Thursday, July 21, 2022

Noise galore!

It is no wonder that every year, Coast Province in general and Mombasa in particular performs abysmally low academically compared to the rest of the country.

One wonders why, naturally. There are many reasons, of course, but one of them is that the level of NOISE in this county is awful!

Imagine that you are a visitor here and entering Mombasa for the first time. One of the main things that will hit you will be the level of noise and next is the overflowing garbage all over town (city....?!), and the resulting smell and unhealthy environment.

Starting from the traffic to the promotions of various things is done with ear-splitting 'music' using huge speakers, certain tuk tuks which are diesel powered, heavy transport, matatus and private vehicles equally playing loud music which one can hear even if those vehicles' windows were closed, etc., give no thought to the fact that they are polluting the environment.

Of course, to add to all this racket are the religious noises emanating from mosques and churches

Then in this day and age when fuel is so expensive, there is no improvement in the way all these vehicles are operated. Meaning that when they are dropping off people or delivering goods somewhere. They leave their vehicles on idle and the noise and fumes that they give out have to be experienced to appreciate what I am talking about.

Since this is an election year, our recycled politicians, instead of obeying the environmental laws, go about everywhere, with huge speakers tied to various vehicles promoting themselves with - again, you've guessed it - AWFUL 'MUSIC'!

Unfortunately, despite having environmental laws regarding noise pollution, none of our environmental officials - country and county wide seem to be doing their jobs of enforcing these laws and so they have become as good as not being there, anymore, utterly USELESS!

And so now to get back to the initial point of all this noisy environment interfering with our children who are trying to study. They don't and cannot and hence, this county is one of those that hardly ever produce outstanding academic scholars, unfortunately.

Friday, April 29, 2022

POSTA employees...

I subscribe to Mpost which is a very convenient and cheaper option (if you don't get too much mail everyday), our POSTA has come up with since the last few years. One does not have to rent a box, but uses our phone number (unfortunately only a safaricom number can be used for this service), instead of a box number to receive mail.

How it works is that when we get mail, the nearest POSTA to us, the zip code we registered under and which we use with our phone number, will send a SMS to us to come and pick our mail.

And as you will see in my signature line below, I happen to be a registered user of this service since its inception.

Now, one would think that this is so convenient and great. But, not so, unfortunately. Of course, our mail still can get lost/stolen like it does with regular box subscribers, but I discovered yesterday to my misfortune that due to POSTA's employees some of whom lack in commonsense and competency, they can really frustrate and cause needless expense in these days of high cost of living.

I got a notification yesterday (28th April 2022), mid-morning that I should collect my mail from Mkomani Posta. Since I am not very mobile, I usually send somebody else to pick my mail and until now have not had a problem till yesterday. I sent my house-help to pick my mail as she usually does, but when she got there the person manning the place was not the same one with whom she is familiar and she was told that I should go there in person with my ID to pick it.

Well, my girl came back and informed me that there was a new person there and she insisted that I have to go there myself with my ID. Now, this is not possible for the reasons stated above (the POSTA seniors), know this, too, and so I sent my girl back with my ID and also sent a SMS to Mkomani telling her that since I cannot come there in person, I was re-sending my girl to pick my mail and that she should be given it.

Unfortunately, this poor girl bounced again because this horrible person very rudely told her that it was not acceptable according to POSA regulations for anybody else to pick the mail other than the person whose mail it was and that I MUST go there myself with my ID. It mattered not in the least to her that I had given my ID to my house-help to show her as well as the fact that I had also sent her the SMS!

Now, my househelp comes to work only 2 days a week and this was the last day of work till after a 5 days break. I also live alone and so have no other person I can ask to go and collect my mail for me.

Therefore, I was in a dilemma and decided to call the Regional Manager of POSTA Mr. George Andati, who mercifully immediately answered my phone and listened to my problem patiently and promised that he would try and deal with it and get back to me.

He did so within a few minutes and told me that the matter was being dealt with by the person (I could not get his name due to hearing problems), in charge of these people who work at outlying post offices within the county.

The woman at Mkomani sent me a SMS again, telling me to go and pick my mail and could send my house-help as her boss had told her. Unfortunately, by this time my girl had gone home so I sent a message to Mr. Andati via WhatsApp that I no longer had the househelp at home and had no one else to send. Therefore, this person at Mkomani Posta, should deliver my mail to me instead at her own expense which would teach her a lesson!

This was not acceptable to POSTA's high command for some reason. That employee also called me just about half an hour before closure time to apologize and that I could now send my house-help to pick my mail. The tone that she was using was a metamorphosis from the previous nasty, horribly rude creature who had been answering my calls.

So, now I still have not got my mail and will only get it till sometime next week when my house-help comes to work.

Can POSTA please explain to me why this employee of theirs has been lacking so much in commonsense that despite being told of my circumstances and despite being presented with my ID, she refused to part with my mail? And she really was very horrible and rude on the phone as well as to my girl when she went to collect my mail - both times!

I wish our POSTA would start joining the rest of the majority of the countries of the world where mail is delivered at home, offices, etc. It would really help...


Saturday, October 23, 2021

NHIF, outpatient facilities and the doctors available..

I had to visit the Wellcare Medical centre last tuesday (12th October 2021), for a problem which was getting worse by the day. 

Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long to see a doctor after I had gone through the initial process at the reception after I presented my NHIF card.

The doctor is a GP (I think), who asked to see my health issue and when I showed it to him, he 'jumped' away and was very upset telling me that what I had was very contagious and the name he gave me was something I had heard about, but did not know much else. Anyway, I was given some medicines to be applied to the site and told to even get my place fumigated!

The medicines, after more than 3 days of usage, did not make the slightest difference and the problem got even worse! Also, as soon as I got home from the clinic, I went online to find out more about the problem I was supposed to be suffering from and found that I could only have 'caught' it from another human in close contact or if I'd shared my personal stuff with another who suffered from the same problem.

Now, I live on my own and hardly get any 'chance' to be in that kind of close contact with anybody and especially during these covid times, it is better to keep as far away as possible from another person. Covid-19 has made all of us very anti-social where we don't shake hands nor hug another however close the person might be to one.

Therefore, I could not imagine how I might have contracted this stupid disease. Also, even I, as a lay person, could see that the pictures and description did not match with what I had. So, how did this doctor jump, to the conclusion that he did? 

Therefore, I decided to see a dermatologist at my own cost and found out that it was a fungal and non-contagious problem which was easily dealt with whose effect I could see within 24 hours! 
Therefore, my contention is that what kind of doctors are we producing? Who don't make the effort and take the time to really find out more about the patients they are treating and their problems. Because, if this doctor had taken the time and made the effort, he would have found out that considering my circumstances, it was not very likely for me to have picked up a contagious disease and then made further efforts to find out what it really was. And if he couldn't understand, then he could have referred me to a dermatologist.

So, is the reason he behaved the way he did, due to his limited knowledge and/or because NHIF has this agreement with these outpatient clinics to make sure that they are not charged a huge amount, or what? I am saying this because in the past, I've been given wrong medicines, have had to pay extra for some further treatment, etc.

What happens with people who are NHIF members who do not have access to all the info that I had to find the truth and/or don't bother following up on such laxity? Maybe, they could even die due to being wrongly diagnosed!

Can all the people concerned, please, get their act together and make sure that NHIF members really DO get quality healthcare at their accredited facilities and that the patients who go there are not just suffering from 'simple' everyday diseases and investigate properly before prescribing those medicines?!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Kenya Power and its workings....

 Nearly 3 weeks ago, my aunt who stays on the Island in Bondeni, has been having a flickering light problem and since none of her neighbours were suffering the same thing, decided to call an electrician.

She was told after a check-up that her meter had a fault and needed the Kenya Power people to deal with it. This she did, immediately, but they took their time dealing with it.
When they eventually showed up early last week, they came without a ladder and since she lives on the 1st floor, they couldn't do anything, and they disappeared. When my aunt called them, they told her that they had gone to look for a ladder! Imagine, our power company has a shortage of ladders, too.
When they finally showed up with the ladder and investigated the meter, she was told that she needed a new meter. This resulted in another delay when she was informed after calling KP that it did not have the meters in stock!!! How strange!
Kenya Power seems to have become quite an irresponsible company as they refuse to take responsibility for any damage caused due to these kinds of disruptions to power which would result in damage not only to our equipment, but also the voltage regulators die before their time.
She was told that the earliest that they could get a meter for her would be Tuesday (today), and so she had to wait another week and is still waiting....
One employee, told her when she called him this morning that they would change it today, but would not tell her when. When I called him and pressed for an answer, I was told 3.00 pm.
Now, my question to Kenya Power - why has there been a delay in dealing with this situation? Why didn't KP when they finally came, arrive without a ladder? Why was there another delay in even finding a ladder? Why don't they keep meters in stock?
Considering that Kenya Power charges us an arm and a leg for their so-called shoddy 'services', how come they don't even have enough ladders and meters around to do their work efficiently and in a timely manner?
Or has Kenya Power also joined the bandwagon of corruption when you are told that something is not in stock, but as soon as our equally corrupt citizenry dangles money in front of them, they find the part from somewhere....?!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Airtel and it's CreditControl....

For the past two days I have been having a terrible time trying to convince Airtel and its creditcontrol that I am up-to-date with my payments. 

I subscribe to their post-paid unlimited internet. 

Despite, having given them my bank's reference numbers regarding the payment, they still disconnect me every day and I keep getting their phantom 'bills' telling me that I am in debt to them for the month of July 2021.

Does Airtel's accounting dept., really work? One wonders why they are conducting business in this mafia-like manner! I spent HOURS yesterday being kept off-line while they kept insisting that I had not paid for the month of July and even after having given them the reference numbers from the bank for three months, they are not convinced, and I got another 'reminder' to pay late in the evening yesterday, long after working hours. 

After wasting so many hours yesterday in unproductive hassles of heated arguments with Airtel, they finally reconnected me way beyond working hours and this morning the saga started again!

I got disconnected and after making hectic calls seem to have got reconnected again......, but for how long, I wonder.

Can Airtel please get its act together and stop harassing their subscribers in such a manner? It is not the fault of the subscriber if their accounts are not registering the payment?

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Covid-19 Registry Records

 I have a problem. Can somebody please tell me how to solve it?

I got my first covid-19 shot on 31st March 2021 at Jocham Hospital, North Coast and was given a certificate telling me that I should take my second one on the 26th of May 2021.

Well, the vaccines were not available on the given date and was verbally informed that I should go for one on the 23rd of June 2021.

Due to the places not being officially announced, I had to search for a place since the one I'd previously received it didn't have any and therefore was late by a couple of days.

I got my second one yesterday at the Tudor district clinic, 25th June 2021. There the doctor in-charge could not find some details regarding my first shot despite me giving her the printed 'cert' I'd been given at Jocham Hospital! But, when I got an sms from MoH, it congratulates me on getting my first dose and that I should go for my second one on the 23rd of June 2021!!!!

I immediately asked the doctor there about this discrepancy, but she was too overwhelmed with others waiting to be given the shot and therefore could not answer to my query.

Therefore, I am asking you on what I should do..?

I haven't yet discovered the secret of travelling back in time and therefore am at a dilemma on what this means..

The portal, too where we're supposed to be able to download our certificate for travel purposes also is stuck at 'pending' for the 2nd dose.

Friday, May 7, 2021

What is it about Friday....?

The non-Muslims among us must be wondering, especially those living around the Umoja Estate in Nyali, that while mercifully the whole week, at least two Mosques among the umpteen ones we are surrounded by, have reduced their noise level, Alhamdulillah, comes Friday, and we are inundated by the racket!

So, my question, since I too, am a Muslim, what is it about Friday that they should make more noise than normal? While the Qur'an tells the believers to especially treat the mid-day prayer on Friday as very important and to leave everything aside when they hear the call to prayer and attend congregational worship in the mosque. More so for the men which is a MUST. 

Nowhere in the entire Qur'an nor in the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw), does it say that the prayer should be extra-loud or even the sermon (which is counted as part of the prayer). All of this is supposed to be heard only by the attendees in the mosque/s, just like any other day or prayer.

Therefore, my question is, why are these Imams and Muslims in general changing the rules? 

If one is not even supposed to disturb the person/s standing in line next to us while praying, who gives you the right to disturb those of us who are living in the vicinity of mosques, and who are also trying to say our prayers (those of us who are females, Muslims and not attending mosques)? By the way, it's optional for women to attend mosques for prayers.

What is the matter with the authorities like NEMA and the County Environment Dept., that they continue to let religious noise pollution carry on? When talking to them one gets the impression that they are either scared stiff of applying this law regarding noise pollution or don't know much about what Islam actually says regarding this loud leading of prayers in all the mosques. They should first and foremost separate freedom of religion from senseless noise-making and then carry on from there. If they don't know what Islam allows and doesn't allow, they should educate themselves.

And don't ask residents who are getting disturbed that they sign a letter to them which is when they will take action. Regarding this, if Islam really allowed loud leading of prayers, etc., our signatures would have scant effect on these people. And if they accepted our signatures, it would show that our religion does not allow disturbing others! Also, how do they manage in other countries which are more law-abiding and don't tolerate noise? Such places don't even allow the loud call to prayer on the PA system.

So, will something be done about this, please?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

What we all feared, has started happening....!

Today is just the 2nd day of Ramadhan and one of our neighbourhood mosques (Umoja Estate is surrounded by them), is leading the late night prayers over the PA system, again!

For the past week there's been some peace during prayer times when ONLY the calls to prayer have been on the PA systems and as I write this it is 9.00 pm and the special prayers that one says during Ramadhan called Tarawih, are being led very loudly on the PA system of one of the mosques.

Does this mean that our peace and quiet is now gone and since this mosque has started disturbing the whole neighbourhood, others will follow in its wake?

May I again remind this Imam and the various attendees who are praying in these mosques to PLEASE, have consideration for their neighbours as well as the fact that nowhere in the practice of the Holy Prophet (saw), was this done nor is it allowed in the Holy Qur'an to disturb others. It is NOT VALID for others to follow him and therefore, only the ones INSIDE THE MOSQUE are supposed to hear him and so the PA system should be switched inside and NOT OUTSIDE for everyone to be disturbed. 

Please, do remember that most of your neighbours would like to go to bed early and whom you are keeping awake with your loud prayers.... or are you trying to show off to others that you are so holy and as proof you are leading these loud prayers?!

If that is the case, then the Qur'an speaks of people like you - you have little of faith and would just like to be seen and heard by men, i.e. show off how holy you are!!! Then, shame on you, all. What you are practicing is definitely NOT the ISLAM THAT THE HOLY PROPHET (saw), came with!

Have consideration for your neighbours for there are many non-muslims living amongst us and even the Muslims are getting disturbed and cannot do what they would like. Which can be their own prayers, sleep, etc.

Friday, April 9, 2021

The offensive and disturbing noises continue....

 It is beyond me to understand, why some of my muslim brothers are so insistent on having a peaceful and quiet neighbourhood erupt into incoherent noise comes Friday mid-day prayers.

On what basis do they insist on doing this? If, as some on social media, have rudely told us (muslims and non-muslim alike), to move or that they are trying to 'spread' Islam by giving loud and incoherent sermons on the PA systems, I would like to again ask them where in the practice of our beloved Prophet (saw), was this the case. 

Again, I would like to point out to them that there are a multitude of different kinds of people living within hearing distance of these loud sermons followed by prayers and they are disturbing EVERYBODY. I, being a Muslim, myself, was disturbed by this nearly half an hour of sermons being given in the mosques surrounding us. Since, they are ALL loudly given, we cannot make sense of anything. The ONLY thing it does is interfere in our prayers and/or anything else we might be doing at the time. 

Now, imagine the effect these loud (and competing sermons), will have on those fasting from next week. We are told in the Qur'an and the Seerah of the Prophet (saw), to observe more ibadah during this month. Therefore, we will be doing more prayers and especially reciting the Holy Qur'an more than usual, but, these mosques will probably be making more noise than ever, thereby incurring Allah's wrath because they'll be disturbing their neighbours.

So, for what purpose do you do this? You are DEFINITELY NOT doing ANYTHING meritorious by inconveniencing your neighbours, believe me. Again, I would beseech you all to look up what the rights of neighbours are......, not what you're practicing!

By rudely telling us to move, is highly offensive and uncalled-for and akin to giving threats. And I would remind you that Islam was never spread by threats and violence but by adhering to the Qur'anic teachings and practice of the Prophet (saw). 

Islam stands for PEACE and your behaviour is anything but, that. So, PLEASE stop being pests!

Friday, April 2, 2021

Noisy Mosques...continued from the last post....

While the mosques around Umoja estate have considerably reduced their noise levels, and we thought that the bliss would continue, but unfortunately it all lasted only till today, a Friday, 2nd April 2021!

Today, the noise level increased considerably and the sermon after the Adhan, was again given using the outside PA system. This is not allowed. Like the prayer which is to be done only for those within the mosque, the sermon, too is only for them, NOT for the public.

Now, I wonder if this is in preparation for the coming Holy month of Ramadhan? Are we all going to be inundated with noise from all the mosques surrounding us on a daily basis?

I would again, like to ask these imams, why do they do this? First, even if we were inclined to listen (which we are NOT AT ALL!), to their noisy sermons/prayers, etc., we cannot understand or hear what they are saying due to other mosques competing with each other on who can be the loudest. In fact, they sound more like they are telling off their congregants and whoever is listening to them and that they are quarrelling!

The other thing I would like to remind these noisemakers is the fact, that when they are reciting the Qur'an, we, Muslims are told to listen to it. Now, they are putting the non-mosque going Muslim public in a dilemma - we cannot make out a thing other than noise, when they are reciting the Qur'an on PA systems and others are also doing the same. Therefore, they are making a mockery of the Qur'an.

Can they please, stop this? You are disturbing your neighbours which is against Islam! Please do not confuse the freedom of religion with that of noise pollution.