September 19, 2005

Press Conference Human Rights Watch

Today I spent some time on a press conference. Human Rights Watchwatch was presenting a report on Northern Uganda. Sorry: embargo on the news until midday tomorrow East African Time. The forgotten in Northern Uganda where the LRA abducts young boys and girls to work for them as sex slaves and soldiers, is still being forgotten.
September 16, 2005

Interesting times for the Kenyans

Walking through the streets of Nairobi these days, you can be surprised by small groups of people sitting together, listening to somebody. If you get near, you will sometimes find that there is a street preacher trying to win some souls. But these days you will find more and more people involved in other type of discussion during rush hours and luch braaks. Kenyans are getting their civic education. On 21 November this year, they are going to vote for a new constitution (downloadable as PDF-file).
September 15, 2005

'Kenya doing strong but not thanks to donors'

Kenya dropped 10 places in the United Nations Development Report, published this week. Bad news. Had an interesting conversation with a researcher about this. He said he never saw such a change in Kenya since the last president came into power. ‘Kenya suffers from a lot of bad publicity’, he said. ‘But watch this country. For next year, there is a forecast in economic growth of more than 5 percent. ‘I have done research to the underlying currents of the change in Kenya. This gives hope. Institutions like Worldbank, IMF only look at the elite of the country. But if you look at the agricultural sector, on grassroot level, you will find a major changes. The income from small diary farmers almost doubled over the last two and a half year, thanks to major efforts of the Kenyan government. You
September 14, 2005

Good news for coffee lovers

… Kenyan coffee is considered to be tamong the best coffes in the world. The strange thing is that most Kenyans don’t drink it and they even don’t make the money with their coffee like they could. Kenyan highest quality raw coffee beans are exported to the Western world where coffee companies ‘add value’ by burning it. Europeans will sometimes spend 1,50 euro on a cup of coffee in a bar. That is 216,00 euro per kilo of coffee. Kenyans are left with lower quality instant coffee and lower quality beans. The best Kenya AA grade coffee is sold for around 3 euro a kilogram. But a change is on the way: Kenya is gonna brand her own cofffee, burning her own coffee beans and market it in Europe and the rest of the world, creating a lot of income
September 9, 2005

CAMPAIGN DROP A GUN STARTS TOMORROW

On the 19th of August 2005, 21 years old June Wangu was shot dead in Jericho estate, her only known safety heaven (home). A group of armed gangsters approached June at about 7 pm in the company of her little brother, relieved her off her mobile phone, then shot her dead at close range. June was a social actress from Eastlands, Nairobi, innocent of the lethal accessory that spilt her blood. The incident surrounding Mrs. Wangu’s Death and the deaths of many more innocent Kenyans thus prompts the initiative to a National Campaign against Guns, Drugs and Crime. Source: Kikwetu Festival (info@kikwetu-festival.org) Kenyan poet Jacob Oketch Tambo wrote this poem inspired by the event above… DISTRESS CALL The wretched of the earth Without a right to life Death hangs on our shoulders Because the vile-hearted Have been let loose You
September 6, 2005

What does poverty mean to people in their daily live?

…that is what I want to show in this Blog. Recently I had a discussion with friends on this Blog: they thought I was to cynical. My response is always that cynical is a matter of style. Writing down things that happen to you or others in daily life has not to do do with being cynical. It is honest observation, that might be coloured because of personal circumstances and background. I observe the place I live,with other eyes than the native people who live here and who are used to all the insecurity, the corruption, the fact that they have to spend a month working on medicine (if you are a diabetes for example)…, the fact that they don’t have clean water, the fact that police is not your best friend, the fact that young girls have to skip
September 1, 2005

Turbi Massacre (2) Marsabit Hospital

Earlier you could download a fragment of an interview I had with a teacher who found four 15 year old guys in Turbi. In this fragment i visited Marsabit Hospital and had a short talk with nurse Amina. We are standing next to a 2 year old girl. Her legs were speared in the massacre.
September 1, 2005

Conflict in the Newsrooms: Africa versus the United States

While the United States have their problems that, according to their president will ‘scar them for years’, Africa gets the usual stuff (see below, did you notice the news by the way?). Sorry for this cynisism… KATRINA WILL SCAR US ‘FOR YEARS’ The US states stricken by Hurricane Katrina will take years to recover, President George W Bush has said, after an aerial tour of the disaster zone. He promised his cabinet will take over the aid operation for “one of the worst natural disasters” the US had seen. An extra 10,000 troops are being sent to the worst-hit areas in the coastal states of Louisiana and Mississippi. (Source: BBC World Service) THOUSANDS STILL TRAPPED IN FLOOD HIT SIERRA LEONE FREETOWN, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Aid workers in Sierra Leone have managed to distribute aid to about 7,000 people stranded