Monday, October 10, 2011

Weak Kenya Shilling

I have nothing to do with the link behind the picture, but I like the illustration.It pretty much sums up my feelings towards vision 2030.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011

Here's to the crazy ones.
        The misfits.
                The rebels.
                        The troublemakers.
                                The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.

They're not fond of rules.
        And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
        disbelieve them, glorify them or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.

Because they change things.
        They invent. They imagine. They heal.
        They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
        Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.
Because while some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

And it's the people who are crazy enough to think they can
change the world who actually do.

Goodbye Steve, and thanks for everything. Even the stuff I hated.

Monday, October 3, 2011

KPLC Power Bill

I just received my power bill from KPLC for September and boy! A thought just occurred to me that it will be cheaper to run a generator of my own. Maybe it is high time to invest in an inverter!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back Again

A lot has happened in the last years since I went on hiatus. It is time to blog again. I have realised that there is a shortage of news and awareness on infrastructure projects. I will start sharing my insights into the what is happening in Kenya at the moment. In other words, I am back!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Rain, Roads and Traffic mis-direction

It has not rained a lot this rainy season. In fact in my home I am currently experiencing water rationing . I was excited when it rained last Friday...for a short time. Getting home from work was terrible! I got stuck in traffic for nearly one hour. The roads were virtually turned into rivers as water flowed on them towards the lowest point. Now lets face it, to drive in Nairobi or Kenya, you cram the route in such a way that you know where every pothole or unevenness in the road is. The next day, my normal route was turned into an unknown as new potholes have appeared. I am having to learn to navigate the road again.

In Kenya we tend to fix working systems. So you get to hear a lot of talk of phasing out the roundabouts and replacing them with cross junctions... controlled by traffic lights and on the other hand T junctions will be phased out as they cause unnecessary snarl ups!!! T junctions out cross junctions in? Talk about sticking our heads in a sand pit!

Sarit Centre has re-directed the traffic to a mostly one way street configuration (a chance for cops to catch those driving on the wrong side) a change from a working system to let us say a somewhat better system for the shopping centre alone. Sarit Centre has managed to direct traffic going into it and thank God lowered the bumps at the road between Lower Kabete road and School Lane. The problem is traffic going into Sarit Centre has been solved, but the problem has now been shifted to the rest of Westlands especially for traffic to and from Westlands roundabout on Ring Road Parklands. This of course affects the traffic on Parklands Road and Lower Kabete road causing unnecessary traffic jams as no one now knows who has the right of way...those on Ring road or those joining it. This are those cross junctions that are meant to replace roundabouts that our city planners keep on talking about.

Something else that I have noticed is the habit of our road engineers of putting pavements everywhere with no drainage way-leaves. Our roads become rivers in the rainy season causing cars to stall thus causing unnecessary traffic jams. Why for example would anyone put pavements on a perfectly smooth roads like the airport road? The road from the airport was re-carpeted and thank you Chinese construction company you left a 500cm drop at the beginning of the carpeting and at the end so that we all know you did a good job by putting a lot of tarmac on the existing road. A few days ago they were busy putting up pavements with no drainage way-leaves on the road to the airport. On your next trip to the airport, keep your eyes peeled for surprising new potholes on what was a perfect functioning road.

For all drivers on Kenyan roads, I wish you a "mis"-directed, traffic free, rainless filled, pothole less road!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ethnicity, Land & Politics in Kenya

Time to break the hibernation. I spent a lot of time travelling and thus got to do quite some reading. Many things have happened in the short time that i was away but I will only write about something that affects me directly in all my interactions and that is land.

The new lands minister, Mr Orengo, has been in the news making some controversial statements about leases and size of land people can own. The thing that got me thinking was an advert in the Nation a few weeks ago where owners of land which are 10 acres or more in the area 70km around Nairobi or 40km around Nakuru, Mombasa or Kisumu, were asked to tender in to a certain ministry for cooperation in developing housing estates. This got me thinking about WHO actually owns such land around the cities mentioned. No surprises here mostly politicians or sons and a few white Kenyans.

I then started researching land issues and came up with the chart at the bottom of this text. What it shows is the connection between politics, land and tribes. I hope it will explain why we have clashes in the Rift Valley. I know most people do not know that Majimbo was dreamt up by white settlers when independence became inevitable in the hope of becoming a protected minority tribe thus keeping control over the land they already owned. They managed to convince some tribes...mostly the Kalenjin to join them in their cause. Majimbo was supported by the Somalis who wanted to succeed and join up with Somalia and the Coast peoples though one has to differentiate between the coastal mainland (Mijikenda, Giriama etc. and the Island. Their politicians have never and do not see eye to eye on many issues.

Something else which most people do not know is that the Luhya's, represented by Muliro, were for Majimbo but pulled out of the group when Kitale was put in Rift Valley province. At that time many whites of South African decent (anyone remember Bruce Mackenzie?) were settled in Kitale and they did want to stay on over there. They did not want Kitale to be part of North Nyanza district as western province was called then thus become dominated by the Luhya's who were politically active along with the Luo's. On the other hand, the Luhya's did not want to be dominated by the Kalenjin's but lost to the whites.

Another issue that came up were the Sabaot. They wanted to be part of Rift Valley with their Kalenjin cousins but were put in now Western offshoot of the current land clashes though crrently it seems to pit clan against clan.

To get back to the chart, it has a few spelling mistakes, some data is also missing and only shows the political arena till 1990. I will refer to this chart as r.c. version 1. I am working on a second part which explains Uhuru Kenyatta's dilemma of leading a pro-majimbo political party as a Kikuyu and why referendums will always kill majimboism.

The chart also shows how our politicians failed to build truly national structures. Tom Mboya had started building one but slowed down after KANU became the de-facto single party. Most of the politicians were afraid that the national party structures would be hijacked and used against them by their rivals or by some young up-coming politician.

Anyway I am looking forward to your feedback.

By the way the CC licence is also applicable all over the world! So please respect it. It was a lot of work piecing up the information.

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Ethnicity Land & Politics in Kenya by Tengeza is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
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