Category Archives: Africa

Cape Town Is 90 Days Away From Running Out of Water

15 January 2018
Aryn Baker / Cape Town

After three years of unprecedented drought, the South African city of Cape Town has less than 90 days worth of water in its reservoirs, putting it on track to be the first major city in the world to run out of water. Unless residents drastically cut down on daily use, warns Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille, taps in the seaside metropolis of four million will soon run dry. On April 22, to be exact. Here’s what to know:

The date is just a scare tactic, surely?

Nope. Day Zero, as it is called, is real, and is calculated every week based on current reservoir capacity and daily consumption. On Jan. 8 Mayor De Lille revised the date down from April 29, based on a citywide uptick in daily usage. The city won’t literally run dry; in most cases, reservoirs can’t be drained to the last drop, as silt and debris make the last 10% of a dam’s water unusable. City authorities have decided that once the dams reach 13.5% capacity, municipal water supply will be turned off for all but essential services, like hospitals.

What happens when the taps are turned off?

Cape Town enters Mad Max territory (well, almost). Residents will have to go to one of some 200 municipal water points throughout the city where they can collect a maximum of 25 liters (6.6 gallons) a day. Armed guards will be standing by to keep the peace and prevent anyone from taking more than their share. Of course, the truly wealthy will be protected. The local version of Craigslist is already full of listings for companies wiling to truck in tankers full of water from less drought-prone parts of the country, for a price.

What steps are residents taking?

The city has capped household water usage at 87 liters (23 gallons) per person, per day. For most homes, that means keeping showers under 2 minutes, no watering the garden or washing the car, refraining from flushing the toilet unless absolutely necessary, recycling bathing water where possible and severely limiting dishwasher and washing machine use. Water storage tanks are already on backorder, unwashed hair is now a symbol of upright citizenship, and public restrooms are festooned with admonishments to “let it mellow.”

Are the self-imposed limits working?

Not really. According to city statistics, only 54% of residents are hitting their target, one of the reasons why Day Zero was moved forward a week earlier this year. But the city has few options for punishing individual water abusers and ensuring compliance, so everyone pays the price.

Didn’t anyone see this coming?

Yes and no. City planners have long pointed out that Cape Town’s water capacity hasn’t kept up with population growth, which has nearly doubled over the past 20 years. Still, a three-year drought on this scale is a “once a millennium” event, say climatologists, and even the best-planned water system would have taken a hit under current conditions. Now the city is playing catch up, hastily (and expensively) installing desalination plants and looking into groundwater extraction. But it’s unlikely any of those systems will be brought online before Day Zero, or even before the rainy season is due to start up again in May (if indeed it does). These systems are unlikely to go to waste, however. Climate change researchers predict more frequent dry years and fewer wet years to come. More likely, they say, Capetonians are just getting a preview of the new normal.

My Conclusion The Reservoirs that supply Capetown water is running out with less than 90 days to go. Mayor of Capetown should look to having a desalination plant and/or groundwater extraction wells to help to serve Capetown water needs and help to get the water crisis in Capetown. So let pray and hope the people living in Capetown to save as water as they can and hope the government of South Africa and the Mayor of Capetown fund the building of Desalination plant and/or groundwater extraction wells so the people can get through the water crisis.
And here video worth watching how Israel overcame their water shortage they had face in the past.

If you living in South Africa in Capetown I encourage to get this message to your mayor of Capetown and the government of South Africa so they get either the Desalination plant and/or groundwater extraction wells built to; so people in Capetown will not have go thirty.


Rejected: Country in West Africa Refuses GMO Bt Cotton

Source:GM Watch
Date: 28 January 2016
Author: Claire Robinson

The country’s exit from Bt cotton cultivation may have implications for Africa’s stance on GM crops in general, says a new briefing. Report by Claire Robinson

In a move that could help decide the future of GM crops in Africa, Burkina Faso has abandoned GM Bt cotton. The country has begun a complete phaseout of the crop, citing the inferior lint quality of GM cultivars.

This story of a major GMO failure is documented in a new briefing[1] by Brian Dowd-Uribe, Assistant Professor in the International Studies Department at the University of San Francisco and Matthew A. Schnurr, Associate Professor in the Department of International Development Studies at Dalhousie University. The briefing appears in the journal African Affairs, which is published by Oxford University Press. Continue reading Rejected: Country in West Africa Refuses GMO Bt Cotton

Zika: Why Biotech is Imperative to National Security

Source:New Eastern Outlook
Date: 8 February 2016
Author: Ulson Gunnar

When we think of national security, we think of tanks, jets, missile defense systems and more recently, information space. But what about the realm of the microscopic, the biological or the genetic?

Whether you think biotechnology, genetics and microbes constitute another plane upon the modern battlefield or not is irrelevant. Someone else already does, and they have a head start on the rest of the world. Continue reading Zika: Why Biotech is Imperative to National Security

Monsanto and Gates Foundation Pressure Kenya to Lift Ban on GMOs

Source: Eco watch
Date: 7 January 2016
Author: Lorraine Chow

Kenya is on the verge of reversing its ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The East African country—which has banned the import and planting of GMOs since 2012 due to health concerns—may soon allow the cultivation of GMO maize and cotton after being pushed for approval by pro-GMO organizations including Monsanto, the agribusiness giant and world’s largest seed company. Continue reading Monsanto and Gates Foundation Pressure Kenya to Lift Ban on GMOs

Land grabbing and just governance discussed in pan-African conference starting today ahead of Pope’s visit to Africa.
Date: 23 November 2015

Press release: Land grabbing and just governance discussed in a unique pan-African conference starting today ahead of Pope’s visit to Africa.  
The conference takes place ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Kenya, Uganda and Central African Republic.

The conference will highlight the state of land grabbing in Africa, cases of resistance across the continent, as well as Church responses and its increasing engagement on issues of land grabbing.

Land grabbing is a serious problem across Africa, requiring urgent attention since it threatens livelihoods and food security. It has already dislocated hundreds of thousands of people from their lands, deprived them of natural sources, and threatened their livelihoods.
Land grabbing and just governance, issues that constitute a significant threat to food sovereignty, will be discussed at the conference “Land Grab and Just governance in Africa”, opening today in Nairobi, Kenya, and organized by SECAM (Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar) with the collaboration of AEFJN (Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network), AFJN (Africa Faith & Justice Network) and CIDSE (network of Catholic development agencies). The event will gather about 150 participants from the African continent and beyond, including many people directly involved in land grabbing struggles.

Continue reading Land grabbing and just governance discussed in pan-African conference starting today ahead of Pope’s visit to Africa.

Rising CO2 levels are re-greening Africa’s deserts, bringing abundance that lifts people out of poverty

Source: Natural News
Date: 21 September 2015
Author: Jennifer Lea Reynolds

NaturalNews) Climate change, a phrase that typically instills fear in society, is being eyed by Arizona State University as something that could be beneficial. Contrary to those who view climate change as only having catastrophic consequences, experts from the university suggest that it is responsible for re-greening parts of the world and changing lives for the better.

Experts from the university engaged in a study that ultimately showed that the West African Sahel, the strip south of the Sahara desert, has been “regreening” ever since droughts in the 1970s and 80s killed more than 100,000 people. They maintain that increased rainfall caused by climate change has led to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which has spurred more plant growth and community-led farming efforts. Continue reading Rising CO2 levels are re-greening Africa’s deserts, bringing abundance that lifts people out of poverty

Millionaire investors buying up farm lands

Source: The Nation and
Date: 11 September 2015
Author: Daniel Essiet

Politicians and business executives on a visit to the Shonga dairy farm in Kwara State, Nigeria.

Some prominent Nigerians, including wealthy foreign investors, are purchasing huge tracts of land for farming with projects worth millions of naira. Many of these lands are being used for cassava, plantain, fish production and other food production.

The Nation learnt that the investors, which spread across the Southwest, are investing in the area because of lower costs for land, taxes and human resources. They are using agents to acquire large agricultural properties  in Ogun State.

Many of the investors get arable land very cheap and are  required to create jobs for the locals in exchange for the acquisitions.

According to an expert, Debo Thomas, investment in agriculture is important, adding that this is responsible for the pace of land buying that has been phenomenal. In Oyo and Kwara states, Thomas said individuals and consortium have bought 5,000 to 10,000 hectares for cashew and arable farmers. Continue reading Millionaire investors buying up farm lands

African Experts Reject Monsanto’s Drought-Resistant GM Maize

Due to potential adverse effects of GM crops

Source:Natural Society
Date: 17 August 2015
Author: Christina Sarich

Might Monsanto play a role in California’s drought? If the company isn’t causing it directly, it at least plans to profit from it. To whit – the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), just lodged an appeal to South African Agriculture, Water Affairs, and Forestry Minister, Senzeni Zokwana, against the general release approval of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize, MON87460.

MON87460, a genetically modified corn meant to withstand drought conditions, has been deemed fit to plant by the Executive Council (EC). The approval by the EC means that Monsanto can sell the GM maize seed to farmers in South Africa for cultivation.

Continue reading African Experts Reject Monsanto’s Drought-Resistant GM Maize

Bread rationing and smartcards: Egypt takes radical steps to tackle food waste

The Guardian
20 March 2015

Egypt has a long-established system of government-funded bread subsidies.

When Egyptians took to the streets of Cairo three years ago, they called for “bread, freedom, and social justice”. Bread is absolutely central to the Egyptian diet, yet the country is massively dependent on others for supply. It imports almost twice as much wheat as all 27 EU member states put together, making it by far the largest wheat importer in the world.

Post-harvest waste of domestically grown wheat is high. The government calculates that between 20%–30% of harvested wheat never finds its way to market, but private estimates put the figure as high as 50% in some part of the country. “This is millions of dollars that we are losing,” says 49-year-old Khalid al-Hanafi, who became supply minister last March after a career as an economics professor. Continue reading Bread rationing and smartcards: Egypt takes radical steps to tackle food waste

Moscow & Cairo to drop USD, use national currencies in bilateral trade – Putin

February 9, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (RIA Novosti / Mihail Metzel)

Russia and Egypt might soon exclude the US dollar and use their national currencies in the settlement of accounts in bilateral trade, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview to Egyptian media ahead of his Monday visit to the country.

READ MORE: Iran moves away from US dollar in foreign trade

The issue of abandoning the dollar in trade is “being actively discussed,” Putin told Al-Ahram daily newspaper ahead of his two-day trip to Egypt. The Russian president was invited for a bilateral meeting by his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

“This measure will open up new prospects for trade and investment cooperation between our countries, reduce its dependence on the current trends in the world markets,” Putin said. Continue reading Moscow & Cairo to drop USD, use national currencies in bilateral trade – Putin