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Deforestation: NCF seeks database of indigenous tree species
April 9, 2018

The National Conservation Foundation (NCF) has called on governments at all levels to ensure that urban planning incorporates green and woodland spaces at all stages of development.

“While developing a comprehensive reforestation strategy, we must however develop a national database of tree species indigenous to Nigeria, understand the status and plan a wholesome intervention”, the Acting Director General of the foundation, Dr. Joseph Onoja said

This was contained in a message to mark the 2018 World Forest Day.

According to him, the event “provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us.”

The NCF boss noted that less than five percent of the total land area is afforested, lamenting that the sparse forest remainders are under threat following land use pressures from agriculture, infrastructure, housing and resources harvesting.

He said, “Unfortunately, there is an under-appreciation of forests by governments at all levels in Nigeria not just for their important ecosystem functions but even for human survival and sustainability as carbon sinks and oxygen pool, together with the numerous other benefits they offer.”

Onoja emphasized the import of forests and trees, saying they “store carbon, which helps mitigate the impacts of climate change in and around urban areas.”

“Trees also improve the local climate, helping to save energy used for heating by 20-50%”, he added.

According to him, the strategic placement of trees in urban areas can cool the air by up to 8 degrees Celsius, reducing air conditioning needs by 30%.

He added: “Urban trees are excellent air filters, removing harmful pollutants in the air and fine particulates.

“Trees reduce noise pollution, as they shield homes from nearby roads and industrial areas.

“Local populations use the fruits, nuts, leaves and insects found in urban trees to produce food and medicines for use in the home, or as a source of income.

“Wood fuel sourced from urban trees and planted forests on the outskirts of cities provide renewable energy for cooking and heating, which reduces pressures on natural forests and our reliance on fossil fuels.

“Forests in and around urban areas help to filter and regulate water, contributing to high-quality freshwater supplies for hundreds of millions of people. Forests also protect watersheds and prevent flooding as they store water in their branches and soil.

“Well-managed forests and trees in and around cities provide habitats, food and protection for many plants and animals, helping to maintain and increase biodiversity.

“Forests in cities and surrounding areas generate tourism, create tens of thousands of jobs and encourage city beautification schemes, building dynamic, energetic and prosperous green economies.

“Urban green spaces, including forests, encourage active and healthy lifestyles, improve mental health, prevent disease, and provide a place for people to socialize”

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FEATURED: Supporting organizations growGovt to conduct thorough audit of all public land
April 5, 2018

The Managing-Director Jesse Routte with some of the staff members at Three Stones conducting a phone survey of over 1000 small and medium sized businesses in Rwanda on behalf or Harvard University and Rwanda Revenue Authority. (All pics by Joseph Mudingu)
Three Stones Consulting Ltd is a locally registered (Kigali, Rwanda) consulting firm that offers professional consultancy services to NGOs, CSOs and government entities. The New Times’ JOSEPH MUDINGU had a one-on-one with the Managing-Director JESSE ROUTTE about the history of the firm and its impact in Rwanda.

QN: How did you come up with the idea of starting a consultation firm in Rwanda?

A: It all started in 2012. Basically I was working on my thesis and became intrigued about Rwanda and it’s transformation, which was very exciting. I discovered that there was a lot going on in Rwanda and many different NGOs were trying to reach out to many vulnerable people. At the time, I felt that there is something I can do to help them to effectively reach their beneficiaries. So I started a consultation firm and named it Three Stones. Basically Three Stones Ltd provides the leaders of organIzations with professional services that assist in the development of their organization. Our services include: research and evaluation, strategic planning, capacity building, M&E support and logistics.

QN: Why did you choose to name your company Three Stones?

A: The idea of “Amasiga” is a concept of a simple cooking stove reminds us of the people the NGO’s are trying to reach. The stove consists of a set of three stones, arranged to support a pot above the flames of a crackling fire. Each of the stones represents an important pillar in making the meal a success – if you don’t have three stones, you can’t eat. Drawing inspiration from this tradition, Three Stones Consulting Ltd provides grassroots organizations with the support and spark what they need to realize their full potential

Govt to conduct thorough audit of all public land

Minister Francine Tumushime. Net photo.

The Ministry of Lands and Forestry will soon embark on an exercise to register all public land and secure respective land titles following a recommendation by the parliamentary Standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and Fight against Genocide.

While appearing before the committee to clarify cases of land disputes between government and citizens in Nyaruguru District in Southern Province on Thursday, the Minister for Land and Forestry, Francine Tumushime, said that there are several pieces of public land which have been grabbed by citizens, and these need to be reclaimed.

“While individuals are always ready to have their land registered and acquire titles, local authorities have been somehow reluctant in having public land in their jurisdictions registered and this has seen chunks of public land grabbed by those in the vicinity,” she told the legislators.

Tumushime told the committee that some people have grabbed the land, craftily had it registered to their names and went on to build houses or plant trees on it.

“Government is spending large sums of money on expropriation which in some cases wouldn’t be necessary if the government had its own land that would even be used to compensate those that have been expropriated in the interest of the public,” she said.

The committee recommended that government makes a comprehensive audit of all public land in the country and secure the title deeds.

The committee chair, Francois Byabarumwanzi, observed that when land is not registered, it becomes vulnerable to grabbers, which he said may eventually lead to communal conflict.

“Let all public land be mapped out from citizens’ land so that those that may want to use it for production can lease it well knowing that it does not belong to them,” said Byabarumwanzi.

Tumushime promised to dispatch teams to work with districts where land disputes are rampant, especially in Nyagatare and Nyaruguru districts.

She added that districts are to take full charge of the mapping of all public land in their jurisdictions and have all of it registered

QN: What exactly does Three Stones Consulting Ltd do and how has it been beneficial to Rwandans since its inception?

A: Three Stones provides the leaders of organizations with professional services that assist in the development of their organizations. Our interactions with NGO’s has helped them in being efficient in what they do which has profited Rwandans as they are the beneficiaries. Three Stones’ work covers a variety of sectors including health, education, agriculture, poverty reduction, WASH, markets and value chains, microfinance, and livelihoods. We develop strategies through consulting and assessing options for the design and development of robust contextualized programs for NGOs including strategic planning, business plans, curriculum development, policy advocacy. We also do capacity development through an ongoing process of staff training, team building and leadership development plus evaluation and Social Research by assessing the impact of a program, and extracting results.

QN: What has made you successful here in Rwanda and what exactly do you do differently from others?

A: I think it’s because of our strong values and our dedicated staff. Three Stones values strong relationships developed over time through long-term partnerships with various NGOs and prioritises the input of beneficiaries and utilizing local knowledge and resources to create long lasting sustainable solutions. At Three Stones, we create and nurture connections at the grassroots level and our networking with larger organizations is also the source of our success. Additionally, we act as the connection between larger organizations and foundations and the Community Based Organizations (CBOs) that work directly with the community. Through a responsive bottom-up approach Three Stones values grassroots organizations and their commitment to affecting change at all societal levels plus the innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship of our staff which provides creative solutions.

QN: What can you say are the company’s milestones?

A: We have grown over the years and expanded our reach and the services we offer because we wanted to better serve our regional partners, we have recently established an international firm in America called Three Stones International, which is a big achievement.


Anita Umuhoza – Coordinator

I have worked with Three Stones since 2016. It is good to see that we are helping to change lives. Also the training that we have so far acquired has turned us into very skilled personnel in different areas of research that we do.

Olivier Akizimana – Coordinator

For the last three years, we have worked on many projects for various NGOs. At Three Stones, we are like a learning institution. We are encouraged to be innovative and to develop skills that help us in doing our work in a professional way which has built a strong and good image as a company.

Aphro Ndagijimana – Program Manager

It is professionally rewarding working at Three Stones and I have gained a lot of skills plus exposure. I started down the ladders but today am among the senior managers. Because of the work that we do well for NGOs, we have been recommended by them to other institutions. We’ve traveled to countries far from Rwanda like Burkina Faso and Ghana professional services

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FEATURED: Cleaning service companies get well regulated, contribute to Kigali’s elegance
March 29, 2018

RURA says the applicants must present proof of having enough hygiene equipment and workers’ protection gear including gloves, safety shoes, overalls and nose guards.

Rwanda has  made significant progress in improving hygiene in homes, institutions, public and private built environments.

The 2016 year report by UN HABITAT indicated that Kigali city is among the top cleanest cities in Africa. This has been a result of deliberate efforts from a number of stakeholders including RURA  which licenses cleaning services providers.

In order to strengthen and sustain hygiene and sanitation services, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) established new regulations regarding operations of cleaning services in 2017 following a dialogue that brought together various stakeholders including cleaning service providers. As of 15th february 2018, there were 135 cleaning companies and cooperatives dully licensed by RURA and registered with RDB and RCA.

Better Cleaning services

Jacques Nzitonda, the director in charge of regulating water and sanitation at RURA explains why the regulations were established and how they are impacting services delivery.

“Regulations for improving cleaning services were first established in 2011 to address issues of cleanness in various public places such as markets, hospitals, offices, roads and streets, gardens, etc and ensure professionalism of cleaning service providers. These regulations were reviewed in 2017 to address challenges of capacities and set standards for providers of such services” he explains.

Among issues that were specifically addressed in the new regulations include: the safety and protection of workers by imposing service providers to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to all employees in order to protect them against accidents and work related disease especially those working in hospitals, industries and roads/streets.

Professionalize cleaning service provision and specifically providers advocated for increasing license fee to discourage those that were unprofessional,

Eng Nzitonda reminded Companies that hire or offer tenders to respect laws and assess carefully if the cleaning services bidders have all necessary requirements in accordance with regulations and operating license from RURA.

Requirements and Licensing

The license application fees for providing cleaning services were revised from Rwf 5, 000 to Rwf 100,000,  the license fee of from RwF 100,000 to Rwf 500, 000 and validity from 1 year to 5 years.

To qualify, a cleaning service provider must be registered by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) if it is a company and Rwanda Cooperative Agency in case of cooperative;  have at least one staff with a diploma in hygiene related field, an accountant with at least a certificate in accounting for bookkeeping.

RURA says the applicants must present proof of having enough hygiene equipment and workers’ protection gear including gloves, safety shoes, overalls and nose guards.

Staff carrying out cleaning services alongside roads must possess don florescent jackets with high reflecting effect for easy recognition by road users from a distance.

RURA also underlined that Licenses issued to cleaning services companies are different from those involved in waste collection and transportation.

Cleaning services providers clean places but waste are collected and transported to dumping sites by licensed operators in waste collection and transportation services.

RURA says that a company that is interested in combining both services must first apply and get these two licenses.

Protection gear

There are designated sanctions for those that fail to comply with regulations including fines.

When an employee works without appropriate body protection such as safety shoes, the company is fined Rwf 10,000 while one without reflector jacket is fined Rwf 20,000.

Employees in companies that provide cleaning services have been sensitized on the importance of wearing protection gear and the process is ongoing.

Jean Baptiste Ndayishimiye, an employee with New Generation Cleaners and Supplies Co Ltd, says that having protection gear has helped him keep safe at his place of work.

“I have worked in hospital cleaning services for some time. I was always worried of getting infected or contracting diseases for lack of protection.  It is therefore a relief that RURA made it mandatory for the providers of cleaning services to always put on protection ware. We currently work with more confidence because we have necessary protection which as well improves the way we deliver,” he says.

Mary Prosper in charge of cleaning and hygiene in CHUK says that they abide by the regulations concerning hygiene in hospitals so that workers get protected from contracting diseases from the waste and used equipment.

“Before RURA put much emphasis on protection ware, workers were vulnerable and left susceptible to diseases. Workers were not even aware of its importance but this attitude has changed which ensures our safety, hygiene and good delivery,” he said.

However, Angelique Akingeneye, who works as a cleaner on Kimihurura roads, employed by Imena Company, says that sometimes protection ware get old and the company delays to get them new ones.

“For example I do not have gloves, yet our bosses have been promising us that they would give them out soon. They have delayed. My overall is old and I need another one,” she says.

Cleaning companies, however, say there are some employees who overlook the importance of protecting themselves.

Jean Paul Ngenzi Shiraniro, the proprietor of AGRUNI Company says that companies provide protection materials such as boots and others to workers but some sell them off because they have not yet understood the importance of protecting themselves.

RURA urges cleaning service companies across the country in different institutions to comply with regulations and professionally operate in a way that they both improve hygiene and generate revenues for themselves.

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everything to take on a camping trip
March 28, 2018

Every year, more than 30 million Americans leave the comfort of their homes to sleep in a tent, RV, or simply under the stars. There are lots of reasons to rough it on a good-old fashioned camping trip, from physical health benefits to stress relief. (Who needs a Tempur-Pedic mattress when there’s a sleeping bag?) In order for a safe, comfortable, and exciting experience withlearn all the camping dos and don’ts to fully enjoy the Great Outdoors!

Nature-Made — The Need-to-Know

Forget stress balls and screaming into pillows: Just being in the presence of plants can be therapeutic. The word’s  the term for humans’ desire to connect with nature . (Yep, it’s science!) And camping isn’t only the perfect way to  it can also be  . (Also Check Out:) Trekking to a campsite with the sun beating down provides a healthy , plus walking is a  that may help burn off some of those campfire S’mores. Embracing that inner Yogi Bear may help reduce stress, too: Levels of  when we’re outdoors, which can help improve mood  . Who said only five-star hotels were relaxing? Check out these pro tips before hitting the trail for a comfy, relaxing, and fun outdoor experien

Now Camp It Out — Your Action Plan

To ensure a memorable stint with nature and stay out of harm’s way, follow the guide below — perfect for any neck of the woods!

  1. Gear up: Figure out what to bring based on how much room you have and how long you’ll be gone. If hiking to the campsite, be mindful about weight and bulk — nobody wants to schlep a 50-pound pack up a mountain! Stick to  and leave the fancy extras for car camping.
  2. Pick your pack:  based on how long the trek will be. The volume of the pack is measured in liters. Multi-day packs are 60 to 80 liters and are perfect for two- to five-day hikes. If you’re driving in and doing day hikes from one base camp location, a small day pack is large enough for daily provisions and supplies.
  3. Sleep well: Don’t forget the tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad (for extra cushion!), and pillow. The  depends on how many people are squeezing in. And make sure that thing’s weather resistant. A light-weight “three-season” tent is made for spring, summer, and fall conditions — designed to keep people dry during light snow or rain while keeping the bugs out! If camping in the winter, go with a mountaineering tent that can withstand harsher weather conditions.
  4. Fire up: Unless you’re planning to subsist on PB&J sandwiches alone, bring along some charcoal (for campsite grills), , wood, newspaper, matches, propane stove, skillet, pot, utensils, and cups/bowls/plates. Always check to see if the site allows campfires, and if available. Keep sand and water nearby in case the fire needs to be put out quickly.
  5. Chow down peanut butter, beef jerky, canned beans and soup, trail mix, drink powders, and are all great camping food options. They’re perfect for pack, won’t spoil, and don’t require any cooking. Keep an empty water bottle on hand, too. Use the tap provided at the campsite to fill ‘er up — o if collecting from a fresh body of water. Try to drink at least hour while doing high-intensity outdoor activities.
  6. Dress for success: Cotton is great for staying cool in the ‘burbs, but it’s not your friend in the woods. Instead, choose moisture-wicking clothes and
  7. Grab the gadgets: No, we’re not talking about video games. A flashlight (or headlamp or lantern), extra batteries, a , and phone charger (for emergencies) all make camping much safer and easier.
  8. Keep clean: Obviously you’re going to get dirty in the woods, but bring soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and toilet paper to stay as clean as possible. Bonus tips: Use baby wipes to get rid of dirt, always carry hand sanitizer, try soap to wash hair, and bring garbage bags to separate clean and dirty clothes!
  9. Stay safe: Safety is no joke, especially if camping in a remote area. Every camping group should bring along a well-stocked first-aid kit, creams for blisters,, sunscreen, and any other personal medications.
  10. Add some extras: Bringing along a camera, set of binoculars, maps, books, folding chair, cooler, and chapstick makes any trip in the woods much more enjoyable. For even more ideas, check out these
  11. Pick a place: After everything’s packed up, the next step is figuring out where to park that tent! There are tons of campgrounds to choose from, like and other  Find out what amenities are provided; most sites have grills, and some have showers and even wifi! Remember to call ahead and reserve a spot, especially in the summer. (I want to spot a chipmunk, but not a bear, please!) and watch out for campgrounds that are at high altitudes — this may cause
  12. Set up camp: Once at the campsite, find level ground to pitch the tent.  (some extra hands will help!) and make sure to  in case of rain. Pick a place that’s close enough to running water for easy access when cleaning dishes, showering, and filling up water bottles. And remember: Keep food out of the tent! Place it in  or hanging bear bags if the campsite recommends doing so.
  13. Play it safe: Following the tips listed above should make any camping experience smooth sailing, but remember that it’s best to camp with others so someone can always call for help in an emergency. With common sense, the right equipment, and a  Mother Nature will quickly become your second home.
  14. Proceed with caution: some rough terrain, so make sure to wear good hiking boots to avoid sprains and strains. Slip on the right socks and shoes to avoid blisters, and keep a first-aid kit on hand incase there are some cuts and scrapes along the way.
  15. Stay safe in the sun: Slather on the sunscreen, and wear a hat and sunglasses to keep the sun out. Drink  to avoid dehydration, too.
  16. Avoid ticks: Wear high socks, use insect repellent, and avoid high grass to  If a tick attacks,  with tweezers, making sure not to squeeze or crush the bug. Disinfect the area with soap and wash your hands immediately after!
  17. Beware of bears: As for fending off our furry friends, make sure the campsite’s clean and remove all food from the tent. In the unlikely event a black bear enters a campsite, remember they are generally timid, so and make noise, or fight back with sticks and rocks if it attacks. Grizzly bears perceive humans as a threat, so. Curl up in the fetal position and play dead.
  18. Break it down: Most importantly, leave the campsite  Throw away any trash (that might mean bringing it home with you), make sure the fire is out, and pack your gear into a backpack, trunk, or RV.


So you want to go camping? There is a lot to know about how to go camping, but it does not have to be complicated. Get started with the camping basics and learn about how to go camping with these simple steps and lessons.

The following tabs will present you with basic camping lessons that address the premises for enjoyable camping: setting up camp, managing a camping kitchen, how to get comfortable sleep, cooking delicious meals at the campground, outdoor activities, breaking down your campsite, and storing your gear.

  • Making Your Bed
    Whether you are tent camping or sleeping outside under the stars you need to put something between your torso and the cold hard ground. Learn how to make your camping bed and not wake up with a sore back.
  • More About Bedding
    Sleeping pads are just one solution to sleeping on the ground while camping. You’ll want a layer of comfort between you and the hard ground, but there are other alternatives to sleeping pads. Learn the alternatives to sleeping on the hard ground
    For many campers, the standard sleeping bag will be the primary camping bedding, but to minimize buying camping gear you can take regular bed items to the campground: sheets, blankets, pillows, comforters, and quilts. Learn how to add the finishing touch to your campground bed without buying any new gear.
  • Campsite Shelters
    If you are sleeping outdoors you’ll need a camping shelter, which is usually a camping tent. Tents today come in all shapes and sizes to meet a variety of camping needs and weather situations. There’s more ways than a pitching a tent to get a shelter over your head. Here’s how to put a roof over your campground bed.

Tents come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties; from the high-tech models used by mountain climbers to the multi-room cabin tents made for fair weather family camping. Choose a tent for your style of camping.
To understand the adverse effects that wind can play on a tent, one need only look at a tent from an aerodynamic perspective. The consequence of wind blowing across the dome shape of a tent is not unlike that of air passing over the curved wing of an airplane, namely lift. And this lift is the main reason why you need to stake your tent. Use the right stakes for the ter

Once you’ve arrived at your campsite and check out the area to see where to set up your campsite. What should you look for? Here’s some dos and don’ts for setting up your campsite.

  • Now We’re Camping
    What comes next after setting up camp? The fun stuff. Enjoy the great outdoors, learn how to cook over the campfire, and relax/
  • Dealing With Outdoor Pests
    Yep, there are bugs, and animals that can be pests at the campground. Learn how to deal with pest and take precautions against insects and other bothersome critters.
  • Cozy Campfires
    There’s no better way toend the day at the campground than around the campfire. You’ll want to have a safe and effective campfire. Learn the basis on how to have a campfire.
  • Leave No Trace
    The golden rule of camping is to leave no trace.  All it takes is a  little effort to ensure that you leave the campsite as clean as you found it, or even better! Have no impact on the environment and keep a clean campsite.
  • Kitchen Duty
    Everything tastes better in the great outdoors, but a camping kitchen is only as good as it is clean. Since you are preparing meals in the outdoors, you’ll need to take extra precautions to keep a maintained camp kitchen. Respect the wildlife and don’t feed the animals! Here’s a few tips for maintaining a campground kitchen
  • Breaking Camp
    The dreaded time has come to break down camp. Our top tips for packing up and breaking down camp.
  • Returning Home
    Unpacking is every camper’s least favorite thing to do, but returning home and unpacking after the camping trip is every bit as important as going camping. Tips for unpacking after the camping trip.
  • Gear Storage
    The final step in  a camping trip is putting your camping gear in storage after the camping trip is over. you’ll want to do this properly to make packing on your next trip easy and simple, and to keep your gear clean and long lasting. Here are a few suggestions for storing your gear between camping trips
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Climate Change Could Force Over 140 Million to Migrate Within Countries by 2050: World Bank Report
March 28, 2018

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2018 – The worsening impacts of climate change in three densely populated regions of the world could see over 140 million people move within their countries’ borders by 2050, creating a looming human crisis and threatening the development process, a new World Bank Group report finds

But with concerted action – including global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and robust development planning at the country level – this worst-case scenario of over 140m could be dramatically reduced, by as much as 80 percent, or more than 100 million people.

The report, Groundswell – Preparing for Internal Climate Migration, is the first and most comprehensive study of its kind to focus on the nexus between slow-onset climate change impacts, internal migration patterns and, development in three developing regions of the world: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.

It finds that unless urgent climate and development action is taken globally and nationally, these three regions together could be dealing with tens of millions of internal climate migrants by 2050. These are people forced to move from increasingly non-viable areas of their countries due to growing problems like water scarcity, crop failure, sea-level rise and storm surges.

These “climate migrants” would be additional to the millions of people already moving within their countries for economic, social, political or other reasons, the report warns.

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva said the new research provides a wake-up call to countries and development institutions.

“We have a small window now, before the effects of climate change deepen, to prepare the ground for this new reality,” Georgieva said. “Steps cities take to cope with the upward trend of arrivals from rural areas and to improve opportunities for education, training and jobs will pay long-term dividends. It’s also important to help people make good decisions about whether to stay where they are or move to new locations where they are less vulnerable.”

The research team, led by World Bank Lead Environmental Specialist Kanta Kumari Rigaud and including researchers and modelers from CIESIN Columbia University, CUNY Institute of Demographic Research, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – applied a multi-dimensional modeling approach to estimate the potential scale of internal climate migration across the three regions.

They looked at three potential climate change and development scenarios, comparing the most “pessimistic” (high greenhouse gas emissions and unequal development paths), to “climate friendly” and “more inclusive development” scenarios in which climate and national development action increases in line with the challenge. Across each scenario, they applied demographic, socioeconomic and climate impact data at a 14-square kilometer grid-cell level to model likely shifts in population within countries.

This approach identified major “hotspots” of climate in- and out-migration – areas from which people are expected to move and urban, peri-urban and rural areas to which people will try to move to build new lives and livelihoods.

Without the right planning and support, people migrating from rural areas into cities could be facing new and even more dangerous risks,” said the report’s team lead Kanta Kumari Rigaud. “We could see increased tensions and conflict as a result of pressure on scarce resources. But that doesn’t have to be the future. While internal climate migration is becoming a reality, it won’t be a crisis if we plan for it now.”

The report recommends key actions nationally and globally, including:

  • Cutting global greenhouse gas emissions to reduce climate pressure on people and livelihoods, and to reduce the overall scale of climate migration
  • Transforming development planning to factor in the entire cycle of climate migration (before, during and after migration)
  • Investing in data and analysis to improve understanding of internal climate migration trends and trajectories at the country level.
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take a world of adventure time
March 28, 2018

Day 1:
Arrive  and transfer to Simon’s Town. Afternoon free. Overnight Simon’s Town (BB).

Days 2 & 3:
Mornings spent  / viewing, weather permitting. Afternoons free. Overnight Simon’s Town (BB).

Day 4:
Transfer to Cape Town airport. Fly Cape Town to  Transfer t for overnight (BB).

Days 5 & 6:
One morning spent baited – no cages; one morning spent doing a 2-tank reef / wreck / ‘raggie’ dive, depending on season, weather permitting. Afternoons free. Overnight Umkomaas (BB).

Day 7:
Morning baited shark dive – no cages. Weather permitting. Afternoon transfer for overnight (BB).

Days 8 & 9:
Two x 2-tank reef dives on the world famous shark-diving destination of Weather permitting. Afternoon free. Overnight Shelly Beach (BB).

Day 10:
Transfer from Shelly Beach to Hluhluwe. Afternoon safari. Overnight Hluhluwe (FBG).

Days 11 & 12: 
2 nights Hluhluwe (FBG).

Day 13:
Morning game drive and breakfast, transfer to Durban airport.

Transfers; accommodation; meals as indicated; dives; hire of tanks, weights and air fills; MPA dive permits; reserve entry fees and conservation levies; twice-daily game drives; all meals when on safari.

Additional dives and night dives; equipment hire other than tanks, weights and air; lunches and dinners when diving; all airfares; bar; items of a personal nature; gratuities

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FG under pressure to ban plastic bags
March 28, 2018

Nigeria is coming under intense pressure from experts to ban the use of plastic bags in favour of paper bags that are more environmentally friendly. This is coming months after Kenya passed a law that makes producing, selling or even using plastic bags punishable by up to four years in prison or fines of $40,000 in a move to reduce plastic pollution.

Over the years, Nigeria has had timelines to ban plastic bags. A former Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafiya, had during the 2013 World Environment Day, said all was set for the phasing out of polythene bags in the country.

But five years since the pronouncement, polythene bags still serve as major carrier bags in super stores,  and markets for packaging of most food products.

Also, speaking at the 10th Global Environment Facility (GEF) National Steering Committee Meeting, in Abuja last year, the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, said Nigeria’s dream is to eradicate the use of polythene bags to recyclable paper bags that can be transformed to generate wealth from its wastes soonest.

The government, through the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), enacted laws to address environmental challenges in the country. One of such laws is the National Environmental (Sanitation and Waste Control) Regulations, 2009.  The regulation prohibits persons, owners, operators, or passengers from throwing or dropping any litter (which includes polythene bags) on the roads, highways, public space, drainage system or other undesignated places.

However, due to failure to implement the law, many Nigerians still litter the streets with dirt, especially polythene bags that constitute hazard to the environment.

‘Plastics must be banned’

Meanwhile, stakeholders across the globe are calling on superstores to stop the use of plastic bags for packaging.

An environment activist and waste management expert, Emmanuel Unaegbu, told Daily Trust that the problem with Nigeria is the lack of political will to act. He said even if a ban is put in place, poor enforcement will make it look like a non-ban.

He said microplastics (small plastic pieces less than five millimetres long) have been known to release toxic pollutants which affect reproduction in many animals. “So there is the likelihood that as humans consume the fishes poisoned by microplastics, we can also be affected.”

Unaegbu said the first thing to do to discourage the use of plastic bags is to make a law where shoppers pay for every plastic they request for, as a means to dissuade the use of plastic bags.

“A fee of N100 can be charged for every plastic bag. Both superstores and small traders should be made to charge this fee. This way, shoppers will come with their non-plastic reusable shopping bags. Furthermore, super stores can be made to use paper bags as alternative,” he said.

Experts say, as a result of their light weight, plastic bags can easily be blown out of trash receptacles or dumpsites where they litter streets and block drainage systems leading to flooding.

The CEO of Connected Development (CODE), Hamzat Lawal, said Nigeria needs a forum where key stakeholders would agree to forge a common front.

Lawal said to get superstores, market women and individuals to stop using plastic bags, there is need to sensitize them and give them key information that it is actually affecting the environment at large.

According to him, manufacturers can take into diversifying what they produce and take into recycling the materials.

The National President of Environmental Management Association of Nigeria (EMAN), Dr Emmanuel Ating, said plastics stay in the ground for over 50 years and it is bad for fishes when they consume it, in addition to polluting the environment.

He said government needs to be proactive to ensure that there is alternative development. “Failure to do so will amount to arresting everyone in Nigeria if a law such as that of Kenya is enforced here,” he added.

“In South Korea there are some bags they have which are disposable. If we have these then we can now ban plastics bags,” he noted.

According to him, “Government has a role by providing them with incentives where they can get the raw material and also get tax haven; high tax for non-biodegradable materials like the polythene bags and reduced tax for the recyclables and also provide access to raw materials for them, so it will facilitate that evolvement.”

Customers not cooperating

Meanwhile, a sales manager at Shoprite, one of the leading superstores, said they are trying their best to discourage the use of plastic bags but that the customers preferred them.

He said they also produce paper bags which are there for people to pick and use but that they hardly go for it, opting more for the plastic variety.

He, however, said he didn’t know of any arrangement on complete ban of plastic bags or paying any form of tax on issues of sanitation, adding that only top managers can comment that.

A provision store owner in Abuja, Madam Mary said using polythene bags is a long tradition and part of the business.

“You cannot sell goods for people and not package them unless in a situation where the bags cannot contain what the customer bought, then you can opt for carton,” she said.

“Most customers will return your goods if you failed to put them in plastic bags for them, even for goods as little as N100,” she added.

Ban should be done in phases – Senator 

A member of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno), said plastic bags should be banned in phases.

The lawmaker said the country should start by investing heavily in recycling of the plastic bags as done in developed countries.

“Rather than total ban, we should do it in phases and look at the option of recycling as done in developed countries. So much money has been invested in the production of the plastic bags. We have many cottage industries scattered in across the country producing plastic bags. Time should be given to them, we can’t just stop them at a go. They contribute to the country’s economy,” he said.

He said households should be encouraged to separate plastic bags in their dustbins, “so that it can be treated separately and the remaining waste could serve as fertilizer in farms.”

NESREA ‘looking at recycling’

Speaking to Daily Trust, NESREA’s Director of Inspection and Enforcement, Mrs Mirinda Amachree, said, “We are not supporting ban. We are looking at recycling, same as the ministry. If it will be banned, it will be phased out gradually because it will affect the low income people and they use a lot plastic for different things, pure water and so many others.”

Amachree said “If we have a good collection system in place and we are recycling, it will not pollute the environment but used and reused.”

She explained that the sanitation and waste control regulation has a provision for this Extended Producer Responsibility programme, where producers are responsible for the after sales product, like packaging and anything used in packaging. They are responsible for taking it back for recycling or whatever needs to be done with it, following its guideline.

“The programme is in process, it hasn’t taken off fully. We have started with electronic and food and beverages sector, hopefully it will be flagged off by the end of the year. But we are working towards setting up collection centres which will collect and send to recycling plants,” she said.

The director noted that they have recycling plants for electronics and different kinds of plastics. The producers are expected to register and be given subsidy. Since it is the responsibility of the producers they are supposed to pay for collection and recycling.

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how to know if something is a scam
March 27, 2018

The Internet has brought countless benefits into our lives. It offers instantaneous access to news and information, a forum for keeping in touch with loved ones and untold opportunities for earning an income or building a business.

[See: A Guide to Launching Your Side Business.]

However, along with those benefits comes a dark side. Scammers. There are people who take advantage of the relative anonymity and wide availability of the Internet to trick people into giving up their hard-earned money, whether intentionally or otherwise. They try to get you to pay them for nothing. They try to harvest your personal information. They try to install nefarious software on your computer.

Don’t let it happen.

While software is available to help ward off viruses and common online scams, the best tool for prevention is you. Being aware of how online scams work and, more importantly, knowing the tell-tale signs of a scam can keep you out of sticky situations.

Here are six specific ways to spot a potential online scam. If an offer you’re reading about sets off any of these warning bells, you’re better off just avoiding it.

1. An upfront payment is required before you can get any real information. If a site won’t give you a clear overview of what exactly it’s trying to sell you with some real examples of what you’ll be getting in exchange for your payment, don’t hand over a dime. Any reputable product can be sold on its own merits, not on the claims of what that product is without showing you what’s behind the smoke and mirrors.

This is something that many websites do, offering to show you the secrets of making money at home or building a business or “banking on yourself” or countless other scams or half-baked ideas. The catch is that they don’t actually give you any real indication of how it works or whether it will work at all. Instead, it’s all about trust – they’re essentially the confidence men of old, hoping you’ll trust their claims, except that now they don’t even have to look you in the eye while scamming you.

[See: 12 Ways to Be a More Mindful Spender.]

2. You’re promised a quick route to wealth or to exceptional income. If it were easy to make a huge income using this system, then they’d be using this system to make a huge income instead of selling promises to you via email or some shady-looking website.

In the real world, it takes a great deal of smarts and/or hard work to accumulate significant wealth or a significant income, and even if you have an epic work ethic or intelligence, it’s still going to take years and years to build that wealth. It’s never going to be overnight. It’s never going to appear in a month or two. Those things are myths, designed to sell you on unrealistic dreams and to extract money from your pocket.

3. You can’t figure out how the person making the offer benefits. If it’s not obvious how the other person involved in this offer makes money, then you need to stay far away from it. Most honest transactions are completely clear in how the other person is going to make money from the arrangement. Perhaps the individual is the seller and you’re the buyer. When situations come up where that arrangement isn’t clear, be extremely wary.

Why? Often, those individuals are making money off of you in ways you can’t see, and that means it’s a way he or she doesn’t want you to see. Perhaps he’s getting you to install bad software on your computer, or maybe she’s grooming you for some form of identity theft. Whatever it is, avoid it. Only enter into arrangements where it’s clear what both sides get out of the deal.

4. You are being pressured. If a product is worthwhile, it doesn’t need pressure tactics to entice you. If someone is pressuring you, such as by stating the offer only lasts for a little while or that you’re somehow foolish for not taking advantage of this, they’re selling you a bad bill of goods.

Don’t waste your money or time on products that can’t be presented to you solely on their own merits. If someone has to introduce pressure tactics that make you feel rushed or make you feel bad about yourself, walk away. They’re telling you that their product doesn’t have enough merit on its own.

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How We’re Mobilising Nigerian Youths Through Gardening – Ayodele, ProtectOzone
March 27, 2018

ipasi Olalekan Ayodele is promoting urban gardening and food security initiative in Nigeria. Starting from Ikorodu area of Lagos State, his organisation, ProtectOzone shows people things they can do to protect the planet earth atmosphere.

On Channels Television Programme [email protected], Ayodele narrates how he is working on providing nutritious food for urban dwellers and at the same time live a healthy life.

Due to the increasing population in the urban area, Ayodele said steps need to be taken for urban dwellers to enjoy nutritious food by citing farms near their homes, an initiative that ProtectOzone is driving.

“Africa is still facing poverty and hunger. By the year 2050, the population of people residing in the cities will increase from 55% to 66%, so we will be having about 10 billion people in the world and majority of them will be in the city. So, it is very important for us to feed them.

“To get them feed well, we need to strategically place urban farms within the city so that people can farm near their houses,” he said.

Ayodele speaking on sustainable agriculture said this is essential and it can only be achieved through urban youth participation.

His brainchild is protecting the ozone layer through the use of waste materials and innovations like the 50% irrigation water kit.

Explaining how he mobilising youths to join this initiative, he said young Nigerians are very passionate about this adding that it is a platform for the youths to explore various opportunities.

“The youths are so passionate, one of the greatest resources we have in Africa is our manpower, not only to grow food in the urban center but also to open them up to opportunities.

Some of the young people on ProtectOzone team enjoy international exposure and get to attend Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), among others empowering them in leadership training and business activities.

ProtectOzone garden located in Ikorodu area of Lagos state

Ogun Partners Private Firm To Manage Public Waste Disposal

Edo Govt Steps Up Enforcement Of Sanitary Laws
File photo

Ogun State Government says it has partnered Solous MRF 1 Limited (a subsidiary of West Africa Engr.) in the management of public waste across the state, as part of measures to promote a cleaner, safe and healthier environment for all.

According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Bolaji Oyeleye, the service provider which specializes in waste management, recycling and conversion of waste to renewable energy, is expected to manage all levels of municipal solid waste cycle, including waste collection, processing and disposal in the State.

Oyeleye noted that the partnership would enhance effectiveness, efficiency and optimal performance in solid waste management in the state, with the goal of creating an outstanding waste management sector.

Speaking further, he stated that the government had on February 12, 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the service provider, which was followed by a joint technical meeting on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

The statement added that the ministry would provide all necessary technical support to ensure that the service provider achieves its mandates as stated in the MOU.

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Why Lagos Govt Will Shut Down Olusosun Dump – Ambode
March 27, 2018

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has justified the decision of the state government to shut down the Olusosun dump site in Ojota area of the state.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Habib Aruna on Saturday, the governor explained that the location of the facility was no longer healthy both for trading activities and residents living in the neighbourhood.

Why Lagos Govt Will Shut Down Olusosun Dump – Ambode

Addressing scavengers and other workers at the site following the outbreak of fire on Wednesday, he said aside from the negative health implication of the site to the people, the structure of the facility was also risky and susceptible to all forms of hazards like the fire outbreak.

Why Lagos Govt Will Shut Down Olusosun Dump – Ambode
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode gestures during a visit to the Olusosun dump in Ojota area of Lagos State on March 16, 2018.


Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has justified the decision of the state government to shut down the Olusosun dump site in Ojota area of the state.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Habib Aruna on Saturday, the governor explained that the location of the facility was no longer healthy both for trading activities and residents living in the neighbourhood.

Addressing scavengers and other workers at the site following the outbreak of fire on Wednesday, he said aside from the negative health implication of the site to the people, the structure of the facility was also risky and susceptible to all forms of hazards like the fire outbreak.

Governor Ambode, who visited the site on Friday for the second time since the fire outbreak, stressed that though it was gratifying that there was no casualty, the closure of the site became necessary owing to the need to forestall future occurrence and protect the health of residents.

“You see what happened is not as if anybody put fire there,” he said. “It is the refuse that are dumped there as well as the gas coming from underground and the hot sun which was around 36 to 38 degrees that caused the fire. We thank God nothing bad happened to those living there and around the neighbourhood.”

“What we have decided now is that there will not be dumping of refuse here any longer. But the most important aspect of it is that I cannot open my eyes and allow diseases to befall you here. At the end of the day, it is government that will still care for you. So, we have to sit down and agree,” he added.

The governor noted further that in as much as the government was unwilling to make people in the area lose their means of livelihood, it was important for all the stakeholders to agree on what to be done going forward.

He said: “I have not come to disturb you, what should be removed will be removed; we are not dumping waste here again. What will benefit all the people here is my concern, but we have to take it one after the other and we want all your leaders to cooperate with us.

“If not for the fact that we have fire stations, vehicles and fire officers, the fire would have spread more than this and if the fire had spread to the petrol station; that would have been a major disaster and we don’t want that to happen.”

Also speaking, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, explained that the governor’s visits and the government’s decision to shut down the site were to protect the people and the environment to ensure their health and safety.

While directing waste collection operators to make use of the landfill site at Ewu Elepe in Ikorodu and that of Epe, Bamigbetan unveiled plans to transform Olusosun dumpsite into parks and gardens, among others, starting with perimeter fencing.

According to him, “This action is in line with the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) of this administration and conforms to international best practices.”

Waste Waters: Plastic Rubbish Chokes Bali’s Sea

Millions of tourists are drawn to Bali’s palm-fringed scenery and rich marine life, but there is a danger lurking beneath its famously crystal-clear waters: a wasteland of plastic rubbish.

An underwater video shot by British diver Rich Horner this week showing a sea overflowing with plastic and other garbage at Manta Point, a well-known diving site near Bali’s main island, has highlighted trouble in paradise.

The holiday island has become an embarrassing poster child for Indonesia’s trash crisis.

The problem has grown so bad that officials in Bali last year declared a “garbage emergency” across a six-kilometre stretch of coast that included popular beaches Jimbaran, Kuta and Seminyak.

“The ocean currents brought us in a lovely gift of a slick of jellyfish, plankton, leaves, branches, fronds, sticks, etc…. Oh, and some plastic,” the diver wrote on his Facebook account.

His video, which has been viewed more than a million times, shows a diver swimming through a torrent of rubbish — including bottles, cups and straws — at Manta Point about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Bali’s main island.

“Plastic bags, more plastic bags, plastic, plastic, so much plastic!” Horner said.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, is the world’s second-biggest contributor to marine debris after China, and a colossal 1.29 million metric tons is estimated to be produced annually by the Southeast Asian nation.

The waves of plastic flooding into rivers and oceans have been causing problems for years, clogging waterways in cities, increasing the risk of floods, and injuring or killing marine animals who ingest or become trapped by plastic packaging.

“Microplastics can contaminate fish which, if eaten by humans, could cause health problems, including cancer,” I Gede Hendrawan, an environmental oceanography researcher at Bali’s Udayana University, previously told AFP.

Bali’s rubbish problem is at its worst during the annual monsoon season, when strong winds push marine flotsam on to the beach and swollen rivers wash rubbish from riverbanks to the coast.

“It tends to accumulate (at Manta Point) and the very large amount of rainfall probably has increased the level of garbage because it’s all swept from the mainland out to sea by the rains,” said Iwan Dewantama, a researcher at NGO Conservation International.

As part of its commitment under the UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign, Jakarta has pledged to reduce marine plastic waste by 70 percent by 2025, through recycling, curbing the use of plastic bags, cleanup campaigns and raising public awareness.

Still, the scale of the problem facing Indonesia is huge, due to its population of more than 260 million and poor waste processing infrastructure.

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