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  • 22 Nov 2016
    My class has just concluded a module in Water Economics and as part of the course requirement we had to choose a project that would account for almost half of the final grade. My group and I decided to work on the Nile under the title “Challenges and Opportunities in the Nile Basin Conflict: Proposed Interventions for Conflict Resolution”. To be honest, I had never really taken time to understand the intricate politics that surround the Nile Basin and what I found not only captured my imagination and interest but also made for one of the best research topics I have done in a long time out of what I would call my areas of interest. The Nile is the longest River in the world covering 6,600Km originating from the White Nile and Blue Nile and has 10 countries laying claim to it (Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and Republic Democratic of Congo). The estimated average annual flow of the river at the Aswan Dam in Egypt is 84 billion cubic meters with an estimated loss of 10 billion cubic meters to evaporation. The sharing of the water in the Nile River has mostly always been under contention with threats of war traded between the main contributor Ethiopia and the main user Egypt. The conflict on the utilization and allocation of the Nile can be partly attributed to the colonial treaties made by the British on behalf of its colonies. The treaties of 1902, 1929 and 1959 gave Egypt the veto powers over the Nile allocating it 55.5 billion cubic meters while Sudan took a share of 18.5 billion cubic meters. Through these treaties downstream countries were not to carry any development along the Nile or participate in any activities that would affect the water flow on the Nile. After gaining independence the countries wanted these treaties rendered absolute and a new sharing mechanism established. However, to date this dream is yet to be realized. The Nile has always been an important resource for Egypt and more so because of its geographic location and climatic conditions. It is estimated that about 99% of Egypt’s population live along the Nile River and depend on it for household and agricultural supply. This therefore, may explain the reason why Egypt is not enthusiastic about embracing new water sharing mechanism and agreement. However, with economic development and population increase in the Riparian States the status quo will have to change. Countries like Ethiopia are flexing their muscle with the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam along the Blue Nile which has a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters and an estimated power generation capacity of 6000 MW and other countries have stated their intention on future developments. Holding on to the colonial agreements therefore, is absolutely naïve for Egypt and yet the other Riparian countries have not been able to present a united front in challenging this position. One may ask what efforts have been made towards the resolution of the Nile conflict and rightly so. There have been many initiatives but the most notable one is the Nile Basin Initiative through which the Riparian States were able to develop the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) of 2010. The CFA outlines the principles, rights and obligations for cooperative management and development of the Nile Basin water resources. This treaty seeks to promote and establish a framework to “promote integrated management, sustainable development, and harmonious utilization of the water resources of the Basin, as well as their conservation and protection for the benefit of the present and future generations”. It creates a forum where permanent institutional mechanisms can be established to facilitate cooperation among the Basin’s States in the sustainable management and development of the River Nile and in the resolution of conflict. However, the agreement was met with mixed reactions and Egypt and Sudan declined to sign which backtracked the efforts put by the Nile Basin Initiative towards finding a lasting solution in the allocation, use and conflict resolution in the basin. So why will Sudan and Egypt not sign? Even though all riparian States agreed to the contents of the agreement Egypt and Sudan were not in agreement with Article 14 which introduced the aspect of water security and therefore failed to sign the agreement. Article 14 (b) reads “not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State.” However, Egypt and Sudan proposed an amendment to Article 14(b) to “not to adversely affect the water security and current uses and rights of any other Nile Basin State” which was rejected by other States who viewed it as a bid by Egypt and Sudan to reinforce the colonial treaties therefore going against the vision of the Nile Basin Initiative. Egypt and Sudan saw Article 14 as one that threatened their rights and access to the water in River Nile and challenged the veto powers guaranteed by the 1929 and 1959 treaties. Furthermore Egypt wanted the definition of the Nile River System changed to include both environmental protection and water allocation which would mean that the Nile River would not only include the 84km3 but also 1600km3 rainwater that Egypt claims falls over the basin. The position of Egypt and Sudan was vehemently opposed by the other Riparian States and to date only six countries have signed the CFA (Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Burundi) and only three States (Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda) have ratified it. It is surprising that Uganda which hosts the offices for the Nile Basin Initiative has not ratified the agreement highlighting the cracks that exist in the cooperation efforts. Another great challenge faced by the countries is the lack of data and an information sharing platform. The suspicion that exists between states has hampered any chance of working together and many continue to hold on to their hard lines. We submitted our findings and developed our own sharing mechanism that we felt could work for the Nile Riparian States. We made several assumptions and considered different variables in developing a mechanism for the Nile. You can expect that emotions ran high during the presentation with the majority of the class coming from the Nile Riparian States. Our conclusion as a group was that the Nile conflict is complex but all the States need to look at the Nile afresh and with a clear mind. Countries need to compromise in their demands and expectations bearing in mind that a successful agreement provides room for cooperation and water trading rights and development of a water market to the benefit all States.
    1039 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • My class has just concluded a module in Water Economics and as part of the course requirement we had to choose a project that would account for almost half of the final grade. My group and I decided to work on the Nile under the title “Challenges and Opportunities in the Nile Basin Conflict: Proposed Interventions for Conflict Resolution”. To be honest, I had never really taken time to understand the intricate politics that surround the Nile Basin and what I found not only captured my imagination and interest but also made for one of the best research topics I have done in a long time out of what I would call my areas of interest. The Nile is the longest River in the world covering 6,600Km originating from the White Nile and Blue Nile and has 10 countries laying claim to it (Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and Republic Democratic of Congo). The estimated average annual flow of the river at the Aswan Dam in Egypt is 84 billion cubic meters with an estimated loss of 10 billion cubic meters to evaporation. The sharing of the water in the Nile River has mostly always been under contention with threats of war traded between the main contributor Ethiopia and the main user Egypt. The conflict on the utilization and allocation of the Nile can be partly attributed to the colonial treaties made by the British on behalf of its colonies. The treaties of 1902, 1929 and 1959 gave Egypt the veto powers over the Nile allocating it 55.5 billion cubic meters while Sudan took a share of 18.5 billion cubic meters. Through these treaties downstream countries were not to carry any development along the Nile or participate in any activities that would affect the water flow on the Nile. After gaining independence the countries wanted these treaties rendered absolute and a new sharing mechanism established. However, to date this dream is yet to be realized. The Nile has always been an important resource for Egypt and more so because of its geographic location and climatic conditions. It is estimated that about 99% of Egypt’s population live along the Nile River and depend on it for household and agricultural supply. This therefore, may explain the reason why Egypt is not enthusiastic about embracing new water sharing mechanism and agreement. However, with economic development and population increase in the Riparian States the status quo will have to change. Countries like Ethiopia are flexing their muscle with the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam along the Blue Nile which has a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters and an estimated power generation capacity of 6000 MW and other countries have stated their intention on future developments. Holding on to the colonial agreements therefore, is absolutely naïve for Egypt and yet the other Riparian countries have not been able to present a united front in challenging this position. One may ask what efforts have been made towards the resolution of the Nile conflict and rightly so. There have been many initiatives but the most notable one is the Nile Basin Initiative through which the Riparian States were able to develop the Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) of 2010. The CFA outlines the principles, rights and obligations for cooperative management and development of the Nile Basin water resources. This treaty seeks to promote and establish a framework to “promote integrated management, sustainable development, and harmonious utilization of the water resources of the Basin, as well as their conservation and protection for the benefit of the present and future generations”. It creates a forum where permanent institutional mechanisms can be established to facilitate cooperation among the Basin’s States in the sustainable management and development of the River Nile and in the resolution of conflict. However, the agreement was met with mixed reactions and Egypt and Sudan declined to sign which backtracked the efforts put by the Nile Basin Initiative towards finding a lasting solution in the allocation, use and conflict resolution in the basin. So why will Sudan and Egypt not sign? Even though all riparian States agreed to the contents of the agreement Egypt and Sudan were not in agreement with Article 14 which introduced the aspect of water security and therefore failed to sign the agreement. Article 14 (b) reads “not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State.” However, Egypt and Sudan proposed an amendment to Article 14(b) to “not to adversely affect the water security and current uses and rights of any other Nile Basin State” which was rejected by other States who viewed it as a bid by Egypt and Sudan to reinforce the colonial treaties therefore going against the vision of the Nile Basin Initiative. Egypt and Sudan saw Article 14 as one that threatened their rights and access to the water in River Nile and challenged the veto powers guaranteed by the 1929 and 1959 treaties. Furthermore Egypt wanted the definition of the Nile River System changed to include both environmental protection and water allocation which would mean that the Nile River would not only include the 84km3 but also 1600km3 rainwater that Egypt claims falls over the basin. The position of Egypt and Sudan was vehemently opposed by the other Riparian States and to date only six countries have signed the CFA (Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Burundi) and only three States (Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda) have ratified it. It is surprising that Uganda which hosts the offices for the Nile Basin Initiative has not ratified the agreement highlighting the cracks that exist in the cooperation efforts. Another great challenge faced by the countries is the lack of data and an information sharing platform. The suspicion that exists between states has hampered any chance of working together and many continue to hold on to their hard lines. We submitted our findings and developed our own sharing mechanism that we felt could work for the Nile Riparian States. We made several assumptions and considered different variables in developing a mechanism for the Nile. You can expect that emotions ran high during the presentation with the majority of the class coming from the Nile Riparian States. Our conclusion as a group was that the Nile conflict is complex but all the States need to look at the Nile afresh and with a clear mind. Countries need to compromise in their demands and expectations bearing in mind that a successful agreement provides room for cooperation and water trading rights and development of a water market to the benefit all States.
    Nov 22, 2016 1039
  • 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.
    1027 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 1027
  • 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!!
    1022 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 1022
  • 24 Oct 2016
    On October 21st the UN appointed wonder woman as an honorary ambassador for girls and women empowerment in support to sustainable development goal number 5 on her 75th birthday. Wonder woman is a fictional character found in American comic books and is based on the Amazons of Greek mythology. Her character revolves around ensuring justice and peace, key traits that prompted the appointment. Understandably, there was backlash notably from some UN staff on the decision to bestow the fictional character honorary status. We live in a world where women are faced with the pressure to conform to the world’s definition of beauty and success. Most of this pressure comes from daily bombardment from the media of what an ideal or perfect woman should be in their fictional and reality shows. So it begs the question why would an organization like the UN settle for a fictional character to mark girls and women empowerment? The UN has championed numerous initiatives around the world in women empowerment and in promoting gender equality and there are many success stories based on real life stories and not fictional characters. There are women and men both young and old putting their lives on the line to fight against cultural, political and social restrictions and beliefs in a bid to empower others. Why then would there be need to honor a fictional character when we have real life heroines living among us? An online petition was launched by some UN staff who protested the appointment. Their concern and I quote “ …A woman of impossible proportions, scantily dressed in a shimmery, thigh baring body suit with an American flag motif is not an appropriate spokeswoman for an international gender equity role.” However, the ceremony still went on in the presence of silent protestors. Some consider the appointment a mockery to the challenges faced by women around the world ranging from domestic violence, sexual violence, slavery, war, poverty and unequal distribution of resources among many others. On the other hand some view this protest as simply that of feminists pushing their agenda. In the past we have had fictional characters like Winnie the Pooh ambassador of friendship 1998 and Tinker Bell as the ambassador for green 2009 but they did not elicit such criticism.  The UN has come under fire on issues of gender equity and empowerment, this year it was thought the secretary general position would finally go to one of the qualified 7 women applicants. Like we all know the job went to Antonio Guterres from Portugal who is equally qualified. I am not for giving positions to women for the sake of gender equality so that we can pat our backs on how far we have come. Competence in any position is very vital whether it is occupied by a man or woman. That said I think we have come so far and achieved so much in empowerment of women to let a fictional character represent that milestone!
    1008 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • On October 21st the UN appointed wonder woman as an honorary ambassador for girls and women empowerment in support to sustainable development goal number 5 on her 75th birthday. Wonder woman is a fictional character found in American comic books and is based on the Amazons of Greek mythology. Her character revolves around ensuring justice and peace, key traits that prompted the appointment. Understandably, there was backlash notably from some UN staff on the decision to bestow the fictional character honorary status. We live in a world where women are faced with the pressure to conform to the world’s definition of beauty and success. Most of this pressure comes from daily bombardment from the media of what an ideal or perfect woman should be in their fictional and reality shows. So it begs the question why would an organization like the UN settle for a fictional character to mark girls and women empowerment? The UN has championed numerous initiatives around the world in women empowerment and in promoting gender equality and there are many success stories based on real life stories and not fictional characters. There are women and men both young and old putting their lives on the line to fight against cultural, political and social restrictions and beliefs in a bid to empower others. Why then would there be need to honor a fictional character when we have real life heroines living among us? An online petition was launched by some UN staff who protested the appointment. Their concern and I quote “ …A woman of impossible proportions, scantily dressed in a shimmery, thigh baring body suit with an American flag motif is not an appropriate spokeswoman for an international gender equity role.” However, the ceremony still went on in the presence of silent protestors. Some consider the appointment a mockery to the challenges faced by women around the world ranging from domestic violence, sexual violence, slavery, war, poverty and unequal distribution of resources among many others. On the other hand some view this protest as simply that of feminists pushing their agenda. In the past we have had fictional characters like Winnie the Pooh ambassador of friendship 1998 and Tinker Bell as the ambassador for green 2009 but they did not elicit such criticism.  The UN has come under fire on issues of gender equity and empowerment, this year it was thought the secretary general position would finally go to one of the qualified 7 women applicants. Like we all know the job went to Antonio Guterres from Portugal who is equally qualified. I am not for giving positions to women for the sake of gender equality so that we can pat our backs on how far we have come. Competence in any position is very vital whether it is occupied by a man or woman. That said I think we have come so far and achieved so much in empowerment of women to let a fictional character represent that milestone!
    Oct 24, 2016 1008
  • 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  
    1001 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 1001
  • 14 Nov 2016
    It feels like forever since my last entry and I apologize, the cold weather seems to have gotten the best of me and the classes have been quite fast paced. However, none of this excuses my not writing because it is a commitment I take on very seriously and frankly one that I immensely enjoy. The last couple of weeks have been jam packed with activities at the institute and it is only now that things are settling down after the departure of the recently graduated students. It has also been exciting meeting and getting to know the new students and it has brought a few memories for me from about a year ago. When I first arrived in Algeria, it was nothing like I expected and I almost took the next flight home but I am glad I stayed. For a while I clung on to the familiar and refused to embrace the new but we always have to embrace change either for our betterment or detriment. If for nothing else PAUWES for me has signified self growth in confidence, self awareness and assurance of what I am really passionate about but it did not happen overnight. It is so easy to feel lost in the crowd especially because you are meeting people from different academic backgrounds and cultures. We may be tempted to compare ourselves to the next person but we should never lose our uniqueness and identity. No two snowflakes are alike. We have to believe that each of us has something to bring to the table, after all we were chosen as the best in Africa so why should we question our worth? Of course, we have the social butterflies, those who start conversations with ease and seem to have it all figured out but sometimes wisdom is found in the quiet. I am in a class of 8 intelligent friends and classmates. We have shared a classroom for over a year and that for us has created a bond that will transition into our next phase in life. When we arrived our comfort and identity was in our countries and where we come from but country is the last thing on our minds now. We have become borderless. It has been amazing to witness the changes that have taken in each of us. If at any time in the near future I was asked to select a team to work with, they would be it for me in a heartbeat. I know who to call if a project on irrigation, water management, climate change, policy analysis or transboundary water management was commissioned. However, these relationships were not built overnight and took time to develop and so will yours. What you have to do is nurture them and help each other harness the potential that is within each of you. Do not take this a competition but rather a journey that is more fruitful because you are accompanied by the very best. Some of you have expressed worry because they can still not define their areas of interest for research or feel they have no tangible networks. I am here to tell you to relax. In the course of the next year you will be exposed to different units and even a more diverse pool of professors. If you keep your eyes and ears open you will find your perfect fit. That area of interest that evokes passion in you and everyone knows you can provide insight on it. Please do not hide, let your opinion be heard and let no question go unasked. Keep in touch with your professors especially if they are in your field of interest, ask for recommendations and keep building your networks because I promise it pays in the end. While you are here, step out of your comfort zone, forget the stereotypes and open yourself to learning something new and making meaningful connections and friendships. I am no expert but merely speak from experience but I hope my two cents can make the journey a little easier and better for you. Cheers!
    1000 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • It feels like forever since my last entry and I apologize, the cold weather seems to have gotten the best of me and the classes have been quite fast paced. However, none of this excuses my not writing because it is a commitment I take on very seriously and frankly one that I immensely enjoy. The last couple of weeks have been jam packed with activities at the institute and it is only now that things are settling down after the departure of the recently graduated students. It has also been exciting meeting and getting to know the new students and it has brought a few memories for me from about a year ago. When I first arrived in Algeria, it was nothing like I expected and I almost took the next flight home but I am glad I stayed. For a while I clung on to the familiar and refused to embrace the new but we always have to embrace change either for our betterment or detriment. If for nothing else PAUWES for me has signified self growth in confidence, self awareness and assurance of what I am really passionate about but it did not happen overnight. It is so easy to feel lost in the crowd especially because you are meeting people from different academic backgrounds and cultures. We may be tempted to compare ourselves to the next person but we should never lose our uniqueness and identity. No two snowflakes are alike. We have to believe that each of us has something to bring to the table, after all we were chosen as the best in Africa so why should we question our worth? Of course, we have the social butterflies, those who start conversations with ease and seem to have it all figured out but sometimes wisdom is found in the quiet. I am in a class of 8 intelligent friends and classmates. We have shared a classroom for over a year and that for us has created a bond that will transition into our next phase in life. When we arrived our comfort and identity was in our countries and where we come from but country is the last thing on our minds now. We have become borderless. It has been amazing to witness the changes that have taken in each of us. If at any time in the near future I was asked to select a team to work with, they would be it for me in a heartbeat. I know who to call if a project on irrigation, water management, climate change, policy analysis or transboundary water management was commissioned. However, these relationships were not built overnight and took time to develop and so will yours. What you have to do is nurture them and help each other harness the potential that is within each of you. Do not take this a competition but rather a journey that is more fruitful because you are accompanied by the very best. Some of you have expressed worry because they can still not define their areas of interest for research or feel they have no tangible networks. I am here to tell you to relax. In the course of the next year you will be exposed to different units and even a more diverse pool of professors. If you keep your eyes and ears open you will find your perfect fit. That area of interest that evokes passion in you and everyone knows you can provide insight on it. Please do not hide, let your opinion be heard and let no question go unasked. Keep in touch with your professors especially if they are in your field of interest, ask for recommendations and keep building your networks because I promise it pays in the end. While you are here, step out of your comfort zone, forget the stereotypes and open yourself to learning something new and making meaningful connections and friendships. I am no expert but merely speak from experience but I hope my two cents can make the journey a little easier and better for you. Cheers!
    Nov 14, 2016 1000
  • 22 Aug 2016
    My name is Muthoni daughter of Kimonye and the Agaciku clan. Lately, I have been thinking deeply about whom I am and my identity as my father’s daughter and by extension as part of my community. I belong to the “house of Mumbi” which makes me a Kikuyu. I am named from my mother’s side of the family and my name Muthoni is derived from the name uthoni meaning “the place my father took dowry to get a wife.” Ironically, it is only my father that uses this name in my family. The Kikuyu believe that we all came from Mumbi and Gikuyu. They had 10 daughters but it was considered bad omen to count all your children so they referred to them as “nine daughters full” When the nine daughters reached marriageable age, Gikuyu and Mumbi could not find husbands for them so they made a sacrifice to Ngai who they believed lived on top of Mount Kenya or Kirinyaga as it was referred to back then. In response Ngai sent nine very handsome men to Gikuyu and so a tribe was born. The Kikuyu tribe is very matriarchal and all the clans that exist are named after one of the daughters of Gikuyu and Mumbi. I learned all this in my lower primary classes but sadly I have forgotten most of it and frankly the older generation no longer speak of it. The blame does not lie with them entirely but with the younger generation as well who are no longer inquisitive about their own culture. See, the Kikuyu are known to be among the tribes that have almost completely abandoned their culture for westernization. We have still retained our culture in naming children and to some extent in carrying out the marriage ceremony. Our language has also evolved from one filled with proverbs and sayings into a much simpler plain language. Most times when I sit down with my elders I have to ask them to interpret some words because I have no clue what they mean and I assure you my case is not unique. Every tribe in Kenya and by extension Africa has a story that defines them and their culture. There may be similarities if they belong to the same family like the Bantu or Cushites and Nilotes but there is uniqueness in every one of them. The Kikuyu belong to the Bantu family and I always find it fascinating that I can understand some words spoken by other Bantu tribes from other African countries. Such uniqueness and likeness should be celebrated and passed from one generation to the other. Instead our differences in culture and religion have been mostly used to divide and cause harm to those thought to be different from us. Many people will tell you that the colonial period and the contact with the outside world is to blame for eroding our culture and beliefs. That may be true to some extent but I think we have not worked hard enough to retain our systems. In my culture, a child belonged to the clan and anyone could raise them. Young boys and girls went to their aunts and uncles to be taught the way of life and what their community expected of them. Disputes were settled by the elders of the clan and the grandfathers and mothers would pass on the cultural beliefs through story telling. We had our own religion but somehow we came to believe that what we believed in and practiced culturally was archaic and wrong. Staying true to who we are as a people does not mean we will live in isolation from the rest of the world. We have so much to offer and we should not allow outside influence to take that away from us. We owe it to ourselves and the future generations to stay true to who we are and keep our roots firmly in the ground. To ask the older generation questions until we figure out who we are and gain the confidence to share it with the rest of the world.
    989 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • My name is Muthoni daughter of Kimonye and the Agaciku clan. Lately, I have been thinking deeply about whom I am and my identity as my father’s daughter and by extension as part of my community. I belong to the “house of Mumbi” which makes me a Kikuyu. I am named from my mother’s side of the family and my name Muthoni is derived from the name uthoni meaning “the place my father took dowry to get a wife.” Ironically, it is only my father that uses this name in my family. The Kikuyu believe that we all came from Mumbi and Gikuyu. They had 10 daughters but it was considered bad omen to count all your children so they referred to them as “nine daughters full” When the nine daughters reached marriageable age, Gikuyu and Mumbi could not find husbands for them so they made a sacrifice to Ngai who they believed lived on top of Mount Kenya or Kirinyaga as it was referred to back then. In response Ngai sent nine very handsome men to Gikuyu and so a tribe was born. The Kikuyu tribe is very matriarchal and all the clans that exist are named after one of the daughters of Gikuyu and Mumbi. I learned all this in my lower primary classes but sadly I have forgotten most of it and frankly the older generation no longer speak of it. The blame does not lie with them entirely but with the younger generation as well who are no longer inquisitive about their own culture. See, the Kikuyu are known to be among the tribes that have almost completely abandoned their culture for westernization. We have still retained our culture in naming children and to some extent in carrying out the marriage ceremony. Our language has also evolved from one filled with proverbs and sayings into a much simpler plain language. Most times when I sit down with my elders I have to ask them to interpret some words because I have no clue what they mean and I assure you my case is not unique. Every tribe in Kenya and by extension Africa has a story that defines them and their culture. There may be similarities if they belong to the same family like the Bantu or Cushites and Nilotes but there is uniqueness in every one of them. The Kikuyu belong to the Bantu family and I always find it fascinating that I can understand some words spoken by other Bantu tribes from other African countries. Such uniqueness and likeness should be celebrated and passed from one generation to the other. Instead our differences in culture and religion have been mostly used to divide and cause harm to those thought to be different from us. Many people will tell you that the colonial period and the contact with the outside world is to blame for eroding our culture and beliefs. That may be true to some extent but I think we have not worked hard enough to retain our systems. In my culture, a child belonged to the clan and anyone could raise them. Young boys and girls went to their aunts and uncles to be taught the way of life and what their community expected of them. Disputes were settled by the elders of the clan and the grandfathers and mothers would pass on the cultural beliefs through story telling. We had our own religion but somehow we came to believe that what we believed in and practiced culturally was archaic and wrong. Staying true to who we are as a people does not mean we will live in isolation from the rest of the world. We have so much to offer and we should not allow outside influence to take that away from us. We owe it to ourselves and the future generations to stay true to who we are and keep our roots firmly in the ground. To ask the older generation questions until we figure out who we are and gain the confidence to share it with the rest of the world.
    Aug 22, 2016 989
  • 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
    981 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 981
  • 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.
    976 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 976
  • 29 Jan 2019
    Australia Is Baking And Chicago Is Freezing - What Is Going On? By Dr. Marshall J. Sherphard I often remind people that Earth has a split personality. As the Northern Hemisphere experiences winter, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. People can be so narrowly focused on where they live that they overlook this fact. It caught my eye that we are currently seeing extreme temperatures on both sides of the ledger right now. Chicago, Illinois is expected to deal with life-threatening and record cold air this week. On the other side of the planet, Adelaide and other parts of Australia are shattering heat records. What is going on? Surface temperatures for Sunday January 27th on Earth.CLIMATE REANALYZER.ORG Chicago is often referred to as the Windy City, but this coming week extreme cold makes its claim for the headlines. According to a CNN wire story on the KDVR.com website, The forecast models the weather service is referring to have consistently shown numerous days dropping to at least minus-20 degrees or colder next week. For reference, Chicago has had only 15 days ever drop to minus-20 or colder in 150 years of record keeping. There is also the potential that Chicago will see multiple days that fail to reach 0 for the high temperature — something that has happened only twice in the past 20 years, and 22 times in the past 100 years.   Life-threatening temperatures in the Chicago area this week.NWS CHICAGO VIA TWITTER The National Weather Service-Chicago tweeted the graphic above warning of life-threatening cold and wind chills in the middle of the work week. What's the cause? It is winter. Because of increasingly infrequent extreme cold events, these events definitely get our attention as they should. Meteorologically speaking,  after a low-pressure system brings wintry precipitation to the Midwest United States, a very cold Arctic high pressure system (1040 mb) system settles into the northern Plains by midweek. The low-pressure system is projected to be near the Great Lakes by Wednesday. Meteorology 101 tells us that the circulation around a High is clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and the circulation associate with low pressure is counterclockwise. This means the flow pattern and a difference in pressure (a gradient) will cause cold air to spill into the region along with gusty winds. If you look at the weather map for Wednesday (bel0w), you can see some of these features. To visualize the cold stream of air that will flow into the Midwest, simply follow those red lines of constant pressure (isobars).   Weather map for Wednesday January 30thNWS WPC Because the Earth's Northern Hemisphere is tilting away from the Sun right now,  it is winter there. The Southern Hemisphere is receiving more direct, intense energy from our star and is experiencing summer. A graduate school colleague of mine, Richard Henning reminded me, in his social media post, of a lyric from the song "Beds are Burning."  In that song, the Australian rock band, Midnight Oil, sings of "steam in forty five degrees." Adelaide, Australia broke an 80-year heat record with a temperature of 46.6 deg C this past week. That value converts to 115.9 deg F. The Bureau of Meteorology, South Australia tweeted on January 24th: #Adelaide is now the hottest capital in Australia, having just reached 46.6C at 3:35pm, beating the previous record in #Melbourne of 46.4 @BOM_Vic More records: Whyalla 48.5 (prev. record 48.0), Leigh Creek 46.9 (prev. 46.3), and Port Augusta 49.1 (prev. 48.9) #heatwave Temperatures for January 27th, 2019.AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY Many experts are projecting this to be the warmest January on record in parts of Australia as a brutal heatwave continues. The current heatwave has led to health emergencies, energy crises, fire hazards, and disruptions of the Australian Open tennis tournament. A stagnant area of high pressure situated over southern Australia means sinking, warming air and dry conditions. Ironically, a recent report issued by Australian government warns of increasing threats from such heatwaves. The 5th biennial State of the Climate report declared that: Australia's climate has warmed just over 1 °C since 1910 leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events...There has been a long-term increase in extreme fire weather, and in the length of the fire season, across large parts of Australia. The report also warns of more hot days, heat waves and fewer cool extremes. Earth is clearly exhibiting its seasonal and hemispheric split personality, but there is something that I want to point out as I close. Extreme events are what we notice not averages. Isn't it ironic that it has become breaking news when it gets cold in Chicago? This is consistent with scientific literature that finds "extreme cold" events becoming less common. Will they continue to happen? Of course. We must look at weather extremes and climate within the proper context. There are many people that draw conclusions based on what is happening where they live or on a given day. That's a no-no. Stay warm Chicago (or cool Adelaide).   Dr. Marshall Shepherd, Dir., Atmospheric Sciences Program/GA Athletic Assoc. Distinguished Professor (Univ of Georgia), Host, Weather Channel's Popular Podcast, Weather Geeks, 2013 AMS President Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd, a leading international expert in weather and climate, was the 2013 President of American Meteorological Society (AMS) and is Director of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Atmospheric Sciences Program. Dr. Shepherd is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor and hosts The Weather Channel’s Weather Geeks Podcast, which can be found at all podcast outlets. Prior to UGA, Dr. Shepherd spent 12 years as a Research Meteorologist at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and was Deputy Project Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. In 2004, he was honored at the White House with a prestigious PECASE award. He also has received major honors from the American Meteorological Society, American Association of Geographers, and the Captain Planet Foundation. Shepherd is frequently sought as an expert on weather and climate by major media outlets, the White House, and Congress. He has over 80 peer-reviewed scholarly publications and numerous editorials. Dr. Shepherd received his B.S., M.S. and PhD in physical meteorology from Florida State University.
    959 Posted by Brian Oduor
  • Australia Is Baking And Chicago Is Freezing - What Is Going On? By Dr. Marshall J. Sherphard I often remind people that Earth has a split personality. As the Northern Hemisphere experiences winter, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. People can be so narrowly focused on where they live that they overlook this fact. It caught my eye that we are currently seeing extreme temperatures on both sides of the ledger right now. Chicago, Illinois is expected to deal with life-threatening and record cold air this week. On the other side of the planet, Adelaide and other parts of Australia are shattering heat records. What is going on? Surface temperatures for Sunday January 27th on Earth.CLIMATE REANALYZER.ORG Chicago is often referred to as the Windy City, but this coming week extreme cold makes its claim for the headlines. According to a CNN wire story on the KDVR.com website, The forecast models the weather service is referring to have consistently shown numerous days dropping to at least minus-20 degrees or colder next week. For reference, Chicago has had only 15 days ever drop to minus-20 or colder in 150 years of record keeping. There is also the potential that Chicago will see multiple days that fail to reach 0 for the high temperature — something that has happened only twice in the past 20 years, and 22 times in the past 100 years.   Life-threatening temperatures in the Chicago area this week.NWS CHICAGO VIA TWITTER The National Weather Service-Chicago tweeted the graphic above warning of life-threatening cold and wind chills in the middle of the work week. What's the cause? It is winter. Because of increasingly infrequent extreme cold events, these events definitely get our attention as they should. Meteorologically speaking,  after a low-pressure system brings wintry precipitation to the Midwest United States, a very cold Arctic high pressure system (1040 mb) system settles into the northern Plains by midweek. The low-pressure system is projected to be near the Great Lakes by Wednesday. Meteorology 101 tells us that the circulation around a High is clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and the circulation associate with low pressure is counterclockwise. This means the flow pattern and a difference in pressure (a gradient) will cause cold air to spill into the region along with gusty winds. If you look at the weather map for Wednesday (bel0w), you can see some of these features. To visualize the cold stream of air that will flow into the Midwest, simply follow those red lines of constant pressure (isobars).   Weather map for Wednesday January 30thNWS WPC Because the Earth's Northern Hemisphere is tilting away from the Sun right now,  it is winter there. The Southern Hemisphere is receiving more direct, intense energy from our star and is experiencing summer. A graduate school colleague of mine, Richard Henning reminded me, in his social media post, of a lyric from the song "Beds are Burning."  In that song, the Australian rock band, Midnight Oil, sings of "steam in forty five degrees." Adelaide, Australia broke an 80-year heat record with a temperature of 46.6 deg C this past week. That value converts to 115.9 deg F. The Bureau of Meteorology, South Australia tweeted on January 24th: #Adelaide is now the hottest capital in Australia, having just reached 46.6C at 3:35pm, beating the previous record in #Melbourne of 46.4 @BOM_Vic More records: Whyalla 48.5 (prev. record 48.0), Leigh Creek 46.9 (prev. 46.3), and Port Augusta 49.1 (prev. 48.9) #heatwave Temperatures for January 27th, 2019.AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY Many experts are projecting this to be the warmest January on record in parts of Australia as a brutal heatwave continues. The current heatwave has led to health emergencies, energy crises, fire hazards, and disruptions of the Australian Open tennis tournament. A stagnant area of high pressure situated over southern Australia means sinking, warming air and dry conditions. Ironically, a recent report issued by Australian government warns of increasing threats from such heatwaves. The 5th biennial State of the Climate report declared that: Australia's climate has warmed just over 1 °C since 1910 leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events...There has been a long-term increase in extreme fire weather, and in the length of the fire season, across large parts of Australia. The report also warns of more hot days, heat waves and fewer cool extremes. Earth is clearly exhibiting its seasonal and hemispheric split personality, but there is something that I want to point out as I close. Extreme events are what we notice not averages. Isn't it ironic that it has become breaking news when it gets cold in Chicago? This is consistent with scientific literature that finds "extreme cold" events becoming less common. Will they continue to happen? Of course. We must look at weather extremes and climate within the proper context. There are many people that draw conclusions based on what is happening where they live or on a given day. That's a no-no. Stay warm Chicago (or cool Adelaide).   Dr. Marshall Shepherd, Dir., Atmospheric Sciences Program/GA Athletic Assoc. Distinguished Professor (Univ of Georgia), Host, Weather Channel's Popular Podcast, Weather Geeks, 2013 AMS President Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd, a leading international expert in weather and climate, was the 2013 President of American Meteorological Society (AMS) and is Director of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Atmospheric Sciences Program. Dr. Shepherd is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor and hosts The Weather Channel’s Weather Geeks Podcast, which can be found at all podcast outlets. Prior to UGA, Dr. Shepherd spent 12 years as a Research Meteorologist at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and was Deputy Project Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. In 2004, he was honored at the White House with a prestigious PECASE award. He also has received major honors from the American Meteorological Society, American Association of Geographers, and the Captain Planet Foundation. Shepherd is frequently sought as an expert on weather and climate by major media outlets, the White House, and Congress. He has over 80 peer-reviewed scholarly publications and numerous editorials. Dr. Shepherd received his B.S., M.S. and PhD in physical meteorology from Florida State University.
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