Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What is your contribution towards climate change?

Have you ever thought how your normal daily routine may be affecting the environment?The electricity you see with, the bus or car you take to work, the paper you use at the office or the number of children you have all have a contribution towards unfavorable climate effects.

According to The Energy and Resources Institute(TIRI ),while nature plays a role towards climate change,all of us in our daily lives contribute our bit to this change in the climate.

TIRI lists the following as some of the ways in which mankind contributes to climate change every day.....

Electricity is the main source of power in urban areas. All our gadgets run on electricity generated mainly from thermal power plants. These thermal power plants are run on fossil fuels (mostly coal) and are responsible for the emission of huge amounts of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
Cars, buses, and trucks are the principal ways by which goods and people are transported in most of our cities. These are run mainly on petrol or diesel, both fossil fuels.
We generate large quantities of waste in the form of plastics that remain in the environment for many years and cause damage.
We use a huge quantity of paper in our work at schools and in offices. Have we ever thought about the number of trees that we use in a day?
Timber is used in large quantities for construction of houses, which means that large areas of forest have to be cut down.
A growing population has meant more and more mouths to feed. Because the land area available for agriculture is limited (and in fact, is actually shrinking as a result of ecological degradation!), high-yielding varieties of crop are being grown to increase the agricultural output from a given area of land. However, such high-yielding varieties of crops require large quantities of fertilizers; and more fertilizer means more emissions of nitrous oxide, both from the field into which it is put and the fertilizer industry that makes it. Pollution also results from the run-off of fertilizer into water bodies......Read more


Thursday, August 18, 2011

ALIN wins the 2011 Access To Learning Award!

Arid Lands Information Network(ALIN ) is this year’s winner of ATLA award,a yearly award offered by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.The $1 million (U.S.) award is given each year by the foundation's Global Libraries initiative.

The Access to Learning Award (ATLA) recognizes the innovative efforts of public libraries or similar organizations outside the United States to connect people to information through free access to computers and the Internet.

The Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) has created 12 Maarifa—or Knowledge—Centers in the most hard-to-reach regions of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania so that these people have the tools they need to improve their health, increase their incomes, and better their lives.

Read more on the award here http://www.gatesfoundation.org/atla/Pages/2011-atla-winner-alin-eastern-africa.aspx.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Storing grains..the traditional way!

This is a traditional granary which is constructed using local materials.Construction materials are logs and thatch.The granary is raised above the ground so as to avoid pest attacks

traditional granary

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Water….a necessity for us all

This man has walked for six (6 )KM to Kaseva rock water catchment in search of water.He carries eight (8 ),  twenty (20 ) jerry cans of water every day.Due to the heavy cargo,he cannot ride the bicycle.

kaseva7

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Squirrel trouble?…..how to deal with it

Have squirrels being digging up crops in your farm? Have you tried pesticides to eliminate them without success…Worry no more. There is a cheap, simple indigenous method to deal with this.


You just need a heavy stone, sticks and a sisal thread to do this! The thread is tied to bow-like stick and a stone propped on the sticks. Another length of thread is laid between the bow and the stone. Grains (preferably maize) is scattered on the ground i.e. below the trigger mechanism.


The squirrel is attracted to the grains and as it tries to get to them, it sets off the trigger mechanism holding the stone in position. The propped stone is released and comes crushing on the squirrel hence killing it.

squirel squirel2

Mrs..Beatrice Kasikali sets up a squirrel trap.Right,the trap

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A community in search of water

With the continuing poor rainfall patterns in Mutomo District of Kitui County,water is becoming a rare commodity for most households in this arid and semi-arid area.Most of the water points have dried up and thus residents have to walk for long distances in search of water.One such community is Mwala sub-location.The nearest water point is Malilu water catchment. But this catchment has been dry since March this year.

Strategies

Even in this state,Malilu self help group has come up with a strategy to look for water.They have dug a well inside the rock catchment.The well is deep such that one has to pull the filled jerry cans with a rope to get them on the ground.

“One of the strategies we have come up with is that every household draws water only once in a week” Says Ednah Kathini,a community member

She adds that they have come up with a schedule for drawing water from the catchment.They have both day and night shifts.

And since the well accumulates water at a low speed some of the community members spend as most as two days at the catchment in search of this rare commodity.“I came here yesterday and I am yet to fill my four(4 ) twenty Litre’ Jerri cans,” says a community member.

The other nearest water point is in Mutomo town which is six ( 6 ) KM away.

Appeal for support

The community members are of the opinion that water at the rock catchment dries early due to accumulated mud at the bottom of the catchment.They are appealing for support in de-silting the rock catchment so that the water lasts for a longer period.

“Whenever it rains,water oftenly overflows.But it dries up quickly due to the soil at the floor of the catchment,” concludes Kathini


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