This Earth // 01.19.2011

This Earth, This Year (so far).

Article by Abena A-T

A look at what environmental issues or initiatives have been noted newsworthy so far in the New Year.  Those selected are stories which are on the more positive, or should I say, “greener” side of things.

Dec. 20th “Miracle Man Easers Village’s Water Woes” http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53910

This happened in 2010 but it was brilliant so I had to put it in. Plus it was close enough to 2011. It’s about a man named Hermes Chimombo who was troubled by the difficulties the growing population of the Naotcha Township in Malawi was experiencing in accessing water.  He used money from his own business to tap into the mountainside water source. He laid pipies from the source of the water all the way to the village so that women no longer had to travel such long distances with the threat of bandits or hyenas.

Dec. 20th “Kenyan researches say traditional vegetables can improve food security” http://www.ips.org/africa/2010/12/agriculture-researchers-say-traditional-vegetables-can-improve-food-security/

New vegetables or old? Kenyans are re-discovering certain vegetables, once dismissed as weeds or poor man’s food in the face of deteriorating food security in the country.  According to the article, five out of eight households rely on agriculture yet only 3.6 of the 10% of the national budget promised, is actually dedicated to this sector.

Jan. 6th “Mapping Kibera to Improve living conditions” http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=91545

An urban planning piece on effots to make Kibaera, on eof the monst densly popoulated districts in Nairobi with nearly 1 million dwellers. The Map Kibera Project is meant to track basic information such as the location of schools, health centres and waterpoints for the genefit iof residents and groups working ot addres grender-based violence, health problems, communication services and toehr areas related to improving social conditions.

Jan. 7th “ Protecting the Alaotran gentle lemur in Madagascar” http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2011/jan/07/alaotran-gentle-lemur-conservation-madagascar

A video just over 6 minutes long shares how the community of Andreba, Madagascar is resolving to protect a special species of lemur- the bandro- that is can survive only around Lake Alaotra. Like most situations concerning the protection of biodiversity, a either a balance must be struck between the bandaro, which eat bamboo and papyrus, and humans who use these materials for building.

Jan. 11th “Rubbish Revives Mbale Region.” http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?REportId=91602

We’re finally putting our garbage to good use- en masse! In Mbale, Uganda, a compost-processing plant composts garbage and uses it for fertilizer. The plant, which World Bank funded, is run by the Uganda National Environment Management Authority and is producing cheaper fertilizer to farmers while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is sustainability in action for food security, folks.

“Stanford University to Explore Entrepreneurship and Development in Continent” http://allafrica.com/stories/201101120746.html

Jan. 12th “Many companies, analysts, politicians and others are predicting that Africa will be the driver of world economic growth over the next two decades.” This is a quote from the article. According to this piece, Stanford University has an annual Stanford Africa Forum and the theme for this year is Entrepreneurship and Development in Africa.  Join the club Stanford. Tempo can tell you that Africa is heating up and not because of global warming, but because many are sharpening their minds and trying their hands at business in Africa for Africa, and it’s working.  The articles below will demonstrate the fact that much of the entrepreneurship and development taking place in Africa involves the environment in many ways: sanitation, reuse, conservation and more.

“The Tashinga Initiative” http://www.africanconservation.org/201002101757/network/the-tashinga-initiative-a-unique-wildlife-protection-project-in-zimbabwe.html

This is a feature article (mostly with pictures) about a wildlife conservation program in Zimbawe.  The area is one of the last remaining wild ecosystems in the world. It is also the site of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World!

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