NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan
government said on Sunday that it will lobby for a total ban on
ivory trade during the 17th meeting of conference of
parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species (CITES) which kicked off in South Africa on Saturday.
spokesman Manoah Esipisu said international efforts are needed
to deal with illegal trade in ivory products which he said
drives supply and demand.
is simple. Demand for illegal products drives supply. Deal with
the trade, requires aggressive law enforcement, effective
elephant ivory and rhino horn movement control and influential
market dis-incentivisation,” he told journalists in Nairobi.
will aggressively seek a total ban on ivory trade at this
Johannesburg CITES meeting,” said Esipisu during his weekly
He said the
East African nation will lobby the international community to
back its proposals on putting an end to trade in trophies during
the high level summit.
Nairobi remains committed to playing its rightful role in
ensuring that international trade in endangered species does not
threaten survival of wildlife species like elephants.
Kenya is a
member of the African elephant coalition that has lobbied the
international community to support a ban on ivory trade ahead of
CITES meeting in Johannesburg.
coalition will submit a set of proposals at the CITES meeting
calling on governments and multilateral agencies to strengthen
protection of elephants through outlawing trade in trophies.
Ghana issues guide
for election candidates
ACCRA, (Xinhua) -- Ghana’s
Electoral Commission (EC) on Friday launched a manual for
aspiring candidates and their agents ahead of the December 7
is to help potential candidates and their agents to understand
the nomination and electoral process and outline the
responsibilities that have to be undertaken when seeking to be
elected to the office of president or House of Parliament.
highlights the duties and responsibilities of the agents, who
will represent the candidates at the 29,000 polling stations in
the 275 constituency collation centers.
chairperson of the EC, Charlotte Osei, said the Guide is a
source of basic information about the electoral process, but is
by no means intended to be a substitute of the electoral laws.
achieving free, fair, credible and transparent elections was
never and could not be the responsibility of the EC alone.
result, the Commission hopes that candidates and polling agents
would play their respective roles dutifully and in good faith to
ensure a peaceful electoral process.
election will be Ghana’s 7th since it returned to
constitutional democracy in 1992.
fumigation of northeast Bama town
LAGOS, (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian
government on Saturday began clearing and fumigation of
northeast Bama town in Borno State, recently liberated by the
military to prepare ground for the return of the people.
operation was to ensure the early return of the people back
home, said Nasiru Surundi, Sole Administrator of the Borno
Environmental Protection Agency (BOSEPA).
Bama is the
second largest town in Borno after Maiduguri, the state capital.
here with 1,000 personnel to clear the entire town of refuse and
other rubbish ahead of the peoples’ return,” he told reporters.
He said the
agency had earlier deployed 40 environment staff to commence the
cleaning before the eventual launching.
said BOSEPA was also spraying another sets of chemicals that
would prevent disease outbreaks after the return of the people.
of the worst hit towns by the Boko Haram insurgency was
liberated in 2015 by the military after been occupied for
several months by the insurgents.
troops have routed terrorists from different towns and
communities in northeast Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in
massive military operations, the troops have also recovered
several sophisticated weapons from the terrorists.
No territory in
northeast Nigeria under Boko Haram’s control: military
LAGOS, (Xinhua) -- No territory in
the restive northeast region is being occupied by the Boko Haram
sect, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai said
who told reporters in Abuja, the nation’s capital city that the
military had routed the insurgents and was currently securing
the region, said terrorism was complex and called for patience.
military chief Buratai also called on journalists to show
understanding in reporting the insurgency for the sake of
that there was mistrust in the past between the media and the
army and assured of seamless flow of information as long as it
does not affect national security.
has since 2009 waged a campaign of violence in Nigeria in an
effort to establish an Islamic state. It has been blamed for
some 20,000 deaths in Nigeria since 2009.
At least 22 Boko
Haram insurgents killed in NE Nigeria: army
LAGOS, (Xinhua) -- At least 22 Boko
Haram insurgents were killed during an attack in northeast
Nigeria’s state of Borno, the Nigerian Army said Sunday.
soldiers also died in the repelled terrorists attack, while two
others sustained injuries, the army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman,
said in a statement made available to Xinhua.
came in three waves with the terrorists, using 36 hand grenades
and rocket propelled launchers at Logomani, he said, adding that
the troops recovered two AK-47 Rifles, one G3 Rifle and 36 hand
location has been reinforced and replenished while the troops
have continued their clearance operations, Usman said.
northeast region has been a stronghold of the extremist group
Boko Haram. In past months, the Nigerian government has launched
several military operations to eliminate the terrorist threat.
campaign to promote women representation in parliament
MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) -- Somali
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has launched a national campaign
for women in an effort to achieve a 30 percent quota of seats in
both houses of the country’s next federal parliament.
who presided over the launch of the “All Women’s Campaign”, said
the move will help women shape the destiny of the Horn of Africa
“We want a
free and fair electoral process that earns the confidence and
acceptance of the public. We want the public to be confident
that they are represented by leaders of their choice,” said
Mohamud in a statement issued on Friday.
country has unique challenges. We are not yet perfect, but we
are on the right course to perfection,” Mohamud said, adding
that the campaign is aimed at realizing the 30-percent quota
that guarantees women’s seats are reserved in parliament.
noted that 81 or more members in the next parliament will be
campaign will mobilize women to register for elective positions
and use lobbyists to sensitize clan elders on the critical role
women play in decision-making.
remarks, Zahra Mohamed Ali Samatar, the Federal Minister of
Women and Human Rights Development, urged women to mobilize more
female candidates to run for parliamentary seats.
coming years, women will be able to vie for the seat of Speaker
of Parliament. The joy on our faces is a testimony to our
satisfaction with the achievements made and a victory for the
Somali women,” Samatar said.
poised to begin the 2016 electoral process, which will choose
members of a new federal parliament who will in turn vote for
presidential candidates in late October.
technical electoral support team in Somalia
MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) -- The Africa
Union has deployed a short-term technical electoral support team
ahead of the electoral process in Somalia to back up the AU
from the AU Commission received in Mogadishu on Saturday said
the team will also reinforce AMISOM’s Political Unit and will be
in Somalia until Nov. 5.
experts on the team, Hope Mary Nsangi from Uganda and Jespa
Ajereboh Tichock from Cameroon, will be tasked with duties
including collection of information on the implementation of the
2016 limited franchise electoral process agreed upon by Somali
will include contribution to the identification and
documentation of lessons learnt from the electoral process
toward the realization of the 2020 political road map,” the
will also be tasked with liaison and coordination with other
international partners supporting Somalia’s electoral process
(including the European Union, the Union Nations; the Arab
League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation).
deployment follows a Pre-election Assessment Mission conducted
by the African Union Commission in July to identify the best
form of technical assistance to support elections in Somalia.
deployment of the AU Expert Team follows a decision at the
African Union Peace and Security Council meeting held in Addis
Ababa on Sept. 6 which requested the AUC to expedite the
deployment of technical experts and provide other relevant forms
of support to AMISOM in order to assist and reinforce the
mission’s capacity ahead of the elections.
Political Affairs Officer Walters Samah said the AU mission is
pleased to have received this direct support from the
headquarters, noting that their deployment to Somalia is a
further demonstration of AU’s long term commitment to the
poll deadline amid confusion on way forward
MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) -- Somalia’s
electoral team failed to meet the Sept. 24 deadline for the
start of the elections of members of the Lower House, raising
concerns the delay could affect the election of the president
slated for Oct. 30.
Saturday, the day polling stations were set to open in the
regional capitals, the Federal Indirect Elections Implementing
Team, FIEIT and its state level equivalent were still held up in
a meeting to iron out contentious issues.
body said in a statement on Sept. 21 that elders tasked with
choosing the delegates who will elect members of the Lower House
were yet to submit their lists to the electoral body even as it
emerged clans were not willing to reserve seats to women in line
with the poll procedures.
body also said it was facing financial, political and security
challenges which could delay the electoral process for the Horn
of Africa nation.
international community committed to meet 60 percent of the
budget while Somalia would clear the rest through Federal
Government purse and candidates fees.
technical aspects of the elections, security remains a key
challenge. The militant group Al-Shabaab announced last week it
would disrupt the polls, raising concerns this could scare some
have expressed fears that a delay in parliamentary elections
will automatically influence that of the president which is
scheduled for Oct. 30.
Presidency announced in a decree Sept. 4 that President Hassan
Sheikh Mohamud would have limited powers after Sept. 10 when his
constitutionally mandated term ran out.
stipulated the extended stay in office must come to a close in
November 6. But the delay of Parliamentary elections is likely
to affect the October 30 Presidential poll.
election of members of the Upper House which ought to be
completed by Sept. 25 also stands postponed.
timetable which set out the process to choose a new federal
Parliament between Sept. 24 and Oct. 10 and president by Oct. 30
was endorsed by Somalia’s National Leadership Forum.
electoral body announced late last month that a list of 135
traditional elders was being finalized for selecting 14,025
members of Electoral Colleges, who will in turn elect the 275
members of the lower house of the next federal parliament.
Egypt’s Sisi meets
with top officials over migrant boat tragedy
CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- Egyptian
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met Saturday with the country’s
top officials to discuss the recent capsized illegal migrant
vessel that left at least 162 people dead, official MENA news
meeting with the security committee including the prime
minister, the interior minister and the general intelligence
chief, the Egyptian president ordered tougher security measures
and deterrent punishments against smugglers to limit illegal
migration and urged a new anti-illegal-migration law to be soon
approved by the parliament.
Wednesday, while the world leaders including Sisi gathered in
New York to seek solutions for immigration problems, a migration
boat carrying hundreds capsized off Egypt’s northern coast of
Rosetta killing dozens of passengers, mostly Egyptians.
death toll until yesterday (Friday) was 162,” the Egyptian
Health Ministry’s spokesman Khaled Megahed said Saturday, noting
the morgues of nearby hospitals were all busy receiving the
Egyptian authorities arrested Thursday four members of the
capsized boat crew over human trafficking charges, while a
senior official said an anti-illegal-migration bill had been
presented by the government to the parliament for approval.
migration via Egyptian Mediterranean Sea shores rose over the
past few years in attempts to reach Europe and flee difficult
economic conditions in the financially-struggling Arab country,
where unemployment rate hit 12.5 percent according to official
Saturday’s meeting, President Sisi ordered intensive marketing
for the government’s recent initiative to finance small and tiny
enterprises for the youth, for which 200 billion Egyptian pounds
(about 22.5 billion U.S. dollars) are allocated.
believe that Egypt has become a more common exporter of illegal
migration through its Mediterranean Sea shores to Europe after
Libya and Turkey lost their importance for smugglers in favor of
the most populous Arab country due to security and other
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a report
in June that more than 10,000 people have died in attempts to
cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe since 2014.
CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President
Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi © meets with officials in Cairo Sept.
24, 2016. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday discussed with
the officials the issue concerning the capsizing of an
illegal migrant vessel, which left at least 162 people
dead, the official MENA news agency reported.
XINHUA PHOTO: MENA
toll of Egypt’s capsized migrant boast rises to 112: Health
CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- The death toll
of the capsized migrant boat near Egypt’s northern coast rose to
112, Egypt’s Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told
Xinhua on Friday.
of the death toll might rise because the rescue efforts are
still going on,” Megahed said.
boat that drowned on Wednesday near the coast of Egypt’s
northern Beheira province carried about 600 people onboard whose
destination was supposed to be Italian shores.
authorities have arrested four members of the capsized boat crew
over human trafficking charges.
often overload the boats with passengers who have paid for the
border agency Frontex warned that a growing number of migrants
bound for Europe is turning to Egypt as a departure point for
the sea voyage.
migration via Egyptian Mediterranean Sea shores rose over the
past few years in attempts to flee difficult economic conditions
in the most populous Arab country.
sentences 7 to death for killing police chief
CAIRO, (Xinhua) -- An Egyptian
court on Saturday sentenced seven Islamists to death over
charges of killing a police general in a firefight on the
outskirts of Cairo in 2013, official MENA news agency reported.
five defendants were sentenced to five years in prison in the
same case, the report said.
defendants were accused of storming a police station, killing
the chief, Nabil Farag, and wounding nine other policemen in
Kerdasa on Aug. 14, 2013.
station was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and then
2014, a lower court confirmed the death sentences on the 12
defendants on charges of killing Farag.
of Cassation ordered a retrial of seven of the defendants last
defendants were further accused of funding and administering
terrorist attacks, assaulting the private life of citizens,
harming the national unity and social peace, targeting public
institutions and disturbing public order.
society helps finding Egypt’s lost children
By Marwa Yahya, Wang Xue GHARBIYA, EGYPT, (Xinhua) --
“After eight years roaming in the streets,
hospitals and morgues across Egypt, I could finally embrace my
boy,” said Gaballah al-Azouni, a father who lost his child when
he was five years old.
believe my ears when the administrator of ‘Lost Children’ page
on the Facebook told me that he has found my boy in an orphanage
in the outskirts of Cairo,” al-Azouni, a 57-year-old tennis
coach told Xinhua.
child even for one day could destroy a whole family,” al-Azouni
said sadly, unveiling that the mother has passed away due to
suffering a severe depression one year after the boy was missed.
to the Egyptian laws, a death certificate could be issued if
four years passed on the disappearance of any person, but the
father rejected to do that.
deeply in my heart that my son is alive somewhere and God will
join us together one day,” said the father.
Marwan, 14 years old, is still feeling isolated and he is
encouraged by his family to integrate into the society.
memorizing the faces of my parents, and I recognized my dad when
I saw him in the orphanage for the first time,” said Marwan in a
shy low voice.
happy to have a family and my private room now after I used to
sleep in a dormitory with 20 boys,” he said.
child abduction has been on the rise in Egypt as the political
transition, weak economy, lax border control and corruption
problems have worsened the situation.
society activities were a must to help the government,” said
Ramy el-Gebally, an engineer in his forties who has launched a
page on the Facebook named “Lost Children” to combat the
phenomena and raise the awareness of families on how to protect
of children abduction is echoing everywhere, and in all the
cases negligence of the parents isn’t the main reason, because
the kidnappers have new methods of taking the children,” Gebally
which has six administrators, was launched at the beginning of
2015. So far, it has attracted 780,000 followers.
started by collecting the photos of kidnapped or lost children
and uploads them with information about their hometown and the
families’ phone numbers on the page, and wait for reactions from
the people, maybe someone could recognize or find one of the
children,” he explained.
added that his page has managed to return 140 cases ranged
between two to seventy years so far, and among the them, 7 were
kidnapped, 13 were found in orphanages, and the others were
either lost or controlled by gangs.
a lucky boy, because his father kept looking for him,” he told
Xinhua, adding that “most of the lost children’s families are so
poor and from remote provinces, and they don’t know how to
search for their children. Some families are even scared to
report to the police stations.”
to rights groups, children aged between one to five years old
are most vulnerable to abduction. Most of the abduction cases in
Egypt have been reported in rural areas.
Egyptian foundation of Advancement of Childhood (EFAC)
documented 63 cases of child abduction during the first five
months of 2016, with 70 percent from rural areas.
added that 80 percent of the cases were financially motivated,
with the abductors asking for ransom.
“Lost Children” page, there are other more websites or public
pages on social platforms which focus on the lost children in
Egypt nowadays, representing the increased awareness from the
public on this problem.
alarming cases of child abductions have made some Egyptian
parents worried about going out with their children.
take my eyes away from my children whenever we go out fearing
they might be kidnapped,” Amany Okeal, mother in her thirties
I check the pages of lost or missed children to follow the
cases, praying for God that those children will return home,”
principal of the ‘Lost Children’ page is that the civil society
could solve the problem,” Gebally said.
created a state of interaction and feeling of responsibility
among the people who feel the danger of the problem and
intervene by all means,” he said.
UNAMID asks Sudan
gov’t to facilitate aid to Jebel Marra
KHARTOUM, (Xinhua) -- The United
Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on Sunday asked
Sudanese government to facilitate access of international
organizations to areas of Jebel Marra to aid affected people,
Sudan Tribune reported.
Chief Martin Uhomoibhi urged for easier access of all UN
agencies to Jebel Marra to deliver humanitarian help, the report
has met with senior UNAMID officials and local authorities in
Central Darfur State and reviewed the humanitarian conditions at
had witnessed heavy fighting between the Sudanese army and the
rebels of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM)/Abdul-Wahid
Mohamed Nur faction since mid-January 2015.
was one of the strongholds of the SLM/Abdul-Wahid Mohamed Nur
faction, located in Central Darfur state and covering an area of
12.8 square km. Enditem
UN urges timely,
full implementation of peace accord in Mali
UNITED NATIONS, (Xinhua) -- UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for the timely and full
implementation of a peace agreement in Mali in order to bring
peace and stability to the West African country, UN spokesman
Stephane Dujarric told reporters here Sunday.
secretary-general made the appeal in his meeting here with
Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita at UN Headquarters in
New York late Saturday, Dujarric said. The meeting took place on
the sidelines of the annual high-level debate of the UN General
secretary-general welcomed the steps undertaken by the Malian
government to implement the peace agreement,” the spokesman
said. “He underscored the importance of all parties fully
implementing the peace agreement and of an inclusive approach to
ensure lasting peace in Mali. He called for clear timeliness and
benchmarks for the implementation of the agreement.”
meeting, the secretary-general discussed the situation in the
northern region of Kidal and the humanitarian situation in
Northern Mali, the spokesman said, adding that Ban also noted
the important role that countries of the region can play to
collectively address the security challenges in northern Mali.
secretary-general assured President Keita of the United Nations’
steadfast support to the Malian people in their search for
peace, notably through the United Nations Multidimensional
Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA),” the
accord, known as the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in
Mali, was signed in June 2015 by the Coordination des Mouvements
de l’Azawad armed group, following its signature in May 2015 by
the Malian government and a third party, the Plateforme
coalition of armed groups.
the secretary-general called for an early return to peace and
security in Mali, saying that the promotion of peace and
stability in the West African country is crucial to its people,
the region and the world.
a ministerial meeting here on the implementation of the
Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, Ban also called
on the relevant parties involved in the reconstruction of Mali
to implement the foundations that have been laid out regarding
the way forward.
government has been seeking to restore stability and rebuild
following a series of setbacks since early 2012, including a
military coup d’etat, renewed fighting between Government forces
and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by
African country has also been wrecked by a series of
allegations over attempt to seek new rules to protect Zuma
CAPE TOWN, (Xinhua) -- The ruling
African National Congress (ANC) on Sunday denied a newspaper
report that the ANC wants new rules to protect President Jacob
Times quoted ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu as saying in an
interview that the ANC “wants to change parliament’s rules to
create new measures to defend Zuma against abusive MPs before
his next visit to the National Assembly”.
of the ANC Chief Whip in Parliament” is disappointed with the
downright dishonest fabrications and shoddy journalism”,
spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.
blatantly untrue,” Mothapo said, adding that at no point during
the interview, such a remark was made.
Times reporter, Babalwa Ndenze, cannot produce any record
proving that the Chief Whip indeed said those words, said
story is wholly based on sensationalized inventions, which he
will have an impossible task to prove when the matter is
reported to the press ombudsman this week,” the spokesperson
to Ndenze’s question seeking the ANC Caucus’ view on the
disruptions that broke out during president’s appearance in
Parliament to reply to questions, the Chief Whip emphasized the
need for all parties to commit to the supremacy of the House
rules and the importance of enforcing the existing rules to deal
with disruptive elements.
been disrupted several times by opposition MPs during Q&A
sessions in Parliament. Recently, the National Assembly adopted
new overhauled set of rules, which, amongst others, deal with
disruptive conduct and provide comprehensive guide regarding
appropriate steps to be taken against unruly MPs.
therefore inconceivable that the Chief Whip would have called
for a new rule to deal with what is already thoroughly provided
for in the existing newly adopted rules,” Mothapo said.
of the ANC Chief Whip will this week lodge a formal complaint
with the press ombudsman to ensure that the Sunday Times publish
a retraction and an apology regarding the unfair and damaging
fabrications contained in Ndenze’s story, said Mothapo.
Ghana head lauds Xinhua’s AIDS reporting
ACCRA, (Xinhua) -- The Ghana
Country Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS),
Girmay Haile, has lauded the Xinhua News Agency for its role in
supporting the work of the UN agency.
consistent involvement in UNAIDS’ fight against HIV, both here
in Ghana and at the world stage, showed the news agency’s
commitment to raising public awareness on the importance of
responding to the epidemic, said Haile to Xinhua on Thursday.
UNAIDS and Xinhua signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to
find innovative solutions to end the AIDS epidemic as a public
health threat by 2030.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe presented the UNAIDS
Leaders and Innovators Award to Xinhua President Cai Mingzhao in
recognition of his leadership as a media partner and for his
contribution to the AIDS response.
the UNAIDS’ recognition of Xinhua at the international level did
not come to him as a surprise.
when we were consulted at the country level to what extent
Xinhua is involved, I can say to you that probably the one news
agency that consistently reports on HIV development in Ghana,
that consistently reports on the key achievements that we have
in Ghana without fail is Xinhua,” he told Xinhua in an
though we have good relations with the wider media, even though
there is an attempt by media houses to provide information on
HIV, none of them can match the level of reporting and the level
of involvement that Xinhua has been having in Ghana,” he said.
been promoting public awareness of HIV/AIDS in China and abroad.
United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending
AIDS in June, 2016, Xinhua showcased UNAIDS “Fast-Track to an
AIDS-Free Generation” message on a giant electronic screen at
Times Square, New York.
Kenya seeks to
expand key highway to boost trade, ease traffic
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan
government said on Sunday that it plans to expand the Nairobi-Mombasa
highway from the current single lane to six lane modern highway
and bids are likely to be invited soon, an official said on
spokesman Manoah Esipisu told a news conference in Nairobi that
already a U.S. investor has expressed its interest in the
Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway which is expected to ease traffic
jams in Nairobi.
confirm U.S. investor interest in this Nairobi-Mombasa
Expressway. Among the partners involved are Bechtel Corp., the
United States’ largest construction and civil engineering firm,
which will be supported in this endeavor by the United States’
Import-Export Bank and OPIC,” he said.
Export-Import Bank is simultaneously working with Bechtel to
secure investment for the 485-kilometre expressway which is
intended to speed up commerce and travel between Kenya’s main
port of Mombasa and cities throughout East Africa.
in the emerging deal would be to insure Bechtel against breach
hopeful that these discussions will bear fruit, and that Kenya
will soon enjoy the new infrastructure on the Nairobi-Mombasa
route,” Esipisu said.
importantly, though, this is a show of continued massive
international investor confidence in our economy and our
country,” he added.
to Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia
the government plans to build the road through a Public Private
Mombasa-Nairobi highway is crucial for trade in the region since
it connects the port to Nairobi and onward to the hinterland
markets, including landlocked Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
90 percent of goods landing at Mombasa port—one of the largest
and busiest ports in Africa—are transported over the road and
over a parallel railway line, underlining the importance of the
of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan’s imported goods
reach their destinations via this road, making it an important
regional economic asset.
Feature: Lives at
stake as drought hits Kenya’s northeast county
GARISSA, Kenya, (Xinhua) --
Humanitarian crises is looming in northeast Kenya’s county of
Garissa, which borders Somalia as thousands of pastoralists’
families are hit by escalating drought that has led to drying up
of water sources and depletion of pasture.
families have appealed to the government as well as the
international community to speedily intervene as escalating
drought threatens their lives and that of their livestock.
points have dried up forcing residents to heavily depend on
inadequate remaining wells, which have changed color and
developed foul smell due to contamination from the high number
of animals and people converging at them for survival.
population of those stricken by the raging dry spell have to
trek, in some cases more than 30 km to find water for drinking
and for domestic use.
Sub-sub County, one of the areas hardest hit by the drought
schools and health facilities are on the verge of shut down with
respective administrators fearing keeping the children and
patients could pose more danger to their health.
to residents interviewed, chances of water born diseases like
cholera spreading were high because of lack of clean water.
check in some of the areas showed that children in the drought
affected areas have already started showing signs of contraction
of water borne diseases such as diarrhea.
visited the only water dam in Korisa location in Ijara
sub-county in Garissa, there was beehive of activities; local
residents were seen busy drawing the visibly contaminated water
with pungent smell and at some points compete with thirsty
livestock and wild animals.
wild animals are “fighting” with people over the access of the
only water source in this area. Residents were forced to take
turns day and night to keep way buffaloes from the dam, but now
we have given up because it’s extremely risky to ward off the
thirsty wild animals as they come in big numbers and take a
forcibly turn in drinking the water,” a resident Haret Nasteh
most livestock moved deep into Boni forest saddled between Ijara
and Lamu as the drought situation worsen on daily basis in
pursuit of greener pasture.
“As you can
see this is our only water source. We, therefore urgently appeal
to the government and international community to come to our aid
urgently because if the situation is fast going out of hand,” he
to Garissa County’s National Drought Management Authority (NDMA),
the dry spell is at an alarming stage in the county noting that
Ijara sub-county is the hardest hit due to water points have
authority said unlike previous dry spell, which only affected
families on hinterland, the current drought also destabilized
people living around the river line areas. Cases of
human-wildlife conflict has surged up into alarming proportion,
as thirsty wild animals invade human settlement in bid to get
water to consume.
sub-county administrator Mohamed Ahmed Dahir said the county
government is overstretched with overwhelming number of families
requiring water and food provision as it’s impossible to provide
all drought victims living different parts of the expansive
like to appeal to donors to intervene as the situation is
getting out of hands,” he added.
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Staff workers prepare a vintage car before contest
of the 2016 Africa Concours d’Elegence in Nairobi, Kenya,
Sept. 25, 2016. The 46th Africa Concours
d’Elegence was held in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi on
PHOTO: ZHOU XIAOXIONG
Jordan king in
Kenya to discuss trade, security issues
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- King Abdullah
II of Jordan arrived in Nairobi on Monday for a state visit
aimed at boosting trade and strengthening security cooperation.
Kenya are partners of long standing, and during his time here,
President Kenyatta and His Majesty will focus their attention on
discussions regarding security and counter-terrorism. They will
also witness joint military exercises,” said State House
Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu.
said that Kenyatta invited the Jordan leader in January when
they discussed international efforts to confront terrorism and
will renew and strengthen that relationship,” added the Esipisu.
fuels Kenyan’s entrepreneur dream
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenneth Giitu
left formal employment in 1998 with dreams of becoming one of
Kenya’s preeminent entrepreneurs.
worked for a prestigious chemical manufacturing firm for almost
a decade before he decided to become self-employed.
convinced that the technical skills he had acquired from the
blue chip firm would propel him to become a successful
started a small cottage industry of manufacturing chemicals
required for the health-care industry.
into the business of supplying Calamine lotion, surgical
spirits, antiseptics, sanitizers and peroxide to the local
businessman depended on raw materials sourced locally in order
to make his products. However, he was unable to compete with
established manufacturers who benefited from economies of
bought products in small quantities I couldn’t get bulk discount
and hence my business remained unprofitable,” Giitu told Xinhua
in Nairobi in an interview on the sidelines of a briefing of the
Kenyan business delegation which is to depart for China to
attend the China Import and Export Fair, or 120th
Canton Fair to be held in south China’s Guangzhou from Oct. 15.
he struggled to raise money to finance his first business trip
to China over ten years ago but his efforts have paid off
discovered Chinese technology, my business has expanded over 20
times in volume,” he said.
business now employs over 60 staff up from two before he began
sourcing raw material from the Asian nation. “I am now able to
access world class technology at half the cost of sourcing from
Europe,” he added.
is the CEO of Diarim Enterprises, travels to China at least four
times a year to source for raw materials straight from Chinese
Xinhua on Saturday that Chinese technology in the health-care is
now comparable to that of U.S. or Europe. “In addition, the
Chinese firms tend to be more responsive to customer needs,” he
entrepreneur’s latest venture is a water producing facility. In
2012, he purchased water bottling equipment from China that uses
reverse osmosis to produce mineral water.
people advised me against buying machinery from China because of
the mistaken belief that Chinese goods are of low quality,” he
ever since I installed the machine it has never failed even
once,” he added.
products have achieved the Kenya Bureau of Standards Diamond
Mark of Quality and currently enjoys a huge market share in
Kenya’s crowded mineral water industry.
he plans to use his latest trip to the Canton Fair to source for
the latest Chinese technology in order to expand his business
rice export ban worries farmers
By Marwa Yahya GHARBIYA, Egypt, (Xinhua) --
“I expect the rice price will get lower this season, and it will
be better for me to buy rice than to plant it,” said Mahmoud
Abdel Fattah, a 55-year-old farmer.
harvest season came in September in the Nile Delta area of
Egypt. Farmers will be busy on harvesting, packaging and selling
through the whole month, with the hopes to earn more to feed
to the official data from the Egyptian government, the rice
price has surged by about 50 percent this year. In supermarkets
of Cairo, the price of one kilo rice has increased from 3.5
Egyptian pounds (0.4 U.S. dollar) last year to unprecedented 11
pounds three months ago.
price encouraged more farmers to plant rice this year. However,
this season is not a source of joy anymore since a ban of rice
exports, issued by the government last month, aiming to control
the price and preserve stocks for the local market.
season, I have spent 2,000 Egyptian pounds on 12 acres since
this May, but now I can’t expect a reasonable income,” Fattah
said while spreading the rice on ground to get drier, helped by
his daughter and his two grandchildren.
that after calculating the expenses of seeding, cultivating,
farming, using machines, hiring workforce and harvesting, as
well as the revenues, he has regretted planting rice this year.
sound of reapers from behind, Fattah’s family were collecting
the crops by hand in piles. “I can’t even afford 160 pounds per
day to hire more hands,” he added.
year of 2011 when the former president Hosni Mubarak was
overthrew, Egypt has been trapped in economic stagnation and
food problem has become more serious because of the hiking
prices. The failure to stockpile rice earlier this year has left
it at the mercy of traders, who are usually not interested in
domestic market, or prone to stockpile for a higher price.
care about exportation, I just want the rice to be available
like last year with cheaper prices,” said Amal Moustafa, a
housewife in her thirties, while buying some vegetables from the
is a base for everyday dishes, and with high prices, I reduce
the amounts of vegetables and meat to buy more rice,” she said,
noting the ban of rice exports is really important for poor
people living in cities.
farmers stand on the other side, regarding to the ban and lower
price of rice.
we produce more than enough rice for the domestic needs,
especially this year. I was told that the price of a kilo of
rice might be lower than 3 pounds after the harvest season,” a
farmer named Abdel Shafy Qasem told Xinhua.
that earlier this year, many farmers have planted rice and
nobody expected that the government will totally ban the rice
“It was a
bad decision to plant the rice this season. I have some other
fields planted with garlic, carrot and corn, now they are my
hope for the whole year,” Qasem said.
that for most farmers, this water-consuming grain has brought
them more economic burden on irrigation, because they have to
spent much to find water.
“My land is
located in a higher level, and I have to dig nearly 150 meters
for ground water, which cost me and my neighbors 15,000 pounds,”
Qasem explained in details.
to Ragab Shihata, head of the Rice Department in the Industries
Union of Egypt, halting the rice exportation will lower the
price in a short time, but in a long run, the ban will increase
the stock percentage, and make the rice vulnerable for spoilage.
problem is that nobody expected this policy earlier this year,
so it will really harm the farmers’ income,” he said.
At the same
time, the expert called for a more balanced policy on rice.
example, the government can open exportation for one million
tons of rice to make balance between controlling the high prices
in the local market and avoiding losses of farmers and
businessmen,” Shihata said.
urged to embrace apiculture to help reduce poverty
KIGALI, (Xinhua) -- Agricultural
experts have cited beekeeping and honey production as key
towards eradicating poverty among rural farmers across African
made the observation on Sunday during the closure of the 5th
All-Africa International Honey Exposition and the 3rd
Continental General Assembly (GA) of the African Apiculture
Platform (APP) in Kigali.
the rural communities in Africa are not aware of the immense
benefits accruing from beekeeping and honey production. They
depend solely on agriculture for survival without engaging in
other income generating activities like honey production,” said
Bosco Okello, chief executive, ApiTrade Africa.
that apiculture is often overlooked and left untapped in most
African economies as it is seen as a small investment venture.
is the practice of keeping bees as well as the manufacturing of
honey and beeswax. ApiTrade Africa is an NGO that specializes in
developing trade in bee products from Africa.
Kayisinga, Rwanda’s permanent secretary for agriculture and
animal resources, said that honey continues to be a popular
commodity across the globe, and poor rural farmers throughout
Africa have not got a chance to take up the practice of
beekeeping to earn money and fight poverty in their households.
talk about big investments to eradicate poverty in Africa, but
small investments like beekeeping and honey production have not
been made a priority to enable poor rural people to overcome
poverty. This is the reason why apiculture in Africa is poorly
practiced and not developed at all,” he said.
noted that African governments’ efforts to reduce poverty,
especially in the rural areas, could be given a boost if
apiculture or beekeeping were taken as a serious venture.
conference, agriculturists argued that beekeeping and honey
production could provide self-employment and reliable higher
incomes if adequately supported to develop.
is cost effective and not strenuous, requiring the use of
relatively simple equipment, they added.
hosting the 7-day continental forum from Sept. 21. The forum
brought together some 5,000 bee keepers, honey dealers,
agriculturists, officials and development partners from across
Africa and beyond to promote apiculture and share knowledge on
trade and business.
change restrains Tanzanian
coffee growers to meet production target
ARUSHA, Tanzania, (Xinhua) --
Songoro Tozo is one of the coffee growers in southwestern
Tanzania’s district of Mbozi who are currently overwhelmed with
a number of challenges which have made them unable to reach
production target for the last 15 years.
hilly and sloppy area of Mbozi, farmers have been failing to
raise production from 250 grams of coffee beans per plant to
1,000 grams, the target set by the Tanzania Coffee Research
52-year-old farmer, Tozo said erratic and often adverse changes
to weather patterns make coffee growing in the area more a
lottery than an art.
been in this venture for more than three decades, and in those
good days, we had enough rains, but now rains start late,
delaying crop planting and resulting in late coffee flowering
and berry ripening,” said Tozo, of Nambizo village.
delays for farmers in earning income from their coffee,” he
said, adding that in some years it rains within a shorter
period, a situation that affects the growth of the crop.
A father of
four, Tozo cites lack of extension officers and the high cost of
farm inputs as the “deadly” challenges facing coffee cultivators
in the area and perhaps across Tanzania.
farmers, we’re left growing coffee on our own as there are no
extension officers,” said Jonas Silungwe, a coffee grower in the
area, who owns five acres of farm land.
said farmers were expecting that the government would come up
with dams that would help farmers to venture into irrigation as
mitigation measures to climate change.
past, we had strong cooperative societies, which used to pay
farmers at the right time and empower us with new farming skills
as well as ensuring that farm inputs are available, but now it’s
not the case,” Silungwe lamented.
to Silungwe some farmers uprooted the crop and planted other
crops, as they could not maintain them.
Msukwa of Nkanga village said “coffee farming is under a new
threat, as of now the market is flooded with fake pesticides and
insecticides. This makes our sweat disappear in a thin air as
we’re spending a lot of money in production with a very minimal
manager of Mbimba center of TaCRI said that the institute has
reached 15 years and it has been facing a number of challenges
including failing to help farmers raise coffee bean output to
1,000 grams per plant.
failed to improve grading of coffee beans from between 13 and 9
to between 9 and 5,” he said, citing limited investment in the
crop by local authorities through supporting farmers with
extension officers as well as making farmers get farm inputs
like fertilizers at low price.
Mwaigomole, Mbozi District Council executive director is aware
of the challenge facing the coffee farming in the district. “In
this financial year, we’re going to employ 47 extension officers
as part of our efforts to revamp the cash crop,” she said.
Deusdedit Kibasa, senior researcher from Ardhi University
suggested the need for coffee growers to start venturing into
many farmers have been using unfriendly farming methods
including the use of toxic chemicals, which reduces the quality
of coffee beans, making it unable to compete in the
destroying the quality of coffee beans, the expert said it also
destroys the soil which reduced its fertility making farmers get
less and less production on a yearly basis.
one of Tanzania’s major export crops; on average the country
produces around 50,000 metric tons each year of which
approximately 70 percent is Arabica and 30 percent Robusta.
Sales generate over 100 million U.S. dollars per year, according
to data from Tanzania’s Coffee Board.
main Arabica growing regions are in the North/Kilimanjaro, Mbeya
and the Matengo Highlands (Mbinga). Tanzania ranks the 19th
largest producer of coffee in the world.
unveil action plan to save rhinos
JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) -- African
countries on Sunday unveiled an action plan, which seeks to give
directions on how to preserve the rhinos on the continent.
Range State’s African Rhino Conservation Plan was unveiled by
South African Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, in
Johannesburg on the sidelines of the 17th Conference
of the Parties (COP17) to the Convention on International Trade
in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which
opened on Saturday.
the plan clearly demonstrates the commitment of the African
range states to work as a collective to secure viable, growing
and valued rhino populations across the African landscape.
rhino range states participated in three workshops over the last
two years to develop this continental plan, according to the
does not seek to duplicate existing more detailed national rhino
plans, but rather seeks to complement them by providing an
overarching higher-level umbrella plan under which all the
national plans can fit,” she said.
also seeks to identify and focus on areas where collectively and
cooperatively there may be opportunities for range states to
work together to enhance rhino conservation such as enhancing
effective conservation funding, increasing cooperative sharing
and analysis of intelligence information, and boosting political
will and support for rhino conservation across the continent.
there had been conservation successes that we celebrate, the
range states recognize that there is a need to cooperate to
further enhance the conservation of rhino on the continent and
to effectively address illegal trade in wildlife,” Molewa said.
African countries have decided to unite in combating illegal
trade in wildlife and save the rhinos.
minister invited donors to support the continental initiative,
and encouraged the African countries to implement it.
JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) -- People
demonstrate for stop wildlife trading before the opening
of the 17th meeting of Conference of the
Parties (COP) to the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in
Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sept. 24, 2016. South
African President Jacob Zuma on Saturday opened the 17th
COP to the CITES in Johannesburg, which will discuss key
issues pertaining to the regulation of international trade
in wildlife. XINHUA
PHOTO: ZHAI JIANLAN
behind worst African elephant losses in 25 years: report
JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) -- Africa’s
overall elephant population has seen the worst declines in 25
years, mainly due to poaching over the past 10 years, according
to a report released here on Sunday.
Elephant Status Report was launched by the International Union
for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) at the
ongoing 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties
to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Spices of
Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
population estimates from a wide range of sources, including
aerial surveys and elephant dung counts, the estimates for 2015
were 93,000 lower than in 2006. However, including 18,000 from
previously uncounted populations, the real decline from
estimates is considered to be closer to 111,000.
continental total is now thought to be about 415,000 elephants,
although there may be an additional 117,000 to 135,000 elephants
in areas not systematically surveyed.
in poaching for ivory that began approximately a decade ago, the
worst that Africa has experienced since the 1970s and 1980s, has
been the main driver of the decline, while habitat loss poses an
increasingly serious, long-term threat to the species, according
to the report.
numbers reveal the truly alarming plight of the majestic
elephant, one of the world’s most intelligent animals and the
largest terrestrial mammal alive today,” said IUCN Director
General Inger Andersen. “It is shocking but not surprising that
poaching has taken such a dramatic toll on this iconic species.”
provides further scientific evidence of the need to scale up
efforts to combat poaching, he said.
“Nevertheless, these efforts must not detract from addressing
other major and increasingly devastating threats such as habitat
loss,” Andersen said.
70 percent of the estimated African elephants, Southern Africa
has by far the largest number of the species, approximately
293,000 elephants in systematically surveyed areas.
Africa holds about 86,000 (20 percent) estimated elephants,
while Central Africa has about 24,000 estimated elephants (six
percent). West Africa continues to hold the smallest regional
population with approximately 11,000 (under three percent).
Africa, the region most affected by poaching, has experienced an
almost 50 percent elephant population reduction, largely
attributed to an over 60 percent decline in Tanzania’s elephant
population. Although some sites have recorded declines, elephant
numbers have been stable or increasing since 2006 in Uganda,
Kenya, and Rwanda, and range expansion has been reported in
Africa’s forest elephant population has been substantially
affected by poaching for ivory since the 1990s. The Democratic
Republic of Congo used to hold one of the most significant
forest elephant populations in Africa, which has now been
reduced to tiny remnants of its former size.
populations of Chad have taken heavy losses and those in the
Central African Republic have almost completely disappeared.
is an authoritative source of knowledge about the numbers and
distribution of African elephant populations across their 37
range states in sub-Saharan Africa.
more than 275 new or updated estimates for individual elephant
populations across Africa, with over 180 of these arising from
summarizes for the first time in almost a decade elephant
numbers at the continental, regional and national levels, and
examines changes in population estimates at the site level.
wins Berlin Marathon
BERLIN, (Xinhua) -- Kenenisa Bekele
won the 43rd edition of the Berlin Marathon after
crossing the finish line in two hours, three minutes and four
seconds on Sunday.
run the second fastest marathon time in Berlin but missed Dennis
Kimetto’s world record time by just six seconds.
Berlin winner Wilson Kipsang crossed the line 10 seconds after
Bekele, while Evans Chebet finished third in two hours, five
minutes and 31 seconds.
marathon started with a strong pace in the first five
kilometres. The leading group was more than one minute inside
the World Cup time before Kipsang took the lead to establish a
four-second advantage over Bekele.
Ethiopian turned up late whereas Kipsang’s pace seemed to
decrease at the 38-kilometer mark, allowing Bekele to close the
gap and to pull away at the final drink station.
to run a personal best,” Bekele said. “The time was fast but I
am a little disappointed that I missed the world record.”
women dominated their competition as Aberu Kebede wrapped the
win in two hours, 20 minutes and 45 seconds, followed by Birhane
Dibaba (2:23:58) and Ruti Aga (2:24:41).