Saturday, January 24, 2009

Current Events

Teachers strike in Kenya; teachers are demanding a salary increase the lowest paid 183 USD per month the highest pais 1600 USD per month. The government has offered to pay the increase in 3 installments - union said no. The increase amounts to 152 USD per month for the lowest paid and 951 USD per month for the highest paid. An average Kenyan lives on less than 2 USD per day - 730 USD per year. Teachers have not had an increase since 1997. Primary teachers currently earn 120 USD per month secondary teachers earn 240 - 335 USD per month. The members of parliament in Kenya earn 10,256 USD per month and pay no taxes!!
The primary teachers as of this writing have not settled, the secondary teachers have settled but are out on a sympathy strike for the primary teachers. The children are surely the ones who are hurt by this - hopefully it will be settled soon.

Famine issues: the government must feed one million even with a good harvest year. The government is currently working on an irrigation masterplan - Kenya is very rain dependent. Past plan have failed since 1980. Volunteer organizations try to help initiate sustainable ncome producing projects that are not rain dependent. But then the rains might come and all is forgotten. This is the second year of no rains so the harvests have failed - food is scarce and vry expensive.

Tourism issues: inefficient ferry service on the south coast, mechanical breakdowns etc. From the airport to the coats is 24 miles and it takes 4 hours to travel that distance. Tourists are forced to walk 5 miles to ferry services. Frequently the tourists miss their flight and must be reimbursed so they are going elsewhere more reliable like Tanzania. Investors are looking to expand potential of Mt. Kenya i.e. tourism circuit to include 33 lakes, trout sport fishing (John and Louis!!!), MauMau caves, traditional shrines and landscapes. Country needs diversification from wildlife attractions.

Sorry about any spelling errors - I am trying to hurry to get everything in before the internet goes south again - we still cannot get yahoo at all - so I apologize to those of you who have emailed, I'll get back to you when I can.

Thanks to those few who responded for child sponsorships for education. The need is great and every little bit helps. The Kenyan Government states that education is free - that is not a true statement. I personally know children who are at home because their parents cannot pay the fees. Every little bit helps even if it is an inkind donation of any amount. Thanks!!!!
The address again is: KISMA ANGELS IN KENYA C/O Loitokitok Lutheran Parish, P. O. Box 147, Loitokitok 00209 Kenya - email me if you want to sponsor an individual child and I will get you the form and photo.

Sorry about no photos yet - maybe in a couple of months - that's really hard!!

Love to all, Paula

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