New Malaria Scare, Fighting Malnutrition In Rural Communities and Other Reports

Every week, collate reports on development issues in rural Africa and its environs.

This report includes some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, blogs, and in-depth articles, carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues.

Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:


Kenya: Fighting Malnutrition In Rural Communities

Earlier this month, a 4×4 vehicle loaded with scales, a height measure, upper arm circumference tapes and food supplies departed from a hospital. Its destination was a Doctors of the World outreach clinic in Isiolo county, Kenya where the reported cases of malnutrition have risen quicker than anywhere else in the country.

On February 10th, 2017 the Kenyan government declared a state of emergency due to drought, with an estimated 4 million people facing severe food shortages. The majority of these communities lie in rural areas of Kenya, such as Isiolo County, where lower than average amounts of rainfall have seriously affected agriculture and food productivity.

In response to the extreme drought conditions, Doctors of the World has launched an emergency response in Isiolo, specifically in areas not yet receiving any humanitarian aid.

Tanzania: New Malaria Scare in Rural Tanzania

A unique mosquito species recently identified by researchers in Tanzania is now to blame for 90 per cent of the malaria burden in rural parts of the country, a new study by scientists from the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) shows.

The mosquito species–anopheles funestus–which the scientists have described as “notorious” occurs in very small numbers as compared to other mosquito species, but it is extremely active at transmitting malaria to humans, reveals the study published in Plos One Journal.

Results of the new study conducted in south eastern Tanzania suggest that anopheles funestus mosquito is now a major malaria vector [and that this was not known.]

Unequal rights for indigenous, rural women endanger forest lands – researchers

Inadequate rights for indigenous and rural women are jeopardizing forests and common lands across the globe as demand for land and resources grows, underlining the urgent need for legal reforms, researchers said on Thursday.

Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ lands cover more than half the global land mass, and women make up more than half the 2.5 billion people who customarily own and use these lands.

Yet, governments are not ensuring equal rights and protections to these women, and are failing to meet their international commitments to do so, according to Washington D.C.-based advocacy group Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI).

Formalising Informal Trade – Good for African Women?

Women constitute the largest share of informal traders in Africa–about 70 per cent in Southern Africa and more than half in other parts of this vast continent made up of 54 states, home to over 1,200 billion people.

Informal cross-border trading, in which transactions are not compliant with local tax and other rules, accounts for a large share – between 20 and a hefty 70 per cent– of employment in sub-Saharan Africa, says a new United Nations specialised report.

Africa’s vast but informal cross-border trade can contribute to improving livelihoods and increasing regional integration across the continent, according to the new report Formalization of informal trade in Africa.

Small-scale renewables cheapest for rural Africa, says Dutch report

In the race to electrify Africa, wealthy governments and donors are ignoring the cheapest ways to reach the continent’s most remote communities, according to a Dutch government report.

In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 600 million people live without power. In 2015, UN countries signed up to a commitment to make electricity accessible to every household on earth by 2030.

Switching the lights on across the world’s poorest continent, a report by the Netherlands government’s Environmental Assessment Agency said, would require an extra $9-33bn in investment each year until 2030.

NRCIU to deal with rural crimes and farm attacks

Approximately 300 farm attacks, which included 37 murders, have been reported in South Africa so far this year.

This is according to information provided to the Zululand Observer by the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (AFASA) and the Transvaal Agriculture Union (TAU).

Rural communities are becoming despondent about the level of criminal activities in their areas          

AfDB and Ethiopia Sign Funding Agreement to Provide Water and Sanitation to 3 Million People

The African Development Bank Group and Ethiopia signed loan and grant agreements to the tune of US $5.6 million on Wednesday for additional resources to Ethiopia’s One Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program. The Bank’s support focuses on the rural and pastoralist areas and is timely in the light of the drought that is being experienced in the horn of Africa.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, AfDB, said, “These additional resources, at this juncture, are a clear demonstration of the AfDB’s commitment to support the efforts of the Ethiopian Government in improving the quality of life of people and sustainable inclusive development.”

The program includes mechanisms to significantly boost livelihoods and resilience to climate change in the affected communities. The One Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program seeks to improve access to water supply and sanitation in Ethiopia, benefiting about 3 million people who will get access to water supply and sanitation facilities.


Busayo Sotunde is a prolific writer with special focus on Business, Entrepreneurship, Reproductive Health and other development issues in Africa. Her articles have been published by different outlets including Investing Port and She has a penchant for reading and sustainable development. Follow Busayo on Twitter @BusayomiSotunde

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