Mail and Guardian
Built to cool, not to protect, the sisal thatched roofs that dot the Lamu archipelago give a good indication of where priorities lie on the north Kenyan coast.
Whereas Nairobi residents surround themselves with three-metre walls and electric fences, doors made of palm tree fibres are all that stand at the entrance of many homes along the empty sands of islands stretching far into the distance. That may be about to change.
At 3am on October 1 at least 10 gunmen landed on Manda Island and burst into the home of Marie Dedieu. A retired French journalist, the 66-year-old woman had made her home for the past 15 years on Manda, which lies across a narrow lagoon from the village of Shela on Lamu Island, a popular hangout with the rich and famous. The Kenyan navy attempted to stop the boat in which the kidnappers escaped, but despite firing warning shots over it they slipped back to Somalia.