Posted in Challenges, Need Intervention, Relevant, Technology

The New Normal: Covid-19 Carry Forwards


We have been dealt a blow in our diverse ways and means as a people of the universe by this pandemic. We may cry foul and whine all we want but that is life’s curve ball thrown at us. We have a duty for our own posterity to do what it takes to mitigate, control, alleviate and extinguish the adverse effects of the corona virus in this time and age. As a pragmatist we have to look at the new normal going forward. This is a preview of the main feature that we yet do not know when it will open up in our world theatre stage. So as such we have to prepare and inculcate lessons learnt and good practices acquired long before and during this period. I agree with many clean freaks now that there can never be too much cleaning or sanitizing or even disinfecting of ourselves, surfaces, items and spaces around us. Truly cleanliness is divine and since it is next to godliness then no disease survives when we pursue cleanliness.

I believe strongly going forward the following need to be our new normal as responsible citizens of the world.

  1. All airports, border points and passenger terminals require disinfecting stations – medical checks booths and quarantine protocols of any disturbing discovered vitals for passengers. There should be no exceptions.
  2. Sanitation points should be mandatory for public space, restaurants, food courts, sporting facilities, religious spaces and learning institutions.
  3. Personal Hygiene policies should be adopted into laws and by all entities to safeguard those that patronize their premises. The distance of 1.5m or 2m between queues is a great gain of order and safeguarding each person’s hygiene. It would be a natural antidote to pickpockets. Anyone who is unwell should have a facial mask of N95 standards – this would end the cold and flu outbreaks we witness every other season. People that have a cough or sneeze should be held responsible if they infect others when they do not protect themselves by regularly sanitizing and wearing of a facial mask.
  4. Embrace Digital transformation in how we work, relate and socialize. We can save a lot by using technology. Many meetings that would have ended up in a long trip that deprives families of their loved ones time can be done online and leave travel for the most critical and confidential ones. Let travel be about holidays.
  5. Have regular disinfecting programs for public and private spaces. This will help deal with the clutter, garbage and sewage problem that burdens our societies. They are the source of many diseases.
  6. Regularly review our business continuity plans as governments, government related organizations, religious organizations, learning institutions and private institutions including families. Each government (main or regional) and other public and private organizations need to have dire measures protocols they can enact in combating issues of great disruption like this pandemic. This means governments need to create incentives for the populace to save and invest but more keenly develop resiliency for at least one year lockdown eventualities. How can we be creative so that taxes are not seen as burden and as such have more people be capable and willing to pay them? How can we show value so that taxes generated end up doing more good to the people and thus enhance their resolve to support good governance? How can we individual be now intentional in building reserves for our families starting with a month’s provision then build to years of essential provisions? Can education be more affordable if we adopt technology? Can government and business be less expensive if we genuinely implement systems and use technology? I still don’t understand why we use email and cannot use the same technology for public participation and tenders submission in totality not partial enforcements.
  7. Leaders’ responsibility over their units of mandate need to go deeper. We have seen leadership from leaders once perceived as weak or non-discerning. While the eloquent and loud have been embarrassingly shooting their feet by queer non-stellar interventions that are a show of nothing short of foolishness. The reliefs governments and businesses have given people across the world should continue. The goodwill earned therein will catapult those countries and businesses even higher. The key word here being “implementation” many declarations will not see the light of day. But a day of reckoning is coming. The internet does not forget – many leaders will be quoted in days to come and held to account over the declaration of relief that will not have been implemented. Here in Kenya we have seen how election promises made in the high of campaigns are being replayed. The disdain and doubt now dealt on those that made their election promises is appalling. Let the relief declarations made in the wake of COVID-19 not be akin to unmet election promises.

By Lunani Joseph

The writer is a technology solutions architect and works with Insynque Solutions as the Managing Director and Lead Consultant. Pictures are courtesy of tipsmake.com and Twitter handle @ThikaTowntoday

Posted in Challenges, Need Intervention

No folly without a dolly


Historical studies almost prove that there is nothing new to this world. Yes, there is advancement in many areas around the human race but our actions more often than not follow patterns of yester years. Archaelogical studies confirm written history on religion, arts and science. I therefore hold as true what the writer of Ecclesiastes states that everything under the earth has been there before. Probably differing in form or spirit but bound together in many similarities.

This stamped authority to our forefathers warnings, admonitions, philosophy and proverbs. We need hind sight and insights from the past to chart better our course in the present and the future. Each one of us requires a compass and what better way than a North to refer to. Our north in socio-political, medical, technology, the arts and whatever else should always remain true.

It is possible many of us go on with our daily lives not knowing what our true north is. In the literal form this could be our principles, value system and reference virtues. Just like the geographical north, we require unchanging, tested and proven foundations to back our reference virtues.

Our clamour to understand the past then is justified and explains the millions spent in research of history in all our unique subjects. There has never been a time so crucial in the history of Kenya as a country as now. We need more understanding in how this country was founded. The intrigues behind the scenes pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial times. A critical look at how we lived as communities, how we governed ourselves before the “visitors” came and how we changed. For the “visitors” to have found virgin land then in a paradox found indigenous workers to staff and operationalise development in their knowledge is a good joke.

Far from the antics of the “visitors” to disorient and re-programme communities that were assumed primitive and savage living; Kenya is now a country bound by marked borders, disputed islands, one governance structure and a constitution assimilated at independence, amended over time and reviewed in the recent past. The drama in between this metamorphosis is still scarcely documented and we have side stories that we all enjoy to hear. Some laden with so much exaggeration, half truths and fictional effects that can rival Oscar awarded pieces.

Documented or not these stories are being told and sadly shape many minds into mediocrity, nepotism, tribalism and birth corruption seeds. “Wale walituibia; sisi tumenyanyaswa; kila mtu anajitetea ; mtu wetu ndio tunataka;” among other pseudo community phrases are free radio words in our present society. We may fault the government but its folly is a tapestry of our communal thoughts and actions. We  feed its engines with “our people” who in turn have ” their people”, who form inner circles for “their bidding” then we collectively expect to be “in benefit”. When names are thrown in the thresh-floor of appointing ears, we fall over ourselves in prediction spins and even the dramatic rumour milling to fervent prayer including professional lobbying.

We now have a “handshake” brokered peace among two debatable  kingpins of two factions of the country. Surprisingly none of them has complete authority over the said factions. This is evidenced in the JKIA runaway drama. It is good fodder for media houses and political banter but shamefully it is the undoing of Kenya. Behind the scenes we have disconnected and disenfranchised handlers of the dolly and thus the folly.

May peace prevail, may rights be honoured, may our governance be in harmony, may our peoples behave and may we see Kenya rise. God bless Kenya!