News and Views on Africa from Africa
Last update: 1 July 2022 h. 10:44
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Many Kenyans are inadequately prepared for 'enhanced' rains forecast by their weather experts for the March-May long-rain season, given that some parts are yet to recover from the 2003 floods. This came at a time when dykes meant to hold back flood waters from River Nzoia in Western Kenya are reportedly been ruined, and drainage systems in major towns like Nairobi are in great need of improvement.

The Kenya Meteorological Department has forecast heavy rains for the season, warning that some areas, could experience flash floods and landslides.

The Catholic Church -which in previous disasters has offered refuge and relief to the flood victims- lacks the capacity to build a strong dyke against the deluge, while the government is merely repairing existing ones through its National Youth Service personnel.

Speaking to CISA on Friday, March 12, 2004, Fr Maurice Langiri, the Justice and Peace Coordinator for Nangina Deanery in Bungoma Diocese, confirmed recent allegations that local people have weakened parts of the dykes.

"During floods," Fr Langiri told CISA, "affected people evacuated their families and belongings to higher areas, which include the dykes."

However, the priest added, the people stayed in these makeshift locations for close to six months, and when deaths occurred, bodies were interred there, as homesteads were already submerged.

The personnel repairing the dykes are reportedly encountering skeletons on the 20 km stretch of earth mound built along the River Nzoia.

People in three parishes in Bungoma are affected. Sirimba and Port Victoria are in the flood zone, while Nangina receives most of the victims seeking refuge and health care.

Contacts: Bungoma Diocese, Tel (254) 055-20735, , Nangina Parish (254) 0722-358682. (Source: CISA)


The Comboni Sisters of Mozambique are making an appeal "to break the silence" surrounding the disappearance of children believed to be victims of organ traffickers.

"After the Feb. 21 murder of Lutheran missionary Doraci Edinger, there has been a heavy silence and an air of intimidation in Nampula," the appeal, which was made by the Provincial Superior of the 60 women religious, Sister Angelina Zenti, said in part.

Five women religious working in Mozambique received death threats after uncovering the organ-trafficking scheme.

Since October 2002, dozens of area children and youths, especially street children, have disappeared mysteriously. Despite complaints to the local authorities, no legal proceedings have started.

Meanwhile, the police command in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula has denied claims that Brazilian missionary Maria Elialda dos Santos was attacked on Tuesday march 9, 2004 by two foreigners.

"The supposed assailants were two Spaniards - journalist Emaculada Navarro, from the Madrid radio station SRP, and a forensic doctor named Jose Miguel. They had intended to interview dos Santos on her claims about trafficking in body parts," said the Director Of Public Order and Safety in the Nampula police command, Xavier Tocolo. (Source: AllAfrica)


The Zimbabwean Government has threatened to hang the 64 passengers of different nationalities aboard the United States-made aircraft impounded on Sunday, March 7, 2004 in what could spark a major diplomatic furore.

Joseph Musakwa, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said the department was consulting the police on the legal aspects of the case with a view to prosecuting the 64, labelled "mercenaries" by the Government.

"They are going to face the severest punishment available in our statutes, including capital punishment," Mudenge was quoted as saying. "We will give them all the rights they are entitled to."

Meanwhile, Equatorial Guinea has thanked the South African government for a tip off that led to the arrest of 15 alleged coup plotters planning to oust President Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo.

The arrests were followed by the detention in Zimbabwe of 64 people, including 20 South Africans, believed to have been on their way to Equatorial Guinea as part of the coup group.

"We spoke with the South African president, who warned us that a group of mercenaries was heading towards Equatorial Guinea," said a Government spokesman. (Source: CISA/Agencies)


Faced with the prospect of a reduced civil service - mainly because of HIV/AIDS - southern African governments have been urged to formulate alternative ways of bolstering social service

At the launch of the Southern African Capacity Initiative (SACI) in Botswana last week, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Mark Malloch Brown noted that the impact of the pandemic had already been felt in the health, education and food security sectors.

"Fundamentally, what makes the dimensions of the HIV/AIDS crisis so devastating for this region is the way it is intersecting with the challenges of poverty, food insecurity and limited institutional capacity to deliver essential public services, rendering the development challenge
the continent faces even more arduous," he said.

The SACI aims to assist the most affected countries in the sub-region in dealing with the erosion of capacity caused by the pandemic. A key focus of the initiative is the need for further research into how HIV/AIDS is affecting both the supply of and demand for government

"While there is a shortage [of teachers], there are, however, also unemployed teachers in the region, because government and parents cannot afford to pay them - so capacity development must be undergirded by both a viable economic strategy to renew the productive base and international financial support, including for recurrent costs such as teachers'
salaries," Malloch Brown noted.

One of the ways of reducing government costs while ensuring adequate service delivery was the increased use of information and communication technologies. Education and health services could be improved, for example, through distance learning and telemedicine. Governments were also encouraged to further engage with civil society.

Malloch Brown noted that while a vibrant civil society already existed across the region, authorities should do more to co-opt NGOs "as fully enfranchised partners for the delivery of essential public services".

It was expected that expanded engagement with civil groups would make a considerable difference to service provision. "It is civil society that can multiply the reach of service delivery,
using community-based organisations with much lower cost structures and
with incentive systems that don't just depend on salaries, but family and
community commitments," he said.

Another key component of the SACI was the emphasis on south-to-southcooperation. It was assumed that developing countries often had more relevant experience in the needs of their peers than traditional donors.

UNDP had already facilitated a programme in which Brazil exported its experience in the use of interactive multimedia HIV/AIDS educational strategies in classrooms to Botswana. UNDP is expected to establish a regional centre in South Africa to spearhead the initiative. The centre, comprising technical experts and policy advisors, is expected to provide advice to governments, civil society organisations and the private sector, and facilitate the sharing of regional experiences.

Southern Africa is home to more than 30 percent of the 40 million people infected with HIV/AIDS worldwide.

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