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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Monday 28th of September 2020

''Power is not a means, it is an end. ... The object of power is power. ... There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party." — 1984 @steve_vladeck
Law & Politics

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. ...  Power is not a means, it is an end. ... The object of power is power. ... There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party." — 1984

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25-MAR-2019 :: :: If You want to measure a Soft Power Leapfrog, Keep an Eye on the Kiwis and this remarkably sophisticated epitome of c21st Girl Power @jacindaardern
Law & Politics

Gove's move on Boris reminds me of that classic fable about the two scorpions who can't cross the river because they keep stinging one another while braying "It's my nature!" "No it's MY nature" as a frog side-eyes them from number 

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The al-fresco life of summer was returning indoors. Talk of a second wave was everywhere. @TheEconomist
World Of Finance

Across the Atlantic the United States saw its official covid-19 death toll—higher than that of all western Europe put together—break the 200,000 barrier. 

India, which has seen more than half a million new cases a week for four weeks running, will soon take America’s unenviable laurels as the country with the largest official case count.

The world looks set to see its millionth officially recorded death from covid-19 before the beginning of October. 

That is more than the World Health Organisation (who) recorded as having died from malaria (620,000), suicide (794,000) or hiv/aids (954,000) over the whole of 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available.

Those deaths represent just over 3% of the recorded covid-19 cases, which now number over 32m. That tally is itself an underestimate of the number who have actually been infected by sars-cov-2, the virus which causes covid 19. Many of the infected do not get sick. Many who do are never seen by any health system.

A better, if still imperfect, sense of how many infections have taken place since the outbreak began at the end of last year can be gleaned from “serosurveys” which scientists and public-health officials have undertaken around the world. These look for antibodies against sars-cov-2 in blood samples which may have been taken for other purposes. Their presence reveals past exposure to the virus.

Various things make these surveys inaccurate. They can pick up antibodies against other viruses, inflating their totals—an effect which can differ from place to place, as there are more similar-looking viruses circulating in some regions than in others. They can mislead in the other direction, too. Some tests miss low levels of antibody. Some people (often young ones) fight off the virus without ever producing antibodies and will thus not be recorded as having been infected. As a result, estimates based on serosurveys have to be taken with more than a grain of salt.

But in many countries it would take a small sea’s worth of the stuff to bring the serosurvey figures into line with the official number of cases. The fact that serosurvey data are spotty—there is very little, for example, openly available from China—means it is not possible to calculate the global infection rate directly from the data at hand. But by constructing an empirical relationship between death rates, case rates, average income—a reasonable proxy for intensity of testing—and seropositivity it is possible to impute rates for countries where data are not available and thus estimate a global total.

The graphic on this page shows such an estimate based on 279 serosurveys in 19 countries. It suggests that infections were already running at over 1m a day by the end of January—when the world at large was only just beginning to hear of the virus’s existence. In May the worldwide rate appears to have been more than 5m a day. The uncertainties in the estimate are large, and become greater as you draw close to the present, but all told it finds that somewhere between 500m and 730m people worldwide have been infected—from 6.4% to 9.3% of the world’s population. The who has not yet released serosurvey-based estimates of its own, though such work is under way; but it has set an upper bound at 10% of the global population.

As the upper part of the following data panel shows, serosurvey results which can be directly compared with the diagnosed totals are often a great deal bigger. In Germany, where cases have been low and testing thorough, the seropositivity rate was 4.5 times the diagnosed rate in August. In Minnesota a survey carried out in July found a multiplier of seven. A survey completed on August 23rd found a 6.02% seropositivity rate in England, implying a multiplier of 12. A national serosurvey of India conducted from the middle of May to early June found that 0.73% were infected, suggesting a national total of 10m. The number of registered cases at that time was 226,713, giving a multiplier of 44. Such results suggest that a global multiplier of 20 or so is quite possible.

If the disease is far more widespread than it appears, is it proportionately less deadly than official statistics, mainly gathered in rich countries, have made it look? Almost certainly. On the basis of British figures David Spiegelhalter, who studies the public understanding of risk at Cambridge University, has calculated that the risk of death from covid increases by about 13% for every year of age, which means a 65-year-old is 100 times more likely to die than a 25-year-old. And 65-year-olds are not evenly distributed around the world. Last year 20.5% of the eu’s population was over 65, as opposed to just 3% of sub-Saharan Africa’s.

But it is also likely that the number of deaths, like the number of cases, is being seriously undercounted, because many people will have died of the disease without having had a positive test for the virus. One way to get around this is by comparing the number of deaths this year with that which would be predicted on the basis of years past. This “excess mortality” method relies on the idea that, though official statistics may often be silent or misleading as to the cause of death, they are rarely wrong about a death actually having taken place.

The Economist has gathered all-cause mortality data from countries which report them weekly or monthly, a group which includes most of western Europe, some of Latin America, and a few other large countries, including the United States, Russia and South Africa (see lower part of data panel). Between March and August these countries recorded 580,000 covid-19 deaths but 900,000 excess deaths; the true toll of their share of the pandemic appears to have been 55% greater than the official one. This analysis suggests that America’s official figures underestimate the death toll by 30% or more (America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have provided a similar estimate). This means that the real number of deaths to date is probably a lot closer to 300,000 than 200,000. That is about 10% of the 2.8m Americans who die each year—or, put another way, half the number who succumb to cancer. And there is plenty of 2020 still to go.

Add to all this excess mortality unreported deaths from countries where record keeping is not good enough to allow such assessments and the true death toll for the pandemic may be as high as 2m.

What can be done to slow its further rise? The response to the virus’s original vertiginous ascent was an avalanche of lockdowns; at its greatest extent, around April 10th, at least 3.5bn people were being ordered to stay at home either by national governments or regional ones. The idea was to stop the spread of the disease before health-care systems collapsed beneath its weight, and in this the lockdowns were largely successful. But in themselves they were never a solution. They severely slowed the spread of the disease while they were in place, but they could not stay in place for ever.

Stopping people interacting with each other at all, as lockdowns and limits on the size of gatherings do, is the first of three ways to lower a disease’s reproduction number, R—the number of new cases caused by each existing case. The second is reducing the likelihood that interactions lead to infection; it requires mandated levels of social distancing, hygiene measures and barriers to transmission such as face masks and visors. The third is reducing the time during which an infectious person can interact with people under any conditions. This is achieved by finding people who may recently have been infected and getting them to isolate themselves.

Ensuring that infectious people do not have time to do much infecting requires a fast and thorough test-and-trace system. Some countries, including Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, have successfully combined big testing programmes which provide rapid results with a well developed capacity for contact tracing and effective subsequent action. Others have foundered.

Networks and herds

Israel provides a ready example. An early and well-enforced lockdown had the expected effect of reducing new infections. But the time thus bought for developing a test-and-trace system was not well used, and the country’s emergence from lockdown was ill-thought-through. This was in part because the small circle around prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu into which power has been concentrated includes no one with relevant expertise; the health ministry is weak and politicised.

Things have been made worse by the fact that social distancing and barrier methods are being resisted by some parts of society. Synagogues and Torah seminaries in the ultra-Orthodox community and large tribal weddings in the Arab-Israeli community have been major centres of infection. While unhappy countries, like Tolstoy’s unhappy families, all differ, the elements of Israel’s dysfunction have clear parallels elsewhere.

Getting to grips with “superspreader” events is crucial to keeping R low. Close gatherings in confined spaces allow people to be infected dozens at a time. In March almost 100 were infected at a biotech conference in Boston. Many of them spread the virus on: genetic analysis subsequently concluded that 20,000 cases could be traced to that conference.

Nipping such blooms in the bud requires lots of contact tracing. Taiwan’s system logs 15-20 contacts for each person with a positive test. Contact tracers in England register four to five close contacts per positive test; those in France and Spain get just three. It also requires that people be willing to get tested in the first place. In England only 10-30% of people with covid-like symptoms ask for a test through the National Health Service. One of the reasons is that a positive test means self-isolation. Few want to undergo such restrictions, and few are good at abiding by them. In early May a survey in England found that only a fifth of those with covid symptoms had self-isolated as fully as required. The government is now seeking to penalise such breaches with fines of up to £10,000 ($12,800). That will reduce the incentive to get tested in the first place yet further.

As much of Europe comes to terms with the fact that its initial lockdowns have not put an end to its problems, there is increased interest in the Swedish experience. Unlike most of Europe, Sweden never instigated a lockdown, preferring to rely on social distancing. This resulted in a very high death rate compared with that seen in its Nordic neighbours; 58.1 per 100,000, where the rate in Denmark is 11.1, in Finland 6.19 and in Norway 4.93. It is not clear that this high death rate bought Sweden any immediate economic advantage. Its gdp dropped in the second quarter in much the same way as gdps did elsewhere.

It is possible that by accepting so many deaths upfront Sweden may see fewer of them in the future, for two reasons. One is the phenomenon known, in a rather macabre piece of jargon, as “harvesting”. Those most likely to succumb do so early on, reducing the number of deaths seen later. The other possibility is that Sweden will benefit from a level of herd immunity: once the number of presumably immune survivors in the population grows high enough, the spread of the disease slows down because encounters between the infected and the susceptible become rare. Avoiding lockdown may conceivably have helped with this.

On the other hand, one of the advantages of lockdowns was that they provided time not just for the development of test-and-trace systems but also for doctors to get better at curing the sick. In places with good health systems, getting covid-19 is less risky today than it was six months ago. isaric, which researches infectious diseases, has analysed the outcomes for 68,000 patients hospitalised with covid-19; their survival rate increased from 66% in March to 84% in August. The greatest relative gains have been made among the most elderly patients. Survival rates among British people 60 and over who needed intensive care have risen from 39% to 58%.

This is largely a matter of improved case management. Putting patients on oxygen earlier helps. So does reticence about using mechanical ventilators and a greater awareness of the disease’s effects beyond the lungs, such as its tendency to provoke clotting disorders.

Nouvelle vague

As for treatments, two already widely available steroids, dexamethasone and hydrocortisone, increase survival by reducing inflammation. Avigan, a Japanese flu drug, has been found to hasten recovery. Remdesivir, a drug designed to fight other viruses, and convalescent plasma, which provides patients with antibodies from people who have already recovered from the disease, seem to offer marginal benefits.

Many consider antibodies tailor-made for the job by biotech companies a better bet; over the past few years they have provided a breakthrough in the treatment of Ebola. The American government has paid $450m for supplies of a promising two-antibody treatment being developed by Regeneron. That will be enough for between 70,000 and 300,000 doses, depending on what stage of the disease the patients who receive it have reached. Regeneron is now working with Roche, another drug company, to crank up production worldwide. But antibodies will remain expensive, and the need to administer them intravenously limits their utility.

It is tempting to look to better treatment for the reason why, although diagnosed cases in Europe have been climbing steeply into what is being seen as a second wave, the number of deaths has not followed: indeed it has, as yet, barely moved. The main reason, though, is simpler. During the first wave little testing was being done, and so many infections were being missed. Now lots of testing is being done, and vastly more infections are being picked up. Correct for this distortion and you see that the first wave was far larger than what is being seen today, which makes today’s lower death rate much less surprising (see data panel).

The coming winter is nevertheless worrying. Exponential growth can bring change quickly when R gets significantly above one. There is abundant evidence of what Katrine Bach Habersaat of the who calls “pandemic fatigue” eating away at earlier behavioural change, as well as increasing resentment of other public-health measures. YouGov, a pollster, has been tracking opinion on such matters in countries around the world. It has seen support for quarantining people who have had contact with someone infected fall a bit in Asia and rather more in the West, where it is down from 78% to 63%. In America it has fallen to 55%.

It is true that infection rates are currently climbing mostly among the young. But the young do not live in bubbles. Recent figures from Bouches-du-Rhône, the French department which includes Marseille, show clearly how a spike of cases in the young becomes, in a few weeks, an increase in cases at all ages.

As the fear of such spikes increases, though, so does the hope that they will not be recurring all that much longer. Pfizer, which has promising vaccine candidate in efficacy trials, has previously said that it will seek regulatory review of preliminary results in October, though new standards at the Food and Drug Administration may not allow it to do so in America quite that soon. Three other candidates, from AstraZeneca, Moderna and j&j, are nipping at Pfizer’s heels. The j&j vaccine is a newcomer; it entered efficacy trials only on September 23rd. But whereas the other vaccines need a booster a month after the first jab, the j&j vaccine is administered just once, which will make the trial quicker; it could have preliminary results in November.

None of the companies will have all the trial data they are planning for until the first quarter of next year. But in emergencies regulators can authorise a vaccine’s use based on interim analysis if it meets a minimum standard (in this case, protection of half those who are vaccinated). Authorisation for use under such conditions would still make such a vaccine more credible than those already in use in China and Russia, neither of which was tested for efficacy at all. But there have been fears that American regulators may, in the run up to the presidential election, set the bar too low. Making an only-just-good-enough vaccine available might see social-distancing collapse and infections increase; alternatively, a perfectly decent vaccine approved in a politically toxic way might not be taken up as widely as it should be.

In either case, though, the practical availability of a vaccine will lag behind any sort of approval. In the long run, billions of doses could be needed. A global coalition of countries known as Covax wants to distribute 2bn by the end of 2021—which will only be enough for 1bn people if the vaccine in question, like Pfizer’s or AstraZeneca’s, needs to be administered twice. The world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, the Serum Institute in India, recently warned that there will not be enough supplies for universal inoculation until 2024 at the earliest.

Even if everything goes swimmingly, it is hard to see distribution extending beyond a small number of front-line health and care workers this year. But the earlier vaccines are pushed out, the better. The data panel on this page looks at the results of vaccinating earlier versus later in a hypothetical population not that unlike Britain’s. Vaccination at a slower rate which starts earlier sees fewer eventual infections than a much more ambitious campaign started later. At the same time increases in R—which might come about if social distancing and similar measures fall away as vaccination becomes real—make all scenarios worse.

By next winter the covid situation in developed countries should be improved. What level of immunity the vaccines will provide, and for how long, remains to be seen. But few expect none of them to work at all.

Access to the safety thus promised will be unequal, both within countries and between them. Some will see loved ones who might have been vaccinated die because they were not. Minimising such losses will require getting more people vaccinated more quickly than has ever been attempted before. It is a prodigious organisational challenge—and one which, judging by this year’s experience, some governments will handle considerably better than others. ■

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1631

Dollar Index 94.577

Japan Yen 105.59

Swiss Franc 0.9288

Pound 1.2742

Aussie 0.7026

India Rupee 73.6995

South Korea Won 1174.44

Brazil Real 5.56

Egypt Pound 15.775

South Africa Rand 17.1012

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Tanzania’s opposition leader on reggae, resistance and a decisive election @TunduALissu in @thecontinent_
Law & Politics

16 bullets and 27 operations later, Tanzania’s main opposition leader has recovered from a brutal assassination attempt – and is now in the middle of an even bigger fight

When he talks about it in our interview, he can’t help but sing along. “Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights.” The 52-year-old opposition leader is a diehard fan 

On his bookshelf are biographies of Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. He plays reggae in his car on the way to campaign events, and the distinctive beats accompany him whenever he strides on to the stage to address the increasingly large crowds at Chadema Party rallies.

It’s not just the music that he loves, but what it represents. Reggae is inspirational, Lissu says, and it tackles themes more urgent than ever: mercy, equality, social justice, and the struggle against dictatorship. 

This is a struggle with which Lissu is intimately familiar. He has the scars to prove it.

But Lissu didn’t die. His injuries were severe, requiring 27 operations, and he received medical treatment abroad. For nearly three years, he recovered in exile in Belgium. All that time, he was making plans to come back.

As he told the Mail & Guardian in a February 2019 interview: “I’m going back once my doctors say yes. Magufuli has to be confronted. Is it dangerous? Yes. But living in a dictatorship anywhere in the world is a dangerous business.”

He flew home in late July, to a rousing welcome from hundreds of supporters at the airport. Shortly after that, he was confirmed as Chadema’s presidential nominee for the 28 October election.

It was an emotional return. “The happiness was also tinged with a sense of great sadness at the unnecessary pain and destruction wrought by five years of terrible repression.”

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More than 80 per cent of Africans who were infected with the virus were asymptomatic, This compares with an estimated 40 per cent to 50 per cent who were asymptomatic in the rest of the world. @mailandguardian

 “The missed COVID-19 cases are largely because they are asymptomatic,” the WHO Africa branch said in a statement. 

“In addition, there is no evidence of miscalculation of death figures, which are more difficult to miss statistically.”

The case fatality rate in Africa has been 2.4 per cent so far, significantly lower than the rate in most European and North American countries.

More than 90 per cent of African coronavirus cases have occurred among people under the age of 60, who are better able to shrug off the virus.

Death rates have been higher in Algeria and South Africa where a larger percentage of the population is over the age of 65, Dr. Moeti said.

Another factor could be Africa’s lower population density and the fact that many people live in rural areas, spending more time outdoors, analysts say. 

There is growing evidence that outdoor spaces, because of their greater ventilation, tend to reduce exposure to the virus, making it less dangerous.

“It doesn’t transmit very well outdoors, and Africa has a significant population that is rural and spends a lot of time outdoors,” Francisca Mutapi, professor of global health infection and immunity at the University of Edinburgh, said at the Africa WHO briefing.

A fourth factor, she said, was Africa’s relatively poor road network and access to international flights, which slowed the arrival of the virus and its transmission to rural areas.

“Africa is less internationally connected than other regions,” Dr. Moeti said. “So we had some protection when the virus first arrived.”

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Bondholders Facing Zambia Haircut Cast Wary Eyes Over Africa @economics
World Of Finance

Bondholders are facing “significant losses” as Zambia battles to bring its debt under control, according to Moody’s Investors Service. They’re now asking: who’s next?

The southern African country this week asked for a six-month interest-payment holiday to give it “breathing space” for a debt restructuring, a move that may buy it time but won’t do anything to solve its longer-term debt problems, Moody’s said

In his budget speech on Friday, Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu had little new to offer, except a slightly smaller-than-expected fiscal deficit that it plans to fund through more, not less, external borrowing. 

He didn’t mention the International Monetary Fund, which the government had approached for emergency funding, or offer further details on the debt-restructuring strategy.

Though Zambia has been borrowing with abandon for years, its problems stem in part from falling commodity prices and an exodus of capital triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Now, its weakening currency has increased the cost of servicing and repaying billions of dollars of debt raised from bondholders and Chinese banks. 

Other African nations face similar problems, with more than a third at risk of debt distress, according to the IMF.

Angola, which has negotiated $6 billion in debt relief with some of its lenders, told the IMF it may seek respite from a wider group of creditors if oil prices fall further.

Chad has asked the world’s largest commodities trader, Glencore Plc, and other private creditors to delay debt payments under a global push for debt.

Kenya said it’s at risk of debt distress as external borrowing costs rise faster than foreign revenue.

While none of those countries is at immediate risk of a default, countries may find it difficult to meet interest payments on their Eurobonds while also servicing large debts with bilateral lenders.

“Zambia is more the exception than the rule at this point; many other sub-Saharan African countries are experiencing problems under Covid, and sought official-sector relief, but have avoided touching the bonds,” said Stuart Culverhouse, head of fixed-income research at Tellimer Ltd. in London. “Where Zambia may set a precedent is that for countries more obviously in distress, and seeking debt-service relief, perhaps the official sector will be more emboldened to push them to seek private sector restructuring too.”

Group of Seven countries last week backed an extension of a freeze in debt payments from the world’s poorest nations struggling with Covid-19, while signaling criticism for China for failing to fully participate.

The support of the club of industrialized economies signals a growing consensus within the Group of 20, a wider body that includes China. But the countries underlined the need for members that aren’t part of the Paris Club group of creditors to fully participate in the debt relief, a comment likely aimed at the Asian nation. That means private creditors may also be drawn into debt-relief talks, according to Anne Fruhauf, managing director at advisory company Teneo in Mexico City.

“If 20 years ago resolving Africa’s debt problem largely hinged on Paris Club creditors, the changing composition of debt means there can be no comprehensive solution without private creditors or non-Paris Club creditors, principally China,” Fruhauf said.

For now, eyes are on Zambia, which last month secured an eight-month debt freeze from some official lenders. As part of this accord, the government was also obliged to seek comparable terms with commercial lenders, according to Mukuli Chikuba, permanent secretary at the finance ministry.

“The Zambian government has indicated its commitment to find a collaborative resolution to its debt sustainability challenges,” Moody’s said in a note on Friday. 

However, with the country’s debt burden set to reach 110% of gross domestic product this year, “placing debt on a sustainable trajectory will invariably result in large losses to commercial creditors,” Moody’s said.

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Pandemic impact on Tunisia tourism 'catastrophic' @AFP @rapplerdotcom
Tourism, Travel & Transport

Tunisia's tourism sector has collapsed, officials warned on Saturday, September 26, with earnings plunging 60% and swathes of hotels at risk of closing permanently.

The sector, a major employer that accounts for 14% of the North African nation's gross domestic product, has been hit hard by restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"There has been a drop in tourism activities of 60%, and we could reach 70% by the end of 2020," Tourism Minister Habib Ammar told reporters.

Tunisia's income from tourism this year has totaled just 1.56 billion dinars ($563 million), officials statistics showed.

Total bed nights – the number of nights visitors stayed in hotels – dropped by 79.5%.

"The current tourism situation is very bad – if not catastrophic," said Khaled Fakhfakh, president of the Federation of Tunisian Hotels.

"60% of hotels have not opened this year and they risk not reopening, mainly because of COVID-19."

Tunisia was already battling high unemployment before the start of the pandemic.

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Rift Valley lakes swell to breaking point @thecontinent_

The water level in Kenya’s Rift Valley lakes is continuing to rise to record levels, threatening the area’s fragile ecosystems and leaving researchers puzzled.

Lakes Baringo, Bogoria, Nakuru, Elementaita, Naivasha, Turkana, Logipi and Solai have spilled over into neighbouring farms, displacing thousands of people in the process.

This has raised fears of an impending ecological disaster, even as the lakes continue to submerge schools, homes, hospitals and roads in Baringo County.

In Nakuru County, Lake Oloiden and Lake Naivasha have also merged.

“It is a disaster we are staring at. We do not know what next will happen when alkaline and freshwater lakes merge. Hundreds of people have been displaced and the water levels in these lakes are rising drastically,” said William Kimosop.

According to Sila Simiyu, a geologist, the increasing water volumes in the lakes can be attributed to tectonic plate movements and increased siltation.

The current tectonic cycle, known as near-field tectonic movement, squeezes out water from the earth’s aquifers, causing the lakes to increase in volume. A tectonic cycle takes between 25 and 40 years. The current cycle started in 1996.

“Hundreds of people have been displaced and the water levels in these lakes are rising drastically”

The previous cycle, called far-field tectonic movement, caused water to drain out of the Rift Valley lakes into the earth’s aquifers. It lasted from 1955 to 1995.

“The challenge is intensified by deforestation that results in siltation, displacing water that spills over,” Simiyu said.

In 1995, lake levels within the Rift were at their lowest and people could literally walk across the lake beds. What is currently happening is the reverse of that.

“The current cycle is almost at the peak ... With time, the lakes again will dry and become bowls of dust,” Simiyu said.

Joseph Edebe, a research scientist with the Kenya Wildlife Service, said the swelling of Rift Valley lakes has been exacerbated by abnormally high rainfall in the region, likely due to climate change.

“The increase in water volumes is happening across all lakes in the region from Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.  The lakes within these regions are rising to the highest levels because of the above-normal rainfall experienced since May last year,” he said.

The changing conditions are leading to dramatic changes in the natural ecosystem supported by the lakes.

Saline lakes Nakuru and Solai in Nakuru County, for example, are usually home to one of the world’s largest congregation of flamingos, but the changing conditions are forcing the birds to make their homes elsewhere. 

On the other hand, fishermen have descended on the lakes to take advantage of a sharp increase in fish numbers.

Data from Nature Kenya, Africa’s oldest environmental society, confirms the decline in flamingo numbers in the Rift Valley area.

According to the latest water bird count, in January this year there were 180,000 lesser flamingos.

During the same period in 2019, there were 419,000 lesser flamingos.

“Due to increasing water levels, water gets diluted, which affects the growth of blue-green algae which the flamingos feed on. This way, the flamingos tend to move away to places where there is plenty of food,” Nature Kenya director Dr Paul Matiku said.

Paul Gacheru, a bird expert at the organisation, said that flamingoes are changing their migration patterns.

“These birds often make stopovers to look for other suitable habitats where algae grow in abundance,” he said. ■

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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September 2020

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