Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Barrick Strikes Back"

“An independent scientific report released just this week supports reports that we have been receiving from communities near the North Mara Gold Mine regarding serious human health impacts and even deaths related to acid mine drainage, heavy metal and cyanide leakage from the mine into the surrounding environment, and particularly into the nearby rivers.”

Read more for Barrick's responses regarding the leakage at the North Mara Mines earlier this year...

"Why Kenya's farmers can now predict the rains"

With an easy smile he admits that the plastic box on his desk has transformed his work from drudgery into a proper career. The "weatherman", as his village likes to call him, describes how his day used to be spent. He would take readings on air and soil temperatures, solar radiation, wind, rain and evaporation, then glance at the colonial-era barometer and write his report. This would be sent by post to headquarters in Nairobi, arriving about a week later. They would analyse his findings according to their weather models and a forecast would be posted back to him.

"By the time I got it was useless," he says with a shrug. "We weren't able to assess daily or seasonal forecasts – we would just do manual data entry." The largely pointless work would then be painstakingly filed, he adds, pointing to a cupboard covering the entire office wall.

Two years ago all of that changed when Computer Aid – one of the three charities for which The Independent is raising funds in this year's Christmas Appeal – equipped Jackson's meteorological station with refurbished PCs and gave him and his colleagues the training to use them.

Now the morning's readings are fed straight into a live system and then modelled into a forecast which is available instantly on the internet. "That means we can forecast the start of the rains, their seasonal length, the length of the dry spells. All at the touch of a button," he beams. "It's much more interesting and I feel more motivated to work."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

African Wild Dogs back in the Mara?

Here is a shout-out to Jackson at Rekero. He is reporting evidence of African Wild Dogs back in the Masai Mara Ecosystem. I believe they were specifically spotted in the North Mara Conservancy.

Great news indeed.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

November Newsletter

Inside you'll discover more about:
  • If the short rains of November had an impact on the Mara River.
  • The research currently being done in the Mau Forest by UNESCO-IHE Graduate Students.
  • What happens to the Dissolved Oxygen (DO) levels in the Mara and Talek Rivers during the evening.
  • The work of World Vision Kenya with the communities next to the Mara River.
  • The importance of a timing belt!