Forced to flee wars and disasters, sometimes without family, and struggling to survive in the worst of circumstances, children on the move have long led very precarious lives. Be they refugees, internally displaced or asylum seekers, vulnerable and marginalised, they lose years of childhood. They are exposed to the worst forms of abuse, such as commercial exploitation and violence. Today, their situation is dire as they remain at the very bottom of the list to receive emergency measures to protect them from the impacts of COVID-19.
While COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world, Nobel Laureates and world leaders have today expressed concern that ongoing crisis is far from being an equaliser. The pandemic has revealed that the most vulnerable and marginalised populations, including and especially children, remain largely unprotected against the virus and its impacts.
Regina Njagi’s four children, aged between 11 and 17, have not benefitted from online learning since the COVID-19 led to the closure of all schools in Kenya, earlier in March. With the closure, Njagi lost her job as a teacher at a local private school.
While men are more likely to die from COVID-19, women are facing the full blow of the socio-economic fallout from the ongoing pandemic as well as seeing a reversal in equality gains made over the last two decades, says an all-women panel of international thought leaders, who met virtually during a discussion convened by IPS.
In 2013, Alice Wahome ran in her third attempt to win the hotly-contested Kandara constituency parliamentary seat in Murang’a County, Central Kenya. As is typical of rural politics, the field was male-dominated, with the stakes being high for all candidates but more especially so for Wahome — no woman had ever occupied the Kandara constituency parliamentary seat.
Pauline Akwacha’s popular chain of eateries, famously known as Kakwacha Hangover Hotels and situated at the heart of Kisumu City's lakeside in Kenya, is facing its most daunting challenge yet. Akwacha and other women in business across this East African nation are bracing themselves for the post-COVID-19 economy.
Ida Njeri was a civil servant with access to a Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO) through her employer, and her husband a private consultant in the information and communication sector, when she began taking low-interest loans from the cooperative so they could buy up land in Ruiru, Central Kenya. She’d willing done it. Part of their long-term plan together for having a family was that they would acquire land and eventually build their dream home. But little did Njeri realise that 12 years and three children later the law would stand against her right to owning the matrimonial property.
It was only when 17-year-old Eva Muigai was in her final trimester that her family discovered she was pregnant. Muigai, a form three student who lives with her family in Gachie, Central Kenya, had spent her pregnancy wearing tight bodysuits and loose-fitting clothes that hid her growing baby bump.
Pokot girls are expected to face the knife stark naked and with courage. To inspire confidence, their fathers sit a few metres away from them with a spear in hand.
What stands between Soi Cate Chelang and her dream of turning her small pallet-making business into a major enterprise is capital.
Six years ago Mary Njambi* received news of a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity far away from her poverty-stricken village situated in the heart of Kiambu County, Central Kenya. She was 20 years old, a single mother and out of work.
Warnings of strong winds, high waves and reduced visibility along the East African coastline are increasingly common.
But local fisher folk like Ali Sombo from Kwale County, situated along Kenya's Indian Ocean Coastline, don't always heed the warnings by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) to stay clear of the open sea during rough waters.
The villagers living on the foothills of Mount Kenya have a belief: If they burn the forest, the rains will come.
It is an image of resistance that went viral across the world. Alaa Salah, a young Sudanese student, dressed in a traditional white thobe standing atop a car with an enthralled crowd surrounding her as she and they boldly chanted Al-Thawra
—Arabic for revolution.
In a matter of days the world’s blue economy actors and experts will converge in Nairobi, Kenya for the first ever global conference on sustainable blue economy.
It was less than eight months ago that Mary Auma and her three children, from Ahero in Kenya’s Nyanza region, were living in a one-room house in an informal settlement. Ahero is largely agricultural and each day Auma would go and purchase large quantities of milk and resell it – earning only a 10 percent profit.
The world’s most important meeting is underway in New York, providing yet another opportunity for world leaders to discuss a wide array of issues such as peace, security and sustainable development. And experts stress that the role women have to play in addressing these issues cannot be over-emphasised.
An increasing number of African countries are now embracing the blue economy for its potential to deliver solutions to their most pressing development needs–particularly extreme poverty and hunger.
Joshua Kiragu reminisces of years gone by when just one of his two hectares of land produced at least 40 bags of maize. But that was 10 years ago. Today, Kiragu can barely scrape up 20 bags from the little piece of land that he has left – it measures just under a hectare.
In the absence of concerted efforts to raise awareness on the dangers of aflatoxin to humans and domestic animals, advances in technology for early detection of aflatoxin in cereals and seeds such as maize will come to naught, experts warn.
A growing number of African countries are increasingly becoming food insecure as delayed and insufficient rainfall, as well as crop damaging pests such as the ongoing outbreak of the fall armyworm, cause the most severe maize crisis in the last decade.