The ribbed and emaciated body of a hungry Kenyan is not a new imagery in the global context. Government failure to embrace food safety policies is despicable. For decades people in the arid and semi arid areas have struggled to keep their livestock alive and families with plenty but nobody has cared to satisfy their basic needs. One by one, famine is soothing extermination.
When a country is driven by politics, even the media veers from the course of setting the agenda for development into promoting political bickering and backward thinking systems.
The Kenyan media is awash with issues that never drive development. The commercial value is too golden to care about information that is for and about development and as such music, politics and sexual overtones define journalism the Kenyan way. The proliferation of radio stations is insurmountable; the professionals to educate community on how to improve livelihoods are unavailable and celebrity branding is the name of the media game.
The government herself is not concerned with developing best agricultural practices for profits and sustenance.
This lack of commitment to agriculture manifests in the education system that is keen on promoting the sciences of engineering, medicine and mathematics and breaking the backbone of the economy by scraping agriculture from the primary school curricula.
The children have since developed the attitude that agriculture is a dirty science. Agricultural extension services are unheard of, but in government records the ministry of agriculture is fully operational and performing pretty well.
Lack of education to local farmers has basically led to a shift of focus to urban based white collar jobs since frustrations are indelible in their faces due to lack of support from government, poor prices and unfavorable and unpredictable climate, thanks to an incapacitated meteorological department. The reality of climate change does not sink into the mind of a natural forest land grabber who believes rain comes from God and not trees.
Africa is endowed with huge natural resources that have been exploited poorly without expert submission. Development organizations still depend on the one way horizontal communication that emphasizes dissemination of information rather than participation.
The communication specialists are doing public relations for the development organization that have recruited the rather than communication for development; attribute this to lack of proper training.
The researchers lack avenues to communicate their findings because they distrust and disrespect journalists whom they feel are ill equipped to handle special subjects. For instance, in Kenya, journalists are famed for fault finding, simplistic writing and bookish definition to news ‘if it bleeds it leads’ and better still waiting for the ‘man to bite dog’.
Unless we have a vibrant media, that has taken the pains to train or recruit competent staff that can handle topics on agriculture, environment and health, African countries will continue to beg for food and drugs to feed the dying voters. Citizens are never regarded as so, but as mere ballot box fillers. Save my people from hunger or I am politically finished!