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Blackouts, leopards and cheese on toast

I have never eaten so much cheese on toast in my life! In the evenings after office hours we’ve been setting up our own office back at the apartments, and with Rob back in the UK for a few weeks, there is no budding Delia to take control of our meals.

Blackouts are becoming a regular feature in Nairobi, Kenya. Most parts of the country were plunged into darkness on Sunday evening following a blackout, and I was caught unprepared in the apartment alone by myself. So now I always have my trusty head torch at the ready. Cows crossing main roads in the city have quickly become the norm, but what I can’t get over in Nairobi are the roads; dirt tracks, pot holes, beeping horns, music, hands flying in the air, traffic police who cause jams, matatus, matatus, matatus, boulders in the middle of the road, suspension smashing the ground.

Unlike most cities in the world, you actually need a 4×4 to get around here – especially when the rains come. The rain was pouring down the other day, and we witnessed cars and matatus (with sharp intakes of breath!) heading straight for us, while we struggled to get to grips with the slippery dirt tracks.

Hannah came into the office today and announced that she has to be home before dark because a wild leopard is roaming around her village in Central Province! It has killed one of her villagers and the authorities can’t seem to catch it. So it’s not just the Masai cattle that are venturing far from home for food.

Media interest seems to have picked up again this week, which is great. Three journalists turned up to the Dadaab refugee camps and another journalist came to our offices in Nairobi to cover the launch of Save the Children’s climate change report – Feeling the Heat: Child Survival in a Changing Climate.

The figure that I still can’t get my head around is that 175 million children per year will be hit as natural disasters increase over the next decade. The world’s poorest children are not responsible for climate change, yet they are the ones who are hardest hit. I fear this will be a long, ongoing battle, but one that must be fought, so it’s incredibly inspiring that Save the Children is leading the way. We are implementing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programmes in more than 30 countries across the world, and currently in Kenya we are implementing preparedness in the most vulnerable areas for the predicted flooding that will come with the El Niño rains.

This evening we will be preparing for an ECHO (European Commission of Humanitarian Aid) meeting tomorrow morning at the Country Programme Office, and then I will be accompanying their mission up to our programmes in Wajir on Monday for a few days, so I am hoping to have a lot more detail about the situation up in the north-east for my next entry.

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