The oil industry has asked the United States to pressure Kenya to change its world-leading stance against the plastic waste that litters Africa, according to environmentalists who fear the continent will be used as a dumping ground.
The request from the American Chemistry Council, whose members include major oil companies, to the Office of the United States Trade Representative came as the US and Kenya negotiate what would be the first US bilateral trade deal with a country in sub-Saharan Africa.
Kenya three years ago imposed what was praised as the world’s strictest ban on the use, manufacturing and import of plastic bags, part of growing efforts around the world to limit a major source of plastic waste.
Environmentalists fear Kenya is now under pressure not only to weaken its resolve, but to become a key transit point for plastic waste to other African countries.
“This deal will have dire consequences in terms of the environmental pollution because plastics have been touted as the major polluters of our water bodies,” said Fredick Njehu, senior political advisor at Greenpeace Africa.
“African countries are looking upon Kenya to actually reject the deal and also reject the fact that they (would) be used as an entry point to access the African markets,” he added.
The April 28 letter from the American Chemistry Council’s director for international trade, Ed Brzytwa, seen by The Associated Press, urges the US and Kenya to prohibit the imposition of domestic limits on “production or consumption of chemicals and plastic” and on their cross-border trade.
China’s ban on imports of most plastic waste in 2018 has forced companies to seek new places to send it, but other countries including African ones increasingly are saying they don’t want it, either.
The American Chemistry Council in a statement said “it is well understood that a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Kenya will not override Kenya’s domestic approach to managing plastic waste or undermine its international commitments under the Basel Convention,” a global agreement which as of January will make it much more difficult to ship plastic waste to poorer countries.
Nearly 190 countries have agreed to it, but not the US.
In our world, there is a stigma that, female pastors can’t put on extravagant wears, well, Pastor Lucy is defying all odds as she portrays her flashy lifestyle, according to her, it’s not a sin to put on lovely and glitzy dresses, she doesn’t let the social misconception that, a female minister of God can’t wear flashy clothes.
Reverend Lucy Natasha is the founder and general overseer of ‘The Prophetic Latter Glory Ministries International’, located in Kenya.
Reverend Lucy is regarded as one of the hottest and influential young preachers of the 22nd century.
Sixteen-year-old Linnet covers her face bashfully, mumbling into her hands as she recounts how she met the young man who bought her fries and gave her money, before leaving her pregnant and facing even greater poverty than before.
She is one of thousands of teenagers who fall pregnant every year in Kenya, a problem experts fear is worsening during the coronavirus pandemic, with some girls pushed into transactional sex to survive while others have more sex as they stay home from school.
Shortly before the pandemic hit Kenya in March, Linnet’s farmer parents in western Busia sent her to Nairobi to find a job as they could no longer afford her school fees.
She moved in with her sister, her sister’s husband — the sole breadwinner — and their two small children in a tiny corrugated-iron room in the Kibera slum.
Food was scarce and the advances of the 22-year-old boda-boda (motorbike taxi) rider, and the luxuries he offered, were hard to resist.
“He would buy me some fries, shoes and also give me some money,” said Linnet, her dress of brightly-coloured flowers stretched tight against her four-month pregnant belly.
She said she had asked him to wear a condom, but he had removed it during intercourse. He has demanded she terminate the pregnancy, and the romance has dissipated.
“I am too young to be pregnant and now I am going to be a mother to a kid,” she said.
“A child needs porridge, milk, money. I feel bad.”
‘The tip of the iceberg’ Kenya has long grappled with high teen pregnancy rates.
However numbers had fallen from 82 pregnancies per 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 in 2016, to 71 per 1,000 in 2017, according to Save the Children.
Last month, figures from a leaked health ministry document showing thousands of girls had fallen pregnant during lockdown between March and May led to fierce debate on social media.
In Nairobi alone almost 5,000 girls fell pregnant, just over 500 of them between the ages of 10 and 14, according to the figures from a data unit within the ministry.
Both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe have mentioned the rise in teen pregnancies during addresses to the nation.
“Teenage motherhood is a catastrophic, disempowering outcome in the life of a girl. More often than not it spells doom to the teenager’s attainment of life’s full potential,” Kagwe said last month.
Evelyne Opondo, senior Africa regional director at the Centre for Reproductive Rights, said evidence of an uptick in pregnancies directly linked to the pandemic was still “anecdotal”.
However she believed the numbers are merely “the tip of the iceberg” as most girls do not seek proper ante-natal care.
She said teen pregnancies were likely increasing during the pandemic because girls were idle at home, or “engaging in relationships for survival”.
Some children get free lunches or free sanitary towels at schools, which will remain closed until at least 2021.
Being home also places an added burden on parents who may have lost their jobs.
“So the young girls will turn to men who will be providing them with pocket money, money for pads,” Opondo said.
“We have seen this even before the virus so you can imagine how much worse it must be.”
Oriema Otieno, a 30-year-old doctor in Embakasi on the outskirts of Nairobi, says he has seen more pregnant girls than usual at his clinic, which is run by a reproductive health NGO.
“Normally with schools open and teens in school we see two in every three months. Now there has been a rise, about seven to eight in one month in this community.”
No sex education According to Opondo, one of the main drivers of teen pregnancy is ignorance.
“We know that in Kenya there is no comprehensive sexuality education… a lot of girls lack information on how to prevent unintended pregnancies,” she said.
. Linet is one of thousands of teenagers who fall pregnant every year in Kenya, Linet is one of thousands of teenagers who fall pregnant every year in Kenya,
Implementing comprehensive sexuality education in Kenya is a persistent challenge, drawing fierce pushback from religious institutions and conservative groups.
A 2017 analysis by the Guttmacher Institute found that, while various policies exist to provide sexual education in Kenya, topics are limited and do not include information on contraception.
It noted that “messages conveyed to students were reportedly fear-inducing and judgemental or focused on abstinence, emphasising that sex is dangerous and immoral for young people.”
Meanwhile, the topic is taboo at home.
“Let us not lie to ourselves, our kids are having sex,” said Ritah Anindo, 22, a youth advocate for the NGO Reproductive Health Network Kenya.
“Now children are at home, they are not studying. Rich kids, probably they are having online classes but kids in (poor communities), what are they doing?” Anindo said.
“Our kids are idle so what do you expect at the end of it all? Teenage pregnancies, new HIV infections, unsafe abortion.”
For many girls like Linnet, hopes of ever returning to school will be fully dashed once they give birth.
“Most of them will not be able to go back to school… it requires a lot of support, financial support, emotional support,” Anindo said.
“We may have more teenage pregnancies than COVID cases and it is so sad.”
Tanzania banned Kenya’s national airline from entering the country effective Saturday, in the latest move in a deepening row triggered by Tanzania’s controversial handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tanzania said Kenya Airways flights were being banned “on a reciprocal basis” after Kenya decided against including Tanzania in a list of countries whose passengers would be permitted to enter Kenya when commercial flights resumed on 1 August.
“Tanzania has noted… its exclusion in the list of countries whose people will be allowed to travel into Kenya,” Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority director general Hamza Johari said in a letter sent to Kenya Airways on Friday.
“The Tanzanian government has decided to nullify its approval for Kenya Airways (KQ) flights between Nairobi and Dar/Kilimanjaro/Zanzibar effective August 1, 2020 until further notice,” Johari wrote.
“This letter also rescinds all previous arrangements that permit KQ flights into the United Republic of Tanzania.”
Kenya Airways chief executive Allan Kilavuka said Saturday he was “saddened” by the letter and hoped the situation would soon be resolved.
Tanzania has taken a controversially relaxed approach to tackling the coronavirus pandemic and began reopening the country two months ago.
President John Magufuli’s refusal to impose lockdowns or social distancing measures, and to halt the release of figures on infections since late April, has made him a regional outlier and caused concern among Tanzania’s neighbours and the World Health Organization.
Magufuli declared Tanzania free of coronavirus in June, thanking God and the prayers of citizens for the disease’s defeat disease.
The diplomatic spat between Kenya and Tanzania erupted soon after the outbreak of the pandemic in East Africa, when Kenya blocked Tanzanian truck drivers from entering the country, fearing they would spread the disease.
Kenya on Tuesday declared that its school year was considered lost because of the coronavirus pandemic, and primary and secondary pupils would return to class next January.
The school year in the East African country runs from January to November, when it climaxes with end-of-term exams.
But Education Minister George Magoha said in a statement that the curve of COVID-19 infections was expected to flatten only by December.
As a result, no primary and secondary school examinations will be held and “the 2020 school calendar year will be considered lost due to COVID-19 restrictions”, he said.
Kenya closed schools on March 15 when it had only three confirmed cases, among a raft of measures taken that month including a nighttime curfew to combat the spread of the virus.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced a “phased reopening” of the country, with international flights resuming on August 1 and the lifting of internal travel restrictions that had cordoned off the capital for four months. The 9pm to 4am curfew will remain in place.
However, cases are surging, with over 8,000 reported infections and 164 deaths.
“Faced with this uncertain environment, the stakeholders have resolved to reopen all basic education learning institutions in January 2021,” said Magoha.
“This is based on the assumption that the infection curve will have flattened by December, 2020.”
The decisions “will apply to all children,” the statement said, specifying that this included schools offering an international curriculum.
Initially, Kenya had planned to reopen schools in September for those in their final years of primary and secondary school to allow them to take their exams, however, the mounting infection rate resulted in the shelving of this plan, the statement said.
The re-opening of universities will take place on a “case-by-case” basis, and the institutions were encouraged to consider phased re-opening and continue holding virtual classes and graduation ceremonies.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced a “phased reopening” of the country, with the resumption of international flights from August 1 as well as the lifting of internal travel restrictions.
The move comes as pressure mounts to kickstart the country’s ailing economy after nearly four months of coronavirus restrictions that have devastated key industries such as tourism.
Kenyatta said in a televised address that “international air travel into and out of the territory of Kenya shall resume effective 1 August 2020.”
He also announced the lifting of a ban on movement in and out of the capital Nairobi, the port city of Mombasa and northeastern Mandera.
However, a curfew from 9pm to 4am will remain in place for another 30 days, effective immediately.
Kenya has recorded 7,886 cases of the virus and 160 deaths — the highest official figures in East Africa — and has seen a steep increase in numbers in recent weeks.
Fewer than 200,000 people have been tested in a population of 51 million people.
In June, Kenyatta had said that before lifting restrictions, the country would need to have contained infections with numbers headed downwards; the health care system must be prepared to deal with a surge in infections, and the capacity for surveillance and contact tracing must be in place.
He said Monday that experts looking at those conditions determined “we have not met the irreducible minimum 100%”.
However, they agreed “we have reached a reasonable level of preparedness across the country to allow us to reopen,” he said.
Kenyatta also warned the reopening was “conditional”.
“Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we will have no choice but to return to the lockdown,” he said.
Kenyatta also announced that places of worship will be allowed to reopen, but with a maximum of 100 people attending.
He urged citizens to continue to implement social distancing, and to avoid travel as much as possible, asking them to, “exercise cautious optimism and avoid reckless abandon.”
The governor of Nairobi, Kenya was blasted on social media after announcing his plans to include “small bottles of Hennessy” in food packs being distributed to the city’s poor families amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Mike Sonko presented the plans during a Tuesday media briefing.
“From the research which has been conducted by World Health Organization (WHO) and various health organizations, it has been revealed that alcohol plays a very major role in killing the coronavirus or any sort of virus,” Sonko said in a clip, tweeted by Citizen TV Kenya.
Commenters were quick to blast the governor for his irresponsible statement.
“Is he serious?” one wrote. “I can’t believe it, I still have to replay that video for the 10th time, did he say Hennessy kills COVID-19 if you drink?”
Dr. Githinji Gitahi, the global CEO of Amref Health Africa, condemned Sonko in a tweet.
“Please completely ignore clowning of a major global pandemic taking lives & putting extreme pressure on households,” he wrote. “Dump this the way you would dump your used #COVID19 #mask — never to be recovered! @MOH_Kenya needs to condemn this as this is not an ordinary citizen!”
The World Health Organization has said that drinking alcohol does not protect against the coronavirus — and that frequent or excessive alcohol use can even increase the risk of health problems.
When it comes to hand hygiene, the CDC recommends alcohol-based sanitizers with greater than 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropanol in healthcare settings.
But “The cognac Gov. Sonko has referenced only has 40% vol. alcohol,”
“So even if you were to use it as a hand sanitizer, it would not be effective.”
Sonko has previously been accused of drug trafficking and money laundering, which he denies, NobleReporters learnt
Prison authorities also claim that he escaped from a maximum facility 20 years ago.
A coalition of at least three pastors have sued Kenyan government after church services stopped operating due to the Coronavirus lockdown put in place to halt the spread of the deadly disease.
Justice James Makau of The High Court revealed on Friday that three pastors, Don Mutugi Majau, Joan Miriti, and Alex Gichunge sued the Interior, Health and ICT Cabinet Secretaries, the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police.
According to Nairobi News, Justice Makau set the hearing for April 16 and ordered the pastors to give copies of the case documents to the sued parties before the close of business on April 14.
In the suit, the pastors acknowledge measures put in place by the government to stop the spread but argue that as the pandemic worsens, Kenyans will look to churches for solace.
They are protesting the directive against social gatherings that saw closure of churches, saying it was reached without consultations with relevant stakeholders.
The religious men also say the state imposed the curfew and the restriction on gatherings without consulting the church.
They said that if consultations had taken place, the public would have been sufficiently educated on social distancing and proper hygiene, peace, and unity would have been promoted and food drives would have been held for the sake of the less fortunate.
Their lawyer, John Swaka said: “The petitioners (and) other believers are in no way approaching this court in efforts to spread the coronavirus. Their sole wish is to congregate whilst adhering to the directive issued,”
He added, “The church’s role in such times is to give hope amid the crisis not only in this country but also in the world at large. They humbly seek the intervention of the court since their rights and freedoms are being infringed.”
The pastors further note that judges, doctors, and journalists are risking their lives to serve Kenyans and that pastors should be added to the list of essential service providers in the fight against the deadly disease.
The religious leaders note that their services can go on with those in attendance wearing masks and gloves and using hand sanitisers.
They want churches allowed to conduct services with leaders compelled to ensure members adhere to guidelines for curbing the spread of the virus.
The alternative, they say, is for the government to allow the broadcasting of services on specific days.
A 36-year-old man, Bryan Indimuli has been confirmed dead after being stabbed by his 25-year-old wife, Joy Indeche at their residence in Ikoli Village in Malava Constituency, Kakamega County of Kenya.
Father of the deceased, John Indimuli said the incident occurred after his son complained that Indeche tripped over a chair and the ugali (maize porridge eaten in east and central Africa) she was carrying fell on the floor.
“My son suspected his wife had taken alcohol, hence her wobbly feet, which led to her tripping over and resulting in the fall of the ugali”
Following her husband’s attempt to cane her, Indeche picked a kitchen knife and drove it into his abdomen repeatedly. The lady stabbed her husband multiple times before turning the kitchen knife on herself. She is currently fighting for her life at Kakamega County Referral Hospital, where she was rushed to by their neighbours.
Ikoli Assistant Chief Walter Moses Namutali said;
“Her intestines were ripped out.”
John Indimuli admitted that his son’s marriage was filled with unending conflicts. He told K24TV;
“One year ago, the two had gone separate ways before reuniting. My son had married Indeche when she had a daughter from a previous relationship. The two would, thereafter, got a son together.”
Mzee Indimuli, a police officer in Busia County revealed that they buried the deceased on Saturday night, in compliance with the county government’s directive on burials during this period of COVID-19 crisis.
A Kenyan Pastor and founder of Bishop Climate Ministries in Camberwell District in South London, Climate Irungu Wiseman is currently under investigation in the UK for selling an oil he claimed could protect his members against Coronavirus.
According to a report by Independent UK, the Pastor who sold the bottle of the oil at £91 (N40,950) each, was accused of exploiting the public by selling the so-called “plague protection” kits, consisting of oil and red yarn.
A post by Bishop Climate Irungu Wiseman read;
“It is by faith that you can be saved from the Coronavirus pandemic by covering yourself with the Divine Plague Protection Oil and wearing the Scarlet Yarn on your body.”
Kenyan Pastor investigated in UK for selling oil he claims can protect his members from Coronavirus
Bishop Climate had claimed in a post shared on March 21, that he was “instructed” by the Lord to prepare an oil “mixed with cedar wood, hyssop, and prayer” for the pandemic.
“As you use this oil, along with a special scarlet yarn, every coronavirus and any other deadly thing will pass over you.”
The Kenyan Pastor further claimed that his product has worked before and will work again. Another page on the group’s website suggested followers could pay up to £910 for “sacrificial seed of divine protection” for their family.
The charities regulator has now launched an urgent probe into the Camberwell church over its sale of the oil it claimed could protect from coronavirus.
Kenyan Pastor investigated in UK for selling oil he claims can protect his members from Coronavirus
A spokesperson of the agency said;
“We are looking into the serious concern about Kingdom Church GB’s alleged sale of false COVID-19 protection devices, as a matter of urgency.
“We have opened a regulatory compliance case to assess the matter, and will be liaising as appropriate with other agencies.”
Southwark Council also confirmed that the church is being investigated over the products. Councillor Victoria Mills said in a statement;
“It is wrong for anyone to exploit people’s fears at this time of high anxiety and we encourage people to report any issues like this to London Trading Standards.
“This particular issue is already under investigation by our teams. There are many scams relating to Covid-19 and the council will be working hard to support consumers to be on guard for bogus test kits, cures and treatments and other financial scams.”
Southwark New reported that the post has now been edited and the specific reference to the £91 kit protecting wearers from coronavirus was removed. The post now claims that the oil will protect members from “every plague.”
A disclaimer on the church’s website now reads;
“This articles and its opinion on this website is solely under Bishop Climate Ministries and Not the Kingdom Church.”
Defending himself, Mr Wiseman who is also a trustee of the Kingdom Church charity told the PA news agency that he has sold 1,000 of the kits, but that the price tag was only to cover the cost of ingredients, packaging, and posting.
“What is so wrong about putting into practice what the Bible says.”
Kenya has banned all major public events after confirming its first case of Coronavirus in a woman, who came into the country from the United States, the Health Minister said on Friday.
Mutahi Kagwe told a news conference that the government had suspended all public gatherings, sporting events, open-air religious meetings and “all events that are of a huge public nature”, NobleReporters
He said schools would remain open but all inter-school events would be suspended.
Kagwe said the woman with the virus had been diagnosed on the night of March 12 after travelling home via London, United Kingdom on March 5.
Kenya, which is dependent on imports from China and other Asian countries, has already started to feel the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic with disruptions to its supply chain.
The China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou to Nairobi is the first to land after the suspension.
All the passengers were screened on board to check for any signs that they were carrying the deadly virus, the BBC reported.
Since You have all decided not to care about the #CoronaVirusKenya threat & still believe Profit is Better than human life, I just want to remind you that when the Virus Hits, there's no cure. There is no flying to India or Germany for specialized treatment.🤗
Suleman commented shortly after Kenyan athlete David Barmasai Tumo emerged winner of the 2020 Lagos City Marathon. The popular cleric wondered whether it is their stamina or capacity for long-suffering that is responsible for their Marathon success.
On his Twitter page, he raised questions regarding the excellent performance Kenyans always put on in marathons shortly after Kenyan athlete David Barmasai Tumo emerged winner of the 2020 Lagos City Marathon.
The 42km race which commenced at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos state, saw David Barmasai Tumo cross the finish line at the Eko Atlantic in a course record time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 23 seconds. The 31-year-old Kenyan athlete won the sum of $50,000 after completing the 42km race.
Pastor Suleman tweeted: “What’s with Kenyans always coming 1st in Marathon race?..is it stamina or capacity for long-suffering?…don’t dare a long-distance race with an athletic Kenyan or you will only come 1st from behind…kudos to Kenyans on the victory at the Lagos Marathon. God bless you.”
The cleric’s tweet, as expected, has generated several reactions from his followers and other Twitter users.