The first patient of coronavirus in Kenya was revealed on Wednesday during a video call with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Ivy Brenda Cherotich together with Brian Orinda, Kenya’s third patient, also shared with Kenyans their journey since they were diagnosed with Covid-19.
Who is Ivy Brenda Cherotich?
Brenda is a peace ambassador and human rights activist according to her Facebook Profile.
“I’m a universal peace ambassador. I’m a human rights activist. Sustainable Development Goals,” read her profile.
Ivy is a former beauty queen who competed under Miss Tourism. She is the reigning Miss Tourism Kenya Hospitality from 2018 to 2020.
She studied at Moi Girls High School in Eldoret for her O level.
She has also studied Information and Telecommunication Engineering at both Jomo Kenyatta University (JKUAT) and the Multimedia University of Kenya.
During her time at MMK, she co-founded the first Engineering Students Association at the University.
In 2015, she was elected as the student leader in charge of Gender, Health and Environment at the university.
She was also the Secretary of Gender and Special Needs.
At JKUAT, she graduated with upper second class honour in engineering
According to her Facebook, she had worked for Safaricom in the department of electrical electric and telecommunication engineering.
Her present job is with Incotech Ltd, which is based in England.
Foreign trawlers, illegal fishing, staff shortage deny Somalia $300m in revenue
After sharks are captured off the coast of Somalia, their meat is salted, sun-dried and transported overland to Kismayo for export to Mombasa, Kenya, the main market in East Africa.
Shark fins, on the other hand, are flown to Hong Kong and Singapore, where they are regarded as a delicacy while liver oil from the dwarf gulper shark is exported to Japan via Salalah (Oman) or Dubai.
These are just but some of the fishing products from Somalia that find their way to the rest of Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
But for all these, the fishing sector generates only $135 million in value per year — or about two per cent of Somalia’s gross domestic product — according to a study by the Heritage Institute for Policy and City University of Mogadishu released at the end of June.
“However, it has the potential to be one of the largest and most profitable in the world, considering that the current annual catch represents only a small fraction of the country’s estimated fishery production potential of over 800,000 tonnes per year,” said the study.
The problem is that Somalia fisheries is dominated by foreign-owned trawlers. The illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Somalia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is costing the country more than $300 million each year in lost revenue.
The study, Somalia Fisheries: Untapped Potential Held Back by Skills Shortage, compiled by Dr Abdirahman Kulmiye of the City University of Mogadishu finds the most serious challenge to be shortage of a skilled workforce.
“While the fisheries sector is underdeveloped, it nevertheless supports more than 400,000 Somalis who depend on it for their livelihood,” said Dr Kulmiye.
The study, funded by the Somalia Stability Fund, set out to assess the status of the fisheries sector; existing skills; and local institutions of higher learning and the quality of their fisheries-related academic programmes, among others.
In February last year, a fishing deal signed between the Somalia government and vessels tied to the China Overseas Fisheries Association caused uproar among artisanal fishing community and politicians, who argued that it would destroy their livelihoods.
The deal allowed 31 Chinese long line vessels to fish for “tuna and tuna-like species” for one year, but automatically renewed fishing licences for $1,025,750 each year.
On June 30, a non-governmental organisation, the Global Fishing Watch, released a report that indicated that roughly 200 Iranian fishing boats operating illegally had been detected in waters off Somalia and Yemen. Also traced were smaller subset of Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan flagged vessels.
They were traced by the Trygg Mat Tracking, a technology that helps boats avoid collisions, and to identify the boats and their locations.
From 1991 when the Somalia state collapsed, it was estimated that between 800 and 1,000 vessels descended on Somali’s EEZ engaging in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Recent studies estimated the foreign catch to be 132,000 tonnes, accounting for 56 per cent of total catches in Somalia’s EEZ.
Lack of common legal framework and regulatory regimes as the Somalia Federal Government and some of the federal states follow different laws and rules in managing the sector, is said to enable illegal trawlers to encroach into Somalia’s EEZ.
The study finds that bottom trawlers from Egypt, Greece, Italy, Kenya, South Korea, Russia and Thailand operated intermittently in inshore waters under dubious fishing permits issued by different Somali administrations.
Local fishermen have accused the trawlers of overfishing, depleting fish stocks, destroying important marine habitats through bottom trawling and disrupting communities’ livelihoods by sweeping away their stationary fishing gear.
According to the law, the Ministry of Fisheries is the only entity which can legally issue licences for fishing vessels to operate in the Somali EEZ.
But due to lack of the capacity to patrol its territorial waters, the northernmost state of that Puntland and the breakaway Somaliland most of the time offer more protection that Somalia Federal Government.
Burundi, South Sudan: East Africa’s weak link in human trafficking
Burundi and South Sudan are lagging behind in the elimination of human trafficking, says US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) released in June.
The two countries have been ranked in Tier 3, meaning they did not make any effort to eliminate human trafficking.
However, the other members of the East African Community — Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda —also did not perform well in preventing and prosecuting human traffickers, but were listed in Tier 2 for their efforts.
Once a county is listed in Tier 3, the US president determines how to apply assistance restrictions, including funding for cultural exchanges and education, and voting on loans provided by multilateral development banks.
The report says Burundi did not investigate, prosecute or convict officials allegedly complicit in trafficking crimes for the past five years, and lacked the procedures to identify and refer victims to services.
Despite the lack of significant efforts, the report noted that the Burundi government took some steps to address trafficking by working with an international organisation to provide training to immigration officials, identifying victims of trafficking abroad, conducting public awareness campaigns in partnership with an international organisation, and increasing cooperation with civil society.
South Sudan—also on Tier 3— did not investigate or prosecute any forced labour or sex trafficking crimes for eight consecutive years.
Overall police and judicial officials continued to lack a basic understanding of what constitutes trafficking in persons and frequently combine human trafficking illegal migration cases.
Despite the lack of significant efforts, the South Sudan government took some steps to address trafficking, including forming and staffing an anti-trafficking inter-ministerial task force, cooperating with an international organisation to release 286 child soldiers, and identifying 19 potential trafficking victims.
Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, had mixed ratings but together, they identified 1,110 victims.
Key among their failings were underfunding agencies in charge of handling and preventing trafficking even as they scored well on protection efforts and investigation of cases.
Task force recommends Mental Health and Happiness Commission – Nairobi News
A national task force has recommended the establishment of a Mental Health and Happiness Commission after collecting views from various groups and members of the public in general.
The task force led by psychologist Frank Njenga handed its report to Health CS Mutahi Kangwe on Tuesday with the recommendations for the commission.
Among the recommendations is to give mental health dignity that it deserves – pointing at the need to finance mental health services in a way that is commensurate with the burden it portends.
The commission shall be tasked with helping the government in achieving people’s life satisfaction, happiness, reducing misery and promoting wellbeing for all.
The formation of the commission is long overdue as Dr Njenga said the United Nations had in the year 2011 recommended that countries evaluate and measure the extent of happiness of their citizens.
“The kingdom of Bhutan, for example, has a very sophisticated system [commission] of examining the mental health and happiness of her people. I am suggesting that such a commission would be a good idea for us,” Njenga said.
“As a task force, we are surprised and impressed by reading the BBI report which coincidentally contains exactly the same recommendations. So whether you come from the BBI or UN side our recommendation is right in the middle and we strongly feel that a responsible body to monitor mental health and happiness of our people is important.”
In June last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta waded into the increasing cases of depression that were as then as they are today, causing a great deal of pain and suffering in the homes.
Njenga said the team visited many counties and received submissions from many professional and lay groups, religious and academic groups.
Dr Njenga said members of the public opened up on various things but particularly the pain and the stigma that is associated with mental illness.
“People are so afraid and shy of indicating that they are human beings who are suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] and would rather stay with their disease at home than expose themselves to the shame of confirming that they suffer from mental illness,” Dr Njenga said.
“Therefore, they told us to tell you as Kenyans and the government that we need to put in place strategies for dealing with stigma. The second thing is that stigma is in part driven by the low resources that we associate or give to treatment or management of mental disorders.”
According to a 2015 research by the London School of Economics [LSE] – the Origins of Happiness- eliminating mental health issues including depression and anxiety would increase happiness by 20 percent while eliminating poverty would increase happiness by only five percent.
The report, therefore, indicated solving mental health problems would be four times more effective at increasing happiness than reducing poverty.
Although Njenga’s team recommended an increase of funding for the provision of mental health services, LSE researchers found that reducing mental illness doesn’t have to cost anything.
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