Another tribute to Chester Bennington.
Another opportunity to wonder why...
The David Sheldrick is a haven for orphaned elephants. Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. Everyday the gates open to the public from 11am to noon and with a small fee of $5 per visitor, you are able to see the young elephants up close, touch them and listen to their stories.
There are few places left on the planet where the impact of people has not been felt. We have explored and left our footprint on nearly every corner of the globe. As our population and needs grow, we are leaving less and less room for wildlife.
Wildlife are under threat from many different kinds of human activities, from directly destroying habitat to spreading invasive species and disease. Most ecosystems are facing multiple threats. Each new threat puts additional stress on already weakened ecosystems and their wildlife.
At the heart of the DSWT’s conservation activities is the Orphans’ Project, which has achieved world-wide acclaim through its hugely successful elephant and rhino rescue and rehabilitation program. The Orphans’ Project exists to offer hope for the future of Kenya’s threatened elephant and rhino populations as they struggle against the threat of poaching for their ivory and horn, and the loss of habitat due to human population pressures and conflict, deforestation and drought.
To date the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has accomplished its long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo.
This place has now become famous for visitors, since I first came here, the number of visitors have continued to grow by the day which is a good thing for the foundation. Visitors who wish to adopt a baby elephant are welcomed to do so. Having placed a donation to help the elephant, they receive monthly updates about their baby and any time with an appointment, they are allowed to visit without any additional charges.
So today I took my two nieces for a treat, at this place. First Imani was fascinated by the fact that the baby elephants will be very close to her and she will want to touch them. Ningala, wasn’t talking much. We were at the gate a few minutes past 10am, everybody had worked up for this much treasured hour. Most of the crowd were tourists, and others were Kenyans visiting from the United States……..ask me how I know about that, and a few of us including tour drivers and guides. It was dusty, auto machines were taking over the whole parking.
The DSWT is located on the Kenya Wildlife Workshop Gate off Magadi road, about 20km from the city centre. Its accessible by car because you have to drive through the park to access the Sheldrick gate. The elephant Nursery is located in Nairobi National Park. In addition, there are 3 reintegration units are located in the Greater Tsavo Conservation Area at Voi, Ithumba and Umani Springs in the Kibwezi Forest. At the notice board, we could see all in pictures and their stories well written, and we fell in love with Jotto and we wanted to know more about Jotto.
Jotto was rescued on the 21st March 2016, having fallen down a well in the Namunyak Conservancy in Northern Kenya. He was found by herdsmen who had taken their cattle for water at the well on the morning of the 20th of March. They reported the calf to Namunyak Conservancy staff who later sent their scouts to extract the baby. He was rescued at around 10am and the team remained with the calf at the scene, whilst rangers attempted to locate the mother for the rest of the day.
March is always the hottest time of the year in Kenya, particularly at lower altitudes, and this last year due to the equinox combined with unpredictable weather patterns due to global warming, ambient temperatures countrywide were a lot warmer than anyone can remember, with advice to people at sea level to remain indoors and take regular cold showers in order to avoid heat stroke. For this reason, they named this little well victim “Jotto” (in Swahili spelled ‘Joto’ and pronounced “Injoto~ – the word that describes such hot conditions).
The babies were taking milk in two groups, first one with younger elephants and the second, those who are a little older. Jotto was in the first group, but we kept guessing who Jotto was, we were all wrong. After they had taken their milk they played around and with the visitors. A gentleman who I have encountered all the times I have visited here, who speaks really good english and carries the history and the names of all the baby elephants in his head takes the microphone and commands the stage and the visitors listen keenly. Then he introduced us to Jotto, standing at the far end from where we were standing.
Jotto is now one year and six months. His ordeal maybe behind him, but they say elephants have a great memory so its safe to say he hasn’t forgotten why he ended up here and he will not forget years after he has left the orphanage and taken back to the wild, to create a new family….something that takes well over six years.
If you are in Nairobi, maybe catching a flight later or whatever, this is a must visit. It will be a day well spent, with opportunity of up close with this lovely playful babies. Adopting or just donating to the foundation that is doing much more for this vulnerable ones. This place is also good for those who want to keep their minds off work, at least for one hour, doctors say………that can increase productivity.
Am not a doctor, am just a lover of nature, so my advice has no basis or reliability that my own meandering experience.
I love a good curry from time to time, especially since some of our spices are still from Doha, which I bought in bagful before we left. It just makes cooking them that much more special. I use the term curry loosely; pretty sure the types of curries I do are very westernised, but still…
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For about 7 years, I face technology challenges many of which am fortunately able to solve due because of the repeated usage of computers, tech gadgets and the internet.
Some of the challenges are education, health and income generation related.
Technology doesn’t only help me keep in touch with the people that matter, it also gives me the chance to learn, earn income, educate others and contribute in different ways to community development.
With gratitude am happy to:- to participate in the designing of websites such as eastafricatourismguide.com, theelephanthome.com, africawildexplorations.com, ugandatrip.org, rubonicamp.com, homesteadtoursandsafaris.com and ucota.or.ug among others. Perhaps some of you reading this article have ever visited Uganda through one of those websites. The existence of the businesses and organisations which own those websites are helping reduce unemployment and provide a way for numerous people to earn an income in Uganda.
I have also been able to build financial business website like rapidadvisory.com, personal websites like kaweesimark.com, bboydancemachine.com, joramc.com, and kibuukaphotography.com other websites are directory sort of such as kansanga.com which is a free platform where a locals in my township can lookup or upload businesses, places etc.
One of the reasons I’m a web developer is to solve real life problems such as lack of accessibility to affordable means of marketing and business opportunities as well to help brands establish a presence on the internet.
Through experience, I have discovered that people are spending a great deal of funds and time to a lot important and useless things due to lack of technology skill and knowledge. Some people spend on expensive web tools to build good looking websites but they don’t have a budget set a side for marketing and maintenance of their websites.
Some people would easily have time to edit and upload content to their websites but they lack technology skill and the confidence to pull it off.
Currently some good number of Ugandans, have managed to get an income opportunities abroad in the other parts of the world and they would love to send money back home, safely, fast and securely which could be easily done through platforms such as useremit.com and worldremit.com etc but the confidence that they can do it without a mistake is in lack.
A few years ago, with two friends, we found a company discovering the opportunities availed by technology. The business we initiated in 2014 to celebrate 3 birthdays and established itself as fully legally recognized business in Uganda. We started with the capital of less than UGX 300,000/= ( about $80 USD).
From two individuals to six full time employees, in an economically stricken market, we are persevering. We are strategically located in the center of Kampala capital city, at the heart of the printing industry in the country on Mirembe Arcade, 4th floor, office number E09 at Nasser Road which helps customers locate us easily for bespoke products and services helping their businesses grow and become or maintain sustainability.
Additionally I volunteer to educate people of all walks of life and introduce them to the technology since I have developed from someone who couldn’t afford food worth 1000/= ($0.27) to someone is sustaining myself. The tech training I offer covers, introduction to computer usage, internet, coding through HTML, CSS, JS and PHP and Website design using Content Management Systems especially WordPress and Joomla. As I have many less tech skilled friends and people in my network, I sometimes help with troubleshooting their devices or offering tips for whatever they stumble with the gadgets and software systems they use.
Looking where I am from, where would I be without the help of the people with a good heart? How can I pay it forward?
I should volunteer more often reaching out those who can’t afford tech education at school or paid for training centers.
At the beginning, what was a virtual dream, is becoming a reality.
Have been able to acquire two used laptops at an affordable fee from a friend who deals in selling used computers.
A few weeks ago I was able to set these laptops up by installing Windows OS, Microsoft office suite, typing master and web browsers. Those tools will be enough to get some started with technology.
I appreciate that some few friends have believed in the idea and are willing to involve as trainers, project ambassadors, pilot program hosts and website hosting partners among other responsibilities.
I will bring more updates next week.
This will be the first official fully packaged program am heading to impact social change and community development. I have little experience and exposure in managing such a program thus I kindly request for any of your suggestions and ideas.
Thanks for reading.
If you have been travelling around Africa, you must have seen what I have been seeing. Chinese people everywhere. They are taking flights all around Africa, taking refuge in big cities, small towns and villages. Yoon Jung Park at Howard University forwarded a very thoughtful article by Howard University grad Chika Ezeanya, reacting to the just-opened $200 million African Union headquarters building in Addis Ababa, a “gift” from the dragon. Her mixture of frustration and disgust at the symbolism of the African Union accepting the donation of this building was almost tangible and very nicely phrased.
But one thing about her article caught my eye: the statement that 90% of the labor on the building was Chinese. This might be the case for all the projects that Chinese people are doing all around Africa, a continent with the highest unemployment rate. China invests more in Africa than any other country, with Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Angola among the biggest recipients of Chinese funds. Infrastructure development, for example highways and railways, is the main area of business for the Chinese in Africa. They also invest in smaller enterprises and food outlets, according to the report.
China has been a disruptor of the world, from the United States which is now the biggest consumer of China products to now Africa. A while back, we resisted everything China, the quality of their products then was not good. We went for products from the US and EU, all went well but then most of American companies were shipped to China. Today, my favorite iphone is assembled in China. Globally, the attitude towards China is somewhat positive, according to a 2014 study by Pew Global. Across the 43 nations surveyed by Pew, a median of 49% expressed a favorable view of China, compared to 32% thinking of them unfavorably. However, China’s overall image in Europe and the U.S. was mostly negative. Only 35% of Americans had a positive view of China, whereas 55% were negative.
Today, the U.S. and China are competing fiercely over African business. I think the Chinese do everything they possibly can to become number one, they want to become the number one superpower. However, an increased Chinese influence over Africa may cause trouble in the future, and perhaps stifle the development of democracy. As we speak, many African countries are already heavey laden with the burden of debt from People’s republic of China. Young Chinese have taken jobs in Africa, own small business across Africa and our institutions want us to learn Chinese. “Is China the savior for developing nations, the only world power investing in their future — or is this the dawn of a new colonial era”? that is the question most people are asking.
In hitching itself to China’s rising star, Africa has developed a relationship in which aspiration is no longer the pipe-dream it once seemed. With Chinese investment offering significant promises for developing African nations, cooperation with China is proving to be a significant stepping stone on the road to development. However, with the negative long term social and environmental impact that this cooperation potentially threatens – regarding bauxite mining, gold mining, or any other venture – it would be wise of African governments to tread cautiously before committing to a course of action which might have entirely the opposite effect to that intended. China’s rise on the African continent might indeed provide an opportunity not to be missed, but denied the proper checks and balances it could prove less a win-win relationship.
As we look forward to the coming general elections, the government seeking re-election has ridden on the projects delivered by the Chinese people, the railway connecting Nairobi and Mombasa, 472 KM costing sh327 billion. The pros and cons of this projects are not addressed in equal measure, and so not now but in future is when we will start to reap the real fruits of Chinese relation with Africa. Time, will always tell.