Posts tagged as: news

Africa:The Road Out of Poverty Depends On Feeding Our Children Nutritious Food First

By Mercy Lung’aho

Nairobi — One drizzly morning in some lush green tea plantations in Rwanda, I was on my way to visit a local community, to assess nutrition indicators among women and children. We stopped in a green blanket of tea fields and spoke to one young tea picker, I’ll call her Mary, who had a baby strapped to her back.

What I remember distinctly is that while her baby was probably the same age as my young son at home, he was about half the size. We chatted briefly about her job. Surrounded by the tea leaves, she said she was curious about how they tasted. She had never tasted tea.

Later that day, we got the tea pickers together for a discussion. I asked them how often they ate meat. There was a ripple of laughter through the group. “Christmas Day,” they all said in unison.

When I asked the group what they would do with every extra dollar saved, they did not tell me they would buy better food. Instead, they all agreed: “We would buy shoes”. Waking up at 4am to walk to the tea farm would be more comfortable in good shoes.

What I understood more fully after this meeting was what I had already suspected: that nutrition had taken a back-seat in this farming community.

We have collected evidence which shows that eating specially-bred, high-iron beans twice-a-day for just four-and-a-half months can reduce iron deficiency and actually reverse anemia in young women in Rwanda.

The nutrition evidence we collected that day showed that anemia was prevalent. Like the small baby on her back, Mary was malnourished. So the cycle of malnutrition continues. Agriculture has a strange way of leaving the vulnerable behind, and this is what we must stop.

The nutritional magic of beans

At the Pan African Bean Research Alliance in collaboration with HarvestPlus, we have collected evidence which shows that eating specially-bred, high-iron beans twice-a-day for just four-and-a-half months can reduce iron deficiency and actually reverse anemia in young women in Rwanda.

Our research, published in The Journal of Nutrition, was the first of its kind to show that eating “biofortified” beans, bred to contain more iron, can have a significant impact on iron levels in the blood and improve brain function.

Our results were tremendously exciting: they show for the first time that these beans are an excellent vehicle for delivering long-term, low-cost major health solutions – with profound implications for global nutrition, agriculture and public health policy.

Our research further shows that, fast-tracking nutrition in mothers before they even become pregnant is essential if we want to tackle malnutrition and put a stop to the vicious cycle of poverty and economic stagnation that poor diets perpetuate. Adolescent nutrition before pregnancy has a bigger impact on stunting in children than we thought.

We need to target undernourished women like Mary with nutritious food – well before they are pregnant.

Tackling malnutrition before it strikes

Instead of focusing on preventing malnutrition, we are too busy responding to food crises. We are fighting fires, instead of making sure they don’t happen in the first place. This is a crisis, and we must treat it like one. That is why we are spearheading the development of a Nutrition Early Warning System, or NEWS.

It will take advantage of the latest advances in “machine learning” to create a powerful tool that can process, track and monitor a constant flow of data relevant to food and nutrition – alerting decision makers well before malnutrition becomes apparent.

We are currently working on a prototype of NEWS, which will initially focus on boosting nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, eventually targeting vulnerable populations globally. It will analyze the nutritional status of populations in select countries in sub-Saharan Africa to find options for successful interventions.

I cannot look the other way while women and children are dying of anemia and stunting on our watch. I’m positive that we can fix it. As I join other food security experts at the Borlaug Dialogue this week – I will be sharing these lessons, as evidence that investing in agriculture can create vibrant rural areas that provide a road out of poverty.

A pathway towards employment, wealth creation, and economic growth that includes young people. But unless we focus on getting our young people a more nutritious diet, we will continue to fail millions like Mary – and her baby – before they have even had a chance to make a start in life.

Hamisa Mobetto, Vera Sidika Beefing Over Zari

Photo: Nairobi News

FROM LEFT: Ugandan socialite Zari Hassan, Kenyan socialite Vera Sidika and Tanzanian model Hamisa Mobetto.

By Thomas Matiko

Tanzanian video vixen Hamisa Mobetto, the woman at the center of the controversial Diamond cheating confession, has now started a beef with Kenyan socialite Vera Sidika over the singer’s other baby mama, Zari Hassan.

Vera and Zari have been friends for several years now supporting each other in whatever they do.

INVITED VERA

When Zari held her white party two years ago in Uganda, she invited Vera.

It was the same case when Diamond and Zari organized a beach party last year in Dar es Salaam where Vera was the host.

However, on Monday, Vera’s loyalty to Zari was put to question when Hamisa, who has been in Kenya, posted a video on her Snapchat in the company of the socialite who fancies showing off her booty to the world every other second.

FALLING OUT

The video led to speculations that Vera could have possibly fallen out with Zari and is now siding with the woman who caused havoc in her bosom friend’s bedroom.

And with the news video trending, Vera swiftly bashed Hamisa for recording and posting the video without her knowledge and even claiming she does not know her.

But in a rebuttal, Hamisa accused Vera for being a “big liar and a hypocrite” claiming that the socialite has invited her on several occasions to her place.

Kenya

Producers Earn Top Dollar From Specialty Tea Exports

Specialty tea from the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) earned the company as high as Sh29,973 ($291) a kilogramme at… Read more »

Zari, Betty Kyallo Set to Share Stage in Nairobi Forum

By Mwende Kasujja

Ugandan socialite Zari Hassan will share the stage with Kenyan entrepreneurs among them Posh Palace’s Betty Kyallo and Bidco chairman Vimal Shah.

Zari, who lately has been in the news after her baby daddy Diamond Platinumz admitted to fathering model Hamisa Mobetto’s son, will speak during the forum meant to motivate young entrepreneurs.

This will be Zari’s first public appearance since the parenting drama.

The forum will take place in Nairobi and will feature other entrepreneurs including Chandaria Capital’ Darshan, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s designer Carol Pulei, make-up artist Rose Ntongondu and Sunrise tracking’s Kevin Macharia.

Radio host Adelle Onyango will also be speaking about her Project She alongside Welly Odendo of Havilah.

Kenya

Odinga Travels to UK for Democracy Forum

Nasa leader Raila Odinga left the country Wednesday night for the United Kingdom where he is expected to give an address… Read more »

Nigeria: Bounce Tops APPs Downloads

In less than seven months after its launch, Bounce News Application is now rated number one app on the Google Play Store in Nigeria.

The Bounce News App, which was conceived to provide people-oriented news for the Nigerian audience, earned more downloads on Play Store ahead of other interna-tional social media apps.

Commenting on the success story of Bounce.ng, General Manager of the news platform, Mr. Goodluck Ikporo, said the rating was another milestone for Bounce as it has become a one-stop online spot for local and international news.

He added that Bounce had enjoyed that level of download because the app is very user-friendly and has both online and offline functionality.

He said: “When you first launch Bounce, you will be given the option to select which interests you prefer to follow. This defines the initial set of content Bounce will show to you.

“Basically, it is your news, your style in your hands, 24/7.”

Nigeria

‘President Buhari Lacks Power to Restructure Nigeria’

The Speaker of the House of Representatives yesterday declared that President Muhammadu Buhari lacked the power to… Read more »

Nigeria:Bounce Tops APPs Downloads

In less than seven months after its launch, Bounce News Application is now rated number one app on the Google Play Store in Nigeria.

The Bounce News App, which was conceived to provide people-oriented news for the Nigerian audience, earned more downloads on Play Store ahead of other interna-tional social media apps.

Commenting on the success story of Bounce.ng, General Manager of the news platform, Mr. Goodluck Ikporo, said the rating was another milestone for Bounce as it has become a one-stop online spot for local and international news.

He added that Bounce had enjoyed that level of download because the app is very user-friendly and has both online and offline functionality.

He said: “When you first launch Bounce, you will be given the option to select which interests you prefer to follow. This defines the initial set of content Bounce will show to you.

“Basically, it is your news, your style in your hands, 24/7.”

Nigeria

45 Boko Haram Members Convicted in Mass Trial

The individuals have received prison sentences, but the government has refused to divulge other details, such as the… Read more »

Nigeria: Lagos Records Two Suspected Cases of Monkey Pox

By George Okojie

Lagos — The Lagos State government yesterday revealed that two suspected cases of Monkey Pox have been recorded in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris disclosed this at a press briefing, saying that the two suspected cases were currently being investigated in the state.

“Though no confirmed case has been recorded, there is need to sensitise members of the public and provide adequate information on measures for prevention and control of the disease in line with the policy of the State government,” he said.

The commissioner added that the two suspected cases were recorded in a private hospital which he did not disclosed.

He added that one of the suspects just came from Bayelsa State and ate Bush meat.

Idris said the two suspects were currently being quarantined in the their various houses pending the result of the investigation.

The commissioner said in the wake of this outbreak, the state government is reiterating the need for members of the public to observe and maintain a high standard of personal and environmental hygiene at all times as part of the precautionary measures to prevent the spread to the State.

He urged members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspected case of the disease to the nearest public health facility or the Directorate of Disease Control in the State Ministry of Health.

“Also, health workers are advised to practice universal safety precautions in the management of suspected or confirmed cases, wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment when attending to cases, wash hands after each contact with patient or contaminated materials while surveillance system must be strengthened.

Nigeria

Domestic Airlines Record Three Million Passengers in Six Months

Domestic airlines in Nigeria lifted a total of 3,287,310 passengers in the first six months of this year, the News… Read more »

Kenya: Hopes High As Farmer Finds Gas in Kajiado

By Joseph Ngunjiri

Good tidings could be in store for Kajiado County after a farmer discovered a yet to be identified gas while drilling water in his farm.

Mr Melonye ole Nakeel, from Kajiado West, had contracted a hydrologist to drill water in his farm but at 200m, they had not yet reached the water table.

They instead heard a strange noise that produced an odourless gas.

“That is when one of the workers decided to light a match stick to see what would happen,” Mr Nakeel said.

“To their surprise, it caught fire.”

FIRE

Despite sealing off the hole, a fire has been burning continuously for the last two days.

“At night the fire turns blue,” the farmer said.

The news has excited residents but they are also wary of any harmful effects of the gas.

MINERALS

Former Kajiado Senator Peter ole Mositet urged the government to embark on mapping the country with a view to establishing whether there are precious minerals underneath.

“This place is about 80km from the Tanzanian border and we know that Tanzania has in last few years been producing gas. We share the same geological features,” Mr Mositet, who visited the farm on Thursday, said.

EXPLORATION

He added that he had been in touch with Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge who promised to send a team, which would conduct tests to identify the gas.

“In the meantime, people should keep away from this area for their safety,” he said.

Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku said the county government has been in touch with officials from the Energy ministry, who are set to visit the site to ascertain what kind of gas is being produced in the area.

He also urged residents to keep off the area.

Kenya

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 »

Malawi: Opposition Hits At Govt Over Abandoned Infrastructure Projects

By Alfred Chauwa

Opposition political parties in Malawi on Thursday held a news conference at Crossroads Hotel where they expressed their frustration following the countless abandoned projects by the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Leader of opposition in parliament Lazarous Chakwera, who is also president Malawi Congress Party (MCP), led the news conference where the leaders tackled a number of critical issues affecting the nation.

Chakwera accused DPP leaders of self-aggrandsiment, and wrongful enrichment ahead of national interests.

He mentioned some of the stalled infrastructural projects such as the Churchill Road (Illovo Roundabout to Mitima Road roundabout).

“The dual carriage way had stalled when contract price escalated to around twice the original price due to implementation delay and change of designs. The project has been handed over to Fargo, the initial contractor for a contract price of K400million The strange thing is that President Peter Mutharika uses this stretch of road every time he drives to his home. No one cares and he does not care either,” said Chakwera.

He also mentioned about the Chiradzulu Turn-off to Maselema Roundabout road in Limbe which he said when it started MK12.4 billion was spent but the project cannot be concluded because of a stand-off in compensation due to, among other things, deteriorating standards for respect for rule of law.

On Liwonde to Nsanama road, Chakwera said construction started 10 years ago amid great fanfare and pomp. The works remain unfinished .

He also mentioned the Zomba Airwing Jali to Chitakale in Mulanje road which he said started 10 years ago and the project has been receiving budget lines yet this is only the second year that saw some serious works with re-mobilization on bridges and culverts .

Other examples which Chakwera gave during the presser included Thyolo to Bangula Road, Mzimba, Ekwendeni via Kafukule road, Lirangwe to Liwonde via Chingale road,

In the central region Chakwera gave examples of Lumbadzi Dowa, to Chezi road. Dual carriage way from Capital Hotel roundabout to Area 18 roundabout.

The opposition also wondered the stalling of Nsanje Inland Port.

“This project was started, completed and officially opened at a cost of MK4 billion over 7 years ago. It remains unused and is a monument to needless waste. We are today asking this Government to explain this,” said Chakwera

As that was not enough, the opposition political parties are demanding government to explain the stalling of Commercial Court Building along Sanjika Road in Blantyre.

“DPP should also explain Blantyre police station project which was started 15 years ago. This year MK500 million budget was allocated to it. The funny thing is that construction has not yet started,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera also accused the DPP administration of “official deception”.

“Construction of roads in the townships is done for political purposes to give the people the impression that the government is serious about infrastructural development. However, the roads are so sub-standard that they are pot-holed within a month.

“These are projects that were started with Presidential political pressure without proper planning procedures. Contractors were hired and made to mobilize close to campaign time. Contractors used own resources, and sometimes got loans from banks. Months down the line, the government could not pay. This has led to contractors charging implausible interests over unpaid debts. In some instances, up to around 42%.” said Chakwera.

The opposition Leaders also alleged that rampant corruption, theft, waste and embezzlement of public funds and resources at the highest levels of government has destroyed the developmental impact of all these massive investments.

“It is massive amounts of money going down the drain. Many of the roads were abandoned and the money disappeared into private pockets. Road contractors openly talk of budgeting for bribes to government Officials and giving 10% to the ruling party. This, sadly, is a cost which is borne by the tax-payer.”

The opposition pointed out that Malawi has a serious governance crisis.

Among the political leadsers who attended the news conference included George Nnesa of MAFUNDE, Loveness Gondwe of NARC, Sam Mpasu of NLP, Mark Katsonga Phiri of PPM.

Nigeria: ’48 Persons Die of Cholera in Borno State’

A humanitarian medical organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said about 48 persons have died of cholera since the outbreak of the disease last month in Borno state.

The organisation otherwise called Doctors without Borders, said that 2, 627 cases of the disease were recorded by the state ministry of health.

Anna Cilliers, MSF’s Medical Coordinator said that the organisation had scaled up its campaign to contain the cholera outbreak in Maiduguri, Monguno and Dikwa local government areas of the state.

“As new cases of cholera emerged from Monguno, Dikwa and other parts of Maiduguri, MSF continues to scale up its response in the state. Since the start of the outbreak, a total of 2, 627 cholera cases and 48 deaths were reported by the Borno State Ministry of Health. The state capital Maiduguri alone has witnessed 1,425 cases, while 600 cases in Dikwa and 602 cases in Monguno have so far been reported.

“Early diagnosis and treatment is vital to tackle cholera outbreak. As cases of the disease increased in Maiduguri, we rapidly set up a 100-bed capacity Cholera Treatment Centre (CTU) at Dala area of Maiduguri”.

Cilliers disclosed in a statement that since August 16, some 491 patients were admitted and 475 discharged at the centre.

She added that the organisation had also set up another 50-bed capacity CTU centre at the Muna Garage Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in the outskirts of Maiduguri, adding that the centre would be upgraded to 100-bed capacity in the coming days, if the conditions warranted it.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government has commenced a five-day cholera immunisation campaign in the affected communities.

About 900, 000 persons were targeted for vaccination against the disease in the exercise while community sensitisation on environment, sanitation and hygiene has also been conducted to control the disease.

NAN

Nigeria

18 Terrorists Killed As Troops Repel Boko Haram Attack in Sambisa Forest

Troops of 26 and 28 Task Force Brigades repelled an early morning daring attack by fleeing Boko Haram terrorists on… Read more »

Uganda’s ‘Age Limit’ Debate Takes Dramatic Turn

By The Independent

Reports just in indicate that the debate on age limits on the Uganda presidency took a new turn Tuesday morning when a meeting of Members of Parliament (MPs) of the ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM) resolved to move a private members bill to remove the age limit.

Reports from parliament indicate that the meeting that was initially called by the Chief Whip “to discuss the land amendment bill”, turned to the age-limit debate and the motion was overwhelmingly supported by the ruling party members. The same morning, taxi drivers and city vendors had marched to parliament calling for the lifting of the term limits for the presidency.

Article 102 (B) of the constitution sets the age range for president at 35 to 75 years of age, and Museveni who will be 76 in 2021 cannot run for the presidency again – unless the constitution is amended by the MPs.

The proposal by the MPs is wide-raning, and even aims to lower the bar of 35 to be removed so that anyone aged 18 years and above can run for both parliament and the presidency. NRM plans to present the bill to parliament later this week.

Last year, Uganda’s Parliament differed indefinitely a related “age limit” motion to amend the constitution.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga had then ruled that Nakifuma MP Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko was not granted leave to move a private members bill, whose intention was to lift age limits of judges and the electoral commissioners.

#NTVNews :NRM MPs convene at Parliament to discuss and take position on the presidential age limit .Details to follow.@ntvuganda pic.twitter.com/FpnDatlF5s

— Herbert Zziwa (@zziwaherbert) September 12, 2017

Taxi drivers in Kla preparing to walk to Parliament in support of the removal of the presidential age limit@UrbanTVUganda @newvisionwire pic.twitter.com/9cp56DRixP

— namuwaya jalia (@namuwayajalia) September 12, 2017

State Minister Evelyn Anite arriving for #AgeLimit removal campaign launch #Tugikwatemu pic.twitter.com/fH33vw10Mg

— Sadab Kitatta (@sadabkitatta79) September 12, 2017

HAPPENING: NRM MPs are meeting at Parliament to launch the road-map to abolish the presidential age limit #NBSUpdates pic.twitter.com/XbJxU6tIkv

— NBS Television (@nbstv) September 12, 2017

“Chairperson, when you invited us here, I didn’t know the meeting was about article 102. I believe this is a pompous discussion” #NBSUpdates pic.twitter.com/TtZ86bzjTV

— NBS Television (@nbstv) September 12, 2017

BREAKING NEWS NRM MPs, Ministers formally launch their campaign for the removal of the Constitutional Age Limit @observerug

— Sadab Kitatta (@sadabkitatta79) September 12, 2017

Igara East MP Raphael Magyezi is chief mover of the bill wc once passed will allow 18 yr olds to stand 4 president, LC-V chairmanship pic.twitter.com/x8yOY7uVQ1

— Sadab Kitatta (@sadabkitatta79) September 12, 2017

Just IN: NRM MPs hold a constitutive meeting to table a private members bill removing the age limit from the constitution.

— Parliament Watch (@pwatchug) September 12, 2017

Hon Monica Amoding publicly declined to support the motion on grounds that the agenda of the meeting was not clear #NTVNews https://t.co/s5ZbBs7JEO

— NTV UGANDA (@ntvuganda) September 12, 2017

Kampala vendors and traders ask @KagutaMuseveni to recontest in 2021.#NBSUpdates@nbstv @nyamadon pic.twitter.com/Q60m7cMwwd

— Nabaasa Innocent💙 (@NabaasaInnocent) September 12, 2017

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