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  • 23 Sep 2016
    This week PAUWES is welcoming its third lot of students to pursue the various masters programs. Apparently, it is the largest group compared to the previous admissions. Even though I have not met the students in person, I take this rare opportunity to congratulate all of them for making it to the great Pan African University. I hope they are as excited as I was when I entered this lively, challenging and warm community one year ago. My first year has taught me that I made an excellent choice. I wish to convey my wishes to the first years directly as I have spotted some of them in COP (Community of Practice). I also wish to inform those that have used nicknames or even PAUWES as their names to edit their profile accordingly. This is because the platform is very critical for networking not only among PAUWES students, but also with organizations, intellectuals, and potential employers/partners. So I urge that you take it seriously and inform other students to join. I believe the intellectual adventure you will undertake under PAUWES will have profound impact in your life. It is thanks to your efforts that you have been able to create an education that is right for you. I also understand that making a choice is never easy. The choice you have made will stretch and shape your mind to the person you will become. In addition, studies in PAUWES offers a rich variety of intellectual opportunities by exposing students to new ideas and alternative ways of thinking. This is because students are coming from various parts of Africa while lecturers from all parts of the world. I like using a few demonstrations here and there in order to drive the point home. Persons that have read wide may have come across Stephen Covey, the author of many inspirational books including 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He once said “The greatest risk is the risk of riskless living.”.  Thinking through that quote and analyzing the cause of human success, you realize that it is impossible to succeed without making decisions. It is also interesting to note that all the decisions made involve some level of risk. As a business person would say, a high risk decision often leads to more returns compared to low-risk decisions. Unfortunately, failure becomes nearly inevitable especially on high risk decisions. However, it is essential to ensure that the risk you take, if you fail to achieve the desired goals, you will only fall forward. Now I know you are wondering what I mean by all that. Falling forward simply means that you are more aware of your situation, and in a better position to succeed compared to your past worst moments. Now, what do you think of your chances as first years in PAUWES? For me, I believe PAUWES offers you a low risk opportunity with high returns. Nobody can offer your such an opportunity anywhere in the world. For this reason, I ask of you to get the best out of PAUWES. All the best!!
    724 Posted by Eric Akumu
  • This week PAUWES is welcoming its third lot of students to pursue the various masters programs. Apparently, it is the largest group compared to the previous admissions. Even though I have not met the students in person, I take this rare opportunity to congratulate all of them for making it to the great Pan African University. I hope they are as excited as I was when I entered this lively, challenging and warm community one year ago. My first year has taught me that I made an excellent choice. I wish to convey my wishes to the first years directly as I have spotted some of them in COP (Community of Practice). I also wish to inform those that have used nicknames or even PAUWES as their names to edit their profile accordingly. This is because the platform is very critical for networking not only among PAUWES students, but also with organizations, intellectuals, and potential employers/partners. So I urge that you take it seriously and inform other students to join. I believe the intellectual adventure you will undertake under PAUWES will have profound impact in your life. It is thanks to your efforts that you have been able to create an education that is right for you. I also understand that making a choice is never easy. The choice you have made will stretch and shape your mind to the person you will become. In addition, studies in PAUWES offers a rich variety of intellectual opportunities by exposing students to new ideas and alternative ways of thinking. This is because students are coming from various parts of Africa while lecturers from all parts of the world. I like using a few demonstrations here and there in order to drive the point home. Persons that have read wide may have come across Stephen Covey, the author of many inspirational books including 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He once said “The greatest risk is the risk of riskless living.”.  Thinking through that quote and analyzing the cause of human success, you realize that it is impossible to succeed without making decisions. It is also interesting to note that all the decisions made involve some level of risk. As a business person would say, a high risk decision often leads to more returns compared to low-risk decisions. Unfortunately, failure becomes nearly inevitable especially on high risk decisions. However, it is essential to ensure that the risk you take, if you fail to achieve the desired goals, you will only fall forward. Now I know you are wondering what I mean by all that. Falling forward simply means that you are more aware of your situation, and in a better position to succeed compared to your past worst moments. Now, what do you think of your chances as first years in PAUWES? For me, I believe PAUWES offers you a low risk opportunity with high returns. Nobody can offer your such an opportunity anywhere in the world. For this reason, I ask of you to get the best out of PAUWES. All the best!!
    Sep 23, 2016 724
  • 18 Mar 2016
    What? Gender equality!! You mean women and kids issues being paramount over mine? That’s a joke! These were some of the words of a fellow man who happened to be my neighbor in one of the suburbs of Kampala. Not one, two or three but many people seem not to understand the brass tacks surrounding gender parity and the need to approach it in a holistic manner. Just imagine the prominent ladies we read about in the bound collections of pages, manuscripts and records, if these ladies were shut behind the curtains and not left to express who they really are, I am not sure about other people but surely me and my family would have missed a lot. Women like Clara Barton, Lucy Stone, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell….the list goes on and on. It’s ok if this is your first time to see those names but I am sure google works everywhere, don’t feel shy to find out about them instead of just smiling at the fact that you really don’t know them. These women played a very important role in the lives we’re living today. In the present times we can look at names like Opray, imagine how many lives that have been inspired and changed by this woman through her works. If I go on to mention names, I have trust my grandmother’s name will also appear but that will be another days story. Point is, everyone has a role to play and there is a general need to realize and address the gender issues and make them part and parcel of our lives. It’s by this that we will be able to see a better world that is being written and sang about in songs. I like history for we get to see ourselves clearly in the eyes and pass the judgment. Dating back to 1919 (times of world war 1), there was a deficit in work force owing to economic, social influences and demand for more production amidst the raging war, room for women to join the work force was created. A multitude of women found themselves working outside home. World War II also created millions of jobs for women, it is written in books of American history that thousands of women joined the Millitary (US Army). That sounds good, doesn’t it? Now the big question to me and you is, “Do we have to wait for a strong calamity or another world war to see women performing even when there are positions where they can do better than some men currently occupying those positions? Reserve your answer. But if we continue to keep silent on such issues concerning gender, am afraid we fall victims of Martin Luther’s words “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” It’s hard to imagine that in Japan, working mothers are addressed as people who have a special place in hell! They have a singular term for them in Japanese “oniyome” which is a direct translation for “devil wives”. Well this may have struck you as a surprise but it’s just a drop in the sea of examples that are existing now. If this can happen in one of the most developed countries in the world, what about the impoverished societies in underdeveloped ones where men are looked at as demi gods! It’s not fair, is it? Well, it’s either we sit back and watch the movie as it unravels or we let our voices to be heard, it’s not for women alone, we all have a role to play. Kukeera Tonnytonnykukeera@gmail.com@editorial_team  
    719 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • What? Gender equality!! You mean women and kids issues being paramount over mine? That’s a joke! These were some of the words of a fellow man who happened to be my neighbor in one of the suburbs of Kampala. Not one, two or three but many people seem not to understand the brass tacks surrounding gender parity and the need to approach it in a holistic manner. Just imagine the prominent ladies we read about in the bound collections of pages, manuscripts and records, if these ladies were shut behind the curtains and not left to express who they really are, I am not sure about other people but surely me and my family would have missed a lot. Women like Clara Barton, Lucy Stone, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell….the list goes on and on. It’s ok if this is your first time to see those names but I am sure google works everywhere, don’t feel shy to find out about them instead of just smiling at the fact that you really don’t know them. These women played a very important role in the lives we’re living today. In the present times we can look at names like Opray, imagine how many lives that have been inspired and changed by this woman through her works. If I go on to mention names, I have trust my grandmother’s name will also appear but that will be another days story. Point is, everyone has a role to play and there is a general need to realize and address the gender issues and make them part and parcel of our lives. It’s by this that we will be able to see a better world that is being written and sang about in songs. I like history for we get to see ourselves clearly in the eyes and pass the judgment. Dating back to 1919 (times of world war 1), there was a deficit in work force owing to economic, social influences and demand for more production amidst the raging war, room for women to join the work force was created. A multitude of women found themselves working outside home. World War II also created millions of jobs for women, it is written in books of American history that thousands of women joined the Millitary (US Army). That sounds good, doesn’t it? Now the big question to me and you is, “Do we have to wait for a strong calamity or another world war to see women performing even when there are positions where they can do better than some men currently occupying those positions? Reserve your answer. But if we continue to keep silent on such issues concerning gender, am afraid we fall victims of Martin Luther’s words “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” It’s hard to imagine that in Japan, working mothers are addressed as people who have a special place in hell! They have a singular term for them in Japanese “oniyome” which is a direct translation for “devil wives”. Well this may have struck you as a surprise but it’s just a drop in the sea of examples that are existing now. If this can happen in one of the most developed countries in the world, what about the impoverished societies in underdeveloped ones where men are looked at as demi gods! It’s not fair, is it? Well, it’s either we sit back and watch the movie as it unravels or we let our voices to be heard, it’s not for women alone, we all have a role to play. Kukeera Tonnytonnykukeera@gmail.com@editorial_team  
    Mar 18, 2016 719
  • 14 Nov 2016
    Recently I came across a report by PWC on the future of Africa with regard to the development of the real estate markets. The report, released in March 2015, predicts the developments in the real estate industry up to 2020. It is undeniably true that Africa has been lagging behind in terms of developing its real estate market. However, the projections given by the report are enticing in terms of the opportunities that exist for those that look into venturing into real estate business. For those already in the business, just know that “impact of global megatrends on Africa will be huge”. I couldn’t stress it more thanks to that phrase I got in the first page of the PWC report. The rapid urbanization that will be witnessed throughout the continent is critical, not only to the traditional investors in the real estate market, but also new entrants such as energy and water experts. It is becoming increasingly important to incorporate such experts as issues of climate change is pushing the market towards green building. As illustrated by the PwC analysis, the growth in the real estate is projected at 3.7% annually for the entire African continent between 2012 and 2020. In addition, the report states that cities globally contribute about 70% of “energy-related greenhouse gases while occupying just 2% of the land”. This shows the significance of incorporating technology in the real estate economics. The predictions also show that the inclusion of technology will eventually disrupt the entire sector changing the approach towards real state development. Take a closer look at some of the cities and the projected growth. Source: PwC report- Real estate: Building the future of Africa Any expert in the fields of energy and water will marvel at the prospects. The need for green building in terms of energy and water usage will surge with technology taking center stage. Do not forget that Africa still struggles in terms of electricity and water access. In order to play a leading role in the development, it is essential to find how to fit into the bigger picture by expanding our horizon. For instance, we can find out what is already happening in our individual countries or regions. The PwC reports projects that most investors will seek local partnership as necessitated by government policies and legislation. We should be part of the drivers for real estate growth in Africa through collaboration with government and other investors.
    719 Posted by Eric Akumu
  • Recently I came across a report by PWC on the future of Africa with regard to the development of the real estate markets. The report, released in March 2015, predicts the developments in the real estate industry up to 2020. It is undeniably true that Africa has been lagging behind in terms of developing its real estate market. However, the projections given by the report are enticing in terms of the opportunities that exist for those that look into venturing into real estate business. For those already in the business, just know that “impact of global megatrends on Africa will be huge”. I couldn’t stress it more thanks to that phrase I got in the first page of the PWC report. The rapid urbanization that will be witnessed throughout the continent is critical, not only to the traditional investors in the real estate market, but also new entrants such as energy and water experts. It is becoming increasingly important to incorporate such experts as issues of climate change is pushing the market towards green building. As illustrated by the PwC analysis, the growth in the real estate is projected at 3.7% annually for the entire African continent between 2012 and 2020. In addition, the report states that cities globally contribute about 70% of “energy-related greenhouse gases while occupying just 2% of the land”. This shows the significance of incorporating technology in the real estate economics. The predictions also show that the inclusion of technology will eventually disrupt the entire sector changing the approach towards real state development. Take a closer look at some of the cities and the projected growth. Source: PwC report- Real estate: Building the future of Africa Any expert in the fields of energy and water will marvel at the prospects. The need for green building in terms of energy and water usage will surge with technology taking center stage. Do not forget that Africa still struggles in terms of electricity and water access. In order to play a leading role in the development, it is essential to find how to fit into the bigger picture by expanding our horizon. For instance, we can find out what is already happening in our individual countries or regions. The PwC reports projects that most investors will seek local partnership as necessitated by government policies and legislation. We should be part of the drivers for real estate growth in Africa through collaboration with government and other investors.
    Nov 14, 2016 719
  • 31 Oct 2016
    Last week the first students in PAUWES graduated and it was a beautiful ceremony. 26 students who arrived in Algeria with an identity tied to their countries but who now leave thinking Africa. 26 engineers in the field of water and energy ready to take on the challenges that plague our continent. Congratulations are in order, you have done well and we wish you all the best as you move to the next phase. Dance to your rhythm and enjoy life! To mark this auspicious day I had my very good friend Masharia write a little something. He has away with words, so here goes!     You have all taught me that,Fresh air, Good conversation, And a room full of intellects, Can sway any mind,   I have been bent to believing, If there's even a slight chance To be successful or happy, Risk it.  Happiness is too rare   You have this one life, Do what feels good, Take risks. Be brave, And make yourself proud   By Masharia Kanyari https://mashariakanyari8895.wordpress.com/
    714 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • Last week the first students in PAUWES graduated and it was a beautiful ceremony. 26 students who arrived in Algeria with an identity tied to their countries but who now leave thinking Africa. 26 engineers in the field of water and energy ready to take on the challenges that plague our continent. Congratulations are in order, you have done well and we wish you all the best as you move to the next phase. Dance to your rhythm and enjoy life! To mark this auspicious day I had my very good friend Masharia write a little something. He has away with words, so here goes!     You have all taught me that,Fresh air, Good conversation, And a room full of intellects, Can sway any mind,   I have been bent to believing, If there's even a slight chance To be successful or happy, Risk it.  Happiness is too rare   You have this one life, Do what feels good, Take risks. Be brave, And make yourself proud   By Masharia Kanyari https://mashariakanyari8895.wordpress.com/
    Oct 31, 2016 714
  • 28 Jul 2016
    The human body is an aggregate of many parts all working in unison to ensure normal functioning. Of the very many parts, let me draw your attention to the heart, what it basically does is to pump blood that flows to the rest of the body parts right from the left little toe of the left foot to the right ear. One can say, why left little toe and right ear? Well, diagonally we can take that as the representation of the longest distance on a human body. Besides pumping blood, the heart also regulates how much goes to where and when depending on the circumstances. The gist of the matter is, the heart keeps the body running efficiently just like an engine in a motor vehicle, and that’s one of the reasons why organizations like Red Cross Society were created to help save the suffering wounded and sick by collecting the heart fuel which is blood. Has anyone ever wondered why we give blood for absolutely zero payment? Reason is, there is no sum of money that can buy the heart fuel, that’s how precious the heart is. No wonder since the days of Romeo and Juliet, we continue to pledge to our loved ones the sweet words….from the bottom of our hearts, not our feet! Yet the feet are farther. I trust now that everyone appreciates that the importance of the heart cannot be underestimated, undervalued and hence miscalculated. That is exactly how vital energy is to the development of any country. Nothing can progress without energy, be it sleeping - I am sure no one would sleep on an empty stomach, you need energy to cook. May be you can sleep today but surely you will not the next day. Like the heart pumping blood to all body parts, energy affects everything in the country - from the subsistence farmer who vends tomatoes on the roadside stall in the village to the biggest factory in town employing a 1000 workers, nothing can really happen without energy. Looking at the world economics stats, Africa is home to some of the most struggling countries. It is not by surprise that these figures are like that because this rich continent still has the lowest energy access and energy consumption per capita figures. What does this mean for development in Africa? This means a lot of things which can’t all be mentioned in this write up. However, just to highlight a few;  As long as the continent dwells in energy poverty, no development is going to happen; Unemployment rates are still going to grow high; More people are still going to die because high unemployment means inability to afford proper healthcare; More political incorrectness and dictatorships will roam on the continent because no one would want to leave the center/ control room to sacrifice their families and mates to the roaming problems; More uprisings and wars because people feel a need to fight for a better life (#fight_for_survival); More Europe immigrant problems and hence drownings leading to more deaths because it is in human nature to search for better palatable conditions.It is a plethora of negative things that translate from lack of energy, just like a lot of negative things that can happen to the body due to heart malfunctioning. Alot is needed to ensure efficient running energy systems in Africa, the big question is, whose role is it to ensure a functioning heart/ energy system? It is our role, you and I to raise awareness of the cruciality of the energy matter to our leaders, I am sure a little reminder will not kill. Meanwhile you can start with your family members – sister, brother, father, mother who will eventually progress to the village leaders and finally to the big guys who stay behind the protected glasses aka presidents (ahem...why do they even have to use glasses in their buildings?). This will probably show how important energy is for every one’s development and mother Africa as a whole. One shouts while many echo, let us together echo the prominence of energy to our communities and leaders.   tonnykukeera@gmail.com
    710 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • The human body is an aggregate of many parts all working in unison to ensure normal functioning. Of the very many parts, let me draw your attention to the heart, what it basically does is to pump blood that flows to the rest of the body parts right from the left little toe of the left foot to the right ear. One can say, why left little toe and right ear? Well, diagonally we can take that as the representation of the longest distance on a human body. Besides pumping blood, the heart also regulates how much goes to where and when depending on the circumstances. The gist of the matter is, the heart keeps the body running efficiently just like an engine in a motor vehicle, and that’s one of the reasons why organizations like Red Cross Society were created to help save the suffering wounded and sick by collecting the heart fuel which is blood. Has anyone ever wondered why we give blood for absolutely zero payment? Reason is, there is no sum of money that can buy the heart fuel, that’s how precious the heart is. No wonder since the days of Romeo and Juliet, we continue to pledge to our loved ones the sweet words….from the bottom of our hearts, not our feet! Yet the feet are farther. I trust now that everyone appreciates that the importance of the heart cannot be underestimated, undervalued and hence miscalculated. That is exactly how vital energy is to the development of any country. Nothing can progress without energy, be it sleeping - I am sure no one would sleep on an empty stomach, you need energy to cook. May be you can sleep today but surely you will not the next day. Like the heart pumping blood to all body parts, energy affects everything in the country - from the subsistence farmer who vends tomatoes on the roadside stall in the village to the biggest factory in town employing a 1000 workers, nothing can really happen without energy. Looking at the world economics stats, Africa is home to some of the most struggling countries. It is not by surprise that these figures are like that because this rich continent still has the lowest energy access and energy consumption per capita figures. What does this mean for development in Africa? This means a lot of things which can’t all be mentioned in this write up. However, just to highlight a few;  As long as the continent dwells in energy poverty, no development is going to happen; Unemployment rates are still going to grow high; More people are still going to die because high unemployment means inability to afford proper healthcare; More political incorrectness and dictatorships will roam on the continent because no one would want to leave the center/ control room to sacrifice their families and mates to the roaming problems; More uprisings and wars because people feel a need to fight for a better life (#fight_for_survival); More Europe immigrant problems and hence drownings leading to more deaths because it is in human nature to search for better palatable conditions.It is a plethora of negative things that translate from lack of energy, just like a lot of negative things that can happen to the body due to heart malfunctioning. Alot is needed to ensure efficient running energy systems in Africa, the big question is, whose role is it to ensure a functioning heart/ energy system? It is our role, you and I to raise awareness of the cruciality of the energy matter to our leaders, I am sure a little reminder will not kill. Meanwhile you can start with your family members – sister, brother, father, mother who will eventually progress to the village leaders and finally to the big guys who stay behind the protected glasses aka presidents (ahem...why do they even have to use glasses in their buildings?). This will probably show how important energy is for every one’s development and mother Africa as a whole. One shouts while many echo, let us together echo the prominence of energy to our communities and leaders.   tonnykukeera@gmail.com
    Jul 28, 2016 710
  • 13 Jun 2016
    I have enjoyed the last couple of days off from class and I am now mentally rested and ready to finish the next two modules and get a start on the summer holidays as I am sure most of you are. I am glad to report I finished my reading on a few books that have been pending and I also had time to watch the CIS Cyber Crime series. I have always known that danger lurks in the web and online privacy is more of an illusion than it is real, but watching this series drove the point home. I am sure they add some theatrics and drama to make the plot more interesting but the message cannot be ignored. We have built our lives around wireless and wired connections and very few of us give second thought to the dangers we are exposing ourselves to or our loved ones.    Cybercrimes are offences committed over the web. There are many types of cyber crimes ranging from theft, terrorism, stalking, bullying, identity theft, malicious software, child grooming and abuse and hacking among many others. One may argue that these crimes are only common in the west but it is happening in Africa as well. Cyber criminals consider Africa as an opportune place to commit their criminal activities majorly because of the high number of domains coupled with weak network and information security. The legislation to tackle cyber crime is also non-existent in most African countries which provide a safe haven for criminals within and beyond our borders.   In Africa Nigeria is the largest target and source of malicious internet activities and the trend is quickly spreading to other countries in West Africa. The rest of Africa has not been spared especially in the large economic hubs like Nairobi, Cairo, and Johannesburg where criminal activities on the web such as fraudulent financial transactions and child kidnapping are on the rise. There is proof that terrorist activities organized by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Alshabaab in Somalia and Kenya have been coordinated and planned over the web. Take for example the West gate attack in Kenya where 67 people lost their lives and cost the economy an estimated $200 million in tourism revenue. A study carried out by the International Data Group Connect estimates that annually, cybercrimes cost the South African economy $573 million, the Nigeria economy $200 million and $36 million to the Kenyan economy.   If you go through the web you will come across numerous stories of people whose lives have been changed because they were victims of cyber crimes. There are heartbreaking stories of women and men who have lost their entire fortune to cons on the internet. Homes have been broken into and assault or murder committed because someone thought it was a good idea to post their where about or home address online. Parents have been victims of their children’s photographs being stolen from social sites and posted on adult sites. Children have been bullied relentlessly on the web and some have ended their lives as a result. People have reported being watched by stalkers for months without their knowledge on their webcams. Heinous acts such as child grooming by pedophiles and human traffickers are a daily occurrence and yet most of us continue to share every moment of our lives with careless abandon.   I am not here to scare you (maybe a little) or preach against the internet and the various platforms it offers, heaven knows we continue to reap numerous benefits from the easy connectivity it gives. What I want is for all of us to be conscious of what we post and share and with whom and on what platform. We are guilty of agreeing to terms and conditions on websites so that we can start using their services without carefully reading their privacy regulations. Every time we post something online or disclose our location we are leaving a trail or footprint that can be used to harm us. I will give you an easy example; go to your Facebook or Instagram account or any other social account you may have and look at the number of “friends” you have. How many of these people do you really know and yet you give a chronicle of your life to them every single day.     Some of the most practical and easy ways suggested by INTERPOL on how you can ensure online safety are keeping your computer safe from viruses, opening attachments from only contacts you trust, being cautious about public wireless connections, keeping your spam filter switched on among many others at your disposal on their website. The internet is here to stay and our need for it will only grow but what we can do is taking it upon ourselves to ensure that our privacy and that of our loved ones is not defiled and realizing with time not every moment needs to be shared with the world.
    709 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • I have enjoyed the last couple of days off from class and I am now mentally rested and ready to finish the next two modules and get a start on the summer holidays as I am sure most of you are. I am glad to report I finished my reading on a few books that have been pending and I also had time to watch the CIS Cyber Crime series. I have always known that danger lurks in the web and online privacy is more of an illusion than it is real, but watching this series drove the point home. I am sure they add some theatrics and drama to make the plot more interesting but the message cannot be ignored. We have built our lives around wireless and wired connections and very few of us give second thought to the dangers we are exposing ourselves to or our loved ones.    Cybercrimes are offences committed over the web. There are many types of cyber crimes ranging from theft, terrorism, stalking, bullying, identity theft, malicious software, child grooming and abuse and hacking among many others. One may argue that these crimes are only common in the west but it is happening in Africa as well. Cyber criminals consider Africa as an opportune place to commit their criminal activities majorly because of the high number of domains coupled with weak network and information security. The legislation to tackle cyber crime is also non-existent in most African countries which provide a safe haven for criminals within and beyond our borders.   In Africa Nigeria is the largest target and source of malicious internet activities and the trend is quickly spreading to other countries in West Africa. The rest of Africa has not been spared especially in the large economic hubs like Nairobi, Cairo, and Johannesburg where criminal activities on the web such as fraudulent financial transactions and child kidnapping are on the rise. There is proof that terrorist activities organized by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Alshabaab in Somalia and Kenya have been coordinated and planned over the web. Take for example the West gate attack in Kenya where 67 people lost their lives and cost the economy an estimated $200 million in tourism revenue. A study carried out by the International Data Group Connect estimates that annually, cybercrimes cost the South African economy $573 million, the Nigeria economy $200 million and $36 million to the Kenyan economy.   If you go through the web you will come across numerous stories of people whose lives have been changed because they were victims of cyber crimes. There are heartbreaking stories of women and men who have lost their entire fortune to cons on the internet. Homes have been broken into and assault or murder committed because someone thought it was a good idea to post their where about or home address online. Parents have been victims of their children’s photographs being stolen from social sites and posted on adult sites. Children have been bullied relentlessly on the web and some have ended their lives as a result. People have reported being watched by stalkers for months without their knowledge on their webcams. Heinous acts such as child grooming by pedophiles and human traffickers are a daily occurrence and yet most of us continue to share every moment of our lives with careless abandon.   I am not here to scare you (maybe a little) or preach against the internet and the various platforms it offers, heaven knows we continue to reap numerous benefits from the easy connectivity it gives. What I want is for all of us to be conscious of what we post and share and with whom and on what platform. We are guilty of agreeing to terms and conditions on websites so that we can start using their services without carefully reading their privacy regulations. Every time we post something online or disclose our location we are leaving a trail or footprint that can be used to harm us. I will give you an easy example; go to your Facebook or Instagram account or any other social account you may have and look at the number of “friends” you have. How many of these people do you really know and yet you give a chronicle of your life to them every single day.     Some of the most practical and easy ways suggested by INTERPOL on how you can ensure online safety are keeping your computer safe from viruses, opening attachments from only contacts you trust, being cautious about public wireless connections, keeping your spam filter switched on among many others at your disposal on their website. The internet is here to stay and our need for it will only grow but what we can do is taking it upon ourselves to ensure that our privacy and that of our loved ones is not defiled and realizing with time not every moment needs to be shared with the world.
    Jun 13, 2016 709
  • 05 Sep 2016
    Recently, an announcement regarding electricity access in Kenya was made by the World Bank. I was glad that the Kenyan government had increased electricity access to over 50% today from 23% in 2009. It is not only Kenya, but other countries within the East African region have also improved their electricity access. Rwanda increased access from 6% in 2009 to 22% in 2015. Tanzania improved from 2.5% in 2010 to approximately 24% in 2014. The improvements show that the individual governments have some form of comprehensive national strategies with regard to improving access to energy. For Kenya, I was particularly interested in the electricity access plan for the country to see if the achievement was in line with the Vision 2030. Unfortunately, it wasn’t; the access now should be 70%. I appreciate that there were challenges along the way that resulted to the shortfall. The challenges are not limited to Kenya. Take the case of Rwanda; the country is still a long way towards achieving 100% electricity access by 2020. The complexity that comes with implementation require our governments to apply more stringent measures, or apply better studies that provide more accurate projections. I want to believe that much more can be done as access to energy is a critical requirement in the achievement of most UN SDGs. The increased access to electricity in Kenya has been influenced by increased development in energy generation projects. One of the applauded projects, as many know, is the investment in geothermal power. With increased investment in Geothermal electricity, Kenya is getting global recognition as it is among the few countries with large generation capacities from geothermal. By the end of 2015, the country had a generation capacity of 600MW from geothermal contributing over a fourth of the total generation that stood at 2,333MW. Globally, looking at countries that invested in geothermal electricity in 2015 alone, Turkey set up the biggest plant at 159MW followed by the United States at 71MW, Mexico with 53MW and Kenya in the fourth position with 20MW. Japan came in fifth having added 7MW of geothermal electricity to its energy mix while Germany was 6th (6MW). Considering total electricity generation from geothermal, Kenya occupies the eighth position globally.  It is also noteworthy that the country is yet to fully exploit the 10,000MW of its geothermal capacity. The government aims to scale up electricity generation from to 5000MW by 2030. Even though the Kenyan electricity generation mix considers several renewables with geothermal being the main one, I believe that the country has largely ignored solar. Wind and solar currently contribute approximately 1% to the energy mix. I do not see this as fair considering drastic reduction of solar PV prices over the years. Fortunately, the Kenyan government is working to review its electricity grid code that will see increase in distributed generation especially on home solar through net-metering. There are also numerous solar-preneurs that are working to increase off-grid electricity alternative in the country. One notable one is the M-Kopa that provides a solar panel, LED light bulbs and rechargeable torch as well as a television set. For those that have solar firms, there is a Feed-in tariff of 12 dollar cents per kwh on solar electricity for solar farms with capacities above 0.5MW. Home solar will start taking shape hopefully in the next financial year when the new electricity code will take effect.
    700 Posted by Eric Akumu
  • Recently, an announcement regarding electricity access in Kenya was made by the World Bank. I was glad that the Kenyan government had increased electricity access to over 50% today from 23% in 2009. It is not only Kenya, but other countries within the East African region have also improved their electricity access. Rwanda increased access from 6% in 2009 to 22% in 2015. Tanzania improved from 2.5% in 2010 to approximately 24% in 2014. The improvements show that the individual governments have some form of comprehensive national strategies with regard to improving access to energy. For Kenya, I was particularly interested in the electricity access plan for the country to see if the achievement was in line with the Vision 2030. Unfortunately, it wasn’t; the access now should be 70%. I appreciate that there were challenges along the way that resulted to the shortfall. The challenges are not limited to Kenya. Take the case of Rwanda; the country is still a long way towards achieving 100% electricity access by 2020. The complexity that comes with implementation require our governments to apply more stringent measures, or apply better studies that provide more accurate projections. I want to believe that much more can be done as access to energy is a critical requirement in the achievement of most UN SDGs. The increased access to electricity in Kenya has been influenced by increased development in energy generation projects. One of the applauded projects, as many know, is the investment in geothermal power. With increased investment in Geothermal electricity, Kenya is getting global recognition as it is among the few countries with large generation capacities from geothermal. By the end of 2015, the country had a generation capacity of 600MW from geothermal contributing over a fourth of the total generation that stood at 2,333MW. Globally, looking at countries that invested in geothermal electricity in 2015 alone, Turkey set up the biggest plant at 159MW followed by the United States at 71MW, Mexico with 53MW and Kenya in the fourth position with 20MW. Japan came in fifth having added 7MW of geothermal electricity to its energy mix while Germany was 6th (6MW). Considering total electricity generation from geothermal, Kenya occupies the eighth position globally.  It is also noteworthy that the country is yet to fully exploit the 10,000MW of its geothermal capacity. The government aims to scale up electricity generation from to 5000MW by 2030. Even though the Kenyan electricity generation mix considers several renewables with geothermal being the main one, I believe that the country has largely ignored solar. Wind and solar currently contribute approximately 1% to the energy mix. I do not see this as fair considering drastic reduction of solar PV prices over the years. Fortunately, the Kenyan government is working to review its electricity grid code that will see increase in distributed generation especially on home solar through net-metering. There are also numerous solar-preneurs that are working to increase off-grid electricity alternative in the country. One notable one is the M-Kopa that provides a solar panel, LED light bulbs and rechargeable torch as well as a television set. For those that have solar firms, there is a Feed-in tariff of 12 dollar cents per kwh on solar electricity for solar farms with capacities above 0.5MW. Home solar will start taking shape hopefully in the next financial year when the new electricity code will take effect.
    Sep 05, 2016 700
  • 28 Apr 2016
    The first of its kind in our beautiful institute, call it the epitome of excellence. This is yet another platform to raise awareness of the issues around us. Yet still another opportunity to build African future leaders who can hold discussions and dialogue to come up with appropriate solutions to Africa’s problems through making informed decisions. With platforms like this Africa’s future is not just bright but about to glow. Discussing African matters not only focuses on Africa but also the world at large pointing out the different opportunities for collaboration. The countries of the world face the same problems. What we brand “African problems” now, were once “Europe’s problems” and these still exist but not at the same level as in Africa. This is a good thing as case studies are drawn, bringing together different people, laying out learning points and leading to easy ways to handle the different concerns in a better perspective. This is how it happened. We had opening remarks from the team leader Subject Matter, Mr. Andrew Mugumya. His words were not more than encouragement, appreciation and acknowledgement of the efforts by other Community of Practice (CoP) teams in making the debate possible. He gave the timetable for the debates (after every 3 weeks), with certificates to be awarded to participants. At this time, everyone was waiting for the moment when the two teams get to battle it out as they try to convince the audience that “Renewable Energy is the sole solution for Africa’s energy problems or just a nice tune that needs Conventional Energy sources as the soloist”. The moment came, Mr. Eric Otieno, presided over the debate, introduced the 2 sides; Proposers and Opposers, stated the rules of the debate and the ball was set rolling. The first speaker from the proposers, Mr. Yunus Alokore introduced the big elephant in the room. ‘Energy is simply the ability to do work” he stated, He went ahead to give a brief introduction of Africa’s energy problems and how this has impeded development in numerous ways. North Africa depends mostly on fossil fuels, this is unsustainable and there is currently a lot of pressure. The solution to all this is Renewable Energy (RE) and that explains why there is a multitude of RE projects as they’re trying to diversify the energy mix. He pointed out the incredible potential of RE in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and how the region continues to live under extreme energy poverty. “Access to energy in Africa at large is still a conundrum, mostly SSA, suffering from systems inefficiencies of the few available ones, low capacity factor and overdependence on a single energy form”. The sun is always available, the potential for biomass is high but the efficiency of use to ensure sustainability is still an issue. More than 1.5 M tons of oil in Nigeria is extracted every year, this has an effect on the water bodies in the country and the environment at large through pollution. This does not only happen in Nigeria but in many other parts of the world where conventional energy sources are dominant. Speaking about the costs of RE, he pointed out the increased funding efforts from the different multinational organizations – the world bank allocated more than 6 billion US $ on RE projects this year alone, Total allocated more than 6bn US $ to financing RE projects too. On buying costs, he gave an account of how the prices of the different RE products have been falling over the years. “So costs should not be a thing to worry about”. Organisations are willing to finance African governments in a direction of clean energies and RE is the solution. He also underscored that when one looks at the lifecycle of both energy systems i.e. RE and conventional energies, it is crystal clear that conventional systems are rather expensive. He submitted and left the floor. Then came the second speaker from the proposers; Ms. Vivian Ogechi. She started by giving the difference between electricity and energy. She acknowledged the fact that RE is a long term approach and for that we need to take baby steps. Citing the great Inga dam in Congo, “this has the potential to feed more than 80% of Africa’s population but due to inefficiencies, it can’t even feed the whole Congo as a country”. She went ahead to state that energy systems like Hybrids where renewable systems of different types are joined together can be a perfect solution to mother Africa’s energy problems. She highlighted some of the African countries where governments are taking steps to include RE in the energy mix (Ethiopia, Algeria and Kenya). She concluded that decentralized energy systems are the solution for the continent’s isolated rural settings. The first speaker from the opposers, took the stage; Ms. Irene Nantongo. “It is very wrong to state that RE is the sole savior for this beautiful continent”, she exclaimed. “What about conventional sources?” she expressed her dissatisfaction to the fact that such discussions come at a time when her beautiful country (Uganda) and other countries have discovered the “flowing wealth”- Oil. She stressed further that the motion is very wrong, citing examples of developed countries and how they never gave up on conventional energy. “Their energy mix is still dominated by fossils fuels, look at the US - conventional energies are still prominent in their energy mix!”. Intermittency of RE is a very big issue, “Does the sun shine every day?”, she asked. Considering the high cost of the RE technologies, a poor continent like mother Africa can’t take that route for now. She drew examples from some of the developed countries in Africa, alluding how clearly their energy mix is dominated by conventional energy. “Africa is rich in RE resources but we need to think wiser”- she submitted and left the floor.The second speaker from the opposers; Mr. Cleus Bamutura, took over the floor. “It is true Africa has the resources, but listen to these humbling facts - Africa’s share on the world total energy consumption is only 5%. Total energy consumed by Africa in one year is consumed by china in one month.” The question should not be sole savior but rather optimization of the different energy sources the continent has at its disposal. Through this, Africa’s energy problems will become history in no time. Our focus should be on setting up resilient energy systems and handling them sustainably. He went ahead to point out the doubtable reliability of renewables citing that they are season dependent. He criticized the debate motion mentioning that, the focus should be on looking for better energy systems rather than limiting our options to one energy source RE as the sole savior. He stated that reasons for dependency on RE are more of sustainability than cost. He further criticized the funding from the organisations alluding how there are many strings attached and that Africa needs to move forward without that. “Yes, RE drives to a direction of access to energy but the question we should ask ourselves is, energy for what?”, he submitted. Rebuttal from proposersOn the floor came the speaker from proposers, Mr. Yunus Alokore. “Human beings never moved from stone age because they ran out of stones”. This was a reaction to the opposers consistent pointing to the availability of conventional energy in Africa and how we can’t ignore them in preference to RE. He defended solar energy by giving a range of other RE sources like Geothermal and Wind that can be harnessed in tandem to overcome the problem of intermittency. Underscoring the Wind potential in Africa being equivalent to the current total installed capacity, and geothermal potential estimated at 15GW. He concluded that intermittency of RE should not be an issue once Africa embarks entirely on RE. Reactions from the audienceThe audience was given a chance to participate in this very engaging session. A lot was said but the contentious issue was the two words “sole savior”. The different speakers from the audience directed a lot of focus on this as they claimed Africa is plagued with a plethora of problems facing the energy sector ranging from poor governance to food insecurity. And hence it would be terribly wrong to single out a solo issue RE as the sole savior of the continent’s energy problems. In a nutshell, the debate was educative, entertaining and very informative. All the participants were satisfied with the richness of the discussions that gave them a detailed insight into Africa’s energy situation, resources and scenarios as well as proposed solutions to curb energy problems in the continent. The entire PAUWES community is looking forward to the next one. As the editorial team, we take this opportunity to thank the entire community for making this a success. @Editorial_team
    699 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • The first of its kind in our beautiful institute, call it the epitome of excellence. This is yet another platform to raise awareness of the issues around us. Yet still another opportunity to build African future leaders who can hold discussions and dialogue to come up with appropriate solutions to Africa’s problems through making informed decisions. With platforms like this Africa’s future is not just bright but about to glow. Discussing African matters not only focuses on Africa but also the world at large pointing out the different opportunities for collaboration. The countries of the world face the same problems. What we brand “African problems” now, were once “Europe’s problems” and these still exist but not at the same level as in Africa. This is a good thing as case studies are drawn, bringing together different people, laying out learning points and leading to easy ways to handle the different concerns in a better perspective. This is how it happened. We had opening remarks from the team leader Subject Matter, Mr. Andrew Mugumya. His words were not more than encouragement, appreciation and acknowledgement of the efforts by other Community of Practice (CoP) teams in making the debate possible. He gave the timetable for the debates (after every 3 weeks), with certificates to be awarded to participants. At this time, everyone was waiting for the moment when the two teams get to battle it out as they try to convince the audience that “Renewable Energy is the sole solution for Africa’s energy problems or just a nice tune that needs Conventional Energy sources as the soloist”. The moment came, Mr. Eric Otieno, presided over the debate, introduced the 2 sides; Proposers and Opposers, stated the rules of the debate and the ball was set rolling. The first speaker from the proposers, Mr. Yunus Alokore introduced the big elephant in the room. ‘Energy is simply the ability to do work” he stated, He went ahead to give a brief introduction of Africa’s energy problems and how this has impeded development in numerous ways. North Africa depends mostly on fossil fuels, this is unsustainable and there is currently a lot of pressure. The solution to all this is Renewable Energy (RE) and that explains why there is a multitude of RE projects as they’re trying to diversify the energy mix. He pointed out the incredible potential of RE in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and how the region continues to live under extreme energy poverty. “Access to energy in Africa at large is still a conundrum, mostly SSA, suffering from systems inefficiencies of the few available ones, low capacity factor and overdependence on a single energy form”. The sun is always available, the potential for biomass is high but the efficiency of use to ensure sustainability is still an issue. More than 1.5 M tons of oil in Nigeria is extracted every year, this has an effect on the water bodies in the country and the environment at large through pollution. This does not only happen in Nigeria but in many other parts of the world where conventional energy sources are dominant. Speaking about the costs of RE, he pointed out the increased funding efforts from the different multinational organizations – the world bank allocated more than 6 billion US $ on RE projects this year alone, Total allocated more than 6bn US $ to financing RE projects too. On buying costs, he gave an account of how the prices of the different RE products have been falling over the years. “So costs should not be a thing to worry about”. Organisations are willing to finance African governments in a direction of clean energies and RE is the solution. He also underscored that when one looks at the lifecycle of both energy systems i.e. RE and conventional energies, it is crystal clear that conventional systems are rather expensive. He submitted and left the floor. Then came the second speaker from the proposers; Ms. Vivian Ogechi. She started by giving the difference between electricity and energy. She acknowledged the fact that RE is a long term approach and for that we need to take baby steps. Citing the great Inga dam in Congo, “this has the potential to feed more than 80% of Africa’s population but due to inefficiencies, it can’t even feed the whole Congo as a country”. She went ahead to state that energy systems like Hybrids where renewable systems of different types are joined together can be a perfect solution to mother Africa’s energy problems. She highlighted some of the African countries where governments are taking steps to include RE in the energy mix (Ethiopia, Algeria and Kenya). She concluded that decentralized energy systems are the solution for the continent’s isolated rural settings. The first speaker from the opposers, took the stage; Ms. Irene Nantongo. “It is very wrong to state that RE is the sole savior for this beautiful continent”, she exclaimed. “What about conventional sources?” she expressed her dissatisfaction to the fact that such discussions come at a time when her beautiful country (Uganda) and other countries have discovered the “flowing wealth”- Oil. She stressed further that the motion is very wrong, citing examples of developed countries and how they never gave up on conventional energy. “Their energy mix is still dominated by fossils fuels, look at the US - conventional energies are still prominent in their energy mix!”. Intermittency of RE is a very big issue, “Does the sun shine every day?”, she asked. Considering the high cost of the RE technologies, a poor continent like mother Africa can’t take that route for now. She drew examples from some of the developed countries in Africa, alluding how clearly their energy mix is dominated by conventional energy. “Africa is rich in RE resources but we need to think wiser”- she submitted and left the floor.The second speaker from the opposers; Mr. Cleus Bamutura, took over the floor. “It is true Africa has the resources, but listen to these humbling facts - Africa’s share on the world total energy consumption is only 5%. Total energy consumed by Africa in one year is consumed by china in one month.” The question should not be sole savior but rather optimization of the different energy sources the continent has at its disposal. Through this, Africa’s energy problems will become history in no time. Our focus should be on setting up resilient energy systems and handling them sustainably. He went ahead to point out the doubtable reliability of renewables citing that they are season dependent. He criticized the debate motion mentioning that, the focus should be on looking for better energy systems rather than limiting our options to one energy source RE as the sole savior. He stated that reasons for dependency on RE are more of sustainability than cost. He further criticized the funding from the organisations alluding how there are many strings attached and that Africa needs to move forward without that. “Yes, RE drives to a direction of access to energy but the question we should ask ourselves is, energy for what?”, he submitted. Rebuttal from proposersOn the floor came the speaker from proposers, Mr. Yunus Alokore. “Human beings never moved from stone age because they ran out of stones”. This was a reaction to the opposers consistent pointing to the availability of conventional energy in Africa and how we can’t ignore them in preference to RE. He defended solar energy by giving a range of other RE sources like Geothermal and Wind that can be harnessed in tandem to overcome the problem of intermittency. Underscoring the Wind potential in Africa being equivalent to the current total installed capacity, and geothermal potential estimated at 15GW. He concluded that intermittency of RE should not be an issue once Africa embarks entirely on RE. Reactions from the audienceThe audience was given a chance to participate in this very engaging session. A lot was said but the contentious issue was the two words “sole savior”. The different speakers from the audience directed a lot of focus on this as they claimed Africa is plagued with a plethora of problems facing the energy sector ranging from poor governance to food insecurity. And hence it would be terribly wrong to single out a solo issue RE as the sole savior of the continent’s energy problems. In a nutshell, the debate was educative, entertaining and very informative. All the participants were satisfied with the richness of the discussions that gave them a detailed insight into Africa’s energy situation, resources and scenarios as well as proposed solutions to curb energy problems in the continent. The entire PAUWES community is looking forward to the next one. As the editorial team, we take this opportunity to thank the entire community for making this a success. @Editorial_team
    Apr 28, 2016 699
  • 23 May 2016
    A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on endangered species and it generated quiet a discussion which I must say I greatly enjoyed and hope to stimulate with every post. The views on what should have been done to the over 100 tones of elephants and rhinos ivory Kenya chose to burn were valid and for good reason. However, I think we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and not just the single act of the ivory burn. Poaching and selling of ivory are considered as acts of wild animal trafficking which according to INTERPOL is the third largest illegal business in the world after drug and arms trafficking. It is among other activities like illegal logging, electronic waste mismanagement, fining and illegal fishing which are considered as environmental crimes.   Environmental crimes are a violation to the environmental laws put into place to protect the environment and involve all illegal acts that directly cause harm to the environment. According to the United Nations and INTERPOL, environmental crime businesses generate between $70 billion and $213 billion each year. That is a staggering amount considering that most of these crimes go unpunished and the true perpetrators are never caught. What makes this a dangerous trade is that the biggest percentages of these finances go towards financing militia, criminal and terrorist groups. Let me try and break it down for you; The ivory global trade is estimated to be worth around $1 billion every year and a kilogram of a sharks fin is worth 600 Euros. That may not seem significant but picture this, every year 100 million sharks are captured and out of these 75% are only caught for their fins and then thrown back to the ocean to a slow painful death. Forest crimes which include illegal logging are estimated to be worth over $30 billion annually.   We live in a time where security is no longer guaranteed. Terrorism has spread fear in the hearts of many and the illusion of public safety is slowly fading. What we fail to realize is that most of the terrorist activities are funded by engaging in environmental crimes. For example, the al shabaab from Somalia rely heavily on illegal exports of charcoal worth $360 million to $384 million to finance their activities. It is no secret that al shabaab has taken credit of wounding and killing hundreds of civilians in East Africa. Africa’s most unstable countries of South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa Republic provide a safe haven for poachers, miners and illegal loggers who make part of an elaborate network that support militia groups like those of Lord Joseph Koni from Uganda.   The effects of environmental crimes are too many to count and the destruction left in its wake too huge to quantify. We have had animals pushed to the blink of extinction as the middle class in Asia seeks to acquire societal status. Women and children have been enslaved by warlords who take over villages next to national parks as they seek their next kill. Let us not forget the rangers who have been killed in the line of duty or the innocent civilians who continue to be killed the world over through acts of terrorism. It is really a sickening trade one that has been fueled by corruption in government institutions, weak environmental legislations, and unemployment and abject poverty.   It is clear that environmental crimes affect countries at the national and community level. What we need is a system overhaul if this war is to be won because believe me it is a war. The biggest obstacle to winning this war is corruption and it needs to be addressed so that there is effective implementation of environmental laws and prosecution of offenders. Communities living near environmental protected areas need to be economically empowered so that they are not easily lured into illegal activities. Involving them in managing such environmental resources and creating awareness would be one way of creating a sense of ownership and creating policing networks. Above all countries need to rise together in one voice and cooperate in ensuring that the environmental resources are sustainably used and protected even beyond their borders. We owe it to ourselves to protect the beauty of our world from the greedy few.
    695 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on endangered species and it generated quiet a discussion which I must say I greatly enjoyed and hope to stimulate with every post. The views on what should have been done to the over 100 tones of elephants and rhinos ivory Kenya chose to burn were valid and for good reason. However, I think we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and not just the single act of the ivory burn. Poaching and selling of ivory are considered as acts of wild animal trafficking which according to INTERPOL is the third largest illegal business in the world after drug and arms trafficking. It is among other activities like illegal logging, electronic waste mismanagement, fining and illegal fishing which are considered as environmental crimes.   Environmental crimes are a violation to the environmental laws put into place to protect the environment and involve all illegal acts that directly cause harm to the environment. According to the United Nations and INTERPOL, environmental crime businesses generate between $70 billion and $213 billion each year. That is a staggering amount considering that most of these crimes go unpunished and the true perpetrators are never caught. What makes this a dangerous trade is that the biggest percentages of these finances go towards financing militia, criminal and terrorist groups. Let me try and break it down for you; The ivory global trade is estimated to be worth around $1 billion every year and a kilogram of a sharks fin is worth 600 Euros. That may not seem significant but picture this, every year 100 million sharks are captured and out of these 75% are only caught for their fins and then thrown back to the ocean to a slow painful death. Forest crimes which include illegal logging are estimated to be worth over $30 billion annually.   We live in a time where security is no longer guaranteed. Terrorism has spread fear in the hearts of many and the illusion of public safety is slowly fading. What we fail to realize is that most of the terrorist activities are funded by engaging in environmental crimes. For example, the al shabaab from Somalia rely heavily on illegal exports of charcoal worth $360 million to $384 million to finance their activities. It is no secret that al shabaab has taken credit of wounding and killing hundreds of civilians in East Africa. Africa’s most unstable countries of South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central Africa Republic provide a safe haven for poachers, miners and illegal loggers who make part of an elaborate network that support militia groups like those of Lord Joseph Koni from Uganda.   The effects of environmental crimes are too many to count and the destruction left in its wake too huge to quantify. We have had animals pushed to the blink of extinction as the middle class in Asia seeks to acquire societal status. Women and children have been enslaved by warlords who take over villages next to national parks as they seek their next kill. Let us not forget the rangers who have been killed in the line of duty or the innocent civilians who continue to be killed the world over through acts of terrorism. It is really a sickening trade one that has been fueled by corruption in government institutions, weak environmental legislations, and unemployment and abject poverty.   It is clear that environmental crimes affect countries at the national and community level. What we need is a system overhaul if this war is to be won because believe me it is a war. The biggest obstacle to winning this war is corruption and it needs to be addressed so that there is effective implementation of environmental laws and prosecution of offenders. Communities living near environmental protected areas need to be economically empowered so that they are not easily lured into illegal activities. Involving them in managing such environmental resources and creating awareness would be one way of creating a sense of ownership and creating policing networks. Above all countries need to rise together in one voice and cooperate in ensuring that the environmental resources are sustainably used and protected even beyond their borders. We owe it to ourselves to protect the beauty of our world from the greedy few.
    May 23, 2016 695
  • 01 Aug 2016
    Kenya is situated in Eastern Africa and lies across the equator. Most of Kenya’s water originates from the five water towers namely Mount Kenya, Mau forest, Aberdare ranges, Mount Elgon and Cherengani hills (NEMA, 2010). Kenya also shares a number of rivers and lakes with other countries for example Lake Victoria and Ewaso Ng’iro which is part of the larger Shebelle-Juba basin. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization 2014, the country’s total renewable water resources are 30.7km3 with water scarcity index of 674.043 m3 per capita significantly below the 1,000 m3 per capita marker for water scarcity. This means that Kenya is a water scarce country.Kenya, like any developing country faces water challenges which hinder the provision water and sanitation to its people. These challenges are both current and future as discussed;   Rapid population growth: Kenya’s population has doubled over the last 25 years and according to United Nations projections it is expected to grow by one million per year over the next 40 years and reach about 85 Million in 2050. The current water scarcity per capita is at 674.043 m3 per year and is likely to drop to 359 m3 per year by 2020 as a result of population growth. This not only presents a challenge in access to water but also a blink outlook in the future. With the rapid increase in the population more pressure is put on the finite resource. This means there is and will be more mounting demand on water for domestic use, industrial and agricultural purposes. This threatens the present and future county’s ability to meet the fundamental water needs of the people, water for economic development and environmental protection.   Ineffective water resources management: According to the Government of Kenya’s National development Report 2006, Kenya’s water resources have been mismanaged through unsustainable water and land use policies, laws and institutions, rapid population growth and increased degradation of rivers, lakes and wetlands and their catchments. The government budget allocation to water development and management has been affected since over 51% of the budget is allocated to recurring costs and expenditure. There have therefore been insufficient funds to allocate water, police illegal water extractions and obstructions and monitor water pollution. This is both a current and future problem unless the budget allocation trend is changed.   There are also gender disparities between men and women in water resource management in Kenya. Women are responsible for multiple uses of water resources and principle decision makers regarding its domestic and sanitation uses and yet more often than not men control this resource and make major decisions related to its allocation and type of facilities available (Wambu Charles.K, 2015). Women are not fully involved in formulation of water policies, public discussions and in community and national water committees. For example interventions such as irrigations fail to consider the gender dynamics in land ownership rights, labour force and income. High level of women illiteracy rates in rural Kenya also hinders women in participation of water project planning and management.   Forest degradation: According to the United Nations illegal encroachment have reduced Kenya’s forest cover from 12% to 1.2%. Rivers and lakes have shrunk as a result affecting access of water. One of the forest complex adversely affected is the Mau Forest complex. The water shed feeds 12 rivers and hydroelectric dams downstream and replenishes the famous wildlife preserves of Maasai Mara and Serengeti in Tanzania. Unfortunately, loggers and farmers have destroyed up to 400,000 hectares of forested land (Marshall, June,2011). This has led to increased run off and flash floods in the towns neighbouring the forest. For example in 2015 heavy rainfall in the Mau forest led to heavy flooding in Narok county resulting into the loss of life and destruction of private property. The Narok case is not unique and heavy rainfall in other parts of the country has led to erosion from cleared forest cover, poorly maintained agricultural land leading to accelerated siltation and loss of storage capacity in the country’s storage dams and pans. Out of the estimated 3,200 dams and pans countrywide, between 80% and 90% have lost at least 50% of their expected economic life from siltation (Hezron Mogaka, 2006).   Climate variability: Many parts of Africa, Kenya included are experiencing high variability in rainfall and frequent occurrences of flooding and drought with the latter causing drying of surface water resources. For example Kenya has over the past experiences severe prolonged drought spells between the years of 1990-1992, 1998-2001, 2004-2006. Droughts have devastating impacts on water availability and quality, human security and food health (Ngaira, 2009) for example, the 2004-2006 drought led to the loss of 80% of the livestock in semi-arid districts in Kenya due to lack of pasture and water. This variability not only threatens the livelihoods of pastoralists but of farmers, fishermen and even tourist operators among many others. This has a direct impact on the country’s economic growth and development.   Trans-boundary ground and surface water challenges: Kenya shares the Merti Aquifer basin with Somalia and the Kilimanjaro Aquifer Basin with Tanzania. Unlike trans-boundary surface water and river basins there is not much documentation and research that has been done on groundwater. Moreover there is no any memorandum of understanding that exists on how these aquifers are to be utilized. On surface water Kenya shares the Mara River Basin with Tanzania which has conflicting water uses for example, the Mara River Basin supplies water to the Maasai Mara and Serengeti game reserves and is also used for irrigation, livestock and domestic purposes. The rapid population growth along the basin has seen pressure rise on the water resource, clearance of land for agriculture and deforestation all which have a negative impact on the water quality and could result into human-wildlife conflict. The Lake Victoria Basin is also another example of a shared water resource in Kenya. The Basin is shared by Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi and occupies about 251,000 km2 while the lake itself covers 69,000 km2. 6% of the lake surface lies within Kenya, 45% in Uganda and 49% in Tanzania (UNEP, 2008). The lake is utilized for agriculture, fishing, transport and domestic use. The population around the lake annual growth is 3% which put great pressure on the water resources of Lake Victoria affecting the water quality of the lake through release of untreated sewage, overfishing and competing water needs between the riparian states. For example, Uganda has been accused of over-releasing of water at the Kiira and Nalubaale dams in order to power its dams. This is against the agreed curve agreement at how much water can be released at Owen falls (Lubovich, 2009). Such conflicting water use needs create tension among the states and hinder cooperation in managing the Lake.Invasive species: Water hyacinth was first reported in Ugandan waters in 1988 and has now spread through the lake reaching Kagera River and the Kenyan waters (Lubovich, 2009). The water hyacinth infestation affects transportation, fishing, and aquatic life and affects dam operation. According to the World Bank estimates the first outbreak in 1997 cost the riparian nations between US$6 million and US$10 million during which period Kenya saw a decline of 70% in its port activities.      On point and non-point water pollution: the causes of water pollution in Kenya are industrialization, agriculture, urbanization. The quest for Kenya to attain industrialization has seen an increase in the pollution and degradation of water resources quality. The Nairobi River which is drained by Ngong, Nairobi and Mathare rivers is heavily polluted by raw sewage from the numerous informal settlements along its banks and effluent from the industries who find it cheaper and easier to discharge their waste into the river without adequate treatment. Other examples include the Kericho tea farms, Ahero rice scheme and Mumias sugar farms discharge of domestic and industrial effluent into water bodies leading to eutrophication. Lake Victoria suffers from pollution from agricultural areas such as Kericho and Nandi tea farms while Lake Naivasha is polluted with chemicals from the horticultural farms in the area  According to the National Environment Management Authority (2004) Kenya’s urban population growth rate is 8% per annum which not only presents a present problem in domestic and industrial waste management and provision of safe water and sanitation but also paints a grim picture for the future.     Inadequate funding: Kenya’s ground water potential has not fully been realized because of the high cost associated with drilling for water and the technical challenges in finding sources that are large enough to cater for the needs of the population. In some cases where wells are in existence, they are poorly maintained due to limited financial resources leading to easy contamination of the water. Limited funding has meant that research in this field is not sufficient and data and information that could contribute to water resources management is scarce (Hezron Mogaka, 2006).  For example, water allocation and abstraction decisions are based on inadequate data opening opportunities for water permits to be issued out without following proper procedure to meet the interests of a few. There is also inadequate investment in the water sector by private investors since it requires heavy investment and is closely regulated by the government since it is a national resource.   Weak environmental institutions: the institutions mandated with the protection of the environment and its resources are underfunded, under staffed and over worked. This has made it difficult for example, for the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to fully prosecute those polluting water resources and carrying out illegal activities such as sand harvesting, effluent discharge into rivers, and abstraction of water. The fines associated with these offences do not reflect the damage caused or the cost of rehabilitating the affected water resources. There is a common saying in Kenya that NEMA is a toothless dog since it has no capacity or financial ability to fulfill its environmental protection mandate which include the protection of water resources. In conclusion, Water is a fundamental human right, one which every Kenyan has a right to enjoy without any limitation. This right is embedded in the National constitution of Kenya Article 43 (1d) states that every person has the right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities. Therefore, the water challenges need to be addressed through the collaborative efforts and involvement of all stakeholders so that this right is secured and assured to for all citizens.       Works Cited FAO. (2014). The state of food insecurity in the world. Rome: Food and Agriculture Orrganization of the United Nations. Hezron Mogaka, S. G. (2006). Climate variability and water resources degredation in Kenya:Improving water resources development and management. Washington: World Bank Publications. Kenya, T. G. (2008). The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Lubovich, K. (2009). Cooperation and Competition: Managing Transboundary Water Resources in the Lake Victoria Region . Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability. Marshall, S. (June,2011). The Water Crisis in Kenya: Causes, Effects and Solutions. Global Majority E-Journal , 31-45. NEMA. (2010). Kenya state of the Environment and Outlook 2010. Supporting the delivery of vision 2030. National Environment Management Authority. Ngaira, J. K. (2009). Challenges of water resource management and food production in a changing climate in Kenya. Journal of Geography and Regional Planning Vol 2 , 97-103. UNEP, G. (2008). Transboundary issues. Wambu Charles.K, M. K. (2015). Gender Disparities in Water Resource Management Projects in Njoro Sub-County Kenya. International Journal of Social Science Studies . WRMA. (2015). WRMA perfomance report. Kenya: Water Resource Management Authority.    
    694 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • Kenya is situated in Eastern Africa and lies across the equator. Most of Kenya’s water originates from the five water towers namely Mount Kenya, Mau forest, Aberdare ranges, Mount Elgon and Cherengani hills (NEMA, 2010). Kenya also shares a number of rivers and lakes with other countries for example Lake Victoria and Ewaso Ng’iro which is part of the larger Shebelle-Juba basin. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization 2014, the country’s total renewable water resources are 30.7km3 with water scarcity index of 674.043 m3 per capita significantly below the 1,000 m3 per capita marker for water scarcity. This means that Kenya is a water scarce country.Kenya, like any developing country faces water challenges which hinder the provision water and sanitation to its people. These challenges are both current and future as discussed;   Rapid population growth: Kenya’s population has doubled over the last 25 years and according to United Nations projections it is expected to grow by one million per year over the next 40 years and reach about 85 Million in 2050. The current water scarcity per capita is at 674.043 m3 per year and is likely to drop to 359 m3 per year by 2020 as a result of population growth. This not only presents a challenge in access to water but also a blink outlook in the future. With the rapid increase in the population more pressure is put on the finite resource. This means there is and will be more mounting demand on water for domestic use, industrial and agricultural purposes. This threatens the present and future county’s ability to meet the fundamental water needs of the people, water for economic development and environmental protection.   Ineffective water resources management: According to the Government of Kenya’s National development Report 2006, Kenya’s water resources have been mismanaged through unsustainable water and land use policies, laws and institutions, rapid population growth and increased degradation of rivers, lakes and wetlands and their catchments. The government budget allocation to water development and management has been affected since over 51% of the budget is allocated to recurring costs and expenditure. There have therefore been insufficient funds to allocate water, police illegal water extractions and obstructions and monitor water pollution. This is both a current and future problem unless the budget allocation trend is changed.   There are also gender disparities between men and women in water resource management in Kenya. Women are responsible for multiple uses of water resources and principle decision makers regarding its domestic and sanitation uses and yet more often than not men control this resource and make major decisions related to its allocation and type of facilities available (Wambu Charles.K, 2015). Women are not fully involved in formulation of water policies, public discussions and in community and national water committees. For example interventions such as irrigations fail to consider the gender dynamics in land ownership rights, labour force and income. High level of women illiteracy rates in rural Kenya also hinders women in participation of water project planning and management.   Forest degradation: According to the United Nations illegal encroachment have reduced Kenya’s forest cover from 12% to 1.2%. Rivers and lakes have shrunk as a result affecting access of water. One of the forest complex adversely affected is the Mau Forest complex. The water shed feeds 12 rivers and hydroelectric dams downstream and replenishes the famous wildlife preserves of Maasai Mara and Serengeti in Tanzania. Unfortunately, loggers and farmers have destroyed up to 400,000 hectares of forested land (Marshall, June,2011). This has led to increased run off and flash floods in the towns neighbouring the forest. For example in 2015 heavy rainfall in the Mau forest led to heavy flooding in Narok county resulting into the loss of life and destruction of private property. The Narok case is not unique and heavy rainfall in other parts of the country has led to erosion from cleared forest cover, poorly maintained agricultural land leading to accelerated siltation and loss of storage capacity in the country’s storage dams and pans. Out of the estimated 3,200 dams and pans countrywide, between 80% and 90% have lost at least 50% of their expected economic life from siltation (Hezron Mogaka, 2006).   Climate variability: Many parts of Africa, Kenya included are experiencing high variability in rainfall and frequent occurrences of flooding and drought with the latter causing drying of surface water resources. For example Kenya has over the past experiences severe prolonged drought spells between the years of 1990-1992, 1998-2001, 2004-2006. Droughts have devastating impacts on water availability and quality, human security and food health (Ngaira, 2009) for example, the 2004-2006 drought led to the loss of 80% of the livestock in semi-arid districts in Kenya due to lack of pasture and water. This variability not only threatens the livelihoods of pastoralists but of farmers, fishermen and even tourist operators among many others. This has a direct impact on the country’s economic growth and development.   Trans-boundary ground and surface water challenges: Kenya shares the Merti Aquifer basin with Somalia and the Kilimanjaro Aquifer Basin with Tanzania. Unlike trans-boundary surface water and river basins there is not much documentation and research that has been done on groundwater. Moreover there is no any memorandum of understanding that exists on how these aquifers are to be utilized. On surface water Kenya shares the Mara River Basin with Tanzania which has conflicting water uses for example, the Mara River Basin supplies water to the Maasai Mara and Serengeti game reserves and is also used for irrigation, livestock and domestic purposes. The rapid population growth along the basin has seen pressure rise on the water resource, clearance of land for agriculture and deforestation all which have a negative impact on the water quality and could result into human-wildlife conflict. The Lake Victoria Basin is also another example of a shared water resource in Kenya. The Basin is shared by Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi and occupies about 251,000 km2 while the lake itself covers 69,000 km2. 6% of the lake surface lies within Kenya, 45% in Uganda and 49% in Tanzania (UNEP, 2008). The lake is utilized for agriculture, fishing, transport and domestic use. The population around the lake annual growth is 3% which put great pressure on the water resources of Lake Victoria affecting the water quality of the lake through release of untreated sewage, overfishing and competing water needs between the riparian states. For example, Uganda has been accused of over-releasing of water at the Kiira and Nalubaale dams in order to power its dams. This is against the agreed curve agreement at how much water can be released at Owen falls (Lubovich, 2009). Such conflicting water use needs create tension among the states and hinder cooperation in managing the Lake.Invasive species: Water hyacinth was first reported in Ugandan waters in 1988 and has now spread through the lake reaching Kagera River and the Kenyan waters (Lubovich, 2009). The water hyacinth infestation affects transportation, fishing, and aquatic life and affects dam operation. According to the World Bank estimates the first outbreak in 1997 cost the riparian nations between US$6 million and US$10 million during which period Kenya saw a decline of 70% in its port activities.      On point and non-point water pollution: the causes of water pollution in Kenya are industrialization, agriculture, urbanization. The quest for Kenya to attain industrialization has seen an increase in the pollution and degradation of water resources quality. The Nairobi River which is drained by Ngong, Nairobi and Mathare rivers is heavily polluted by raw sewage from the numerous informal settlements along its banks and effluent from the industries who find it cheaper and easier to discharge their waste into the river without adequate treatment. Other examples include the Kericho tea farms, Ahero rice scheme and Mumias sugar farms discharge of domestic and industrial effluent into water bodies leading to eutrophication. Lake Victoria suffers from pollution from agricultural areas such as Kericho and Nandi tea farms while Lake Naivasha is polluted with chemicals from the horticultural farms in the area  According to the National Environment Management Authority (2004) Kenya’s urban population growth rate is 8% per annum which not only presents a present problem in domestic and industrial waste management and provision of safe water and sanitation but also paints a grim picture for the future.     Inadequate funding: Kenya’s ground water potential has not fully been realized because of the high cost associated with drilling for water and the technical challenges in finding sources that are large enough to cater for the needs of the population. In some cases where wells are in existence, they are poorly maintained due to limited financial resources leading to easy contamination of the water. Limited funding has meant that research in this field is not sufficient and data and information that could contribute to water resources management is scarce (Hezron Mogaka, 2006).  For example, water allocation and abstraction decisions are based on inadequate data opening opportunities for water permits to be issued out without following proper procedure to meet the interests of a few. There is also inadequate investment in the water sector by private investors since it requires heavy investment and is closely regulated by the government since it is a national resource.   Weak environmental institutions: the institutions mandated with the protection of the environment and its resources are underfunded, under staffed and over worked. This has made it difficult for example, for the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to fully prosecute those polluting water resources and carrying out illegal activities such as sand harvesting, effluent discharge into rivers, and abstraction of water. The fines associated with these offences do not reflect the damage caused or the cost of rehabilitating the affected water resources. There is a common saying in Kenya that NEMA is a toothless dog since it has no capacity or financial ability to fulfill its environmental protection mandate which include the protection of water resources. In conclusion, Water is a fundamental human right, one which every Kenyan has a right to enjoy without any limitation. This right is embedded in the National constitution of Kenya Article 43 (1d) states that every person has the right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities. Therefore, the water challenges need to be addressed through the collaborative efforts and involvement of all stakeholders so that this right is secured and assured to for all citizens.       Works Cited FAO. (2014). The state of food insecurity in the world. Rome: Food and Agriculture Orrganization of the United Nations. Hezron Mogaka, S. G. (2006). Climate variability and water resources degredation in Kenya:Improving water resources development and management. Washington: World Bank Publications. Kenya, T. G. (2008). The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Lubovich, K. (2009). Cooperation and Competition: Managing Transboundary Water Resources in the Lake Victoria Region . Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability. Marshall, S. (June,2011). The Water Crisis in Kenya: Causes, Effects and Solutions. Global Majority E-Journal , 31-45. NEMA. (2010). Kenya state of the Environment and Outlook 2010. Supporting the delivery of vision 2030. National Environment Management Authority. Ngaira, J. K. (2009). Challenges of water resource management and food production in a changing climate in Kenya. Journal of Geography and Regional Planning Vol 2 , 97-103. UNEP, G. (2008). Transboundary issues. Wambu Charles.K, M. K. (2015). Gender Disparities in Water Resource Management Projects in Njoro Sub-County Kenya. International Journal of Social Science Studies . WRMA. (2015). WRMA perfomance report. Kenya: Water Resource Management Authority.    
    Aug 01, 2016 694