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Children in peril of malnutrition in war-torn S. Sudan, UNICEF warns
October 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has warned that there is alarming high number of children under five-year of ages suffering from physical of poor diets and food stuff.

South Sudan gained independence from the north in 2011 after decades of civil war, but returned into another civil war in late 2013, uprooted four million people both internally and externally from their homes, placed them under severely hunger and malnutrition.

The country’s five – year conflict has also ruined the economic and farming activities, leaved civilians on the arm of humanitarian agencies. To access the conflict-areas is measure problem due to insecurity and inaccessible roads in the country, surrendered children into malnutrition status.

The UNICEF chief revealed that the prevalence of acute malnutrition among children in the war-torn country was quiet alarming, it has increased from 13 per cent in 2018 to 16 per cent in 2019, which has above the 15 per cent emergency threshold.

“Every child in need treatment for malnutrition is a failure, a failure in preventing the suffering,” said UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya in the press release. Preventing malnutrition is an essential part of realizing every child’s right to health. Young children can suffer lifelong consequences and in worst case die if malnutrition is not addressed timely during the first crucial years in life.”

Speaking to press in Juba on Tuesday, Andrea Suley, UNICEF deputy Country’s Representative said that a malnutrition is complex and must be fought on all fronts simultaneously.

“Together with partners and donors, we have become exceptionally good at treating children for acute malnutrition; now we must make up our game and become even better at preventing it,” said Suley.

Speaking on the same event, Dr. Baba Samson, advisor to the Health’s Ministry, said the parents should invest in prevention measures rather than cure.

“We need to invest in prevention than cure. [because] We are fighting a losing battle, and not addressing the root causes of the problems,” said Samson.

Baba stated that poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water was a big contributing factor to acute malnutrition in many localities in South Sudan.

“The problem of malnutrition today in our country is not only poor diet but it is the issue of lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitation that is affecting many children today,” said Samson

However, the UN Children Fund said a comprehensive nutrition campaign to fight malnutrition across the country has been launched.

Suley stressed that UNICEF and partners are working to promote age-appropriate feeding practices for children, including cooking demonstrations with locally available food.

UNICEF’s deputy unveiled that hygiene promotion, improving access to clean drinking water and sanitation and providing health services will also be contributing to prevention of malnutrition.

She further appealed to the government to produce multi-sector strategic plan for nutrition with joint targets, pool resources, multi-sectoral coordination, an accountability framework and joint monitoring and evaluation system.

Suley also urged donors and non-governmental agencies to support prevention strategy of addressing malnutrition by prioritizing prevention of malnutrition at community and facility levels, adding that the community must ensure that their children have a healthy diet.

“With good food and nutrition, we can set a child up for success, and yet we are losing ground in the fight for healthy diets,” said Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore at the global launch of the state of the world’s children report in London. This is not a battle we can win on our own. We need governments, the private sector and civil society to prioritize child nutrition and work together to address the causes of unhealthy eating in all its forms.”

 “It is globally estimated that 1.3 million children under the age of five will suffer from acute malnutrition in 2020. This calls for a paradigm shift in addressing malnutrition by shifting focusing on treatment to prioritizing prevention by reducing the need for treatment,” said Suley.

The challenge is not only securing enough food but ensuring children are eating the right things and get the nutrients they need to develop to their full potential, said the UNICEF.

“Only 7 per cent of children under five in South Sudan has an adequate diet. Furthermore, common diseases such as malaria must be prevented and treated, as they are often the starting point for malnutrition,” said Ayoya in the press statement. Only 50 per cent of households have access to clean water and only 10 per cent access to improved sanitation. Ensuring clean water and addressing poor sanitation and hygiene practices are also essential to preventing diarrheal diseases causing malnutrition.”

Suley said there are 2000 centers in the country set for specific nutrition to treat malnutrition countrywide.

“We have a very large program in the country where we focus on prevention and treatment with 48 NGOs to provide prevention services on malnutrition,” she said.

However, the state of the world’s children 2019 report finds that in 2018, at least 1 in 3 children under five globally, were either stunted, wasted or overweight, reflecting poor growth and putting them at risk of increased infections, weak learning skills, low immunity and, in many cases, death. In addition, 1 in 2 children – or 340 million globally – suffered from deficiencies in vitamins and minerals such as iron and iodine, further undermining their growth.

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Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo to construct a joint hydropower plant of 147 MW
August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo have signed agreements that will see the construction of a joint hydropower plant named Rusizi III.

Ruzizi III project is a 147 MW hydro-power regional project between Burundi, DRC and Rwanda to be developed as a PPP (Public Private partnership) Project at a total cost ranging between $644 million and $700 million according to Rwadan Ministry of Infrastructure.

The signing ceremony occurred this Mondany in Kinshasa in front of three Ministers, Claver Gatete in charge of Infrastructure in Rwanda, Come Manirakiza in Charge of Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mines and Acting Minister of Energy and Water Resources of DRC.

Rusizi III hydropower plant will be constructed in Rusizi area of South-western Rwanda which borders whith DRC and Burundi, on the Rusizi river.

The project is expected to cost of $644 million, of which $138 million will be provided by African Development Bank.

The construction works set to start by 2021 and be completed by 2026.

Rwanda’s Minister of infrastructure, Claver Gatete commended the move , and insures that when completed, It will boost energy sector among those countries.

“The signing of Rusizi III power project today in Kinshasa will boost energy generation and Econ development in Rwanda, DRC and Burundi”, he wrote on Twitter after signing ceremony.

Construction works will be done by IPS (an Agha Kan owned company) and SN Power whch is a Norwegian company.

Rusizi III hydropower project is planned to generate 147 MW and the power output is shared among the three partner states with Rwanda getting 48.3MW and the rest is shared between Burundi and DRC.

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A Rwandan man made a three month long walk to remember victims of Genocide
July 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

Ntigurirwa arriving in Kigali

Ntigurirwa arriving in Kigali

Hypolite Ntigurirwa, a Rwandan youth has concluded his three month walk of peace in remembrance of victims of genocide  perpetrated against the  Tutsi in 1994.

This journey started  on 15 April this year  and was concluded this Thursday, 25 July.

Ntigurirwa, a genocide survivor himself toured the  whole country to mark the journey made by victims in 1994 while they were going to be slaughtered.

Genocide against  the Tutsi in Rwanda left more than million victims, mainly Tutsis.

Ntigurirwa finished his walk at Kigali Genocide memorial where he put a wreath at the tombs in which more than 250 thousands victims are buried.

He told the press that he saw genocide with his own eyes when he was seven years old.

Recalling the cruelty by which genocide was made, Ntugurirwa wants this walk to be a siren of peace so that what happened  never happen again anywhere around the world.

He concluded his journey at Kigali Genocide Memorial

He concluded his journey at Kigali Genocide Memorial

“ I travelled a long way during genocide while I was a child trying to escape killers, that’s what made me come out of my fear and remember that way of the cross”, he said

“You cannot beg for peace, when you want peace you give it or you work for it. Our grand children will never find peace if we don’t sow it today” he added

Asked why he  opted to walk instead of driving, Ntigurirwa said “There are some acts that you cannot do while in  car. For instance there are way I would arrive and people tell me ‘this hill has a history’ and I would climb to discuss with the dwellers.”

The walk of more than  a thousand kilometers kicked off from Western Province and was concluded in Kigali.

Ntigurirwa works with a NGO. Before starting his walk, he asked for a four month long leave without a salary.

During his walk, he would use his own money and he revealed he has used more than one thousand dollars.

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Kenya:10 betting firms given go ahead to operate
July 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i

Kenyan government has renewed licenses of 10 out of 27 betting companies after complying with the new set of rules for the industry players.

Early this month the Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i annulled licenses of 27 betting firms for breaching the rules and regulations. The move was arrived at after owners failed to adhere to the tough rules aimed at regulating betting in the country. They had up to July 1, 2019 to renew their permits.

The new rules oblige them to operate within the country’s laws governing the betting industry, pay tax and show their financial stability in the past four years.

The directive issued saw the firms’ pay bill numbers and short codes shut down and gamers ordered to withdraw their funds deposited in the companies wallet.

Kenya’s biggest betting company SportPesa is leading the list of the firms affected by the directive and its fate still hangs in the balance. The gaming operator which sponsors various sports activities in the country rubbished the government reports that it is evading tax.

The company through its CEO Ronald Karauri said in 2018 they generated revenue of US$194 million, made a gross profit of US$90 million and paid US$64 million in taxes.

The firm sponsors Kenya Premier League, football giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards among others activities.

Meanwhile, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has decried over financial challenges that await football activities in the country should the status quo remain.

FKF President Nick Mwendwa has pleaded with the Betting Control and Licensing Board to review its decision in order to save the country’s football from crumbling.

“We are on the verge of losing approximately US$60 million as football will be affected in the fight. If SportPesa exits, we will be left without a title sponsor for the league and Shield Cup. Gor Mahia and AFC Leopard and the national team will also suffer and this is why I am asking the government to have football in mind as they do their regulations. Honesty, without them, we will struggle and even the big international matches will no longer be held,” said Mwendwa.

The national team Harambee Stars is sponsored by Betin Kenya which is also the casualty of the new laws.




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Kenya’s finance officials deny corruption charges
July 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich

Former Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich

Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Tuesday pleaded not guilty before a Nairobi Court to graft charges over fraud linked to two dams’ projects.

Rotich, his Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge and eight others were arraigned a day after spending behind the bars. They are among the 28 people whom the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) issued their arrest warrants on Monday, July 22 following the outcome of a comprehensive investigations carried out by a multi-agency team presided by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti.

The suspects are alleged to have defrauded the government billion of money in the dam projects run by the Italian construction company CMC di Ravenna.

It has been reported that US$446 million was earmarked for the completion of Arror and Kimwarer dam projects in the Kenyan Rift Valley but the treasury had inflated the amount to US$610 million.

The DPP further revealed that US$6 million was paid out for the resettlement of people living in areas the projects were to be undertaken but there is information about the acquisition of land.

They were charged with 24 counts among them willful failures to comply with applicable procedures relating to procurement, engaging in a project without prior planning, conspiracy to defraud, and abuse of office, neglect of official duty, issuing of misleading information, fraudulent acquisition of public property and committing an offence of financial misconduct.

The investigative agencies have hinted at seeking repatriation of CMC di Ravenna director Paolo Porcelli to face graft charges.

“We have the Italian individual, he has not managed to present himself so we will be seeking his extradition to come and face the charges here in Kenya. We will also issue an international arrest warrant,” said Noordin Haji.

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ZPBA to facilitate the launch of the African Association of Plant Breeders
July 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

The Zimbabwe Plant Breeders Association (ZPBA) is set to facilitate the launch of the African Association of Plant Breeders on 23 to 25 October, 2019 in Ghana, according to Dean Muungani, ZPBA President at the recent ZPBA annual event held in Mazowe, Zimbabwe under  the theme: ‘Unpacking Better Seeds for Sustainable Development.’

However, Muungani lamented over the low uptake after a call was made for abstracts to be submitted for the scheduled launch event. He said that only one applicant had made a submission and encouraged members of the association to make submissions.

The ZPBA is also planning to host its elective congress scheduled for January 2020.According to Muungani, it will also be an opportunity for new office bearers to be elected into office to champion to association to go forward.

The ZPBA is a registered trust, membership based, non-political and not-for-profit professional association of Zimbabweans based locally or abroad active or interested in plant breeding and related fields launched on the 26th of January, 2016 with funding from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

According to Muungani, the related professionals include biotechnologists, geneticists, molecular biologists, seed technologists, seed agronomists, seed inspectors, genetic conservation specialists and  plant propagators, just to mention a few.

The main objectives of the association include promoting scientific plant breeding  and related research through discussion and communication, influencing  plant breeding training and education and contributing to continuing professional development of members so that they are technically up-to-date and remain relevant for their current and future employers both locally  and in the global village, promoting high standards of professional ethics among its members, representation of members’ interest and promoting interaction with the view to advancing the science and business of plant breeding.




Since its  inception the ZPBA has organised a number of seminars and workshops which include a seminar focussing on Genetically Modified Crops, ZPBA first anniversary event with Climate change themed presentations from various presenters. Facilitators were drawn from the Ministry of Environment, Water & Climate (MoEWC), FAO, CIMMYT, OXFAM, Seed Services, the Prof. Pangirayi Tongoona Symposium themed ‘From Art to Science in the Crop Seed Sector’ with several presentations from CIMMYT, Tobacco Research Board (TRB), and several ex Prof Tongoona students, the Demand-led Plant Breeding approaches training workshop at ACCI-UKZN made possible with external sponsorship, breeders Course on preparing and presenting variety release and supporting documents in Zimbabwe funded from member subscriptions  and the seminar on molecular breeding of soya-bean by Prof Kristin Bilyeu of USDA/ARS at the University of Zimbabwe  department  of Crop Science in  Harare, a seminar titled in search of excellence in agriculture research management in Africa by Professor Paramu Mafongoya of UKZN at the  University of Zimbabwe department  of Crop Science in Harare, breeders’ course on generation, analysis and interpretation of experimental and genetic designs applied to plant breeding, facilitated by Dr. Juan Burgueno and Dr. Fernando Toledo in Harare, seminar presentations by three UK visiting scientists- Professor Liz Baggs of University of Edinburgh, Dr Eric Paterson of the James Hutton Institute and Dr Lumbani Mwafulirwa of University of Edinburgh.



According to Muugani, the ZPBA is currently planning two events before the end of the year on the promotion of liming of soils, earmarked for some time in August/ September in Mhondoro.

“We are now moving from seminars and workshops to projects in the field. We hope more field projects will be implemented in future,” Muungani said.


The other event will involve a training course on variety screening and breeding for resistance to fall armyworm (FAW), which will include a field visit to Muzarabani.

Commenting on the recent meeting, Muungani said;

“The meeting which has largely been oversubscribed, is unique in that it brings a lot of diversity in terms of content, as past events were largely dominated by maize presentations, in terms of the breadth of institutions represented such as research, academia, farmers unions and   seed houses and the diversity of participants. This reflects growth on the part of the association”.

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Kenya:Harambee Stars drop in the FIFA ranking
July 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27

Harambee Stars

Harambee Stars

Kenya’s men national soccer team Harambee Stars have performed dismally in the latest ranking by the world football governing body FIFA.

Results released by FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Thursday saw Kenya drop two places in the world. Stars are in position 107 in the 211-nation rankings from 105 in the last standing announced in June.

The drop is believed to have been caused by lackluster display in this year’s African Cup of Nation in Egypt. Sebastian Migne’s charges were eliminated at group stage after losing to both Algeria and Senegal by margins of 2-0 and 3-0 respectively. They managed a single narrow win of 3-2 against neighbours Tanzania who were appearing to the tourney since 1980.

Uganda has emerged as the best team in FIFA ranking in Eastern Africa at position 80, followed by Kenya and then Sudan at 129.

Senegal leads in Africa, Tunisia and Nigeria come second and third, the current African Champion Algeria is in fourth position and Morocco closes the best five teams in Africa.

Globally, Belgium has retained the top spot, Copa America winner Brazil is second, 2018 the world cup winner France has dropped to position three, England and Uruguay are fourth and fifth respectively.

The news comes at a time when the team is preparing for African Nations Championship (Chan) and 2021 AFCON qualifiers. Kenya will travel to Dar es Salaam on Sunday, July 28 to take on Tanzania before hosting them in Nairobi in chan 2020 qualifier on August 4.

On November 11, 2019, Stars will battle African football giant Egypt in Cairo in the 33rd AFCON qualifier and host Togo on November 19. The East African country was pitted against Egypt, Togo and Comoros Island in Group G in the draw done last week by CAF.


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Mozambique: Eni starts the installation of the hull of Coral Sul FLNG
July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Arnaldo Cuamba

Eni has started installation works on the hull of the Coral Sul floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) treatment and liquefaction unit that will be moored offshore in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. The unit is part of the Coral South project, which will put in production 450 billion cubic meters of gas from the giant Coral reservoir. The hull is expected to be launched in 2020, in line with the planned production startup of the Coral South Project in 2022.

The italian company sanctioned its Coral South project in June 2017 and achieved financial close for a total amount of around $4.7 billion for the Coral South FLNG multi-sourced project financing in December 2017.

The Coral Sul FLNG facility will have a gas liquefaction capacity of 3.4 million tons per year when completed and will be the first FLNG vessel ever to be deployed in the deep waters of the African continent. The vessel, which will be 432 metres long and 66 metres wide and weigh about 220,000 tons, will be able to house up to 350 people in its eight-storey accommodation module.

Alongside the LNG infrastructure under construction, the Coral South project also includes a number of initiatives aimed at enhancing the overall capabilities of the local workforce. These include specialized training activities for over 800 Mozambicans, who will eventually be employed during the operational phase of the project.

Eni is planning to anchor a second FLNG vessel using gas from the northern part of the Coral field, which is estimated to hold 16 trillion cubic feet of gas, but FID on that project is not expected until after 2020.

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Solomon Tembang is new Managing Editor of Cameroon’s Lone English Language daily Newspaper, The Guardian Post
July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Solomon Tembang is a bucket of talent whose mastery of Cameroon and African affairs will be a great boost to the Newspaper

Solomon Tembang is a bucket of talent whose mastery of Cameroon and African affairs will be a great boost to the Newspaper

The lone English language daily newspaper in Cameroon, The Guardian Post, now has a new Managing Editor in the person of Solomon Tembang.

Solomon Tembang, who was previously Desk Editor, takes over from Macdonald Ayang, who has moved to Cameroon Press and Publishing Company known by its French acronym SOPECAM.

The designation of the experienced and widely read Solomon Tembang to take over from Macdonald Ayang was announced Saturday by the Publisher, Ngah Christian Mbipgo, during an enlarged editorial meeting at the newspaper’s newsroom in Yaounde. The publisher, after the announcement, called on Tembang to be assiduous in the discharge of his duties and ensure continuity with the efforts of The Guardian Post to remain the leading English language newspaper in the country. In an exchange with this reporter Sunday about his designating as The Guardian Post’s Managing Editor, Tembang said: The Guardian Post, being the most widely read English-language newspaper in the country, and the lone English- language daily, I am aware the job will be challenging, but I think I am up to the task”.

Very passionate about journalism since his secondary school days, Solomon Tembang started contributing to newspapers even before he graduated from the University of Buea. While still in the university, he reported for the now defunct Weekly Post newspaper. Upon graduation from the University of Buea in 2002, Tembang was a reporter and editorial assistant with the now defunct The Heron newspaper; and from September 2003 to February 2006, he was a freelance writer with the youth reproductive health magazine, 100% Jeune.

In January 2005, he joined Eden Media Group as a reporter in Bamenda and in May 2006, he was promoted to the head office in Limbe as Desk Editor. In 2011, he became Editor of Eden Newspaper. Solomon Tembang also from May 2012- May 2013 had a one-year stint at a book publishing house, The Cure Series Publishers Ltd, during which time he also ran a column in The Sun newspaper titled ‘Matters of the Moment’.

In March 2018 he quit Eden to join The Guardian Post.

The man who hails from Bamendakwe, Mezam division of the North West region, is also a creative writer with several unpublished works. He has a wealth of experience in reporting, editing, proofreading and graphics design. An avid reader, Tembang prides self as one of the most widely read Cameroonians of his generation.

Created in 2001, The Guardian Post, thanks to its middle-of- the- road and authoritative editorial policy, is read and held in very high esteem by the powers that be, including politicians and members of the diplomatic community in Cameroon.

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Cameroon gets additional 44 billion FCFA from IMF
July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Mitsuhiro Furusawa, IMF Deputy Managing Director and acting Chair

Mitsuhiro Furusawa, IMF Deputy Managing Director and acting Chair

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has concluded another review mission to Yaounde, after which it approved the sum of 76.2 million dollars (44 billion FCFA) as loan for the government of Cameroon.

The Executive Board of the IMF completed the fourth review of the arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility, ECF, for Cameroon on July 17.

According to the Fund’s officials, completion of the review enables the disbursement of SDR 55.2 million (about US$76.2 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 372.6 million (about US$514.5 million).

The Executive Board also approved the authorities’ request for a waiver for the non-observance of the performance criteria pertaining to the external arrears’ accumulation and the ceiling on net BEAC financing, based on the corrective actions taken by the authorities. Cameroon’s three-year arrangement was approved on June 26, 2017 for SDR 483 million (about US$666.9million, or 175 percent of Cameroon’s quota.

The arrangement aims at supporting the country’s efforts to restore external and fiscal sustainability and to lay the foundations for a more sustainable, inclusive and private sector-led growth. Following the Executive Board discussion, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, who is presently IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, stated that Cameroon’s performance under the ECF-supported program has improved from a year ago, adding that most end December 2018 targets including those on the fiscal deficit have been met, and structural reforms were advancing.

The Executive Board noted that Cameroon continues to play a leadership role in the rebuilding of fiscal and external buffers of member states of the Central African Economic and Monetary Union, CEMAC. Going forward, the Cameroonian authorities’ continued support of the implementation of the foreign exchange regulations stipulated by the Bank of Central African States, BEAC, will be essential to ensure full repatriation of foreign exchange receipts, IMF experts stated.

They advised that enhanced fiscal discipline is key to reaching the end-2019 programme targets and mitigating risks from external shocks and security challenges.

Reducing recourse to exceptional spending procedures and completing the Treasury Single Account reform will support the steadfast implementation of the 2019 budget while improving cash management and the transparency of budget execution.

Too, refraining from new non-concessional borrowing and strictly adhering to the disbursement plan for contracted-but undisbursed loans are essential to preserving debt sustainability. Further project prioritization and enhanced investment efficiency will help address developmental needs while supporting prudent debt management.

Improving the financial viability of key public enterprises through performance contracts and targeted reforms of administered prices will reduce reliance on subsidies and mitigate risks from contingent liabilities.

Above all, enhancing financial inclusion, the business climate, and governance remain central to promoting private sector development and boosting competitiveness.

In particular, further strengthening EITI compliance and the AML/CFT framework are essential to promoting private sector-led growth and attracting foreign investment.

The experts concluded that Cameroon’s program continues to be supported by the implementation of supportive policies and reforms by the regional institutions in the areas of foreign exchange regulations and monetary policy framework and to support an increase in regional net foreign assets, which are critical to the program’s success.

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COMESA to host regional climate resilience meeting in Zambia
July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

COMESA Climate Change Coordinator, Dr Mclay Kanyangarara

COMESA Climate Change Coordinator, Dr Mclay Kanyangarara

More than 48 senior government officials from Ministries responsible for planning, agriculture, environment, health, disaster management and mitigation units from 17 COMESA Member countries will meet in Lusaka on 23-24 July 2019 to discuss the regional resilience initiative on climate change, which was launched in 2017.

The meeting aims at supporting Member States to strengthen their policy and coordination mechanisms and develop national resilience policies and implementation frameworks. These will serve as national guiding documents to resilience building and project implementation at Member State level.

Speaking in Lusaka, ahead of the meeting, the COMESA Climate Change Coordinator, Dr Mclay Kanyangarara, observed that most COMESA Member States have a fragmented and haphazard approach to managing risks, shocks and stresses which has proved to be ineffective as the magnitude of loss and damage continues to escalate in the region.

“Governments find themselves diverting resources allocated to much needed developmental projects and programmes to deal with the effects of the disasters thereby trapping many in a vicious cycle of poverty and underdevelopment,” he said. “Furthermore, natural and economic systems are interconnected at the national and regional levels, hence impact on one affects the others.”

Most COMESA countries are vulnerable and face similar threats of climate change and droughts, flooding, industrial shocks, extreme rainfall and disease outbreaks, wars and civil unrest among others.

To attain its regional integration goals, many systems in the region (such as shared water courses, energy, transport, communications and financial systems) must be interconnected. This therefore puts COMESA and other Regional Economic Communities in a better position to support resilience building in the region.

The COMESA region is vulnerable to climate change and other natural and manmade disasters and shocks such as cyclones, flooding, landslides, droughts, disease epidemics, heat waves, wars, civil unrest, among others. Recently, the region experienced devastating cyclones Idai and   Kenneth that affected Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe causing more than 1,000 deaths, infrastructure and property damage running into billions of dollars with 90% of the key port city of Beira submerged for weeks. At the same time, the worst drought in many decades, led to a significant reduction in the water level at lake Kariba severely curtailing hydroelectric power generation leading to massive power cuts in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe scientists use geospatial mapping technology to predict pending disasters
July 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Professor Amon Murwira

Professor Amon Murwira

After Cyclone Idai ravaged southern Africa, killing at least 1,000 people, Zimbabwe’s scientific community is actively using   geospatial mapping technology to better predict future disasters.

The cyclone hit southern African countries including Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

In Zimbabwe, at least 268 people were killed and many are still missing. Local scientists hope that despite lags in scientific advancement, their use of geospatial technology and space technology will allow them to foresee climate-induced risks and disasters.

Amon Murwira, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development, confirmed the country’s use of science and technology to guard Zimbabwe from climate shocks.

This includes the use of High Performance Computing (HPC), geospatial and space technology. Murwira said that local scientists were conducting Cyclone Idai impact assessments using color-coded geospatial and space technology.

“Zimbabwe is suffering from climate shocks such as drought, floods and disease outbreaks, we can guard Zimbabwe from these shocks in future using science and technology,” professor Murwira said.

In cyclone-hit areas like Ngangu, a suburb in Chimanimani, Professor Murwira said that scientists were already using data analysis. The government-sponsored scientists were also trying to  help locate and retrieve  several corpses which were buried underground during the devastating cyclone.

The scientists are modeling areas anticipated to be high-risk using geospatial mapping to help them prepare for future disasters.

Professor Murwira said that scientists in cyclone-hit areas were starting to predict future malaria outbreaks and mapping vegetation density using the same geo-spatial and space technology.


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