Sunday, December 27, 2009

Outages and fluctuations galore!

One would think that Nyali being such an up market area, there would be hardly any of the above and also the fact that we've just 'celebrated' the 46th anniversary of our so-called Independence (from what?!), citizens would expect that every corner of this benighted country would be lighted up. And it would be expected that this would be by means of clean, renewable energy like solar and wind instead of the same old 'dirty' fossil fuel kind.

But, since Independence our so-called leaders have done NOTHING but EAT and politicize every imaginable service provision in the country and run it to the ground if not left it destitute to die a 'natural' death. Unfortunately, for us, the Wananchi, we bear the brunt of it by philosophically reacting to any glaring impunity by saying, 'oh, what can we do (helplessly...!), we live in this horrible continent of Africa where things hardly ever work 'normally', if at all and there's corruption everywhere!'

Little do these people realize that had this been happening in any other country where most of us would like to escape to, these so-called service providers would have been taken to task and made answerable for their impunity and comes the next election, NONE of the perceived crooks been re-elected. But, that can only happen when the people are educated enough to take these service providers to court.

Nearly everyday Nyali suffers from outages and power fluctuations not once but umpteen times in a day. Why? I was told that there is only one long line from somewhere in Mishomoroni to everywhere and therefore needs to be shortened to deliver proper service. Since we're into our 46th anniversary of Independence, what have these people been doing all these years? They woke up just recently? Or when people started really complaining of their electrical gadgets packing up. And then, too, our Kenya Weakness & Darkness is taking it's own sweet time and taking shortcuts in dealing with the problem. Maybe, I should try and get ALL of Nyali residents and should the rest of the town want to join me, they can, in suing the service provider responsible. Any takers?

We are very FED UP of their lousy 'service'!!!!

We're still waiting for the power to be restored and since 9.00 am, this is the second time, already.....

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another country wide outage

One really wonders WHY the KPLC (renamed by me to Kenya Weakness & Darkness), has deteriorated it's 'services' so much that now we don't just suffer localized outages, but countrywide ones! An example is yesterday evening.

While the power was restored after about 2 to 3 hours in most major towns (cities?), this was not the case in Kisumu where it came back on at 12.45 am!

Another thing that amazes me is that these people when one manages to get through to them, cannot, give an explanation as to why they have blacked out the whole country. In fact, it doesn't even make major news, anymore nor do the KPLC officialdom deem it fit to explain their incompetence. Or even apologize to it's countrywide consumers for the numerous inconveniences and problems they cause not to mention the many electrical gadgets that pack up due to them. I wonder if they would pay us damages for this?

And what about the various accidents that this causes and when people either get hurt or even killed because of them. Do they even think about the present security situation in the country, too? When anything can happen to citizens and visitors alike under cover of darkness?

This is highly unacceptable in any 'civilized' society!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nairobi Water Company's haphazard water delivery

It is now over 2 weeks that the Parklands/Highridge area has seen any water coming through the taps, yet, other places are getting water, though, in an erratic manner. This is reminiscent of the whole country and its many water delivery outfits. None of these people are consistent and reliable when it comes to water delivery 'services'.

And the irony of the area mentioned above is that, there is a water tank still overflowing with the precious fluid right next door at the former Highridge Teacher's Training College. While the people living right next 'door' to this offending overflowing tank, are going without a drop of water for weeks on end.

The Nairobi Water Company even has the temerity to send their offensive phantom water bills and their goons to disconnect water meters of people who have not had water for ages, thanks to their incompetence.

Why is it that some areas of Nairobi get water all the time, i.e. are not prone to their water rationing while other areas like the one mentioned above hardly get any water. Do these people have anything called planning in their 'working horizons'?!

One wonders if there is planning of ANY KIND applicable to this incompetent, bloated and corrupt government. The only thing they are capable of 'planning' is how to tax the public for their own selfish ends!

We sure live in the most trying and unjust times in this country. As mentioned umpteen times previously, there's no law or justice here any longer.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The costs of 'dressing'!

Going to the Aga Khan Hospital's Casualty Dept., for a change of dressing for a wound or operation site can cost nothing less than 750/- and most times it's much more than that as I found out to my detriment this afternoon.

As soon as one reports at the reception, you're given a number for when the cashier will call it out. At this point, you're required to pay a standard charge of 750/- for which the receipt says 'dressing-casualty'.

After this, one is required to wait till your name is called out. That's what happened with me just a few hours ago. The only reason I needed to go for this was because of a surgery I'd gone through yesterday barely 24 hours ago and the tapes that had been put on the site had got wet and needed replacing.

When my name was called out I followed the male nurse(?), into the cubicle for this purpose. There on the side table was a closed brown paper bag which I was to discover held the accoutrements for cleaning wounds, operation sites, etc. The nurse opened this bag even before looking at what I required and what a waste it turned out to be, because the only thing required to be done in my case was to replace that wet tape. He realized this immediately that I showed him my operation site, but, since he'd opened the bag, he put a little saline fluid into a crucible, added some Betadine(?) and proceeded to dip some wool held with forceps into this liquid and wiped the area after removing the tape.Then, he disappeared for a few minutes and came back with the replacement tapes. He said that there was no need to do anything else as everything was fine (and no wonder since it is hardly 24 hours since my operation even as I write this), and nothing else needed to be done.

The whole thing was over in less than 5 minutes and I was ready to go, when, I was stopped by the nurse and told to pay further for the tapes that he had used. This was a complete surprise and nobody had warned me that I was going to be making further payments other than the one I'd already made in the name of 'dressing'. So, I ended up paying a further 300/- for this and the receipt reads 'opsite post operative'. What is the difference between that and 'dressing'?

And if they were going to charge me for this, why charge me 750/-, earlier? Or vice versa? I got very angry at this additional charge and told the girl there that I thought of this as a complete rip off. She in turn, hid behind the statement that this was standard procedure. Whatever that means? I've discovered that these two words 'standard procedures' are used to hide a multitude of unanswerable questions that people like me ask of officialdom. In fact, they will keep repeating this statement over and over again like stuck records!

Before, I started writing this email (and for whose email addresses I had to search the Internet), I decided to ring the casualty dept of the hospital and ask to speak to the person in charge. When I eventually managed to talk to her, she defended their practices and there was not a trace of remorse from her that I had ended paying over a 1000/- for a simple change of tapes. I also told her that I was writing this email and told me to go ahead which is what I'm doing.

So, everybody BEWARE, of these hidden costs of 'dressing' your wounds or 'opsite post operative'. Better make sure before you pay anything or you might get fleeced. In which case, you'd better have lots of money on you to pay for your oversight.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nairobi's worsening water situation

I don't know what the problem is with the various ministries in charge of vital services like water. They never seem to deliver these 'services' predictably and consistently.

For example, the Nairobi Water Company a while ago publicized the timings and areas about how, when and where they are going to be supplying water. They never kept their word despite them having given this in the media. One would sympathize and even cooperate with their rationing IF, they would keep their word about days and timings, but, the residents get very frustrated and angry when they don't keep these.

The Parklands/Highridge area and it's immediate environs, haven't had water for over a week with no explanation forthcoming from these so-called 'service' providers. It would seem that they only get off their lazy and incompetent backsides when they receive my nasty emails and for a while water comes through, but, they, like Kenyans in general have extremely short memories and they soon forget to supply us with this vital fluid. This time they have really messed us up since the Muslims who live here are having their Eid holiday and after a whole month of fasting, we now have to do without water, still!

Why at this time? One wonders if this is not a planned thing in order to frustrate us.

And why is it that certain other areas like Westlands never misses water? Are their sources of water different from ours?

The people in charge of delivering these 'services' still seem to be living on another planet where they think that their incompetence is going to go unnoticed. They forget that we are living in the 21st Century where the mode of communication is much faster than their slow thinking brains and we can now know within seconds about what is going on where.

So, I would like to welcome them to the 21st Century and request them to get their act together pronto and supply us with water with immediate effect. Otherwise, they'd better not send us phantom bills for their phantom water. It would be like adding salt to a festering wound.

On second thoughts, are the water tankers who provide both 'fresh' and borehole water in cahoots with the various official water providers? That is, maybe, they (water company and 'friends') are getting a hefty cut from these water tanker owners....?

Friday, August 21, 2009

A/c No 2399078-02 & the ongoing power rationing

My cousin's place (at the above account number), suffers from the 'scheduled' power cuts on Tuesdays, Thursdays and recently Saturday was added recently to the usual 2 days of rationing. All this is highly inconvenient, but, in this country, this is not a problem for the various service providers. In fact, they couldn't care less!

This morning, we suddenly lost power, again. This would be the second day running. Therefore, we rang the emergency to ask why this was so as it was not the scheduled day of 'rationing'. The emergency, when they answered, could not explain why we were having an outage. So, we rang some other numbers but all of them went un-answered except for one and when she was told of our predicament, said that we should ring emergency. When we told her that we had already done that and that they could not give us an explanation and that was the reason we were ringing her. She promptly told us that the number we were ringing was her private one and cut us off. That number had been given to me by one of her colleagues in Mombasa.

Soon after being rebuffed by her, we got our power back and one wonders how long this awful and unpredictable power rationing is going to go on for.

Yesterday, another friend of mine who has the same days of rationing as my cousin but lives on Sports Road, never had the power go off the entire day. It was quite a boon for her, but, she was very insecure about it all the same - that the thing would go off anytime since the power guys don't have any strict timing that they adhere, to.

Oh yes, they say, for cosmetic purposes, the it will go from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm, but they do not always stick to those timings.

Every 'service' provider in this country announces one thing and practices something else altogether. No wonder we do not take them seriously.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

RE: Your Ref: KACC/INV. 6/10/ Vol.III/ (102) AND NOW (113) - 21190 - RE: NOISE POLLUTION - ATTN: P.M MWANGI 'ndc' (K)

I've been in receipt of a response to my email regarding this issue since the beginning of August, telling me that I should contact the PPO and the NEMA offices for intervention regarding the persistent and continuous noise and subsequent harassment by the neighbours.
This email is an answer to the latest missive ( Ref.-113), from KACC. Since I last wrote, I've been inundated by noise nearly every other day thanks to there being a wedding season in Coast Province which usually happens every year just before Ramadhan. Add to this, the religious noises that we have to put up with everyday from both the Muslims and the Christians. Life assumes an intolerable agony and despite sending these emails to the NEMA, NOBODY is doing anything about these issues.

In fact, the latest noise and by extension harassment issue is on going as I write this and it involves Councillor Kushe who is also a neighbour. If the officer at KACC will notice, this particular email has also been sent to the Ministry of Local Government under whom this Council Estate falls as well as the 'complaints' section (email) of the Kenya Police. This later, while I got it from their Web page, always bounces. One wonders, why?

And despite calling numerous senior police officers when the noise is on going, results in absolutely nothing. Therefore, one thinks in terms of corruption which is definitely supposed to be dealt with by KACC. It is this last response from our so-called cops, that results in me writing these emails. Their attitude smacks of corruption!

Since yesterday evening, Councillor Kushe's place has been celebrating his daughter's wedding in the most offensive (to the neighbours), way. They have been having loud music playing the whole night and despite trying to first talk to them to reduce the volume, which resulted in them ignoring my calls. I then, tried calling the various officers including a senior officer, Mr. Lumumba, to please take some action as I could not sleep. Nothing doing! They all claimed that they were sending somebody, but, nobody came.

These offensive people only stopped in the morning at around 5.15 am when the call to morning prayer was given. Immediately, the prayer was over at around 5.45 am, some kids with a drum started drumming with complete impunity and disregard for the neighbours who had not slept the whole night, thanks to them and were trying to get some shut eye, for a couple of hours to be able to function for the rest of the day without feeling like zombies. They paid no attention to my pleas, and in fact, have been setting off the car alarm and ringing my doorbell and then running away. It's still going on....

Is there ever going to be any action taken or is the buck going to be continued to be passed along, where, nothing gets done?

As soon as cops in this country hear a politicians name, they are very averse to doing anything to stop whatever misdemeanor that one is complaining about. Why? Are our 3rd class politicians above the law? If this is the case, then, it's the only country where it is so.

Strange rationing in Nairobi

As mentioned before, I have family and friends in Nairobi who send me frantic messages about the water situation there.

Since my last email on 6th August regarding this issue, the Parklands/Highridge area suddenly started getting water, but, now the Nairobi Water Company has resumed it's sleepy state and gone into never-never land, again, for they have been without water for the past 3 to 4 days.

Can they please stick to a strict rationing? Meaning that when they say that a certain area is going to get water from this time to this time and on a particular day/s, the residents there really do get the water which applies to everywhere in this country?

We can all sympathize with the fact that we're all suffering from a limited water supply, but, if managed properly, these umpteen outfits which have sprouted up like mushrooms all over the country, can effectively manage our scant water resources. But, of course, like everything else in this lawless country none of these outfits are accountable and work without the proverbial sword of Damocles hanging over their heads.

So, will this email have any positive effect on the Nairobi Water Company? Yet to be seen....
I'll know about this from my various contacts, Insha'Allah, as well as when I come there, soon, to spend the holy month of Ramadhan. I just hope and pray that they (the Water companies), are not going to collude together during this month to deprive us of this much needed and life giving resource.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nairobi's water situation....

Since I have family in Nairobi, I get to know a lot about the horrors they have to go through to avail water for themselves as well as pay their phantom water bills which arrive in their post boxes every month without fail....., unlike the water they are charging the residents, for.

It has now been MONTHS since they are having to buy water, yet, some places in Nairobi are overflowing with the precious stuff. One example being the ex-Highridge Teacher's Training College in the Highridge/Parklands area.

While the whole area goes without water, this 'college's' water tank is overflowing! How come, nobody has done anything about it? And is the neighbourhood paying for all this water going to waste, instead of for themselves, thanks to the incompetence of the Nairobi Water Company....? Do they have an explanation for this?

Btw, Ramadhan is nearly round the corner and are the Muslims who live in this neighbourhood going to do without water 24 hours..., not just in the daytime?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wheel-chair friendly Parcel's office!

Yesterday, I discovered that the long awaited and very necessary wheel-chair ramp has been constructed by POSTA's Parcel's office. Now, people with mobility problems no longer have to fret, Alhamdulillah.

In fact, the Mombasa Parcel's office, has closed off the previous monstrous entrance where the steps were plain awful and only a very fit person was capable of negotiating them. Now, the entrance to the place is through a blue gate. This is where the ramp is.

It was such a relief to discover this! Keep it up, Posta, and thank you.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Re: Two bananas and an orange, for the price of a tree - Those cheeky monkeys.

'Afternoon, Musa!

About your latest adventures with your neighbour who seems to blame you for a monkey stealing his fruits. It seems that of late, Mombasa, has been suffering from too many monkeys all over town.

These monkeys, like humans are social animals and are also reproducing at a very fast rate, causing chaos and danger to the residents. Our Council and various other authorities should be doing something about them but, are not, unfortunately, despite being complained to, by many residents.

There is, at least one friend of mine who has two young children who are frightened to death of these creatures as they intimidate the human young and adult females. In fact, there was a day when the children were surrounded by these monkeys and the situation was a very intimidating one. Even my friend, their mother, was quite ineffective in chasing them away.

Surprisingly, they are only scared of males (human) and/or if one carries a weapon like a stick, to intimidate them, back.

One of the reasons for this sudden proliferation of these monkeys is ourselves - when some of us in a misguided way decide to feed them. That's when and why they get encouraged to invade human settlements to this extent for they do not know that not all humans are the source of their food supply. This and the overflowing garbage dumps all over, too. The same way that this attracts the crows and other pests, it's now attracting monkeys!

I'm sending this email, with yours, to the various 'authorities' who I think could and should take action, but, then we are living in the most lawless and unjust country imaginable and I wonder if ANYTHING will be done....

Salaams & best wishes,

Protecting & Indemnity Kenya Ltd. wrote:

Dear Raziya.

I have recently received a frantic telephone call from my next door neighbour who lives on the first floor of a flat in a house next door. Since he is happy with the security of his flat, he does not have grills over his windows, like the rest of us. All his windows are open to the world.

His problem was that one large monkey entered his kitchen and stole two bananas and an orange. The question was who allowed the money into his kitchen and how did the monkey climb up to his flat. His shamba boy, when the Bwana asked him, with a thread to discipline him or sack him, alleged that he saw the monkey climb up a tree in my garden, on the far side of the house, jumped from my tree to his flat's roof top, then walked along the roof to the kitchen window which was wide open at the time, without grills.

The demand I received from my next door neighbour was that I should cut down the tree with immediate effect. Having lived in this area for over 38 years, and most of the trees in my garden were very old, some of which I have personally planted, it is rather painful to have to cut them down for the price of two bananas and one orange. It is cheaper for me to buy the fruits and replace what my next door neighbour has lost, if it will restore peace between us, than to cut the trees down. Afterall monkeys have been around here for much longer than human settlements have sprung up in this area. This is their habitat and we have been invading it, not to mention the lovely trees that have given us shade and shelter for a rich bird life in the area.

So, Dear Raziya, most people around here appear to be totally ignorant of their responsibilities to preserve the environment.

It is interesting to see all those palm trees our Mayor is planting along the roads of Mombasa, and one wonders if the Mayor has actually considered how these tree will look like when they grow older, blocking pedestrians' use of the pavements and walkways. On the other hand, will those seedlings survive the next dry and hot seasons which will follow these rains? There is no guarantee that they will be properly looked after. What is needed in Mombasa is more open spaces, to expand the roadways, car parks and green areas. The town (or is it already a city?) is choking with fumes, noise and filth due to the ever increasing population of cars and people. It is a mess that needs to be addressed and handled propely, not to add on to the chaos. Is it too late for Mombasa to be redesigned, planned and improved, rather than people burying their heads in the sand and hope everthing will be OK? Afterall it is the money people are after, not the welfare and livelihood of the people who live here. The word is IMPUNITY, and I am sure my next door neighbour has been thinking along the same lines. God help the rest of us who live here.

Kind regards.
_ _ _
Captn. M.M. Ittiso,
Associates (Pty) Ltd.,
C/o Protecting & Indemnity Kenya Ltd.,
Jubilee Insurance Building,
Third Floor, Suite No. 15,
Moi Avenue,
P.O. Box 99342,
Post Code 80107 Kilindini
Kenya.Phone : +254 (0)41 222 2494
+254 (0)41 222 0511
Fax : +254 (0)41 222 0511
Mobile : +254 (0)733 803226
AOH : +254 (0)41 249 2372
E-mail :
Website :

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Your Ref: KACC/INV. 6/10/ Vol.III/ (102) - 21190 - RE: NOISE POLLUTION - ATTN: P.M MWANGI 'ndc' (K)

Dear Sir,

I am in receipt of your hard copy letter dated 1st July 2009 with the above reference where you allege that my letter (email?) regarding the same issue was undated which you received on the 23rd of June 2009.

All of my letters which are in the form of emails would automatically also have a date and time 'stamp' on them. Therefore, I do not understand how my email could have arrived on your desk undated as you claim.

Also, when you tell me to ask the local OCS to restore order in the area, you'll notice from my innumerable emails/letters that the police are extremely averse to do this when one rings them up. Hence, my emails, written out of sheer frustration, because I'm beginning to believe that we have no law or justice, in this our land and nation, anymore. Unless one lives in an up-market area and by extension one is also moneyed. Then and only then, will somebody in our law and justice departments even begin to pay attention.

Otherwise, one can go jump in the nearest body of water for all that anybody cares!

For example, since yesterday afternoon, we in this neighbourhood have been inundated by NOISE from the MWA Hall and despite calling various senior police officers including the OCPD, NOTHING has been done to restore order and peace in the neighbourhood. Even as I write this, there is a racket going on since early afternoon at the said hall, again, and I dread what other kind of awful racket in the form of wedding parties, are going to disturb our much needed rest and sleep for the remainder of the weekend.....

Of course, the noises emanating from this hall as well as the various religious institutions that we are surrounded by, all add to our lack of peace and quiet every single day! And why is it that 'officialdom', cannot seem to separate the freedom of religion from noise? While there is and should be freedom of religion, this freedom should not be mixed up with the right to infringe on others right to peace and quiet.

Why is it that in this country, the law breakers, noise makers, etc., seem to have more rights than the ones who yearn for some peace and quiet? How strange that there are also two hospitals within hearing distance of these offensive noises, but, even the poor patients there seem to have no rights.

So, when you've asked me to contact the OCS of the nearest police station to restore order in my area, it is something next to impossible to get him/her to do this. I'm talking from bitter experience for even officers more senior than the OCS will not lift a finger to do this.

Therefore, where else is one supposed to turn? Can you please tell me? I'm waiting for a reply....


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Varakh - silver edible foil used in mithais (sweets)

A very enlightening read!


In India , by law, every food item has to have a green dot on it, if it is vegetarian - and a maroon dot, if it is non-vegetarian. If a manufacturer is found to be cheating by mis-labelling his product, the sentence is many years in jail.

So, how have the mithai (sweets) people not been arrested so far? Milk has been treated as vegetarian to appease the powerful dairy lobby, but the silver foil or 'varakh' on each mithai cannot by any stretch of imagination be considered vegetarian.

'Beauty Without Cruelty', a Pune-based NGO that investigates into product ingredients,
has produced a remarkable booklet on the varakh industry. Here is their report on how it is made.

*The varakh-makers select animals at the slaughterhouse. Each animal is felt for the softness of its skin before it is killed. This means that a substantial number of goat, sheep and cattle are killed specifically for the industry.

Their skins are soaked in filthy, infested vats for 12 days to dehair them.

Then, workers peel away the epidermal layer, which they call jhilli, just under the top layer of the skin in a single piece. These layers are soaked for 30 minutes in another decoction to soften them and left to dry on wooden boards. Once these are dry, the workers cut out square pieces 19 cm by 15 cm. These pieces are made into pouches called auzaar and stacked into booklets. Each booklet has a cover of thick lamb suede called khol. Thin strips of silver called alagaa are placed inside the pouches.

Workers now hit the booklet with wooden mallets for three hours to beat the silver inside into the ultra-thin varakh of a thickness less than one micron called '999'. This varakh is then sent to sweet shops*.

Here are the statistics that you should know. An animal's skin can make 20-25 pouches
only. Each booklet has 360 pouches. One booklet is used to make 30,000 varakh pieces - less than the daily supply of a single big mithai shop.

About 12,500 animals are killed for one kg of varakh. Every year, 30,000 kg of varakh (30 tonnes) are eaten on mithai. 2.5 crore booklets are made by varakh companies that keep their slaughterhouse connection secret. But the truth is that not only is this industry
killing animals furiously, much of the animal tissue that the booklet is made of remains in the varakh.

Each Jain knows in his heart that varakh is non-vegetarian. But they still use these dreadful items of mass destruction to decorate the idols of Jain tirthankars. How amazing that the idols of those that preached and practised strict non-violence to all creatures should now be covered with slaughterhouse derived silver foils. Jains are the biggest buyers of the varakh industry. Many try to bluff themselves by saying that the varakh is machine-made.

'Beauty Without Cruelty' has done a thorough investigation and found that there is not
a single machine-made varakh piece in this country (or even the world).

On the web, there is one letter from a person, Jalandhra, claiming that he has a company which has "fully automatic machines manufactured with German collaboration to beat silver pieces in between a special Indian manufactured paper in a hygienic and controlled atmosphere run round the clock by qualified Engineers and experienced R&D team". Initially, we were importing the special paper from Germany .

But when I followed this up, no factory of the given name, or even address, was found.The production of varakh is done mainly in north India : Patna , Bhagalpur , Muzaffarpur and Gaya (which is a Buddhist holy centre), in Bihar ; Kanpur , Meerut and Varanasi (the holy city of Hindus ) in Uttar Pradesh; and Jaipur, Indore , Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

The booklets come to them from the slaughterhouses of Delhi , Lucknow , Agra and Ratlam.

Not only is varakh non-vegetarian, it is also very bad for your body - whether you are vegetarian or not. The silver cannot be digested; therefore, there are no benefits from its consumption . A study done in November 2005 by the Industrial Toxicology Research Centre in Lucknow on varakh says that the silver foil available in the market has toxic
and carcinogenic metals in the thin silver foil, nickel, lead, chromium and cadmium.

Damages Body also Over half of the analysed silver foils had lower silver purity than the 99.9 per cent purity stipulated by the prevention of food adulteration act of India.

When such foil enters into the body, it releases heavy metals that can lead to cancer. The report also details the unhygienic conditions in which workers put silver in small leather bags and beat it into foil in filthy shops.

It is time we refused varakh-covered mithai, fruit or paan.

Mithai shops should be taken to court for not labelling their products non-vegetarian, before selling them. I request everyone reading this article to strictly avoid the sweets that have a silver work on them. They are purely Non - Vegetarian.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Water situation enlightenment regarding up-country

I've just returned from a visit to Nairobi and further up-country for the past one and a half months.

First, to mention the very serious issue of Nairobi's water situation. While the water levels at the dam (reservoir), are at an all time low, this is compounded by the incompetence of the umpteen numbers of 'water bodies' that have been brought into being in this country to supposedly regulate and manage this very important and life-giving resource.

Do they know about the one case in point in the Parklands/Highridge area, where water is being wasted at the previous Highridge Teacher's Training College? The water tank there is overflowing with this precious fluid while the whole neighbourhood is going without water, since WEEKS!!!! No one seems to care.

Then, ironically, the residents of Nairobi can buy very cheap (compared to the other outfits who sell this by the tankerful), water from the Nairobi Water Company and in addition also pay 'phantom' water bills despite getting no water through their pipes. Is this some kind of scam to fleece the residents? And where does the Water Company get it's water, anyway, but can't supply the consumers via their pipes?

Also, compared to Mombasa's situation, I noticed that infrastructure in general all over the up-country areas are being improved in leaps and bounds, unlike Coast Province. Why is that? Do the politicians and politics of the area have a hand in this?

Knowing our obsession to politicians and politics with regards to every service delivery issue, I get the feeling that our local politicians seem to be totally incompetent and are least bothered about developing this province. They are just busy filling their own pockets, I think.

Is it any wonder that people from up-country generally regard us as quite an illiterate and thick headed lot. To an extent, they are right.

Wake up, everybody!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Noise in the name of functions and religion - 39th reminder to NEMA and others concerned....

Do we live in a country which observes laws? NO!!!!!

Do we live in a country which has any respect for human rights? NO!!!!! Again a deafening reply.

Nearly every weekend some GoK official allows loud and noisy functions to be held at the Mombasa Women's Hall which is right next to one hospital and within hearing distance of another and is also in a residential neighbourhood, but none of this makes an iota of difference to the thick headed and selfish merry makers and the equally like minded 'permit givers'.

The cops, when called will do NOTHING to stop the racket, either. They seem to be under the impression that the noise makers are within their rights but, not the ones who have the right to have a restful and undisturbed night and life.

In fact, this country is one noisy place! For wherever one goes, one is inundated by noise whether of the religious variety or otherwise. Regarding the religious variety, officialdom is superstitious in the extreme. They seem to think that they will be damned to all eternity, if they try to stop the religious noise makers, whether they be Christians or Muslims.

Very few have any respect for the law including law-makers and upholders, especially the last. They break the law with total impunity and NEMA which is supposed to be doing something about this particular pollution is completely impervious to complaints by the public. They might talk big, but, they do not walk their talk.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards, a while back talked about this particular issue but, have gone silent, since.

Does NOISE of any kind, not bother anybody? Especially, the ones who are supposed to deal with this very annoying POLLUTION?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Red Marbles - a beautiful story


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good."

"They are good, Barry. How's your ma?"

"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."

"Good. Anything I can help you with?

"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."

"Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr. Miller.

"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."

"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

"All I got's my prize marble here."

"Is that right? Let me see it" said Miller.

"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."

"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?" the store owner asked.

"Not zackley but almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble". Mr. Miller told the boy.

"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller." Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store."

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.
They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.
They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them.
Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt."

"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man
in Idaho ."

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself... An unexpected phone
call from an old friend... Green stoplights on your way to work... The fastest line at the grocery store... A good sing-along song on
the radio... Your keys found right where you left them.

Send this to the people you'll never forget. I just Did...
If you don't send it to anyone, it means you are in way too much of a hurry to even notice the ordinary miracles when they occur.


Monday, May 18, 2009



By Sultana Yusufali (A 17 year old Toronto high school student).

Published in Toronto Star Young People's Press.

I probably do not fit into the preconceived notion of a "rebel". I have no visible tattoos and minimal piercing. I do not possess a leather jacket. In fact, when most people look at me, their first thought usually is something along the lines of "oppressed female." The brave individuals who have mustered the courage to ask me about the way I dress usually have questions like: "Do your parents make you wear that?" or "Don't you find that really unfair?"

A while back, a couple of girls in Montreal were kicked out of school for dressing like I do. It seems strange that a little piece of cloth would make for such controversy. Perhaps the fear is that I am harboring an Uzi underneath it.

Of course, the issue at hand is more than a mere piece of cloth. I am a Muslim woman who, like millions of other Muslim women across the globe, chooses to wear the hijab. And the concept of the hijab, contrary to popular opinion, is actually one of the most fundamental aspects of female empowerment. When I cover myself, I make it virtually impossible for people to judge me according to the way I look.

I cannot be categorized because of my attractiveness or lack thereof. Compare this to life in today's society: We are constantly sizing one another up on the basis of our clothing, jewelry, hair and makeup. What kind of depth can there be in a world like this?

Yes, I have a body, a physical manifestation upon this Earth. But it is the vessel of an intelligent mind and a strong spirit. It is not for the beholder to leer at or to use in advertisements to sell everything from beer to cars. Because of the superficiality of the world in which we live, external appearances are so stressed that the value of the individual counts for almost nothing. It is a myth that women in today's society are liberated. What kind of freedom can there be when a woman cannot walk down the street without every aspect of her physical self being "checked out"? When I wear the hijab I feel safe from all of this. I can rest assured that no one is looking at me and making assumptions about my character from the length of my skirt. There is a barrier between me and those who would exploit me.

I am first and foremost a human being, equal to any man, and not vulnerable because of my sexuality. One of the saddest truths of our time is the question of the beauty myth and female self-image. Reading popular teenage magazines, you can instantly find out what kind of body image is "in" or "out." And if you have the "wrong" body type, well, then, you're just going to have to change it, aren't you? After all, there is no way that you can be overweight and still be beautiful.

Look at any advertisement. Is a woman being used to sell the product?

How old is she? How attractive is she? What is she wearing? More often than not, that woman will be no older than her early 20s, taller, slimmer and more attractive than average, dressed in skimpy clothing.

Why do we allow ourselves to be manipulated like this? Whether the modern woman wishes to believe it or not, she is being forced into a mold. She is being coerced into selling herself, into compromising herself. This is why we have 13-year-old girls sticking their fingers down their throats and overweight adolescents hanging themselves .

When people ask me if I feel oppressed, I can honestly say no. I made this decision out of my own free will. I like the fact that I am taking control of the way other people perceive me. I enjoy the fact that I don't give anyone anything to look at and that I have released myself from the bondage of the swinging pendulum of the fashion industry and other institutions that exploit females. My body is my own business. Nobody can tell me how I should look or whether or not I am beautiful.

I know that there is more to me than that. I am also able to say no comfortably when people ask me if I feel as though my sexuality is being repressed. I have taken control of my sexuality. I am thankful I will never have to suffer the fate of trying to lose/gain weight or trying to find the exact lipstick shade that will go with my skin colour. I have made choices about what my priorities are and these are not among them.

So next time you see me, don't look at me sympathetically. I am not under duress or a male-worshipping female captive from those barbarous Arabic deserts. I've been liberated….!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Number Plate Hi-Jackers - SECURITY ALERT!!!!!!

Please read this, watch out and tell your friends and family.


There is a new number plate hijacking trend brewing around in Tanzania & Kenya .

These Hi-jackers will stalk you to a parking lot or mall, after parking your vehicle, they remove your number plate and wait for you to drive off.

They then follow you and overtake you, displaying your number plate at their window as if you had lost it and want to give it back to you.

Shocked that your number plate has fallen off your car, you bring your vehicle to a halt to get it from them.

This is all they want you to do and by the time you realize what happened it is too late, your car is either hi-jacked or your cash/belongings stolen or you could be raped/killed.

Please don't just stop for any thing; a number plate is valueless compared to your life.

Think what is happening before you react to it. Criminals are clever and cunning but are ruthless in getting what they want.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rent paid, but still under threat of eviction....

I got myself an Equity Banker's Cheque No. 37155 dated 13th March 2009, to pay my rent to our Mombasa Municipal Council from April to July 2009. I gave this cheque in good faith to a lady who offered to help me out since I have mobility problems and our Council harasses it's tenants by having them go all over the place in the name of helping them balance their ledger books! It is not enough that one pays them.

Even before them accepting payment, and though they claim to be computerized, they want us to go all over the Council various offices to get their act and records together. We first have to fill in a form after we've shown them our last payment receipt. Then, after filling it and it being stamped, one goes to the cashier to pay. Then, from there, we have to go to another place where they again make a note (in their ledger books!), to confirm that you've paid. Don't they trust their own employees?

Failure to do this, and despite having paid, will result in them sending you 7 day eviction notices which then result in you being forced to do all that they want.

Therefore, they are not serving us, but themselves, in this case, in getting their so-called records straight. If this horrible council is supposed to be computerized, why can't they keep their records up to date without harassing their tenants? One gets the feeling that they use their computers like typewriters rather than getting them (computers), to do a multitude of tasks for them in keeping their records straight.

Why do tenants have to pay with their time and money for this useless and unaccountable Council's incompetence?

Now, to come back to my latest misadventures with the Council.... This woman who took up the task of paying the cheque disappeared from the face of the earth with my receipts, too. And, since I couldn't locate her to be able to get back my receipts to date, till this afternoon, I had nothing to show the Council that I'd paid till July! And since this nasty Council which doesn't keep it's records straight, claims that my latest eviction notice of 7 days (served yesterday afternoon), stands if I don't pay up!

Now, can somebody out there please, explain why a tenant should be victimized for the incompetence of the landlord. Worldwide, it is the landlord's duty to balance the ledger books, etc., and the tenant's duty is to pay the rent on time. But, it seems not to be the case here. Here, the Council instead of serving the public, turns the tables on them and demands and coerces this same public and it's tenants into submission to their weird bureaucracy.

And what is my situation where I've now got the receipt (No.
111223972), to show that I'm paid up till July 2009, but, have still been served with a 7 day eviction notice which the Council claims (despite having been given the date that this payment was made on the 27th of March), holds, since this amount is not recorded in their so-called 'books'. Is that the tenant's fault? How long is the long suffering public to put up with this nasty and intimidating Council? Are they still going to evict me comes the end of the 7 days? And would that be lawful? For that matter, do we even have a law to speak of or justice? Or the law of the jungle prevails?

Why is the Mombasa Municipal Council so AWFUL and it's employees without common sense? Can the Ministry of Local Government please, do a complete overhaul of this den of incompetents, including their brains, of course! Btw, we're also required to retain these receipts for future reference when required. For how long into the future, and required for what? May we know? Till death or a move, do us part from this nasty Council? Which could take decades or a whole lifetime. So, are we supposed to continue collecting and storing these receipts ad infinitum?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Noise in the name of functions and religion - 38th reminder to NEMA and others concerned....

Imagine a world where there is incessant noise of some kind of another all day long and even part of the night, add to this various kinds of air pollution and the people responsible for all these atrocities as well as the supposed law upholders, all being utterly insolent and unfeeling when told to do something about it.

This is what I and all of my neighbourhood have to put up with every single day and most weekend nights, too.

As enumerated umpteen times previously, there are the daily religious rackets made my the neighbourhood mosque and church or rather the outfit that hires the MWA Hall every workday lunch times. Then, of late (and this is also off and on various times in a year!), one of the questionably acquired plots within the estate and 'developed' into a multistorey block of flats, by a private 'developer', keeps on digging a borehole every few months despite having tried this countless times since he 'developed' this plot in 1995!

Despite, not having been successful, he still insists of digging another one around the same area where he had earlier been unsuccessful. And the irony is that there is a borehole dug using CDF money within meters of where this new one is being dug. So, everyday starting from early morning till late in the evening including weekends, there is the noise from this machine doing the digging. Not to mention that both these boreholes are near the septic tank.

There is also the trucks that arrive here in plenty bringing building materials for the 'road' that our Council has decided to make for us. It does not matter that the cause of the messed up earlier road still exists. The infamous truck, tractor, junk yard and garage that belongs to Nisha Printers/Shimanzi Enterprises has been responsible for the degradation of the road thanks to their monsters coming and going through the estate. These people are breaking every imaginable traffic, environmental and Municipal by-laws by being allowed to still exist there. There is also another block of flats next to this truck park and which is all part of a road reserve, but our lawless and corrupt Council allocated this to Nisha Printers in the mid-1990s.

So, while our Council is, as usual, trying to make a so-called road (which is so narrow that only one car at a time can pass), they have not deemed it fit to first deal with the cause of the damaged road in the first place and it will be business as usual as soon as this road is 'made'. The Council also couldn't care less for the residents' inconveniences
while they are building this 'road'. Their trucks just dump sand, stones, etc., any place they like with no thought given to accessibility for the residents and their cars, if any.

Then, over weekends starting Friday nights, people hire the MWA Hall for their private functions and these are ALWAYS very loud and terrible. The only people who might be enjoying this racket are probably the attendees. Definitely NOT, the neighbourhood which also includes two hospitals. One right next door to this hall, the Aga Khan Hospital and a little bit further but within hearing distance; Pandya Memorial.

Calling the police is an exercise in futility because, they will give you the following replies, IF they answer the phone.....!

1. As soon as they hear the word noise, they hang up!

2. Or, the officer answering will give you the impression that they are sending somebody out there in minutes and even if you wait half an hour there will be no reduction in the decibels.

This, of course, will cause you to ring them, again... which results in the following....

3. Please, have patience, they are coming.... or

4. They have a permit and therefore according to these moronic cops they translate this into being allowed to make noise. NOT, that the permit is to hold the function and not make noise that will disturb the entire residential area!

5. We are back to the bad old days of cops telling us that they don't have vehicles and therefore they are coming walking. Now, regarding this, it does not take a couple of fit cops to walk the distance from Central Police to the MWA Hall hours on end. This distance can be covered is less than half an hour! Yet, these cops want us to believe that it takes them longer.

Is it because they are waiting for the 'natural' time of the end of the function which is till nearly midnight?

Also, I don't exactly know who is the moron out there who gives these permits to allow noisy functions to be held in the middle of residential areas and next to hospitals with complete impunity. But, he/she, seems to care less (typical of our 'officialdom' of late!), about the effects of sleeplessness and noise on the human psyche.

There is also nobody at the hall to regulate the level of noise, either, therefore the merry makers set up huge speakers near open doors and at decibel levels which can damage the ears. These women (they are mostly Arab and Waswahili), who seem to enjoy this racket and who go to such functions to supposedly celebrate one of their compatriot's wedding.

Last Friday and last night were cases in point. The cops when called including OCS Njeru, couldn't be bothered to respond and either kept hanging up their phones or trying to make me believe that they were sending officers over when no such thing ever happened and these horrors continued their racket till well after 11.00 pm!

This is another point where our law and justice is just a name! There are no such things in operation in this country any longer. We, the public, who are supposed to have 'elected' these 'officials' into office are least interested in serving us. The only thing they are interested in is the hefty pay-check at the end of every month for which they are also refusing to pay a tax like every citizen. We truly have the most useless, bloated and ineffective government, ever!!!!

And when will this impunity ever end....? And law, order and justice prevail?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Charcoal selling and goat keeping is not enough. Now, it's calves, too!

Since day before yesterday in the afternoon these two calves havesuddenly appeared in this estate.

The person responsible is, I suspect, the same who had been keeping
the goats about 2 years ago and who was responsible for smashing my
car up as well as whose mother tried pushing me down the stairs in
broad daylight in front of 3 eye-witnesses about 6 months after
goat/car smashing incident.

This person is into everything questionable. He deals in charcoal
selling, livestock keeping and all this happens right under the eyes
of the Council employees who live in the staff flats within this

One gets the impression that he's getting support from them for all of
this illegal activities. Remember, we have a Councillor (Kushe), and
an MP (Joho), who live here. This charcoal/livestock dealer seems to
be protected from any law enforcers by these two politicians, for not
only, them, but their entire families and friends come out in large
numbers whenever the 'law' makes an appearance to deal with the
situation. And since I'm the only 'spanner in their works
(activities)', they (the neighbourhood), immediately after, try to
harm me.

Our cops and others also don't take me seriously when I call them for
help. Why should they behave this way? Aren't they supposed to protect
the public? Or is it just the high and mighty in the form of
questionable politicians?

This country is going from bad to worse with no law and/or justice, anymore.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Yes, this is a good letter and it is also typical of 'water officialdom' to charge for things that they had no hand in 'developing', i.e., the wells and boreholes all over town.

And as it mentions these were purportedly 'approved' by their own 'officials', so why the objection? And why should the people who got these dug pay further charges when these same, starting from the Ministry down to their many companies and boards they have given 'birth' to?

This is typical of this very unjust government and it's bloated cabinet. They have abdicated their duty to provide us with a basic human right and are further doing the same by charging us for water which they had no hand in providing.


Chris Dickenson wrote on 18-Apr-09 3:23 PM:

I thought this was a good letter. BUT....... There has to be a way to say to the Water Authority.

"You have a duty to supply us with clean fresh drinking water and you have failed to do so year after year after year. Mombasa Island Residents know why there is no water. It is because it has all leaked into the ground due to the miles of broken underground delivery pipes all around the Island. Broken underground pipes equals no water. The reason why you want to charge us a 'borehole fee' is because that is the only way residents can get access to what is our God given right. The problem is yours so fix it"


Water Day being celebrated worldwide this month Water is life to all living things: That is why Water Day is being celebrated worldwide this month.

And indeed as contained in our Bill of Rights, the citizens and / or wananchi have a right to clean water for their daily use Mombasa city and environs have not received regular and adequate water for some time.

At times taps run dry for weeks and weeks. But luckily and maybe for only short while, our main sources of water, Mzima Springs, Marere and Sabaki rivers have not dried up at any one moment. The shortage of water is due to poor infrastructure said to be obsolete which should have been replaced 50 years ago. Residents blame the town water company for the water crisis, as residents are forced to buy water from hawkers at exorbitant prices. In fact Mombasa Water Company has raised its tariffs but has failed in its duty to provide adequate water to residents. Recently, a Mombasa Water and Sewerage Company official, a Mr. Barack Otieno denied such claims, this is ridiculous as the problem has persisted and many reports to deal with the situation gather dust on shelves due to laxity in terms of implementation and lack of seriousness in addressing the interest of the residents of MOMBASA.

As a result of this persistent problem of lack of water, which has prevailed for a long time, stakeholders and residents of Mombasa and environs have reluctantly turned to boreholes and wells for water inspite of it being costly and unwholesome for human consumption. It is however noted with some degree of appreciation that World Bank and Coast Water Services Board are working together to address this perennial problem but the process, will no doubt, take time before funds are made available for work to commence.

Water problem has however taken another grave dimension. Water Resources Management Authority, the custodian of water in the country, require that existing boreholes and wells be legalized at a cost and monthly water extraction charges be paid to the Authority. The Authority does not seem to take note that its parent Ministry through District Water Officers had approved sinking of these boreholes and that the boreholes had been sunk by Authorized and Licensed Water drilling companies. To make matters worse the Director of Water, on whose behalf sinking of boreholes and wells had been authorized, has joined the fray insisting that legalization of boreholes and wells be done and requisite fee and monthly extraction charge be paid.

The Director of Water has quoted Provisions of Water Act 2002 to justify his assertion and warnings. This requirement does not give comfort to stakeholders who have been denied their basic human right of water. The least public would have expected from the Director of Water to do is to call for critical up to date analysis of water supply situation in Mombasa and environs before making his bewildering decision.

From the analysis the Director of Water would have learnt that water charges have recently been increased and that no water is flowing in our taps and that boreholes are not ideal sources of water for human consumption but since the agents mandated to provide water have failed, the stakeholders have no alternative but to sink boreholes and well for their survival. The Ministry for Water and Irrigation had previously issued instructions for all boreholes and wells in Mji wa Kale, to be sealed off because water from these sources was allegedly contaminated but the residents insisted that they would seal off their boreholes and wells only if they were supplied with adequate and wholesome water. The position has not changed.

The Water Resource Management Authority should seriously consider sensitizing stakeholders on its work. It should also give owners of existing boreholes and wells time to seal off, if they so wish or comply with the Provisions of the Water Act 2002.

Boreholes and water wells owners must not be made to suffer for omission and commission of others.

Lastly, unreliable water supply and scarcity and low satisfaction by customers with their interaction with existing water service providers and regulatory authorities which form the basis of the problem should be very well addressed. Citizens and in particular residents of Mombasa require increased access to water and its facilities thereof and improved maintenance of the same.

We must be serious with governance and management of natural resources like water which is so close to the people.

Z. K. Nderu
chairman Environment Trust of Kenya,Mombasa.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Emailing: The guy using intimidation and threats on me so I would remove my car, Standing around waiting for orders...., My car is usually parked where the man in the foreground is standing alone, but the ditch and the stone mounds do not make this possib

I took the attached pictures this morning to show the person who had been using threatening and intimidating language at the behest of Councillor Kushe, yesterday, i.e. only that photo was taken yesterday. The remainder were taken this morning.

The whole Council gang that was doing the digging are nowhere to be seen and it seems like they have left the place full of ditches and piles of stone, etc., all over the estate with little thought or consideration for the residents, except themselves. I mean our two resident politicians, MP Joho and Councillor Kushe. They are about the only ones who will not get inconvenienced over this long weekend.

And as is our politicians' wont, who are highly selfish and self centered, they are comfortable so why give other's discomforts and inconveniences a second thought!

I have been trying frantically through many friends and acquaintances to get hold of our redoubtable Town Clerk, to no avail. It would seem that he's been in never ending meetings the whole day..... or is it because he is in the know about what is going on in this particular Council estate and has been deliberately playing hard to get? There seems to be no end to these people in officialdom's insolence.

Did somebody say that they are the 'servants' of the people? Perish the thought. They are anything but that. In fact, in their imagination, they are the people in power and therefore ride roughshod on the people. That is probably why our Town Clerk keeps his mobile phone number/s very, very private!

So, this weekend I, for one, will be a virtual prisoner in my own home since I cannot bring my car here and because, I am disabled, can't walk over the stones and ditches to the place where I have left the car. Have these politicians including the town planners, if they were even consulted, given a thought to this aspect of their own Council estate? That everybody living there is not fit and to some a car is not a luxury but a necessity.


The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:
The guy using intimidation and threats on me so I would remove my car
Standing around waiting for orders....
My car is usually parked where the man in the foreground is standing alone, but the ditch and the stone mounds do not make this possible
Digging up the 'road' some more
The contentious truck park has a easy access while the resident's suffer
MP Joho's (peach coloured on the left), palatial place too, has ample room for his cars to turn and manipulate, but not the rest of the estate.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Emailing: The Mombasa Municipal Council's lastest project....!, Digging up for a so-called road and inconveniencing the residents, MP Joho's palatial residence on the left where there's is ample space for his numerous cars to come and go, but, for the res

Since Independence or rather before, when this estate was built, the roads within it have never been maintained or paved. Now, suddenly our Council has decided to do so and are greatly inconveniencing the neighbourhood in the process. They have neither common courtesy nor are they aware of the law to have informed us that this is what they are planning on doing and what we should or should not do or how it will restrict our movements.

And is all this being done for the convenience of the two questionable politicians living in our midst who seem to be under the impression that they can ride roughshod over other residents? Why is the track only wide enough for one car at a time to pass? Which town planner has dreamt this up?

This morning, I was literally harassed and threatened by these so-called Council workers including the Councillor, Kushe, that if I did not remove my car forthwith, they would get a tow truck and remove it forcibly. It had no effect on them when I told them that I'm disabled and cannot go up and down staircases (I live on the 2nd floor), at their whim and would remove the car as soon as I was ready to go out which was going to be in another hour or two. So, while I was getting ready to leave, these Council thugs persistently kept setting off my car alarm over and over again. Why? Couldn't they have followed the law and common courtesy of informing the residents that such an activity was going to take place and we should co-operate with them in this exercise? But, no. Our semi- and illiterate Council employees and Councillors, are under the impression that they are God's gift to everybody and are beholden to them and should be at their beck and call. If these are the kinds of 'servants' of the people who have been elected, then, only God can help this country.

This evening, when I got back home at about 5.45 pm, the whole place has been dug up with no place for me to park! The whole estate is full of ditches and stones and highly dangerous for a disabled person like me to negotiate. Since, there is no place to park anymore, I had to literally reverse (there's no place to turn the car, either), and go to a friend's place who lives about a block away and request her to let me park my car in her compound. This she did and her husband was also good enough to drive me back since I cannot negotiate walking over all those sharp stones and ditches without falling. As it is, I had a very bad fall this afternoon where I missed a few steps and have hurt my head, neck and legs.

My neighbours, including the MP, Joho and Councillor Kushe, all know of my many disabilities, yet, they have done nothing but derived warped pleasure at my predicament. So, for now, I cannot leave my house till some kind of order is restored to this estate.

And while they are building a so-called road/lane, what is the Council (officialdom), doing about the contentious truck/tractor and junk yard whose monstrosities when driven out, will, again reduce this supposed 'road' to smithereens as the previous one was?

Is it possible for this awful and lawless country's supposed 'leaders', to ever think about the consequences of their thoughtless actions?


The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:
The Mombasa Municipal Council's latest project....!
Digging up for a so-called road and inconveniencing the residents
MP Joho's palatial residence on the left where there's is ample space for his numerous cars to come and go, but, for the rest of the residents there's just a one car track
The digging has gone right up to the contentious truck park
Two parallel ropes laid out near my car and the workers and their supervisor are threatening to have my car towed away.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Re: WATER WATER EVERYWHERE BUT THE PIPES ARE ROTTEN & The 193rd reminder.... to the PERSON/S CONCERNED - Burst sewage pipe... and the Council, continues..... (4th)

Welcome to the frustrating world of trying to get clean, consistent

and fresh water. You have all my sympathies and currently it's the
Coast Water (Dis)Services Board who is solely to blame for this sorry
state of affairs since they are the ones laying the infrastructure and
maintaining it, but, don't do their work! They are some of the most
useless bunch of 'employees' that our govt. and in particular the
Water and Irrigation Ministry have dreamt up in recent times.

The misadventures you've been having with regards to your pipes is a
common story all over this town. There are also illegal connections
(with the help of the water dept.), made by questionable structures
that have been allowed by our redoubtable Council in the form of
grabbed plots and allocating road reserves to their henchmen. This
further complicates matters.

RE the bore holes all over - the CWSB is supposed to regulate these,
but, doesn't. Even when they are informed of any being dug. Ask me and
what I went through when my crooked neighbours dug that well. In the
end, this was and is still allowed to exist despite many controversial
issues concerning that water. They don't even have a proper cover over
it. What they have so-called covered it with, is a grill cover through
which anything can fall into the water, short of a human!

Then, they have used CDF money to dig a bore hole within stone
throwing distance of this well and other bore holes in the estate,
which is also near a septic tank. How safe is this water which the
whole neighbourhood uses? And where is the environment department of
the Council as well as NEMA while all this is going on? I personally
went to NEMA and the CWSB and even wrote to them, called them, etc.,
when it started happening, but, it got me nowhere and instead was
threatened and intimidated by my neighbours for trying to put a stop
to their activities all in the name of 'development'!!!

So, now, I've reached the very difficult conclusion that none of our
'officialdom' and so-called countless and useless govt. department,
are capable and ethical enough to take any action and all our attempts
to stop something questionable going on will be met with hoots of
laughter, threats and intimidation while nothing will be done to
correct anything.

What they actually do, like they did in your case is all short term
fixes which will not last even for our lifetime, if they even do that.
And it's mostly all window dressing to show us that they are working.
Nothing could be further away from the truth, unfortunately.

As an example - have you noticed that street lights stay on day and
night till they 'die'? Nobody at the Council (which is the one
in-charge of street lighting), is bothered about turning them off at
break of day. And who is footing the bill? We are! So, why should they
care. They don't even think about it being a total waste of energy and
money and by extension it's environmentally unfriendly. I wonder if
they are even aware of the carbon footprint/s they leave since most of
our Council is semi and/or illiterate and wouldn't even understand the
term, I think. They don't have a reading culture, either to educate

Btw, you had better keep an eye on your water meter and make notes of
your own so that you can compare with the one you get every month in
the bill, since most of the time, it will arrive with an estimated
reading and at some point in the near or far future you'll probably
need your own readings to make a point with them regarding payment.
You'd better do this very diligently with dates, etc., too.


Protecting & Indemnity Kenya Ltd. wrote at 9:25 AM:

Dear Raziya.

Yesterday, 2/4/2009, I decided to take the bull by the horns and barged into the Water Department Offices demanding to see their engineers and supervisors about the shortage of water we have experienced in our area over the last 12 months or more. The discovery was fascinating.

The Water Department staff could not find drawings of the pipelines that deliver water into the area, as most of the staff are young, from up country and have no connection with the past history of Mombasa. They were all well versed in their trade, and were sympathetic of the suffering of wananchi, but they have no power to correct the mistakes of their department, like all civil servants who cannot correct government mistakes.

For over 12 months, I have been buying bore hole water to fill my domestic tanks, but the Water Department insisted in charging me KSh700/- per month for the imaginary 10 cubic metres of water which we never receive. Every time I talk to the Water Department staff who occassionally pass by to see and read the dormant water meter, whose reading never changes from month to month, they insist that the water is there but it is my fault for not receiving it. So, yesterday I decided to correct the fault on my side of the water pipe line, and after obtaining their verbal consent and their staff to supervise the work (I employed my own labour and equipment) to dig up the pipeline, inside and outside my compound. What I saw there was a dreadful mess. The original galvanised iron pipe connection, joining the 6 inch Asbestos main pipe line which ran parallel to the road, to the house (estimated to be at least 60 years old) was so badly corroded that it was severed many years ago and an alternative arrangement made (at least 40 years ago), using another galvanised iron pipe which was connected to the 6 inches water main line, from a point near a Fire Hydrant further up the road. Even this second pipeline was badly corroded and leaking into the ground. All these pipelines had valves on them which were buried into the ground, the purpose of which was not known.

After the job was done, to the satisfaction of the Water Department engineers and supervisors, I was assured that water will flow into my domestic tanks every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a few hours to give me sufficient quantity for my domestic use. This morning I looked at a pitiful trickle of water which will probably fill about 20 litres into my domestic tank before it stops again and I will have to wait for another trickle in two days time.

This is not good news, but the worse news I heard from the Water Department staff was the fact that the department was actually contemplating to impose a legal fine of a large sum of money to all house holds who have fitted and are using bore holes, because they are taping into natural resources unlawfully, which belong to the government. On top of the bore hole fine, the bore hole water consumption was expected to be metered and charged by the Water Department. We know very well who is squandering government resources illegally, but nothing is done about it. Considering that the people of Mombasa had no alternative supply of water, they had to spend money (at least KSh200,000/- to dig up the bore hole, and another KSh. 40,000/- for the pump, and may be a desalination plant is also added to the investment, plus the cost of annual maintenance). All this expense is made just to cover up the mistakes of the Water Department. Granted that the use of boreholes does pose a danger of the ground subsiding when the water table is lowered, so this should give the water department an impetus to repair the 36 inch pipelines and other piping systems which carry water from the various sources outside, into Mombasa.

Another horrow story I heard from the Water Department staff was the case of mixing fresh water suppiy with sewage, as the two pipelines ran parallel, very close to each other, and both pipelines got fractured (may be after a large truck with heavy load drove over them) and the resulting leakages flooded the wrong pipes. It took both the Mombasa Municipality and the Water Department a long time to locate the fractures, considering that the laying of the two piping systems are not well documented. Cholera was the first thing that came to mind, and goodness knows what else.

Kind regards.

Captn. M.M. Ittiso,

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Re: Coast Water again !! & The 192nd reminder.... to the PERSON/S CONCERNED - Burst sewage pipe..

The following was sent to me by an ex-resident of Coast Province and it tells it's own story....

The recipients of my constantly lamenting emails in the form of 'reminders', must be wondering why they don't get the usual weekly ones. That is because, the MOWASCO has decided to disconnect my meter until such time (if it ever happens in my lifetime), that we get water consistently. At such a time, they have written to me, that they will re-connect my meter at no charge! At least, now, I will not be the recipient of phantom water bills, thank God!

But, recent 'developments' plus the email below prompts me to carry on.....

There's been the usual pipe burst en route from Mzima since last week and even the water kiosks which have reduced this 'city' into something worse than a village, have not had water for us to buy. Therefore, and since water is life, people are having to buy suspect bore-hole water indiscriminately. In the process, probably starting many avoidable water borne diseases. All thanks to the incompetence of the various water bodies that this awful and bloated government has given birth to. In this case the main culprit is the Coast Water 'Dis'Services Board (CWSB).

This morning, when I rang the MD of MOWASCO to find out when 'normal service', would be resumed, I was told, 'on Friday'. I mentioned to him a very likely scenario of another pipe burst while trying to get water to the water kiosks and he invoked God's help. Now, I also believe in a God, of course, but, there's a limit to how much you can blame Him for the pipe bursts and other mishaps that the water officials in this country would us to believe. Most of these are because of an ineffective, bloated and totally useless bunch of people employed by the GoK to provide this service to Kenyans. They love passing the buck and they don't even feel ashamed to do this to our Creator!!!!

Another friend, a few days ago, also informed me that they're having water problems because, lawless Kenyans (and there are so many of these it boggles the mind), have intercepted their water supply pipes along the way and now they are having to buy from the same crooks. They live in Ganjoni. I wonder if the Water officials will investigate and do anything about this......, if ever.

Chris Dickenson wrote:

So Many New Buildings -
But Coast Water Board Is Asleep

Coast Water Board should supply area wise at certain times on a daily basis. It is no wonder that the cement factories are expanding - because so many new buildings are coming up all over.

But the Coast Water Board is asleep.
It is no wonder the Power people who light our homes are expanding because they have realized the potential of making money by expansion.

But the Coast Water Board is asleep.
It is no wonder that Telephone companies are making money in a big way because they too have discovered that people want their services.

But the Coast Water Board is asleep.
It is no wonder that banks are making money in a very big way because they have realized that money is to be made from grass root levels.

But the Coast Water Board is asleep
If the Coast Water Board cannot supply water constantly to the suburbs and industrial parks then they should supply area wise at certain times on daily basis by giving a timetable in the local papers. This would help households get fresh water for daily needs. And of course much much more money for the Coast Water Board.

Signing off in the hope that the people responsible of supplying water at the coast especially Nyali Area will take some action.

Shanti Shah