My desire to ensure environmental sustainability.

Point blank on environmental issues.

Friday, 24 August 2012

The Cry of Mother Nature!

It has taken me millenniums, centuries and decades,
My children well kept, tendered under strict codes,
In a beauty pageant, I can assure you of all the accolades,
A glance at my elegant scenery, your wrinkle fades,

All the family members have been one great ecosystem,
That surpasses any human system,
From the tree canopy down the stem,
From the ground cover deep the root meristem.

Down the valley the river could flow,
Fish jumping up and down for to swallow,
In the mud the hippopotamus could wallow,
Water for your use could always allow.

The white snow caps on the mountain peaks,
Moraine dammed lakes from ice streaks,
Up there the climber speaks,
I wonder how he sneaks.

Forests in full range biodiversity,
Could naturally overcome any adversity,
Didn't matter how punching was the animosity,
Each tree species ensured its dynasty.

You promised to replace one with two or three,
But you forgot to replace the tree,
Is it because you get it for free?
You have totally gone against the decree.

Look at how am suffering the ordeal,
You went out for the real deal,
Sneaking and crawling to steal,
To secure your daily meal.

You have invited global warming,
Through forest clearing and forwarding,
Ice caps are melting and rivers shrinking,
Soon everything good will be nothing.

Waste disposal has become careless,
A disturbance translating to my children going restless,
Both terrestrial and aquatic have become helpless,
With their extinction I will become valueless.

I promise to fight back,
It will be worse luck,
All of you in a sack,
Will be suffering in stacks!

Thursday, 23 August 2012


My siblings always complained that I was dad's favorite son. That was true because I was the one who could always welcome him home after a long and tiring day. Running at him and clutching on his legs every evening touched him to the heart. He could never miss a polythene bag and in it my favorite food. My dad used to work at a rich farmers shamba in our village. His work was to trap moles that were a nuisance at the shamba. The abandoned telephone wires helped out so much in his mole trapping business, thanks to the wireless communication that has seen a abandonment of the wired one. It happened that the farmer had large herds of cattle- some for milk and others for beef. His good friend, Ken, working at the abattoir could give him a share of sneaked meat. In fact my dad could help out when meat demands were high especially at nights. Life was really good. I could not eat if meat was not one of the foods on the table. My elder brother could be forced to rush to the butchery for it.
There was something strange with the butchery meat as always. It tasted differently! It was never delicious as that dad brought home. I never liked it. What was wrong? It could leave me worried because it was cooked by the very person-mum, same ingredients incorporated and taken with ugali as always. It just ruined my nights. This was a mystery but I never dared mention this to dad.

It was on Saturday evening when my dad received that his help was needed at his boss's abattoir. He hurriedly dressed up in his long black coat, black lace-up shoe and a yellow 'seng'enge ni ng'ombe' cap. I searched for his torch which was always a constant to him, in fact he could better miss the coat but not the torch. Dad promised to come back with my favorite food and disappeared into the darkness. I was so happy to hear that, meaning my night was going to be a good one because the following day the delicious meal could be on the table. It took him long to return. Dad had never gone for more than four hours. He had left at 8:00 pm and it was approaching 1:00 am but there were no signs of him returning. My mum was so much worried and could not take it anymore. He woke my elder brother up who hurriedly rushed to uncle David's house. The three of them- my brother, uncle David and his son set out to the rich farmers place.

The boss's words left all their mouths agape. His words were short and to the point: ' I haven't called John today. For you information my abattoir has never operated at night!' Wait! Where could this man be going all those nights he gets out? Where was he getting that meat? Maybe there another abattoir he worked for those nights he went out. Worse of all, he had left his phone at in the house! All his close friends' phones were out of reach. Only one went through. Francis could spend most of his free time with my dad. He didn't pick his first call. All the heartbeats accelerated even more. 'Were they robbed?' asked uncle David. ' But where were they going?', he countered himself. May be they were at the bar. We assumed it was the case though we knew dad was not not a frequent drunkard. A second attempt to call delivered. The snoring voice over the phone was an indication that Francis was dead a sleep. He had seen dad two days ago. Ha said he knew where dad could have gone. Francis promised to be back early the next morning from his eland across the neighboring town. He promised that everything will be alright. It was a long night.

I can admit that I have never experienced such a morning in my life. Cattle mowing in the closed shade, noisy chicken in the kitchen and the cold hearth because the fireplace was not operational. Worse of all, it never anybody's mind that it was Sunday, the family worship day. My grandmother was grumbling all over the compound mourning her eldest son's sudden disappearance. This sent mum into tears. She almost collapsed, thanks to aunt Jane who patted her shoulders all through. The rest of the family totally confused as well.

Then came long awaited Francis. He immediately summoned my elder brother and David all the to Ken's homage. Ken is that man who worked at the rich man's abattoir.He lived across the stream next to the village market. They met Ken so tired in such early a morning catching some warmth from the jiko. Here they received a mixture of good and bad news at the same time. Dad was alive. Thanks be to God. 'John is at the police station and will arraigned in court tomorrow', Ken said this winking at Francis. My father wasn't a robber! Neither was he a cattle rustler! Why did the police have to take him to court? How did Ken know? Francis hurriedly cut the interrogation short and Ken was left quite disturbed. Did he know what has happening behind the curtains?

The following day in court. Francis was not with us. Dad at the right chamber and another man in a green uniform at the left chamber. I wondered why he was limping as he entered the court room? It was the first time I saw my dad cry, worse, in public. Maybe because he had missed his family overnight. I was happy hat he would be out, a clean an harmless man as he was. I would enjoy eating the tasty meat ever and ever. The prosecutor went through the charges. Nobody believed what they heard. The court room went silent for a couple of minutes . . .there was John- dad, defending himself in all manners. I never believed a single word this man was saying. He unveiled a very touching secretive project they had been carrying out with his two other friends who were not in court that day. I then understood why Francis and Ken went missing on Sunday evening.

My dad was partly employed at the farmers home.He could leave by 3:00pm together with Francis and and Ken head out to their elands. Ken himself never worked at the abattoir. The telephone wire was not used to trap moles but something else. The higher the successes, the more we could feast on the family table. If they failed during the day, they could set out at night to try their luck. Dad's favorite torch was used to blind the target. I was almost getting the answer to that mysterious meat.

That night was not a lucky one for the two. I think Francis' God guided him to the neighboring town during those two days. Otherwise he could have been in the mix too. The guards were very armed that particular night. Ken managed to escape the wrath but alas to dad. He got short on his left leg while carrying that goat-like animal on his shoulders. That green uniformed officer in the left chamber of the court was leading capture troop . . . 'According to chapter 44 section 6 c of the Wildlife Act, this court has found you guilty of. . . you will therefore serve a term of ten years imprisonment as a lesson to those people acting in such a manner', the judge hit the table. Aunt Jane was again their for mum though she was overwhelmed too.

Mystery was completely unveiled. The soft, tasty delicious meat did not come from cattle. It was bush meat! In fact that goat-like animal in the courtroom was a dik dik they had blinded before the wardens tracked them down. My dad was a wild game hunter which is prohibited in our country.

Why did you have to do that dad? Do you know how my mum and your mum are crying for you? You took a very big risk just to feed your family! We dearly miss you.


The most outstanding feature,
Traversing the savannas,
Largest, heaviest and boldest.

Celebration of several birthdays before seeing his first generation
Has been cut short
By the big headed culprit
Who needs the precious charm.

The poisoned arrow kills him slowly.
Trudging back to his rendezvous
Proves undo able
Because the strong chemical spreads quickly.
No vet around to intoxicate it
And a dull thud confirms Jumbo a gone case.

Enemy mercilessly pulls the valuable,
Leaving vultures with a reason to smile.
May survive the poison or not.

Smiling all the way to ivory trade,
Will get his turn.
Back for reproduction as usual
While on the other hand,
It will take decades to see a live duplicate of the carcass.
Oh poor Jumbo!

All rights reserved! @Aosindi 2012.

The Tree That Was!

Which tree? Could it be Mugumo from Central Kenya? Mangrove from Coast? Acacia from Northern Kenya? Mama Mutere from Western? Name them! I am here to mention the ordeal of either.

Decades ago, our grandfathers' fathers would not miss to say the sign of of the cross under this tree. They had to appreciate Nyasaye, Mulungu, Engoro, Ngai na Mungu. The melodious voices from the nesting birds could keep the background scene fully spiritual. Beautiful short shrubs and herbs could complete the natural picture of the rendezvous. The cool fresh breeze could perfectly replace today's machine driven fans in homes, offices, churches, learning institutions etc. The energy was purely natural!

Suffering from stomachache? Headache? Snake bite? Or any other ailment? The instant medicinal properties of this tree could assure you of a better day tomorrow. Your body homeostasis could could be very functional.

The picturesque created by two or more of these trees was just marvelous. I can compare the tree to a fully metamorphosized African woman who has won a beauty contest. Her fully decorated elegant head- green scarf with faded brown stripes loosely fixed 2 form a conical shape- could compare to the tree canopy! Just like the African woman guards and puts her family in tender care so does the tree canopy. Full of lifeforms- birds, insects in full range especially butterflies, those animals that signed an MoU to always sleep upside down- bats could not miss in the canopy demography. Snakes too represented. How can you forget the big cat, Mr Leopard? Always rests on the biggest branch after an engaging hunt down. All these in coexistence? Mother nature knows the answer better than I do!

This African woman's slender trunk completes the stem picture. I am meant to understand that slender means 'slim and thin'. How could a slim and thin stem support all that biodiversity above it? I have the answer. Very simple! The slender woman can carry her child on the back and walk for kilometers to fetch water, collect firewood and till the shamba. Don't forget that she has to carry the basket full of avocados and matoke to the market with the child on the back? Does she get tired? Does she give up? Does she let go off the child? NO! She is very strong. The same philosophy applies to the stem.

Imagine if that is only one tree, what about a whole forest ecosystem? I have no doubt in mind that it translates to an aura of biodiversity. Back then people respected mother nature. It was there everything- home, church, hospital with natural medicine, rendezvous, garden for picking of fruits and gathering roots.

Today seems to be very strange! I think I am in a foreign land. No singing birds, colorful butterflies, full range biodiversity. The green scenery. Oh! That tree, where did it go? It is no more. It is now a history. What happened?
My father needed more land to expand his agricultural projects, so he cut a couple of them. My uncle is a serious charcoal burner and falling trees is the only thing that can make him smile. Your father operates an enormous timber yard across the road, guess what he can do to the remaining few tree stands. The chimneys across industries are full of smoke, smoke from illegal logging. My mother and your mother are busy feeding us, off course we have to eat! Source of the cooking energy? That tree. What next?

You and I have been implored to come up with sustainable projects, put up tree nurseries, plant and grow trees. It is surprising that the message falls on deaf ears! We must wake up! We must take action! I must talk to dad! You must to your dad! I must talk to my uncle! We must talk to our moms. We must walk the talk! Lest the Mugumo, the Mangrove, the Acacia, Mama Mutere and many others could be histories read in books, newspapers, journals and maybe articles like this one.

CONSERVATION and  NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGER student at the University Of Nairobi, Kenya.
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A walk across the valley

Let us walk across the valley,
See roses blossom at the bottom,
For once our eyes will forget degraded ecosystems elsewhere,
And minds full of businesses will go fresh.

Property of a true natural gardener,
The moist cucumber will cool our hearts and quench the thirst,
Runner beans creating a picture of Kenyan athletes,
And our ethnic diversity in the valley biodiversity.

Umbeliferae coriander,
A bitter herb to the Israelites at passover,
Its bitterness now over,
Its aroma transports you back to the shamba for more.

Cast out the devil and witchcraft with angelica,
Blooms with appearance of Michael the Arch Angel,
Efficacious and delicious at the same level,
Cure mad dog biting, toothache, afterbirth and breath shortness.

Will you mind if we sit next to the rosemary?
The romantic flower for memory improvement,
If one or two of its flowers miss on my wedding cake,
I will take my life so that three or four can be planted on my grave.

Tasty fruits from the thorny berry,
Blackberry, raspberry, strawberry,
Neither is savoury,
Different fruits same armoury.

As you complete your race,
Consume some raw lettuce,
And get your eyesight improved,
Or carry some home for a delicious salad.

Imagine having this garden along the footpaths at home.
A botanical garden you will tame?
A bloomy flower picturesque!
It will be very unique!

Abednego Osindi (BSc Enviornmental Science- UoN)
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