Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Poem: Telepathy by Manuel Odeny

I hear you call me,
amid the rustling leaves
tapping me roof
i hear you….
call me

Your voice seeps with the wind
impatiently rasping me door
I, open- darkness
gust, gale gashes in
uninvited guest
filling the void
you left!

I call you
Then I hear you call me


I peek
the groove whispers
night looking on
heavy with expectations
then, you giggle -
I seek thee
then stumble
and fall
on a soft mound
and hug your grave
to me bosom
i hold

"Good night love
sleep with a pullover"
i whisper.
"It's a cold night-
go back in"
you reply      

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Poem: Good Lord This Night by Manuel Odeny

The night is getting wearier
shadows getting dreadier
sun rays hugging horizon, hungrier
darkens envelopes
silently, tighter
a day is dead
tenderly me steps you watched
from dawn to dusk
a day is spent.

Good Lord this night
as me lay me down a slumber
be with me.

as darkness seeps me abode
may angles be a sentry
swishing winds to serenade
stars shining a vigil
your warmth caressing
a lull to slumber.

May thy invisible hand, needle
touch marrows sickly
granting longevity.
travelers abode man made machines
racing mysterious night
hold drivers' hand
guiding them to safety

Guide me dearies yonder
to pearly gates easing flounder
till Immanuel's grounds we wonder
safing we souls from wander.

Good Lord this night
as me lay me down a slumber
may morning herald
with birds to serenade
sweet songs
as sun upon horizon
upon cool mornin' mist
me spirits to uplift
in glory,

good Lord this night
as me lay me down a slumber…

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ethiopian farmers to get market boost through irrigation project

Farm under irrigation in Ethiopia
Ethiopian farmers will benefit from a multi-million irrigation scheme in a value chain improvement project.
The  CAD 19.26 million will directly and indirectly benefit more than 200,000 households engaged in livestock and irrigated agriculture, improve the skills of over 5,000 public service staff, and work with 2,100 value chain input and service suppliers at district, zone and federal levels.
The new research for development project named Livestock and Irrigation Value chains for Ethiopian Smallholders – LIVES was launched today by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), both members of the CGIAR Consortium.
It seeks to directly support of the Government of Ethiopia’s effort to transform smallholder agriculture to be more market-oriented.
“This project is unique in that it integrates livestock with irrigated agriculture development and is designed to support the commercialization of smallholder agriculture by testing and scaling lessons to other parts of Ethiopia,” LIVES project manager, Azage Tegegne emphasized .
The manager added that it will be an excellent opportunity for CGIAR centres to work hand in hand with Ethiopian research and development institutions.”
During the launch the Ethiopian State Minister of Agriculture Wondirad Mandefro welcomed the project as a direct contribution to both the Growth Transformation Plan (GTP) and the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) of the Ethiopian Government.
“We expect this investment to generate technologies, practices and results that can be implemented at larger scales and ultimately benefit millions of Ethiopian smallholder producers as well as the consumers of their products,” Canadian Head of Aid, Amy Baker
Canada which funds the project expect it to contribute to Ethiopia’s efforts to drive agricultural transformation, improve nutritional status and unlock sustainable economic growth through creation of  new and innovative partnerships that will drive agricultural growth.
The project will take place over six years in 31 districts of ten zones in Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples and Tigray regions, where 8% of the country’s human population resides to improve the incomes of smallholder farmers through value chains development in livestock (dairy, beef, sheep and goats, poultry and apiculture) and irrigated agriculture (fruits, vegetables and fodder).
"Projects that support local farmers can help a community in so many ways; not only by providing food and the most appropriate crops, but also by teaching long term skills that can have an impact for years to come," said Canada Minister of International Cooperation the Honourable Julian Fantino.
The project will focus on clusters of districts, developing and improving livestock production systems and technologies in animal breeding, feed resources, animal nutrition and management, sustainable forage seed systems, sanitation and animal health, and higher market competitiveness.
The launch was also attended by Canadian Ambassador to Ethiopia David Usher, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and several Ethiopian government institutes.
©Manuel Odeny

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Poem: Alicia by Manuel Odeny

Did I tell you about Alicia
my childhood sweetheart?
her beauty bewitching
the lilt of her laughter
invoking a longing for love
the tilt of her graceful neck
invoking a longing for love
her sweet seraph voice
the wake of her sweet smile

Did I tell you about Alicia
childhood vows broken
hushed, hustled promises
sealed in scented envelopes
all gone
with divide of time

Did I tell you about Alicia
my childhood sweetheart?
she died
the big disease wasted her
AIDS emaciated her
before midnight hour
before cock crowing dawn hour
her soul departed here
like echoes in a tomb
accentuating the hurt


as white shroud silently cover her cadaver
my spirit, soul settles silently
as she's lowered deep in grave
i shed tears of hope, love
raising with the dirge
upward with prayers
for am still in love


Have I told you about Alicia
my childhood sweet heart?
she was buried

Sunday, January 13, 2013

How I quit weed and ended up as a sole ethanol head

By Murimi Mwangi
I have on several occasions rejected requests from the Explosive department to decamp from the ethanol department and join them, or at least acquire membership in both departments.
At one point the HOD of the ethanol department even offered to step aside for me to head the department due to my astounding work at the Ethanol Department Executive Drinking Committee.
I have justifiable grounds upon which I have incessantly rebuffed the offers, and a historical ordeal is one such justification.
Before I decided to become totally devoted to a single brain bombardment catalyst, I attempted to join the Weed Bureau of the larger Explosives Department and the repercussions were unmentionably perilous.
It all happened in my remote village of Kajiji. Njiri (Bhang) the village think-tank that I recently mentioned in this column had advised me that since bhang smoking was harmful to your health, alternative means of ‘using’ it was the way to go.
He advised me that weed was harmless so long as you ‘used’ it by any other means other than inhaling it into your lungs.
 Since we held Njiri on high esteem in the village for his astounding acumen, I bought into his idea and immediately signed a performance contract with the Weed Bureau.
I still recall how I once boiled water to cook ugali, and in the same water sprinkled grains of the holy herb and proceeded to cook a ‘consecrated ugali’.  As the ugali cooked I rushed to the market to buy vegetables.
However, with my exit, my 4 years old brother tiptoed into my ‘cubicle’ and wolfed down a huge chunk of the ugali before escaping into the coffee bushes.
He left the door open and my dog Bosco sneaked in and took also his share by devouring a huge lump of the ‘consecrated ugali’.
As I walked into the homestead a horrendous laughter emanating from the coffee bushes grabbed my attention. Recognizing the young voice I rushed there.
Loo and behold the sight before my eyes there could only be described as a scene from a thriller comedy. My brother was wearing his Man U underwear on his head.
Bosco, my dog was dancing to a tune that only he could comprehend. And at every dance, my brother would chock with a satanic laughter.
I immediately resigned from the explosives department to become a fulltime bureaucrat in the Ethanol Department!
Long live Ruaraka and Keroche.
© Mwangi Murimi

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Kenyan coast region has high aquaculture potential, artemia breeding - Marine expert

This proud fisherman in Mombasa shows his catch. There is a huge fishing potential at the Coast province
The Kenyan coast has a high aquaculture potential high a Belgian fisheries expert has said.
Professor Patrick Sorgeloos of the Artemia Reference Centre, University of Ghent, Belgium while visiting the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) recently singled out brine shrimp called artemia- a nutritious small, soft-bodied crustacean as a major investment.
“With adequate availability of artemia for use in the aquaculture hatcheries, milkfish and crabs can be farmed commercially in the coast region,” said Sorgeloos said when he toured KMFRI’s Artemi project in Gongoni, Malindi.
“There’s a captive market for the two fisheries at the coast”, added the professor, who is renown worldwide for his contribution to research and development of aquaculture.
In an online news release the research institute says artemia and its eggs which can be harvested and stored for several years act as a highly nutritious and a major substitute for the natural plankton diet for fish and shrimp fingerlings in aquaculture facilities worldwide.
“It occurs worldwide in natural highly salty lakes, ponds and lagoons which makes it convenient, largely due to its general availability, nutritional quality, and ease and versatility of use,” the statement says.
KEFRI’s aquaculture program coordinator, Dr. Betty Nyonje also added that artemia can be raised in man-operated solar salt-works since their proper population management will benefit farmers by increasing production and quality of salt.
“Artemia filters out the phytoplanktons, which when in excessive amounts lead to smaller and lower quality salt crystals. Its presence therefore leads to bigger and better quality salt crystals,” Nyonje said.
The institute’s their Malindi artemia project is set to be commercial by producing the shrimp for aquaculture industry locally and internationally.
“Several individuals, groups, and salt companies in the coast are gearing themselves to engage in the production of the Artemia cysts and/or biomass as a business venture to improve their livelihoods,” it said.
The Artemia project is a Belgian Interuniversity Council (VLIR) funded project, being implemented through a tripartite partnership between the KMFRI, Ghent University of Belgium and Can Tho University of Vietnam.
During Sorgeloos’ visit he was accompanied by the Belgian Ambassador to Kenya Bart Ouvry and KMFRI’s Deputy Director in-charge of inland waters research, Dr. Enock Wakwabi among others.
Manuel Odeny ©2013