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  • 10 Apr 2016
    In a bid to fight global warming, reduction of emissions to the atmosphere was cited to be the most impeccable solution. Many techniques and scientific innovations have been put up by some of the world’s brilliant minds, ranging from creating all sorts of electric vehicles to converting carbon dioxide to concrete through the intervention of 3-D printing. Very interesting and truly inspiring, isn’t it? Well my innovation is also in the pipeline, I saw what global warming did to the ice cover in Antarctica and how that white bear was suffering. The point is everyone has a role to play, It’s either we stand now and fight global warming or our grandchildren live amid the direful calamities of the time.There are various ways in which companies are endeavoring to reduce the carbon footprint, as stated of particular interest in this article are the electric vehicles. What are they? Do they work when power goes off? Are they the heaven sent solution for the world’s emissions problem and hence warming of the globe? During the spring school in Germany, I and fellow energy students had an opportunity to attend a presentation by one of the electric vehicle (EV) specialists from Ford, I must say it was one of the best I have ever had about cars, one of those presentations where you feel everything has been driven home thoroughly and in the end the only question you’d ask is, “How are you?” – You know what am talking about. Some of the important points to note about EVs other than being expensive is, they’re of different types; Hybrid Electric, Plug-in Hybrid Electric, Battery Electric and Fuel Cell Electric. Those with hybrid systems use both gasoline and electricity while those without use electricity entirely and for that matter you need some charging. As I mentioned earlier these cars are quite not cheap until recently when Tesla, one of the company gurus in the EV field unveiled the Tesla Model 3 Electric car. It is said that this is the cheapest of its kind and goes for 35,000 USD. More than 200,000 customers forwarded orders, it’s cheap after all- its ok you might want to disagree with me on that. This is good news for the company (definitely they're making profits) and the world at large because at least the prices of the EVs are falling to the ones seemingly affordable.Back ground check, according to IPCC the transportation sector (14%) is in the fourth position after industry sector (21%), agriculture and land use (24%), electricity and heat production (25%) respectively, among the contributors to the global greenhouse gas emissions. I believe by these figures you can imagine how much emissions EVs are saving this beautiful world. Well you might need to rethink meticulously through it, now one would argue it out and jump to a conclusion that they don't use oil, and hence they're clean. But remember, you have to charge them and you need electricity to do that. What are the sources of that electricity for charging? Don't EVs fortify the need for more energy to fuel them? Doesn't this have an impact on the amount of fossil fuels like coal to be burnt to support the growing industry? I mean processing and manufacturing of all the kinds of cells and the vehicle materials, how much more emissions are produced? Should we say that all these emissions are compensated by the time they spend in use after manufacture? And if so, are we not biting our tails? Yes, EVs do probably contribute to the reduction of emissions but to what extent? It's possible that a bigger carbon footprint is left by these cars in the long run than the conventional cars. Let's say that is true, aren't there ways to perhaps reduce the emissions by the conventional cars and making them more efficient? May be there is or may be there isn't but it’s challenging to know now because the focus of the world on such is being shifted and oriented towards more lucrative choices. It's not evil but if in any case it involves sacrificing the generation of our children and grandchildren for profitable choices now, then it is. I think our main focus as the world should be on how to change the energy sources and use environmentally friendly sources, along with finding efficient ways to use the available energy other than looking for more ways to consume it. It’s important that we don't jump the queue of the energy chain. “I am very little inclined on any occasion to say anything unless I hope to produce some good by it” – Abraham Lincoln, I hope this write up triggers some good thinking in you about Electric cars. tonnykukeera@gmail.com@editorial_team
    1197 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • In a bid to fight global warming, reduction of emissions to the atmosphere was cited to be the most impeccable solution. Many techniques and scientific innovations have been put up by some of the world’s brilliant minds, ranging from creating all sorts of electric vehicles to converting carbon dioxide to concrete through the intervention of 3-D printing. Very interesting and truly inspiring, isn’t it? Well my innovation is also in the pipeline, I saw what global warming did to the ice cover in Antarctica and how that white bear was suffering. The point is everyone has a role to play, It’s either we stand now and fight global warming or our grandchildren live amid the direful calamities of the time.There are various ways in which companies are endeavoring to reduce the carbon footprint, as stated of particular interest in this article are the electric vehicles. What are they? Do they work when power goes off? Are they the heaven sent solution for the world’s emissions problem and hence warming of the globe? During the spring school in Germany, I and fellow energy students had an opportunity to attend a presentation by one of the electric vehicle (EV) specialists from Ford, I must say it was one of the best I have ever had about cars, one of those presentations where you feel everything has been driven home thoroughly and in the end the only question you’d ask is, “How are you?” – You know what am talking about. Some of the important points to note about EVs other than being expensive is, they’re of different types; Hybrid Electric, Plug-in Hybrid Electric, Battery Electric and Fuel Cell Electric. Those with hybrid systems use both gasoline and electricity while those without use electricity entirely and for that matter you need some charging. As I mentioned earlier these cars are quite not cheap until recently when Tesla, one of the company gurus in the EV field unveiled the Tesla Model 3 Electric car. It is said that this is the cheapest of its kind and goes for 35,000 USD. More than 200,000 customers forwarded orders, it’s cheap after all- its ok you might want to disagree with me on that. This is good news for the company (definitely they're making profits) and the world at large because at least the prices of the EVs are falling to the ones seemingly affordable.Back ground check, according to IPCC the transportation sector (14%) is in the fourth position after industry sector (21%), agriculture and land use (24%), electricity and heat production (25%) respectively, among the contributors to the global greenhouse gas emissions. I believe by these figures you can imagine how much emissions EVs are saving this beautiful world. Well you might need to rethink meticulously through it, now one would argue it out and jump to a conclusion that they don't use oil, and hence they're clean. But remember, you have to charge them and you need electricity to do that. What are the sources of that electricity for charging? Don't EVs fortify the need for more energy to fuel them? Doesn't this have an impact on the amount of fossil fuels like coal to be burnt to support the growing industry? I mean processing and manufacturing of all the kinds of cells and the vehicle materials, how much more emissions are produced? Should we say that all these emissions are compensated by the time they spend in use after manufacture? And if so, are we not biting our tails? Yes, EVs do probably contribute to the reduction of emissions but to what extent? It's possible that a bigger carbon footprint is left by these cars in the long run than the conventional cars. Let's say that is true, aren't there ways to perhaps reduce the emissions by the conventional cars and making them more efficient? May be there is or may be there isn't but it’s challenging to know now because the focus of the world on such is being shifted and oriented towards more lucrative choices. It's not evil but if in any case it involves sacrificing the generation of our children and grandchildren for profitable choices now, then it is. I think our main focus as the world should be on how to change the energy sources and use environmentally friendly sources, along with finding efficient ways to use the available energy other than looking for more ways to consume it. It’s important that we don't jump the queue of the energy chain. “I am very little inclined on any occasion to say anything unless I hope to produce some good by it” – Abraham Lincoln, I hope this write up triggers some good thinking in you about Electric cars. tonnykukeera@gmail.com@editorial_team
    Apr 10, 2016 1197
  • 15 Oct 2019
    Five students from the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (incl. Climate Change) (PAUWES), Water Track, namely, Claydon Mumba (Water Policy), Oludare Durodola (Water Engineering), Francess Awunor (Water Policy), Margaret Kironde (Water Policy) and Victo Nabunya (Water Engineering), emerged as the best team in Africa and third overall during the 2019 Geneva Challenge. The team presented a project on "Rural Water Filtration Kit" (RUWAFIKI), that seeks to provide water purification solutions for rural livelihoods in Africa using localized materials such as moringa, activated carbon, and filter papers. RUWAFIKI is a water treatment kit that comprises of crushed moringa seeds; saw dust and; filter papers. The kit also consists of other accessories including a funnel, stirring stick, latex gloves, and a user manual with visual instructions on how to use the kit. A proposed design of the kit has been made containing all accessories and dimensions. Their proposal explored the conditions of Makondo Parish in Uganda where they were going to pilot this equipment since the region faced lots of water-borne diseases challenges. They noted that RUWAFIKI was an innovative solution that would enable households in Makondo to filter collected water so as to remove pathogens, improve odor and colour and would thus result in a reduction of the burden of waterborne diseases in the area.The kit is portable, easy to use, and very affordable. The project will be implemented in Makondo in coorporation with various local and international partners. Various performance tools and indicators would be used to monitor and evaluate the performance of the project in Makondo. The project directly contributes to the achivement of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): No poverty; Good Health and Well-being and; Clean Water. The Geneva challenge is an international competition for graduate students that stimulate reflection and innovation on development from diverse disciplinary and contextual perspectives. This competition was launched in 2014 by the Graduate Institute in Geneva. The Geneva Challenge was supported by the late Kofi Annan and is currently supported by Ambassador Jenö C.A. Staehelin. The idea of this challenge is for graduate students to gather contributions that are both theoretically grounded and offer pragmatic solutions to a relevant international development problem stemming from an interdisciplinary collaboration between three to five enrolled master students from anywhere in the world. The 2019 edition asked graduate students to address the complex issues arising from global health and how to tackle these challenges in order to foster social and economic development.  346 teams composed of 1,364 graduate students from 101 different nationalities registered to take part in the Geneva Challenge 2019. 100 project entries were submitted by 410 students from teams hailing from all over the world, with 16 semi-finalists teams. This year, the external Jury Panel chose five finalist teams, one per continent. Team RUWAFIKI (Rural Water Filtration Kit) was selected as the Best African team and was fully sponsored to defend their project before the Jury on Tuesday, 1st October, 2019 at a public event held at the Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland.     You can watch as short video of the team here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=i7VjvClw3N0
    1192 Posted by Brian Oduor
  • Five students from the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (incl. Climate Change) (PAUWES), Water Track, namely, Claydon Mumba (Water Policy), Oludare Durodola (Water Engineering), Francess Awunor (Water Policy), Margaret Kironde (Water Policy) and Victo Nabunya (Water Engineering), emerged as the best team in Africa and third overall during the 2019 Geneva Challenge. The team presented a project on "Rural Water Filtration Kit" (RUWAFIKI), that seeks to provide water purification solutions for rural livelihoods in Africa using localized materials such as moringa, activated carbon, and filter papers. RUWAFIKI is a water treatment kit that comprises of crushed moringa seeds; saw dust and; filter papers. The kit also consists of other accessories including a funnel, stirring stick, latex gloves, and a user manual with visual instructions on how to use the kit. A proposed design of the kit has been made containing all accessories and dimensions. Their proposal explored the conditions of Makondo Parish in Uganda where they were going to pilot this equipment since the region faced lots of water-borne diseases challenges. They noted that RUWAFIKI was an innovative solution that would enable households in Makondo to filter collected water so as to remove pathogens, improve odor and colour and would thus result in a reduction of the burden of waterborne diseases in the area.The kit is portable, easy to use, and very affordable. The project will be implemented in Makondo in coorporation with various local and international partners. Various performance tools and indicators would be used to monitor and evaluate the performance of the project in Makondo. The project directly contributes to the achivement of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): No poverty; Good Health and Well-being and; Clean Water. The Geneva challenge is an international competition for graduate students that stimulate reflection and innovation on development from diverse disciplinary and contextual perspectives. This competition was launched in 2014 by the Graduate Institute in Geneva. The Geneva Challenge was supported by the late Kofi Annan and is currently supported by Ambassador Jenö C.A. Staehelin. The idea of this challenge is for graduate students to gather contributions that are both theoretically grounded and offer pragmatic solutions to a relevant international development problem stemming from an interdisciplinary collaboration between three to five enrolled master students from anywhere in the world. The 2019 edition asked graduate students to address the complex issues arising from global health and how to tackle these challenges in order to foster social and economic development.  346 teams composed of 1,364 graduate students from 101 different nationalities registered to take part in the Geneva Challenge 2019. 100 project entries were submitted by 410 students from teams hailing from all over the world, with 16 semi-finalists teams. This year, the external Jury Panel chose five finalist teams, one per continent. Team RUWAFIKI (Rural Water Filtration Kit) was selected as the Best African team and was fully sponsored to defend their project before the Jury on Tuesday, 1st October, 2019 at a public event held at the Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland.     You can watch as short video of the team here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=i7VjvClw3N0
    Oct 15, 2019 1192
  • 23 Jan 2017
    Happy New Year! I hope it is not too late for the New Year wishes and good tidings. I am hoping that we all had a great winter break and we are looking forward to the coming days with great enthusiasm. My holiday from the blog is over so you can expect the weekly updates and links on your whatsApp groups to resume. Today’s entry is really special to me because it is a reflection of what it has meant to be one of the community leaders for the Community of Practice now that the time to handover that responsibility is here. When the call came for the positions it was almost natural for me to apply mostly because I have and continue to be involved in a similar platform albeit with a more broader outreach. We were required to submit an application detailing how we would better the platform and foster more activity online and offline. Looking back I think I underestimated that challenge and the jury is still out on what we achieved and what we slacked on but what cannot be denied is that we have all worked to beat this challenge. This position has provided me with an avenue for personal growth, bettering my communication and leadership skills. My networking abilities have also been honed and I can confidently say that I am a better rounded individual than when it all started. I can bet you that this is also true for other leaders as well. I want to acknowledge the endless support from the PAUWES administration and from the UNU-EHS who envisioned this platform and put all the resources and experts to making sure its operation continues to be top notch. However, the glue that holds this platform together is the group leaders and their members. I have watched their creativity come to play every time something has been required of them and they have always delivered above expectations. I have seen them each shine and grow into their responsibilities be it in event organization, coverage or interaction with their group members, partners and other stakeholders. So to each of them I say thank you and I hope they look back with nostalgia even on those heated moments we may have had. I have always believed that CoP presents a great opportunity for all students to develop their hard and soft skills. That belief continues for me even today because it is a platform run by students for the students. This platform presents an opportunity to network, share ideas and express our creativity. If you are interested in video filming you can sit down with the multimedia team and come up with creative ways to share ideas and as a result better your skills. For those who feel they want to blog, talk to the editorial team and explore ways on which your ideas can be shared with the rest of us and the world. You can stimulate debate on and off the platform by contributing to the work of your respective groups and being part of a greater vision. In short, each of the 7 groups have something for everyone and my challenge to each of you is to challenge how things are done, propose innovative ways to making the platform more active and keep growing as an individual and within groups. In conclusion, I am calling upon all the individuals who feel that they are up for the challenge to make CoP better and themselves as group leaders and community leaders to express their interest. The call for the new student leaders will go out this week and I believe so will that of group leaders and deputy leaders. If you have any questions get in touch with Martin, Mohammed or me and better yet talk to your respective group leaders. The leadership positions are not only fun and out of your comfort zone but they also offer endless networking opportunities. I am excited at what the future holds and you can be sure I will be part of this community for a very long time to come!
    1113 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • Happy New Year! I hope it is not too late for the New Year wishes and good tidings. I am hoping that we all had a great winter break and we are looking forward to the coming days with great enthusiasm. My holiday from the blog is over so you can expect the weekly updates and links on your whatsApp groups to resume. Today’s entry is really special to me because it is a reflection of what it has meant to be one of the community leaders for the Community of Practice now that the time to handover that responsibility is here. When the call came for the positions it was almost natural for me to apply mostly because I have and continue to be involved in a similar platform albeit with a more broader outreach. We were required to submit an application detailing how we would better the platform and foster more activity online and offline. Looking back I think I underestimated that challenge and the jury is still out on what we achieved and what we slacked on but what cannot be denied is that we have all worked to beat this challenge. This position has provided me with an avenue for personal growth, bettering my communication and leadership skills. My networking abilities have also been honed and I can confidently say that I am a better rounded individual than when it all started. I can bet you that this is also true for other leaders as well. I want to acknowledge the endless support from the PAUWES administration and from the UNU-EHS who envisioned this platform and put all the resources and experts to making sure its operation continues to be top notch. However, the glue that holds this platform together is the group leaders and their members. I have watched their creativity come to play every time something has been required of them and they have always delivered above expectations. I have seen them each shine and grow into their responsibilities be it in event organization, coverage or interaction with their group members, partners and other stakeholders. So to each of them I say thank you and I hope they look back with nostalgia even on those heated moments we may have had. I have always believed that CoP presents a great opportunity for all students to develop their hard and soft skills. That belief continues for me even today because it is a platform run by students for the students. This platform presents an opportunity to network, share ideas and express our creativity. If you are interested in video filming you can sit down with the multimedia team and come up with creative ways to share ideas and as a result better your skills. For those who feel they want to blog, talk to the editorial team and explore ways on which your ideas can be shared with the rest of us and the world. You can stimulate debate on and off the platform by contributing to the work of your respective groups and being part of a greater vision. In short, each of the 7 groups have something for everyone and my challenge to each of you is to challenge how things are done, propose innovative ways to making the platform more active and keep growing as an individual and within groups. In conclusion, I am calling upon all the individuals who feel that they are up for the challenge to make CoP better and themselves as group leaders and community leaders to express their interest. The call for the new student leaders will go out this week and I believe so will that of group leaders and deputy leaders. If you have any questions get in touch with Martin, Mohammed or me and better yet talk to your respective group leaders. The leadership positions are not only fun and out of your comfort zone but they also offer endless networking opportunities. I am excited at what the future holds and you can be sure I will be part of this community for a very long time to come!
    Jan 23, 2017 1113
  • 30 Jan 2017
    I am currently taking a unit on flood and drought management and it is interesting to say the least but that is a story for another day. However, this module hits home for me because Kenya is currently going through a very dry season. The water reservoirs and hydro-dams are running below half capacity and those that live in the arid and semi-arid lands are in dire need of food relief. Their livestock which is their sole source of livelihood has not been spared either and the owners have to walk for long distances in search of water and pasture. What shocks me even more is that the country is hoping that the expected long rains in April will solve this crisis. I am always left wondering why we have a meteorological department when occurrences like drought and flood seem to catch us unprepared every single year. Kenya is prone to frequent drought occurrences especially in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) that cover 80% of its territory. The ASALs are home to an estimated 11 million people and 70% of the national livestock herd. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Strategic plan 2013-2017, livestock keeping accounts for approximately 90% of the employment opportunities and nearly 95% of family incomes in the ASALs. In these areas the annual rainfall is in the range of 200 to 500mm and experience frequent droughts and heat waves (Kandji, 2006). Livestock exposure to heat waves increases their vulnerability to diseases directly affecting their reproductive health and meat and milk production which the ASALs communities heavily rely on for food and income (FAO, 2016).The further vulnerability of Kenya to climate change and temperature projections suggesting a rise of 2.5°C between 2000 to 2050 present these communities with the challenge of ensuring food security, access to water and dealing with livestock diseases. The above challenges call for the development of effective adaptation strategies to minimize the effect of climate change and variability on the livelihoods of the people living in ASALs (Bobadoye A.O, 2016). The current approaches and strategies need to be changed in order to build resilience and adaptation capacity among the affected communities (Bobadoye A.O, 2016; Nicholas Ozor, 2011). These communities will be required to embrace new skills and attitudes through knowledge transfer and capacity building a role that can be effectively filled by extension agents (Nicholas Ozor, 2011). Extension agents have influence towards the decisions made by farmers and pastoralists and they therefore play a very important role in the interpretation of climate change and variability research and providing information on adaptation measures necessary to the affected communities (Bobadoye A.O, 2016; Emily Susko, 2013). Adaptation to the impacts of climate change and variability is crucial in protecting the livelihoods and in ensuring food security among the pastoralist communities (Dagmawi M. Abegaz, 2014). There is some acknowledgement by the government on the important role of extension agencies in the agricultural sector. However the livestock subsector only has 20% of the required staff quota making service delivery difficult. All these factors have created a gap in knowledge transfer and capacity development leading to dire consequences. It has not only posed a threat to food security but also presented a new set of challenges in accessing animal feed, water, exposing the livestock to diseases and heat stress and to the general economy with livestock estimated to contribute 5.5% of the country’s GDP (Ministry of Agriculture, 2015). According to the (ILRI, 2015) Corporate Report 2014-2015, Kenya lost USD 3.3 billon in the livestock sector due to drought between 2008 and 2011. As a result pastoralists continue to be pushed deep in poverty due to livestock losses which are their main source of livelihood. In conclusion the changes in climate call for the adoption of new attitudes and practices to increase the level of preparedness among pastoralists to extreme conditions like drought. The extension agencies should fulfill their mandate to carry out public education and provide information to pastoralists and promote resilience and collaboration between different stakeholders in addressing different challenges among them, climate change (Nicholas Ozor, 2011). Failure to which the ASALS will forever be condemned to receiving hand outs for decades to come.      References  Bobadoye A.O, P. O. ( 2016). Pastoralist Perception on Climate Change and Variability in Kajiado in Relation to Meteorology Evidence. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies Vol 5 No 1 . Dagmawi M. Abegaz, P. W. (2014). Extension Agents' Awareness of Climate Change in Ethiopia. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension , DOI: 10.1080/1389224X.2014.946936. Emily Susko, M. S. (2013). Role of Extension in climate Adaptation in the United States. Silver Spring, Maryland. FAO. (2016). THE STATE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE; CLIMATE CHANGE,AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY. Rome. ILRI. (2015). Corporate Report 2014-2015. Nairobi, Kenya: International Livestock Research Institute. Kandji, S. T. (2006). Drought in Kenya: climatic, economic and socio-political factors. New Standpoints , 17-19. Ministry of Agriculture, L. a. (2015). Strategic Plan 2013-2017. Nairobi: Government of Kenya.
    1105 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • I am currently taking a unit on flood and drought management and it is interesting to say the least but that is a story for another day. However, this module hits home for me because Kenya is currently going through a very dry season. The water reservoirs and hydro-dams are running below half capacity and those that live in the arid and semi-arid lands are in dire need of food relief. Their livestock which is their sole source of livelihood has not been spared either and the owners have to walk for long distances in search of water and pasture. What shocks me even more is that the country is hoping that the expected long rains in April will solve this crisis. I am always left wondering why we have a meteorological department when occurrences like drought and flood seem to catch us unprepared every single year. Kenya is prone to frequent drought occurrences especially in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) that cover 80% of its territory. The ASALs are home to an estimated 11 million people and 70% of the national livestock herd. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Strategic plan 2013-2017, livestock keeping accounts for approximately 90% of the employment opportunities and nearly 95% of family incomes in the ASALs. In these areas the annual rainfall is in the range of 200 to 500mm and experience frequent droughts and heat waves (Kandji, 2006). Livestock exposure to heat waves increases their vulnerability to diseases directly affecting their reproductive health and meat and milk production which the ASALs communities heavily rely on for food and income (FAO, 2016).The further vulnerability of Kenya to climate change and temperature projections suggesting a rise of 2.5°C between 2000 to 2050 present these communities with the challenge of ensuring food security, access to water and dealing with livestock diseases. The above challenges call for the development of effective adaptation strategies to minimize the effect of climate change and variability on the livelihoods of the people living in ASALs (Bobadoye A.O, 2016). The current approaches and strategies need to be changed in order to build resilience and adaptation capacity among the affected communities (Bobadoye A.O, 2016; Nicholas Ozor, 2011). These communities will be required to embrace new skills and attitudes through knowledge transfer and capacity building a role that can be effectively filled by extension agents (Nicholas Ozor, 2011). Extension agents have influence towards the decisions made by farmers and pastoralists and they therefore play a very important role in the interpretation of climate change and variability research and providing information on adaptation measures necessary to the affected communities (Bobadoye A.O, 2016; Emily Susko, 2013). Adaptation to the impacts of climate change and variability is crucial in protecting the livelihoods and in ensuring food security among the pastoralist communities (Dagmawi M. Abegaz, 2014). There is some acknowledgement by the government on the important role of extension agencies in the agricultural sector. However the livestock subsector only has 20% of the required staff quota making service delivery difficult. All these factors have created a gap in knowledge transfer and capacity development leading to dire consequences. It has not only posed a threat to food security but also presented a new set of challenges in accessing animal feed, water, exposing the livestock to diseases and heat stress and to the general economy with livestock estimated to contribute 5.5% of the country’s GDP (Ministry of Agriculture, 2015). According to the (ILRI, 2015) Corporate Report 2014-2015, Kenya lost USD 3.3 billon in the livestock sector due to drought between 2008 and 2011. As a result pastoralists continue to be pushed deep in poverty due to livestock losses which are their main source of livelihood. In conclusion the changes in climate call for the adoption of new attitudes and practices to increase the level of preparedness among pastoralists to extreme conditions like drought. The extension agencies should fulfill their mandate to carry out public education and provide information to pastoralists and promote resilience and collaboration between different stakeholders in addressing different challenges among them, climate change (Nicholas Ozor, 2011). Failure to which the ASALS will forever be condemned to receiving hand outs for decades to come.      References  Bobadoye A.O, P. O. ( 2016). Pastoralist Perception on Climate Change and Variability in Kajiado in Relation to Meteorology Evidence. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies Vol 5 No 1 . Dagmawi M. Abegaz, P. W. (2014). Extension Agents' Awareness of Climate Change in Ethiopia. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension , DOI: 10.1080/1389224X.2014.946936. Emily Susko, M. S. (2013). Role of Extension in climate Adaptation in the United States. Silver Spring, Maryland. FAO. (2016). THE STATE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE; CLIMATE CHANGE,AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY. Rome. ILRI. (2015). Corporate Report 2014-2015. Nairobi, Kenya: International Livestock Research Institute. Kandji, S. T. (2006). Drought in Kenya: climatic, economic and socio-political factors. New Standpoints , 17-19. Ministry of Agriculture, L. a. (2015). Strategic Plan 2013-2017. Nairobi: Government of Kenya.
    Jan 30, 2017 1105
  • 21 Jun 2016
    A day ago, the world refugees’ day was commemorated, the whole world took a moment to reflect on the agony experienced by men, women and children who suffer for the crimes they did not commit! If my voice was loud enough, I would vouch for a week of commemoration to remember them. Regrettably I don’t have the power to, nevertheless I do believe that the little we can, we must do. I choose to write about the refugees’ status in Africa in commemoration of our brothers and sisters whose dreams have been shattered to merely finding a place to stay. In Africa, people have moved for the past very many years in search for asylum and security. This has become so part of us that it is viewed as the new normal. Many African countries have been blanketed in wars for the past 25 years. Somalia is one of the countries in Africa that have long suffered from such civil wars. Since 1991, the country has been devastated by the constant mass shootings and people displacements. A total of 1.1 million internal displacement camps has been registered since the latest date (December 2015). Like Somalia, the case is not any different for South-Sudan, the youngest nation in Africa. Destruction of property, loss of lives and very hard living conditions force men, women and children to trek long distances in search for better and safer conditions. This trekking is made more difficult by the poor road systems, harsh weather conditions and insecurities from the surrounding forests and bushes that harbor dangerous wild animals. According to UNHCR, over 1.69 million people have been internally displaced in South-Sudan and 0.64 million people have fled the country to the neighboring countries. For every human, survival is a virtue and a right to life is an obligation. Therefore it is imperative that refugees are welcomed amicably with open hands, a sign that gives hope to them especially the young for they are the future generation. The UNHCR and other organizations have put efforts together to set up camps as new homes for refugees. This has been done in the neighboring countries and in regions outside the warzones. However, camps cannot be looked at as the silver bullet to solve the refugee crisis that is escalated by the persistent wars every now and then. There is a need to examine the causes from the source and seek sustainable solutions. Life in resettlement camps gets difficult with time as internal and external conflicts start grooming up, shortage of medical services, food and water. In the neighboring countries, camps later become a liability as there is a constant need to finance and manage them with help from the host governments, before a decision is made to resettle the displaced back to their countries. Sometimes the wars take a long time to stop hence the need to manage the camps as long as it takes. Amidst security threats and terror that the neighboring countries are next in line, it is important to have dialogue among the regional bodies as more measures are taken to restrain what is happening around them. According to the UN charter, all countries over the world have a role to respect and protect people. The African union commission to which 54 African countries are member states, supports the above too. However, some countries have closed off borders to refugees because of alleged security threats amongst other tantalizing economic and environmental issues. Kenya closed off her borders to refugee entrance following the constant attacks from Al-Shabaab. The country also closed off the existing refugee camps leaving over 600,000 people homeless. Criticisms from a number of organizations were heard from the different corners of the world citing the act as being harsh and inappropriate. Nevertheless, it is important to examine and understand the conditions and situations over which the East African country closed its borders.   tonnykukeera@gmail.com
    1095 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • A day ago, the world refugees’ day was commemorated, the whole world took a moment to reflect on the agony experienced by men, women and children who suffer for the crimes they did not commit! If my voice was loud enough, I would vouch for a week of commemoration to remember them. Regrettably I don’t have the power to, nevertheless I do believe that the little we can, we must do. I choose to write about the refugees’ status in Africa in commemoration of our brothers and sisters whose dreams have been shattered to merely finding a place to stay. In Africa, people have moved for the past very many years in search for asylum and security. This has become so part of us that it is viewed as the new normal. Many African countries have been blanketed in wars for the past 25 years. Somalia is one of the countries in Africa that have long suffered from such civil wars. Since 1991, the country has been devastated by the constant mass shootings and people displacements. A total of 1.1 million internal displacement camps has been registered since the latest date (December 2015). Like Somalia, the case is not any different for South-Sudan, the youngest nation in Africa. Destruction of property, loss of lives and very hard living conditions force men, women and children to trek long distances in search for better and safer conditions. This trekking is made more difficult by the poor road systems, harsh weather conditions and insecurities from the surrounding forests and bushes that harbor dangerous wild animals. According to UNHCR, over 1.69 million people have been internally displaced in South-Sudan and 0.64 million people have fled the country to the neighboring countries. For every human, survival is a virtue and a right to life is an obligation. Therefore it is imperative that refugees are welcomed amicably with open hands, a sign that gives hope to them especially the young for they are the future generation. The UNHCR and other organizations have put efforts together to set up camps as new homes for refugees. This has been done in the neighboring countries and in regions outside the warzones. However, camps cannot be looked at as the silver bullet to solve the refugee crisis that is escalated by the persistent wars every now and then. There is a need to examine the causes from the source and seek sustainable solutions. Life in resettlement camps gets difficult with time as internal and external conflicts start grooming up, shortage of medical services, food and water. In the neighboring countries, camps later become a liability as there is a constant need to finance and manage them with help from the host governments, before a decision is made to resettle the displaced back to their countries. Sometimes the wars take a long time to stop hence the need to manage the camps as long as it takes. Amidst security threats and terror that the neighboring countries are next in line, it is important to have dialogue among the regional bodies as more measures are taken to restrain what is happening around them. According to the UN charter, all countries over the world have a role to respect and protect people. The African union commission to which 54 African countries are member states, supports the above too. However, some countries have closed off borders to refugees because of alleged security threats amongst other tantalizing economic and environmental issues. Kenya closed off her borders to refugee entrance following the constant attacks from Al-Shabaab. The country also closed off the existing refugee camps leaving over 600,000 people homeless. Criticisms from a number of organizations were heard from the different corners of the world citing the act as being harsh and inappropriate. Nevertheless, it is important to examine and understand the conditions and situations over which the East African country closed its borders.   tonnykukeera@gmail.com
    Jun 21, 2016 1095
  • 16 May 2016
    I have been battling about writing this piece for a long time, majorly because I do not think I can do it the justice it deserves. I have many memories from childhood and some are a bit fuzzy but not for this particular incidence. I can still see myself sitting on my favorite seat watching the international weekly news roundup. I remember watching as dozens of people migrated from their homes in search of safety and thousands were reported dead. To be honest I felt far removed from these events and I didn’t pay it much attention until recently. Since moving to Algeria I have come to meet people who know the horrors of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. They have shared the stories of the survivors and those who were not so lucky to escape and in more times than one I have begged them to stop because it made me sick to my stomach. I have often wondered what the survivors would think of me and my cowardly reaction. I hide from hearing the truth while they lived it for 100 days with no escape. They begged them to stop but no one listened, not even the international community that turned a deaf ear to their plea for help.   Approximately 1,000,000 men, women and children were killed and estimated 150,000-250,000 women were raped between the months of 7th April to 4th July 1994 in what is commonly referred to as 100 days of slaughter. It must have felt like a life time hoping that help would eventually come and realizing the world did not consider them a priority and they would have to wait a little longer for salvation to come. I wonder how many died hoping the next day would be better or help would arrive, how many felt the pain of betrayal and abandonment as their flicker of faith in humanity died. It was a period where the name on your identity card could mean the difference between life and death. The target of the attacks was the Tutsi minority as well as any political opponents irrespective of their ethnic background. Families and neighbors turned against each other and the whole country was bleeding. I wonder what would have driven fellow countrymen to such hatred. The root cause has been speculated to be political incitement out of the economic and social inequalities in Rwanda during that time but questions still remain. It is hard to comprehend and 22 years later we may never really get the answers and the closure the victims seek.   Rwanda maybe a unique case in terms of magnitude but the political incitement and ethnic cleansing rituals is not. It is common place for African leaders to divide their countries in ethnic lines in a bid to stay in office or win elective seats. Kenya for example experienced post election violence in 2007 where the presidential elections were heavily disputed. As a result neighbors turned against each other and over 1000 people lost their lives ,thousands were displaced from their homes and property worth millions destroyed. We are now preparing for the 2017 elections and the atmosphere in the country is politically charged and sadly politicians continue to incite the public based on ethnic affiliations with no consequence at all. The tale is the same across the continent on politically incited crashes like in Angola, Central Republic, South Sudan, and Burundi among many others.   How I wish we could all learn from the blood bath in Rwanda 22 years ago. Rwanda has risen from the ashes to become one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. I like to give my best friend grief over their loyalty to President Paul Kagame but who can blame them really. He is the man who has guided his country to reconciliation and healing and steered the economy on the right direction. To many Rwandeses he is popularly known as a leader who holds those within government accountable for their actions and demands performance in service delivery. He may be a man of many faults like his critics have said but let’s give credit where it is due.   I do not understand politics; it is a dirty game after all. I will never understand how the loss of lives is brushed off as collateral damage so a few people can remain in power or take over the political class. It is like to become a politician you have to trade your conscious for an ice cold heart than has no respect for human lives. We like to blame the west for all our troubles but if we are to apportion blame we deserve the heaviest load on our shoulders. We sit on the sidelines as the politicians squander public funds and resources and invest them in the west. We cheer them when they attack other ethnic groups in a bid to consolidate power and when they are put on trial for crimes against humanity we buy their lies that democracy is under trial. No wonder the west continues to poke their noses in our business since we can’t seem to get our house in order. I wonder when we will decide enough is enough hopefully heavens forbid not after we experience the horrors of Rwanda. ************************************************************************************************************************************************ I asked some of my friends from Rwanda what they wished Africa could learn from the genocide and here is what they had to say; Umulisa Diana: Africa has to realize we are the authors of our own destiny. The west does not create problems for us we do that all by ourselves. We fight against each other and kill but at the end of the day when all the dust settles we are faced by the reality that no one has the solutions we so desperately seek apart from ourselves. We are all we need to rebuild this continent. Pascal Kwisanga: I am Pascal KWISANGA from Rwanda. I was born  in Rwanda and I had been in  Rwanda before the genocide, during the genocide and after the genocide. I was 5 years old when the genocide happened in        Rwanda, I saw a lot of things      and learnt from what   happened and  what is happening in Rwanda. Africaand the            rest ofthe world should learn from what happened        in Rwanda in 1994. Genocide has taken         the life  of a million victims of         Rwandans and other  friends and more thana million became orphans, widowers  and widows. I  know what it means to lose your beloved parents and relatives; it is painful more than you think. Having tribes or clans is not a problem in a society but the way they can be used and be manipulated to the point you can exterminate human-being because of       the actual regime's mindset, this is not humanity. It    is better to help your country as          citizen  not as         regionalism ortribalism to make your country be developed in different        ways.  We don't need  to be used by        the politicians  or actual governments to satisfy their  needs   to destroy our  relationship and friendship but we need to act as a           nation and build our    country together. Hope, unity  and forgiveness are the key weapons  to strengthen our nations.                                                                                                            ENOUGH SAID                  
    1089 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • I have been battling about writing this piece for a long time, majorly because I do not think I can do it the justice it deserves. I have many memories from childhood and some are a bit fuzzy but not for this particular incidence. I can still see myself sitting on my favorite seat watching the international weekly news roundup. I remember watching as dozens of people migrated from their homes in search of safety and thousands were reported dead. To be honest I felt far removed from these events and I didn’t pay it much attention until recently. Since moving to Algeria I have come to meet people who know the horrors of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. They have shared the stories of the survivors and those who were not so lucky to escape and in more times than one I have begged them to stop because it made me sick to my stomach. I have often wondered what the survivors would think of me and my cowardly reaction. I hide from hearing the truth while they lived it for 100 days with no escape. They begged them to stop but no one listened, not even the international community that turned a deaf ear to their plea for help.   Approximately 1,000,000 men, women and children were killed and estimated 150,000-250,000 women were raped between the months of 7th April to 4th July 1994 in what is commonly referred to as 100 days of slaughter. It must have felt like a life time hoping that help would eventually come and realizing the world did not consider them a priority and they would have to wait a little longer for salvation to come. I wonder how many died hoping the next day would be better or help would arrive, how many felt the pain of betrayal and abandonment as their flicker of faith in humanity died. It was a period where the name on your identity card could mean the difference between life and death. The target of the attacks was the Tutsi minority as well as any political opponents irrespective of their ethnic background. Families and neighbors turned against each other and the whole country was bleeding. I wonder what would have driven fellow countrymen to such hatred. The root cause has been speculated to be political incitement out of the economic and social inequalities in Rwanda during that time but questions still remain. It is hard to comprehend and 22 years later we may never really get the answers and the closure the victims seek.   Rwanda maybe a unique case in terms of magnitude but the political incitement and ethnic cleansing rituals is not. It is common place for African leaders to divide their countries in ethnic lines in a bid to stay in office or win elective seats. Kenya for example experienced post election violence in 2007 where the presidential elections were heavily disputed. As a result neighbors turned against each other and over 1000 people lost their lives ,thousands were displaced from their homes and property worth millions destroyed. We are now preparing for the 2017 elections and the atmosphere in the country is politically charged and sadly politicians continue to incite the public based on ethnic affiliations with no consequence at all. The tale is the same across the continent on politically incited crashes like in Angola, Central Republic, South Sudan, and Burundi among many others.   How I wish we could all learn from the blood bath in Rwanda 22 years ago. Rwanda has risen from the ashes to become one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. I like to give my best friend grief over their loyalty to President Paul Kagame but who can blame them really. He is the man who has guided his country to reconciliation and healing and steered the economy on the right direction. To many Rwandeses he is popularly known as a leader who holds those within government accountable for their actions and demands performance in service delivery. He may be a man of many faults like his critics have said but let’s give credit where it is due.   I do not understand politics; it is a dirty game after all. I will never understand how the loss of lives is brushed off as collateral damage so a few people can remain in power or take over the political class. It is like to become a politician you have to trade your conscious for an ice cold heart than has no respect for human lives. We like to blame the west for all our troubles but if we are to apportion blame we deserve the heaviest load on our shoulders. We sit on the sidelines as the politicians squander public funds and resources and invest them in the west. We cheer them when they attack other ethnic groups in a bid to consolidate power and when they are put on trial for crimes against humanity we buy their lies that democracy is under trial. No wonder the west continues to poke their noses in our business since we can’t seem to get our house in order. I wonder when we will decide enough is enough hopefully heavens forbid not after we experience the horrors of Rwanda. ************************************************************************************************************************************************ I asked some of my friends from Rwanda what they wished Africa could learn from the genocide and here is what they had to say; Umulisa Diana: Africa has to realize we are the authors of our own destiny. The west does not create problems for us we do that all by ourselves. We fight against each other and kill but at the end of the day when all the dust settles we are faced by the reality that no one has the solutions we so desperately seek apart from ourselves. We are all we need to rebuild this continent. Pascal Kwisanga: I am Pascal KWISANGA from Rwanda. I was born  in Rwanda and I had been in  Rwanda before the genocide, during the genocide and after the genocide. I was 5 years old when the genocide happened in        Rwanda, I saw a lot of things      and learnt from what   happened and  what is happening in Rwanda. Africaand the            rest ofthe world should learn from what happened        in Rwanda in 1994. Genocide has taken         the life  of a million victims of         Rwandans and other  friends and more thana million became orphans, widowers  and widows. I  know what it means to lose your beloved parents and relatives; it is painful more than you think. Having tribes or clans is not a problem in a society but the way they can be used and be manipulated to the point you can exterminate human-being because of       the actual regime's mindset, this is not humanity. It    is better to help your country as          citizen  not as         regionalism ortribalism to make your country be developed in different        ways.  We don't need  to be used by        the politicians  or actual governments to satisfy their  needs   to destroy our  relationship and friendship but we need to act as a           nation and build our    country together. Hope, unity  and forgiveness are the key weapons  to strengthen our nations.                                                                                                            ENOUGH SAID                  
    May 16, 2016 1089
  • 06 Feb 2017
    Last year we all took a module in African history and it was very enlightening and bore very lively discussions ranging from pre and post colonial Africa. Our professor was German which made most of us wonder if there was no African professor available to tell the African story. However, those hang ups were quickly forgotten and I can honestly say it was one of my best classes by far. Among the class assignments was group discussions and my colleagues and I were to discuss the politics of autochthony. Now, do not get lost in the jargon that is the word autochthony. It simply means the right to belong. According to Geschiere, 2009 autochthony seeks to establish an irrefutable primordial right to belong and is a tactic used by mostly politicians to exclude outsiders. The term was introduced to Africa by the French in the 1900’s in an effort to gain control over different groups and communities. They were therefore able to use it as a divide and rule tactic between the communities that confronted them in the territories they conquered. In recent past the politics of belonging have been used by authoritarian regimes to divide the opposition and neutralize the effects of multi-parties in the continent. Its manifestation is demonstrated through high levels of intolerance and hostility towards “strangers” who are seen as a threat or competition in access to limited resources. The xenophobia cases in South Africa are a perfect example where the fear is manifested among the lower level workers and the wealthy groups. Cases in xenophobic violence escalated rapidly after the end of the apartheid regime despite the anti-discrimination passages in the post apartheid regime which tried to introduce the idea of multi culturalism and nationalism. Sadly, the xenophobic flare ups continue to happen so often in South Africa leading to loss of lives and property for those who are considered as outsiders. After Henri Konan took office in Cote d’ivoire in 1993 he began to question the citizenship of individuals from the North. During this period citizens became “foreigners” if they did not have one parent who was born in Cote d’ivoire. By 1998 the law prohibited the “foreigners” from owning land, voting or running for public office. His predecessor General Robert Guei continued the xenophobic policies that targeted the northern Muslim minority. They were subjected to large scale human rights violation, rape, killings and discriminated against based on the way they dressed. Sadly, South Africa and Cote d’ivoire are not unique cases and the politics of belonging have been demonstrated across the continent for instance with the Nubians in Kenya and Bamileke in Cameroon to mention just a few. Curiously, the Greek meaning for autochthony means “springing from the land” which would explain why it’s politics is tied to land and the soil in the African context. The final ritual in the politics of autochthony is the burial where the dead have to be buried in their ancestral home. We may however feel far removed from these cases and yet we continue to drive the trend unknowingly. In my country, there is a popular phrase that politicians like to use whenever they are held accountable for  abuse of office. “My people are being attacked” is used to evade accountability for abuse of office and misuse of public funds. Yet this tactic continues to work in favour of the politicians by dividing the country in regions and along tribal lines. In conclusion, the politics of autochthony continue to divide the continent along tribal lines. We have allowed ourselves to be manipulated and we continue to isolate people based on religion, tribe, clans and their country of origin. Yet what value does it add to us? We miss the opportunity to learn from other cultures and find a middle ground to work together for social and economic development and well being. The vacuum left is what the politicians have filled with the politics of belonging and we continue to buy into the ideology.      References Legum, C. & Mmari G.R.V. (1995). Mwalimu: the influence of Nyerere Geschiere, P. (2009). The perils of belonging: Autochthony, citizenship, and exclusion in Africa and Europe. University of Chicago Press Jennings, M., & Mercer, C. (2011). Rehabilitating nationalisms: conviviality and national consciousness in postcolonial Tanzania. Politique Africaine, 121, 87-106. Saha, Santosh C. The politics of ethnicity and national identity. Peter Lang, 2007.
    1073 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • Last year we all took a module in African history and it was very enlightening and bore very lively discussions ranging from pre and post colonial Africa. Our professor was German which made most of us wonder if there was no African professor available to tell the African story. However, those hang ups were quickly forgotten and I can honestly say it was one of my best classes by far. Among the class assignments was group discussions and my colleagues and I were to discuss the politics of autochthony. Now, do not get lost in the jargon that is the word autochthony. It simply means the right to belong. According to Geschiere, 2009 autochthony seeks to establish an irrefutable primordial right to belong and is a tactic used by mostly politicians to exclude outsiders. The term was introduced to Africa by the French in the 1900’s in an effort to gain control over different groups and communities. They were therefore able to use it as a divide and rule tactic between the communities that confronted them in the territories they conquered. In recent past the politics of belonging have been used by authoritarian regimes to divide the opposition and neutralize the effects of multi-parties in the continent. Its manifestation is demonstrated through high levels of intolerance and hostility towards “strangers” who are seen as a threat or competition in access to limited resources. The xenophobia cases in South Africa are a perfect example where the fear is manifested among the lower level workers and the wealthy groups. Cases in xenophobic violence escalated rapidly after the end of the apartheid regime despite the anti-discrimination passages in the post apartheid regime which tried to introduce the idea of multi culturalism and nationalism. Sadly, the xenophobic flare ups continue to happen so often in South Africa leading to loss of lives and property for those who are considered as outsiders. After Henri Konan took office in Cote d’ivoire in 1993 he began to question the citizenship of individuals from the North. During this period citizens became “foreigners” if they did not have one parent who was born in Cote d’ivoire. By 1998 the law prohibited the “foreigners” from owning land, voting or running for public office. His predecessor General Robert Guei continued the xenophobic policies that targeted the northern Muslim minority. They were subjected to large scale human rights violation, rape, killings and discriminated against based on the way they dressed. Sadly, South Africa and Cote d’ivoire are not unique cases and the politics of belonging have been demonstrated across the continent for instance with the Nubians in Kenya and Bamileke in Cameroon to mention just a few. Curiously, the Greek meaning for autochthony means “springing from the land” which would explain why it’s politics is tied to land and the soil in the African context. The final ritual in the politics of autochthony is the burial where the dead have to be buried in their ancestral home. We may however feel far removed from these cases and yet we continue to drive the trend unknowingly. In my country, there is a popular phrase that politicians like to use whenever they are held accountable for  abuse of office. “My people are being attacked” is used to evade accountability for abuse of office and misuse of public funds. Yet this tactic continues to work in favour of the politicians by dividing the country in regions and along tribal lines. In conclusion, the politics of autochthony continue to divide the continent along tribal lines. We have allowed ourselves to be manipulated and we continue to isolate people based on religion, tribe, clans and their country of origin. Yet what value does it add to us? We miss the opportunity to learn from other cultures and find a middle ground to work together for social and economic development and well being. The vacuum left is what the politicians have filled with the politics of belonging and we continue to buy into the ideology.      References Legum, C. & Mmari G.R.V. (1995). Mwalimu: the influence of Nyerere Geschiere, P. (2009). The perils of belonging: Autochthony, citizenship, and exclusion in Africa and Europe. University of Chicago Press Jennings, M., & Mercer, C. (2011). Rehabilitating nationalisms: conviviality and national consciousness in postcolonial Tanzania. Politique Africaine, 121, 87-106. Saha, Santosh C. The politics of ethnicity and national identity. Peter Lang, 2007.
    Feb 06, 2017 1073
  • 29 Nov 2016
    I find myself drawing from my last class in water economics and one of the reasons could be because our professor had us do mini projects after every topic. However, this is a follow up for the post I did last week on the Nile River and the conflict that surrounds it. One of our recommendations to the long standing conflict between the riparian States on the utilization and allocation of the Nile River was the establishment of a water market. Our conclusion, based on the research we carried out was that the population increase in the 10 riparian countries and the pressure caused by climate change in the region among other factors would only make the Nile politics more volatile and hence the need for a lasting solution or a compromise between all States. Water market is a mechanism used to acquire and redistribute water and allows for water to be allocated according to the highest valued use. It involves the initial allocation of water rights specified in unit of measurement which based on the set regulations can be transferred to other user on a permanent or temporary basis. Water rights are based on the existing laws and could be land based or use based. Land based water rights are based on land ownership whereas use based rights are based on whether the user has legal access to the water source. Countries like the USA, Australia, and South Africa already have water markets set in place to help deal with water scarcity. Australia’s water market is estimated at 26 billion dollars and is considered to be the largest in the world. Here every user must operate within the set government limit on how much available water can be used. The large scale users of water also have to watch the water prices carefully like the stock market because each sector is competing with the other for a scarce resource. So can the same concept be employed to work between riparian States like in the case of the Nile? Of course there are challenges that will need to be overcome before a water market can be established for the Nile River especially because it would involve the establishment of water laws that all States agree to. Currently, the Nile Basin Initiative has limited capacity in legal, expertise and financial abilities. Moving forward, therefore there is need for an establishment of a legal institution that has the power to settle conflicts between the States and an open forum for sharing of available data and knowledge something the Cooperation Framework Agreement of 2010 sought to do. The establishment of an institutional framework will help determine the feasibility of water market transactions and the guidelines. This will in turn reduce uncertainty and suspicion between States by providing a structure for securing water rights, enforcing them and ensuring an operational market. A good example on the continent is in South Africa where the water markets were introduced in 1997-1998. This has been applied in the Lower Orange River where a water market has allowed for a transfer of water use from low value crops to high value crops and use of better irrigation technology. Water marketing can be seen as a way of allocating scarce water resources efficiently and offers empowerment to the users through property rights. In the case of the Nile, the water market would allow countries to decentralize decision making and involve other stakeholders who live along the river and rely on it greatly. This would also allow countries depending on the water rights allocated to know how much water they will use and what crops to grow. In the long run countries will have an opportunity to produce crops whose water need does not exceed the allocated amount and meet other water demands. This will not only promote water use efficiency in the basin but it will also promote agricultural and industrial trade between them and create better relations. Another possible scenario is that countries would have a chance to trade their water rights, for instance; Ethiopia could potentially trade some of its water rights to Egypt on a temporary or permanent basis based on the fact that they have other water resources available. Water is the most undervalued natural resource in my opinion even though we equate it to life and considering it an economic good could go a long way in improving how we allocate, use and manage it. However, this concept has its own challenges and critics but it could be a catalyst for better cooperation among the Nile riparian States.  
    1054 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • I find myself drawing from my last class in water economics and one of the reasons could be because our professor had us do mini projects after every topic. However, this is a follow up for the post I did last week on the Nile River and the conflict that surrounds it. One of our recommendations to the long standing conflict between the riparian States on the utilization and allocation of the Nile River was the establishment of a water market. Our conclusion, based on the research we carried out was that the population increase in the 10 riparian countries and the pressure caused by climate change in the region among other factors would only make the Nile politics more volatile and hence the need for a lasting solution or a compromise between all States. Water market is a mechanism used to acquire and redistribute water and allows for water to be allocated according to the highest valued use. It involves the initial allocation of water rights specified in unit of measurement which based on the set regulations can be transferred to other user on a permanent or temporary basis. Water rights are based on the existing laws and could be land based or use based. Land based water rights are based on land ownership whereas use based rights are based on whether the user has legal access to the water source. Countries like the USA, Australia, and South Africa already have water markets set in place to help deal with water scarcity. Australia’s water market is estimated at 26 billion dollars and is considered to be the largest in the world. Here every user must operate within the set government limit on how much available water can be used. The large scale users of water also have to watch the water prices carefully like the stock market because each sector is competing with the other for a scarce resource. So can the same concept be employed to work between riparian States like in the case of the Nile? Of course there are challenges that will need to be overcome before a water market can be established for the Nile River especially because it would involve the establishment of water laws that all States agree to. Currently, the Nile Basin Initiative has limited capacity in legal, expertise and financial abilities. Moving forward, therefore there is need for an establishment of a legal institution that has the power to settle conflicts between the States and an open forum for sharing of available data and knowledge something the Cooperation Framework Agreement of 2010 sought to do. The establishment of an institutional framework will help determine the feasibility of water market transactions and the guidelines. This will in turn reduce uncertainty and suspicion between States by providing a structure for securing water rights, enforcing them and ensuring an operational market. A good example on the continent is in South Africa where the water markets were introduced in 1997-1998. This has been applied in the Lower Orange River where a water market has allowed for a transfer of water use from low value crops to high value crops and use of better irrigation technology. Water marketing can be seen as a way of allocating scarce water resources efficiently and offers empowerment to the users through property rights. In the case of the Nile, the water market would allow countries to decentralize decision making and involve other stakeholders who live along the river and rely on it greatly. This would also allow countries depending on the water rights allocated to know how much water they will use and what crops to grow. In the long run countries will have an opportunity to produce crops whose water need does not exceed the allocated amount and meet other water demands. This will not only promote water use efficiency in the basin but it will also promote agricultural and industrial trade between them and create better relations. Another possible scenario is that countries would have a chance to trade their water rights, for instance; Ethiopia could potentially trade some of its water rights to Egypt on a temporary or permanent basis based on the fact that they have other water resources available. Water is the most undervalued natural resource in my opinion even though we equate it to life and considering it an economic good could go a long way in improving how we allocate, use and manage it. However, this concept has its own challenges and critics but it could be a catalyst for better cooperation among the Nile riparian States.  
    Nov 29, 2016 1054
  • 07 Dec 2016
    During my undergraduate we had to take a module on Environmental Indigenous Knowledge Systems. The aim of the module was to show the existence of traditional knowledge on the sustainable use of natural resources among the different communities in Kenya and by extension Africa. Our forefathers had dependable knowledge on weather patterns, migration of animals, soil conservation and medicine and the management of resources in general. I have had the privilege of working with communities and it has always been clear that each holds unique knowledge and skills to ensure their survival and continuity. However, we live in a world where most of those who have been through school look down on the cultural and traditional knowledge and the younger generation are not keen to learn from the older generation. Hence this knowledge system is slowly dying from our society.   I am particularly more interested in the area of climate change and adaptation mostly because it affects the very core of our communities by threatening food security and livelihoods. If you speak to anyone in the rural areas whether a farmer or pastoralist they will tell you that they have noticed considerable changes in the weather patterns only they do not know what to attribute it to. The rainy seasons are unpredictable, shorter or more intense to cause flooding and the dry spells are more frequent and last longer. On top of this, their yields have decreased and new crop and livestock diseases have emerged pushing some to the blink of starvation. So the biggest question is why the research and information in print on how to build resilience and adapt to climate change is not reaching these communities and if it is, why is it not as effective?   Governments and international research institute are spending millions of dollars towards research and rightly so considering there is so much we still do not comprehend about climate change and its impacts. There are conferences and agreements being signed right left and center as we seek to minimize these impacts and build resilience of our people and the world. However, what good is it if this science is not being translated into action? The local farmers or pastoralists may not understand the scientific jargons but they can surely contribute into the localizations of solutions that fit their particular challenges. They possess knowledge on crop rotation and pest control, water resource management and soil conservation and on crops that are drought resistant and yet their contribution is undervalued. The creation of awareness should therefore come from a place of collaboration and not dictation if any sustainable solutions are to be found. We have so many projects on the continent that have not seen a day after the donors have left. They collapse because they ignore the contributions of the local people and the knowledge they possess and hence the lack of ownership and continuity.   Science and research plays an important role in our world today and will continue to do so in the future. However, we must not ignore the existing knowledge among our communities because to know the future we must understand our past. The answers we seek lie in integrating scientific and indigenous knowledge and finding what works for each community. Researchers and scientists cannot continue to take the role where they dictate the changes that need to be made in our society and assume that communities are without any knowledge. What we need is for all stakeholders to come together and have a platform where they can share knowledge and information. This will not only create ownership of projects but create sustainability where projects last beyond their funding phases and maybe development goals like the SDG’s will be attainable.
    1052 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • During my undergraduate we had to take a module on Environmental Indigenous Knowledge Systems. The aim of the module was to show the existence of traditional knowledge on the sustainable use of natural resources among the different communities in Kenya and by extension Africa. Our forefathers had dependable knowledge on weather patterns, migration of animals, soil conservation and medicine and the management of resources in general. I have had the privilege of working with communities and it has always been clear that each holds unique knowledge and skills to ensure their survival and continuity. However, we live in a world where most of those who have been through school look down on the cultural and traditional knowledge and the younger generation are not keen to learn from the older generation. Hence this knowledge system is slowly dying from our society.   I am particularly more interested in the area of climate change and adaptation mostly because it affects the very core of our communities by threatening food security and livelihoods. If you speak to anyone in the rural areas whether a farmer or pastoralist they will tell you that they have noticed considerable changes in the weather patterns only they do not know what to attribute it to. The rainy seasons are unpredictable, shorter or more intense to cause flooding and the dry spells are more frequent and last longer. On top of this, their yields have decreased and new crop and livestock diseases have emerged pushing some to the blink of starvation. So the biggest question is why the research and information in print on how to build resilience and adapt to climate change is not reaching these communities and if it is, why is it not as effective?   Governments and international research institute are spending millions of dollars towards research and rightly so considering there is so much we still do not comprehend about climate change and its impacts. There are conferences and agreements being signed right left and center as we seek to minimize these impacts and build resilience of our people and the world. However, what good is it if this science is not being translated into action? The local farmers or pastoralists may not understand the scientific jargons but they can surely contribute into the localizations of solutions that fit their particular challenges. They possess knowledge on crop rotation and pest control, water resource management and soil conservation and on crops that are drought resistant and yet their contribution is undervalued. The creation of awareness should therefore come from a place of collaboration and not dictation if any sustainable solutions are to be found. We have so many projects on the continent that have not seen a day after the donors have left. They collapse because they ignore the contributions of the local people and the knowledge they possess and hence the lack of ownership and continuity.   Science and research plays an important role in our world today and will continue to do so in the future. However, we must not ignore the existing knowledge among our communities because to know the future we must understand our past. The answers we seek lie in integrating scientific and indigenous knowledge and finding what works for each community. Researchers and scientists cannot continue to take the role where they dictate the changes that need to be made in our society and assume that communities are without any knowledge. What we need is for all stakeholders to come together and have a platform where they can share knowledge and information. This will not only create ownership of projects but create sustainability where projects last beyond their funding phases and maybe development goals like the SDG’s will be attainable.
    Dec 07, 2016 1052
  • 31 May 2016
    I have thought about starting my own blog on COP for a while now. However, I have remained adamantly ‘lazy’ resulting in the decision to start dragging for some time now. It only took the realization that I was losing some of my ‘soft skills’, therefore, urgently needed to do something. I am particularly thrilled with what is happening in the technological field especially on electromobility. I believe the technology is not mature as for now, but a lot of R&D is ongoing that will see it viable and cheap in the next few years. Most technologies in their early years were expensive and deemed as luxury for the rich. But after more research, they ended up being cheap and of even better quality that the initial products. It is essential to look into the path taken by these technologies and relate it with the developments made in electromobility. Take the case of smartphones. Did you know that development of smartphones started way back in the early 1990s? Yes, several companies tried their hands on developing a combined telephone and computer. One of the flagship devices was Apple’s tablet Apple Newton PDA or MessagePad that had handwriting recognition. After being launched in 1993 at a retail price of $700, the end users complained that it had inaccurate handwriting. The high price also meant only a few hundred thousand units were sold before it was removed from the market in 1998. However, a breakthrough was made by the same company through introduction of the iPad. Apart from Apple, Nokia tried its hand on smartphone and launched Nokia Communicator in 1996. The NOKIA 9000 Communicator was considered a convenient device because of combined phone and computer. It had 8MB of memory and 33MHz processor. The screen was black and white LCD with a ‘high resolution’ of 640 × 200 pixel – was the best at the time. Imagine those specifications and you had to part with $800 to have that device. Now that everyone loves selfies, I am obliged to check out the evolution of the digital camera before I move back to the issue of electromobility. You will be surprised that Logitech, not Nikon or Canon, made the first digital camera. Their flagship, Logitech Fotoman, retailed at $980 in 1993! And the specifications were ridiculous compared to what we have in the market today; 1MB of internal memory holding 32 shots only at a resolution of 320 × 240 pixel. Was there anything special? Yes, you could ‘save’ money on developing photos. However, you could not preview the photos without connecting to your computer. Looking at all those and many more technologies, you will agree with me that we have not yet seen the best in electric cars. Traditional car companies have continuously aimed at perfecting the internal combustion engine. However, the need to go green is pushing them out of their comfort zone. We do not know what will come of it, but I have no doubt that electromobility will overcome the present challenges in the near future. When it happens, do not be surprised to see more electric vehicles on the roads even in your village in Africa than those using fuel. The G7 countries have set 2025 as the year subsidies on fossil fuel will be fully eliminated. Looking closely at the trend, more companies are also coming up in a bid to outdo the traditional car manufacturing companies with regards to development of electric cars. When the technology becomes mature, we will only look back and laugh at the flaws and the high price tag attached to the present electric cars. I also believe the rate of development is faster now than it was before super computers. Who thought that a smartphone sold for $980 in 1996 would have improved features to those we have in the market today at lower prices? For electric cars, we haven’t even started yet.  I hope you will one day drive me in your super car sometimes in the near future.
    1046 Posted by Eric Akumu
  • I have thought about starting my own blog on COP for a while now. However, I have remained adamantly ‘lazy’ resulting in the decision to start dragging for some time now. It only took the realization that I was losing some of my ‘soft skills’, therefore, urgently needed to do something. I am particularly thrilled with what is happening in the technological field especially on electromobility. I believe the technology is not mature as for now, but a lot of R&D is ongoing that will see it viable and cheap in the next few years. Most technologies in their early years were expensive and deemed as luxury for the rich. But after more research, they ended up being cheap and of even better quality that the initial products. It is essential to look into the path taken by these technologies and relate it with the developments made in electromobility. Take the case of smartphones. Did you know that development of smartphones started way back in the early 1990s? Yes, several companies tried their hands on developing a combined telephone and computer. One of the flagship devices was Apple’s tablet Apple Newton PDA or MessagePad that had handwriting recognition. After being launched in 1993 at a retail price of $700, the end users complained that it had inaccurate handwriting. The high price also meant only a few hundred thousand units were sold before it was removed from the market in 1998. However, a breakthrough was made by the same company through introduction of the iPad. Apart from Apple, Nokia tried its hand on smartphone and launched Nokia Communicator in 1996. The NOKIA 9000 Communicator was considered a convenient device because of combined phone and computer. It had 8MB of memory and 33MHz processor. The screen was black and white LCD with a ‘high resolution’ of 640 × 200 pixel – was the best at the time. Imagine those specifications and you had to part with $800 to have that device. Now that everyone loves selfies, I am obliged to check out the evolution of the digital camera before I move back to the issue of electromobility. You will be surprised that Logitech, not Nikon or Canon, made the first digital camera. Their flagship, Logitech Fotoman, retailed at $980 in 1993! And the specifications were ridiculous compared to what we have in the market today; 1MB of internal memory holding 32 shots only at a resolution of 320 × 240 pixel. Was there anything special? Yes, you could ‘save’ money on developing photos. However, you could not preview the photos without connecting to your computer. Looking at all those and many more technologies, you will agree with me that we have not yet seen the best in electric cars. Traditional car companies have continuously aimed at perfecting the internal combustion engine. However, the need to go green is pushing them out of their comfort zone. We do not know what will come of it, but I have no doubt that electromobility will overcome the present challenges in the near future. When it happens, do not be surprised to see more electric vehicles on the roads even in your village in Africa than those using fuel. The G7 countries have set 2025 as the year subsidies on fossil fuel will be fully eliminated. Looking closely at the trend, more companies are also coming up in a bid to outdo the traditional car manufacturing companies with regards to development of electric cars. When the technology becomes mature, we will only look back and laugh at the flaws and the high price tag attached to the present electric cars. I also believe the rate of development is faster now than it was before super computers. Who thought that a smartphone sold for $980 in 1996 would have improved features to those we have in the market today at lower prices? For electric cars, we haven’t even started yet.  I hope you will one day drive me in your super car sometimes in the near future.
    May 31, 2016 1046