Posts tagged as: flora

Tanzania:Seven Die, 7 Injured in Post-Wedding Accident

By Mariam Juma

Manyara — FANFARE was demoted to tragedy when seven people died and seven others were injured when a truck rammed into the vehicle in which they were travelling at Getasam Village, after a wedding ceremony in Hanang, in Babati District, on Saturday evening.

The dead were identified as Selina Hando (35) from Babati; Amina Saha (50), a Duru villager, Hiit Gwande (50) from Riroda, Elizabeth Hilonga (25) from Heloton, John Timothy (17) and the driver, Wilson Daudi aka Simba (46), whose 15-year-old son’s name was not immediately established.

Initial reports indicated that the newlyweds, Mr Philip Samuel and Ms Flora Baso, were among the survivors, when the vehicle in which they were passengers – a Noah with registration number T 740 DJQ was knocked down by a lorry.

The driver of the Noah and his son died on the spot, and the bride was seriously hurt. The driver of the truck (registration number T 449 CDR) owned by Lake Hill Paradise Ltd of Singida, fled after the accident.

The Manyara Regional Traffic Officer (RTO), Ms Mary Kipesha, remarked that the driver of the smaller vehicle was at fault, remarking: “He turned right without signalling his intention by flashing the indi cator, prompting the speeding lorry driver to ram into the car, after failing to stop abruptly.”

Hanang District Hospital medical officer on-duty, Mr Chawokiwa Msangi, said they had preserved the seven bodies of the casualties, and were attending the survivors, except the bride, who was referred to Hydom Hospital.

Those admitted at Tumaini District hospital are Philip Samuel, Faustine Sebastian, Samuel Nade and Lina Isack. Two others whose names were yet to be established, were treated and released.

Getasam villag ers blamed the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) for not placing important signposts on the roads, to which they attributed many accidents. This is the fourth accident to occur at an area with feeder roads adjoining the Singida – Arusha Highway in less than 18 months. The accidents have claimed 17 lives, leaving 14 injured.


Maputo Envoy in Court On U.S.$133,000 Theft Charges

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Over 200 Student Hit By Food Poisoning in Baringo School

By Flora Koech

More than 200 students of Kituro High School in Baringo Central have been sent home over suspected food poisoning.

The learners, who were complaining of stomach pains and headache, were treated at a Kituro Health Centre and sent home.


The school’s head-teacher Salina Rotich on Wednesday confirmed that the students went home since Monday, and that some had already returned.

“We had more than 10 students on Monday who were complaining of stomach pains and headache. The number increased the following day but they were treated and released to go home,” she said.

She said parents of the ill students had been contacted and were aware that their children were heading home.

“The situation has been contained and some of the students who had gone home have since resumed and there is no cause for alarm,” she added.

There were fears that the learners could have contracted cholera but the administrator said the symptoms had since been confirmed to be those of food poisoning.


Contacted for comment, Baringo County Director of Education Willy Machocho also dispelled fears of a cholera outbreak.

“I want to dispel fears that there is a cholera outbreak in the said institution. Preliminary investigation indicate that it is suspected food poisoning,” said Mr Machocho.

He said the situation had already been contained and a public health officer had been sent to the school.

Mr Machocho added that they suspect that a supplier had brought stale bread to the school canteen.

“We have since suspended the supplier,” said Mr Machocho.


According to a medical officer at Kituro Health Centre, who sought for anonymity because he is not authorised to give press statements, more than 50 students tested positive to food poisoning.

A spot check by the Nation at the health facility on Wednesday found more than 12 students who were complaining of stomach pains and were waiting to be attended to.

Baringo Central Public Health Officer Agnes Chesire said tests for cholera were negative.

“We have gone round the school and carried out several tests and, according to our findings, there is no cholera outbreak in the institution but we suspect food poisoning,” said Ms Chesire.


Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Governors’ Headache Over County Appointments

The battle for the county executive positions has intensified as newly-elected governors in the North Rift struggle to distribute the posts amid lobbying from various interested groups.

The focus has shifted to the 10 positions after the county assembly Speaker posts were filled last week.

Most governors are under pressure following intense lobbying by various players, who want to be considered for the positions.

In Uasin Gishu, the Eldoret Residents Association (ERA) want Governor Jackson Mandago to make his cabinet an all-inclusive one.


Addressing journalists in Eldoret town, the association chairman Richard Kemboi asked the county boss to ensure the CECs represent the diversity of the county.

The governor was accused in 2013 of filling the positions with the members from the dominant Kalenjin community.

“We hope that the governor will not renege on his pre-election promise by making all key appointments a preserve of only communities that voted for him in the concluded August polls,” said Mr Kemboi.

He said it would be wise for Mr Mandago to ensure the face of Kenya is reflected in his government so as not embarrass Deputy President William Ruto, who hails from the region.

“There is a lot of anxiety and fear among some county staff over the fate of their jobs for taking political stand during the concluded August election. We hope the governor will not fire them as they were exercising their democratic right,” added Kemboi


In Baringo, the lobbying for the positions has gone a notch higher with minority communities demanding that Governor Stanley Kiptis considers them when he constitutes his new cabinet and other key positions in the county.

“God knows why he put all of us in this county. We fear our issues will not be adequately addressed because we are few,” said Mr Amos Olempaka from Ilchamus community.

Mr Olempaka who is also a human rights activist told the Nation that one said the community should be given more slots in the county executive for regional balance.

In Elgeyo-Marakwet, the governor has contracted services of a state firm in the hiring of chief executives even as lobbying for the plum jobs intensified.

Governor Alex Tolgos is expected to name and present his nominees for the key positions to the County Assembly for approval this week.


The governor’s principal advisor Kipkoech Karamai told Nation on Wednesday that Kenya School of Government has been contracted to do the interviews for county executives and chief officers.

The governor has indicated that he is re-organising his government and would be looking for the best individuals, who can help him deliver his development agenda.

Those who are likely to make to the governor’s list could include those who were promised job rewards for their significant contributions during the campaigns, notably those who shelved their ambitions to support him.

In Trans Nzoia, Governor Patrick Khaemba of Ford-Kenya promised to form an all-inclusive government that will include those supporting Jubilee Party and other parties.

Reporting by Dennis Lubanga, Flora Koech, Philemon Suter and Gerald Bwisa.

Two to Hang for Sh1,450 Robbery as Appeal Rejected

By Joseph Wangui

A High Court in Kerugoya has upheld the death sentence against two cousins who violently robbed a villager of Sh1,300 and a Sh150 T-shirt.

Justice Lucy Gitari found that James Muthike Flora and Anthony Kamau Njeri robbed Mr Daniel Mwangi Chomba on June 18, 2014 at Nyangati Location, Kirinyaga County, while armed with a panga.

They also wounded Mr Chomba using the panga.


The duo had been sentenced to death by the Wang’uru Principal Magistrate’s Court after full trial but lodged an appeal at the High Court.

In the appeal, the convicts argued that the magistrate failed to find that the identification by recognition was not free from error of mistakes.

They said they were arrested on suspicion, investigations into the case were shoddy and faulty and their defence was dismissed by the magistrate.


The court heard that Mr Chomba was working in a rice paddy with one of the suspects, Muthike, and walked home together.

At Kimbimbi Market, Mr Chomba bought a T-shirt and Muthike a pair of trousers.

Mr Chomba then entered Mumbi Bar, where he drank beer as he watched a World Cup match and later boarded a matatu at around 10pm to his home in Kirimara Village, towards Embu County.


When he alighted, he saw the two convicts and recognised them as they were flashed by the headlights of the matatu.

The two attacked Mr Chomba as he walked home, striking him on the left shoulder with a panga, injuring him.

Mr Chomba said Kamau held him on the legs and attempted to knock him down while Muthike gripped his T-shirt, upon which he removed it and let go so that he could escape.

They also frisked his pockets and stole Sh1,300.


Mr Chomba escaped and reported the incident at Kimbimbi Administration Police Camp, leading to the arrest of the two.

The prosecution called four witnesses.

“The robbery, arrest and recovery happened one after the other within a short time during the same night,” Justice Gitari ruled.

“Suspicion was ruled out and the charge proved.”


At Least 11 Die After Bus, Lorry Collide in Tana River

At least 11 people are reported to have died Tuesday morning after a bus they were travelling in collided with a lorry… Read more »

China, Kenya to Beef Up Collaboration in Plant Species Conservation – Official

Nairobi — China will strengthen collaboration with Kenya in scientific research and capacity development to revitalize conservation of the East African nation’s wild flora, an official said on Monday.

Wang Qingfeng, the Director of Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre (SAJOREC) that is affiliated with Chinese Academy of Sciences said Beijing is committed to helping Kenya advance sustainable management of its botanical wealth.

“In the last five years since we signed a memorandum of understanding with National Museums of Kenya (NMK), we have intensified collaborative research to promote conservation of plant species,” Wang said.

He spoke to Xinhua on the sidelines of the 21st edition of Association for the Taxonomic Study of the Flora of Tropical Africa (AETFAT) congress taking place in Nairobi.

SAJOREC which is housed at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) has sponsored the five day conference attended by hundreds of scientists and researchers to explore new measures to boost conservation of Africa’s botanic treasures.

Wang said that sustainable management of wild flora is key to accelerate sustainable development in Africa.

“Communities are increasingly turning to native plants for raw materials, medical care, energy, fiber and food hence the need to enhance conservation of plant diversity,” said Wang.

Kenya is among African countries that have benefited from technical and financial support from China to strengthen conservation of vital ecosystems like wild flora and fauna.

Wang noted that exchange programs between Kenyan and Chinese scientists have re-energized home grown initiatives to promote sustainable management of genetic resources.

“We have published several books and articles in peer reviewed journals on biodiversity conservation with our Kenyan partners, we are also promoting joint exploration to identify challenges facing wild flora in several parts of the country,” Wang told Xinhua.

He added that Beijing will continue to support capacity development for African scientists to enhance their contribution to the continent’s ecosystems protection agenda.

“Training the next generation of African scientists is key to boost biodiversity conservation,” Wang said.

The establishment of Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre in Kenya has revitalized biodiversity conservation agenda in the country.

Wang said the centre has improved the capacity of Kenyan scientists and researchers to find solution to challenges facing wild flora like pollution and invasive species.

“Our future collaboration with Kenyan research institutions will focus on emerging threats to plant species,” said Wang, adding that improved research capacity and technology will boost Kenya’s capacity to contain threats to wild flora.


Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

A bodyguard involved in a road accident with former President Mwai Kibaki has alleged in a court case he was mistreated… Read more »

U.S. Helps Build Ugandan Capacity to Combat Wildlife Crime

Kampala — The U.S. Government is helping to build the capacity of Ugandan authorities to protect the country’s natural heritage and to combat illicit trafficking that threatens both Uganda’s abundant wildlife and security.

The donation of 10 wildlife crime scene investigation (WCSI) kits by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will assist several Ugandan agencies in their mission to combat wildlife-related crimes throughout the country. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the Uganda Police Force (UPF), and the Natural Resource Conservation Network (NRCN) were among the beneficiaries on this donation, and also received training in forensic investigation techniques.

Law enforcement and forensic science experts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior (the lead U.S. agency for public land management) – trained 17 investigators from UWA, UPF and NRCN during a recent week-long workshop near Murchison Falls National Park. With support from the Uganda Conservation Foundation, these experts helped participants develop the skills to conduct wildlife crime scene investigations, including collecting evidence and preserving the chain of custody. The workshop also fostered cooperation and information exchanges among the participants from UWA, UPF, and NRCN, which will help to advance future investigations.

After the workshop, USAID donated 10 wildlife crime scene investigation kits to be used by the trained investigators in the field. The kits contain materials necessary for collecting and preserving evidence from wildlife crime scenes, which is crucial for the successful prosecution of wildlife crimes. USAID made this donation through its regional Partnership to End Wildlife Trafficking with the Interior Department’s International Technical Assistance Program (DOI-ITAP). “Wildlife crime is a threat not just to conservation, but to the security and livelihoods of Uganda’s people,” said USAID Mission Director Mark Meassick. “This partnership allows us to share the expertise of U.S. conservation professionals to help enhance Uganda’s wildlife management and enforcement capacities, improve national and international coordination, and share best practices.”

Wildlife trafficking remains a significant problem for Uganda. The Standing Committee of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna in 2013 named Uganda one of the leading nations responsible for illegal ivory trade. Between 2009 and 2014, some 20 metric tons of ivory were trafficked through Uganda, mainly to Asia. The country’s continued role as a transit hub for illegal trafficking also exposes it to the negative effects of organized crime and corruption. Illicit revenue gained from such activities often funds insurgent groups that contribute to regional instability and fuel further demand for trafficked products.

The training workshop and donation of the kits are the first steps in a planned program of training and technical assistance in combating wildlife crime to be implemented under the partnership between USAID and DOI-ITAP. This support aims to build a cadre of Ugandan wildlife professionals with the specialized knowledge and skills to bring wildlife poachers and traffickers to justice, and to help end practices that threaten both Uganda’s rich biodiversity and security.


Cranes Play for Pride in Final Match With Mali

Uganda will be playing for pride but Mali in the faint hope that they may still win a place in the quarterfinals of the… Read more »

Uganda: Kampala, Jinja Town Residents Breathing Themselves to the Grave

By Emmanuel Ainebyoona

Kampala — For several years now, Flora Nantume, who operates a kiosk on the Kampala-Jinja highway, has suffered persistent flu and cough because of the contaminated air in the city.

“I got tired of treating the cough and flu because I cannot stop the dust from blowing over into my shop,” Nantume says, adding that she only worries for her two children of three and six years.

Nantume, just like thousands of Kampala City dwellers, are oblivious of the contamination in the dust and fumes generated by vehicles, bad roads, poor drainage and poor disposal of waste, among others.

In a September 2016 report, the World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks Kampala as one of the most polluted cities on the African continent after Kaduna in northern Nigeria.

Dubbed: “Ambient air pollution: Global assessment of exposure and burden of the disease”, the report cites air pollution as the biggest environment risk to health, contributing to one in every nine deaths annually.

The WHO report, whose database covers more than 3,000 cities across the world, also indicates that nearly eight million people die of air pollution globally every year.

For Uganda, the report indicates that 8,000 people die annually due to conditions and diseases linked to ambient or outdoor air pollution.

This coincides with a recent study conducted by scientists at the Department of Medicine at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences in collaboration with other foreign universities.

Titled: “The state of ambient air quality in two Ugandan cities: A pilot cross-sectional spatial assessment,” the report, for its findings, mapped out the most and less polluted areas around Kampala and Jinja.

It says Kampala city suburbs, including Nateete, Masaka Road, Rubaga, Mengo, Nansana, Najjanankumbi, Lusaze, Mutundwe and sections of Entebbe Road, have the worst air quality, whereas leafy city suburbs such as Kyanja, Kumabonga, Naguru, Kololo, Kiwatule, Mbuya, Nakasero and Muyenga, have better air quality.

Other areas with undesirable air quality were cited as Kampala Industrial Area, Lungujja, Kulabimbiro, and Kawala-Bwaise road.

Conducted between June 30 and July 27, 2014, using real-time aerosol monitor DUSTTRACK II-8530 at 18 sites (15 in Kampala and 3 in Jinja), the study measured the concentration of particulate matter, one of the pollutants, in the air.

Particulate matter refers to the microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in the earth’s atmosphere.

Dr Bruce J. Kirenga, the lead investigator, says particulate matter are basically particles in the air which are less than a 10 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) but once breathed, they can cause inflammation in the major organs of the body like lungs, heart, brain and blood.

“The particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter are very dangerous as they can penetrate deep into tissues,” he says.

The WHO recommends an annual mean of particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns of less than 10 µg/m3 and a 24-hour mean of 25 µg/m3.

According to the Dr Kirenga study, Kampala’s stood at 138.6 micrograms per cubic metre, higher than Jinja at 99.3 micrograms per cubic metre.

The findings of the study demonstrate presence of high particulate matter concentrations and low gas phase air pollutant levels in Kampala and Jinja between June 30 and July 17, 2014.

“The observed mean particulate matter concentration of 132.1 micrograms per cubic metre (5.3-fold above the limit defined by WHO) across all monitoring sites in the currents study is comparable with the mean particulate matter concentration of 104.9 micrograms per cubic metre described in an earlier single site pilot study from a district in Kampala,” reads part of the report.

As far as the gases are concerned, nitrogen dioxide pollution levels were highest around the industrial areas, at 156 micrograms per cubic metre, followed by residential areas with unpaved roads (152.6 micrograms per cubic metre) and commercial land use areas (129.4 micrograms per cubic metre).

High commercial activities such as trading; small-scale manufacturing and high traffic characterised most of the areas mapped out during the study. The air samples were picked using diffusion tubes tied around poles at the various sites.

Dr Kirenga, who doubles as the director of the Lung Institute at Mulago, says air quality varies depending on weather conditions and times of the day, citing dusty conditions during a dry season and during night.

Explaining the health burden, Dr Kirenga says people with already existing heart and respiratory conditions like asthma are most at risk of air pollution.

“If you already have a heart disease, [or] a lung disease, then pollution will affect you more. The second groups of people are the children,” he adds.

“Children are more affected due to many reasons; they need a lot of air because they breathe very fast, and their lungs are not mature to have strong immunity,” Dr Kirenga explains.

He says results of a yet-to-be published study on the effects of air pollution on lungs reveals that children living in Buwenge Sub-county in Jinja District have better lungs compared to their counterparts in Kampala.

“The findings of this study, although not yet reviewed, indicate that rural children have better lungs compared to urban children and we think this is due to air quality, which is damaging the children’s lungs slowly by slowly,” he says.

Unlike Jinja, which is an industrial town, the scientist says other places like Mbarara or Kabale may have better air quality.

He observes that the greyish appearance in the sky in Kampala is normally a composition of particles and the same applies to smoke from home kitchens.

Air samples taken to the United States by the team for analysis indicted that most of the air pollution was dust picked from Kampala suburbs.

“There must be deliberate efforts to clean up air by reducing traffic emissions, stop open burning of waste/garbage and pave all roads on top of building air quality monitoring equipment,” he says.

The WHO report indicates 94 per cent of deaths are due to non-communicable diseases – notably cardiovascular diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.

Policies and Regulations Harmonisation Make EAC More Relevant, Useful

analysisBy Bernard Lugongo

The East African Community (EAC) countries agreed on introducing common market with business communities in Member States having more interests on package of the free movement of people and goods. It was done with the aim was to facilitate trade within the bloc and boost the regional economy.

To achieve this, under the Article 6 of the protocol on the establishment of the EAC customs union the partner states resolved to work on, among others, reducing the number and volume of documentation required in respect of trade.

Also, adopting common standards of trade documentation and procedures within the Community where international requirements do not suit the conditions prevailing among the Partner States and collecting and disseminating information on trade and trade documentation.

The regional protocol on standardisation, quality assurance, metrology and testing states that the partner states shall evolve and apply a common policy on standardisation, quality assurance, metrology and testing of products produced and traded within the community.

The partner states also shall endeavour to promote standardisation, quality assurance, metrology and testing activities undertaken within their respective territories’ bureau of standards and develop their technical capacities to enable the adequately carry out standardization, quality assurance, metrology and testing activities at the national level and to co-operate with the other partner states and other relevant bodies.

The harmonised inspection regime will facilitate the inspection of products at the first point of entry into the EAC territory. This is to ensure that goods shall only be inspected once and allowed to enjoy free circulation in all partner states thereafter.

But the stakeholders argue that citizens of the partner states are yet to reap enough opportunities in the business sector because of lacking common standards of goods traded within the member states.

Treasurer of the Vibindo Society, Mr Jumbe Ngutto, says lack of agreed common standards has been impeding the traders to export their goods to other member countries. Because of this, you may find that entrepreneurs could have their goods meet quality standards in their countries but the same commodities may not have quality required in other partner states, he argues.

This situation has been discouraging the business community in the country, and thus making them unable to utilize the regional market. Business formalisation processes and Taxpayers Identity Number (TIN) in the countries needed to be looked at with regard to make them harmonised.

On this note, the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has engaged several Nongovernmental organisations in programme to build their capacities in exposing opportunities in the EAC and educating them on empowering the citizens on how to benefit from them.

Director of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and Standards at TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), Mr José Maciel, once argued that standards are vital to integration in safeguarding the health and safety of the consumers and the environment. Standards can cut the cost and time of doing business by huge amounts, in that sense, they are central to the future wealth of the EAC.

Ultimately, regional harmonisation of standards benefits the poor in the EAC region as lowering the cost of products makes them more affordable. It may also lower the cost of production by not requiring different lines of products to conform with different standards required by different countries. Furthermore, regional harmonisation of standards may also increase the amount of trade within the EAC by making the cost of products.

The Executive Director of the Tanzania Chambers of Commerce (TCC), Ms Flora Rimoy, says more is supposed to be done in disseminating clear information about benefits and opportunities of the free movement of goods and people in the EAC.

Kagame Believes Africa’s Economy Will Be ‘Fine’ in 2016

Barely a month since 2016 took off and the prophesies of doom have begun casting a ‘troubled’ outlook for Africa.

BBC Africa’s Business Report said last week that “2015 was a tough year for African economies… and it could get worse this year, from lack of demand for the continent’s commodities, to lack of rain, from falling currencies to political instability.”

It suggested that ‘things will get worse’ and a few countries expected “to call on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for help this year.”

But this has not attracted positive feedback from the continent. Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame tweeted yesterday evening dispelling the negativity.

He said, attracting over 500 reactions in support of his comment in a short moment, that “#Africa: It [economy] will be just fine!”

Kagame said Africa’s economy will thrive if Africans work hard to add value to their products, “and a lot more trade and investment/cooperation among African people.”

Already, Rwanda is looking into expanding trade relations between African countries.

Imports from neighbouring Uganda overtook India’s becoming the second after China and Kenya being the third.

Analysts are suggesting 2016 will be a hostile year for most African economies due to price declines of exports to international markets, especially minerals and agricultural products.

But such an observation is misguided. Some African economies ended the year 2015 with a positive outlook and a stable inflation, despite a biting dollar that has deflated most currencies.

Rwanda’s inflation rate has now dropped 0.5% to 4.5% in less than three weeks with food prices stabilizing as rains seem to be blessing the usually dry and unpredictable season.

Meanwhile, European stores have already expressed massive desire and demand for horticultural products. Turkey is interested in Africa’s tasty tropical fruits as Netherlands’s thirst from flowers grows even wider.

Simon Ethang’atta, a consultant with Floramats, a flower export company told this website that he is expecting two million flowers to be shipped at the Flora Holland, the global auction of flowers based in the Netherlands.

The far East and middle Europe economies are increasingly demanding for Tea and Coffee, of which Rwanda’s is on high demand.

The discussion on Africa of 2016 suggests Africa will need radical economic reforms or “funds from the likes of the IMF’ and ‘welfare of its citizens’.

Yet, the Brookings Global Report published on Tuesday indicated most African countries scoring above 70% in human development and 40% to 60% in economic stability.

“Rwanda exceed many of democratic counterparts in growth and socio-economic progress,” the report said.

Indeed, the report explained, Africa’s economic and political trends are not a one shoe fits all. “What is evident is that there is no single pathway, especially as regards political regimes, for launching growth and development in contemporary Africa.”


Change of Direction for African Union?

Although the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) emphasises the importance of protecting human rights, the … see more »

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