Main Menu

Monday, October 21st, 2019

 

People stranded, cut off from care in severe flooding in South Sudan

  • Thousands of people have been left stranded in parts of east and northeast South Sudan in the wake of severe flooding.

  • Our teams have been forced to reduce medical activities and discharge people from hospital, leaving people cut off from medical care, after the hospital flooded.

  • MSF urges organisations and authorities to act swiftly to respond to the crisis, particularly in Pibor, eastern South Sudan.

JUBA – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has launched emergency assessments in the east and northeast of South Sudan where severe flooding has left thousands of people stranded in inaccessible areas, threatening to make worse an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

We are urging all organisations to mobilise resources to mitigate the impact of rising flood levels in affected locations, and to ensure adequate attention is given to Pibor, in the east of the country.In Pibor our teams were forced to reduce life-saving activities and discharge patients when the hospital and compound became completely flooded, cutting off patients and the community from accessing healthcare.

In an effort to continue providing services, the MSF team constructed a tented facility on higher ground, but this is expected to flood within days.

“As soon as possible, the remaining nine patients in our care will be moved to a safer location,” says Roderick Embuido, MSF’s medical coordinator in South Sudan. “With a reinforced team including a field coordinator, medical activities manager and water and sanitation manager, we are urgently working in Pibor to again move and set up another temporary tented facility in a higher location.”

In Maban, in the northeast of the country, UNHCR estimates that more than 200,000 people have been affected by flooding. In our health centre, one critically ill child on oxygen support died when flooded generators caused a power cut. The MSF compound also flooded, and roads became impassable, temporarily preventing the team from reaching the health centre.

“We are extremely concerned for people in outlying areas around Pibor and Maban,” says Kim Gielens, MSF head of mission in South Sudan. “Our attention is on urgently conducting aerial and ground assessments to understand the broader impact of the flooding and to adapt our existing activities in Pibor to a continuously changing situation.”

“We know that with rising and contaminated water sources comes the risk of outbreaks of deadly waterborne diseases like cholera and hepatitis A,” Gielens says. “We can also expect a rapid increase in acute watery diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory tract infections – three of the biggest killers in South Sudan. International and national organisations must mobilise immediately to ensure provision of food, water, shelter and healthcare, and ensure adequate attention is given to Pibor where the entire population is now cut off from healthcare and assistance.”

MSF is concerned that flooding will increase the risk of malnutrition due to the destruction of personal food stocks and crops. In Maban, people tell us that the price of what little food is available in the markets has tripled and is no longer affordable.

In a country where malaria is the biggest killer of children under five and where we treat close to 300,000 patients per year, any increase in this vector-borne, life-threatening disease will have grave consequences for people cut off from access to care.

Additionally, we are concerned about the potential for an increase in snakebite victims, as snakes will move in the direction of drier land where people displaced by floods will congregate. We often see the fatal or debilitating consequences of snakebite envenoming in our hospital in Pibor, which people now have no access to.

Seven million people, or about two-thirds of the population, are already in dire need of humanitarian assistance in South Sudan and the consequences of severe flooding will further exacerbate their situation, undermining resilience, coping mechanisms and access to lifesaving services.


Go about measures to curb exam cheating cautiously to avoid panic

By TIMOTHY MWIRICHIA
More by this Author

It’s all systems go for the national examinations at both the primary and secondary school levels.

Both learners and teachers have been putting final touches in preparation for KCPE and KCSE exams, the latter having already kicked off with practicals and theory papers slated for November 4-27.

When Dr Fred Matiang’i was appointed as the Cabinet secretary for Education, he deliberately came up with stringent measures to curb exam cheating, which was hitherto rampant.

The cases of malpractice disappeared but, unfortunately, from last year, the evil culture has slowly started creeping in.

The masterminds of this dishonest culture are back in full swing. Despite the strict enforcement of the relevant policies, the problem persists, depicting the glaring inadequacies of our education system.

We must not allow the culture of exam cheating to resurface.

LIST OF SHAME

The measures taken by the ministry, now under Prof George Magoha, are quintessential. However, they should be applied in the right manner.

The ministry’s move to flag some counties as cheating hotspots will only serve to distract honest learners in the concerned regions.

The hullabaloo is not serving the honest learners the right way. Rumours that their colleagues are likely to be aided unfairly or their centres ‘visited’ by government top officials might cause panic.

This distinction has thrust the named counties in the list of shame. And the blanket accusation, which includes those learners working hard to achieve honest results, is discriminatory.

It is unfair to them and will cast all examinations centres in the areas in a bad light.

CONCERTED EFFORTS

Instead of such generalised accusations, the authorities should be extra-vigilant and employ intelligence to curb the cheating vice.

We must not witness cases where warnings only exist in the media while the culprits are allowed to walk scot-free.

The monitors should silently do thorough investigations and come up with choreographed plans to pursue the rogue centre managers, supervisors and invigilators until they are brought to book.

Their activities must not deter focused learners, only the real culprits should face the full force of the law. To fully stamp out the vice, however, the ministry, school heads, parents and learners must fully collaborate.

We must also end the culture of using school grades as a measure of the learners’ success in life and embrace harmonious growth.

Truth be told, what matters in life is doing your best and achieving your full potential, not getting the highest grade in the school exam.

We must tell our learners that they are not limited by school grades if they have the right spirit to give their all in all endeavours.


Intensify crackdown on shady health clinics

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
More by this Author

The closure of 811 clinics and hospitals is one of the most comprehensive countrywide crackdowns on substandard private health service providers in recent years.

The Ministry of Health directive follows an inspection carried out from February last year to last month to ensure facilities meet standards.

These facilities are licensed to operate precisely because they complement the government’s healthcare delivery.

If they turn out to be makeshift outfits operated by quacks, then they are preying on and needlessly endangering the very people they are meant to safeguard.

Sadly, though, some of them are mere conduits through which a few greedy people enrich themselves by pretending to offer services they are not qualified to provide. This is why the crackdown should have come much earlier.

Many of the clinics were found not to have been registered or licensed.

Advertisement

CORRUPTION

The question that arises is: What became of the impromptu inspections of hospitals and clinics?

Could the authorities have relaxed controls or are the owners exploiting some loopholes to continue endangering lives? This amounts to criminal conduct but is hardly surprising.

Corruption in the form of bribery plays a major role in keeping these merchants of death in operation.

It also explains why, despite the much-publicised directive in a letter to the Council of Governors, some of the shady facilities are reportedly still in operation, putting patients at grave risk.

Healthcare, a vital service, is also a lucrative market for crooks driven not by the need to save lives, but to cash in on the patients’ desperation.

They must remain closed until they comply with the requirement and apply for re-inspection before they are cleared to reopen.

ENHANCE VETTING

According to Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board CEO Daniel Yumbya, 245 of the 811 targeted institutions have since complied with the minimum standards and been cleared to reopen.

Over the years, the board has been quite active in inspecting health facilities, but would now seem overwhelmed by the sheer numbers.

Health authorities must ensure that hospitals and clinics are not just registered, but also have adequate numbers of qualified personnel.

Some of them purport to offer outpatient care or specialised services such as optical examinations, X-rays, ultrasound, gynaecology and dental diagnosis and treatment, including surgery, but clearly lack the capacity to do so.

While the campaign will substantially rid the health sector of crooks and enforce quality, the cure to this recurring disease of shoddy facilities and services is to enhance the vetting of applicants and intensify inspections so that caregivers strictly adhere to and show proof of compliance with the minimum standards.


Let Egypt be fair over Nile

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
More by this Author

The importance of the River Nile to Egypt’s survival cannot be gainsaid.

Unfortunately for the giant north African state, the river originates from and stretches across several other sovereign jurisdictions, which renders it untenable for Cairo to dictate its use. About 160 million people rely on the Nile waters.

Egypt is at the tail end of the veritable chain and has every reason to be concerned about the use of the Nile by the upstream states.

Any undue interference could spell doom to it. It was against such background that, in 2015, it signed a new “Nile agreement” with Ethiopia, essentially overriding the 1929 Anglo-Egyptian treaty that gave the latter disproportionate control.

The 1929 deal granted Egypt at least 48 billion and Sudan four billion of the Nile’s estimated 84 billion cubic metres a year.

Egypt was also given powers to approve any construction projects on the Nile and tributaries, to reduce diversion or wastage and ensure the waters reached the country.

Advertisement

ETHIOPIA’S DAM

The deal was enhanced in 1959 between Egypt and Sudan, raising the former’s annual allocation to 55.5 billion cubic metres and Sudan’s to 18.5 billion but making no proviso for the needs of the upstream states.

With the other riparian states attaining their independence, the seemingly flawed agreement was bound to be challenged.

The greatest bone of contention now is Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile.

Though Addis Ababa argues the dam will not block water from reaching Egypt, Cairo has campaigned against what it terms a project that interferes with the river.

But the dam is a reality that Egypt has to accept. In the final analysis, negotiation would be the best way out, to ensure, at the very least, equitable distribution of its waters, with mutual respect for the sovereignty of all the stakeholder states.


Russia–Africa Summit: Minerals Could Become Foundation for Africa’s Prosperity and Development

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi talk during their meeting in Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, Pool)

Russian experts have been actively involved in
the study of Africa’s subsoil resources for a long time. Many African countries
are enjoying the results of the work conducted by these experts and the fruits
of scientific activity that began back in Soviet times. Further development of
international cooperation could pave the way for the discovery of large
deposits and could provide benefits from Russia’s many years of experience in
offshore development, which is unique in many ways.

The session ‘Using Minerals in Africa for the
Benefit of Its Peoples’, which will be held on 24 October as part of the
Russia–Africa Economic Forum in Sochi, will focus on problems faced by the
mining industries.

Existing and emerging trends on the global
commodity market have a major impact on the development of the mining segment.
It is crucial for the industry to utilize advanced methods for the prospecting,
exploration, and production of raw materials as well as mineral processing, not
to mention the processing of mining waste. The development of water sources for
domestic consumption is also a particularly important social and economic
issue.

“Africa is going through a period of very high
activity in the extraction of minerals, primarily gold and oil. These efforts
could provide a huge impetus to the region’s economy, but a lot of work needs
to be carried out to properly apply them. It’s not only a matter of technology,
but also the protection of investments, the drafting of legislation, and an
overall reduction in risks for entrepreneurship. Russia has long established
itself as a strong and reliable partner. The experience of working with Russian
specialists is widely known on the African continent, and their reputation does
not need any additional advertising. Not only can we offer our friends
investments, but all our production and scientific potential as well”, Russian Minister
of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin said. “And we are
interested in comprehensive cooperation uniting a wide range of industries and
areas of development”.

The discussion on the industry’s most pressing
problems will feature speeches by Dmitry Kobylkin, Minister of Natural
Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation; Sergey Gorkov, General
Director and Chairman of the Management Board of Rosgeologia; Vadim Kosyanov,
Rector of the Russian State Geological Exploration University named after Sergo
Ordzhonikidze (MGRI); Boris Ivanov, Managing Director of GPB Global Resources;
and Aleksander Ivanov, First Deputy General Director for Mining and Metallurgy
Projects at Vi Holding. The discussion will also include foreign experts and
business representatives: Samson Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral and Energy
Resources of the Republic of South Africa; Francis Gatare, Chief Executive
Officer of Rwanda Mines Petroleum and Gas Board; H.E. Adil Ali Ibrahim,
Minister of Energy and Mining of the Republic of the Sudan; Peter Gatirau
Munya, Cabinet Secretary and Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives of
the Republic of Kenya; Viktor Radko, Chief Executive Officer of United
Manganese of Kalahari; and Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, Mines and
Environment of the Kingdom of Morocco. The session will be moderated by Aleksander
Chernikh, General Director of the Central Research Geological Exploration
Institute of Non-Ferrous and Precious Metals (TSNIGRI).

The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum
will take place on 23–24 October in Sochi at the  Sirius Park of Science and Art. The
events are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation, and the co-organizers
of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum are Russian Export Center and Afreximbank.

A detailed version of the Russia–Africa Economic
Forum programme is available at
: https://summitafrica.ru/programm/.

The post Russia–Africa Summit: Minerals Could Become Foundation for Africa’s Prosperity and Development appeared first on The Maravi Post.


Malawi President has arrived in Sochi for Russia-Africa Economic Summit

PRESIDENT MUTHARIKA SAFELY LANDS IN SOCHI FOR RUSSIA-AFRICA ECONOMIC SUMMIT

LILONGWE, (MaraviPost): President Prof. Arthur Peter
Mutharika has arrived in Soche; Russia to attend the first ever Russia-Africa
Economic Summit.

President Mutharika left Malawi through Kamuzu International
Airport for Russia in the morning hours of Monday, 21st October 2019.

Mutharika joins other heads of state and government from
Africa who are to attend the summit.

The Russia-Africa summit is the first of its kind and it has
been organized by the RosCongress.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented
non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international
conventions, exhibitions, and public events.

The Foundation was founded in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its
national interests, and strengthening the country’s image Russian President
Putin, will Chair the summit alongside Egyptian President General Abdel FattahSaeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi

Over 40 African Heads of States and over 5000 delegates from
the African Business communities, Diaspora organizations, as well Russian
business entities and Investors are expected to attend the conference.

Upon arrival President Arthur Peter Mutharika was welcomed
by Deputy Mayor of Sochi and His Excellency Michael Kamphambe Nkhoma, the Malawian
Ambassador in Russia, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International relations
Hon. Francis Kasaila and Malawians living in Russia.

His Excellency the President participated in the “bread and salt” ceremony at the Airport (In Russian culture, bread is associated with hospitality – bread being the most respected food, whereas salt, is

associated with long friendship.

The summit opens on October 23, 2019 and is expected to last
two days.

The post Malawi President has arrived in Sochi for Russia-Africa Economic Summit appeared first on The Maravi Post.


RSA Johannesburg’s black mayor Mashaba resigns over DA race row

Former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba pictured during the Democratic Alliance (DA) manifesto launch in February 2019.
Herman Mashaba was mayor of Johannesburg for three years

JOHANNESBURG-(MaraviPost)-One of the most senior politicians in South Africa’s historically white main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) has resigned his post and quit the party over how it handles race.

Herman Mashaba was mayor of Johannesburg for three years.

The election of a black mayor from the DA was seen as a sign of the party could potentially threaten the ruling ANC’s grip on power at national level.

But at a press conference on Monday Mr Mashaba said:

“I cannot reconcile myself with people who believe that race is not important in their discussion of inequalities.”

He said his decision was sparked by the re-admission of Helen Zille, a white politician who provoked widespread anger in 2017 when she praised aspects of colonialism, to the party’s high ranks:

“The election of [Helen] Zille as chair of federal council is victory for people who are opposed to my belief systems.”

Black leaders within the DA believe that the liberal, multi-racial party is going back to its roots of being an all-white organisation, the BBC’s Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg reports

Mr Mashaba also said his “pro-poor agenda” had been “undermined, criticised and rendered nearly impossible” by the DA. Our reporter says that by “pro-poor”, Mr Mashaba means “pro-black”.

As the first non-ANC (African National Congress) mayor of South Africa’s biggest city since the end of white minority rule in 1994, Mr Mashaba’s election victory in 2016 signalled a major success for the DA.

Self-made businessman Mr Mashaba was seen as a key ally of the party’s first black leader, Mmusi Msimane, in his efforts to increase support among black voters.

Mmusi Maimane (L) and Helen Zille pictured in 2014
Image captionMmusi Maimane (L) succeeded Helen Zille (R) as leader of the DA in 2015

But the DA’s share of the vote dropped in the May general election after conservative whites abandoned the party, and Ms Zille’s return to a senior post in the party is seen as an attempt to regain their support.

Mr Mashaba said he would step down next month, raising questions about whether the DA would be able to retain the mayoral post in Johannesburg.

The post RSA Johannesburg’s black mayor Mashaba resigns over DA race row appeared first on The Maravi Post.


Suecia brinda asistencia humanitaria vital para migrantes de Venezuela

CIUDAD DE PANAMÁ/ESTOCOLMO, 21 de octubre 2019 – La Agencia Sueca de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (Asdi) anunció una contribución total anual de SEK15.2 millones (US$1,56 millones) para ayudar a UNICEF a proporcionar ayuda vital a más de 165.000 niños y niñas migrantes que salieron de Venezuela y a sus familias, así como las comunidades de acogida en América Latina y el Caribe.

En siete países de la región que han acogido familias de migrantes y refugiados venezolanos, entre ellos Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Brasil, Panamá, Guyana y Trinidad y Tobago, UNICEF ha recibido fondos de Asdi para proteger los derechos de los niños a través de transferencias en efectivo, el fortalecimiento del acceso a la protección infantil, educación, agua y saneamiento, así como ayuda humanitaria que se distribuye en los puntos de migración fronterizos.

En Colombia, la respuesta de UNICEF en 2019 ha llevado a más de 114.000 niños a beneficiarse de programas para prevenir la violencia, el abuso y la explotación, incluida la violencia de género. Mientras tanto, en la frontera norte de Perú, UNICEF ha apoyado a más de 34.000 niños migrantes mediante la operación de espacios amigables para los niños al informar sobre la prevención de la violencia y a través de la distribución de kits de protección. En Brasil, el financiamiento de Asdi ha sido fundamental para desarrollar una intervención en efectivo que beneficie a más de 6.000 personas ubicadas en refugios, a través de recursos en efectivo que les permiten acceder a artículos de higiene esenciales en negocios locales, así como en Ecuador, donde las transferencias en efectivo de UNICEF para el tránsito y asentamiento han beneficiado a más de 1.100 niños, adolescentes y familias vulnerables.

“Este apoyo financiero adicional de Suecia es muy oportuno y marca una diferencia significativa en la vida de miles de niños afectados por la migración venezolana a través del acceso a protección, educación y agua potable. Agradecemos la generosidad del gobierno sueco y esperamos contar con la solidaridad de otros donantes”, dijo Bernt Aasen, Director Regional (a.i.) de UNICEF para América Latina y el Caribe. “El flujo migratorio sin precedentes desde Venezuela ha puesto una carga desafiante en los países anfitriones de la región”.

En América Latina y el Caribe se estima que al menos 1,1 millones de niños necesitan asistencia humanitaria en 2019, ahora que el número de refugiados y migrantes de Venezuela ha superado los 4,5 millones.

Este año, el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia necesita cerca de 70 millones de dólares para proporcionar protección, educación, nutrición y acceso a agua potable a 371.000 niños afectados por la crisis migratoria de Venezuela en la región. Hasta ahora, se ha recibido menos del 40 por ciento de la financiación requerida.

Contactos de prensa

Alfonso Fernández Reca
Especialista Regional de Comunicación
UNICEF América Latina y el Caribe
Teléfono: +507 301-7373
Teléfono: +507 6941-2277
Correo electrónico:
afernandezreca@unicef.org


Malawi President Mutharika in Russia for Russia-Africa Economic Summit

Malawi President Mutharika in Russia for Russia-Africa Economic Summit

MOSCOW-(MaraviPost)-Malawi President Peter Mutharika has safely arrived in Sochi; Russia to attend the first ever Russia-Africa Economic Summit.

President Mutharika left Malawi through Kamuzu International Airport for Russia in the morning hours of Monday, 21st October, 2019.

Mutharika joins other heads of state and government from Africa who are to attend the summit .

The Russia-Africa summit is the first of its kind and it has been organized by the RosCongress.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, exhibitions, and public events.

The Foundation was founded in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image.

Russian President, Putin will Chair the summit alongside Egyptian President General Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi.

Over 40 African Heads of States and over 5000 delegates from the African Business communities, Diaspora organizations, as well as Russian business entities and Investors are expected to attend the conference.

The jet carrying the Malawi leader landed at Sochi International Airport at exactly 6: 00 pm.

Upon arrival, President Mutharika was welcomed by Deputy Mayor of Sochi and His Excellency Michael Kamphambe Nkhoma, the Malawian Ambassador in Russia, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International relations Francis Kasaila and Malawians living in Russia.

At the airport, the President participated in the “bread and salt” cultural ceremony.

In Russia , bread is associated with hospitality –being the most respected food, whereas salt, is
associated with long friendship.

The summit opens on October 23, 2019 and is expected to last two days.

The post Malawi President Mutharika in Russia for Russia-Africa Economic Summit appeared first on The Maravi Post.


Dozens of elephants die in Zimbabwe drought

AFPBy AFP
More by this Author

At least 55 elephants have died in a month in Zimbabwe due to a lack of food and water, its wildlife agency said Monday, as the country faces one of the worst droughts in its history.

More than five million rural Zimbabweans — nearly a third of the population — are at risk of food shortages before the next harvest in 2020, the United Nations has warned.

The shortages have been caused by the combined effects of an economic downturn and a drought blamed on the El Nino weather cycle.

The impact is being felt at Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve.

“Since September, we have lost at least 55 elephants in Hwange National Park due to starvation and lack of water,” Zimbabwe National Parks spokesman Tinashe Farawo told AFP.

Advertisement

OVERPOPULATION

Farawo said the park was overpopulated and that food and water was scarce “due to drought”.

Africa’s elephant numbers have dropped from around 415,000 to 111,000 over the past decade, mainly due to poaching for ivory, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

But Zimbabwe, like other countries in the southern African region, is struggling with overpopulation.

“Hwange was meant for 15,000 elephants but at the moment we are talking of more than 50,000,” Farawo said.

“The situation is dire. We are desperately waiting for the rains.”

An adult elephant drinks 680 litres (180 gallons) of water per day on average and consumes 450 kilogrammes (990 pounds) of food.

Hungry elephants have been breaking out of Zimbabwe’s game reserves and raiding human settlements in search for food, posing a threat to surrounding communities.

Farawo said 200 people have died in “human-and-animal conflict” in the past five years, and “at least 7,000 hectares (17,300 acres) of crop have been destroyed by elephants”.

The authorities took action earlier this year by selling nearly 100 elephants to China and Dubai for $2.7 million.

Farawo said the money had been allocated to anti-poaching and conservation projects.

Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe have called for a global ban on elephant ivory trade to be relaxed in order to cull numbers and ease pressure on their territories.