Kenya

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Anger over Kenya demolitions to build highway

Kibera, Kenya
BBC
The deadline for residents to leave these shacks is Monday 16 July

Thousands of residents of a large informal settlement in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, have vowed to fight the demolition of their homes to make way for a highway.

Nearly 20,000 families in Kibera have until Monday 16 July to leave their shacks, which the government believes have been built illegally.

The government says it owns the land in question and no-one will be compensated.

Schools and businesses are amongst those served with eviction notices.

Ben Ooko, the founder of community organisation Amani Kibera, says he is disappointed that he was given only two weeks to move.

He told the BBC’s Ferdinand Omondi that the government was being insensitive.

Some of the buildings to be demolished include Amani Kibera’s fashion school for young women and a library where school children study.

Amani Kibera
BBC
Women sewing at Amani Kibera
BBC

Sarah Bisebe, who runs Egesa Children Centre – a school for the less fortunate children - told the BBC her eviction notice was slipped under the door at night.

She is concerned if evicted the children at her centre may no longer get an education.

Egesa Children Centre classroom, Kibera, Kenya
BBC
Egesa Children Centre, Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya
BBC

The authorities say the $20m (£15m) dual carriageway being built through the heart of Kibera is intended to ease traffic in the west of the city.

The road under construction in Kibera, Kenya
BBC
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Kenya advises against use of HIV drug over birth defect concerns

Anne Soy

BBC Africa, Nairobi

Kenya's Health Ministry has advised against the use of a new HIV drug among women after studies in Botswana linked it to serious birth defects.

US and European drug agencies had already issued warnings about dolutegravir, or DTG, in May this year.

The drug is an antiretroviral that has been used to prevent infection after possible exposure to HIV.

Dolutegravir pills
Reuters

DTG is manufactured by British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline. The company responded to the concerns in May by saying it was working with healthcare authorities to better understand the potential risk.

Early results from a study involving HIV-positive women in Botswana showed that about 1% of babies born to those who were using DTG when they became pregnant or shortly after, developed a birth defect affecting the spinal cord or brain.

Based on those findings, countries that already prescribe the drug have advised health workers not to give it to women of childbearing age.

Women who are already using DTG are advised to use contraception or talk to their health providers about alternatives if they are considering getting pregnant.

The drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2013 and is currently one of the key therapies for people living with HIV

Kenyan meat sellers arrested for using newspaper wraps

An abattoir in Kenya
AFP
Traders have been told to use plain paper instead

Privately owned Kenyan news site The Standard reports that 10 vendors have been arrested for selling meat wrapped in newspapers.

“Newspapers are published using ink which contains lead and other heavy metals whose consumption can kill human beings,” a regional health official for Homa Bay county - where the raid took place - is quoted as saying.

He told The Standard that plain paper - either white or brown - should be used instead.

The 10 people arrested - reportedly a mix of butchers and traders who had bought meat from them - are said to have violated a 14-day warning telling them to stop wrapping their wares in newspapers.

The Standard reports that the suspects will be charged in court.

In an apparent attack on the press, President Uhuru Kenyatta was quoted by local media in 2015 as saying Kenyan newspapers were only fit for wrapping meat.