Nairobi is to host a U.N environmental programme this week and the celebrations of the world migratory bird day will be akin to a curtain raiser to the event. Flamingoes, pelicans and many migratory birds of myriad hues throng the Great Rift valley for an interlude of refreshments from fresh water ponds, dams and lakes, while on their route from Asia to the northern hemisphere. What used to be a welcome sight attracting tourists in huge numbers, is now wearing a jaundiced façade, the flip side to the migratory birds that they could serve as messengers
conveying the avian flu infection.
Robert Hepworth, the executive secretary of the Convention on Migrating Bird Species said that, though it is easy to zero in on the migratory birds as plausible conveyors of infection, yet not enough evidence is available to hit the nail on the head. Some experts are casting a big doubt on the poultry trade in Africa, which poses a far greater risk of spreading the avian flu infection.