Allow me to dump a "MDG Press Clips Kenya Edition":
"It never ceases to amaze me how often nature reveals something unexpected; no matter how much time I spend photographing wildlife, scarcely a day goes by in which I do not witness some surprising aspect of an animal’s behaviour or an unusual individual."
- Will, introducing his blog post about the pictures he just took of a pink hippo in Kenya.
(If you have already seen this pink hippo at my TH!NK3 column please accept my apologies. This article was published by mistake with only the pink hippo in it. Oh well, if I had to make one tech blunder here then why not post a picture of a pink hippo?)
Let us get the weird news over with. Read Experts warn of more ‘fish and frogs’ rain.
"reports of fish, frogs and other objects falling from the sky in a downpour in Nakuru [...] recent strange weather occurrences include snow in parts of Nyahururu"
Sounds pretty wild. The expert is quoted for blaming climate change. The "raining" fish had been sucked from lakes by a "waterspout", a tornado on a water surface.
More global warming...
From Kenya's rural drought hurts city dwellers (August 2009):
"Crops have shriveled, hundreds of cattle are dead and the World Food Program said 3.8 million Kenyans need emergency food aid because of a prolonged drought, which is even causing electrical blackouts in the capital. [...] "A lot of young men are becoming unemployed and they can't provide for their families," he said. "Crime will definitely go up." [...] Prime Minister Raila Odinga this month warned of a "catastrophe" if seasonal rains don't come in October ad November, expressing fear that inter-clan violence could ensue."
This is not the only story about a warming Kenya that has crossed my path during the last couple of years. One other article in particular sticks out: Nairobi water 'stolen for farms'.
"Authorities in Kenya's capital say they have unearthed a syndicate stealing the city's water to irrigate farms."
Thought saying "crime will definitely go up" was stretching it? It wasn't, it seems. Again: More at Ecowar, please subscribe
Kenya - unfortunately - recently made a show at Scientific American's Extinction Countdown blog.
"One of the world's most critically endangered birds, Kenya's taita apalis (Apalis fuscigularis), has suddenly and inexplicably become much, much rarer [...] sightings of the bird down nearly 80 percent compared with 2001 [...] estimates the species's population at somewhere between 60 and 130 individuals. Previous estimates from just nine years ago placed the population at between 300 and 650 birds"
Kenya will save the world
Sorry, that's overstating it a bit - couldn't let you lose all faith from the above news. But seriously, here is something really positive.
"Kenya adopted a new constitution that declares in Article 42, "Every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment, which includes the right - a) to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations through legislative and other measures." [...] Article 69 of the new constitution also holds the state responsible for maintaining tree cover over at least ten percent of the nation’s land; for encouraging public participation in protecting and managing the environment; protecting indigenous knowledge of biodiversity; and establishing systems of environmental impact assessment."
From law and politics back to reality. Well, to some numbers that try to describe reality anyway: Kenya slips in continental rating.
"Kenya has slipped four positions to number 27 out of 53 African countries in the latest continental governance ratings [...] between 2005 and 2009, the country continued its poor performance on insecurity, infrastructure, personal safety, corruption, a facilitative business environment and the performance of the Judiciary."
Lastly, Kenya is one of the upstream countries now demanding a share of the Nile's water and have signed the new Nile basin accord. Disturbing yet predictable. Read Egypt and Thirsty Neighbors Are at Odds Over Nile.
"We have a growing population and growing needs. There is no way we can accept this kind of threat."
- Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Hossam Zaki.
It's sinking in: We're going to Kenya!
Looking into the visa and vaccination things but for now what I did in this case was Iwent to my Diigo account (an excellent research website you should use) looked for bookmarks and notes tagged 'kenya', clicked the 'Kenya' tag on my Ecowar blog and then simply searched for 'kenya' in both my Google Reader and at Google News. The highlights of that effort above. Several of these news stories are likely to have their "sequels". Stay tuned...