Stories written by Miriam Gathigah

Casting Call for Kenya’s ‘Briefcase’ NGOs

Ben Okoth, 45, was born and raised in Kibera, the largest urban slum in Africa, situated just outside of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. Over the years, he has encountered many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to improve the plight of the poor who live here.

Kenya’s Empty Bread Basket

Jane Njeri from the semi-arid lower Mukurweini district in Kenya’s Central Province has taken to boiling wild roots to feed her five children.

Kenya’s Journey Towards Zero New HIV Infections Falters

In early January 2008, during the violence that rocked Kenya after disputed general elections, a man knocked at Lucia Wakonyo’s gate at Mathare Valley, in the sprawling Mathare slum. 

Seasonal Migration Frustrates Ethiopia’s Family Planning

Yohamin Kesete, 32, and her six children live in Dollo Ado, a pastoralist community in Ethiopia’s drought-stricken Somali Region. But this is not where you will always find them.

Africa’s Billions that the Poor Won’t Touch

With its two-trillion-dollar economy, recent discoveries of billions of dollars worth of minerals and oil, and the number of investment opportunities it has to offer global players, Africa is slowly shedding its image as a development burden. 

Chinese Dominance in Kenyan Digital Migration Raises Alarm

Controversy and confusion have marked Kenya’s transition from analogue to digital television in keeping with the 2015 International Telecommunication Union deadline when all analogue signal transmission will cease. 

Many Kenyan Children Miss Out on Life-Saving Drugs

Thanks to antiretroviral drugs, HIV-positive children can now live to adulthood. Yet a significant number of children living with HIV in Kenya will die due to delay in receiving anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), inconsistent use of ARVs or, simply, no ARVs.

The Scramble for Kenya’s Kibera Slum

Controversy continues to brew here over ownership of the land under Kibera slum, one of Africa’s largest.

Kenya’s Excess of Policies Can’t Deal With Climate Change

Kenya is facing its greatest challenge as weather patterns are starting to significantly affect food production. And experts are blaming the low adaptive capacity of the farming sector on an excess of policy and institutional frameworks that are silent on both climate change and agriculture.

Insuring Cows and Goats Improves Kenyan Lives

“That is the sound I love the most in the whole world,” Hussein Ahmed says as the bells tied to his cattle begin clinking as they return home. Ahmed, a pastoralist in Marsabit district in arid and semi-arid northern Kenya, lost all his animals in 2011 during one of the worst droughts in the region for over 60 years.

When Poverty Quietly Morphs into Catastrophe

Wambui Karunyu, 72, and her seven-year-old grandson are the only surviving members of their immediate family.  Karunyu’s husband and five children all succumbed to the hardships of living in the semi-arid area of lower Mukurweini district in central Kenya.

Somalis Caught Between Terrorism and a Border Dispute

Somali militia groups are beginning to operate in Kenya’s remote and arid North Eastern Province, an area that borders southern Somalia – a former stronghold of the extremist group Al-Shabaab.

Extremism Beckons Kenya’s Young

Ali Hassan Gitonga, 33, a recent convert to Islam from the Meru community in Kenya’s Eastern Province, is said to have travelled to Somalia for training with Al-Shabaab in 2011. He is under arrest for alleged involvement in the Sep. 21 Westgate Mall terror attack in Nairobi.

Kenyans Seek Justice as ICC Case Falters

As Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto and co-accused journalist Joshua Sang resumed their trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday, Sept. 17, many in this East African nation were debating if the trial will continue to its end as four more witnesses withdrew from testifying on Sept. 15.

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.

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