Friday, October 30, 2009
On Monday morning we paid a courtesy call with Bibiana and some others to the District Commissioner who is the chief administrative officer of the area. He also is very outspoken about the need to clean up the town (both literally and figuratively) and is strong in his support of people rejecting the attitude of waiting for 'help' before anything happens.
The short presentation was well received and we hope to receive a date to do a full training.
Corruption is very much on everyone's mind as the US has made good its threat to deny a visa to "a top Cabinet Minister" It is generally supposed to be Amos Wako, AG for 18 years with the proud record of never a prosecution for any of the massive scandals that have broken.
Ocampo (International criminal court) arrives next week!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
At the stream, they cut away the overhanging branches and vines and revealed an excellent spot for the spring. You can see they will have two outlets. The area behind the wall will be filled with rocks, (being carried down one by one by young women), covered with thick plastic, then with clay and earth. The contractor will make a safer path to cross the streams (where Rod is standing)The other pictures show two of the possible sources of water which are still being used.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Today will be full of meetings This morning we start to plan the Sunday School conference at the end of November. Then at noon Rotary and Lions are joining together to launch a project . They will be supplying sanitary pads to girls who otherwise miss many days of school in a year. One 'kit' to serve a girl for a year costs 300/- (about $4.50) We are collecting sponsors and Tembo will make a contribution. A group will come from Rotary in Nairobi and after Kakamega will pass on to Eldoret.
After the Rotary group is over we will be meeting with the town councillor, Bibiana, to plan more on a proposal to run workshops on domestic and sexual violence. Bibiana's interest coincided with that of the Bishop and she believes she has a possible source of funding. A recent newspaper report indicated that our province (Western) has one of the highest incidences of violence against women. At the request of the Bishop we brought materials with us that will enable us to offer seminars for clergy and community leaders to equip them with an understanding of the problem and strategies to cope with it. Yesterday we met with the Bishop and received his approval, so will now make the application for funding. It should cost around $2,000 to run a full day workshop for 30 people with accommodation and handouts.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
On Wednesday we went to the site at Mvilingi where we are protecting a spring. The pictures show the pipe in place, the dug area where plastic sheeting and clay will be laid on the rocks to prevent contamination. The spring should be finished today.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
-Community Development Funds used to pay census clerks (the census was conducted over the last month or so but those hired were not paid until they held a demonstration. Now development projects are on hold.)
- PM puts bosses on notice over tribalism at work: heads of public institutions ordered to maintain ethnic (ie tribal) balance when hiring
- Teenage sex study shock for parents: Girls as young as 12 are selling themselves for food, mobile phone airtime and even sanitary pads.
- Kibaki (Pres) and Raila (PM) shielding chaos perpetrators-- and on the same page: Ocampo (ICC) coming next month
- Officer shot MP in self defence
- 300 camels stolen on the border recovered
- Receipts forged says witness in case against a sitting MP charged with defrauding the government of 40 million shillings (about $700,000)
- Second case of drug resistant TB identified
- Mother on three years probation for killing her daughter
- Rape of girl earns man 15 years in jail
- Kibaki appeals for climate cash: President says rich nations must aid poor nations to get clean technology
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Imulama has a dispensary but no water supply. The water is either harvested from the roof or taken from the pool pictured here. The one nurse that serves the community estimates she deals with 200 people per day. We have received the estimate for a simple well and should be able to start digging after the rains. If funds permit, we shall consider piping the water directly into the nursing station.
If a man celebrates his first marriage under the African Christian Marriage and Divorce Act, the Marriage Act or the Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act, he becomes a bigamist --a criminal-- if he marries another woman or women unless the first marriage is legally dissolved. (Incidentally, there is a case in court right now of a European woman who married under the African Christian Marriage Act. Since she is not African, her marriage may be null and void.)
But if this hypothetical man celebrates his first marriage under the African customary law or the Mohommedan Marriage, Divorce and Succession Act, he remains a law-abiding citizen even if he marries another wife or wives.
However, after undergoing the African customary law marriage rites, as many Kenyans today do, if he then celebrates the first marriage in church or in the office of a registrar-general of marriages, in which he gets a marriage certificate, he will automatically convert the customary law union into a monogamous one.
Then if he marries another wife or wives, he becomes a criminal, a bigamist, liable to be jailed for five years.
On the other hand, if he marries in church or registry office, he cannot convert this type of marriage into a customary law one by performing customary law rites.
The written laws regard marriage contracted under the African customary law as inferior, which is why such unions can be 'upgraded' but not the other way round.
(Taken in part from the Daily Nation : article by Peter Mwaura)
In a classroom for student pastors last week I saw a list on the board of seven types of marriage including substitute marriages. For more information go to http://www.patriciacrossley.com and scroll down to the link for marriage customs.
One lot of funding will be from San Bernadino Rotary Club in California, one from the Rotaract Club of the University of Victoria, BC, and one from a friend at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria. We hope to be able to protect three springs and build two simple wells. (For more information about wells, go to http://www.patriciacrossley.com/water.htm)
BUKHATSE is a village where the water is highly contaminated by run-off. It has a few pools, several of which are difficult to access. One seems suitable for protection, which means improving access, building up and cementing the surround to prevent pollution and installing a pipe. Because of the ground fomation and steep access we expect this one to cost just over $700
MWITUA is the home village of Johnstone, who is studying to be a Clinical Officer. He is pictured here with the water source for the community. This one will be simpler estimated at about $600
The last spring is at MVILINGI.
Fetching water as you can see is a slow and laborious process. This one will be the easiest, coming in at just under $600
In all cases, as for the wells, we ask the community to feed and house the diggers as their contribution. We also ask them to improve the steep and slippery acces to most of these springs by digging out steps.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Here are pictures of two little ones at Maseno College where we stayed the night and a group of children from Emmaloba Primary.
He says that the community is supportive--to the extent that no one has tried to break into the building to steal the maize and beans stored there. This would be very possible in other places and shows the extent of the poverty and hunger.
He was delighted to report that his school (grade 6 students) placed first in the whole district in Science. First time ever to be top of the list in anything! He attributes this to the books we gave and the feeding programme.
He also tells us that use of the Virtues positive discipline programme has enhanced his school. They no longer use the cane and their relationships with children and colleagues are very good. He is rightly proud of the atmosphere in his school and says it now pains him when he sees physical punishment in other places.
I went through the two projects that we definitely want to do whether or not we receive the full grant:
Read for the Top: the head teacher will provide a list of titles in English and Swahili. We decided to do the project with next year's grade 6, beginning in January, with book purchase before Christmas. He has 34 children in that group.
Adult Literacy: to provide skills for the microfinance group and others. A Rotarian is running a programme in the neighbouring community, so the Head Teacher will ask for curriculum and supplies needed. We hope to start this in December or January. I plan to use the eye glass kit donated to us before we begin, since many of the women have vision problems.
Rod has some plans for making a small machine to shell ground nuts. Most of the women grow them and spend many hours shelling a few kilos by hand.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Kenya has also agreed to follow the protocol instigated by Kofi Annan. Those accused of inciting violence in 2008 will be investigated and possibly arraigned at the Hague. Although there was the option of an internal tribunal, many opposed it, believing that the possibility of diversion of evidence was too great. Fifteen ministers, MPs and Permanent Secretaries have been told by the US that they will not receive visas because of their involvemnt in corrpution or violence.
Steps forward indeed!
A newspaper article the other day related the story of a husband going to 'visit' his first wife. When he returned he wanted to 'visit' his third wife only to find her 'entertaining' the church pastor! There was no mention of the second wife.