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Lenny Ruvaga

Nairobi, Kenya
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About Lenny
LENNY RUVAGA is an advocacy specialist based in Nairobi, Kenya. An alumnus of Daystar University Lenny completed his M.A in Development Communication in 2021. His first Alma Mater St. Paul's University is where he pursued a B.A. Double Major (Mass Communication & Development Communication). In addition he has contributed to the New York Times and Financial Times as a co-writer on articles. Additionally he has also contributed to numerous France24 broadcasts on political and economic analysis. On CBS News Radio his contribution touched on security. On Radio France Internationale (rfi) his reportage focused on land rights. He is the immediate former Country Lead Change.Org where he led a team of professionals in all matters human rights and advocacy. Lenny has served as the Managing Editor at Switch TV from May 2018 to December 2019. Among project based consultancies taken in 2021 include ARD German Tv where he worked as a journalist and producer. Currently Lenny is the Africa Correspondent at The Christian Science Monitor where he continues to report on a diverse range of topics and issues.
English Swahili
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Business Finance Politics

When it comes to cars, the world is going electric. Innovators in Africa want to make sure the continent is not left behind.

06 Apr 2024  |  everand.com
In Africa, rising petrol prices are causing distress among delivery drivers, but those like Brian Otunga who have switched to electric motorbikes are unaffected by the hikes. Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly significant in major car markets and are expected to dominate global vehicle sales by 2050, contributing to efforts to reduce emissions and combat climate change.

Kenya promised cops to Haiti. Its citizens didn’t like that.

Kenya Company Wants Buses, Utility Vehicles to Go Green by 2030

02 Oct 2023  |  www.voanews.com
A Nairobi-based company, Opibus, aims to convert all buses and utility vehicles to electric power by 2030, addressing the gap in Kenya's electric vehicle sector. Engineers Lucy Mugala and Esther Wairimu are working on outfitting public transport buses with lithium batteries to reduce greenhouse emissions. Despite the high initial costs and infrastructure challenges, stakeholders like Joshua Anampiu from the National Environment Trust Fund advocate for government investment in clean energy. The United Nations Environment Program celebrates the global end of leaded gasoline use but stresses the need for further regulations and awareness for cleaner fuels.

Kenya's Electric Taxi Fleet Expanding Fast

01 Oct 2023  |  www.voanews.com
Nopea Ride, a Finnish electric taxi service, plans to expand its fleet in Nairobi from 30 to 100 vehicles by the end of the year, aiming to reduce emissions from the city's traffic. Despite the high cost of electric cars, demand is growing. Environmental experts welcome the move but stress the need for better public transport and stricter emissions standards. The World Health Organization highlights the severe health impacts of automobile pollution in Kenya, causing at least 5,000 deaths annually. Nairobi is expected to see more electric cars as part of this environmental shift.

Kenyan Aid Group Helps Women During Pandemic

09 Aug 2021  |  voanews.com
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women in Kenya, causing significant psychological and economic suffering. The Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) in Nairobi's Kibera slum offers telecounseling to women and girls, who face more vulnerability due to limited job opportunities and higher job losses. Supported by Care International, CREAW's efforts have been crucial in providing mental health support. The U.N.'s report highlights the need for economic and social support for female-led households impacted by the pandemic. Aid groups like CREAW and Care International have been instrumental in assisting women like beautician Cynthia Okewe, who experienced a severe income drop and depression due to the pandemic.

COVID Plunging Many Kenyans Deeper into Poverty

07 Mar 2021  |  voanews.com
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated poverty and unemployment in Kenya, with 60% of families unable to afford three meals per day. Rebecca Adagala, once a grocery store employee, now struggles to provide even one meal a day for her family. Over 1.7 million Kenyans lost jobs in the initial four months of the pandemic. A survey by Twaweza revealed growing concerns over food security, with economic impacts feared more than health ones. Food pantries face high demand, particularly in informal settlements. The Kenyan government has initiated weekly stipends to support those who lost livelihoods, but many, including Adagala, have not received this aid.

Kenya Receives 1M Vaccine Doses, Will Distribute to Health Workers First

03 Mar 2021  |  Voice of America
Kenya received one million Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines, prioritizing 400,000 doses for health workers. Kenyan citizen James Kamau, living with HIV, expressed his eagerness to get vaccinated. Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe assured more vaccines would arrive and emphasized voluntary vaccination. Catherine Kyobutungi of the African Population and Health Research Centre highlighted the challenges of obtaining sufficient doses and combating vaccine misconceptions.

Kenyan Private School Opens for Teen Mothers, Babies

20 Jan 2021  |  www.voanews.com
Serene Haven, Kenya's first private school for pregnant teenagers, teen mothers, and their babies, opened recently to address the surge in teen pregnancies during the COVID-19 lockdown. The school aims to provide education without stigma and help young mothers regain self-confidence. Kenya, which already faced challenges with teen pregnancy, saw a 40% increase in cases during the pandemic. Serene Haven's founder, Lizz Muriuki, a former teen mother, emphasizes the importance of giving these girls a second chance.

Squatters in Kenya's Murang'a county speak of 'colonisation' on their ancestral lands

01 Jan 2021  |  Modern Ghana
In Kenya's Murang'a county, approximately 10,000 squatters are contesting the land ownership of Kakuzi, a major food producer with historical ties to colonialism. The British company Camellia Plc holds a majority share in Kakuzi, which faces multiple lawsuits over land rights. Local residents, represented by groups like the Kakuzi Divisional Development Association and supported by civil society organizations such as the Kenya Human Rights Commission and Kenya Land Alliance, are seeking justice and land redistribution. The ongoing legal battles underscore the broader issues of historical land injustice and the lack of political will to address these claims.

Squatters in Kenya's Murang'a county speak of 'colonisation' on ancestral lands

Brazil Pauses Late-Stage Trials of Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine

10 Nov 2020  |  www.voanews.com
Brazil has paused late-stage clinical trials of the CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac after a serious adverse event with a volunteer. The trial is conducted by the Butantan Institute, whose head stated the volunteer's death was not due to the vaccine. This is the third vaccine trial to be halted after similar incidents. Meanwhile, the FDA approved emergency use of bamlanivimab, an antibody drug developed by Eli Lilly and AbCellera, for mild to moderate COVID-19 cases. The U.S. continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases, with over 10 million total cases and more than 100,000 new cases daily. Italy has implemented new lockdown measures as infections rise, placing several regions in the orange and red zones with varying restrictions.

Russia Sets New Daily Record of COVID Cases

06 Nov 2020  |  voanews.com
Russia has reported a record daily high of 20,582 new COVID cases. The country now has over 1.7 million infections, ranking fourth globally behind the United States, India, and Brazil. Amidst a resurgence of the virus across Europe, Denmark is culling over 15 million minks due to a mutated coronavirus strain, and England and Greece have initiated lockdowns. Italy has implemented a 'soft lockdown' with varying restrictions by region. The United States recorded over 117,000 new infections on Thursday, with the Midwest and Great Plains regions being particularly affected. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine emphasized that the virus is a threat to everyone, regardless of political affiliation.

Several low-income settlements outside Nairobi are using a new community-based currency. As Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi, the "pesas" are equal in value to the Kenyan shilling and can be spent in the community just like cash.

Sixteen million Kenyans lack access to safe drinking water. Sixty percent of rural folks remain off the water grid. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Kenya's Kajiado province on an initiative enlisting local women to try to fill the gap.

Communities in southern Kenya are slowly embracing alternative rites of passage for girls. These are ceremonies that replace female genital mutilation. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports from Oloitoktok, Kenya

African Leaders, Global VIPs Gather for Tokyo Development Summit in Kenya

27 Aug 2016  |  Voice of America
The sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) is being held in Nairobi, Kenya, marking the first time the summit takes place in Africa since its inception in 1993. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasized Japan's commitment to working with Africa to achieve the continent's development goals. The conference, hosting 37 African heads of state and other global VIPs, focuses on Africa's industrialization and will introduce new technology and training opportunities from Japan. In 2013, Japan pledged $32 billion in aid to Africa, with some funds for infrastructure like the expansion of Kenya's Mombasa port. Key issues discussed include climate change and agriculture, with an aim to enhance Africa's self-reliance and address food security.

Soccer Tournament Unites South Sudanese Players, Fans

16 Aug 2016  |  Voice of America
In Nairobi, Kenya, South Sudanese youth participated in a peace soccer tournament organized by Conflict Transformation for Development to promote unity among different tribes. The event featured four teams, including 22 Brothers FC and Young Stars FC, with players from various tribes of South Sudan. The tournament aimed to transcend tribal divisions that fuel the ongoing civil war in South Sudan. Team captain Richard Deng emphasized the unifying aspect of the sport, with the name '22 Brothers' symbolizing unity on the field. Despite the challenges faced by the teams, such as limited resources and practice time, the Young Stars FC emerged victorious. However, the participants and fans expressed that the true victory would be achieving lasting peace in South Sudan.

Israeli Prime Minister Visits Kenya in Bid to Strengthen African Ties

05 Jul 2016  |  Voice of America
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on a tour of four African countries, with a recent stop in Kenya where he was welcomed by the Kenyan Air Force. Netanyahu's visit, the first by an Israeli leader to Africa in 30 years, aims to rebuild ties with the continent. Both Netanyahu and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta emphasized the shared battle against terrorism. Historical tensions after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and Israel's relationship with South Africa had strained relations with many African nations. However, Israel is now seeking new allies and views Africa as an important emerging market and a strategic partner in various sectors, including security and commerce. Israel has also announced a $13 million aid package for Africa. Netanyahu's tour includes visits to Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.

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