East Africa

During the Lord

UGANDA: Using Community Radio to Heal After Kony’s War

Radio Mega FM’s transmission tower rises from the centre of Gulu town, transmitting talk shows and the latest Ugandan radio hits to listeners across the district. But it also serves as something of an informal memorial to community radio-driven peace efforts during the Lord’s Resistance Army’s destruction of northern Uganda.

UGANDA: Rural Women’s Banks Ease Tough Times

For most Ugandan women, obtaining a commercial loan to start a business has been very difficult. Many do not have the required collateral of land title deeds and many cannot afford the interest rates charged by commercial banks.

KENYA: Four Years On, IDPs Remain in Camps

Six-year-old Victor Muruga points to a hole in the bush that he calls his "bedroom". "I sleep there, under that tree and my mother sleeps under that blanket," says Muruga.

SOUTH SUDAN: Still Counting the Dead in Inter-Ethnic Conflict

In the ward of a partially destroyed clinic, Mangiro (who did not give his last name) sat on a bed next to his wounded nine-year-old daughter, Ngathin. The little girl is fortunate, she survived the recent inter-ethnic clashes in Pibor county that killed her mother and sisters.

Progress Towards a Food-Secure Africa

A growing number of African countries are making significant progress towards eradicating extreme hunger and poverty. Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and South Africa are some of the countries that have made tremendous achievements towards achieving these goals.

KENYA: Key Lakes Succumb to Human Activities

Several years ago, Lakes Kamnarok and Ol Bollosat in Kenya were vibrant water bodies that supported and shaped the ecosystems around them. But today they are shells of their former selves, due to heavy siltation caused by human activities.

KENYA: Women Set to Make Their Mark in Politics

The August 2012 elections in Kenya will open doors to massive political participation by women for the first time ever.

KENYA: Inflation Deflates New Year Joy

Kenyans entered the New Year with less pomp and colour that has characterised previous new year celebrations. Due to the harsh economic situation and the fact that it is time for most students to go back to school, many families shied away from entertainment places to save that elusive shilling for their school-going children.

A Somali youngster walks past a ruined building in Hodon district in Mogadishu.  Credit: Abdurrahman Warsameh/IPS.

SOMALIA: Rebuilding Among the Rubble

With vehicles and donkey carts packed with their belongings, Somalis are returning, four years after they fled, to their partially standing, bullet-scarred and mortar-shelled neighbourhoods in former Al-Shabaab controlled areas of Mogadishu.

SOMALIA: Taking Schools Back From Militants

Schools are beginning to re-open slowly in areas of capital Mogadishu that were until recently controlled by the militant Islamic group al-Shabaab. But an estimated 80 percent of students have not yet returned.

A pregnant woman in Kenya's North Eastern Province with one of her children. Overpopulation in the area contributes to poor maternal health.  Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

KENYA: A Shelter for Safe Delivery

The Garissa Maternal Shelter in North Eastern Province, Kenya is the only such facility in an area with the country’s highest maternal mortality rate. At 1,000 deaths per 100,000 live births, it is almost double the country’s average.

SOUTH SUDAN: Refugees Reluctant to Move to Safety as War Looms

In the sprawling settlement of Yida, just south of the Sudan border, more than 20,000 people have gathered after fleeing battles in the country's Southern Kordofan state. But they now find themselves caught up in a new conflict, as recent clashes along the frontier have some warning of the possibility of war.

KENYA: Thirsty Eucalyptus Good for Absorbing Carbon

On a steep slope of land in Thangathi village in Central Province, Kenya, Peter Nyaga surveys his four-year-old eucalyptus woodlot. He calculates the value of every tree on his two-hectare piece of land at maturity in three years.

DR CONGO: Shooting in Kinshasa after Election Results Released

Fears of violent demonstrations against the provisional results of the presidential elections - released on Dec. 9 by the electoral commission - have given way to terror in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has crackled with the sound of gunshots and the firing of tear gas canisters since Friday afternoon.

Saving the Forests with Indigenous Knowledge

For the Laibon community, a sub-tribe of Kenya's Maasai ethnic group, the 33,000-hectare Loita Forest in the country's Rift Valley Province is more than just a forest. It is a shrine.

Cheers, ululations and cries of "hallelujah" arose from the banks of the Nile and from the decks of the barges as people returned to South Sudan. Credit: Hannah McNeish/IPS

SOUTH SUDAN: Returning to an Unsettled Home

Joyous reunions accompanied the latest batch of South Sudanese returning from Sudan to their newly independent homeland. But the returnees will face huge challenges integrating into South Sudan, which became the world's newest nation on Jul. 9, but also one of the poorest.

Workers on Bugala Island work to clear the rainforest to make way for an expanding palm tree plantation. Credit: Will Boase/IPS

UGANDA: Deforestation Robbing Communities of their Income

From a distance, Bugala Island in Lake Victoria is a patchwork of green and brown. The pattern is a result of dense forest retreating in the wake of recently planted palm tree plantations.

Aid Not Enough to Fight AIDS

Billions of people are marking yet another World AIDS Day - this one themed "Getting to Zero", for zero AIDS-related deaths, zero new infections, and zero stigma and discrimination.

AFRICA: Watermelon Farming in a Drought

On a Sunday evening, a track loaded with 10 tonnes of watermelons leaves Geoffrey Ndung’u’s homestead in Kanyonga village in semi-arid Eastern Kenya. It travels past a village shopping centre were people have formed a queue to receive food aid because of a prolonged drought in the area.


Francis Mburu used to keep indigenous cattle in Entasopia village in the semi- arid Kajiado region, 160 kilometres southwest of Nairobi. However, increasing temperatures and frequent droughts in Kenya have made this difficult in recent years.

Sweden Runs Into South Sudanese Oilgate

Civil society leaders in South Sudan are closely watching a legal battle unfolding in Sweden, as prosecutors investigate an oil company accused of involvement in massive human rights abuses here.

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