Stories written by Suleiman Mbatiah

KENYA: Flower Industry Still Not Back in Full Bloom

Kenya’s flower exporters are cautiously optimistic that the prospects for their industry will improve during 2011 after disaster struck in the form of volcanic ash and adverse winter weather conditions in 2010. But prices will be lower as the global economic recession still weighs heavily on their primary market, the European Union.

Lucy Wanjiku Macharia tends coffee bushes at her farm at Nyarugum-Nyeri in Central Kenya. Only five percent of women in Kenya own land.  Credit: Suleiman Mbatiah/IPS

KENYA: A Brand New Constitution, But Can Women Enjoy Land Rights?

Mary Kimani wishes her husband were still alive. Holding her one-year-old son in one hand and a hoe in the other, she recounts with bitterness how she and her children lost their livelihood to her husband’s family.

Sistre Muthoni displays her farm produce at a market in Nairobi, Kenya. Many farmers in Kenya use credit services cooperatives.  Credit: Suleiman Mbatiah/IPS

DEVELOPMENT-KENYA: Micro-Credit Helping Farmers to Plough Ahead

Seventeen years ago it seemed like an impossible dream to provide thousands of low-income farmers with a way to borrow small amounts of money. But people working in the tea sector in the rural areas of central Kenya were determined to address farmers’ lack of access to credit. They started the Muramati Savings and Credit Cooperative Society.

KENYA: Claim Disputed that Trade Measures “Aid” Counterfeiters

A major pharmaceutical company in Kenya alleges that special trade measures to make medicines available in poor countries create "loopholes" for counterfeit medicines to enter the market – a claim that health rights advocates refute.

HEALTH: Kenyans’ Right to Affordable Drugs in Hands of Court

Kenya’s Constitutional Court is due to set a date on Jul 22 for a hearing on the application against the Anti-Counterfeit Act of 2008, of which clauses pertaining to medicines have been suspended pending the court’s decision on whether the law violates the right to health and life.

HEALTH-KENYA: Agency Unaware of Anti-Counterfeit Law Suspension

The agency tasked with implementing the Anti-Counterfeit Act of 2008 in Kenya is unaware of the Constitutional Court’s suspension of the law’s application to medicines. Moreover, a large multinational pharmaceutical company has offered to assist the agency in implementing the law with regards to medicines despite the court decision.

KENYA: Pharmaceutical Companies Pushing Anti-Counterfeit Law

Much of the initiative behind the adoption of Kenya’s controversial anti-counterfeit law came from multinational pharmaceutical companies using their membership of a local manufacturers’ association to push the legislation.

Activists celebrate the ruling safeguarding generics outside the Constitutional Court in Nairobi. Credit: Suleiman Mbatiah/IPS

RIGHTS-KENYA: Court Victory Against “Anti-Counterfeit” Agenda

The Constitutional Court in Kenya has barred the government from implementing the Anti-Counterfeit Act of 2008 as it applies to generic medicines until a verdict is delivered in a case filed by three people living with HIV.

Health rights activists protest outside the Constitutional Court in Nairobi. Credit: Suleiman Mbatiah/IPS

KENYA: State Insists Counterfeit Law Does Not Threaten Rights

Kenya’s Constitutional Court heard on Mar. 18 from counsel representing the government that the Anti-Counterfeit Act of 2008 does not threaten the importation or manufacturing of cheap generic medicines and therefore does not deny Kenyans their constitutional right to life.

AGRICULTURE-KENYA: Finally, a Windfall for Tea Farmers

Despite the sweltering sun and with a heavy load on her back Mary Muthoni strides to the tea buying centre with joy and pride painted on her face. "This is a different year," she smiles, hurriedly greeting other women farmers at the centre. For them, the story is the same: blessings in times of calamity.


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