Country

Kenya

A Warming World, Overuse Drain Giant Lake in a Single Generation

Chala Ahmed, 26, hit the jackpot eight years ago when he won the U.S. visa lottery in the bustling eastern Ethiopian town of Haramaya.

His first thought was that he would build his mother a big, beautiful house. His next thought was that the new home, painted a rosy pink behind a high white gate, should be erected on the shore of Lake Haramaya, the huge stretch of placid water that gave his hometown its name.

Quenching the Thirst: Seattle Brings the Most Precious Liquid Abroad

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today is World Water Day. To mark the critical importance of water, the P-I is featuring two articles by Sarah Stuteville, a Seattle native and lead reporter for The Common Language Project, a Seattle-based media nonprofit. For more of Stuteville's reporting from Ethiopia, visit clpmag.org. Funding for these articles was provided by The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Walking for Water: An Exhausting Job That Never Ends

“Just breathe,” I tell myself as I slowly shuffle up the dusty gravel path. “One breath with each step.” I have a muddy yellow plastic can strapped to my back. It is filled with water and weighs 50 pounds, close to a third as much as I weigh. It is hard for me to walk, but I am trying to follow the cracked plastic sandals in front of me.

Haramaya: Voices from a Vanished Lake

When Chala Ahmed won the U.S. visa lottery in the town of Haramaya in eastern Ethiopia, his first thought was to earn enough money in America to build his mother a home. The new house would be painted pink and sit behind a high white gate, and it would be built on the shores of Lake Haramaya, a nine-mile stretch of placid water that gave his hometown its name.

It took Ahmed, 26, almost eight years of long-haul trucking across the United States before his family's house was finished. He sent money home regularly, and relatives reported back on the progress.

Heading to Southern Oromiya Part 1: A Night on the Road

We stood in the pre-dawn glow of the streetlamps, greeted by intoxicated heckles from the previous night’s most diligent drinkers. A battered, extended cab Toyota Hilux pickup pulled up, carrying a mound of mysterious goods under a green tarp and bearing faded Ethiopian Red Cross decals on its doors.

Ethiopia: Back to Africa on a Water Mission

Some of my toughest times growing up in Kenya were those spent on my way to and from the village river. I call it the village river because it was by and large the only source of water for my village. Never mind the fact that the river was four miles away and was shared among scores of villages along its course.

Ethiopia: Dawn in Addis

5:30am and still dark. But the rooster knows the sun is coming and his crow trills up past the sulfurous street lamps into the still night sky.

He’s woken the dogs, and suddenly their frantic howling seems to come from the top of every hill in Addis, making the city seem surrounded by their feral packs.

The sharp barks are soon undercut by the rising moan of the muezzin. He sings the same words that have woken me around the world, but his melody here is unique, more of a monotonous chanting than the sung declaration I’ve heard before.

Medical Student's Life-Saving Dream Comes True

LWALA, KENYA- In 2006, NewsChannel 5 reported about a Vanderbilt University medical student who was the first person from his Kenyan village to fly in an airplane.

People back home sold their livestock to pay for his ticket to the United States.

Now they need Milton Ochieng back to save his dying village.

Every student at Vanderbilt Medical School encounters AIDS. But only Ochieng has been orphaned by it.

First his mother, then his father - he learned of their deaths through email.

"I don't think anything really prepared me for it," Ochieng said.

What does it take to get closure?

David Morse, for the Pulitzer Center

This was, for all of us, a big journey. Most blogs written from the saddle like this one just kind of stop. Though I can't provide closure for myself entirely, and expect that may be true for the others - the experience is still running through us - I feel some need to say goodbye or at least "See you later" to those who have followed our journey from afar.

Med Students Keep Promise of a Clinic for Their Village in Kenya

Global health advocates are trying desperately to get your attention. They worry that statistics have lost their meaning. Who can wrap their mind around 6,500 Africans dying of AIDS every day, anyway? As the director of a global health advocacy firm in Washington told me the other day, "We need a story."

That's when I told her about Milton Ochieng'.