungry people in Horn of Africa countries hit by drought. WFP Regional Director for East and Central Africa, Valerie Guarnieri said the funds from the Danish government will assist people in South Sudan and support the drought response in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. WFP said the contribution will also feed South Sudanese refugees who have fled into Uganda. Some of the contribution will help build longer-term food security and resilience. The funds will help to rehabilitate a key supply road in Sudan along the northern corridor into South Sudan to supply assistance to...
(Xinhuanet 05/03/17)
Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya said here Wedensday that he is ready to make history by running marathon in under two hours in Italy. "I like challenges and that is what inspired me to take up this task. It is something that offers to change the unthinkable by running the marathon under two hours and for me to be part of this experiment means a lot," said Kipchoge before jetting out to Monza, Italy, for the marathon this weekend. The Nike's Breaking 2 project will be held on any day from May 6-7 depending on the weather condition on a surface that usually hosts the Italian Grand Prix in Formula One. And Olympic winner Eliud Kipchoge is very...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(Xinhuanet 05/02/17)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday raised the minimum workers wage by 18 percent to cushion low-income earners from high inflation, which hit a fresh 57-month high of 11.5 percent in April. Kenyatta, who presided over this year's International Labour Day celebrations in Nairobi, said the raise is aimed at alleviating the plight of the lower strata of the Kenyan workforce. Kenyatta also issued a directive to increase non-taxable bonuses and overtime pay to 1,000 U.S. dollars to help low-income earners. "I understand that you want to have more disposable income to be able to meet your families' needs. I am aware the workers on the lower income bracket are struggling to afford basic necessities," he said. "It is not...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Women are likely to be elected for the first time to some of Kenya's powerful governor positions after making historic gains in party primaries this week, experts said, heralding a political breakthrough for the patriarchal society. Kenya has East Africa's lowest female representation in parliament - at 19 percent - and women have struggled to make gains in the face of violence, intimidation and sexism. That looks set to change in August's elections. "This time, at least two women are almost guaranteed for the position," said Macharia Munene, a professor of international relations at Nairobi's United States International University. "They might win because they have proven themselves as capable leaders in previously held positions." Kenyans will vote for their president,...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Kenyan police have yet to take witness statements or gather ballistic evidence from the site of an ambush where gunmen wounded a world-famous conservationist, sources say, and are unable to give details about suspects they said they arrested. Kuki Gallmann, the 73-year-old Kenyan-Italian author of "I Dreamed of Africa," was shot twice in the stomach on Sunday after gunmen ambushed her vehicle when she went to inspect arson damage on her conservation park in northern Kenya. Leading politicians rapidly issued statements on the shooting, which could damage Kenya's tourism industry, and the interior ministry announced on Monday that suspects
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Kenya's opposition lined up Thursday behind a single candidate, veteran political leader Raila Odinga, in an unprecedented step to strengthen their challenge to the government in August's polls. Former prime minister Odinga, 72, was named presidential candidate by senior leaders of the National Super Alliance (NASA) at a large rally in the capital Nairobi. Odinga will, for the second consecutive time, challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta in a repeat of a 2013 election that he lost in the first round. However, this time five of the country's main opposition leaders have united, something they always failed to do previously.
(Washington Post 04/28/17)
A coalition of opposition parties announced Thursday that Raila Odinga, a three-time presidential candidate and former prime minister, would be its standard-bearer in elections in August. The announcement sets up a rematch between Odinga and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who narrowly won the last election in 2013. Odinga contested the results of that race, alleging irregularities in the counting of votes. But Kenya’s Supreme Court rejected the challenge and declared Kenyatta the victor. Odinga is now 72, and this is seen as his final chance to win the presidency. He was also a leading candidate in 2007 elections, winning widespread support as he faced off against President Mwai Kibaki. But Kibaki was declared the victor. That announcement triggered ethnically related...
(AfricaNews 04/28/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth is showing signs of recovery this year after a tumultuous period in 2016. The World Bank estimates that GDP growth will rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 compared to 1.3 percent last year and rise further to 3.2 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent a year later. “Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at a moderate rate of 2.6 percent in 2017, and somewhat improve towards three percent in 2018. This timid recovery is certainly better than the 1.6 percent we had in 2016, the lowest in a decade, but it is still below population growth in Africa,” said Albert Zeufack, Africa region chief economist at World Bank. Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at a moderate...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
Kenya and Ethiopia have used excessive force against Somali civilians amid efforts to halt cross-border attacks by al-Shabab, according to an internal report by aid agencies working in Somalia. The report, obtained by VOA's Somali Service, says Kenya has carried out dozens of airstrikes targeting pastoral communities in Somalia's Gedo region since June of 2015. It says Kenyan Wildlife Service personnel pressed into border patrol duty have targeted people with arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings. The report says Ethiopia deployed a paramilitary force along the border to push back pastoralists who had settled in a "grey zone" between Somalia and Ethiopia. It says the force, known as the Liyu Police, committed acts of sexual violence, including a practice called “break...
(Daily Nation 04/28/17)
The Agriculture ministry requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to combat crop-eating caterpillars known as fall armyworms that are ravaging maize fields, further threatening food security. The government had set aside Sh100 million to tackle the fall armyworm following reports that it had invaded farms from neighbouring Uganda. "We have requested the Treasury to allocate us an additional Sh320 million because the fall armyworm invasion is bigger than initially thought," said Clement Muyesu, the assistant director of Agriculture. The funds will help smallholder farmers access identified pesticides amid concerns on lack money or expertise to use insecticides effectively. The worms, which breed fast and can migrate 100 kilometres a day, were first reported in Kenya in mid-January. Among counties...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Veteran political leader and former prime minister Raila Odinga was Thursday named Kenya's opposition presidential candidate for elections in August, at a large rally in the capital Nairobi. The public announcement was made by senior leaders of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition of which Odinga will be flag-bearer, challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta in a repeat of the 2013 election line-up. Kenya's five main opposition leaders hope their unprecedented alliance will be enough to defeat the ruling Jubilee Party on August 8. Tens of thousands of supporters waited for most of the day in Nairobi's downtown Uhuru Park to witness the declaration of Odinga as their candidate. In a repeat of the 2013 ticket, Kalonzo Musyoka was named his running-mate...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
An alliance of Kenyan opposition parties chose former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as its candidate to run against President Uhuru Kenyatta in elections scheduled for August. Odinga’s running mate on the National Super Alliance ticket will be former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, co-principal Musalia Mudavadi said Thursday at a rally in the capital, Nairobi. The two were recommended by a technical committee that also considered former Mudavadi and Senator Moses Wetang’ula as potential candidates. “The one who will fly the NASA flag is engineer, the right Honorable Raila Odinga,” Mudavadi said to the cheers of thousands of supporters at a rally in Uhuru Park in the city center.
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Climate change is making drought and humanitarian disasters worse in the Horn of Africa, Oxfam said on Thursday, ahead of a major climate march in Washington to coincide with the first 100 days of the Trump administration. About 12 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are at risk of hunger due to recurring droughts, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says, with Somalia at risk of slipping into famine for the second time in six years. "Climate change is a real and current problem in East Africa. What were previously once in a life time droughts now come around more often," Nigel Tricks, Oxfam's regional director told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "For the first time, scores of camels...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Perched on a stool in a tin shed, Nyawira Njau carefully lines the top of a dozen cookstoves with aluminium foil. A call on her mobile interrupts her concentration, and she answers with one word: "Tomorrow". "That was an order for 20 cookstoves to deliver in Murang'a County," she explained. Making and delivering cookstoves in this central Kenyan region has been Njau's job for the past year. Unusually long drought has caused fields and soil to dry up around Nyeri, forcing men to take on seasonal work as road or construction builders. The burden of maintaining the household with few resources falls on women like Njau, who must look for other sources of income than farming. A growing number of...
(Capitalfm Business 04/27/17)
The Government of Kenya and the United States have signed Memorandum of Understanding which will strengthen the security of both countries through the exchange of passenger information. The Automated Targeting System- Global will serve as a key step towards the actualization of direct flights between Kenya and the United States. The agreement was signed during a high-level steering committee meeting of the two countries security governance initiative. Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has lauded the move saying the partnership has greatly, ” enhanced Kenya’s capacity and ability to fight terrorism and other trans-boarder crimes.” US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec on his part has assured Kenya that “they will continue to stand shoulder with Kenya in this fight against terrorism.”...

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