What Happens When Cows Come To Nairobi

More Africans are moving to large cities, and some are bringing their livestock with them, along with an increased risk of disease. Rather than banning the animals entirely, Kenyan officials came up with a different solution.

What's the Latest Development?


As more Africans move to urban cities, some, such as those residing in the Nairobi district of Dagoretti, are bringing their cows and chickens along with them. The animals are kept in the backyards, and their manure is also used to fertilize vegetable gardens, which Nairobi public health workers say helped contribute to a spike in a particular type of infectious disease. Rather than recommend a ban on keeping animals in the city, the workers created a publicity campaign to encourage more careful attention to how well they're kept. As researcher Delia Grace puts it, "[W]e know that [conventional warnings are] not very effective. [This is] a new approach that's trying to change peoples' behavior based on social norms."

What's the Big Idea?

Livestock serve as a reliable source of meat and milk in urban areas where there are few grocery stores or freezers: "[For children] the nutritional benefits of ready access to milk outweighs some of the cow-related drawbacks." A cow can also be used as collateral for a bank loan. Upon further research, Grace and her colleagues decided that asking rural people to give up such an integral part of their culture wasn't an option. The publicity campaign they developed involves brochures and cartoons that gently pressure residents into adopting safer and more hygienic standards. 

meunierd / Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Atlantic

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

This 5-minute neck scan can spot dementia 10 years before it emerges

The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.

Mikhail Kalinin via Wikipedia
Mind & Brain
  • The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
  • Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
  • The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
Keep reading Show less

How 'dark horses' flip the script of success and happiness

What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.

Big Think Books

When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.

Keep reading Show less