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Kenyans in US who survived “Deep Freeze” say they miss the weather back home

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On the second day of his return from Kenya after a long vacation, Sam Kimani, a Kenyan resident of Springfield, Illinois, was ready to go back to work to replenish his bank account and credit card after what he called ‘insane’ spending back home.

Then he woke up to news that a state of emergency had been declared by both the State and County governments because of the coming storm.

And so, for three days starting Wednesday morning, Mr Kimani found himself barricaded in his apartment as the temperatures dropped and snow rose all around him.

With nothing but cans of mostly expired foods, dry water taps and a television that only showed local channels, he was in a state of panic by Friday when the deep freeze started to loosen its grip on the state of Illinois and neighbouring states.

“The taps are frozen so I can’t shower. The state of emergency is still on so I can’t order pizza or any other fresh foods,” Mr Kimani told the Sunday Nation when reached by phone.

“I should be on my third double shift by now but here I am in this cold house. Please, can somebody come and take me back to Kenya where crazy natural disasters like this one never happen?”

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ENDURANCE

The past 72 hours in the American Midwest and Northeast have been about endurance, as a breathtaking cold has settled over a massive stretch of the country.

The record-setting frigid temperatures, some of the coldest on the planet, have frozen the Great Lakes, taxed electrical and natural gas infrastructure, endangered both human and animal life and tested the resolve of millions of people who are used to the cold but had never experienced this.

In some areas in the Mid west, temperatures dropped below -50 degrees and the extreme weather was blamed for several deaths across the region – some people appeared to have frozen to death in Milwaukee, Detroit and Rochester, Minn.

A man shovels snow. FILE PHOTO

From Minnesota to New York, the polar vortex again prompted school closures, mail service interruptions and thousands of flight cancellations, many of them in and out of Chicago.

The picture was that of a city in another planet, covered in a coating of frost and ice.

‘HELL’

Kenyan born Njeri Osaak said it was freezing cold in Cincinnati Ohio.

She said even if one cranked the heater up to 75 degrees, it would still be cold.

“The water does not get hot enough. You dress up and layer up when going to bed and gradually undress as you get warmer. Open the door in the morning and you get hit by this ice cold blast,” she told the Sunday Nation.

“The car won’t start. The sun is actually out but it might as well not be. It’s a cold sun. Hell has frozen over.”

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rof. Kefa Otiso, a lecturer at Bowling Green State University,

“Can’t remember Bowling Green cancelling classes for two days in a row.  The irony has been the deceptively sunny but bitterly cold days. This one has shattered decades-old records.”

“ROUGH”

Peter Kerre, a Kenyan cyber security engineer who relocated to New York City from Minneapolis in Minnesota where he had lived for more than 10 years, said despite the fact that Minneapolis has colder weather, New York City’s winter storms or polar vortex are more brutal because New Yorkers do not drive.

They use the subway so they are more exposed to the harsh weather.

“Minnesotans drive everywhere. The most exposure one would have is a few seconds of walking to a car. For those working, downtown Minneapolis buildings are all connected by a skyway system so you can walk from building to building without stepping outside. In New York, you have to hit the streets,” he said.

Mr Kerre said, however, that the wind-chills in New York City seem to be worse because much of the cold air is not only trapped in between the sky scrapers, but also whizzes by between buildings.

“It is rough out here.”

SPARED

For many Kenyans living in the US, especially in areas affected by the latest polar vortex, such horrifying natural events remind them of the favourable climate they left behind in the pursuit of the American dream.

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“In Kenya, we may be poor but God has spared us from natural disasters that wealth and science can’t stop,” said Kevin Mango of Lewis, Delaware

“It’s one of the reasons why for most of us, even though we live here in body, our souls and spirits are always back home, where we were born and raised.”

BY CHRIS WAMALWA, Nation.co.ke

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Twelve police officers dead, one injured after IED attack in Wajir

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Twelve police officers were killed in Wajir late Friday, when Al Shabaab terrorists planted an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) on the road.

A senior police officer in the region said the attack occurred on Saturday morning at Konton centre, and were pursuing attackers who raided the village late Friday and drove away with three police reservists.

“They appear to have planted explosives on the road because they knew they will be followed,” another officer said.

According to police sources, there were 13 officers in a Land Cruiser that ran over the landmine, twelve of whom died on the spot.

Capital FM News later learnt that a missing officer had been accounted for, settling earlier concerns that some officers may have been kidnapped by the attackers.

Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai however, put the number of police officers on board the patrol vehicle hit by an IED at 11.

A brief statement dispatched to media houses Saturday afternoon indicated that the officers were on a routine patrol of the Kenya-Somalia border between Khorof-Harar and Konton area in Wajir.

“I have dispatched additional resources including air surveillance capability to continue with the operation,” Mutyambai said.

Source:Capital FM

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Governor Sonko sues Star over HIV story

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has sued Radio Africa and a journalist over an article published in The Star newspaper titled how ‘HIV report helped Sonko out of Kamiti Maximum Prison.’

The article published on June 7 was based on a documented that indicated a court had shortened Sonko’s prison term by three months.

Sonko has however told the court that he has never contracted the HIV virus as published by the paper and has attached medical documents from both Nairobi Hospital and Nairobi women’s hospital.

Through his lawyer Cecil Miller, Sonko says his HIV status is confirmed by the two tests carried out by the institutions in 2011 and 2019 respectively.He avers Radio Africa has knowingly exposed him to embarrassment and public ridicule.Sonko said the contents of the publication painted him as an immoral person and someone infected with the HIV Virus.

The Governor further say the publication branded him a convicted criminal who should not trusted by any right-thinking members of the public and particularly my voters who elected him Governor.Sonko says Radio Africa chose to recklessly and maliciously publish false statements without caring to verify the truth and he has suffered damages.

According to the court documents, Radio Africa published the said article as a vehicle for character assassination without any regard to his rights.

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He is seeking general damages for libel and slander and any other relief court may deem fit to grant.Sonko accused the journalist who authored the story of being driven by malice, propaganda, bias and personal vendetta against him.Sonko had demanded an apology from The Star after the said publication or sue for damages.

Source:standard.co.ke

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UoN students develop App that helps out colleagues battling stress, STIs

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Twelve University of Nairobi students have developed a mobile app that help students to share information and seek counselling on issues they are struggling with.

The RADA App was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

It also helps students get professional information on sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

Other features include reporting and seeking help while in an emergency or an abusive situation, getting career tips and dealing with peer pressure.

The app also has emergency numbers, a hotline feature that helps students locate the nearest ambulance and a Hall’s officer.

It has licensed by the University of Nairobi and other institutions can adopt it and customize it.

The developers hope it will help curb students drop out rate, depression, suicide, alcohol, drug abuse and HIV infections.

Vincent Robin, a Fourth Year political science student who among the 12 behind the idea explained how they developed it.

“When I joined the group, I was trained on codes and together with other students we joined ideas to form what we have now. I was in the content creators group and I have also been in charge of graphic content for the app,” he said.

Source:nairobinews

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