Archive 2003

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Thanks for the Bibles, Could We Have the Land Back Now?                                                              (December 15, 2003) Concentrated around Kenya's principal natural resources are big and small businesses whose rise has in most cases locked out local communities from the use of these resources. Long before the multinationals came in to bottle and offer "designer" water in the market, springs and streams were regarded as communal resources to be used by all. Until very recently, the local people merely had to go into the nearest forest to collect as much fuel wood as they could carry on their backs.

Forests boss is sent packing                                                                                                          (December 12, 2003) The chief conservator of forests has been sacked. Mr Gideon Gathara failed to attend an assessment interview at the Environment ministry headquarters in Nairobi.

Looted billions to be repatriated - Githae                                                                                          (December 2003) CONSTITUTIONAL and Justice Assistant Minister Robinson Githae yesterday said the Government would repatriate close to $4 billion (Sh300 billion) allegedly looted by individuals in the previous government and stashed in overseas bank accounts.

Loliondo Hunting: Kenya Urged to Take Dar to ICJ                                                                            (December 8, 2003) A JOINT REPORT SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTS - KENYAN WILDLIFE conservationists are pressing the government to take Tanzania to the International Court of Justice in the Hague over Dar-es-Salaam’s decision to allow seasonal hunting in its Loliondo zone, which straddles the common border, in a dispute that has defied settlement for close to a decade. 

Grave Concern over Peace / Tourism Conference in Tanzania                                                            (November 30, 2003) - Open letter to ‘Coalition Murderous’ - Sender: Navaya ole Ndaskoi , Co-ordinator Indigenous Rights for Survival International

Forest Peoples offenders work with all tricks                                                                                    False accusations against the Ogiek Rural Integral Projects were reported in the local Press (Daily Nation, 28th Nov. 2003), which tried to discredit their handling of funds.

SOT BILL 2003 - Campaign Against Enactment of the Suppression of Terrorism Act in Kenya              The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs through the office of the Attorney General in Kenya has published the Suppression of Terrorism (SOT) Bill, 2003. This bill is meant to be the government of Kenya’s response to the threat of terrorism. The Bill is most likely to be tabled for discussion and enactment in Parliament before Christmas.

Only two judges may face Appeal tribunal                                                                                        (November 18, 2003) Only two of the 23 judges suspended in the judiciary shake-up have yet to resign – and may have decided to fight it out in the disciplinary tribunals.They are Appeal Judges Philip Waki and Moijo ole Keiwua – both of whose names appeared in the Ringera report on corruption in the judiciary.

Forests: Were Leakey's Men the Target?                                                                                         (November 3, 2003) KENYA's Environment and Natural Resources Minister Dr Newton Kulundu has denied allegations that the suspension of more than 829 forest officers less than a fortnight ago targeted staff perceived to be allied to the former head of the civil service and wildlife conservationist, Dr Richard Leakey.

Hit by disease, deforestation and war                                                                                              Colombia's last nomadic tribe faces extinction (October 29, 2003) For thousands of years, the Nukak-Maku Indians roamed the jungles of southeast Colombia, hunting game with blow guns and gathering berries, as oblivious to the modern world as it was to them.

Rush for new Aids trials                                                                                                                 (October 09, 2003) Study to establish if circumcision reduces HIV infections has attracted many young men at Kisumu. offering themselves for circumcision in a study that seeks to establish if the cut makes a man less vulnerable to HIV infection.

Kulundu Says Country On the Verge of Becoming a Desert                                                               (October 07, 2003) Environment and Natural Resources Minister Newton Kulundu issued the warning as the House passed a vote of Sh3.4 billion for the ministry. Kulundu said the manner in which the country was destroying its vegetation was worrying. He said the trend must be reversed if the country is to escape being a desert.

GLOBAL: Corruption still rife in Kenya, says report                                                                           (October 7,  2003) Issue: 694 - Kenya is still ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world despite a change of guard in the government and the fight against corruption. The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2003 shows that Kenya is torpid with the same score it had last year at 1.9 out of a possible 10.

How Conservation is Destroying Africa's Traditional People                                                       (October 6, 2003) South Africa is, however, reversing the plight of traditional people. Under the apartheid system, blacks were made landless and private game ownership was concentrated among whites, who controlled tourism, writes DAVID KAIZA 

Sanctity of land title deeds causes major clash / A New Ray of Hope ( Oct 2003 )                              Conflict over the interpretation of the law took centre stage with MPs differing with Lands assistant minister Orwa Ojode on repossession of irregularly allocated land. / Kenya is a nation of approximately 30 million inhabitants on the East of African coast. It nestles in a chequered neighbourhood that includes Sudan and Ethiopia to the north, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south and a beautiful coastline of the Indian Ocean to east. To the northeast is the Somalia. Its capital, Nairobi, is at the centre of the country and is one of the largest cities in Africa with a population of 3 million.


This is a runners' paradise                                                                                                              (September 13, 2003) Arithmetically, Marakwet people form the formidable force that has seen Kenya dominate athletics in the international circles. Talk of a Kenyan winner in any major athletics event in any part of the world and the chance is that this person is a Marakwet from the remote, hilly district found in the North Rift region.

Kenya's green role model                                                                                                               (September 01, 2003) Wangari Maathai evokes different reactions in different people. Environmentalists around the world have hailed her conservation work, recognising it with several awards, including the Goldman Environmental Prize – the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for environmentalists.

WRM BULLETIN 73     ( RTF )                                                                                                        August 2003 - Protected areas and local communities - The Vth IUCN World Parks Congress will be held in Durban, South Africa, from 8 to 17 September, 2003. Given that this is a 10 yearly event which

Women's Property Rights in Kenya's Draft Constitution
A Joint Letter to Delegates of Kenya's National Constitutional Conference ( Nairobi,August 2003 )

Hunter-gatherer and pastoralist peoples are playing an active part in the conference which is debating Kenya's new constitution.

Reclaiming the Land                                                                                                                      A Report from the National Constitution Conference in Kenya By Kiplangat Cheruiyot June 27, 2003 --The National Constitution Conference, which commenced at the Bomas of Kenya on April 28, 2003, closed on June 6 after a month and a week of intense discussions.

Don’t fear, Truth body tells Kenyans                                                                                                (June 23, 2003) East African Standard - By Judith Akolo - The Task Force on the establishment of a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission has pledged Government security for Kenyans presenting their views before it.

No raw materials for Kenyan wood carvers                                                                                       (June 21, 2003) afrol News:  - Kenya has lost 75 percent of its international market in wood carvings due to an increasing lack of raw materials. Hardwood trees are now so short of supply, due to deforestation, that the reputed Kenyan carvers have to drop productions.

Mr.Collin Church, stop this madness.                                                                                              Kenya 16/06/2003 - InSidious - Standard Member : I`m not certain everyone is following the drift here, Collin Church, the director of KWS, god knows if he`s Kenyan anyway, is still spearheading the move to chop-up and sell KWS. The chairman, Mr.Mukolwe is in on it too. Dr. Leakey opposes this move, the public opposes this move, our forefathers would oppose this move, then why in God`s name don`t these a-s-s wipes get it?

OGIEK MEMORANDUM TO THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION TASKFORCE                                On June 16 Ogiek representatives addressed the Truth and Reconciliation taskforce on behalf of the Ogiek communities. He presented the memorandum included below.

I Have Formed a Party, Reveals Maathai                                                                                          (April 30, 2003) Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife Assistant Minister, Prof Wangari Maathai over the weekend revealed she had founded her party the Mazingira Green Party of Kenya. Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife Assistant Minister, Prof Wangari Maathai over the weekend revealed she had founded her party the Mazingira Green Party of Kenya.

State might rethink move on forests, court told                                                                                 (March 25, 2003) The government is considering revoking a decision to excise parts of key forest land countrywide, a court heard yesterday. State lawyer Muthoni Kimani said consultations were going on over the government decision to alter boundaries involving 175, 000 acres.

Green Smokescreen Judge feels the Heat                                                                                       News Update (March 11, 2003) Justice Oguk quits - Embattled Mr Justice Samuel Oguk has quit the bench. A brief statement from State House said President Kibaki had accepted the High Court judge's resignation. First signs that Mr Justice Oguk was considering resigning came last Friday, with reports that he had cleared his chambers at the Nairobi Law Courts.

A glaring case of policy contradictions                                                                                             (March 10, 2003) When the Ogiek in 1999 filed a case in the High Court to stop the government from evicting them from Tinet forest, the government opposed the application on grounds that the forest was an important water catchment area. But only a year later, the government inexplicably sought to excise huge chunks of the forest ...

Thousands of Acres of Forest Land in Private Hands                                                                         By Otieno Otieno : With many irregular land allocations already unearthed by the new government, there are fears that thousands of acres of public forest land could be in private hands.

After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?                                                                                      (February 17, 2003) There is a malicious child in all of us who delights, however furtively, in seeing people finally get what is coming to them. I know many of you shared my glee at the sight of our new Minister for Tourism striding through the Kenyatta International Conference Centre to reclaim it from Kanu. The KICC is a fitting symbol of what the Moi regime took from us. Karma got Kanu in the end!

100,000 SIGN UP FOR BUSHMEN                                                                                                 (February 11, 2003)

In a global show of solidarity with the Bushmen of Botswana, 100,000 people around the world have signed a petition calling for them to be allowed to live on their own lands in peace. The petition is being handed in this week to Botswana embassies in 11 countries: South Africa, Japan, USA, Germany, Spain, Zimbabwe, UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden and Kenya. In Kenya the petition was delivered by members of the Ogiek tribe, another persecuted hunter-gatherer people, in a show of trans-African solidarity.

UNEP Supports Protection Of Minority Ethnic Groups                                                                      NAIROBI (AANA) February 10 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has stressed a commitment to protect the interest of marginalised minority groups, saying their wealth on indigenous knowledge could serve to preserve biodiversity.

How Govt destroyed our forests                                                                                                      (January 16, 2003) In the 1960s, undergraduates in Canada, Britain and Nigeria – where many of Kenya’s foresters were trained – were often referred to our forests as examples of good management.

Victory! 1/15/03
The landslide election of president Mwai Kibaki on December 27, 2002, brings hope for a more democratic, less corrupt, and more environmentally responsible government in Kenya. Professor Wangari Maathai, famed leader of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, was named Vice Minister of the Environment. Logging and private land allocations in the forests that former president Moi removed from protected status have been stopped.

Maathai: Change Kenya to Benefit People                                                                                       INTERVIEW (January 01, 2003) Professor Wangari Maathai is a popular and respected Kenyan and a world renowned environmentalist, who rose to fame for her spirited campaigns against government-backed forest clearance. Maathai is also one of a new crop of MPs in Kenya, elected to parliament on the opposition National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) ticket.


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