Stories written by Miriam Gathigah

Scarcity Reveals an Inaccessible Excess

For decades Zakayo Ekeno has walked Turkana County’s arid land, herding his livestock, and his father’s before that. Yet nothing about the persistently drought-stricken land in northern Kenya could have given him an indication of the wealth beneath it.

Squatting on Kenya’s Mineral Wealth

Zeinab Mohamed is a 70-year-old squatter in Kwale County, in Kenya’s Coast Province. Like many other Coast Province residents, for decades, Mohamed has lived in what squatters call “floating houses”.

Slum Farmers Rise Above the Sewers

Tucked deep in Kenya’s sprawling Kibera slum is the shanty that Alice Atieno calls home. It is just one among many small, badly-lit shacks built close together in this crowded slum where an estimated one million people live on about 400 hectares.

Kenyan Spring Failing to Blossom

Kenyan police are said to be investigating the rise of a group dubbed the March 4th Movement (M4M), which aims to make Kenya ungovernable by recruiting youths to take part in protests, similar to those that saw Egyptians overthrow their president. But politicians and analysts here say they do not foresee the movement capable of creating an East African Spring.

In Kenya, Small Is Vulnerable

With the country's food security and farmers' livelihoods at risk from climate change, Kenya has divergent policy options. One is reliant on deploying new technologies as well as improving and expanding use of fertilisers and pesticides; while the other would turn to indigenous knowledge and the country's natural biodiversity.

Kenya’s Mothers Shun Free Maternity Health Care

It has been a month since the Kenyan government waived the maternity fee at public health facilities, but Millicent Awino is still one of the many expectant mothers in favour of a home birth.

The Girl Who Couldn’t Herd Goats Now Saves Lives

When she was nine years old, Jane Meriwas, a Samburu from the Kipsing Plains in Kenya’s Rift Valley region, was considered of no use by her father. After all, nine of his goats had been eaten by hyenas under her watch.

African Union Must Do More for Peace

“My husband and older son, unable to cope with the war, became mentally ill. Two of my sons became child soldiers and an eight-year-old daughter was abducted – they were never to be seen again,” Mariamu Dong says, referring to the 21-year civil war between north and south Sudan, which are now separate countries.

Growing Peas and Greens to Maximise Water Usage

Amid warnings that Kenya’s agricultural water use is surpassing sustainable levels and adversely affecting food security, biodiversity researchers say that agrobiodiversity should be considered as a vital tool to combat this.

Bringing Kenya’s Government to the People

Like many Kenyans, Eunice Kemboi arrived at the Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi on Tuesday Apr. 9 to witness the transition of power as Uhuru Kenyatta, an International Criminal Court suspect, was sworn in as the country’s new president.

Politicians Went Sheng to Woo Kenyan Youths

When a Mugumo fig tree fell down in President Mwai Kibaki’s backyard in Nyeri County, central Kenya just three weeks before the country’s presidential elections, the local elders said it carried a strong message of a change in leadership in favour of younger leaders.

Locals Downplay Diplomatic Implications of Kenyatta’s Presidency

Kenyans may have elected as president a man wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, but political analysts here say that Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency will not have significant implications for the country’s international standing just yet.

Millions of Kenyans Vote in Historic Election

On Monday, Mar. 4, Betty Amollo was one of the millions of Kenyans who turned out in large numbers to cast her ballot in the country’s first general election since the 2007 disputed polls left almost 1,200 people dead and displaced 600,000 in the resultant inter-ethnic violence.

Kenya’s Electoral Opinion Polling Marred by Suspicion

When Kenya’s only female presidential candidate, Martha Karua, dismissed electoral opinion pollsters who claimed that she stood a mere one percent chance of being elected to office, many said she did so because the results had not favoured her. 

Kenyan Media Magnifies Hate Speech – Again

With Kenyans set to go to the polls in just over two weeks, on Mar. 4, civil society has been closely monitoring the media’s coverage of the political campaigns in this East African nation – and they have found them wanting.

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