In some Kenyan states, sand mining by organized crime mobsters is a big problem. In Makueni County, however, the local government has found a way to reduce people from removing the sand from dry river beds. Kenya is building more and more, and sand is indispensable for the creation of glass and concrete. One can make quite some money by mining and selling the thick grains of Makueni sand.
Dutch writer and Amref Flying Doctors ambassador Saskia Noort and her daughter Julia Schellekens traveled to the Maasai community of Kilindi, Tanzania. Here, they attended a so-called ‘ARP’, an Alternative Rite of Passage without the harmful FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) practice. ‘The cut’ kills many girls, who can be as young as eight years old when they undergo the ceremonial ritual. With Amref’s help, over 16.000 girls became a woman without undergoing FGM.
For the video above (created by Chilo.TV), I interviewed Saskia Noort on the last day of our trip to Kilindi. You can check out the pictures I took on our trip on my NGO Photography page. If you can read Dutch, you can also read more about Saskia Noort’s experiences in this interview by JAN Magazine (which also boasts one of my pictures).
During the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, Princess Laurentien of The Netherlands spoke about the launch of a new initiative by the Chinese Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE) to voluntarily ban the use of rhino-based products across the Society's members. Later that day, the Dutch princess and SEE hosted a reception to mark the launch of the SEE initiative, where I took pictures for Laurentien’s Number Five Foundation.
To see more pictures I took for NGO’s, please visit the NGO Photography page of my website.
You can now read my ten-page travel story about Uganda in the inflight magazine of Kenya Airways: Msafiri! The piece features an off-trail safari with Uganda Carnivores doctor Ludwig Siefert, a not-so-successful chimpanzee trek in Kalinzu and a spectacular trip to the mountain gorillas of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. I'm also providing some tips on where to eat, where to stay and which spots in Kampala and Entebbe you shouldn't miss. Nearly all photographs were also taken by me!
You can read the whole issue of Msafiri magazine through this link. If you’d like to read more about my work for Msafiri, you can check out this blogpost about my cover shot for the November 2018 edition, or click here to read my Ethiopia travel story of a couple of months ago.
On toast, in a salad or just as a healthy snack: the Dutch love avocados. My colleagues at MENDO even created an avocado cookbook for the avo only restaurant The Avocado Show! Our love for avocados has a clear effect on countries where the fruit can grow: in Kenya, farmers even uproot their coffee plants to make money off this ‘avocado boom’.
With Africa correspondent Saskia, I traveled to Machakos, a region where more and more farmers are growing avocados to cash in on the global avo trend. You can watch our TV report above, or you can check it out on the RTL Nieuws website.
During our recent trip to Nigeria, where Saskia and I were on assignment for RTL Nieuws and VPRO Bureau Buitenland, we coincidentally were in Lagos when the delayed presidential elections took place. Saskia and I worked on a story about the dangerous impact of fake news on Nigeria’s elections. If you can read Dutch, you can check out the whole story (and see some of my pictures) here.
In the last months of 2018, I took on several NGO assignments. I have gathered some of the NGO-commissioned pictures on a new page of this website. You can now visit the NGO Photography tab to see the photographs shot for (African) non-governmental organizations. I’m currently filling my 2019 work schedule, so do not hesitate to send me an email - maybe I can also work for your organization!
I partnered up with New York based advertising and new media agency Hero Group, the company behind the all-new travel app Hero Traveler! As one of their ‘Contributors’, I have created three travel stories about Uganda, Petra (Jordan) and Zeeland (The Netherlands).
You might’ve noticed that there’s a new tab on my website, called ‘Countries’! On this page, I have highlighted some of my favorite pictures taken in several countries. I’m very active on Instagram, but due to that activity, most of my pictures are buried under new content and so it can take some scrolls before you’ll see them. On the new ‘Countries’ page, you can now also see older work.
Yesterday and the day before yesterday, terrorist organization al-Shabaab carried out a large-scale terror attack on the DusitD2 hotel and business complex in Nairobi, Kenya. At least 21 people were killed when Somali militants stormed the compound.
RTL correspondent Saskia Houttuin and I could hear the explosions from where we were, about two kilometers away from the Dusit complex. While the attack was still ongoing further down the road, we reported from behind the security cordon.
The following day, security forces and terrorists were still fighting. Saskia and I visited the August 7th Memorial Park in Nairobi’s CBD, where the Kenyan Red Cross collected donated blood for the victims of the attack. Later on, we also visited the city’s mortuarium and talked to Moureen, who had been inside the complex during the attack for over 13 hours.
Above, you can see some of the pictures I took over the last two days. Below, you can find publications of Saskia and me.
Saskia reported for BNR Nieuwsradio on the second day of the attack;
De Telegraaf newspaper interviewed me on the evening of the attack. The article also features 8 of my pictures and videos;
Here, you can watch our Facebook Live report on the RTL Nieuws page, about the blood transfusions for the victims of the attack;
In the broadcast of RTL Nieuws on the evening of the attack, we made a small report from behind the police cordon, filmed with an iPhone;
For the 7.30pm RTL Nieuws broadcast of the next day, we filmed a reportage about the aftermath of the attack. You can watch the whole broadcast here, or see the video below.