Note: This Report from Kenya was supposed to go out last Friday, but I have been in the hospital in Nairobi for the last four day with a bacterial infection. I will be released tomorrow morning after my last injection this evening. My next Report from Kenya will be “Adventures in the Kenyan Health Care System” and you will learn all the about it. No worries, I’m fine now.
On November 29, I reported here on the landslides and floods in Kenya. Rains continue to pound Kenya and the surrounding countries. Now 123 people have died in Kenya. Last week there was a mudslide in Bududa on the Uganda side of Mt. Elgon where the Bududa Technical School is and at least ten people were killed. We would be more than happy to export our excessive rainfall elsewhere. Ironically the exact opposite is happening in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is about 2000 kilometers (1250 miles) south of Kenya. Both Zambia and Zimbabwe are experiencing an extreme drought. Victoria Falls is the fourth largest waterfall in the world by volume with a drop of over twice that of Niagara Falls. It straddles the Zambia/Zimbabwe border on the Zambezi River.
Pictures often describe much more than words. I saw these pictures of Victoria Falls and found that they say more about climate change than I could write in a thousand words, the usual length of one of my Reports from Kenya.
The top picture slows Victoria Falls under conditions of its normal flow. The bottom picture shows Victoria Falls under the current drought conditions.
Naturally Victoria Falls is a great tourist attraction for both Zimbabwe and Zambia, but now tourists are not interested in seeing the current trickle of water. Moreover the Zambezi River at Kariba Dam below Victoria Falls normally produces the majority of electricity for both Zambia and Zimbabwe. Without its usual flow major electricity power cuts are necessary in both countries. Most significant is the fact that due to the drought which has suppressed agricultural production at least half the population in both countries is going to need food assistance in the coming year.
Beni is a town in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the center of the current Ebola outbreak in the Congo. The World Health Organization now knows how to contain and end Ebola outbreaks, but in the Beni region the disease continues to fester with now over 2,000 reported deaths from the disease. This is to due to the fact that as there is considerable fighting in the area by numerous militia groups. There are often burnings of house and massacres by one group or another that the United Nation forces posted in the region are unable to contain. Sometimes Ebola clinics or personnel are attacked. This is one of the most forgotten conflicts in the world.
Eliphaz Bashiwango from the eastern Congo and the country representative for Friendly Water for the World (see here) is one of my Facebook friends and he posted the following picture and explanation on his timeline. Since this conflict needs more exposure, I asked him if I could send it out in this Report from Kenya. He agreed. Thank you, Eliphaz.
A village has just been burned in the vicinity of Beni in North Kivu, accompanied by a massacre of its inhabitants. This group of three children on the run just lost mum and dad. As a result, the elder of the fraternity is forced, at the age of six, to become the mother of two others. She has the youngest at her young back and holds her younger brother by hand. With the fear visible in their eyes, they set out to flee death. They do not know where they are heading or the hardness of life that the future holds for them. They also know that there is no one waiting for them at the end of the road.
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