Posts tagged ‘Johannesburg’

Concern for Kenya Cities

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Each day we walk, drive and board buses in silent fear. Who knows where the next siren will sound and lives lost. It is a scare that is killing our economy. Our breath is held by terror clip. I am left wondering who is a terrorist or why clear lives of innocent blood!

It is hard for families that have lost loved ones through this difficult cloud of terror. The world is full of things, good and bad. But my heart is not weary of the worst. For there is always an equal measure of goodness about to happen. Kenyans have built their economy with minimum natural resources. The dawn of oil in Turkana will not mean reversed era. We will not stop to hold up our national responsibility because of peace of our sisters and brothers in Somali.

The WestgatE terror incident united us – WeAreOne. Subsequent terrors at Thika road, Gikomba market, Likoni Church and many more  places will leave us standing strong. Unfortunately, some of us have opted war than peace to reign for Africa’s emerging economy.

Where is this driving us to? An article by CityLab recently found that insecurity on streets of Cairo contributed to more traffic congestion. Nairobi and other cities will they be forced to adopt home workers or cycling to work – at least safer.

It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls.” – Epicurus quotes (Greek philosopher, BC 341-270)

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Climate Departure Hits Nairobi

Is Nairobi developing fast to its destruction? The Economist Intelligence Unit (EUI) study  revealed Nairobi will be one of the fastest growing cities in the world by 2016. The EUI study ranked Nairobi, 50th position in the battle of the world’s largest cities based on quality of human capital. Johannesburg was 53rd in this category while Tokyo and Beijing trailed in the 56th position. Recently, the green city in the sun was ranked by MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index as 4th most popular city in Africa. And now Nairobi positions itself third to Cape Town, South Africa and Accra, Ghana as best city in Africa to live in.

Listening to climate scientists you will shed tears about Nairobi. The conversation on “climate departure” as a way of measuring  climate change will really change things in global cities. Climate departure will happen when average temperatures of a city become so impacted by climate change that the old climate is overtaken by new climate. Nairobi in Africa is among many cities that are projected to hit it very soon, by 2036.

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Courtesy of Leonard Bernstein and Gene Thorp/The Washington Post

The scientific journal Nature graphics’ indicates that dark red dots cities are to hit climate departure by tomorrow. Nairobi, a city of nearly 4.5 million people will experience the climate departure point by 2036. Thereafter, the city’s coldest year will still be hotter than any year from before 2005. Put another way, every single year after 2036 will be hotter than Nairobi’s hottest year on record from 1860 to 2005. It comes second to Lagos in Africa which has got only 16 years before it hits climate departure.

The half-full glass story is where cities mitigate climate change effect and prolong the global “climate departure” from 2047 to 2069. Twelve more years to experience old climate. Nairobi will then hit “climate departure” by 2058. Although it will still place Nairobi third behind Lagos and Pretoria.

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Courtesy of Leonard Bernstein and Gene Thorp/The Washington Post

Robben Island: Little Home to a Great Man

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This words inspire me at this Robben Island, “We want Robben Island to reflect the triumph of freedom and human dignity over oppression and humiliation.” You will feel a cold wave of truth ripple through you as you read this words… and us you ponder it, why Robben Island is just little but home to a Great Man – Mandela.

Nelson Mandela has made this island rise to the face of the world. An island of isolation and imprisonment for prisoners like him to rise up and be a Laureate. I would say, “He feel into the dungeons of this island for 20 years only to rise up with greatest that has shown perseverance, contentment and true spirit of leadership“. I write as I am drawn to what this Island made the most celebrated African leader to be – while working in the quarries for 20 years. Not only did he contract lung infections but it has put him down – and now we miss you Mandela.

1476187_714104455281548_1314490395_nMadiba, stepping out of prison made me understand why apartheid had been knocked down on it face. He was the right man at the difficult hour to ascent to power in super power of Africa – South Africa. The words inscribed on this island are true of Nelson Mandela. I wish that life should have reward him more years like the island itself but I join the world at large to ponder that Madiba had seen a lot and worth he rested. May be more that I can’t narrate better than the walls of his prison room as prisoner number 46664 at Robben Island.

Robben Island – 20 of 27 years

Robben Island  is 6.9 km west of the coast of BloubergstrandCape Town, South Africa. It is oval in shape, 3.3 km long north-south, and 1.9 km wide, with an approximately area of 5.07 km².  Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 20 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid

Robben Island Museum

This island was not only been used as a prison (1961 -1996). History has it as a training and defence station for World War II (1939-1945) and a hospital for people with leprosy, and the mentally and chronically ill (1846-1931). It was a hospital because it was regarded as both secure – isolated from mainland and a place to find healing – healthy.

The last political prisons left this island in 1991. By 1996 other prisoners were moved and it closed its doors as a correction facility. In 1997 it was officially set aside as a museum and by 1999 was recognised as World Heritage Site. It holds rich history of not only South Africa or Africa but the rest of changing world. As all are a witness of this as we mourn Mandela!

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