Seychellois Author-Photographer Vanessa Nicette Pursues Dream Project in Seychelles

Berlin/Seychelles – Vanessa Nicette, a Seychellois author-photographer based in Berlin, Germany, is currently in Seychelles to involve her compatriots in a unique book project. The project focuses on collecting people’s dreams, combining written accounts with photographs taken at their sleeping places.

According to Seychelles News Agency, who has Seychellois heritage on her father’s side, she has been documenting people’s dreams for over a decade using her Mamiya 645 camera, primarily illuminated by bedside lamps. Her first book, “Dream,” showcases 60 dreams alongside photographs of the individuals who experienced them. With over 130 dreams collected in various languages since 2011, Nicette is eager to include the voices and dreams of people from Seychelles in her ongoing project.

Unlike the common use of digital cameras, Nicette prefers a medium format film camera for her photography, giving her photos a distinct quality. However, she faces challenges in Seychelles, as there are no facilities to develop her film, potentially requiring her to return to Germany for this purpose.

Nicette invites Seychellois who are interested in participating in her project to contact her by November 28. She can be reached at phone number 2547942 or via email at fotografie@vanessa-nicette.de. Further details about her work and project can be found on her website, www.vanessa-nicette.de.

The inspiration for the project came during Nicette’s photography class, where she was tasked with choosing a theme to work on. Despite initial skepticism from her teacher, Nicette persisted, leading to the birth of this distinctive endeavor.

While this project is her first significant undertaking, Nicette has already gained recognition in the photography world. She was shortlisted for awards such as the Athens Photofestival 2022, showcasing her talent and dedication to her craft.

Rogue Monkeys Plague Farms in Taita, Sparking Outcry and Call for Action

Wundanyi, Kenya – Farmers adjacent to Ngangao Forest in Wundanyi are facing an unprecedented challenge as clans of monkeys from the conserved forest are wreaking havoc on their crops. The forest, known for its dense indigenous trees and rich biodiversity, has become a battleground for farmers trying to protect their livelihoods from these voracious animals.

According to Kenya News Agency, Ngangao Forest’s successful conservation has led to a surge in the monkey population, which has turned into a nightmare for them. Crops like guavas, bananas, beans, and maize are under constant threat from these monkeys. Farmers like Ms. Ariatha Wakesho from Mchungunyi village describe their daily struggles with the apes, who retreat into the forest after their raids.

Living in a predator-free environment, the monkeys have multiplied rapidly, leading to their numbers reaching the thousands, as per local rumors. Wundanyi MP Danson Mwashako highlighted the irony of the situation, where local farmers’ conservation efforts have led to the infestation of these troublesome apes. He called for immediate action, proposing radical measures such as neutering male monkeys and placing female monkeys on a strict family planning regime to control their population.

Photographs by Wagema Mwangi show Kenya Forest Service (KFS) guards patrolling the forest, but their presence has done little to deter the monkeys. Tourism and Wildlife CS Dr. Alfred Mutua has promised to deploy primate experts and biotechnology teams from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to address the issue.

One of the main grievances of the farmers, as expressed by Ms. Poline Nanjala from Mghambonyi village, is the lack of government compensation for losses caused by monkey activities. Under the Wildlife Management and Compensation Act 2013, monkeys are not included among the wildlife species eligible for compensation, leading to calls for their inclusion.

The origins of the monkey problem are a topic of debate and speculation among the farmers. Some believe that the monkeys were relocated to Taita Forest by the KWS from areas like Mwatate, Voi, and Taveta, where they had become a nuisance. However, KWS dismisses these claims, suggesting that the monkeys migrated to the forest naturally in search of food and a safer environment.

As the community grapples with this issue, the challenge remains in finding a balance between conservation efforts and the well-being of the local farming communities.

Ancient Stone Tools in Baringo Offer Insight into Early Human Innovation

Baringo, Kenya – The Great Rift Valley, often referred to as the cradle of mankind, has yielded another significant archaeological discovery on the shores of Lake Bogoria in Baringo County, Kenya. Researchers have unearthed ancient stone tools, estimated to be between 350,000 to a million years old, placing Baringo County prominently on the global archaeological map.

According to Kenya News Agency, The discovery was made possible through collaborative fieldwork supported by the National Museums of Kenya (NMK), the Henan Academy of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, and the Luoyang Institute of Archaeology in China. This project, jointly funded to the tune of Sh12 million (US$80,000) per year, is also aiding in the training of Kenyan researchers. The excavation has so far revealed over 800 artifacts, including picks, flakes, and hand axes along Lake Bogoria’s shores.

Dr. Emmanuel Ndiema, Head of Earth Sciences at NMK, explained that the field survey aims to collect rock samples to determine the archaeological culture represented, the exact age of the tools, and, if possible, to find any fossils to identify the ancestors who made and used these tools. The director of the project is Professor Wei Xingtao from the Henan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, with Dr. Ndiema as the deputy.

Dr. Ndiema emphasized the importance of the tools, indicating they represent more sophisticated stone tool-making techniques possibly developed by modern human ancestors. These findings include stone flakes sheared off larger rocks, likely used for cutting and sharpening, suggesting older human technological advancements yet to be discovered.

The excavations, ongoing for three years, provide new insights into how early hominids utilized the landscape and adapted to environmental changes. Baringo County is also the site where Orrorin Tugenensis, the world’s second-oldest human fossil, was discovered, dating back about 6.2 million years.

Dr. Ndiema highlighted that 30 new sites have been mapped for further excavation in Baringo County. The discoveries are expected to boost the county’s ambition to host Kenya’s first UNESCO Global Geopark, which would spotlight unique geological features for educational and protective purposes. If approved, Kenya will join Tanzania and Morocco as the only African countries hosting a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Dr. Rebecca Muriuki from NMK’s Department of Earth Sciences noted that the excavation of these hand tools could significantly enhance the region’s tourism potential, introducing fresh ideas into Kenya’s tourism diversification. She added that this new status could bring in substantial investments and offer local communities new opportunities.

The project’s implications extend beyond tourism, as the discoveries aid researchers in understanding early humans’ technological advances, sustenance, and environmental interactions. Archaeologist Mr. Julius Marti emphasized the importance of these sites for learning about stone tools, volcanic activities, and the history of the Rift Valley’s lakes. He explained that the toolmakers likely moved between the Rift Valley’s lower-lying areas and highlands based on climate conditions, indicating a technological advancement associated with expanding intelligence.

Unprecedented Flooding Hits Beledweyne, FAO Calls for Urgent Aid

Beledweyne – The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has reported that Beledweyne town is currently experiencing unprecedented flooding, attributed to heavy rains in the country. The catastrophic floods have resulted in extensive damage, affecting infrastructure and agriculture.

According to Somali National News Agency, the floods have destroyed over 24,318 buildings, 562 km of roads, and 14,697 hectares of farmland. The organization highlighted the dire need for swift and increased humanitarian support to address the significant challenges and assist the affected population in Beledweyne.

Somali Disaster Management Agency Collaborates with Somali Medical Association

Mogadishu – The Commissioner of the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA), Mohamud Moalim Abdulle, welcomed a delegation from the Somali Medical Association (SMA) at the SoDMA Headquarters. The meeting focused on the current humanitarian challenges posed by the El Niño phenomenon and river overflows in Somalia.

According to Somali National News Agency, the SMA, led by Chairperson Dr. Luul Mohamud, was briefed on the dire situation affecting hundreds of people. The SMA announced their commitment to provide free medical services to the affected communities and expressed the need for assistance to reach remote villages and districts. They also emphasized the importance of close cooperation with the Agency and medical doctors in these efforts.