Friday, October 22, 2010

More Technology, African Human Rights Day, and A Music Video

Hello to all Uweza supporters—I hope you have enjoyed my blogs so far! I have so much fun researching and writing them.

To continue on last week’s technology theme: I can’t believe that I forgot to include the endlessly interesting website AfriGadget, which spotlights technological innovation throughout Africa. AfriGadget recently profiled Gabriel Nderitu, who is building an airplane from scratch in the backyard of his Nairobi home. Learn more about “solving everyday problems with African ingenuity” here.

A blog in the New York Times highlights the vital role of motorcycles in delivering health care services in Africa, where poor or non-existent roads make the piki piki the most viable mode of transport to rural villages. If maintained properly, the motorcycle can be a powerful vehicle (both literally and figuratively!) in the provision of health care. As the article asks, “Where else can you find a low-tech investment in health care that increases patient coverage by nearly 600 percent?” Read more here.

At Dandora dumpsite in Nairobi, 2,000 tons of trash are dumped every day, and Josephat, a child from a nearby slum, rifles through the garbage to find materials like plastic and metal to sell. Watch this video of Josephat to learn about his daily life at the dumpsite and hear his dreams for the future.

October 21st (yesterday) was African Human Rights Day, which reminds me that Kenya is home to Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee settlement. The humanitarian crisis in Dadaab continues to escalate, with more refugees flooding in every day. Check out this photo slideshow on life in Dadaab.

On the lighter side: have you ever encountered people who think that Africa is a country? That it is home to one culture, one people, one language, etc.? If so, show them this very cool map, which conveys the massive size and diversity of the African continent.

And to end on a happy note: this catchy song and music video (by Marlaw, a Tanzanian singer) addresses a very Kenyan problem: traffic jams! The video is filmed partly in Nairobi and features the matatus, taxis, and cars that fill up the city streets all day, every day. Enjoy the song here:

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