Craig Eisele on …..

February 1, 2012

The Threat of a Water War Egypt and Sudan to Stand Together

Egypt and Sudan draw battle lines with upstream nations over access to the Nile

NATIONS FIGHT over water, especially when access is curtailed or threatened, and there are the ingredients for a battle over the 4,100-mile long Nile River. Egypt and Sudan have counted on the abundance of the Nile’s life-giving flow. Now upstream nations want to keep more of the abundance for themselves. Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda are asserting their rights to more of the river’s relentless flow. Washington needs to intervene to forestall hostilities between the countries.

Britain conquered Uganda and Kenya in the 19th century in part to protect the precious Nile waters from being diverted away from their critical possession of Egypt, the Suez Canal, and the Red Sea route to India. Without the yearly sustaining floods of the Nile, agriculture and settlement in the valley of the river from Luxor to Cairo and Alexandria would have been impossible.

When Britain in the 1920s controlled all of the waters of the Nile, bar those sluicing down the Blue Nile from Ethiopia, it signed a pact that gave Egypt and Sudan rights to nearly 75 percent of its annual flow. This 1929 agreement was confirmed in 1959, after Egypt and the Sudan had broken from Britain but while the East African countries were still colonies.

A new 2010 Cooperative Framework Agreement, now signed by most of the key upstream abutters, would give all riparian states (including the Congo, where a stream that flows into Lake Tanganyika is the acknowledged Nile source) equal access to the resources of the river. That would give preference to large scale upstream energy and industrial, as well as long-time agricultural and irrigation uses.

Egypt and Sudan have refused to sign the new agreement, despite years of discussions and many heated meetings. Given climate change, the drying up of water sources everywhere in Africa and the world, Egypt, which is guaranteed 56 billion of the annual flow of 84 billion cubic meters of Nile water each year, hardly wants to lose even a drop of its allocation. Nor does Sudan, guaranteed 15 billion cubic meters.

About 300 million people depend on the waters of the Nile. The upstream countries, with still growing populations, believe that their socio-economic development has long been unfairly constrained by Egypt’s colonial-era lock on the river. Ethiopia and Uganda have not been able to support agricultural schemes. Nor have they been able fully to harness the river or its tributaries for industry and power. Both have suffered from major hydroelectric shortages in recent years.

Egypt has declared the continued surge of the Nile waters a “red line’’ that affects its “national security.’’ There is discussion in Egypt about the use of air power to threaten upstream offenders, especially if Ethiopia becomes too demanding. In theory, Ethiopia could divert much of the Blue Nile to its own uses. Or Ethiopia and others could charge Egypt for water that has largely escaped modern pricing.

Egypt is sufficiently disturbed by Ethiopia’s potentially aggressive water designs that it has recently made friends with Eritrea, Ethiopia’s arch enemy. In 1998, Ethiopia and Eritrea went to war over slices of insignificant mountainous territory. Although the shooting ended in 2000, a peace settlement handed down by the World Court in 2006 has still not been observed by both sides. If Egypt attacks Ethiopia, Eritrea might join in. Egyptian generals claim that Israel is on the other side, helping the upstream nations by encouraging their thirst for water and by financing the construction of four hydroelectric projects in Ethiopia.

All these issues provide conditions for a war over water. Washington, Egypt’s largest donor, has significant leverage to de-escalate tensions and mediate between the haves and have-nots. After all, Washington supports both Egypt and Ethiopia lavishly and militarily. It needs to demand that all sides stand down.

March 30, 2008

Outragous Costs of Domestic transport in Africa Shows Needs that Can Be Addressed by Private Enterprise.

The two arms of Coega, South Africa’s newest port, extend into the Indian Ocean in graceful arcs. These breakwaters — one is 2.6 km long, the other 1.3 km — are built from thousands of dolosse, huge, oddly-shaped, 30-ton concrete blocks that interlock. They are designed to protect the vessels that, when the port is fully operational in 2007, will use this facility to ship manganese, iron ore and other South African products to China, India and the rest of the world. The government-funded Coega Development Corporation (CDC), which is building an industrial zone on 11,000 hectares of farmland next to the port, likes to think of the massive complex on South Africa’s southeast coast, 20 km from Port Elizabeth, as a symbol of industrial Africa flexing its muscles. “If you want to change lives and the history of this continent, you need to develop infrastructure,” says Vuyelwa Qinga-Vika, spokeswoman for the cdc. “We’re not going to advance if we don’t even have the roads to bring medicine to the rural areas. We’ve got to start building.”

The call to construction is ringing out across Africa. Infrastructure is the new buzzword, pushed by leaders from South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki to Senegal’s Abdulaye Wade. It’s also a key topic at this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Cape Town, where political and business leaders from Africa will meet with heads of some of the world’s biggest companies to discuss, among other things, how Africa’s priority infrastructure projects can boost growth. According to a Gallup International survey commissioned by the WEF, Africans “focus more heavily on economic issues than do citizens in other parts of the world.” One in three Africans fear a failure of the economy compared to just one in five globally.

Despite a commodity boom that pushed growth to 5% in Africa last year, the continent’s leaders want better infrastructure to win more business. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), an African initiative that aims to lure $64 billion in annual investment by tackling bad governance, ending conflicts and making the continent more business-friendly, has put improved infrastructure near the top of its to-do list. “There can be no meaningful development without trade,” reads NEPAD‘s infrastructure action plan. “And there can be no trade without adequate and reliable infrastructure.”

The need is as obvious as it is urgent. Africa’s roads and railway lines, ports and power grids are neither adequate nor reliable. Outside of southern Africa and Mauritius, much of the continent’s infrastructure is crumbling or nonexistent. Consider the Democratic Republic of Congo. You could fit France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain and Britain inside it, and the country is packed with timber and minerals, yet it has only a few thousand kilometers of paved road and 10,000 fixed telephone lines, and produces about the same amount of power as Albania. In other war-torn countries, such as Somalia and Sierra Leone, public buildings have been destroyed by years of fighting. Corruption and mismanagement have left public utilities in places such as Cameroon and Nigeria run down and inefficient.

The lack of infrastructure deters many companies from investing — and drives up costs for those that do. The World Bank estimates that to ship a container from Baltimore in the U.S. to Tanzania costs about $1,000, but to transport that same container from Tanzania to neighboring Burundi costs $10,000. “In many countries, companies have to generate their own power, dig for water, pay heavy distribution and telephone charges,” says David Hampshire, chairman of Diageo Africa, one of the continent’s biggest marketers of beer and spirits. “All these costs add up, and they end up being paid for by the consumer.”

To attract more investment, Africa has drawn up plans to spend billions over the next few decades. Zambia and Burkina Faso, both landlocked, want to build new rail lines through neighboring states to improve their connections to the sea. In East Africa, the Kenyan government and the rebel movement in southern Sudan plan to build a new railway track — at an estimated cost of more than $4 billion — from Sudan more than 1,000 km south to Rongai, Kenya, about 170 km northwest of Nairobi, where it will connect with the existing line to the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa. That notoriously inefficient harbor, along with some half a dozen others around Africa’s coast, is set to undergo a massive expansion and modernization program over the next few years.

The next decade may also finally see the completion of the Trans-Saharan Highway from Algeria to Lagos, Nigeria. Equally bold is the West African Gas Pipeline, which will tap natural gas from the Nigerian oil fields in the country’s southeast and then run almost 700 km along the coast with links to power plants in Lagos, Benin, Togo and Ghana. The most ambitious plan is for a massive dam on the lower Congo River which would eventually produce more than twice the power generated by China’s controversial Three Gorges scheme — enough to sell electricity across the continent as well as export it to Asia and Europe. But that project is at least 20 years away.

Surprisingly, funds for new projects aren’t lacking. Africa’s richest countries are eager to build. South Africa’s government, for instance, is funding the new Coega port and industrial zone. “Private business is not too keen on putting money into infrastructure, so the government has said it will take the lead,” says Lionel Billings, manager for Coega’s enterprise development and investor interaction. Rich donor nations in the West often help finance schemes in poorer countries, as does the World Bank. A growing number of private and foreign government-backed infrastructure funds based in Europe and the U.S., such as AIG African Infrastructure Fund and New Africa Infrastructure Fund, are also supplying capital.

The problem is confidence. Financiers, whether private or public, need projects that they can rely on. “We’ve got liquidity we’re embarrassed about,” says Keith Palmer, chairman of the London-based Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and vice chair of the U.K. investment bank NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd. “But there’s a lack of well-structured, creditworthy opportunities.” Business leaders cite numerous hurdles to investment: corruption, political instability and African governments’ lack of capacity to run huge projects and reluctance to hand over control of projects to the private sector. Richard Laing, chief executive of the Commonwealth Development Corporation, Britain’s agency for investment in the developing world, says the problem is dealing with African governments which have “an unwillingness to let go and a lot of distrust.”

There’s also a catch-22: Africa needs investment and improved infrastructure to develop, but finds it hard to attract the capital such projects need without more development. Thormählen Schweisstechnik, a German company that last year won the right to construct and operate for 25 years the planned railway line from Southern Sudan to the Kenyan coast, is already running into problems with the Kenyan government. Klaus Thormählen, head of the company, says, somewhat euphemistically, “the decision-making process [does not] maintain its dynamics during the times of our absence.” A spokesman in the Kenyan President’s office says that Kenya backs the scheme and is working with the German company to make sure the line is built.

Back at Coega port, a huge crane lifts another concrete block into position. The dock area, which was constructed behind a dam wall, has now been flooded, and is awaiting its first ship. “One of the things that will make it meaningful for South Africans is to see the first businesses set up here,” says Qinga-Vika. “It may just be concrete and steel and new roads, but this is a symbol of hope that we’re doing something to turn this city and continent around.”

October 1, 2007

Craig Eisele Creates Trans-African Development Strategies, Inc.

Craig Eisele Creates:

Trans-African Development Strategies, Inc.
 

            Trans-African Development Strategies, Inc or “TADS” is a New “Private” NGO focused on Infrastructure Development in Africa.

            The purpose of TADS is as follows:

1.    To provide Infrastructure development throughout Africa, whereas the Countries of Africa incur NO DEBT.

2.    To rehabilitate the 108,000 km of roads in Sub-Saharan Africa as identified in a study for the World Bank in 2006 (co-authored by David Wheeler) to facilitate development of trade throughout the Continent of Africa.

3.    To establish a modern limited access 4-lane “Highway” extending from the Mediterranean Cost of Africa and ending in South Africa (hopefully Cape Town, and 1 to 2 kilometers wide the full length of approximately 10,000 km.

4.    To encourage investment in the major portions of Infrastructure in the areas of Communications, Transportation and Power along the path of the “highway listed above in Item #3 and itemized below.

5.    To facilitate the development of a Trans-African Railroad

6.    To facilitate the development of a series of Pipelines to include Oil and Gas (refined and crude products) and Transportation of Water resources to areas in need.

7.    To bring a Fiber Optic Cable through the CENTER of Africa allowing Communication, Video and Internet into areas beyond the coastlines of Africa.

8.    To erect an Electric Transmission line from North to South through the Center of Africa.

9.    To develop electric Generation facilities including Hydro, Solar, Wind, Nuclear and Natural Gas along this same route.

10.  10 To assist in the development of Manufacturing Facilities and secondary and tertiary processing facilities for Natural resources to maximize value added services within Africa and to substantially add and foster job creation.

11.  To Assist in the building of Schools and Hospitals along this same pathway.

12.  Assist in the development of large scale commercial farming and ranching operations.

13.  To repeat Items 3 through 12 on at least one possibly 2 East to West Trans Continental Paths in Africa intersecting with the Primary Route of North to South and tying the Continent of Africa together with World Class Facilities.

We are certain that this will allow Africa to not only be self sufficient, but also Increases Wages to alleviate Poverty, reduce human suffering increase health care availability, and foster educational benefits throughout Africa and allow other NGO’s to better server those people who are in need but are not getting the aid they now desperately need because of the lack of infrastructure.

We also believe that the increase in GNP and GDP will spawn an increase in Tax Revenues and the ability for the countries to be able to access international financing for other projects that each individual country deems appropriate for its population.

TADS expects to raise 100 Billion Dollars of “AID” for the Roads and Highway Projects paid over the next 7 years. With Direct Spending on African Labor and materials to exceed 40 Billion Dollars up to 70 Billion dollars over the 7 year period. A Strategy to obtain these funds has been developed and refined over the last 2 years. While meet with skepticism by many the project is real and attainable despite the nay-sayers and those who would detract form the ultimate goal of a “New and Brighter Future for Africa.”

This estimate does not include anything except the road and highway projects.

TADS has a REAL Vision for Africa and invites anyone wishing to see this vision realized to participate in anyway they feel is appropriate.

While this is the first in a series of Announcements, more information will be provided over the near future.

 

Craig Eisele

Managing Director

Trans African Development Strategies, Inc.

 

September 24, 2007

FREE… that is what African Countries have been told!

FREE… that is what African Countries have been told!

By: Craig Eisele 24 August 2007

Free is just that FREE!!

What am I referring to?? 108,000 Kilometers of road rehabilitation… cost… about 40 billion US dollars… Cost to participating African Countries… ZERO!!

“What?” I can hear the disbelief coming through my computer already!! Yes… Zero Cost!!

As the Founder of Trans-African Development I have spent the last 2 years trying to find a proper way of giving Africa a boost to be self sufficient… And I believe with my whole heart that I have done just that.

So what is the problem?? Well. Besides skepticism and people who are myopic (closed minded) and without hearing me through on this plan and how it can be implemented, dismiss the idea as fanciful or impractical…. The problem appears to be that this project plan has not been able to get to the decision makers of most African Countries to present such a plan for development. The “gatekeepers”, as they are called in marketing and management terms, are blocking access and as a result they are keeping Africa from Development that is needed for the PEOPLE of Africa.

Today in AllAfrica.com there was an article (http://allafrica.com/stories/200709240087.html) co-authored by Donald Kaberuka (President of the African Development Bank) and Pascal Lamy (Director General of the WTO… World Trade Organization) that specifically referenced the need for the rebuilding of Sub-Saharan Trade Routes (by aid I presume) to facilitate Africa’s ability to Trade Inter-Africa as well as Outside the Continent of Africa. YET… I have already devised a program to do just that…. based upon the same World Bank report co-authored by David Wheeler.

How is it possible that these gentlemen, these men with intense interest in developing Africa, are not aware of this project??… It is simple… the “gatekeepers” have decided that this project is not realistic without even hearing the presentation or reading the literature that supports this project. Hence… Africa and Africans suffer the consequences.

Africa is suffering from Paralysis by Analysis at its highest levels. The “movers and shakers”, those that are willing to actually do the work, are dismissed instead of being used to implement ideas and strategies that benefit the Continent of Africa. While the People of Africa are natural entrepreneurs, some governing bodies seem to me obsessed with more and more studies as the people of Africa suffer. In my opinion, this is just plain wrong.

The Continent needs a through and complete coordination of needs to facilitate plans that benefit the people and the Communities of Africa… but that requires that there be an actual implementation plan of action and that it actually be implemented…. Personally I cannot wait that long…. And I suspect neither can the Population of Africa. So I implore ALL Countries in Africa to endorse this plan as “good” for them and for all of Africa and to let me implement this project with minimal delays!!!

I am ready to IMPLEMENT this project plan… to rehabilitate the roads necessary for trade and Development of the Continent of Africa… but I cannot do it without the governing bodies of Africa… and so far trying to get to the right people, let alone get their endorsement has been frustrating.

Today I decided to make my frustration known… to publicly announce that I stand ready to raise the money for this “gift” to Africa and to start the process of rebuilding the most basic of Infrastructure needs… ROADS.

I humbly ask those decision makers in Africa to hear my call. I ask that they endorse such a gift and see the enormous potential that such a project can and will bring to the Continent. The idea that we can ease human suffering, create Jobs, Increase Investment, and start a positive path for the Population of Africa ….to ease their suffering, reduce poverty and despair and to bring hope for a better future to fruition via this project!

NGO’s take note… as this will allow your “aid” to get to the people in a timely and reasonable safe and efficient manner… to the Industries of the World take heed… this project bring transportation of raw and finished goods to a more efficient level… and to the people of Africa… I will not stop trying to help you to be able to be self-sufficient! No NGO or Industry should hinder this project.. and in fact they should also endorse it and encourage its implementation and development with all due haste. The question is… do you have the foresight and courage to do so??

This article is not meant to inflame or denigrate any person or persons… it is strictly a call to action for those that can help… to those that want to make a difference…

I neglected to say that several Countries have endorsed this project… but naturally they do not want to be left sitting alone while the rest of Africa ignores this project. I respect their need and desire to be anonymous until we have a majority of African Nations endorsing this project.

Lastly I want to reiterate the word FREE…. few if any African Country can afford to do what I am offering to do in their own countries… the only real way to help Africa is to give it the necessary Infrastructure to allow it to develop in the way it wants to develop… the road rehabilitation offer is only a tool for Africa to use…. BUT even then… such a project MUST be WITHOUT cost to ALL AFRICAN Nations… to saddle them with more debt is only to exacerbate the problems that have kept Africa down so long… and any cost to any African Nation for this project would simply add to what is already a tragic story…. So again I want to do this project for FREE (NO COST TO ANY AFRICAN COUNTRY)!!

Next week in Tanzania there is a conference (yes ANOTHER conference) with the world Bank about Aid and Trade… I would hope that this project and the Trans-African Development Company’s proposal would be discussed and publicly acknowledged as something that has potential if not more for Africa and should be encouraged to proceed with tacit endorsement pending review…. I will be watching and waiting to see if the decision makers are finally aware of this… and hopefully share with me this dream of a revitalized Africa in the near future.

NOTE: This “Road Rehabilitation” project is in addition to the Trans African Development Company project to build a 4-lane major highway extending from the Mediterranean Sea to the tip of Southern Africa and the ancillary projects it hopes to install as well along that path.

September 9, 2007

African Countries Airports Authorities to Meet in Arusha, Tanzania

Airports Authorities to Meet in Arusha

East African (Nairobi)
NEWS
4 September 2007
Posted to the web 4 September 2007

By Mike Mande
Nairobi
African airport authorities are meeting in Arusha in Tanzania later this month to discuss how well they can use technology to power traffic growth.

Through the Airports Council International-Africa region conference, the authorities will look at other key challenges facing African air transport industry such as security.

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ACI-Africa regional secretary Brig Maamoune Chakira said the event will be three-tiered, organised around chief executives, the conference and the exhibition.

“Although this is an airports event, there will be participants from the airline industry, especially our partner, African Airlines Association (FRAA),” he said.

ACI-Africa authorities, alongside invited airlines, will examine airlines’ requirements for passenger comfort and the expected co-operation with airports.

According to Director General of Tanzania Airports Authority Prosper Tesha, the event will feature experts on safety, security, information technology and economic development.

“Our members are signing up the ACI Airports Services Quality (ASQ) programme that allows us to measure passenger satisfaction and benchmark with similar airports around the world,” he said.

Over 200 delegates from 45 African countries have been invited. Exhibitors are also expected from Africa, Europe – France, Germany and UK – and North America.

ACI-Africa is responsible for Airports Council International programmes in Africa, which promote professionalism among its airport members while advocating their collective interests.

The conference comes at a time when the industry forecasts a 5.8 per traffic increase this year and 5.6 in 2008. In 2006, passenger traffic at African airports grew by 6.4 per cent to over 112 million.

The intra-African traffic is expected to increase by around 10 per cent annually over the coming years and the facilities need to be added to accommodate the forecast growth and allow passengers to go about their business in Africa and beyond.

Most African airports are also developing innovative initiatives with airlines partners to facilitate their operations.

Belgian Airlines wants Tanzania, more of Africa

Belgian-based Brussels Airlines is keen on adding Tanzania to its flights even as it shops around for more routes to the rest of the continent.

“Tanzania is missing from our network, but traffic is picking up there,” Geert Sciot, the firm’s vice president for communication said.

To this end, the airline is already analysing passenger, revenue, cargo, transfer and connection potential and profit margins before embarking on the route, he added.

He said the airline was reviewing its safety and security, operational aspects, crew rotations, bilateral agreements, visa issues and the figures that emerge from the ongoing business analysis.

The airline will also increase its flights to Entebbe, Kigali and Bujumbura from December. There will be three weekly flights from Kigali, four from Entebbe and two from Bujumbura.

According to Mr Sciot, expanding to Africa is their priority.

We will increase our total cap-acity to the Great Lakes region by 30 per cent. We also intend to improve our network offer to Congo and West Africa,” said Mr Sciot.

The airline said it is looking for additional routes and destinations in Africa.

August 21, 2007

East Africa Region to Have Single Currency by 2012

Region to Have Single Currency by 2012

New Vision (Kampala)
NEWS
20 August 2007
Posted to the web 21 August 2007

By Felix Osike
Kampala
THE East African heads of state yesterday resolved to have a common market and a single currency by 2012, then move on to a political federation.

While noting the overwhelming support of East Africans for a political federation, the leaders decided to “move expeditiously towards establishing a common market and a monetary union by 2012.”

The common market would allow the free circulation of goods and movement of the people within the region. To ease this, one common passport will be used within the five countries.

The decision came after most Tanzanians rejected the proposal to fast-track the East Africa political federation whose ultimate objective was to have a federal president and parliament by 2013. Tanzania wants a gradual movement towards the federation.

After hours of a closed-door meeting at Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge in Arusha, the leaders called for more time for consultations to take place in Rwanda and Burundi.

A statement issued at the end of the meeting said the leaders, after considering the reports of the national consultative committees, “noted the need to mobilise and deepen sensitisation on political integration and stimulate greater political will to promote deeper economic integration.”

Presidents Yoweri Museveni, Mwai Kibaki (Kenya), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania), Amani Abeid Karume (Zanzibar) and Burundi’s second Vice-president Gabriel Ntisezerana attended the meeting.

The leaders of Rwanda and Burundi, who were attending the summit for the first time since their admission last month, were asked to speed up the process of integrating fully in the customs union which came into force on January 1, 2005.

The chairman of the Council of Ministers, Eriya Kategaya, said negotiations among partner states on the common market starts next month.

Museveni, who chaired the summit, added that although there was overwhelming support for the fast tracking process in Kenya and Uganda, there was less support from Tanzania mainly because of questions regarding land, employment, security and other natural resources.

“These questions are easy to answer and cannot form an obstacle at all,” Museveni observed.

According to the findings, most Tanzanians were afraid their country risked being infected with ethnicity problems and corruption that characterise politics in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. There is also the fear of loss of sovereignty.

Tanzanians also fear Kenyans will take advantage to migrate to Tanzania and take up legal rights there.

There was broad consensus from the five partner states that the East African Community should negotiate one economic partnership agreement with the European Union. However, Tanzania rejected a proposal backed by the four nations to allow other countries in it.

The summit also adjusted various administrative and financial systems geared at accommodating Rwanda and Burundi.

The membership of the Legislative Assembly will now increase to 55 members from the current 33.

In his address, Museveni urged the leaders to ensure that the process towards regional integration was not reversed. “All the options are leading to progress and not to stagnation that has characterised the last 50 years in Africa.”

He said even for the 13 original colonies to agree to form a nucleus of the United States of America was not easy.

“We are all now worshipping the USA instead of worshipping God. The Latin American Spanish colonies which after independence acted differently are now far behind the USA in all aspects of human endeavour.

“Europe which was the epitome of fragmentation, war, bigotry etc is also waking up,” he asserted.

“Some leaders are talking of United States of Africa. Do not under-estimate this view. Eventually, small countries of West Africa have found out, from the experience of the last 50 years of independence that without unity they cannot manage. It is a good movement; it needs to be harnessed carefully,” Museveni warned.

Museveni said Africa was the cradle of mankind and civilisation yet it in the last 500 years, “it has bled, been humiliated and lagged behind other continents.”

“Fifty years after independence, all African countries except South Africa, are still third world countries regardless of whether they have had a violent history or not,” he added.

He attributed this to the past leaders and the ancestors. “African leaders, past and present are responsible primarily for the misfortunes of Africa,” he commented.

He also remarked that after independence African leaders failed to “move strategically in order to immunise Africa or insure Africa against future re-colonisation, marginalisation or even extermination of her peoples.”

He paid tribute to the late Tanzanian President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere for his strong stance against balkanisation of African countries.

“Ever since my youth, I have been a supporter of the formation of the federation of East Africa. That is why I became a strong follower of Mwalimu Nyerere,” he remarked.

July 19, 2007

Uganda, Africa: Earthquake Tremors Shake Kampala City

Filed under: Africa,Earthquake,Kenya,Tanzania,Trans Africa,Uncategorized — Mr. Craig @ 10:21 am

Tremors Shake Kampala City

New Vision (Kampala)
NEWS
18 July 2007
Posted to the web 19 July 2007

By Steven Candia
Kampala
TREMORS shook Kampala shortly after 9:00pm and again at 10:15pm last night, raising fears that the earthquakes that have rocked Tanzania and Kenya for the last six days could be spreading to Uganda.

“There are no reports of damage yet but we are monitoring the situation,” said Police spokesman Asan Kasingye.

The meteorology department said it would provide a detailed statement today.

July 18, 2007

Earthquake Creates Panic in Parts of Kenya and Tanzania

Filed under: Africa,Earthquake,Kenya,Tanzania,Uncategorized — Mr. Craig @ 10:11 pm

Earthquake Panic Grips Kenya and Tanzania

The Nation (Nairobi)
NEWS
18 July 2007
Posted to the web 18 July 2007

By Churchill Otieno and Njoroge Kinuthia
Nairobi
American geological experts have downplayed chances of recent tremors in Kenya and Tanzania leading to a major earthquake.

At the same time, the Kenya Government moved to calm fears that have spread especially in Nairobi that an earthquake was likely.

A report by American geologists says the earthquakes represent a seismic phenomenon known as a seismic “swarm”.

This according to USGS, “is an episode of high earthquake activity in which the largest earthquake does not occur at the beginning of the episode and in which the largest earthquake is not substantially larger than other earthquakes of the episode”.

This appears to suggest that the series of quakes that have shook the region since Saturday may not necessarily culminate into a major earthquake disaster.

The magnitude of the series of quakes has been between 4.4 and 6.0 according to USGS data.

The earthquake swarm is situated close to the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania, an active volcano in the Rift Valley.

According to USGS volcanic eruptions are often preceded and accompanied by earthquake swarms, but most earthquake swarms are not associated with volcanic eruptions.

However, the experts say the information recorded by the centre is not sufficient to determine if the current Tanzania swarm activity might lead to a change in the eruptive behaviour of Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano.

The Kenya Government has mounted three Press conferences in six hours to discount reports that spread widely in the night that Nairobi was likely to suffer an earthquake.

Thousands of residents in parts of the city spent a good part of the night outside their houses after unconfirmed reports claimed an evacuation had been ordered ahead of an earthquake expected at dawn.

Several tremors have been felt in the region since Saturday, all whose sources were traced to earth movements along the Kenya/Tanzania border.

Most of the residents affected said they were woken up either by night guards or friends and relatives who claimed a report aired on an international network TV warned of an impending quake.

Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua told the first Press conference at 7am: “There has been a rumour spreading that the American Embassy in Nairobi has issued a warning to its members of staff that there will be an impending earthquake in Nairobi soon. The Government discounts this as a rumour. The US Embassy in Nairobi has NOT issued any warning. Neither has the United States Geological Survey issued any warning of an impending major earthquake in Kenya. The Government is in touch with geological experts from across the world,” Dr Mutua said.

He asked for calm emphasising that it was impossible to predict earthquakes.

A resident in Nairobi’s Parklands area, Mrs Bhatt said she was called by relatives who told her that an earthquake was expected in Nairobi between 5am and 6.30am.

“I woke up and there was no electricity. I looked through the window and many many people were on the streets, some locked themselves in their cars. Many others went to the Oshwal open grounds,” she told the Nation newsdesk.

Similar reports were received from Kileleshwa, Kilimani, Ngong Road and Nyayo Highrise residential areas.

Panic stricken office workers in Nairobi have evacuated at least six high rise buildings following the reports.

The Government gave out a list of precautions people should observe in case on an earthquake:

1. Do not panic.

2. Do not rush out immediately during the Earthquake – Earthquakes last only a few seconds.

3. Look for a safe corner – preferably where there is a firm steel column. Avoid the centre of a building where objects can collapse on you.

4. If there is a heavy table, hide underneath it because it will shield you from falling objects.

5. Switch off non-crucial lights, water and any gas.

6. When the situation has stabilized, walk out of the building.

7. Do not use lifts – use stairs.

8. Stand far away from buildings.

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