Posts tagged as: conference

Nigeria: Adesoye – Maritime Dividend Key to Economy, Nation Building

By Eromosele Abiodun

The Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye has stated that proceeds from the maritime sector is vital to the growth of the Nigerian economy and sustainable development of the economy.

He stated this at the conference of professional Women in the Maritime and Port sector of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) holding in Lagos.

Adesoye charged PMAWCA members to brace up and contribute most meaningfully towards Nation building in order that, ‘we join the committee of Port Nations in entrusting international best practices’.

In his goodwill message, Adesoye stated that the variables accruable from the dividends from the maritime sub-sector are critical instrument that could be utilised in nation building.

He opined that all efforts in all activities in the maritime subsector should be geared towards the generation of greater revenue in order to impact positively on the economy.

According to him, the place of greater operational efficiency in maritime operations cannot be over emphasised thus, the need to strive to always do more at all times.

He charged the women maritime professionals to stand up and be counted in this regard.

Similarly, the chairman enjoined participants at the conference to create more opportunities for others in their fold to be educated and be prepared for taking up challenges in the sub sector. He said this is another avenue abound in order to stimulate the Economy to growth.

Capacity building, Adesoye affirmed, is a variable critical tool for growth across board whilst admonishing participants to encourage themselves in the areas of career growth. He added the most effective way of achieving this is by being conscientious at work and diligent at duties.

He called on female professionals in the subsector to synergize with the multiplicity of groups and professional bodies towards synthesizing effectively new trends in technology and innovation aimed at the development of the country and the subregion at large.

On her part, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman called on professionals in the maritime subsector to invest more in themselves in order to be indispensable in their field of endeavors.

She pointed out that the maritime and port activities in the subregion is beset with myriad of challenges ranging from decay in infrastructure to low capacity utilization, corruption, insecurity and other inefficiencies and enjoined women in the sector to initiate actions that will turn these situation for the better in the sector and to the benefit of the sub region.

While asking for increased opportunities for women in the sector, she said: “Women sure need to have more opportunities in the sector given that only 2 per cent of the world’s Maritime workforce is made up of women, according to 2015 research by the International Transport Workers Federation.”

She called on delegates to fashion out ways in which women can collectively contribute to effect the much needed change in the maritime sub-sector and the nation in general.

In their goodwill messages, the General Coordinator of Professional Women in Ports and Maritime Sector, Mrs. Adanlete Lawson and PMAWCA Secretary General, Mr. Michael Lueguje commended the Usman for her achievements so far and for the support she has given to PMAWCA over the years.

Nigeria

Who Approved Petroleum Body’s U.S.$25 Billion Contract?

There is confusion in the Presidency over the alleged approval of $25 billion contract by the Nigerian National… Read more »

Namibia: Salini Downsizes As Dam Completion Nears

By Luqman Cloete

SALINI Impregilo, the Italian company building the Neckartal Dam near Keetmanshoop, has started retrenching some workers ahead of the completion of the project.

The project is anticipated to be completed by 29 December.

According to a letter that Salini, which won the N$2,8 billion tender to construct the Neckartal Dam near Keetmanshoop, wrote to the labour and social welfare ministry’s permanent secretary towards the end of August, they intended to start the phased retrenchments from 1 October until the completion of the final work.

“All employees of the company will be affected in all categories. It is difficult for the company to determine the particular date of retrenchment of the employees and categories that will be affected,” the letter stated.

“An updated list of affected employees and their respective dates of retrenchment will be furnished to your office,” the letter reads.

The Namibian has established that the company has already served some workers with contract termination letters in the first week of October.

The company last week resumed operations which had been suspended for about two weeks over government’s failure to pay Salini about N$600 million.

Recently, agriculture minister John Mutorwa revealed at a meeting he held with the company that government would ask NamWater to borrow money to pay Salini’s unpaid invoices.

At that meeting, it also emerged that government had paid more than N$3 billion to Salini by the end of June, while the cost of the project is expected to escalate to N$5 billion upon completion.

Salini’s spokesperson, Gilles Rene Castonguay, yesterday confirmed that the company had resumed operations at the construction site at the beginning of October after government had made some payments.

However, he declined to reveal the “specifics of government payments”.

Castonguay could also not be drawn into commenting on the planned lay-offs of workers, saying the company is not at liberty to discuss “staff issues”.

Namibia

Ogongo to Host Conference On Climate

THE University of Namibia (Unam) will host an international conference on agriculture and natural resources this month. Read more »

Zimbabwe: Govt Committed to Investment in ICTs

columnBy Supa Mandiwanzira

WE meet once again under the umbrella of the ITU, to share experiences, reminisce over progress of the ICT Sector for the four years gone by, consider programmes and strategies and ultimately set a trajectory for ICT Growth, Development and Integration, in the next four-year cycle, for the betterment of mankind. This is Indeed a noble task for a good cause.

Zimbabwe cherishes WTDC-2017 as a landmark, global Conference, as it is the first such forum to take place after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is, therefore, without doubt that “ICT for Sustainable Development Goals” — ICT, SDGs — is a befitting theme for this WTDC. Zimbabwe will work with fellow delegates in crafting strategies and action plans that can push the Global Community towards the attainment of the SDGs by 2030 and, in the process, deliver a better-connected world over the next four years.

As we look up towards the next developmental cycle, we need to cast our eyes into the rear view mirror and take note of what was achieved under the Dubai Action Plan of 2014. Our own assessment is that a lot was done and milestones were achieved, particularly in the areas of Capacity Building, ICTs for Disaster Management and Climate Adaptation, Digital Inclusion, Telemedicine and Spectrum Management, to name just a few. To this end I would like to sincerely thank the ITU for the assistance we received for the implementation of a Telemedicine Project involving the connection of 12 clinics in remote rural areas, two district hospitals, a provincial hospital and, at the apex, a referral medical centre, to each other.

The project is crucial to Zimbabwe, as it improves access and delivery of medical services to hitherto underserved remote and rural areas, and moves Zimbabwe closer to attaining Universal Health Coverage and indeed, the SDG goal on Good Health and wellbeing. Apart from the Telemedicine Project, we have also registered great success in the area of access and accessibility. We have installed over 200 Community Information Centres, 80 of them in 2016 alone, at post Offices across the Country.

These CICs, as we call them, serve as contemporary public amenities providing local communities with access to high speed Internet, printing and other related services, at sub-commercial and affordable rates. The CICs have brought access to all genders in Zimbabwe, particularly in the rural areas, thereby making progress in bridging the digital divide and ensuring gender equality, in terms of access, in line with the SDGs on Gender equality and the goal on reducing inequalities.

We are also continuously implementing the schools digitisation programme. Currently, we are connecting, 1 300 schools, to the Internet. We have noted with delight, that we are on course to achieving the goal on quality education. The high literacy levels in Zimbabwe, are evidence of our robust education policy aided by ICTs. These efforts have seen increased use of ICTs in underserved areas by all genders and our people are becoming digital natives.

The groundwork has already been completed for a major ICT infrastructure project, involving the construction of over 500 units of towers and extension of the national backbone fibre network, across the country.

This will result in a massive roll-out of broadband to all corners of the Country. With regards to the SDG on elimination of hunger, the ICT sector has partnered with the Agricultural Sector, by conveying information on farming inputs, weather, transport details and offering insurance related applications, for the success of Zimbabwe’s Command Agriculture Programme.

This has seen Zimbabwe’s grain reserves for the staple grain hit the one million tonne mark and are expected to exceed the usual requirements for the country. No one will go hungry in the Country. We are leaving no stone unturned, in ensuring that together with the rest of the ITU community, we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

With regards to the Agenda of this Conference, we are pleased to note that the WTDC-17 will consider matters and challenges that are crucial to all regions of the world — Africa included. As emerging technologies, applications and trends including, Network Cloudification, Big Data; Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, IMT 2020; rise up the horizon, it is rather tempting, for us to run with the mill forgetting to carry along with us, that which we could not accomplish in the last developmental cycle. A case on point, is the need to do more on bridging the gender divide.

Indeed, it is true that a lot of effort has been exerted in this area and considerable success has been achieved, but the numbers are not yet good enough. We have to scale up our efforts to connect the remaining unconnected. We believe that there is greater scope for closer cooperation between those with developed economies and those with developing economies. In addressing this undesirable phenomenon my message here, is that, in this Global Village, let us join hands and efforts in connecting the unconnected — it is our responsibility and it is our obligation!

The Republic of Zimbabwe is committed to the work of the ITU and will continue to do so in future by rendering support in the form of human resources and other forms of support where we have competencies. It is in that regard that Zimbabwe is honoured to nominate one of ITU’s own to the post of ITU Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau at the next Plenipotentiary Conference. This an excerpt from the address by Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Supa Mandiwanzira to the International Telecommunications Union World Telecommunications Development Conference underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina, yesterday.

Zimbabwe:Govt Committed to Investment in ICTs

columnBy Supa Mandiwanzira

WE meet once again under the umbrella of the ITU, to share experiences, reminisce over progress of the ICT Sector for the four years gone by, consider programmes and strategies and ultimately set a trajectory for ICT Growth, Development and Integration, in the next four-year cycle, for the betterment of mankind. This is Indeed a noble task for a good cause.

Zimbabwe cherishes WTDC-2017 as a landmark, global Conference, as it is the first such forum to take place after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is, therefore, without doubt that “ICT for Sustainable Development Goals” — ICT, SDGs — is a befitting theme for this WTDC. Zimbabwe will work with fellow delegates in crafting strategies and action plans that can push the Global Community towards the attainment of the SDGs by 2030 and, in the process, deliver a better-connected world over the next four years.

As we look up towards the next developmental cycle, we need to cast our eyes into the rear view mirror and take note of what was achieved under the Dubai Action Plan of 2014. Our own assessment is that a lot was done and milestones were achieved, particularly in the areas of Capacity Building, ICTs for Disaster Management and Climate Adaptation, Digital Inclusion, Telemedicine and Spectrum Management, to name just a few. To this end I would like to sincerely thank the ITU for the assistance we received for the implementation of a Telemedicine Project involving the connection of 12 clinics in remote rural areas, two district hospitals, a provincial hospital and, at the apex, a referral medical centre, to each other.

The project is crucial to Zimbabwe, as it improves access and delivery of medical services to hitherto underserved remote and rural areas, and moves Zimbabwe closer to attaining Universal Health Coverage and indeed, the SDG goal on Good Health and wellbeing. Apart from the Telemedicine Project, we have also registered great success in the area of access and accessibility. We have installed over 200 Community Information Centres, 80 of them in 2016 alone, at post Offices across the Country.

These CICs, as we call them, serve as contemporary public amenities providing local communities with access to high speed Internet, printing and other related services, at sub-commercial and affordable rates. The CICs have brought access to all genders in Zimbabwe, particularly in the rural areas, thereby making progress in bridging the digital divide and ensuring gender equality, in terms of access, in line with the SDGs on Gender equality and the goal on reducing inequalities.

We are also continuously implementing the schools digitisation programme. Currently, we are connecting, 1 300 schools, to the Internet. We have noted with delight, that we are on course to achieving the goal on quality education. The high literacy levels in Zimbabwe, are evidence of our robust education policy aided by ICTs. These efforts have seen increased use of ICTs in underserved areas by all genders and our people are becoming digital natives.

The groundwork has already been completed for a major ICT infrastructure project, involving the construction of over 500 units of towers and extension of the national backbone fibre network, across the country.

This will result in a massive roll-out of broadband to all corners of the Country. With regards to the SDG on elimination of hunger, the ICT sector has partnered with the Agricultural Sector, by conveying information on farming inputs, weather, transport details and offering insurance related applications, for the success of Zimbabwe’s Command Agriculture Programme.

This has seen Zimbabwe’s grain reserves for the staple grain hit the one million tonne mark and are expected to exceed the usual requirements for the country. No one will go hungry in the Country. We are leaving no stone unturned, in ensuring that together with the rest of the ITU community, we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

With regards to the Agenda of this Conference, we are pleased to note that the WTDC-17 will consider matters and challenges that are crucial to all regions of the world — Africa included. As emerging technologies, applications and trends including, Network Cloudification, Big Data; Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, IMT 2020; rise up the horizon, it is rather tempting, for us to run with the mill forgetting to carry along with us, that which we could not accomplish in the last developmental cycle. A case on point, is the need to do more on bridging the gender divide.

Indeed, it is true that a lot of effort has been exerted in this area and considerable success has been achieved, but the numbers are not yet good enough. We have to scale up our efforts to connect the remaining unconnected. We believe that there is greater scope for closer cooperation between those with developed economies and those with developing economies. In addressing this undesirable phenomenon my message here, is that, in this Global Village, let us join hands and efforts in connecting the unconnected — it is our responsibility and it is our obligation!

The Republic of Zimbabwe is committed to the work of the ITU and will continue to do so in future by rendering support in the form of human resources and other forms of support where we have competencies. It is in that regard that Zimbabwe is honoured to nominate one of ITU’s own to the post of ITU Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau at the next Plenipotentiary Conference. This an excerpt from the address by Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Supa Mandiwanzira to the International Telecommunications Union World Telecommunications Development Conference underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina, yesterday.

Zimbabwe:1 300 Schools to Be Connected to Internet

By Abigail Mawonde

Government has started connecting 1 300 schools to Internet to further improve the country’s literacy levels through provision of quality education and ease access to information. Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Cde Supa Mandiwanzira said this yesterday while addressing delegates at the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) underway in Buenos Aires in Argentina.

Minister Mandiwanzira said Zimbabwe had registered great success in the area of access and accessibility of internet services. “We have installed over 200 Community Information Centres (CICs), 80 of them in 2016 alone, at post offices across the country. These CICs, as we call them, serve as contemporary public amenities providing local communities with access to high speed Internet, printing and other related services, at sub-commercial and affordable rates.

The CICs have brought access to all genders in Zimbabwe, particularly in the rural areas, thereby making progress in bridging the digital divide and ensuring gender equality, in terms of access, in line with the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) on Gender equality and the goal on reducing inequalities,” he said

“We are also continuously implementing the schools digitisation programme. Currently, we are connecting, 1 300 schools to the Internet. We have noted with delight that we are on course to achieving the goal on quality education. The high literacy levels in Zimbabwe are evidence of our robust education policy aided by ICTs.” Minister Mandiwanzira said the efforts had seen increased the use of ICTs in underserved areas by all genders and Zimbabweans were becoming digital natives.

He said the groundwork had already been completed for a major ICT infrastructure project involving the construction of over 500 units of towers and extension of the national backbone fibre network across the country and the move would result in a massive roll-out of broadband to all corners of the country.

Minister Mandiwanzira said the ICT sector had also partnered the agricultural sector. “With regards to the SDG on elimination of hunger, the ICT sector has partnered with the agricultural sector by conveying information on farming inputs, weather, transport details and offering insurance related applications, for the success of Zimbabwe’s Command Agriculture Programme. This has seen Zimbabwe’s grain reserves for the staple grain hit the one the million tonne mark and are expected to exceed the usual requirements for the country. No one will go hungry in the country,” he said.

Minister Mandiwanzira said he was happy that a lot, particularly in the areas of Capacity Building, ICTs for Disaster Management and Climate Adaptation, Digital Inclusion, Telemedicine and Spectrum Management — had been achieved under the Dubai Action Plan of 2014. He thanked the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the assistance received in the implementation of a Telemedicine Project involving the connection of twelve clinics in remote rural areas, two district hospitals, a provincial hospital and at the apex, a referral medical centre to each other.

Zimbabwe

Tsvangirai Returns From South African Hospital

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai returned home yesterday from South Africa where he was receiving treatment after… Read more »

Nigeria:Nigeria Mining Week Holds in Abuja October 16-19

The Minister of Mines & Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, will deliver the ministerial address during the opening session of the Nigeria Mining Week taking place at Nigerian Air Force Conference Center, Abuja October 16-19, 2017.

According to a statement, ” the high-level conference and expo will also provide the industry with access to the latest mining technologies and services while a new feature at the event, the Dragons’ Den, will give small-scale miners and junior mining licence holders the opportunity to pitch their prospective investors.”

Nigeria Mining Week is a partnership between PwC, the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) and event organisers Spintelligent.The opening session on Tuesday, 17 October features a line-up of the who’s who in the mining industry in Nigeria, and focuses on the way forward, how to promote investment into the sector and how to assist the sector with the right regulations.

Topics and speakers include: Uyi Akpata, Country and Regional Senior Partner, West, PwC Nigeria–“The impact of mining reform initiative of the Buhari administration, the Miners’ Association’s perspective” – Alhaji Sani Shehu, President, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria

Ministerial Address: New perspectives for 2018-2030 – what has been achieved to date? How will future goals be achieved to ensure the sustainability of the Nigerian mining awakening? What should the global mining and metals industry expect from Nigeria? Dr Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Mines & Steel Development, Ministry of Mines & Steel Development, Nigeria

Breaking dependency on crude oil, and focus on the mining sector: How can the Federal Government, state government and private sector collaborate better to diversify the economy? Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria

The impact and influence over the investor’s flow: Reinsuring international investors with transparency Waziri Adio, Executive Secretary, Nigeria Extractive Transparency Initiative, Nigeria

Presidential address and declaration of opening of the 2nd annual Nigeria Mining Week by Professor Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria*

Dragons’ Den

Only five finalists have gone through to the final stage of the Dragons’ Den which will take place during Nigeria Mining week. These aspirational and ambitious small scale miners and junior mining license holders will have the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to Nigerian and international mining investors who are willing to invest their own money in helping start up new businesses. Each prospective investor will then decide whether to make the applicant an offer to invest or partner, or they can decide to withdraw.

As with previous years, the Nigeria Mining Week is enjoying strong support from the industry with confirmed sponsorships from Palladium Mining Limited, SBOG, 3MGeo Resources, AELEX, AG Vision Mining, Congo Energy Solutions, Italtec, Kian Smith Trade & Co, Mantrac, Minelab, NiMet, Panafrican Group, Rubble Master, Ubimet, SMT and Wilbahi.

Local Company Turns Plastic Waste Into Furniture, Pavers

By Emmanuel Ntirenganya

A local firm engaged in waste collection, management and recycling, AGRUNI Company Ltd is recycling wastes and turning them into valuable products such as chairs, tables, basins, water pipes and pavers.

The plastic wastes collected for recycling include used jelly cans, yogurt bottles, lotion bottles, among others.

Plastic waste don’t completely bio degrade; something that harms both animals and human health, and drastically endangers our environment.

The problem is that our landfills are running very short of space, experts in engineering, and environmental impact assessment worried during the recent Africa Engineering Conference and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Africa Engineering Week, 2017 which was held under the theme “Effective Waste Management in Africa.”

As a result, the experts contend, new landfills are created which in the end hurt the environment, necessitating recycling for the production of new products as a solution to the problem.

Nduba dumpsite in Gasabo District, Kigali, for example, receives about 400 tonnes of unsorted waste of which, 5% is plastic wastes amounting to some 20 tonnes per day. This implies that estimated 7300 tons of plastics are dumped at the site per year.

“We collect waste from homes, around the City, and it’s from such waste that we make these plastic objects. There is enough plastic wastes that we need to make products,” said John Furaha, who is in-charge of recycling at AGRUNI.

The company has been in waste collection and transportation services over th e last 14 years, but engaged in waste recycling for the last two years, according to Furaha.

The company was started in 2002 in Rubavu District, Western Provinceby Jean Paul Ngenzi Shiraniro, after being demobilised from Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).

The aim was to offer various services including environment care services, creating employment opportunity, promoting social economic development, collection and transportation of liquid waste and waste to energy.

AGRUNI has the capacity to make about 3,000 chairs per day, for Rwf4,700 each, compared to others which are sold at Rwf6,000 each. But, he explained that the production depends on the market demand. It also makes some 100 tables per day.

“The market so far is good; especially in Kigali, Rubavu, and Gitarama (Muhanga District), and Eastern Province. The chairs are used in churches, bars… ” he said.

For pavers, the company has a capacity to produce 200 square metres per day.

To produce pavers to cover one square meter, he said, 30 kilogrammes of plastic waste is melted and mixed with 20 kilogrammes of sand.

He said that the machines the company uses to recycle the plastic wastes are imported from India and Belgium.

It has 21 permanent technicians, and 51 casual labourers engaged in waste recycling services.

Moreover, the company makes small-sized water pipes, with capacity to produce 40 rolls of 100 meters length each, per day.

“We plan to make big-sized water pipes,” he said.

In addition, he said, that the company makes organic fertiliser from organic waste which has started being used in gardens in Northern Province’s Musanze District, and that the results have been promising for increased crop productivity.

Furaha, who studied mechanical engineering at the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology where he graduated in 2014, said that the main challenge they face in recycling process is lack of enough electricity.

Through her presentation “Waste Management & Environment,” during the engineers’ conference, Eng. Coletha Ruhamya, Director General for Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), challenged engineers and government officials in Africa to engineer the most cost effective and environmental friendly, as well as socially acceptable systems.

She called for vestment in the sector of waste management, make a good use of Waste and generate green jobs reduce reuse, recycle principle.

Kenyatta Attends Prayers at Subukia Shrine

President Uhuru Kenyatta is attending a national prayer day at the Subukia shrine in Nakuru County.

The prayers are being conducted by Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth of the Archdiocese of Kisumu.

Speaking at the function, Archbishop Okoth urged Kenyans to maintain peace as the country heads for a repeat presidential election on October 26.

He urged political leaders to embrace dialogue for the sake of peace in the country.

“Let us pray as nation that we remain peaceful and united,” he said at the event attended by hundreds of faithful.

The shrine is officially known as the Village of Mother of God or the National Marian Shrine.

The shrine, which attracts both Christians and non-Christians since it was started in 1985, is owned by the Kenya Episcopal Conference and managed by the Franciscan Friars.

Kenya

Duale to Seek MPs Approval of Sh11.5 Billion for Poll

Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale says he will be requesting MPs to approve the release of Sh11.5… Read more »

Kenya: County to Hire Nurses as Strike Takes Toll

By Angela Oketch

The Kisumu County Government is set to hire 210 nurses on a three-month contract in the next six days.

Deputy Governor Mathew Owili said the new staff will be stationed at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Kisumu County Hospital, which have been hit hardest by the ongoing nurses’ strike.

“We cannot continue seeing our people suffer. We have done all we can to get the nurses back to work but it seems they are not willing. We have no option but to hire new nurses, who will be on contract,” Dr Owili said.

VACANCIES

Four other counties have advertised for positions of nurses to replace the ones on strike.

The counties are Lamu, Kirinyaga, Murang’a and Lamu.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang said county officials are compiling data to establish the number of nurses who are working.

In Murang’a, county director for health Wilfred Kanyi said the regional government will soon advertise vacancies for over 400 nurses.

He said this comes after the staff on strike defied an order by the Council of Governors (CoG) that they should resume duty.

IMMUNISATION

Other counties have also indicated that they will advertise nurses posts but are yet to give information on the fate of the striking caregivers.

While some governors are planning to advertise nurses positions, others, including Tharaka-Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki, have opposed the sacking directive.

Dr Owili said many health services in Kisumu had been affected by the industrial action

He said one of them is the immunisation of pregnant women and children, which is likely to increase the disease index in the country.

“We are not against giving the nurses what they want but they should be flexible to go back to work as negotiations continue,” he said.

NEGOTIATION

Nurses are now calling upon individual counties to sign the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), adding that the national government was not willing to engage them but, instead, threatening to sack them.

Nurses’ officials in Kisumu, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kericho, Siaya, Mombasa, Vihiga and Busia want the respective governors of these devolved units to strike an urgent deal with the striking workers to end the suffering of patients in public hospitals.

They said the governors are better placed to understand them compared to Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu and the top national leadership.

PATIENTS

For the last four months, thousands of Kenyans have failed to receive health care due to the nurses’ strike, which has paralysed services at all public hospitals in the country.

It seems no one is willing to call off the industrial action, with the governors having made a decision to sack the nurses.

The Health ministry has ruled out any talks with the striking nurses and Dr Mailu has asked the CoG to sack and replace them.

DISCIPLINE

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are busy with their campaigns ahead of the repeat presidential election that is set for October 26, and none of them is talking about the plight of the nurses.

Dr Mailu has described the job boycott as unnecessary and illegal, as declared by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

Speaking during the official opening of the 2017 Annual Catholic Health Conference and general meeting at Pride Inn Hotel in Mombasa, the minister said the national government fully supports the resolutions made by the CoG to take administrative and legal action against nurses who will not resume duty.

“They should go ahead with the disciplinary measures, spare those who have returned to work and recruit other people,” he said.

SRC

The CS said once the nurses resume duty, they will have obeyed the court order and negotiations can begin.

Dr Mailu, however, said: “The burden on the exchequer is huge and this time we cannot accommodate any new funding. But in the context of the CBA, we can spread the pay period. We can agree on when it can be implemented.

The CoG has also described the nurses’ strike as illegal and unprotected.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), which has criticised the strike, said it is not responsible for the prolonged boycott.

PAY DISPUTE

The commission said the job boycott is not entirely over better pay and the job evaluation it undertook.

SRC vice-chairman Daniel Ogutu told MPs that the caregivers are pushing for their own commission.

“The complications we have are beyond money. People are keen on pushing for their own commissions to advance their interests. They want something like the Teachers Service Commission,” he said.

During the recent signing of a back-to-work agreement with clinical officers, Dr Mailu urged the nurses to get back to work as they continue negotiations.

Nurses have defied the order and said the government was treating them as if their strike does not have an impact on the country’s health system.

Africa: Resistance to Hydropower Is Evaporating As Science Takes Centre Stage

analysisBy Mike Muller, University of the Witwatersrand

Big dams have a bad reputation. They’re often associated with social disruption and environmental damage. That perception is now shifting. The challenges of climate, urbanisation and economic growth in countries and communities already burdened by poverty and underdevelopment is leading to a radical change in attitudes. Dams and related water infrastructures are once again being recognised as key contributors to a prosperous and, as important, sustainable future.

Developing countries need reliable water supplies for their predominantly poor populations. They also need to expand their energy production in ways that don’t aggravate climate change.

This is why changes in the attitudes towards dams are most evident in the energy sector. Demands for energy to power cities are growing rapidly. So too are the energy needs in rural areas – to cultivate, process and transport crops as well as to drive the irrigation systems that underpin food security and light the lives of rural communities.

At the recent World Hydropower Conference, in Addis Ababa, a strong case for the development of hydropower dams came from a surprising source: the Nature Conservancy, the USA’s largest environmental NGO. In the past, the organisation was better known for its efforts to remove dams. A decade ago, development agencies like the World Bank had virtually stopped financing dams. They are now extolling their contribution to development.

The change of heart about dams is not just about climate change. Hydropower could also help generate the electricity which many poor communities don’t yet enjoy. Less than 10% of Africa’s hydropower potential has been tapped. This means that, with local resources, Africa could produce four times more electricity than it currently does.

Why hydropower offers such a good deal

Few technologies can reliably produce clean electricity when needed. Nuclear is one, but it’s very expensive and poses safety concerns. Renewable sources like solar and wind are among the cheapest. But their supplies are intermittent. They cannot provide a reliable supply unless their energy can be stored and released when needed. Not surprisingly, cost-effective energy storage is key to successful clean energy strategies in many parts of the world.

This is where hydropower is an obvious alternative. It uses the energy captured by the natural water cycle. Water evaporates from oceans warmed by the sun, falls as rain over land and then flows into rivers. The power of that mass of moving water is then harnessed to generate hydro-electricity.

Hydropower has been – by a big margin – the largest source of renewable electricity globally since its introduction in the late 19th century. It accounts for about 16% of all electricity generated worldwide and 99% of all electrical energy that’s stored.

Hydropower dams are by far the cheapest way to store energy on a large scale. This has become increasingly significant as more and more intermittent sources like solar and wind energy are connected to electricity supply grids.

Dams are needed because they allow water to fall through a greater distance, generating far more power than the natural flow of a river. As important, that energy can be stored by keeping the water in the reservoir and releasing it through the turbines when electricity is needed. This can be done very quickly – often in a matter of seconds – much faster than with other electricity generators.

This ability to store energy – and to produce just the required amount of electricity very quickly – also has many other benefits. When wind and solar supplies fail, hydropower generation can bridge the gap without burning fossil fuels. The flexibility of hydropower also helps operators to “tune” the grids and keep voltages steady.

In China hydropower is helping to integrate renewables – such as solar and wind – into the electricity supply systems. China has excess production of renewable energy in some remote regions, and it’s also rapidly expanding its network of pumped storage dams. In these schemes, water is pumped to a high reservoir using surplus electricity and then allowed to flow down and generate electricity when demand increases or the wind dies down. Because hydropower can respond quickly to changing conditions, it also stabilises the distribution grid and avoids power failures.

This enables a steady energy flow to be maintained on the country’s rapidly expanding super high voltage grids which transport electricity from energy rich regions to areas of high demand.

Controversies remain

Organisations like the Nature Conservancy recognise that hydropower technology can help to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the world’s most serious environmental problem. And when they looked at the challenges, they concluded that problems associated with hydropower in the past can be resolved.

But controversies remain. Other environmentalists continue to challenge hydropower’s green credentials. Some argue that dams themselves generate greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane from vegetation in reservoirs.

This argument was challenged in Addis Ababa, where new evidence was shared showing that this threat has been greatly exaggerated.

CO2 and methane often bubble up from reservoir waters but most of the organic matter that fuels this process comes from the land which feeds the rivers. Without a dam, the gases would simply appear elsewhere along the river.

Studies of two of the world’s great rivers, the Amazon and the Congo, both of which are virtually undammed, found that wetlands and flooded forests were responsible for most of their high methane and CO2 emissions

The debate about the role of dams and development is thus moving beyond emotional arguments to real science. It’s revealing that many of the development challenges of dams are not as clear cut as critics had suggested.

It also shows that hydropower dams can contribute significantly to mitigating climate change while protecting communities from floods and conserving ecosystems. This gives rise to some optimism. With systematic work, and cooperation across disciplines, better ways can be found to build a sustainable world in the 21st century.

Disclosure statement

Mike Muller’s attendance at the World Hydropower Conference was funded by SECO, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs through the International Hydropower Association. Funding has also been received for research on water resources and regional integration in Africa from the South African Water Research Commission and the African Development Bank.

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