Thursday, 12 June 2003

Nairobi (Fides Service) – At last the torrential rains which pounded Kenya for the past month have ceased. The most affected regions were in the east, particularly Nyanza Province and West Province.
The situation has not yet returned to normal, particularly with regard to the roads and traffic. Local sources tell Fides that in the north many roads and bridges are still out of use and that it will be some days before the damage caused by the rain is repaired.
“Now we hope that the recent floods will prompt the decisive adoption of a water management policy” local observers tell Fides Service. “In fact Kenya suffers cycles of drought, followed by heavy rains and floods. To improve the situation we need dams and other water works to channel water in the rainy season and use it during dry periods. So far the question has not been addressed because the government and parliament are working on the national budget.”
On this front, problems are not lacking. The government led by President Mwai Kibaki elected in December 2002 after thirty years in power of President Arap Moi, found a difficult situation, with the nation’s coffers practically empty. An enquiry is being made to see whether state funds were stolen or wasted or used inappropriately.
The country’s economic situation is not helped by alarm over the threat or terrorist attacks in Kenya. “The tourist sector is in crisis and this is serious in a country with the desire and the ability to develop its economy” local sources tell Fides Service. Tourism is one of main sources of income for Kenya; it produces about half a billion dollars every year.
“Despite these difficulties the country lives in a climate of fervour for renewal and progress along the paths of democracy and economic development.” LM (Fides Service 12/6/2003 EM lines 30 Words: 344)