Ethiopian Airlines Kenya has partnered and signed an MOU with Tour Operators Society of Kenya (TOSK). This partnership is to promote and market leisure travel into Ethiopia and within the Ethiopian Airlines network.
This comes at a time after Ethiopia was awarded the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels Stamp – the world’s first-ever global safety and hygiene stamp – following major steps implemented by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to ensure safety for residents, travellers, workers and businesses in the tourism value chain, as Ethiopia reopened its borders to international visitors.
Ethiopia is among 200 other major popular holiday hot spots around the world such as Kenya, Turkey, Portugal, Argentina, Tunisia, and Indonesia, who together are using the stamp to reassure travellers and restore confidence to travel.
Tour Operators Society of Kenya (TOSK) is a business membership organization of small medium enterprises and start-up Tour Operators and other service providers in the Tourism industry.
As many destinations begin to ease lockdown restrictions and more travellers seek out getaways to escape from the lockdown, Tour and leisure operators will be on the frontlines to welcoming new guests with exciting holiday offers.
The Ethiopian TOSK partnership is expected to stimulate and meet this leisure demand especially into Ethiopia. Together with the fully fledged ET Holidays Department, this is expected to increase and grow the number of leisure travellers into Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is an ancient country whose unique cultural heritage, rich history and remarkable biodiversity are reflected in a tally of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites – more than any other country in Africa.
As the cradle of mankind, the source of the Blue Nile, the origin of coffee and more, Ethiopia offers an authentic experience to its Travelers. From mysterious ancient cities to being the diplomatic capital of Africa, from the peaks of 4000m above sea level to the Danakil depression, the lowest and hottest place on Earth, visiting Ethiopia is an experience of a lifetime.
In every new day, some parts of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi have their roads murky and trenches filled with garbage. From the heaps emanates a foul stench. Smelly water oozing from the nearby heaps snake down in curls and zigzags, and invariable stream ends down the Nairobi River which flows across the city. The River doesn’t leave behind any kind of filth on its way, thousands of plastic bags and bottles, entangled hair wigs, bones all flow with it, however, when it rains, the pile becomes incredibly terrifying.
Photo by Flevian Mutie
Eventually, the river has become so polluted with all kinds of garbage, industrial effluent and sometimes dead animals are washed down the drain and into the same flow. Alfred Oyugi, a Nairobi resident, narrating to IEA News, says he used to reside in Korogocho. Alfred recalls how he used to mobilize his peers during his childhood where they would carelessly jump into the river and swim without any kind of care or concern.
“We would do this every day after school, and as swimming was one of our sporting activities, we would compete to see who emerged the best in it, the water was so clean as opposed to its current state,” he says. Like many water bodies in the sub-Saharan area, a big population across the capital depends on the Nairobi River. The river has recently experienced serious cases of pollution, deeming its water unfit for both humans and animals, although the Kenyan herdsmen have always used it to quench the thirst of their animals.
Photo by Flevian Mutie
“I wish there was an organization which could offer to rehabilitate the river as other initiatives have either failed or yielded a very minimal result. The Kenya government, in conjunction with the former Nairobi County Governor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko, the Ministry of Water, the National Water Management Authority, NEMA among other bodies, has for decades promised to rehabilitate the river, with some vowing to resign if their initiative to do so wasn’t achieved. “he adds.
Like true answers to his prayer, Alfred’s childhood memories are revived when an innovative, young and energetic Kenyan lady, namely Nzambi Matee, offers to clean the river as she recycles the plastic waste material into more useful stuff. Matee, in an exclusive with IEA News, says that she founded her organization, Gienge Makers, as a startup plant geared towards the collection and the recycling of plastic waste into bricks.
“Gienge fell into place after the discovery of a prototype machine that can turn plastic into paving stones, she narrates, adding that the machine enables them to produce the bricks in bulk. “I am not blowing my own trumpet, but we have really cashed in from this, since inception, which has also helped clean most parts of the city, including the Nairobi River amongst other regions. The profits are always on the maximum as we get the materials free of charge. ” says Matee, adding that the bricks they produce at Gienge have a wide market not just for their affordability but also for their quality.
“It’s ironical that they are made from plastic waste material, they offer more stability and strength and are harder even than the ones made from concrete. This initiative, apart from cleaning the environment and providing an alternative and a more affordable building material, it has also created employment, for garbage collectors, to begin with, and the young turks who operate the plant with me, and also for many more people like masons. I would urge Kenyans to think “outside the box” and implement an idea that will be useful both for them and for the entire community.” Says Nzambi. She also asks the government, to extend a hand and join her in working towards the reclamation of the environment, especially the Nairobi River, that it can be treated to be safe again for human consumption.
Photo by Flevian Mutie
Speaking to IEA News, Damaris Mbui, an environmentalist and a university lecturer in Nairobi, says that in 2017, and June last year as well, the Kenya government banned the use of plastic bags in most protected natural areas, like national parks and animal reserves and forests. “I wonder why with all these in place, plastic waste keeps on piling up across all dumpsites in Nairobi, where over 500 metric tons worth of plastic waste is collected from homesteads every day. I urge Kenyans to practice safer ways of waste disposal, which are friendly to our environment.
Amos Wemanya, a Greenspace and environment campaigner says even the whole world was to be called in to help with this sanctification; we can never win when we have some of us, both companies and individuals draining their waste into our rivers, especially the Nairobi River. “As well, we cannot win this battle when the government does not lend a helping hand.
The government ought to step up, in collaboration with organizations like NEMA, educate the common mwananchi on the importance of conservation of the environment” he says. Wemanya encourages Kenyans like Matee, and her Gienge fraternity to improvise and implement ways of water sanitation and install simple water recycling plants, which will exacerbate this kind of pollution. She calls on the Kenya government to ensure sufficient water,” he says.
Kampala, Uganda – Uganda’s Former Security Minister and now Presidential advisor on security Gen Elly Tumwine said President Museveni is suffering from Hubris syndrome and that he will use his office to advise him to prepare the country for a peaceful transition of power.
Gen Tumwine, an unusual source of such a message, was passing over the Security Ministership to fellow warrior Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi.
“I am delighted to be giving over to Maj. Gen. Muhwezi, an old friend and comrade.
“I pledge my undivided attention to you as you carry out your official obligations at the Ministry,” Gen Tumwine added.
“As I begin my new advising role, I will encourage President Museveni to plan for a seamless transfer of power in order to ensure our country's long-term stability,” he added.
It was a day for talking about changes, as Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi commended his predecessor, Gen Tumwine, for ensuring a seamless power transition in the ministry.
“I appreciate Gen. Tumwine, my friend and senior comrade, for a smooth handover.
Because I am not new to this ministry, I will work with the personnel to promote stability and unity in our country,' said Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi.
Gen Tumwine is a bush war hero who fought alongside President Yoweri Museveni and is still alive.
At the height of the previous presidential election, Gen Tumwine warned that if Bobi Wine protestors did not obey, they would be shot “rightly” by police.
“If you reach a particular degree of violence, police have the right to fire and kill you.
Is it okay if I say it again?
The police have the authority to shoot you and you will die for no reason.... do it at your own risk,” he warned.
While holding the bigger end of the stick, the five-star General who was the first person to fire a bullet in the 1986 Museveni bushwar has been advocating for the regime's expansion.
Gen Tumwine justified the raid on parliament by armed men thought to be from Special Forces Command during the discussion to remove the age limit from the constitution and give Museveni another chance to run the country.
“How far does the immunity act allow a member of parliament to shatter doors, damage parliament property, or threaten to kill someone?”
“How far does immunity extend?” General Tumwine stated.
“I've never seen the Speaker put to the test and strained to the extent you did.
I had never before experienced that even security forces, who are not necessarily victims of excitement, provocation, and political missteps, are now victims and being questioned.
He went on to say, "What did you fight for?"
Gen Tumwine was involved in yet another brawl at Parliament in July 2019, when he allegedly drew a gun on Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal.
After the accusers failed to produce evidence, Gen Tumwine was allowed off the hook. During the debate, however, he was accused of disrespecting parliament when he purportedly asserted that the Speaker had no authority outside of the chambers.
The charge leveled by Bukhonzo West County MP Atkins Katushabe did not last long either, as it was dismissed due to a lack of proof.
General Tumwine has had numerous run-ins while attempting to protect the 1986 cadres' continued hold on power, and during one of the past presidential campaigns, he was caught on tape performing a song nicknamed "sisi tuko tayari" (we are ready).
This came amid protests against President Museveni's current regime.
Tumwine was threatening to crush anyone who threatened the establishment with force in the song.
Dr Kizza Besigye, a four-time presidential candidate and bushwar colleague, responded to Gen Tumwine's views on power transition by saying that the former is "30 years late." “It's 30 years late; even so, your "new role" might be over! That is why...,” Besigye explained.
President Museveni’ who has ruled this East African Nation for now close 4 decades doesn’t want to hear about succession talk but being 76 of age now, it’s widely been speculated that the President could opt to retire at the expiry of the current term as he will be 81 in 2026.
As such, a debate on who will be the man or woman to reign in Museveni’s place after four decades will certainly be raging on until 2026.
Museveni's whole reign, though, has been marked by constant worry about who would succeed him when he decides to step down.
Several significant names have emerged in the process over the years, with former Vice President Dr. Samson Kiseka (RIP) being the first likely contender for the seat.
Former Vice Presidents Specioza Kazibwe and Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya, former Prime Ministers Apolo Nsibambi and John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, and former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga are among those who have been mentioned.
Many hopefuls have died in the waiting or have fallen out with the authorities after realizing that their dream of succeeding President Museveni is not realistic.
Prof. Bukenya and former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi are among those who have suffered Museveni's wrath, with the former finding up in Luzira after openly stating his intention to challenge his boss in 2005.
He was kicked out of the government and attempted to run for President, but backed out after becoming angry with the opposition's lack of trust in him.
With the declaration that he will run for President in the 2016 general elections, Amama Mbabazi's story altered. He was perhaps the most powerful man in the ruling National Resistance Movement after Museveni, holding the two powerful roles of Prime Minister and Party Secretary General.
Before being soundly defeated in the polls, he lost the positions of Prime Minister and Secretary General.
Informer East Africa is a UK based diaspora Newspaper. It is a unique platform connecting East Africans at home and abroad through news dissemination. It is a forum to learn together, grow together and get entertained at the same time.
To advertise events or products, get in touch by info [at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447957636854. If you have an issue or a story, get in touch with the editor through editor[at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447886544135.
We also accept donations from our supporters. Please click on "donate". Your donations will go along way in supporting the newspaper.