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.
With a new international treaty, an increasing number of African countries are committing to phasing out mercury, a significant health and environmental hazard.
Kenya’s lack of capacity to cope with wide-scale disaster has seen thousands of households continue to live precarious lives, especially in light of erratic and drastically changing weather patterns.
Experts warn that Kenya is in the grip of the worst drought in recent history as government estimates show the number of people who are acutely food insecure has risen to 2.7 million, up from two million in January.
Too hungry to play, hundreds of starving children in Tiaty Constituency of Baringo County instead sit by the fire, watching the pot boil, in the hope that it is only a matter of minutes before their next meal.
Mirantsoa Faniry Rakotomalala is different from most farmers in the Greater South of Madagascar, who are devastated after losing an estimated 80 percent of their crops during the recent May/June harvesting season to the ongoing drought here, said to be the most severe in 35 years.
Voahevetse Fotetse can easily pass for a three-year-old even though he is six and a pupil at Ankilimafaitsy Primary School in Ambovombe district, Androy region, one of the most severely affected by the ongoing drought in the South of Madagascar.
Havasoa Philomene did not have any maize when the harvesting season kicked off at the end of May since like many in the Greater South of Madagascar, she had already boiled and eaten all her seeds due to the ongoing drought.
In early January, Judith Akolo, a journalist with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, found herself in unfamiliar territory when she was summoned and grilled by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations for retweeting a Twitter message.
Angelina Chiziane starts her day by getting her husband ready for work in a small village in the southern province of Gaza, Mozambique, some 216 kilometers away from the capital, Maputo.
For two decades, Dickson Kamau only grew maize on his 0.5 hectare (ha) of land earning himself the nickname Kamau wa mbembe or Kamau who owns maize in his native Kikuyu language.
Jonathan Tipapa is a nine year-old boy whose daily journey to and from school exposes him to many dangers that have seen him come close to dropping out of school -- like many of his friends who can be seen running after cows even on school days. He attends Enkutoto primary school in the expansive Narok South Constituency in the Rift Valley region, approximately 70 miles from the capital Nairobi.
Keziah Juma is coming to terms with her shattered life at the shanty she shares with her family in Kenya’s sprawling Kibera slum where friends and relatives are gathered for her son’s funeral arrangements. While attending an antenatal clinic, Juma who is only 16 years discovered that she had been infected with HIV. “I went into shock and stopped going to the clinic, that is why they could not save my baby and I have been bed-ridden since giving birth two months ago,” she told IPS.
Increasing calls for Africa to reduce methane emissions from livestock continue to be met with controversy, and livestock scientists say methane is a forgotten short-term climate pollutant with significant global warming potential that Africa cannot continue to overlook.
Though the Kenyan government has demonstrated a commitment to lift its youth out of poverty, particularly those in the informal settlements, projects designed for youth continue to be crippled by rampant corruption.