Apologies again

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Once again, apologies for the newsletter being late. Jean duly went through a five and a half hour operation with two surgeons in February, who proudly announced that they had successfully removed everything in there that was not deemed necessary. Let’s hope they are right in their assessment. Recovery is slow, at best, but we think we are getting there. Thank you for your patience –
Over 12 million tons of plastic finds its way to the ocean every year affecting marine life as well as posing a health risk to humans.
A Malindi based plastic waste company is set to build the first ever dhow made with recycled plastic and discarded flip-flops at a cost of 60 million shillings.
The 60 feet FlipFlop Expedition Dhow will sail 5,000 kms from Lamu to Cape Town to create awareness on the impact of plastic waste in the ocean.
Over 10 tons of recycled plastics have been used on the project so far, and could reach over 15 tons for the complete work. The keel, ribs and structural elements, the hull and decking will be covered completely by recycled flip-flops.
When complete, the dhow will carry 300 passengers and is expected to be more durable than the wooden dhows, in addition to conserving the environment. The FlipFlop Expedition Dhow will sail 5,000 Kms from Lamu to Cape Town before the end of this year in a project that aims at raising awareness on plastic pollution on marine life as well as how best the menace can be reduced.

Much of Africa has experienced a major drought since the end of last year, with Kenya’s being described as ‘the worst in five years’. All areas were parched from December, with virtually no rain falling until the end of March. April seems to have brought a few welcome showers, so the grass is beginning to recover. As always, both domestic and wild animals suffer when there is no grazing, and this causes conflict. Desperate herders seek pasture for their cattle, and this results in their encroaching on to private land, such as privately owned conservancies which have an infrastructure of dams and rivers for their own animals. Private landowners do what they can to protect their land and their grazing, but frequently feelings get heated and there is altercation. Several instances have occurred where tourist lodges have been attacked and set on fire, resulting in total destruction. Mugie Ranch, Sosian, and Kuki Gallman’s Mukutan have all been hit with disastrous consequences. One rancher went on horseback to investigate/negotiate with the invaders and he was shot dead. The problems are not new – this is not the first drought in Kenya. And the fact remains that many of the privately owned conservancies are owned by white ranchers who have been there for generations. So there is resentment that the ‘white’ cattle have water to drink while the nomadic cattle on public land do not. Add to this the fact that we have a general election in August, so there is political interference and little has been done to come up with a solution.