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Ethnic Somalis under pressure in Kenyan capital

EASTLEIGH (NAIROBI), 11 April 2014 (IRIN) - Thousands of ethnic Somalis have been arrested and detained in an ongoing security operation dubbed Usalama Watch mainly in Eastleigh, a suburb of Nairobi often known as “Little Mogadishu” because of its predominantly Somali population. Usalama means security in Swahili. full report

A mother’s death costs the family dear - Kenyan study

KISUMU, 10 April 2014 (IRIN) - While the death of a mother during childbirth has obvious emotional and personal implications, a new study in Kenya that quantifies the precise economic burden on households has found that it can be debilitating for a family and push them into poverty. full report

Kenya’s Sharia-friendly livestock insurance

WAJIR, 9 April 2014 (IRIN) - A mutual insurance scheme based on Islamic Sharia law has been launched to reduce the impact of extreme weather events on pastoral livelihoods in Kenya’s arid northern regions where perennial drought often decimates thousands of livestock. full report

Pneumonia vaccine shows promise in Kenya

KISUMU, 28 March 2014 (IRIN) - Better uptake of the new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in children under five alongside more robust health monitoring systems at community level could help stem pneumonia related-deaths in children in Kenya: 20 percent of deaths in children under five are attributable to the disease, according to the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation. full report

Cattle-rustling and the politics of business in Kenya

NAIROBI, 27 March 2014 (IRIN) - Cattle raiding in Kenya is often viewed in the legitimizing context of tradition, climate change and resource conflict, but increasingly it has much more to do with organized crime meeting a rising demand for meat, and political violence resulting from a new devolutionary constitution. full report

Regional interests at stake in the South Sudan crisis

NAIROBI, 19 March 2014 (IRIN) - Uganda’s military intervention in South Sudan has prompted warnings that the crisis in the world’s youngest state could escalate into a regional conflict. But what are the interests of South Sudan’s neighbours? What are they doing to further them? And how will their actions affect efforts to end the fighting? full report

Pastoralist aspirations versus policy in the Horn of Africa

NAIROBI, 24 February 2014 (IRIN) - Since the Horn of Africa drought of 2011 aid agencies have been working to understand the changes taking place in the drylands, hoping to better anticipate people’s needs. Recent research shows these changes go beyond climate and environment to encompass social and economic factors. The findings have important policy implications. full report

Breaking the cycle of youth unemployment, poverty

DAKAR, 10 February 2014 (IRIN) - Youth unemployment and underemployment are among the main barriers to development in West Africa, say experts. Not only does the exclusion of young people from the labour force perpetuate generational cycles of poverty, it also breaks down social cohesion and can be associated with higher levels of crime and violence among idle youth. full report

Helping Africa’s urban poor gain from modernization

NAIROBI, 4 February 2014 (IRIN) - Plans to reshape and modernize African cities, in part driven by investment, architecture and construction companies seeking new markets, could deepen existing social inequalities, according to recent research. But these development plans could also benefit the poor if governments are responsive to the needs of their citizens, argue analysts. full report

Kenyan irrigation scheme offers solutions but raises questions

NAIROBI/KISUMU, 29 January 2014 (IRIN) - One of the largest irrigation schemes in Kenya’s history, the recently launched 400,000-hectare Galana-Kulalu Food Security Project, will focus on the production of crops, livestock and fish for both domestic consumption and export. full report

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