#TwendeMau THE RASH

 

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By now most of you are familiar with the #TwendeMau gist which until the World Environment Day, was the talk of social media.  The journey, well, it was one of a kind. What started off as a brainchild of Ms Sarah Kutahi, an environmental guru whose knowledge about birds and trees has always baffled me,  ended up being a dream of many…. A dream so small figuratively yet so big in its actuality. It was more of embarking on a journey whose destination was well-known but the route to the destination was just but a blur, impossible to envision pathway.

From the beginning we knew we wanted to do something with the Mau stastus quo especially the non peaceful co-existence   between humans of areas around the Mau and the environment which in this case was the Mau Forest, the largest indigenous montane  forest and water tower in East Africa. The forest lies across five counties namely Nakuru, Kericho, Bringo, Narok and Bomet of Kenya. It is estimated that 25,000 people live around the these areas that closely border the forest hence leading to upto a quarter of the forest being depleted since 1973, in the quest to settle and farm on the fertile virgin land.

The politics of the Mau are as such the people feel that the coalition government was punishing them for their stand during the 2007 general election with the eviction order which was issued against them. The Kipsigis community who are the main occupants of the water-catchment area affirmatively oppose the eviction order saying they settled in the forest legally. On the other hand we have the Maasai who feel the eviction should materialize saying the illegal extensions of the ranches was the actual genesis of the crisis. Allegedly, the area was allocated to powerful individuals in the Government, who are now opposed to eviction.

This has overtime, casted a shadow of fear over the Mau as the Maasai and Kipsigis both of whom have stakes in the Mau Forest Complex, might clash violently, and the government stalling and standing on the fence over the issue does not help the situation a bit. The more than 25,000 settlers, who are mainly famers have totally degraded and ddestroyed the environment to pave way for their settlement and farming. These combined activities have caused several rivers to dry up permanently.

As Ambassadors Of PEACE we found it necessary to launch a campaign to save the Mau as we restore its initial density by being practical and trying to fit in the shoe of the residents in the area. We took this initiative because we understand what it means to live without peace and especially how deforestation is more of a peace disruptor than a peace maker. It took more than four pre-visits at the Nessuit area in Njoro Sub county,  Nakuru county, to convince the residents that for change, and a positive change at that to be achieved, they needed to be more involved and not just that, but also  being realistic about the degrading activities that they are involved in constantly.

Amongst the vices around the Mau is logging which has led to parts of the forest which was all an indigenous forest to be depleted and instead, exotic trees have been planted to feed into the logging business. Exotic trees hardly boost positively the micro climate of an area because they are deeply rooted making them more of a threat. Humans must always be at peace with the environment.

All these factors culminated to a gathering of over 600 people  in Tritagoi primary school in Nessuit on the 5th of June 2016 to embark on a journey of a 1000 miles whose humble baby steps have woken up mojos of conservation. 10 kms we walked under the scotching sun, under the beautiful shades of what is left of the Mau, over vallies, and across rivers which symbolically indicated the cradle of life. The beautiful songs from the birds reminded us just how serene and musical life is, when mother nature is not tampered with. The scotching sun, for a momemt, allowed us to see how our little hands can destroy just as much as they can build. Those 10kms, were a true definition of a walk of life, which led us to assembling at an area near Sigaon primary school. After a short stretchy rest, we assembled and together planted 2000 seedlings of a variety  of indigenous trees which was the ultimate  goal of the day…..

The most joyous thing that happened on that day was the fact that, those who took the front line were school going pupils and young adults which really impacted the sustainability of the maiden green print event and which by far and wide played a big role in realizing sustainable goals number  13 and 15 which will lead to realization of all the 17 goals due to their interdependent nature. This also marked the cradle of a conservation journey across the country with the main focus of reconciling people and nature as we educate more on importance of conservation and youth involvement.

Big thank you to the county government of Nakuru for the massive support they accorded  us. The Kenya Forest Service, and the Mau Forest Conservation Board for sharing our platform as we did our little something to restore and conserve the Mau. Special appreciations to Geothermal Development Company (GDC) and Mr. Opiyo, an environmental scientist at GDC who donated 1000 seedlings towards the Twende Mau event, and Mr. McOdero, Assistant Ecosystem Conservator at the Kenya Forest Service for donating the other 1000 seedlings. Their efforts in conservation are a true indicator that the mission to green the future will be a reality eventually. 

Also, with a lot of adoration and admiration, i would love to thank , Lord Egerton Academy, Rift Valley Prestige Schools, Njoro Girls High School, Sigaon Primary School and Tritagoi Primary school and the management of these schools for commemorating with us the world environment day by allowing its pupils to walk the talk with us. Appreciations to the Peace Ambassadors Kenya Volunteers acrross all the 40 chapters in public institutions for showing up in numbers to make the day a great success that it was. To every single individual who supported and participated in any capacity, thank you so very much. Heroes are made of that. 

As we soldier on with our goal for a greener future, never underestimate the power of small deeds. Join us in doing small deeds to realize a bigger goal.

 

 

 

                            BY MARYLIZE BIUBWA MSAWUGHI

                           FOR GREENPRINT KENYA 

@greenprintke_   

My Take On Waigurus NYS Theft

Being a  young Kenyan, a leader, an aspiring journalist, a patriot and a loyal citizen, i think it will be unfair for me to assume that Waiguru is innocent of all the fraud accusations laid against her. I mean when you are the Cs of a ministry, it beats logic that fraudulent activities can happen in your office without your knowledge. But that to me is not the most shocking bit. What is more shocking is the fact that we as Kenyans find reasons to hide behind defending her in the name 0f tribesman-ship, the fact that she is a woman like some of us, the fact that she was a schoolmate or a workmate etc etc…..

That makes me angry because integrity knows no gender , or tribe or whatever. And as citizens, we have really played a role in encouraging  the rates of corrupt people and activities in Kenya. Its almost like we validate it and that is why they get involved because we cannot really say a thing against it other than finding reasons to back them.

We have overtime become a country of selfish individuals who only do what benefits us. We have made it a habit that when we are happy then the world is happy regardless. God governance and leadership goes beyond good laws and policies. It is all about people upholding their integral values and knowing that jeopardizing an official positions affects Kenyans and especially the future generations.

Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and many other countries have suffered because of allowing its people to die and still allowing corrupt leaders to ascend to power. For Uganda, and what is happening currently, you do not need to have a university degree to know that Museveni is a corrupt leader for getting his competitor arrested and allowing innocent Ugandans die in the process.  These people who die are true heroes and the best way to celebrate them is by allowing integral leadership.

We shoild be the kind of individuals with integral values because only then will we be in a position to question. If we were Waiguru and NYS would never have happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What traditional African homosexuality learned from West

76 CRIMES

Patrick Awondo Patrick Awondo (Photo by Eric Lembembe)

Homosexuality has a long history in Africa, says anthropologist Patrick Awondo, contrary to the claims of politicians who consider it a recent Western import.

But Awondo acknowledged in an interview last month that two key elements in the debate over homosexuality in Africa did come from the West — first, colonial-era laws against homosexual activities and, more recently, the establishment of groups opposing discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender people.

“Homosexuality has always existed, but some of the current forms of gay self-identification and gay activism originated elsewhere,” he said.

Awondo was in Cameroon last month to help lead a training session on HIV/AIDS.

Citing historical records of homosexual practices in Africa, Awondo mentioned evidence of same-sex sexual relationships in Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Benin.

It is helpful for Africans to know about ancient practices such as Mossi kings’ sexual relations with their…

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WHY HAPPY SMALL WORLD

Happy small world is a blog that is inspired by the struggles that children go through. There is always an assumption that children are always happy and that they should not complain and that with what they receive they should be contented until they can fend for themselves. Well that has really hindered highly the art of bringing up happy children because they always end up living like programmed minions who only live by the rule “do as i say” from the parents and adults around them. They end up being a frustrated small world and since they grow that way, they end up a bitter generation. 

With the above cycle, we end up having bitter youths, who can be easily absorbed into gangs and terror groups. Then terror activities increase, then the crime % goes up then the society becomes hostile because youth and young people are the custodians of change.

This blog will look to find these bitter youngsters and their stories…. bring them to the world, as it looks to provide solutions for those issues to assure mother nature that we actually appreciate being born by being happy in her territory. With my childhood the best reference to what i deem a conducive society for children , i will use real life stories and pictorials to show the world that we can actually have a better society if we start as early as at birth

 

WHAT GOT ME HERE

When I wake up in the morning, I always make it my business to look back and recount on how my life has been. I do this not because life has been so good, or bad, or that something special has happened but rather to see what it is that I lived through that has never met my expectations and what I can do to make a difference if not for me, then for the now child.

As a girl child, growing up I really looked up to my father as my mentor, role model, and the best human in my life. Well nothing lasts forever they say. Circumstances and life experiences are meant to make you better and more responsible but in my case, I hate it now that I had to grow and mature so fast that I skipped part of my childhood. I have had to appreciate the art of “think like a man, act like a woman”.

Through the above situation I came to realise that a child’s life should not change just because the lives of her parents changed. A child should not stop living just because the parents chose to stop to live. A child should not be unhappy just because the parents chose to be unhappy. I hence decided to try to see to it that something is done to guarantee happy children regardless of who they are, where they come from or who their parents are. For me happiness is a child’s right.

However, our media, especially in Africa, has not done so much to this effect. Being a student of journalism, I look to take it upon myself to confront this situation by advocating for more children news on our media, and not just any stories but specifically happy, good and educational stories that will allow children to appreciate life more from a tender age hence guarantee a more happier future free from the little fears of life.

There is not much I can do really to change life from happening, but I know if we work together and focus on bringing up happier people then we can achieve it. Like a ripple action, happy people equals to happy lives, equals to peace and the ability to embrace diversity and difference. With that we can easily achieve conflict free societies, countries, continents and eventually a conflict free world.

A child is the best starting point and as I jot down, is a cracker. IS THE CHILD AROUND YOU HAPPY? If not look to see how you and I can, through this blog, help turn around the situation. The time for the child is here, lets make it priority to be the source of a guaranteed freer future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                           BY MARYLIZE BIUBWA MSAWUGHI