May 132017
Thompson blazes to year?s fastest 100m

SHANGHAI: Olympic champion Elaine Thompson clocked the fastest 100m of the season at the Shanghai Diamond League on Saturday to bolster her claim as sprint favourite for this year’s world championships. One week after posting 2017’s quickest 200m at the Diamond League season-opener in Doha, the Jamaican powered away from the pack for a convincing win in 10.78sec. Among the field events, former crystal meth addict Luvo Manyonga leapt to a Diamond League record 8.61m in his final attempt to win the long jump in brilliant style. A little earlier, Thompson had crossed the line well ahead of America’s Tori Bowie (11.04sec), whom the Jamaican also relegated to silver at last year’s Rio Olympics. Thompson, 24, achieved a rare sprint double in Rio, becoming the first woman since Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 to win both the 100m and 200m in the same games, but is yet to win an individual world gold. In the long jump, Manyonga, the Olympic silver medallist who became addicted to crystal methamphetamine and was suspended in 2012, led even before his giant final leap. Kenya’s 800m world record-holder David Rudisha, however, was less thrilled with his 2017 Diamond League debut. The two-time world and Olympic champion managed just fourth place in Shanghai, citing early-season rust, but vowed to sharpen up. Olympic champion Omar McLeod joined Thompson as a Jamaican winner with victory in the men’s 110m hurdles, just holding off hard-charging Spaniard Orlando Ortega in a repeat of the Rio Games one-two finish. And Jamaica’s [Read More…]

May 052017
Marathon runners target two-hour barrier

Three elite runners backed by a small army of scientists will on Saturday attempt an audacious assault on the boundaries of the possible by trying to run a marathon in less than two hours. Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya, Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa and Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese will aim to complete the classic marathon distance of 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometres) in 1hr … Click for detailed story

Apr 112017

BUSIA, KENYA: In this sunny part of Kenya, solar cookers – which trap sunlight to heat food – have surged in popularity in recent years. But a big problem remains: How to cook when the sun doesn’t shine? Communities are now starting to sort out solutions, from insulated baskets that hold onto heat after the sun disappears to use of back-up fuel-efficient charcoal and firewood stoves. “Fluctuations in sunshine can hinder cooking using the solar (system) but with the basket we nowadays prepare tea during the day and can drink it after sunset,” said Peter Wanga, whose family has been using a solar cooking system since last year. The insulated basket “conserves enough heat to cook food even when there is no sunshine” – and is affordable and easy to use, he said. Solar, wind energy prices fall as competition emerges In Busia County, in western Kenya, as many as 1,500 households have turned to solar cooking, mostly over the last four years, according to county Ministry of Energy figures. Other families have adopted more efficient charcoal or firewood stoves. The changes in large part have been driven by Farmers with a Vision (FWA), a local community organization based in Bumala Township. Over the last four years, “we have sold thousands of solar cookers and energy saving charcoal and wood stoves, and also found a platform to promote use of solar energy appliances such as lighting equipment” said Didacus Odhiambo, the organization’s chief executive officer. He said the clean energy effort [Read More…]

Oct 112016

WAJIR, KENYA: Halima’s future at 13 was foretold: a pastoralist’s daughter, she was married to a man 12 years her senior. Next would surely come the first of many pregnancies, and a life of domestic hardship. Such a destiny is common for girls in Kenya’s tough, arid north-east — but Halima dodged this fate. Instead, she can be seen at the village school, where she stands out, a head taller than her mostly younger classmates, her slender face framed by a bright red hijab, overlooking the crowded classroom. “I had never been to school,” Halima, now 16, said with a shy smile. That changed in July last year when, with the support of charity Save the Children, she won a place at a local school — and the eventual acceptance of her husband. One girl under 15 married every seven seconds: report “I was living in the bush taking care of the livestock and then when I turned 13 I was married,” she said. Nothing in Halima’s life suggested she might ever attend the local school, one of the few concrete buildings in this small, isolated village in Wajir, where the sandy ochre soil is scattered with stunted thorn trees, twisted anthills and igloo-shaped homes made of sticks and grass. This semi-desert, predominately Muslim and ethnic Somali region has suffered generations of marginalisation by the government in Nairobi, leaving it undeveloped, insecure and burdened by the weight of Islamic and pastoralist traditions that discriminate against women. More than four in 10 [Read More…]

May 052016

NAIROBI: A woman was pulled alive on Thursday from the rubble of a building that collapsed when heavy rains hit Kenya’s capital Nairobi six days ago, an AFP reporter on the scene said. The woman was pulled out hours after being located on Thursday morning by rescuers who gave her oxygen while they continued efforts to extract her from the ruins of the six-storey building. Pius Masai of Kenya’s National Disaster Operation Centre said the woman was conscious and talking when she was found and complained of debris falling on her during the days-long rescue operation. Toddler rescued 4 days after Kenya building collapse She was put in an ambulance, and Masai said she would be taken to hospital and assessed for injuries. On Monday a seven-month-old baby girl was found alive more than 80 hours after the building collapsed on Friday night. Her father called the rescue a miracle, but tragedy followed when the girl’s mother was found dead late Wednesday. Officials have so far confirmed a death toll of 33 but at least 80 more people are believed to be missing. A total of 137 people have now been rescued. Two brothers who own the Nairobi building have been released on bail while investigators gather evidence against them ahead of an expected prosecution. Located in the poor, tightly-packed Huruma neighbourhood, the building, which housed around 150 families crammed into single rooms, had been slated for demolition after being declared structurally unsound. Seven killed in Kenya building collapse, rescuers search [Read More…]

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