Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nairobi Rain

We were happy to walk to work in the rain this morning. In case you're not watching the news, there's a drought in Kenya and the food crisis is forcing many families to subsist on nothing but unripe, uncooked (because there's no $ for cooking fuel) mangoes, and not very many of them.

With starvation looming, particularly in Kenya's maize-producing eastern provinces, a scandal of course popped up. We couldn't figure out what happened from the local news reports, which showed, without background or commentary, denials from top officials and quotes in Swahili from local farmers, but I looked it up and you can find details here:

Basically, the maize distribution controls in Kenya have forced prices up 40% higher than open market rates (according to Transparency International), and are funnelling maize needed right here, right now, to the Sudan.

As if that's not enough, there's also an oil scam on -- apparently, just the latest in a series, but one that involves the Kenyan government's graft committee, which was supposedly appointed to prevent instances like this.

Amid the famine and the corruption and the disappointment, we are happy to work amidst the downpour, in the hope that the rain will wash all the dirt away.

No comments: