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'I Dream of Africa' author and conservationist shot in Kenya, hard times there

 
 
Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 01:16 pm
http://www.npr.org/2017/04/23/525327616/i-dreamed-of-africa-author-and-conservationist-shot-in-kenya

clip:
Kuki Gallmann, a conservationist best known for her book I Dreamed of Africa, was ambushed and shot while she drove across her conservancy in Kenya Sunday morning.

Gallmann, 73, was shot in the stomach and "severely injured" while surveying her property with rangers of the Kenya Wildlife Service, according to her brother-in-law Nigel Adams and a press release from a farmers' association of which she's a member.

She was flown to a hospital in Nairobi for treatment, and was still conscious and speaking after the attack, according to The New York Times.

Her conservancy, the Laikipia Nature Conservancy, has been the center of a bloody battle for weeks, as a large-scale drought has pushed cattle-herders to extreme measures to try and find grazing land.

NPR's Eyder Peralta spoke on All Things Considered earlier this month about the issue, after the owner of another ranch was shot and killed.

"You have nomadic herders who are moving into private wildlife conservancies with thousands of heads of cattle," Peralta said. "And in response, the Kenyan government launched a military-style operation to push the herders out. But what we've seen is an escalation of violence. Police have killed lots of cows. And the herders have responded by burning tourist lodges on the properties."

In fact, Gallmann was said to be surveying arson damage inflicted on her property, when she was attacked.

Members of the Pokot and Samburu tribes have long grazed on conservancy land in Kenya, but over the past few years things have changed. Herders have brought more and more cows, killed other wildlife, and begun to vandalize property. Gallmann's daughter, Sveva Gallmann, told NPR last month that the escalation concerned her.

"That's not just grass," she said. "That is heavily politicized violence. And that is what's much more worrying about this situation."

She added that she doesn't think the herders even own many of the cows.

"There's a lot of, actually, politicians, people within the police, people within the administration storing their wealth in cattle and laundering ill-gotten money through cattle," she said.

Government officials deny those claims.

/end clip

Sigh. I've never been to Africa, nor many other places, but a pediatrician friend worked in Kenya for a while, now long ago.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 851 • Replies: 18
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edgarblythe
 
  0  
Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 01:46 pm
Tough times.
ossobucotemp
 
  0  
Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 01:54 pm
@edgarblythe,
Breaks my heart though I can understand the situation, including how corruption works, and drought works.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 06:43 pm
@ossobucotemp,
Been to Nairobi's Stanley Hotel many decades ago, but can still picture the bar with ceiling swinging fans. Met a couple of people on that safari from Cal Poly, and kept in touch for many years after. Richard Pimentel taught Life Sciences there for 40 years, and we did another South Africa safari about a year later.
When we were at the Stanley, we were told to stay inside the hotel for our safety.
Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, and Karen Blexin of Out Of Africa fame also stayed at the Stanley.
ossobucotemp
 
  0  
Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 06:50 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Which Cal Poly? I've been to the one in Pomona, but not the one in San Luis Obispo. Silly to bring that up, but I think they were good schools.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 07:55 pm
@ossobucotemp,
San Luis Obispo. They are good schools. One of my childhood friends went there. His parents owned a hotel in Sacramento (even though it was on the wrong side of the tracks), so they could afford to send him there.
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Apr, 2017 10:02 pm
And now for a different perspective on how Africa is going....

Living a long and healthy life – Africa and Kenya are only starting to catch up

Submitted by Wolfgang Fengler On Wed, 10/24/2012

http://blogs.worldbank.org/africacan/files/africacan/youngpeople_small.jpgSoon after I turned 40, I started experiencing back problems. I asked my brother for advice (he is a medical doctor) but didn’t quite like what I heard. “Sorry brother, our bodies are just not built for us to live much beyond 40…” he told me. If you take human evolution as a reference, he is right.

For the first 59,900 years of our existence (out of a total of 60,000), people used to live only into their 30s, at best. During the 1000 or so years that followed, there were some modest improvements raising life expectancy to 40 years. Things really changed only in the past 100 years on the backdrop of major medical and sanitation breakthroughs.

Even until the mid-1950s, the average world citizen would have been lucky to reach the mid 40s (what we now call ‘mid-life’ in Europe). Rapid and successful poverty reduction, especially in East Asia, brought the world average to 70 years today. If advanced economies are any guide, many of us will make it to the respectable age of 80. So it’s basically our generation that, for the first time, has the luxury of contemplating a relatively long life.

Sub-Saharan Africa is not there yet though and only catching-up slowly. Between 1980 and 2000, life expectancy stagnated at around 50 years, before rising to 54 years. The continent still has a 16 year gap to close to reach the current world average.

Kenya even regressed before moving upward again. Kenyans’ life expectancy is slightly above the African average (56.5 years) but it has lost ground since the late 1980s (then 60 years and not far from the global average). It declined in the 90s to 51 years, mainly due to HIV/AIDS, before recovering over the last decade.

If the current trends continue, Kenya will return to its historical peak of 60 years, which it achieved in 1987, only in 2017. In other words, on this metric, Kenya has lost three decades (more than a generation). This is in stark contrast to East Asia, where China for instance has been exceeding the global average in life expectancy for a long time, even though it started below Kenya fifty years ago (see figure).

Figure: Life expectancy in Kenya – Catching up after losing three decades

Source: World Bank computations based on WDI

Since 1900, humans have begun to steadily live longer. Advances in public health – especially vaccines, penicillin, but also basic sanitation and hand washing – have driven a phenomenal reduction in diseases. Once countries’ health systems improve and their citizens live longer, they can begin to reap a demographic dividend.

What are the main drivers of life expectancy and what can countries do?

The single most effective lever is to reduce child mortality. In most poor countries, mortality is highest among young children (below the age of 5), especially infants (below 1 year). Once children reach the fifth birthday, their chances to live a long life improve dramatically.

People often worry that declining mortality will translate into an unmanageable population explosion. That fear is misguided, because birth rates also fall as mortality declines. Why is this? People will have fewer children if they can be reasonably confident that they will survive into adulthood. Also, people move to cities, economic growth takes place and women increasingly study and work: the first child is often later and family size shrinks.

The drop in child death rates followed by a dip in birth rates generates a demographic bulge: this large “extra” population at working age represents an opportunity. It can lead to growth and poverty reduction if the economy can productively employ all the new workers that accompany the bulge.

Many countries in Africa are starting to experience this demographic transition: population growth remains rapid but mainly because people live longer not because they have more children. Africa is now gaining 22 million people every year which is more than the 18 million citizens living in an average-sized African country. In Kenya there are 1 million “new” people each year, and that number is expected to remain stable (under the twin effect of falling fertility and longer life expectancy).

In Kenya and Africa there are now more working age adults than children and retirees combined. With better and longer schooling, an ‘education dividend’ is also emerging. All of this is underpinned by a ‘health dividend’, which helps Kenyans and many other people around the world to live a longer and healthier life. It then just needs more doctors to take care of people with back pain.

Source
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 01:20 am
@ossobucotemp,
Funny how the black farmers are painted as the villains and not the rich white landowners. This sounds a lot like neo Colonialism.

Imagine how long she would have lasted if she had tried to restrict cattle grazing in the old West.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 08:49 am
@izzythepush,
I've thought of that, but I don't know anything particularly bad about her. I do remember reading a book about Edward VIII who abdicated and married Wallace Simpson; they had a place in Kenya. I think I remember some disgusting goings on, but not what they did. The book title started with White.... don't remember the next word.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 09:32 am
@ossobucotemp,
There was a murder amongst rich British expats in Kenya known as White Mischief, it became a book and film.

All deaths are tragic, and the woman in question sounds fairly decent, but the idea of white people going to Africa to tell the natives how to run a conservation programme just leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 02:19 pm
@Blickers,
I had a email friend who lived in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. A fellow I met on the flight to Africa introduced me to his friend who was a doctor there. We kept in touch for many years until he passed away from bone cancer. A friend of his wrote to me, and said he would like to keep in touch.

The two safaris I enjoyed in Africa were tremendous experiences, being in the midst of all those wild animals, and seeing them at close range. Our open vehicle even parked next to several lions while we took their pictures.

The Serengeti was the best; we drove through thousands of animals, and we lived in tented camps with tiled bathrooms and hot water. Ernest Hemingway never had it so good. The food was amazing cooked on open fire. They even baked a cake for us. Tried some wild game.

Dan Piel, a prof from Cal Poly shared his bourbon with me while we sat in front of his tent. When we returned from the trip, Dan sent me an original oil painting that now hangs in our entrance hallway. His painting of John F Kennedy hangs at the Smithsonian today. He worked in New York's Madison Avenue before he changed his career to teach. He has since passed away.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 02:47 pm
I have been on a safari too.
First we flew to Egypt and from there to Nairobi. It was very interesting as I was reading "Out of Africa" and went to see Karen BlixenFarm amongst other things.
In Serengiti we did see a lot of animals and our car was attacked by a rhino.
Not very nice and very unusual. We were in Tanzania, Kenia, Uganda and Cameron.
In one place the giraffs started to eat the straw roof on the hut. Some other place an elephant started to scratch himself on the hut. It was rather shaky in more than one way.
It was a photosafari. Afterwards and also during the trip I was reading more books about Africa during the more colonial days. Bror Blixen and Beryl Markham just to mention two.
I find it interesting to read books fitting place where I am.
Every evening we were dressing up for dinner and a drink before.
With heat and the dampness and no irons it was kind of fun. We had nice
clothes on - good enough for British correct dress code. But completely wrinkled. As we all looked liked that - it was ok.
In Cameron we stayed at a camp run by a French man, who was very homesick and could not go back to France. He had murdered someone.
He told us that.

saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 02:50 pm
@ossobucotemp,
There is a book about King Leopold - the Belgian. I did not read it, my husband did and it almost made him sick. Very well written
King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
Book by Adam Hochschild
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 02:53 pm
@saab,
I also enjoy reading about the places where I plan to visit or after the visit.
Really enjoyed the movie, "Out of Africa." We visited Blixen's home and farm.
Also enjoyed our visit for a few days to Cape Town after the safari. The climate felt like San Francisco.
Went to a jewelry shop in Tanzania to buy my wife a tanzanite ring. A lady who owned a jewelry store in Florida recommended the one I bought.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 02:57 pm
@izzythepush,
White Mischief, that was it.

On your feelings re what I think of as missionariness, I get it. On the other hand, animals have been being decimated..
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 03:07 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I have seen "Out of Africa" too. It is a beautiful film, but I could not really connect it with Karen Blixen. Bror Blixen had not any of the personality that I always have heard him discribed. Karen seemed so much nicer than in reality.
I have never met any of them - just read about them and talked with people who knew them
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Apr, 2017 03:12 pm
@saab,
I worked with a lab tech, a woman from Cameroon. I still remember her full name, about fifty years later. Sort of oddly, this was in the relatively short time I worked in a lab in Beverly Hills. I remember her as having a great personality.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 12:04 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
Funny how the black farmers are painted as the villains and not the rich white landowners.

Perhaps those black farmers should stop being villains if they dislike being portrayed as villains.


izzythepush wrote:
This sounds a lot like neo Colonialism.

Colonialism has a lot to recommend it. Someone really needs to civilize the third world.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 25 Apr, 2017 12:05 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
All deaths are tragic, and the woman in question sounds fairly decent, but the idea of white people going to Africa to tell the natives how to run a conservation programme just leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

If those white people are running a proper conservation program, and those natives aren't, then it is proper that those white people are stepping in to run things.
0 Replies
 
 

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