Stories written by Miriam Gathigah

UN Strengthens Kenya’s Resilience to Disaster

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.

Ravaging Drought Deepens in Kenya

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.

Kenyans Turn to Wild Fruits and Insects as Drought Looms

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.

Climate-Smart Agriculture for Drought-Stricken Madagascar

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.

Malagasy Children Bear Brunt of Severe Drought

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.

Seeds for Supper as Drought Intensifies in South 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.

Grilled for a Retweet: Press Freedom in Kenya

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.

Women Benefit From Simple Economic Ventures

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.

Improving Rural Livelihoods Boost Agrarian Economies

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.

Public Primary Boarding Schools in Pastoral Communities

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.

Combating HIV among Teens

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.

African Experts Say the Continent Must Address Livestock Methane Emissions

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.

Kenya’s Market-Based Youth Project Changing Lives

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.

South Sudanese Girls Given Away As ‘Blood Money’

So extreme are gender inequalities in South Sudan that a young girl is three times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than to reach the eighth grade – the last grade before high school – according to Plan International, one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations in the world.

On Kenya’s Coast, a Struggle for the Sacred

Travel into the heart of Kenya’s southern Coast Province, nearly 500 km from the capital city of Nairobi, and you will come across one of the planet’s most curious World Heritage Sites: the remains of several fortified villages, revered by the indigenous Mijikenda people as the sacred abodes of their ancestors.

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