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UNICEF Lauds Kenya’s Decision To Re-open Schools1 minute read

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has praised the decision of the Kenyan government to reopen schools in the East African country.

Schools in Kenya have remained closed since March when the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country.

UNICEF Representative to Kenya, Maniza Zaman, said that the longer children are out of school, the greater the risk that the poorest among them will never return as some might get into child labour or get married off.

An estimated 21 per cent of children drop out of school at primary school level and Zaman says prolonged exposure means more children may drop out of the system.

She added that the closure of schools exposes adolescent girls to a higher risk of sexual abuse, HIV and teenage pregnancy.

The phased re-opening of school will see students in Grade 4, Class 8, and Form 4 resume learning.

UNICEF said the closure of schools in March this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interrupted learning for over 17 million students who missed more than six months of formal education.

“As part of the UN family, UNICEF reaffirms its commitment to supporting the Government of Kenya during this unprecedented and challenging time,” Zaman said.

“As children return to school, we all need to come together to ensure that this transition is smooth for the learners, teachers, and the wider school community. In addition to supporting water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools, we will work with partners to provide parents with the reliable and accurate information they need. Finally, we hope that soon all learners can be safely back in school.”

East Africa News

Somalia Arrests 10 For Trafficking Cheetahs

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Somalia’s Somaliland on Tuesday said ten suspects who have been rounded up in two separate incidents of wildlife trafficking in the past three weeks have been arrested.

The police said some suspects were arrested in Hargeisa while attempting to sell three young cheetah cubs to the highest bidder while others were nabbed after being caught in possession of cheetah cubs.

Kayse Sudi Arale police spokesperson said in a statement “we successfully confiscated 10 cheetah cubs from a known gang of traffickers in the Xeedho area on the outskirts of Hargeisa.

“Two key suspects are in police custody, and they will be brought to justice as soon as possible.’’

The cubs from the two incidents were placed in the immediate care of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), Ministry of Environment and Rural Development’s partner in the counter cheetah-trafficking project.

The CCF said its veterinarians and animal care staff examined the animals and found a host of health problems typically seen in cheetahs that have been in the hands of unskilled captors for more than just a few days.

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East Africa Business News

Uganda Establishes First Free Zone at Entebbe Airport

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The government of Uganda through the Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA) has finalised plans to establish the first public free zone at Entebbe International Airport. The free zone is projected to boost export-oriented investment in the country.

The project will be implemented by the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) on a five acre piece of land acquired from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) at the Entebbe International Airport premises.

Under the arrangement, the project targets sectors which include food processing, mineral processing, warehousing, storage and simple assembly, where all operators in the public free zone will process their products for onward export through Entebbe International Airport.

The development of the Public Free Zone projected to cost UGX 48billion will, on completion house seven production units and trade houses such as offices of the Uganda Free Zones Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, and other government offices to promote enterprise. The Government of Uganda (GoU) has already awarded UGX 12.5 Billion for the first phase of the project.

Speaking at the site handover event, Hez Kimoomi Alinda, the Uganda Free Zones Authority Executive Director, said the project is expected to contribute cargo volumes, create hundreds of direct jobs and significantly improve Uganda’s exports.

“On completion, the project will support increased production quality assurance and value addition to commodities that are widely produced by the masses to improve household incomes, create employment and eliminate poverty as well as improve the value of Uganda’s exports,” he said.

Alinda was speaking while handing over the site for the construction of the Entebbe International Airport Free Zone at which he said they had acquired five acres from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority for the development and contracted National Enterprise Corporation, the commercial arm of the UPDF for the construction.

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East Africa News

Fire On Kilimanjaro Under Control – Official

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A fire on Mount Kilimanjaro that had been raging for seven days is largely under control, the Director General of Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) said on Saturday.

“Thanks to work done by various stakeholders and rain which came in some parts of the mountain last night we have managed to contain the fire by 99 per cent,’’ Allan Kijazi said.

‘`What remains now are small patches in bushes which are still smoking and we are dealing with them as I speak,’’ he added, saying that a helicopter was being used in hard-to-reach areas.

The fire broke out on Sunday and, according to officials, has since destroyed at least 28 square kilometres of bush.

Officials have said some 500 people were working to quell the flames.

At 5,895 metres, Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain and also one of Tanzania’s landmarks.

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