Endangered gorillas threatened by charcoal trade

The Times of London
Rumangabo, DR Congo

Wisps of smoke rise from the dense forest between Rumangabo and the distant crater of the Nyiragongo volcano. The beautiful vapour trails are not a natural phenomenon; they are evidence of Man’s destruction of the forests to manufacture charcoal — a trade that fuels civil war and is driving gorillas to the edge of extinction. Continue reading Endangered gorillas threatened by charcoal trade

Kenyan courts on legal front line in battle to stop Somali pirates

The Times of London
Mombasa, Kenya

Squeezed into the wood-panelled dock, the nine young men wilted in the tropical heat. Overhead a single ceiling fan battled against the crushing coastal humidity that left judge, lawyers, accused and witness sweating in the shabby Kenyan courtroom.

As the suited lawyers for the prosecution and defence parried legalistic blows, a translator changed each half-sentence from English to Somali for the accused men, while Judge Rose Makungu wrote down every word by hand. These sluggish proceedings are the front end of the global fight against piracy. Continue reading Kenyan courts on legal front line in battle to stop Somali pirates

Kenya and geothermal energy

The Times Eureka Magazine
Hell’s Gate, Kenya

Hundreds of pipelines snake across the petrified lava flows, scrub-covered hills and steep gorges of Hell’s Gate, a prehistoric landscape dotted with steel chimneys spewing columns of sulphurous white steam into the air.

This collision of stark natural beauty and industry is the birthplace of Africa’s green power revolution, nestling in the 3,500-mile Great Rift Valley. In the floor of the fissure, the Earth’s crust is thinner, the ground closer to its molten core.

Hell’s Gate is the African home of geothermal energy. Continue reading Kenya and geothermal energy