Stories written by Isaiah Esipisu

The Sound of Peace in Kenya’s Kibera Slum

In a Kibera-bound mini-bus taxi, the driver changes the station just as he turns onto Ngong Road, kilometres away from the Kenyan slum. He tunes into Pamoja Radio 99.9 FM, a local community radio station that broadcasts only in Kibera.

Ruth Muriuki in the greenhouse she built with the help of a microloan. Credit:Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

KENYA: Microloans, Greenhouses Help Women Cope with Climate Change

At Gakoromone Market in Meru, in Kenya’s Eastern Province, Ruth Muriuki arrives in a pickup full of tomatoes and cabbages despite the scarcity of rainfall in the area, thanks to the greenhouse technology she uses on her farm – and microcredit.

Ruth Muriuki in the greenhouse she built with the help of a microloan. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

KENYA: Microloans, Greenhouses Help Women Cope with Climate Change

At Gakoromone Market in Meru, in Kenya’s Eastern Province, Ruth Muriuki arrives in a pickup full of tomatoes and cabbages despite the scarcity of rainfall in the area, thanks to the greenhouse technology she uses on her farm – and microcredit.

Instant Infant HIV Diagnosis to be Rolled Out in Rural Kenya

Jesse Mtembe, a nursing officer at the Akithenesit Health Centre in Teso North, in Kenya’s Western Province, cannot wait for his centre to be connected to a new software system for diagnosing HIV in infants that is being developed in the country’s leading private university.

Moving Towards a Food-Secure Ghana

In Dundo village in Nyankpala district, Northern Ghana, 10 women are busy weeding a rice field on a piece of land donated to them by the village chief.

A pregnant woman in Kenya's North Eastern Province with one of her children. Overpopulation in the area contributes to poor maternal health.  Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

KENYA: A Shelter for Safe Delivery

The Garissa Maternal Shelter in North Eastern Province, Kenya is the only such facility in an area with the country’s highest maternal mortality rate. At 1,000 deaths per 100,000 live births, it is almost double the country’s average.

KENYA: Thirsty Eucalyptus Good for Absorbing Carbon

On a steep slope of land in Thangathi village in Central Province, Kenya, Peter Nyaga surveys his four-year-old eucalyptus woodlot. He calculates the value of every tree on his two-hectare piece of land at maturity in three years.

Saving the Forests with Indigenous Knowledge

For the Laibon community, a sub-tribe of Kenya's Maasai ethnic group, the 33,000-hectare Loita Forest in the country's Rift Valley Province is more than just a forest. It is a shrine.

Nalifu Yussif holds a few Bolga baskets at the ongoing COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Climate Change Killing Womens’ Livelihoods

Talata Nsor, a 54-year-old woman from Bolgatanga community in Northern Ghana, has been weaving the cultural Bolga baskets, which are named after her community, her entire life.

AFRICA: Watermelon Farming in a Drought

On a Sunday evening, a track loaded with 10 tonnes of watermelons leaves Geoffrey Ndung’u’s homestead in Kanyonga village in semi-arid Eastern Kenya. It travels past a village shopping centre were people have formed a queue to receive food aid because of a prolonged drought in the area.

CLIMATE CHANGE-AFRICA: Farming By Phone

Francis Mburu used to keep indigenous cattle in Entasopia village in the semi- arid Kajiado region, 160 kilometres southwest of Nairobi. However, increasing temperatures and frequent droughts in Kenya have made this difficult in recent years.

Q&A: Why Africa Must Remain United in Durban

African leaders have urged the international community to move the United Nations climate change negotiations, which started in Durban, South Africa on Monday, to a different level, and to prioritise adaptation for the continent.

AFRICA: Change the Donors Climate

When donor-funded horticultural projects failed in Kalacha village at the edge of the Chalbi Desert in North Eastern Province, Kenya, the local pastoralist community proposed their own idea, which turned out to be the solution to their problems.

By 2008 the Sabaot Land Defence Force had been accused of murder and other atrocities.  Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

KENYA: “Hold Your Heart” Delayed Justice for Missing Insurgency Victims

Three years after her husband’s disappearance, Phyllis Chamnai Kipkeyo from Mount Elgon, Kenya cannot stop thinking about him. She does not know if he is dead or alive. All she knows is that he was one of the over 300 people said to have disappeared during an insurgency in the region between 2006 and 2008.

New arrivals at Dadaab wait for a medical check up. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

SOMALIA: Rape – The Hidden Side of the Famine Crisis

When Aisha Diis* and her five children fled their home in Somalia seeking aid from the famine devastating the region, she could not have known the dangers of the journey, or even fathom that she would be raped along the way.

Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai campaigned to save the Mabira Forest Reserve.  Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Re-Greening Africa in the Footsteps of Wangari Maathai

Africa needs to remain focused and continue following the late Professor Wangari Maathai’s initiatives for environmental sustainability in order to address climate change across the continent, environmentalists say.

Dr. Beldina Gikundi attends to a Somali mother in the Hagadera Hospital

DADAAB: A Daily Prayer for Complication-Free Births

Dr. Beldina Gikundi's daily prayer is that the handful of malnourished pregnant Somali women who go into labour that day at the Dadaab refugee complex do not have complications, which might require a caesarean section. Because Gikundi knows that Somali cultural beliefs mean that she and her staff at Hagadera Hospital will most likely not be able to immediately operate on the women and save their lives and those of their unborn children.

Turkana Women in Kenya. Less than half of all Kenyan women give birth in a medical facility.  Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

AFRICA: Slow Progress in Reducing Maternal Mortality

Agnes Kalunda’s doctor feared that because of her slight frame there was a high chance of her developing complications during delivery.

Isaac Ochieng Okwanyi has had his most successful harvest ever after using lime to improve the quality of his soil.  Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

KENYA: Lime Improves Maize Harvest

As the world’s worst food security crisis continues across the Horn of Africa, including in Kenya, some smallholder farmers in the western part of the country are still feeding their families with last year’s abundant harvest.

Mothers queue with their children at the Badbaado camp clinic. Except for a few Islamic schools, education at the camp is almost non-existent.  Credit: Abdurrahman Warsameh/IPS

SOMALIA: Massive School Dropouts As Famine Continues

Jamaal Abdi, an eight-year-old boy at the Badbaado camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, would like to have an education. He has his own dreams for the future.

Children from families displaced by the drought line up to receive food at a feeding centre in Mogadishu.  Credit: Abdurrahman Warsameh/IPS

HORN OF AFRICA: Poor Attention to Forecasts to Blame for Famine in Somalia

The world had an opportunity to save thousands of lives that are being lost in parts of Somalia due to the famine, if only the donor community had paid attention to the early warning systems that predicted it eight months ago.

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