Connect with us

Business

‘In my stylish Sh3m mud house’

Published

on

[ad_1]

Design & Interiors

‘In my stylish Sh3m mud house’


mudhouse1

A mud house owned by Kenyan landscape artist Chris Campbell Clause in Tsavo. PHOTO | POOL

When Kenyan landscape artist Chris Campbell Clause was dreaming of building a house in Voi, his inspiration was something earthy, traditional like an African hut.

“But the biggest challenge is how to put a roof on a roundhouse, unless I was going to use makuti or thatch. There’s also the furnishing aspect which was proving challenging. You can’t put a square bed against a round wall. So that’s why I went with an octagonal design so it gives some straight edges,” he says.

His four-bedroom earth-house, named Tsavo House, has red and orange hues striking in the glow of sunset, blending seamlessly into the surrounding Tsavo landscape.

To achieve the earthy look, soil was rubbed onto wet plaster by hand, like the cowdung technique. It was then patiently kneaded onto the exterior wall. When done correctly, there is no need to repaint the house even up to seven years later, he says.

“In Africa, a huge part of the population lives in mud constructed homes. Take Morocco for instance, the buildings have been standing for hundreds of years, and they’re just made from soil. However, developing countries are aspiring to be where the West is, yet the West is at a stage where they’re looking at sustainability and being eco-friendly, thus returning to building out of soil,” he says.

The house took him two years to construct, and he worked with two men.

“I built the house with only two men helping me. So labour costs were minimal and the total cost of construction would not have exceeded Sh3 million,” he says.

“I wasn’t in a hurry. It could have easily been built in four or five months.”

Almost zero

Going with a rammed earth technique meant that transport costs were almost zero as they were hardly any building materials being brought to the site.

“I dug septic tanks and water reservoirs to get enough soil to make bricks, and we added a tiny bit of cement as a binding agent. If you do it properly, you’re supposed to cure that brick by putting it under polythene for about a month for it to gain strength over those days. The drawback is that people are impatient and want to build with the same brick they made that day,” he says.

Mr Clause has now put his Tsavo House for booking on Airbnb. There are two double bedrooms upstairs, and one downstairs, and he is currently putting up a star bed on the rooftop.

mudhouse2

Relaxing on a hammock in mud house in Tsavo. PHOTO | POOL

He charges about Sh4,855 ($45) a night. Some solo travellers rent it alone, others as big groups of family or friends.

A huge mountain perfect for hikers frames is in the backdrop, and a river snakes its way past the front of the house. We enjoyed a picnic by the banks and walking its length as far as we could go.

We awoke to birdsong in the morning, took naps on the hammocks on the front porch, pottered around the fully stocked kitchen making roast for lunch, enjoying spectacular sundowners on the rooftop, drove into Voi town when we needed more wine and chatted with our amiable host late into the evenings on the beautifully outfitted main lounging area.

Mr Clause is also opening up his doors to young Kenyan artists looking for residency.

“They can come and spend a long weekend. If there are too many people for the house we can set up semi-luxury tents by the river, I have showers and loos there. We can have breakfast together then go for a game drive, take sketchbooks and cameras and see what inspires us out there. Then, we sit in the studio or main lounge and I can go from person to person and give advice. A lot of Kenyans don’t have access to or perhaps aren’t taking up such opportunities because they feel it’s out of their budgets, but maybe it’s not,” he said.

Having sold his first watercolour painting in 1973, today, his studio sits behind the house. Guests can look through his collection and buy whatever they fancy, and artists can draw inspiration from his career.

“Being an artist isn’t always seen as a viable career— even I was told that. I get to prove to young Kenyans that you can make a living doing this. Not only do you have to be an artist but also a business person and know how to sell your art. There are more platforms available now, with Instagram and Facebook proving successful instead of going to a traditional gallery,” he says.

His passion for the wilderness is palpable in his landscape paintings which range from elephants in the Tsavo plains to the narrow streets of Old Town Lamu, as well as more cultural pieces such as Kenyan women carrying pots on their head on the way back to the homestead.

These pieces all have different markets, and he says he is looking to help artists identify that.

[email protected]

[ad_2]

Source link

Business

KQ resumes Mumbai flights after 4 months

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

Companies

KQ resumes Mumbai flights after 4 months


kq-Dreamliner0504FA

A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

bonface_img

Summary

  • Kenya Airways will on Thursday resume flights to Mumbai, ending a four-month hiatus that was occasioned by increased cases of Covid-19 in the Asian state.
  • The airline in a notice to its customers yesterday said it will resume its operations on the route on September 16, 2021 with the first flight departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7am to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45 pm.

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ will on Thursday resume flights to Mumbai, ending a four-month hiatus that was occasioned by increased cases of Covid-19 in the Asian state.

The airline in a notice to its customers Monday said it will resume its operations on the route on September 16, 2021 with the first flight departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 7am to arrive in Mumbai at 3:45 pm.

The airline will then resume full operations on the route on September 20, flying three times per week on the Indian route, which is one of the most lucrative destinations on its network.

Passengers on the route will part with Sh46,000 ($419) for one-way air ticket on economy class seats from Nairobi to Mumbai- prices that are relatively the same compared to what it was charging before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Welcome back onboard! Fly from Nairobi to Mumbai starting Thursday 16th September with normal schedules resuming from Monday 20th September 2021,” said the airline in a notice to its customers yesterday.

KQ Suspended passenger flights to and from Mumbai on April 30 until further notice, following a government directive on travel between India and Kenya due to a Covid-19 crisis in that country.

The airline said on Friday that passengers who had booked tickets after May 1, the date of the last flight from Mumbai to Nairobi, will have to change their plans.

Affected passengers, KQ said, could also take vouchers for the value of their fare for future travel within 12 months.

India has seen soaring infection rates in the recent days, since the discovery of a new virus variant. Last month, India put on lockdown one of the states following a spike in cases of Covid-19.

Other countries that have banned flights to India include France, the UK Bangladesh, Oman and Hong Kong that have banned travel to and from India or asked their nationals coming from the Asian country to isolate themselves in government-approved hotels.

India has so far detected 33,264,175 corona virus cases with the number of deaths hitting 442,874 as at September 13.

A large number of patients from Kenya also travel to India every year for specialised medical treatment, especially cancer care, helping to drive medical tourism in the densely populated country that boasts affordable and easily accessible healthcare.

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Lower import volumes push mitumba prices to new highs

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

Economy

Lower import volumes push mitumba prices to new highs


mitumba

Man pulls a cart loaded with second-hand clothes at Gikomba Market in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

BDgeneric_logo

Summary

  • Traders paid Sh100,527 on average per tonne of the used clothes, popularly called mitumba, compared to Sh96,286 the previous year.
  • Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned importation of the clothes from late March through mid-August in a bid to contain the spread of the life-threatening coronavirus infections.
  • Findings of the Economic Survey 2021 suggests dealers shipped in 121,778 tonnes of mitumba in 2020, a 34.02 percent fall compared with 2019 and the lowest volumes since 2015.

The average price of a tonne of second-hand clothing items imported into the country crossed the Sh100,000 mark for the first time last year on reduced volumes in the wake of safety protocols and guidelines to curb spread of coronavirus.

Traders paid Sh100,527 on average per tonne of the used clothes, popularly called mitumba, compared to Sh96,286 the previous year.

Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned importation of the clothes from late March through mid-August in a bid to contain the spread of the life-threatening coronavirus infections.

Findings of the Economic Survey 2021 suggests dealers shipped in 121,778 tonnes of mitumba in 2020, a 34.02 percent fall compared with 2019 and the lowest volumes since 2015.

Last year’s drop was the first dip since 2011 when 76,533 tonnes were shipped in compared with 80,423 tonnes the previous year, the official data collated by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows.

The import bill for the merchandise amounted to Sh12.24 billion, a drop of 31.11 percent, or Sh5.53 billion, year-on-year.

TIn imposing the temporary ban on used clothes, Kebs had applied a standard which prohibits buying second-hand clothes from countries experiencing epidemics to ensure disease-causing microorganisms are not imported into Kenya.

Higher quality and relatively lower prices for mitumba has continued to drive demand for used clothes at expense of locally-made products amid higher margins enjoyed by traders largely operating in informal markets.

The lucrative second-hand clothing market has seen traders from China —a key source market for the merchandise —open shops in Gikomba, Kenya’s largest informal market for mitumba, in recent years to cash in rising demand.

Earnings from exports of articles of apparel and clothing accessories fell 5.32 percent to Sh32.92 billion last year compared with 2019, data indicates.

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Court backs Atwoli union in horticulture membership feud

Published

on

By

[ad_1]

Economy

Court backs Atwoli union in horticulture membership feud


Cotu boss Francis Atwoli

Cotu boss Francis Atwoli. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • A trade union that is led by the long-serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli has survived an attempt to stop it from representing over 60,000 workers in the horticulture industry.
  • Newly registered Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture, and Allied Workers Union (Kefhau) had filed as a case in the Employment and Labour seeking to bar the Atwoli-led Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) from representing workers in the industry.

A trade union that is led by the long-serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli has survived an attempt to stop it from representing over 60,000 workers in the horticulture industry.

Newly registered Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture, and Allied Workers Union (Kefhau) had filed as a case in the Employment and Labour seeking to bar the Atwoli-led Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) from representing workers in the industry.

Mr Atwoli is the secretary-general of KPAWU. The rival union claimed KPAWU had encroached on its area of workers’ representation.

Justice James Rika, however, dismissed the claim and ruled that the dispute should have been taken through conciliation, and was therefore presented in court prematurely.

He also stated that Kefhau must go beyond its registration and recruit sufficient members from the employers, to be granted recognition and organisational rights.

“Registration on its own, does not afford the claimant (Kefhau) recognition. Until there is proof that Kefhau has satisfied Section 54 of the Labour Relations Act, the status quo must be maintained,” said the judge.

“Kefhau must recruit at least 50 percent plus one, of the unionisable employees in the floriculture and horticulture industry, members of the Agricultural Employers Association to be considered for recognition,” he stated.

He noted that there is a Recognition Agreement and CBA, binding Mr Atwoli’s union and Agricultural Employers Association, affecting 73 Flower Growers Group of employers, and over 60,000 employees.

“It is objectionable for Kefhau to be allowed organisational rights, and the legitimacy to receive trade union dues and agency fees, from over 60,000 employees, just on the strength of registration as a trade union,” said the judge.

Kefhau wanted the court to declare that it is the sole trade union, which is allowed by its constitution to carry out activities in the export floriculture and vegetable industry, and an order restraining Mr Atwoli’s from representing workers in that area.

[ad_2]

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 PRUMETRICS