Coast and Western routes a hotbed of competition for Airlines

The rivalry for domestic passengers has intensified with additional airlines and flight frequencies on the western and coastal skies.

The move is likely to see customers emerging as the winners on account of low fares and a wide variety of schedules to choose from.

Fly 540 has introduced three daily flights to Kisumu and Eldoret, barely five months since the low-cost Jambojet started direct flights to these two destinations.

The budget carrier from March started flying on the Nairobi-Eldoret route despite earlier announcement that it was facing a challenge of passenger numbers on the route.

Return ticket to Eldoret has dropped to as low as Sh9,000 depending on the date of bookings from a high of about Sh14,000 last year. However, Jambojet is charging as low as Sh3,950 for one-way depending on the time of booking.

Jambojet managing director Willem Hondius says consumers will benefit from the competition.

“Competition is good because consumers will eventually start enjoying low fares on various routes as well as improved service,” said Mr Hondius who is operating larger aircraft with the capacity of 78 passengers compared to the rival’s 50.

“But I don’t think there is any airline that will charge lower fares than what Jambojet is charging at the moment.”

Skyward Express has launched more flights to Mombasa and Kisumu, which are expected to start sometime next week, while the flight to Eldoret route has officially started.

The airline, which began operating scheduled passenger flights in January, is finalising preparations to launch the two once-a-day routes for Mombasa and Kisumu.

Safarilink Aviation started a new flight to Vipingo last month, giving travellers an opportunity to sample their services in an area that is not dominated by other domestic carriers. The airline will operate daily from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport via Diani Airstrip.

Jambojet in March began flights to Lamu, Malindi and Ukunda from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Skyward last month started operations to oil-rich Turkana, becoming the fifth airline to begin flying there, targeting an increasing number of passengers from especially the business community that is expected to frequent the area in search of oil-related deals.

Other carriers that have added Lodwar to their routes include Air Turkana, Safarilink, Fly 540 and its sister carrier Sax, stepping up the competition for clients.

The Turkana route has become a magnet for both cargo and passenger airlines following the discovery of the oil deposits. Initially, only Fly 540 was plying the Lodwar route.

However, some of the cargo flights such as Astral Aviation have halted their business following a slump in the oil market that has seen exploring companies cut down their business.

Astral Aviation operated a weekly cargo flight to Lokichar, mainly taking supplies to oil explorers in the region. It also planned to increase its presence on the route by introducing a larger aircraft following the ongoing expansion of the Kapese airstrip in South Turkana.

Astral’s chief executive officer Sanjeev Gadhia is keen on business picking and resuming operations.

Britain’s Tullow Oil has heavily scaled back its operations in the area as part of a strategic move to reorganise its capital expenditure on exploration given the substantial decline in oil price.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has licensed Renegade Air to operate on routes connecting Nairobi to main business and tourism destinations, a move that will make competition even tighter.

The routes that it has been licensed to operate on include Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Malindi, Lokichogio, Kitale, Lodwar, Marsabit, Loyengalani, Ileret, Kapese and Nariokotome.

Via: Business Daily

Kisumu: Kondele – A Sex “Den” in the City?


Skimpily dressed and standing in a parking lot at the notorious Kondele area by pass in Kisumu town, Akinyi is among a group of twilight girls. Some, barely in their teenage years, are seen seductively loitering as they jostle for “clients”.

Though initially known for small scale businesses of mechanic work, brick selling, lorry transport among many others, Kondele suburb has experienced a transformation with key investors jostling for space. The image of the area has been boosted with the ongoing construction of the Northern bypass. But even as these developments take shape, Kondele has been one of the red-light districts of Kisumu town.

Known for all the wrong reasons, the sex dens are now proving to be a possible death bed for many patrons. This is as far as going by the revelation of Akinyi who is one of the commercial sex workers at one of the Kondele’s leading brothel.


“My husband passed on last year leaving me with five children, thus why I resorted to this business,” she says. Akinyi continues to say that she quit her marriage after realizing that the husband was infected with HIV/AIDS.

“I had to leave him because I was disappointed, he later passed on few weeks after, this left me with a burden of providing food and school fees for my five children,” she recounts.

After being thrown out by her in-laws, Akinyi says she ventured into a small business which failed soon after takeoff. “This discouraged me since the pressure was too much to fend for my children,” she says.

She then left her rural home for the town where she worked in a hotel. Later, she however chose to look for an alternative which could have sustained her since securing stable employment proved futile.

“It is not pleasing at all, considering that I grew up a Christian family. I felt awful but I had to continue” she adds. From this experience, Akinyi is a possible HIV/AIDS carrier.

“On a regular night, I get two to three clients who pay me in the range of shs. 200 to 2000”, she says.

I inquire from Akinyi whether she uses protection during her course of hustle.

“Yes, we are told to use but the danger comes when the client is not willing to use it. We even explain to them the importance of the protection but some of them defy us,” she narrates.

However, she says they get support from non-governmental organization involved in HIV/AIDS awareness that has provided interventions such as supply of condoms and provision of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services.

Akinyi confirms that most of the ladies in the business do not go for the testing for fear of testing positive. Though some NGOs are out to help this vulnerable group, they face a challenge.

“Finding the clients to the sex workers has been the greatest challenge in offering health education and services to attain HIV/AIDS conscious relationships,” Stephen Ojowi- key populations’ project coordinator for Impact Research, reveals.

Impact Research is one of the non-governmental organizations involved in sensitization of HIV/Aids in the area.

Ojowi admits that increased cases of illicit sex activities have been brought majorly by poverty. He pointed out 90% of the commercial female sex workers have gone into the street business after lack of chances to raise money for daily life.

“Most of those ladies you see are economically handicapped and it’s only through economic empowerment that the numbers will reduce”, he said.

He also added that the high risk behavior of not using condoms was encouraged by low bargaining power of the ladies.

“Some of the clients would offer hefty perks not to use condoms and which they ladies find irresistible, their HIV status not withstanding” he said. ‘This has led to increased cases of HIV/AIDS type 2 infections” he added.

“We advice the CSWs to embrace the use of protection during intercourse though money overpowers our counsel,” he regrets.

“We are empowering the ladies to look out for alternative options of income generation to fight the rising new numbers’’, he said.

“I go with anybody regardless of his age, class, or dressing provided there is money,” admits Akinyi.

“I once accompanied a guy to his house after he promised to pay me shs.700 for night, being a naïve lady at the time, I accepted and went with him. On reaching his house, the guy turned against me and starting strangling me” she added. Surprisingly, the man was well known to her.

“Police brutality is another nightmare we face as we brave the night cold,” she says. Akinyi however says that if they can be helped acquire loans, most of the ladies will be able to quit the night business.

Female sex workers (FSW), according to Kenya Aids Indicator Survey 2012 have the highest HIV prevalence rate than any other group in Kenya. In the Nyanza region, prevalence rate stand at 15.1% against the national rate of 5.6%, according to the Kenya Aids Indicator Survey (KAIS), 2012, with Homabay, Kisumu and Siaya recording the highest incidences.

On September 10, 2013 the Kenya National AIDS and STI Control Programme (NASCOP) disseminated preliminary results of the Kenya Aids Indicator survey that indicated reduction in adult HIVprevalence from 7.2 percent in 2007 to 5.6 percent in 2012.

However, gains made seem to be getting eroded fast, with the most risky groups, including commercial sex workers, long distance truck drivers and fishermen becoming more vulnerable.

By  Odhiambo  Otieno | KNA

The New Look Mega Plaza Mall Kisumu

Kisumu’s Mega Plaza shopping Mall – (a Mega Properties Development) is set to go 10 more floors up. After its completion this will be tallest privately owned Building in the City.

Artistic impression of the new look Mega Plaza Mall
Artistic impression of the new look Mega Plaza Mall

Conveniently located in the CBD, the green and luxuriant Plaza opened its operations in 1996.

It is seated on a 1.8 acre land with a built up space of 250,000 sq. ft.

The footfall is approx. 25,000 – 30,000 people on the weekdays and 35,000 – 40,000 people on the weekends.

The mall currently houses the the county’s corporate giants, viz: Equity Bank, Safaricom, Posta Kenya, Tecno, Nokia, Haandi Restaurant, Radio Africa Limited, Mediamax Network Limited, Nation Media Group Limited and Nakumatt’s 24 hour shopping mart among other big corporate organizations. It is the biggest landlord in the lakeside city.

For business owners looking to operate round the clock, the building offers the shopping advantage to businesses in convenient hours of operation and flexibility to walk in customers.

The Charity Photo Shoot and Train of Smiles

Originally posted on Afri'Mag:

This is the story of one father bent on feeding his children, not of biological origin, but because out of love he founded a place for them to eat sleep grow and experience true love. Five years ago today, he is still feeding his children and during his travails, he started taking care other families as well.

Initially, he had hopes that the donor funding through NGOs would help take care of the kids at Elimwa Children’s Home in Nakuru. Alas! Out of 20 million raised from donors, the kids got less than one percent.

That marked the beginning of the mission to make sure his kids do not go hungry. He started doing photo shoots for charity. In his quest, he ended up feeding not just his own, but other families as well and creating good memories wherever he went.

There is no barrier to acts of kindness towards…

View original 425 more words

Kisumu’s Fashion & Culture Night for Safe Sex and Reproductive Health Education

Future Fab in partnership with Delan Models presents to Kisumu a fashion night themed around safe sex and reproductive health (SRH) for the teenagers.

As you all know, a teen or teenager is a person aged from puberty to maturity. Also, Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and psychological human development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood (age of majority).

One of the toughest decisions that a lot of teens face is whether to have sex. If people decide to have sex, it means they must also take responsibility to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Most teens who get pregnant in Kenya, and around the world didn’t plan on it.

In addition to preventing unplanned pregnancies, people who have sex must protect themselves from STDs. For those having sex, condoms must always be used every time to protect against STDs.

Future Fab program targets teens and youths by creating a linkage between the community teens/youths, SRH information and service provision towards achieving a brighter future and a healthy nation.

It’s in this premise therefore that Future Fab is fusing fashion and reproductive health education, targeting teens with activation and educational foras to inform them of safe sexual practices.

Delan FF Show

Why Should We Vote For Farell Ogolla for Vice Chair. Maseno City Stance

Originally posted on masenocitystance:

Farell Ogola

Farell Ogolla, a friend, classmate and schoolmate is here to with only one wish “Vote for me comrades.” Shall we?
Who is a leader? A leader is a special part of the human existence and the standard that tries to make all the unique individuals one. For centuries leaders have existed and they play their roles in different ways. The society has favored these leaders maybe because they are kind, strong, hardworking, sly, loving, good physiques and many other reasons. Voting is the democratic way of choosing leaders, the power of the ballot box.
Well, Farrell Ogolla is not just a friend but a potential leader, full of the instincts of progress and natural leadership. He simply bears and displays this by the way he organizes his life and how he co-relates with his collogues. Last semester, he stood by us when we needed more lectures in the Media Department…

View original 432 more words

Rusinga Island: where the past thrives in the Present

Considered to be one of the most beautiful islands on Lake Victoria’s waters, Rusinga Island is located in the north eastern area of the continent’s second largest fresh water lake.

The islanders have a rich history that associates their origin with the royal Kabakas (kings) in nearby Uganda.

Legend has it that the Abasuba, the predominant community on Rusinga Island arrived in boats after a dynastic war erupted in Uganda.

Today, the island is a tourist site due to its well-maintained eco-lodges, proximity to Masai Mara and its bounteous birdlife. Rusinga stretches for about 16 km along Lake Victoria’s shores and runs way tighter in width at only about 5 Km. Whether seeking century-old tales of the deep blue waters, or looking to experience the presence in luxury, Rusinga Island has it all.


Rusinga Island Lodge

 Rusinga 1

Rusinga Island Lodge exudes an atmosphere of serenity and composure; with its well-manicured lawns infinitely flowing into the waters of Lake Victoria.

Fishing expeditions, sundowner cruises and hippo spotting in the lake it is also very popular for destination weddings. You can also take a late evening to one of the fishing villages and watch the fishermen of Victoria as they put together their nets, baits and lanterns in readiness for the high waters. Whatever you do, be sure to make a meal of the popular Nile perch that is cooked and served in different ways; all delicious and inviting!

Mbasa Island

Mbasa Island

Mbasa Island consists of twin islands which have both been gazette as bird sanctuary due to their abundance aviary population with impressive numbers of endangered bird species and monitor lizards. Some of the bird species which thrive here include long-tailed cormorants, marsh harriers and white egrets. Bird enthusiasts are always advised to plan their trips during the sunset hours when the gatherings come home to their nests.

Tom Mboya’s Mausoleum

Tom Mboya Mauosoleum

Tom Mboya’s mausoleum lies about 5Km across the island and has been declared a historical site. The mausoleum, which is located in the family land contains various mementoes and gifts which were presented to the eloquent politician and trade unionist before his demise in August 15 1930. Tom Mboya is recognized and celebrated for his outstanding contribution to the country, he was assassinated in 1969


How to Get There

Assuming that you are in Nairobi, board day/night coach from downtown or take a 45 minute flight from either Jomo Kenyatta or Wilson airport. Rusinga is a 3 hour drive and ferry. There’s an airstrip adjacent to the road for private charters.


The Craft Market in Kisumu is a haven for souvenirs and mementos that will serve well to immortalize your memories from Rusinga. The island does not have major shopping malls and you are reminded to carry personal effects such as sunscreen, pest repellants etc.


Rusinga has various lodges and sleep outs, it is however wise to confirm availability before arrival.

 Fun Fact

SkullRusinga has been associated with some of the oldest fossils as discovered in a series of expedition led by Dr. L.S.S Leakey.  The island is especially known for it’s extraordinarily rich and important findings of mammals dating back 18 million years.

Opinion: Pakruok and why Luo Women make the worst Mistresses

It is Friday! Why am I announcing that as though it were newsworthy?  It is because  Fridays are my “recycling sewing days”: the day that I use the materials available, to make a totally different clothe. Too bad, I do not have a sewing machine now. I have second hand denim blouses that I am planning to give a new look like the one I am wearing below. Even in tailoring, we need to embrace Circular Economy and its benefits. Let us recycle. Not everything that we wear has to be made from brand new fabrics.

Denim 4
I was actually going to cover an assignment on need for recycling and Sustainable Development. PHOTO/BILLY MUTAI

Here is a better view of my “Suit” taken by my mobile phone sometime back. I need to apologise to Okinda, my photography lecturer.

Now y’all need to pray for me to just get serious with my clothe line. My friend— ex model, web developer and blogger Damaris Muga— is almost hitting the roof because in two years, I have not given her pictures so that she can complete making my e-commerce site.

So, I recently updated on my Facebook page, my mother and I were never best of friends. The other day Damaris and I sat in her house talking about why we now we miss our mothers long after they died. When we were young, we thought they were too melodramatic. We didn’t know that without that drama, we would never have turned out to be the kind of women we are nowadays, you know women who have something to give back to the society.

My mother, Rosemary, was the type of woman who would pick a machete and chase her brothers-in-law out of her compound. After that she would announce rather victoriously, in her very tiny frame, An Nyar Olonde Japuonj, jathieth kendo nyar Gi Otieno Daktari. Anyalo nyuako nu teee agou teeee (I am the daughter of Olonde the teacher, a nurse that can heal and also sister to Otieno the doctor. I can put you all together and beat aaaaall of you). That is called Pakruok (Self praise). From a Luo woman’s perspective, it is what we must do so loudly to drown the noise around us that always seeks to put us down.

My father, a gigantic figure towering over her, would giggle as she made her declarations and later in her absence we would crack jokes and imitate her. Peculiarly enough, my paternal grandfather loved my mother—his daughter in law— so much despite her chaos that when she died the old man mourned for moooonths. I avoided going near him because he would see me and start asking “who will be steaming my vegetables now that she is gone?” Grandpa had ulcers, a condition mum managed from the first day she was married into that home.

Now, aged 28 and 11 years after her death, I am not surprised I am just as combative, confrontational and sometimes violent as she was. While I do not make apologies for that, I do not wear it like a badge of honour. Believe me, war and the negative energy that comes with is not a cup of tea I love taking. As I remember every incident, I am slowly learning to understand why my mother turned behaved the way she did. Interestingly, it never stopped the whole village from always counting on her to look after them. They feared and loved her somehow. If she didn’t, I and many girls in the village would have ended up being one of those girls who have three children at 20 with no skill that can get her a job and lowly esteemed that she would not even know what to do to bring up her children or take care of a family.

READ MORE >>>>>>>>

East Africa Development Forum: Seeking Solutions for Brand Africa

The Forum will discuss solutions to issues affecting tourism in the region

The inaugural East African Development Forum opened today at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa; for a three day event that will bring together representatives from three EAC states as well as the Indian Ocean Islands. President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to give a keynote address to the attendees as part of provisional preparations for the upcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) 10th Ministerial Conference scheduled to take place in the country later this year.

The conference comes barely a month after another first: President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya, and the Global Entrepreneurial Summit, that have both gone a long way in rebuilding the country’s hitherto tainted image that saw tourist arrivals plummet by 18.9 percent in the first half of 2015.

“We’ve seen an increase of interest for inbound arrivals especially from Europe, Kenya’s leading tourist source market. This coincides well with the wildebeest migration, a global tourist attraction in Kenya as the rest of the region prepares to handle a buildup in numbers throughout the peak season” said Estelle Verdier, Managing Director for, East and Southern Africa.

The theme for this year’s event, Connecting Opportunities will bring together global industry officials including Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), newly appointed UNWTO – Regional Director, Africa Elcia Grandcourt together with local representatives including Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie and Hon. Ali Hassan Joho, Governor Mombasa County.

The conference, jointly organized by UNWTO and Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism will among other issues discuss the sector’s performance at both regional and continental levels while engaging respective state delegations on regional cooperation and enhancing “Brand Africa”.

Solution Oriented Discussion

The conference will hold discussions focusing on finding solutions to uplift the tourism sector in the region as well as harnessing different under-published destinations and attractions within the region. Tourist numbers in Africa have experienced a serious decline, with growth going down about 6% in the Q1 2015, due to both geopolitical and economic challenges facing the continent.

Tourism however remains a leading source of employment accounting for 7.1% of total employment and contributed USD196.8bn (8.1% of GDP) in 2014.

In conclusion, Verdier noted that, “every country and region must package competitively their products for today’s globalized market” while emphasizing on the collective duty for tour operators, agents, OTAs, transport and hotel sector to ensure that their products and services offer value and competitive advantage.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) 10th Ministerial Conference is scheduled to take place from 15 to 18 December 2015 just a month after the much acclaimed Africa Travel Association (ATA) 40th Annual World Congress in November.


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