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Posts Tagged ‘Kenya’

Africa drought leaves 10 million facing famine and disease

July 5, 2011 Comments off

metro

The worst drought for 60 years is threatening more than ten million people with starvation and disease in eastern Africa, aid workers are warning.

Africa drought Refugees at a food distribution point in Dadaab – the world’s largest refugee camp (Pic: AFP/Getty)

A severe dry spell and wrecked harvests in parts of Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda have caused what charities described as ‘the worst food crisis of the 21st century’, prompting multimillion-pound aid demands.

Save The Children is launching a £40million emergency appeal to help thousands of malnourished children, while Oxfam is calling for £50million.

The lack of water and supplies has pushed food prices up by 240 per cent, worsening conditions for those struggling to survive. More than half of those needing Read more…

The Water Crisis in African Cities

June 10, 2011 Comments off

allafrica

Access to running water remains in a state of crisis for a huge number of people across Africa, writes Michel Makpenon. With growing urbanisation across the continent, African cities will need the political determination to ensure sustainable water resources based on social need rather than commercial concerns, he stresses.

The water issue is a major problem for people in sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, the water situation in sub-Saharan Africa remains characterised by the difficult access to this resource, the poor supply management of watering places and the high costs of water network connections. For instance, in Benin one household in three doesn’t have access to drinking water, and the problem is much more acute in rural areas.

Households having access to drinking water are considered as households who have drinking water at home or within 200 metres from home: running water from the company’s distribution network, fountain water, water from the village pump, water tank and water from protected wells.

Various consultations led with the populations have indeed confirmed that the water issue is a major problem for them. The concerns, as raised by the populations, focus on the difficult access to water and the poor management of the watering places, the difficulties to call for the financial participation of the population for the creation and the management of watering places and the borehole characteristics which are Read more…

Prepare for the Next Conflict: Water Wars

April 18, 2011 Comments off

huffingtonpost

Every minute, 15 children die from drinking dirty water. Every time you eat a hamburger, you consume 2400 liters of the planet’s fresh water resources — that is the amount of water needed to produce one hamburger. Today poor people are dying from lack of water, while rich people are consuming enormous amounts of water. This water paradox illustrates that we are currently looking at a global water conflict in the making.

We are terrifyingly fast consuming one of the most important and perishable resources of the planet — our water. Global water use has tripled over the last 50 years. The World Bank reports that 80 countries now have water shortages with more than 2.8 billion people living in areas of high water stress. This is expected to rise to 3.9 billion — more than half of Read more…

African Pathogens Must Be Secured, Lugar Says

April 15, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

A senior U.S. senator highlighted the need to protect deadly pathogen samples housed in African laboratories from hostile actors who might seek to deploy them in a biological attack, Chemical & Engineering News reported on Monday (see GSN, Nov., 23, 2010).

During the Cold War, the former Soviet Union conducted research into the biowarfare uses of African-origin disease agents. While Russia has since shuttered that biological weapons effort, a number of those naturally occurring pathogens are sill being studied in facilities throughout Africa that often have limited defenses.

“Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are active in Africa, and it is imperative that deadly pathogens stored in labs there are secure. This is a threat we cannot ignore,” said Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), a co-creator of the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction initiative.

Lugar and a delegation of U.S. defense officials traveled last fall to Uganda and Kenya to assess security at biological research facilities that stored such deadly agents as Ebola and anthrax. While biodefense laboratories in the United States that work with similarly dangerous pathogens have advanced security measures in place, defenses at the African research institutes were more likely to consist of barbed wire, according to the magazine.

At a laboratory in Uganda’s capital, the U.S. delegation observed significant security vulnerabilities including a failure to track Read more…

Recent droughts and floods have contributed to increases in food prices

March 14, 2011 1 comment

7thspace.com

These are pushing millions more people into poverty and hunger, and are contributing to political instability and civil unrest. Climate change is predicted to increase these threats to food security and stability. Responding to this, the world’s largest agriculture research consortium today announced the creation of a new Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change.

Chaired by the United Kingdom’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, the Commission will in the next ten months seek to build international consensus on a clear set of policy actions to help global agriculture adapt to climate change, achieve food security and reduce poverty and greenhouse gas emissions.

There is a rich body of scientific evidence for sustainable agriculture approaches that can increase production of food, fiber and fuel, help decrease poverty and benefit the environment, but agreement is needed on how best to put these approaches into action at scale. Evidence also shows Read more…

5 million aquatic animals die at Mara river in Kenya

February 22, 2011 Comments off

The National Environmental Management Authority (Nema), Public Health Ministry and Kenya Wildlife Service are investigating the deaths of fish in Mara River. Conservationists suspect the deaths that started last week might have been caused by agro chemicals from farms, that drain into the river. Hoteliers in Masai Mara Game Reserve are now expressing fear that the chemicals might kill animals that depend on the river.

“The deaths could have been caused by agro chemicals from large scale farms on the upper side of the river. The chemicals might also kill hippos, crocodiles and other animals that drink water from the river,” said Ben Kipeno, a conservationist from the northern side of the reserve. Mr Kipeno said on Wednesday there were unconfirmed reports that apart from fish, a crocodile and a hippo have already succumbed to effects of the chemicals. He urged the Government to rein in farmers along the river who use potent chemicals and claimed that despite several complaints to Nema no action has been taken. Officials from KWS who were dispatched from Nairobi took samples of the fish to the Government Chemist for further tests to ascertain the cause of the deaths. When The Standard visited the river, dead fish were floating with scavengers, including the Marabou stork, feeding on them. The Narok South Nema officer in charge Gabriel Tambushi said initial reports had indicated that more than five million fish were killed at the confluence of the seasonal Moyan River in Transmara with the Mara following a heavy flood.

“The sudden change of weather that resulted into heavy mist covering the water surface, inhibiting fish and other animals that depend on the river from breathing might have been the cause of the deaths,” said Tambushi. He did not rule out poisonous agro chemicals from farms, which depended on Mara River for irrigation.

Drought ravages northern Kenya

February 10, 2011 Comments off

Millions of people in northern Kenya are facing hunger and an uncertain future as a drought continues to destroy their crops and livestock.

The drought is also taking its toll on the population’s health and the number of malnourished and ill, increases by the day. And there seems to be little respite.

With no rains forecast over the next three months and the government saying that the country’s food reserves are dwindling fast, some in this region might not make it through.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow reports from Turkana, in Kenya.