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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Innovation has become a catchphrase when we discuss Africa’s trajectory in the 21st century. Everyone talks about it. At the African Innovation Foundation’s fifth award ceremony, innovative solutions to African problem were celebrated.A big question that has yet to be fully answered is whether innovation can sufficiently deliver the continent’ long-held dreams and aspirations. Or will innovation just become another strand of the ‘Africa rising’ narrative that benefits an elite few and leaves the majority of the continent’s people behind?
In today’s world of emerging technologies and new solutions to old problems, what does Africa need to do to become relevant? How long are we going to remain consumers of innovations that other people have sweated over? Is there a case to be made for locally driven solutions that address the fundamental challenges that the continent faces?
In today’s world of emerging technologies and new solutions to old problems, what does Africa need to do to become relevant?
These questions weighed heavily on my mind when I recently participated in the African Innovation Foundation’s landmark programme, the Innovation Prize for Africa, held in Gaborone, Botswana, from 22 to 24 June 2016. The award, now in its fifth edition, was themed #MadeinAfrica and attracted people from the length and breadth of the continent. I found the innovations that scooped the top prizes particularly interesting, providing a signpost to the kind of disruptive innovation that needs to happen to propel the continent forward. On a continent that has been plagued by disease, it is no surprise that it was innovative healthcare solutions that scooped the top accolades. The prize-winning solutions offer ground-breaking responses to Africa’s prevailing malaria and HIV and AIDS burdens.
Ground-breaking healthcare solutions
Dr Valentin Agon of Benin was the unanimous winner of the US$100 000 Grand Prize for his innovation Api-Palu, an anti-malaria drug treatment that has hit the market in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR). Made from a natural plant extract, Api-Palu is significantly cheaper than the anti-malarial drugs currently on the market. It has great inhibitory effects on the 3D7 strains of plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria.
Imogen Wright of South Africa scooped the second prize of US$25 000 for Exatype, a software solution that enables healthcare workers to determine HIV-positive patients’ responsiveness to ARV drug treatment.
The Social Impact Prize of US$25 000 was awarded to Dr Eddy Agbo of Nigeria for his urine test for malaria, a rapid non-blood diagnostic medical device that can diagnose malaria in less than 25 minutes.
As is evident from these pragmatic prize winners, problems will be solved in Africa if we can accelerate innovation, while retaining a focus on improving the lives and livelihoods of its people.
I am sure of the fact that people in Africa are more important to driving innovation than the outcomes alone. It is African people who should generate disruptive ideas that have the potential to dislocate established practices.

Like many other people, I thought for a long time that technology was the ultimate expression of innovation. I have now come to the realisation that it is necessary to demystify the perception that innovation is something that can only be undertaken by the super talented, or that innovation is purely technology-driven (gadget centric). Truly speaking, everyone can be an innovator – it is people who make ideas.
Fostering a culture of innovation
What Africa needs is to instil a culture of innovation as an essential part of everyday life, accepting that failure is part of the pathway that finally gives birth to new ideas and tapping into the capabilities of ordinary people at all levels. We need to make innovation routine so that it involves the active participation of ordinary people.
As is evident from these pragmatic prize winners, problems will be solved in Africa if we can accelerate innovation, while retaining a focus on improving the lives and livelihoods of its people.
Africa faces huge, multi-faceted challenges. To overcome these problems requires new, innovative solutions. These solutions must be informed and driven from the ground, by the needs of Africans themselves. Innovations that do not improve the lives and livelihoods of the people of Africa are doomed to fail.
Bottom-up approaches that harness the massive and beautiful energy and spirit of Africans are key to inculcating a spirit of innovation.
Helping to unleash, channel and connect the millions of innovative minds across all regions of Africa, all disciplines and all walks of life is a valuable investment, and a sure method to propel the continent forward. Put simply, building a culture of innovation is a certain way of sustaining Africa and the way we live, think, make and create. Africa is already taking great strides in this direction as she re-writes her success story.

In addition, fostering a spirit of innovation in Africa requires connecting people so that they can share problems, opportunities, promote learning and exchange. Ultimately, innovation matters for boosting growth and improving the living standards of the millions of people in Africa.
Content; Courtesy

Thursday, 31 July 2014


What is Ebola?

Ebola Hemorrhagic  Fever is the official name.It is an  infectious disease whose outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%. The fatal disease is marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus ( Ebola virus ), whose normal host species is unknown.Ebola first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name

 What causes Ebola Fever? 

 Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest. Filovirus ( Ebola virus ) is the main causative agent.

How is Ebola Transmitted?  

When an infection does occur in humans, there are several ways in which the virus can be transmitted to others. These include:
  • direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person
  • exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions
The viruses that cause Ebola HF are often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with infectious secretions when caring for ill persons.

How is Ebola treated?

Standard treatment for Ebola HF is still limited to supportive therapy. This consists of:
  • balancing the patient’s fluids and electrolytes
  • maintaining their oxygen status and blood pressure
  • treating them for any complicating infections
Timely treatment of Ebola HF is important but challenging since the disease is difficult to diagnose clinically in the early stages of infection. Because early symptoms such as headache and fever are nonspecific to ebolaviruses, cases of Ebola HF may be initially misdiagnosed.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Hazardous GMO warning sign

Back in October, a group of Australian scientists published a warning to the citizens of the country, and of the world, who collectively gobble up some $34 billion annually of its agricultural exports. The warning concerned the safety of a new type of wheat.
As Australia’s number-one export, a $6-billion annual industry, and the most-consumed grain locally, wheat is of the utmost importance to the country. A serious safety risk from wheat — a mad wheat disease of sorts — would have disastrous effects for the country and for its customers.
Which is why the alarm bells are being rung over a new variety of wheat being ushered toward production by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia. In a sense, the crop is little different than the wide variety of modern genetically modified foods. A sequence of the plant’s genes has been turned off to change the wheat’s natural behavior a bit, to make it more commercially viable (hardier, higher yielding, slower decaying, etc.).
What’s really different this time — and what has Professor Jack Heinemann of the University of Canterbury, NZ, and Associate Professor Judy Carman, a biochemist at Flinders University in Australia, holding press conferences to garner attention to the subject — is the technique employed to effectuate the genetic change. It doesn’t modify the genes of the wheat plants in question; instead, a specialized gene blocker interferes with the natural action of the genes.
The process at issue, dubbed RNA interference or RNAi for short, has been a hotbed of research activity ever since the Nobel Prize-winning 1997 research paper that described the process. It is one of a number of so-called “antisense” technologies that help suppress natural genetic expression and provide a mechanism for suppressing undesirable genetic behaviors.

RNAi’s appeal is simple: it can potentially provide a temporary, reversible “off switch” for genes. Unlike most other genetic modification techniques, it doesn’t require making permanent changes to the underlying genome of the target. Instead, specialized siRNAs — chemical DNA blockers based on the same mechanism our own bodies use to temporarily turn genes on and off as needed — are delivered into the target organism and act to block the messages cells use to express a particular gene. When those messages meet with their chemical opposites, they turn inert. And when all of the siRNA is used up, the effect wears off.
The new wheat is in early-stage field trials (i.e., it’s been planted to grow somewhere, but has not yet been tested for human consumption), part of a multi-year process on its way to potential approval and not unlike the rigorous process many drugs go through. The researchers conducting this trial are using RNAi to turn down the production of glycogen. They are targeting the production of the wheat branching enzyme which, if suppressed, would result in a much lower starch level for the wheat. The result would be a grain with a lower glycemic index — i.e., healthier wheat.
This is a noble goal. However, Professors Heinemann and Carman warn, there’s a risk that the gene-silencing done to these plants might make its way into humans and wreak havoc on our bodies. In their press conference and subsequent papers, they describe the possibility that the siRNA molecules — which are pretty hardy little chemicals and not easily gotten rid of — could wind up interacting with our RNA.
If their theories prove true, the results might be as bad as mimicking glycogen storage disease IV, a super-rare genetic disorder which almost always leads to early childhood death.
Although Heinemann and Carman cannot provide rock-solid proof that the new wheat is harmful, they have produced a series of opinion papers that point to the possibilities that could happen if a number of criteria are met:
  • If the siRNAs remain in the wheat in transferrable form, in large quantities, when the grain makes it to your plate. And…
  • If the siRNA molecules interfere with the somewhat different but largely similar human branching enzyme as well…

Then the wheat might cause very severe adverse reactions in humans.
Opinion papers like this — while not to be confused with conclusions resulting from solid research — are a critically important part of the scientific process. Professors Carman and Heinemann provide a very important public good in challenging the strength of the due-diligence process for RNAi’s use in agriculture.
However, we’ll have to wait until the data come back from the numerous scientific studies being conducted at government labs, universities, and in the research facilities of commercial agribusinesses like Monsanto and Cargill — to know if this wheat variety would in fact result in a dietary apocalypse.
But if the history of modern agriculture can teach us anything, it’s that GMO foods appear to have had a huge net positive effect on the global economy and our lives. Not only have they not killed us, in many ways GMO foods have been responsible for the massive increases in public health and quality of life around the world.
Nevertheless, the debate over genetically modified (GM) food is a heated one. Few contest that we are working in somewhat murky waters when it comes to genetically modified anything. At issue, really, is the question of whether we are prepared to use the technologies we’ve discovered.
In other words, are we the equivalent of a herd of monkeys armed with bazookas, unable to comprehend the sheer destructive power we possess yet perfectly capable of pulling the trigger?
Or do we simply face the same type of daunting intellectual challenge as those who discovered fire, electricity, or even penicillin, at a time when the tools to fully understand how they worked had not yet been conceived of?
In all of those cases, we were able to probe, study, and learn the mysteries of these incredible discoveries over time. Sure, there were certainly costly mistakes along the way. But we were also able to make great use of them to advance civilization long before we fully understood how they worked at a scientific level.
Much is the same in the study and practical use of GM foods.
While the fundamentals of DNA have been well understood for decades, we are still in the process of uncovering many of the inner workings of what is arguably the single most advanced form of programming humans have ever encountered. It is still very much a rapidly evolving science to this day.
While RNAi is not a panacea for GMO scientists — it serves as an off switch, but cannot add new traits nor even turn on dormant ones — the dawn of antisense techniques is likely to mean an even further acceleration of the science of genetic meddling in agriculture. Its tools are more precise even than many of the most recent permanent genetic-modification methods. And the temporary nature of the technique — the ability to apply it selectively as needed, versus breeding it directly into plants which may not benefit from the change decades on — is sure to please farmers, and maybe even consumers as well.
That is, unless the scientists in Australia are proven correct, and the siRNAs used in experiments today make their way into humans and affect the same genetic functions in us as they do in the plants. The science behind their assertions still needs a great deal of testing.
Still, their perspective is important food for thought… and likely fuel for much more debate to come. One thing is sure: the GMO food train left the station nearly a century ago and is now a very big business that will continue to grow and to innovate, using RNAi and other techniques to come.

Monday, 14 July 2014


To quote the late Anthony Tucker, former science editor of the British newspaper The Guardian, "science writers, like all other journalists, must have an insatiable appetite for reading, and the best are endowed with a memory like a filing cabinet."  To that I would add they must also have child-like curiosity about the world around them, and how it works.
Getting started
There is no single designated pathway into science journalism. Great science writers such as Walter Sullivan of the New York Times, as well as many of the current science writers on leading newspapers in all parts of the world, were self-taught, at least as far as their writing ability is concerned.
There are, however, certain recognised ways of getting started. Today, one of the best — and, in some developed countries at least, almost essential — ways to start is through a journalism course or degree at a recognised institution.
This need not necessarily focus on the specific needs of science journalists, although an increasing number of courses are doing so. In India, for example, the National Council for Science and Technology Communication under the Ministry of Science has sponsored postgraduate degree and diploma courses in science and technology communication. These have been started in a few universities.
Recruiters, however, do not always insist on degrees or diplomas in science journalism. They mostly look for a zeal for science writing and the ability to write science stories in a way that the general public can understand.
It also helps if the applicant for a science writing post has written articles about science during his or her college days. Prospective employers like to see what you have written. Keeping a portfolio of your achievements and published work — no matter how small or 'local' the journal or paper, even if it is a student newspaper — could help you get your first job.
Different organisations have different ways of recruiting. For example, the leading Indian news agency, the Press Trust of India (PTI), annually recruits trainee science journalists.
Trainees are selected after a written test to evaluate their writing skills and an interview.
This approach seems to be successful; no one recruited by PTI has left science journalism in 15 years. After gaining experience in the agency several of them have become fully-fledged science correspondents of national dailies, television channels and prominent international science and environment feature services such the PANOS Institute.
Building your own knowledge base
It used to be the case that a competent journalist could cover any story that was put before of him or her. This does not always hold true in today's world, where scientific discoveries that often need a least some understanding to explain effectively are being made every day. Indeed some fields are expanding so quickly that even the experts in that field have trouble keeping up.
How does this affect you as a potential science reporter? Arming yourself with a basic degree in science, providing it is not too narrow, is highly recommended. It gives you a base on which to build your scientific knowledge. A general knowledge of most fields is required on a science beat. Science is not a static field, and new knowledge is generated every day. A good science reporter must be willing to constantly update his or her knowledge.
You will certainly not be able to spot a breaking science story on your own unless you remain up-to-date with what is happening in science in general. On any given day, a science writer may be asked to cover a space launch at dawn, a suspected disease epidemic in the city during the day and interview a visiting Nobel laureate in physics in the evening.
This does not mean you need to be a specialist. But specialisation has its advantages as well. For example, it gives you easier access to scientists' circles. Scientists often feel reluctant to talk 'off the record' to a 'strange' reporter with whom they do not feel comfortable.  They may fear that anything they say will be taken to be the official stance of the company or government institution that they work for. As a result, news from such sources is frequently obtained not on official basis but at a personal level.
One consequence is that if you have specialised in a particular area of science, you may have a better chance of making personal contact with a scientist in that field than a general reporter who may not be able to converse with the same level of background understanding of the way that science operates and the way that scientists think.
Such scientific contacts are usually built up on a basis of personal trust over many years and often involve life-long friendships. This is one of the important aspects of successful science journalism. The sooner you start to build up your contacts, the better it will be for you.
Getting a good story
Some of the best exclusive stories are the result of a combination of an alert mind, an aptitude for investigative work, and up-to-date knowledge about latest developments in science and technology.
A good science reporter must know how to get news, and from where. In Western countries, science reporters are usually flooded with news releases, reports and background material from research laboratories, universities and private organisations. These institutions usually have press officers who are eager to help a reporter who has taken the trouble of contacting them.
Reporters are also invited to scientific meetings and conferences. Also, the Internet makes life even easier; the news is sent directly to your email inbox, and there are a number of search engines and other sources available.
In developing countries, many things are different. Reporters in these countries frequently do not have such resources readily available. This obviously makes the task of collecting news harder. Furthermore new communications technologies may have not made any difference to the way news — including science news — is disseminated, a difference that will impact directly on the science reporter.
Firstly, there are very few organised outlets of science news. The science reporter is unlikely to be handed ready-made science stories. Furthermore, clues about developing science news are not easily forthcoming, due partly to the absence of press officers.
In most developing countries, only a handful of companies have media relations units. Rather than publishing news releases about the hard science going on in their institutions, the tendency is to focus on speeches and inaugural talks by ministers, company executives, and science administrators.
Secondly, a high proportion of research in developing countries is carried out in government laboratories whose scientists are governed by rules of conduct that prevent them from talking to reporters without permission from their 'bosses'. The news usually given out by these agencies is what the government wants people to know.
For example, if the space department for a country issues a news release of a successful rocket launch, information will be readily available. But if you have questions to ask about a failed launch, answers will be less forthcoming.
These two hurdles may not help the growth of healthy and vibrant science coverage by the media in general. But individual science reporters with the initiative and the nose for news can turn these drawbacks into their advantage.
For example, a lack of formal science news outlets, and an inadequate number of press officers, both mean that a lot of science news is just waiting to be picked up and turned into exclusive story by the reporters who find them first.
I once stumbled on a two-line statement in an institute report that said its scientists are working on an "immunological approach to contraception." Further probing revealed that they were using a hormone from placenta to prevent mice from getting pregnant — a potential birth control vaccine in the making. Had there been a press officer in the institute, they probably would not have answered my questions, and I would have lost this exclusive story.
Where to look for jobs
Even in this Internet age, newspapers are still the best bet to look for work. Almost all the major dailies contain science supplements, for which they require a dedicated writing staff. Regional papers are also a potential job market for science reporters. New entrants are usually taken on as sub-editors or junior reporters rather than feature writers.
Another place to look is television. The growth in satellite and cable TV has led to the formation of many independent TV production companies. Although few of these are wholly dedicated to science programming, most produce the occasional scientific programme, usually for a mainstream audience. These companies generally employ journalists who also double as researchers, writers and producers.
Radio journalism is a third avenue that is worth exploring, although it has been dwarfed by the popularity of TV and satellite. Other fields include technical writing in the science fields, as well as in specialist fields such as information technology and biotechnology.
Freelance work
Then there is freelancing. Most journalists do some freelance work outside their salaried jobs, with permission from employers. A large number of science writers in India are self-employed and make their living through freelancing for domestic or foreign publications, although it is usually only possible to make a reasonable living in this way if you have already spent several years gaining experience in a full-time position and building up a reputation.
Most technical publications, as well as the science sections of some national newspapers, accept a certain amount of freelance material. Once they accept an article from you, they may come back for more. But, as one seasoned freelance science writer puts it, "it is very difficult to make editors accept good science stories as a freelancer."

Friday, 4 July 2014


If the need to halt GMOs were not urgent enough, this article should scare the pants off you. Here we glimpse some of the potentials for the unabated and bizarre proliferation of GMOs. Some of these developments you will already know about (hopefully), but some will come as a surprise. As I see it we are now at a crossroads where we can still dismantle this dangerous and perverted manipulation of the very fabric of life, the sacred code of nature, which will undoubtedly affect each and every one of us in profound ways now and in the future.
Here we are reminded that the fight against GMOs and to save organics is not just a battle for what we knew yesterday, which is bad enough. It is a fight against the future of the GE movement and the unlikely and increasingly creepy, scary, and deranged turns it will likely take. Just today I read elsewhere that 35 species of fish, in addition to salmon, are slotted to be genetically engineered for various traits. I am not going to preview the highlights of what is below, but maybe you too will be left wondering, “What will they think of next?”
I hope we never have to find out. We have to stop this now before we and future generations have to be genetically engineered, RoundUp and 2,4-D Ready at the least perhaps, to withstand the onslaught of the weird stuff being channelled into our food supply and into our environment. If you haven’t already, perhaps after reading this article you will be more ready to take a real stand against GMOs by enacting the 11 Simple Steps to Eradicate GMOs and join our GMO Eradication Movement. Now put down that bowl of GMO corn chowder, buckle your seatbelts, clear you ears and clean off your eyeglasses for the list of 20 GMOs coming soon and already arrived to supermarket shelves near you.

Good luck distinguishing these Frankenfoods from real, natural food as they flood our supermarkets.
Genetically altered to withstand heavy applications of toxic chemicals, resist disease or contain more nutrients, so-called “Frankenfoods” are appearing on supermarket shelves at a rapid rate. Currently, genetically modified (GM) corn and soy can be found in many processed foods, and the produce section may contain GM zucchini, corn on the cob and papaya. But beyond those that have already been approved for human consumption, many more GMOs are on the way – and they probably won’t be labeled. These 20 crops and animal products include both those that are already available (whether we like it or not) and some that are still in development, like cows that produce human breast milk.
If you eat any kind of processed food on a regular basis – tortilla chips, cereal, granola bars – chances are, you consume genetically modified corn. The Center for Food Safety estimates that over 70% of the processed foods in American grocery stores contain genetically modified corn or soy. Corn is altered to contain proteins that kill insects that eat them, so they effectively produce their own pesticides.
Rice plants are often modified to be resistant to herbicides and pests, to increase grain size and to generate nutrients that don’t exist in the grain naturally. Varieties include Bayer’s herbicide-resistant “LibertyLink” rice, vitamin A-infused “golden rice” and the bizarre Ventria Bioscience “Express Tec” rice, which has been altered to contain human proteins naturally found in breast milk. The latter is used globally in infant formula.
Among the first foods to be genetically altered, GM tomatoes have been developed to be unnaturally high in anti-oxidants, to have more intense flavor and to stay fresh longer. While there are not currently any genetically modified tomatoes on store shelves, they’re being used extensively by scientists to study the function of genes that are naturally present in the plants.
The most common genetically engineered food of all is the soybean. Since 1996, scientists have been creating varieties of soybeans that are resistant to both pests and herbicides, and they wind up in places you’d least expect them, like candy bars. A new GM soybean with higher levels of healthy oils was approved by the USDA in 2010; chemical companies DuPont and Monsanto are both working on their own versions of the biotech bean.

We don’t think of cotton as a food, and technically it isn’t – but we still end up eating it. Cotton isn’t classified as a food crop, so farmers can use any chemicals they want when growing it. That means cottonseed oil, which is present in products like mayonnaise and salad dressing, can be packed full of pesticides. Along with soy, corn and canola, cotton grown for oil extraction is one of the most frequently genetically modified crops in the world.
Canola Oil
Canola, a cultivar of rapeseed, produces one of the most commonly consumed food oils, and it’s one of America’s biggest cash crops. What you may not know is that canola stands for “Canadian oil, low acid,” referring to a variety of rapeseed developed in the 1970s. 80% of the acres of canola sown in the U.S. are genetically modified, and a 2010 study in North Dakota found that the modified genes of these plants have spread to 80% of wild natural rapeseed plants.
Sugar Beets
Despite the fact that an environmental impact study has yet to be completed, the USDA has announced that farmers may now plant Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets, which have been altered to withstand the company’s herbicide. This decision comes despite a 2010 court order that prohibited planting the GMO beets until the study was performed. Sugar beets provide about half of America’s sugar.
Salmon may become the first genetically modified animal to be approved for direct human consumption. The FDA has decided that a variety of GM salmon that grow twice as fast as their natural, un-modified peers is both safe to eat and safe for the environment.
“We’re looking here at a scenario where the fish might wind up sooner or later in the ocean,” Brian Ellis, plant biotechnologist at the University of British Columbia Vancouver, told Discovery News. “I think if we go down this route, we have to be prepared to accept some potentially unknown consequences.”
Sugar Cane
Providing the other half of America’s precious sugar, sugar cane is set to debut on our shelves in genetically modified form sometime soon. Brazil’s state-owned agricultural research agency has beenhard at work developing drought-resistant sugar cane that also bears increased yields for years now, and may have it certified for commercial use within five years. Australia is also working on its own version.
After the Ringspot Virus nearly destroyed all of Hawaii’s papaya crops, a new variety was engineered to resist the disease, and it now represents the majority of the papayas grown in the United States.
“Papaya would be unique in the sense where the industry in Hawaii is dependent on biotech,” says Kevin Richards, director of regulatory relations for the American Farm Bureau. “What you have in Hawaii is a very contained, isolated agro-eco system, which is vulnerable to diseases.”
The first genetically modified food to be approved for cultivation in Europe in over a decade, Amflora potatoes are currently being grown in Sweden. High in starch content, the potatoes are actually meant for use in paper, glues and other commercial products rather than as food, but that doesn’t mean they won’t end up affecting the food chain. Nearby farmers worry about their rabbits, deer, and especially their bees.
Could genetically modified crops have something to do with the mysterious ailments that are killing honeybee colonies by the billions? Some researchers believe so. A zoologist in Germany found that genes used to modify rapeseed crops had transferred to bacteria living inside bees. GMOs are currently considered to be among the possible causes of Colony Collapse Disorder. And if the genes are causing changes within the bees, they’re also likely to cause changes to the honey that the bees produce.
After banana crops in Uganda were affected by a bacterial disease that caused the plants to rot, scientists developed a genetically modified variety that could help alleviate the $500 million annual loss. The ban on GM crops was waived to make way for the GM version of Uganda’s staple food. A gene from sweet pepper was inserted into the bananas that make them resistant to the bacteria. Cultivated bananas have almost no genetic diversity, so supporters of this decision argue that introducing the GMO fruits will actually help bananas as a whole.


Monday, 16 June 2014


After  sorting piles of work in the office and am on my way home.I noticed that i cannot use my usual footpath just because its flooded,this prompts the question,Who is responsible?

Almost filled with rage i start counting how the Nairobi City Council is failing us.Looking keenly into the drainage system ,it has been turned into a dumping sight as it is clogged with polythene bags and grime that sewerage was now leaking on the footpaths.Not before i lift my head than someone throws into the drainage remnants of banana pills in a polythene bag.The lady walks as if nothing happened and satisfied with her deed.A young man who looks like a student drops an empty water bottle into the same drainage.

This made me wonder of how ignorant we can be that we fail to count how our little negative actions bulk and culminate into distraction and disaster.We are the ones who litter and clog our drainage systems and in return we suffer and blame others.
Clogged drainage system.

If only the Kenyan citizens loved the very environment they live in,they could be responsible to keep it clean.Take a case where after taking chocolate,biscuits or whatever that was wrapped and keep the wrapper so that we dispose it appropriately  then papers would not  be blocking our drainage systems.This would mean that there would be no floods that we have to avoid certain routes,waterborne diseases would be forgotten and death of plants around us could be history.

It is all about having a sense of responsibility,i believe as sophisticated as we tend to put ourselves,we can adapt simple habits that would do greater good.

As we take the initiative as individuals to keep our environment clean;the government should not lag behind. Non Governmental Organizations such as NEMA should also embark on result based campaigns to create awareness that we are creating our own problems.

Personal attributes such as self-discipline and accountability should also be exercised if att al we are to succeed in our against pollution-Whatever form of pollution.