Friday, November 15, 2019

Shocking Number of Bars in Nairobi Compared to Global Average

According to a 2016 report, Nairobi had 12,500 bars. This is a shockingly high number of bars for a city in a third-world country. This translates to 284 bars for every 100,000 people, one of the highest figures in the world. For some context see the number of bars in other parts of the world below.

CityNumber of BarsBars per 100,000 population
Buenos Aires11,189366.9
Hong Kong1,25316.9
Los Angeles1,64416
New York2,11324.5
San Francisco46953


Monday, November 11, 2019

Bearded Men Carry More Germs than Dogs

It’s bad news for hipsters but men with beards harbor more germs in their whiskers than dogs carry in their fur, scientists say.

The alarming news follows a study that found every sampled beard was crawling with bacteria, and nearly half had bugs that were hazardous to human health.

By contrast, a number of dogs tested proved to have lower levels of microbes. Now men have been left bristling with fury, with claims that the results stem from pogonophobia – the irrational fear of beards.

In the study, scientists wanted to discover whether there was a risk that humans might pick up a dog-borne disease from an MRI scanner that was also used for examinations by vets. Researchers took swabs from the beards of 18 men and the necks of 30 dogs, across a range of breeds, and compared the results.

Professor Andreas Gutzeit, of Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic, said: ‘The researchers found a significantly higher bacterial load in specimens taken from the men’s beards compared with the dogs’ fur.’ The study found all of the bearded men, aged from 18 to 76, showed high microbial counts, but only 23 out of 30 dogs had high counts. The remainder had moderate levels.

Seven men were even found to harbor microbes that posed a threat to human health.

After the MRI exams of the dogs, the scanners were disinfected and showed a ‘significantly’ lower bacteria count compared with levels seen when used by humans.

‘On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as clean compared with bearded men,’ said Dr Gutzeit.

But Keith Flett, founder of the Beard Liberation Front, which opposes discrimination against the hirsute, cast doubt on the report.

‘I think it’s possible to find all sorts of unpleasant things if you took swabs from people’s hair and hands and then tested them,’ he said. ‘I don’t believe that beards in themselves are unhygienic.

‘There seems to be a constant stream of negative stories about beards that suggest it’s more about pogonophobia than anything else.’

Opera News

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Kenya Census 2019 Results

The 2019 census results were released in November 2019. Below is a summary of the results.

Census Indicators at a Glance, 2019.

Indicator 2019
Population Size ('000s) 47,564,296
Male ('000s) 23,548,056
Female ('000s) 24,014,716
Inter Sex ('000s) 1,524
Sex Ratio (No. of Males per 100 Females) 98.1
Population Density (No. per sq. Km) 82
Number of Households ('000s) 12,143,900
Average Household Size 3.9
Inter-Censal Growth Rate (%) 2.2

Distribution of Population by Sex and County

National/County Male Female Intersex Total
Kenya 23,548,056 24,014,716 1,524 47,564,296

Mombasa 610,257 598,046 30 1,208,333
Kwale 425,121 441,681 18 866,820
Kilifi 704,089 749,673 25 1,453,787
Tana River 158,550 157,391 2 315,943
Lamu 76,103 67,813 4 143,920
Taita/Taveta 173,337 167,327 7 340,671
Garissa 458,975 382,344 34 841,353
Wajir 415,374 365,840 49 781,263
Mandera 434,976 432,444 37 867,457
Marsabit 243,548 216,219 18 459,785
Isiolo 139,510 128,483 9 268,002
Meru 767,698 777,975 41 1,545,714
Tharaka-Nithi 193,764 199,406 7 393,177
Embu 304,208 304,367 24 608,599
Kitui 549,003 587,151 33 1,136,187
Machakos 710,707 711,191 34 1,421,932
Makueni 489,691 497,942 20 987,653
Nyandarua 315,022 323,247 20 638,289
Nyeri 374,288 384,845 31 759,164
Kirinyaga 302,011 308,369 31 610,411
Murang'a 523,940 532,669 31 1,056,640
Kiambu 1,187,146 1,230,454 135 2,417,735
Turkana 478,087 448,868 21 926,976
West Pokot 307,013 314,213 15 621,241
Samburu 156,774 153,546 7 310,327
Trans Nzoia 489,107 501,206 28 990,341
Uasin Gishu 580,269 582,889 28 1,163,186
Elgeyo/Marakwet 227,317 227,151 12 454,480
Nandi 441,259 444,430 22 885,711
Baringo 336,322 330,428 13 666,763
Laikipia 259,440 259,102 18 518,560
Nakuru 1,077,272 1,084,835 95 2,162,202
Narok 579,042 578,805 26 1,157,873
Kajiado 557,098 560,704 38 1,117,840
Kericho 450,741 451,008 28 901,777
Bomet 434,287 441,379 23 875,689
Kakamega 897,133 970,406 40 1,867,579
Vihiga 283,678 306,323 12 590,013
Bungoma 812,146 858,389 35 1,670,570
Busia 426,252 467,401 28 893,681
Siaya 471,669 521,496 18 993,183
Kisumu 560,942 594,609 23 1,155,574
Homa Bay 539,560 592,367 23 1,131,950
Migori 536,187 580,214 35 1,116,436
Kisii 605,784 661,038 38 1,266,860
Nyamira 290,907 314,656 13 605,576
Nairobi City 2,192,452 2,204,376 245 4,397,073

Kenya Population Trend, 1969 to 2019

Kenya Population Growth Rates


Friday, October 11, 2019

Kenya E-Passport Application Guide While in UK

Applications and payment have to be done on the government's E-Citizen website. If you don't already have an E-Citizen account, you will need an active Kenyan mobile number to register. A verification code will be sent to that number within seconds. You will then enter that code online to verify your account then you can access all government services from there.

Please note that the mobile number must NOT have been used by anyone else to verify an E-Citizen account.  If you are in the UK, the Kenyan High Commission in London can get your UK mobile number authorised in Nairobi.

Documents Required Online

To complete your application, the online the form will ask you to upload certain documents depending on your type of application and circumstances e.g. if you are renewing your passport the application will request a copy of your ID (Front and Back), a copy of your recommender's Kenya ID card (Front and back) and copies of the last 4 pages of your passport. To get around the 195KB maximum size limit for each upload, scan each document as a low resolution black and white PDF document then upload. You can also use a free online tool such as Small PDF to reduce the size of your documents.

Once on E-Citizen, you may find the passport application form tricky to fill in.  For example, filling in your address is not straight forward as you may get a prompt that you've typed too many characters. So for instance if your address is 12 Rosewater Avenue, Finchley, London N12 7BP you will fill it in as:

  • Country of Residence: GB - 
  • Postal address: N12 7BP - 
  • Phone Number: +447...(use your UK number here) - 
  • Estate/Sublocation: Finchley - 
  • House Number/Kijiji/Village: 12 Rosewater Avenue.

YOU will also need to declare whether you have Dual Citizenship or not. Those who acquired the Citizenship of another country before the promulgation of the new constitution on 27 August 2010 will have automatically lost their Kenyan Citizenship and will first need to apply to regain it before getting the new e-passport. It does not matter whether you have been issued with a passport after 2010.

The online form might not ask for proof of when you got another country’s Citizenship but you will definitely be asked you attend processing at the Kenyan High Commission, so carry an original and x2 copies of that county's (e.g. the UK) Naturalization Certificate.

If you acquired foreign nationality before 2010 and have since applied for and successfully regained your Kenyan Nationality, take the certificate confirming you have regained your Kenyan Citizenship (Original + 2 copies). This is not to be confused with the Declaration of Dual Citizenship which is a different document altogether but take Original and x2 Copies of that too.

If applying on behalf of a child, the constitution states that “A person is a Citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a Citizen” (Article 14.1) Now, if the Kenyan parents got another country’s Citizenship before 27 August 2010, then they would have automatically lost their Kenyan Citizenship, meaning children born after the parents lost Citizenship will not be Kenyan either and all will need to apply to regain Kenyan Citizenship before getting the new e-passport. The children might be required to apply for a Kenyan Birth Certificate before applying for the e-passport (Registration of The Birth of a Citizen of Kenya Occurring Abroad).

You will need their overseas Birth Certificate details to register them as Kenyans born abroad.

It does not matter whether the children already have the old-style passport.

You WILL also need the address, phone number (with international code eg +2547..) I.D number and place of birth of at least one of your parents to fill in the form. Their passport number is optional as not all parents have a passport. If you can get a copy of their ID, even better just to be on the safe side. When filling in their address, you will need to somehow shorten it so it fits in the form. For Example, if the full address is P.O Box 8942-02485 Ronald Ngala Street you can shorten it to 8942 R NGALA ST. In case both parents are deceased, the form might ask for death certificate details of at least one parent. Get a copy if possible.

Fill in your recommenders’ details the same way then upload the required documents. The Recommender can be any Kenyan known to but must not be related to you. They will have to sign your form so it’s better if they don’t live too far away from you.

Make sure to review your form before submitting to ensure everything is in order.

Once you've paid for your application, download a copy of your completed form and a copy of your payment receipt to your computer or device.

You will then need to print x1 Copy of the completed form and x3 Copies of the payment receipt.

Your recommender will need to sign and date their section of the form and you the same.

You can then go over to the Kenyan High Commission Website (Not E-Citizen) and book an appointment.

Documents You Will Need at the High Commission Appointment

The London High Commission website has listed what you need to bring to your appointment BUT has not made it clear that you also need to bring original documents along with the copies they've asked for, so carry:

  1. x1 COPY of completed application form
  2. x3 COPIES of payment receipt from E-Citizen
  3. Original and x2 Copies of the last page of your passport (the page with your picture and details)
  4. Original and x2 Copies of your Kenya ID card (Front and back)
  5. Original and x2 Copies of Kenyan Birth Certificate
  6. Original and x2 Copies of UK Residence Permit/Visa. If you have UK Citizenship also take Original Naturalisation Certificate + x2 Copies
  7. x3 Passport Size Photographs (UK Standard Size) - The website mentions 2 photos but they actually need 3. Write your names on the back of each one.
  8. x2 COPIES of recommender's Kenya ID card (Front and back) - careful with this one. 
  9. Original and/or Copies of any other relevant documents if applicable e.g parent’s death certificate.

You will get your original documents back on the day (apart from the old passport) once they've been checked against the copies.

Your old passport will be returned together with your shiny new E-Passport!

To save yourself another trip to collect your passport when it's ready, you can purchase a pre-paid Special Delivery Guaranteed envelope from the post office, self-address it and leave it with the embassy staff. The Guaranteed by 1PM envelope costs around £7 and is insured for up to £500 in case of loss or damage.

Good Luck and be ready to have a digital photo and finger/handprints taken if you'll have cleared all the hurdles!

Tips and Warnings
Although the e-passport requirements are very rigorous, subsequent future renewals will be so much easier so it’s definitely worth ‘getting in the system’. They are cleaning up the system to conform to international e-passport security standards. Also, many Kenyan passports were fraudulently or erroneously acquired/issued in the past. If you have Dual Nationality and have found it simply impossible to satisfy all e-passport requirements, you can always have your UK Passport endorsed at the Kenyan High Commission for Visa-Free travel to Kenya as a last resort.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Insurance (Amendment) Act, 2018 Signed into Law

On 5th July 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta officially signed the Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2018. This is a major development for the industry with regard to payment of premiums and addressing insurance fraud. Some of the major highlights are noted below.

Section 156 was repealed and replaced with the following:

156. (1) No insurer shall assume a risk in Kenya in respect of insurance business unless and until the premium payable thereon is received by the insurer.
(2) An intermediary shall not receive any premiums on behalf of an insurer.
(3) An intermediary who contravenes subsection (2) shall be liable to a penalty of one million shillings on each contravention, payable to the Policy Holders Compensation fund.
(4) Any officer or director of an intermediary who contravenes subsection (2) shall be guilty of an offence, and upon conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand shillings or to an imprisonment term of three months, or to both.
(5) An insurer shall pay an intermediary insurance commission due within thirty days upon receipt of premium.
(6) An insurer who contravenes subsection (5) shall be liable to a penalty of five million shillings on each contravention, payable to the Policyholders Compensation Fund.

The act also introduced a legal provision creating offences on insurance fraud, including penalties intended to address the problem of insurance fraud that continues to be a major challenge to the stability of the insurance industry in the country. The amendment further ensures that the Act complies with International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) standards on countering insurance fraud.