Andrew Green is a freelance journalist based in East Africa who writes primarily about issues of public health, governance and culture. He has previously worked in South Africa and Zambia, where he had a Fulbright grant studying the evolution of the country’s independent media. His work has appeared in In These Times, The American Prospect, PlusNews, IRIN and more. In addition, Green was the web editor at the Center for Public Integrity for three years, where he led the Center’s digital efforts, including a video series from the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. He graduated from Northwestern University and hails from Kentucky.
Early on the morning of March 9, a 15-car United Nations convoy was making one of its usual runs through South Sudan’s Jonglei. This northeastern state, which covers over 47,300 square miles, has been riven by conflict long before the country’s independence in 2011. Convoys from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) frequently patrol the area, offering protection to civilians and workers from other humanitarian groups.
The ongoing conflict in Mali, grounded in a rebel takeover of the country’s north nearly a year ago, has already affected hundreds of thousands of people. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that more than 150,000 people have fled to neighboring countries and an additional 230,000 have been displaced internally. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, even as international and regional actors, along with the UN Security Council, work to prevent the area from becoming a stronghold for terrorist groups.
This week marked the two-year anniversary of zero polio cases in India. “As recently as 2010, India had the largest number of polio cases of any country in the world and was considered the most difficult place to eliminate the disease,” said Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO). “Yet, through collaboration between the government of India, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, and with financial support from governments around the world, what once seemed impossible is now a reality.”
Uganda Stove Manufacturers got into the clean cookstove business before it was trendy. The vast majority of the country’s cooking—steaming savory bananas, boiling rice, grilling meat—is done on small, porous stoves that waste heat and leak smoke into homes. The owners of the family business, commonly called UgaStove, realized there was a market for less dangerous and wasteful cooking equipment. In 2001, they started manufacturing cleaner, more efficient versions: metal cladding painted red and orange, wrapped around a simple clay liner.
The gunfire started as Dr. M’Pana Mohizi Onesime was making his rounds. He says armed men, flooding through a broken back door, began indiscriminately shooting people at his hospital in Ishasha, a town near the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern border. He snuck out and ran to his home. When he found it destroyed, he took off for Uganda.
Over a few months in 2010, the Pabbo camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs)—once home to upwards of 65,000 people—was gradually erased. Northern Uganda's decades-long war was over, so across the country, mud-and-thatch houses were being torn down and land was cleared and prepared for farming under the guidance of the Ugandan government and the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR). Just as the government instructed them to move to the camps when Joseph Kony turned his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) against his own people, northerners were now told to return to the lives they had before the slaughter began.
There’s no soda water in the Wau market. It’s an easy thing to overlook in the bustling heart of this western South Sudanese town, since the basics are still in abundance: 25-kilogram bags of ground maize, blue-and-yellow tubs of condensed milk, piles of overripe tomatoes.
The fishing villages of Bugala—the largest island in a cluster along Uganda’s side of Lake Victoria—offer the chance to earn quick money if you’re willing to take a few risks. The men brave cold nights and towering thunderstorms in pursuit of the diminishing schools of Nile perch and mukene fish in Africa’s largest freshwater body. Commercial sex workers take small rooms for the weekend in barracks-style buildings and wait for the fishermen to return to shore, hoping they’ll spend their newfound wealth on quick encounters.