Call for Action: Setting Up Garbage Bins to Tackle Plastic Pollution on Kenyan Beaches

NYALI: Kenyan beach conservation groups are urging county governments with coastlines to install garbage bins along beaches to combat the rising threat of plastic pollution. This initiative aims to safeguard the beaches from plastic waste, especially as the festive season approaches. The Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) has raised alarms over the global issue of plastic debris, now the most common form of litter in oceans and freshwater systems.

According to Kenya News Agency, “Mtafiti,” the prevalence of microplastics in the environment is alarming, with their traces found in commercial fish species and even human lung tissue. Hezekiel Gikambi, KMFRI Assistant Director of Strategic Communication, emphasized the seriousness of the issue, stating, “By 2050, there could be more waste in the sea than fish, which is a very dangerous situation.”

To combat this, KMFRI has collaborated with the Jigrow Coast Conservation Group and Mkoma Youth Boxing Group for a cleanup drive at Mkomani Beach in Nyali Constituency. The institute has also developed ‘Taka Connect’, an app designed to link garbage collectors with recycling factories.

Fredrick Mwenda, a member of the Jigrow Coast Conservation Group, highlighted the need for regular beach cleanups and requested the county government to install dustbins along the coast. He also emphasized the untapped potential of the ocean, with 90% remaining unexploited, and called on the State Department of Maritime and Fisheries to educate residents about available opportunities.

In a unique initiative, boxing Coach Ibrahim Reje has been training Mkomani youths in boxing as a way to steer them away from drug and substance abuse. The training includes beach cleanups, integrating environmental conservation with community welfare.

This concerted effort by various groups and the government reflects a growing awareness and action against the environmental crisis posed by plastic pollution in Kenyan coastal areas.

Ouagadougou-Abidjan Passenger Train Service to Resume on November 17

OUAGADOUGOU: Sitarail has announced the resumption of passenger train services between Ouagadougou and Abidjan starting November 17, 2023. This decision follows a request from the Burkinabe government, as reported by AIB on Saturday.

According to Burkina Information Agency, The service, commencing on November 17, will feature one train per week equipped with two cars offering 192 seats and collector vans. The Burkinabe government’s insistence on the resumption of this service comes despite Sitarail’s earlier reluctance, citing security concerns, infrastructure deterioration, and lack of authorization from the Ivorian side.

The Burkinabe executive dismissed these concerns, highlighting the national anti-terrorism strategy and the ongoing governmental discussions for authorization. Additionally, the Railway Investment Fund has allocated extra credits for infrastructure repair to facilitate the train service’s revival.

The Burkinabe State’s insistence on resuming passenger trains in November aims to stimulate the economy and serve the populace’s needs. The government has also refused to take responsibility for potential damages related to this activity, as claimed by Sitarail.

Center-East Burkina Faso: Several Terrorists Eliminated in Kankanmogré Forest

OUAGADOUGOU: In a significant blow to terrorist activities in Burkina Faso, several terrorists were eliminated this Saturday near the Kankanmogré forest in the Center-East region. The operation involved both land and aerial offensives, according to consistent sources.

According to Burkina Information Agency, Cornered by ongoing military efforts, the terrorists were caught under a shed in the Kankanmogré area on November 11, 2023. A missile strike targeted them and their motorcycles, resulting in many casualties. The surviving terrorists attempted to flee on foot towards Yourga, where they encountered other fugitives.

Despite their efforts to find refuge, aerial forces effectively neutralized a large portion of this group. Ground troops further engaged the remaining fugitives, significantly depleting their numbers.

The operations are part of a broader initiative to restore peace and security in the region. This decisive action by the Burkina Faso military highlights the ongoing commitment to combat terrorism and maintain stability within the nation.

Education CS Reports Exam Malpractice in KCSE, Dismisses Nine Centre Managers

TESO NORTH: Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has reported a limited number of exam malpractices in the ongoing Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations, resulting in the dismissal of nine centre managers. While inspecting the exams at Kolanya Girls in Teso North Sub County, Machogu noted that 28 cases of malpractice involving 46 students had been detected across the country, along with the confiscation of nine phones with suspected examination material.

According to Kenya News Agency, The Education CS emphasized the government’s commitment to securing the exams, stating, “Our multi-agency approach is ensuring the integrity of these exams, despite a few isolated incidents.” He issued a stern warning against any attempt to cheat, assuring that perpetrators would face legal consequences.

Machogu acknowledged the strain on schools due to the government’s 100% transition policy, which aims to provide equal educational opportunities to all children in Kenya. He highlighted the government’s efforts to alleviate these challenges, including the recent employment of over 30,000 teachers to improve the teacher-student ratio.

Regarding the placement of students who have completed the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), Machogu assured parents that their children would be admitted to secondary schools based on their performance and capabilities. “We expect to release the KCPE results before the end of the month, ensuring all candidates’ transition to secondary education,” he added.

During his visit, Machogu also commissioned a school bus and donated over 100 computers to Chamasiri Technical Training College. Teso North MP Oku Kaunya, accompanying the CS, highlighted the need for more teachers in the sub-county and pointed out the administrative challenges in local schools lacking headteachers and deputies.

Ugunja and Alego/Usonga Teams Triumph in Siaya County NG-CDF Soccer Tournament

SIAYA: Ugunja and Alego/Usonga constituencies emerged as the champions in the Siaya County football tournament, earning their place in the upcoming regional National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF) soccer tournament in Kisumu. The victorious teams clinched their spots during the NG-CDF Siaya County football tournament finals held at the Siaya KMTC grounds.

According to Kenya News Agency, Ugunja Constituency showcased a remarkable performance, defeating Bondo Constituency with a score of 3-1. Simultaneously, in the women’s category, Alego/Usonga ladies outplayed their Ugunja counterparts, securing a 1-0 victory.

The path to the finals witnessed intense competition, with Ugunja Constituency beating Gem Constituency 2-1 in the semi-finals. Bondo and Rarieda Constituencies had a tense match that ended in a goalless draw, followed by a nail-biting penalty shootout that saw Bondo win 5-4. In the women’s semi-finals, both Ugunja and Alego/Usonga achieved 1-0 victories over Gem and Rarieda, respectively.

The event attracted a large audience, including notable figures such as Siaya Governor James Orengo and several legislators like Samuel Atandi (Alego/Usonga), Otiende Amollo (Rarieda), and Dr. Christine Ombaka (Woman representative). Governor Orengo emphasized the importance of early talent identification and nurturing to enable local players to compete internationally. He cited global soccer icons like Lionel Messi, whose talents were recognized and developed from a young age.

In addition to celebrating the football tournament’s success, Governor Orengo announced the upcoming Governor’s Cup tournament. He encouraged grassroots teams to participate, with the finals scheduled for January 1st, 2024, at Migwena grounds in Bondo. This initiative is part of the government’s efforts to foster sporting talent and provide platforms for local athletes to showcase and develop their skills.