August 27, 2009

Devastating effects of Mau forest destruction

Filed under: Introduction — parto @ 9:30 am

The government has released a report on the effects of climate change in Rift Valley following massive destruction of the Mau forest. The report details how the destruction of 400,000 hectares of Mau is causing Lakes and rivers to dry up. Increase in temperatures has exposed 25 million people to disease like highlands Malaria, yellow fever and trypanosomiasis.

Another major effect of the destruction is the disruption of wildlife migration in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, famed as the wonder of the world. The tourism industry will be mostly affected, already there is a decline in the number of elephants in many parts while the famous flamingos on Lake Nakuru are slowly disappearing.

The report says the Mau is the source of major rivers which feed into lakes in the country. Currently some of the rivers including Molo and Njoro are on the verge of disappearing. The lakes are highly threatened and their Salinity. Increased competition for land and natural resources was a direct cause of frequent land clashes which have led to displacement of people.

Agricultural production in high pontential districts has dropped by over 50% with maize being the most affected from a previous production of 14.5 million bags a few years ago. Livestock diseases have increased due to the effects of drought.

August 5, 2009

Why flamingos stand on one leg

Filed under: Introduction — parto @ 11:04 am

It is one of the simplest one of the simplest but most enigmatic mysteries of nature. Just why do flamingos like to stand on one leg? Flamingos stand on one leg to regulate  their body temperature The study which was carried out recenly was specialised in finding out if Flamingos show any preference over which side of their body they use for various tasks, just as a human may be right or left- handed.

Flamingos preffer to rest with their head with their heads on one side more than the other, and that which side a flamingo rests its head determines how aggressive it is towards others in the flock.Flamingos do not prefer to rest on one leg more than the other.

Those that prefer to rest their heads to the left are more likely to be involved in aggressive encounters with other birds. That lends support to the idea that being right-handed, or left-handed in this way helps promote the sociol cohesion in flamingos. Flamingos prefer to stand to stand on one leg far more often when  they are standing on land.

In short the birds stand on one leg to conserve body heat. If they put two legs in the water, rather than one, they would loose more heat than is healthy, parrticuarly as they spend so much wading. Other birds, such as herons, storks,ducks and many others often stand on a single leg in water, perhaps for the same reasons as flamingos.

August 4, 2009

Historical monument turns into popular restaurant

Filed under: Introduction — parto @ 12:30 pm

Leven House is one of the most historic and significant sites in Mombasa’s Old Town. Traced back over 170 years, the unique house is named after HMS Leven, a British naval survey ship that visited the coastal in 1824.

Officers from these ship came a shore and were granted permission by captain Owen, the ship’s captain, to conduct their anti-slavery operations from this building. The British naval officers rented the house and turned it into an anti- slavery base.

Various missionaries and explorers stayed here at different times. In i895, it was passed to the colonial Government and was used as a boys’ school. Laven House was gazetted in 1997 and acquired by the National Museum of Kenya in advanced state of decay.

However after vigorous refurbishing , it was fully restored. Today, part of the house has been transformed into a unique Swahili food outlet and, despite the difficulties in accessing the hotel, it has become one of the visited restaurants in Mombasa.

The Swahili cuisine served here has evolved over the years to a unique blend of all that shaped the culture over the years. Spices and coconut milk are used generously to give mouth-watering dishes that are a grim reminder of the House’s rich history.

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