Posts tagged as: king

Coast Jubilee Leaders Dismiss Claims of Division in the Party

By Wachira Mwangi

Jubilee Party leaders in Mombasa County have dismissed claims of divisions within the party in their quest for votes ahead of the October 17 elections.

Led by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and Suleiman Shahbal, the leaders said they were working together to ensure that Mombasa County and the coast as a whole gets more votes for President Kenyatta.

“I have a job to do, and that is to ensure that President Kenyatta manages to win votes in the Coast Region,: the CS said adding that he had met with other leaders and discussed how they would work as a team in the grassroots.

“We have one team, one purpose which is Uhuru Kenyatta and one strategy.” Mr Balala said.

MORE VOTES

He noted that the grassroots structure will start from the constituencies, to the ward level and to the polling centres and stations.

Mr Balala added: “We as Mombasa leaders have only one target as we head to the October 17 elections and it is to elect President Kenyatta. We want to ensure that this time round we get more votes than what we had on August 8.”

His sentiments were shared by Mr Shahbal who said their purpose as leaders was to maximise on the number of votes that President Kenyatta got.

The businessman also reiterated calls on strategising their campaigns from the grassroots to the top.

BOOING

He called on all the aspirants to get to the constituents from the ground going up. “We want every aspirant to get to their polling stations and ensure that they increase the votes.”

Mr Shahbal downplayed the booing by some of the Jubilee supporters at Wild Waters while with Deputy President William Ruto saying his case was not unique.

“This is not the first time that a politician has been booed in public. It has happened to many, but it is not the way to address issues. I have forgiven them and we are moving on”.

He continued: Our objective is simple, we are uniting all our troop for one common agenda.”

Mr Balala also condemned the incident at Wild Waters saying “Leadership and politics is not booing, it is respect and decorum.”

UNITED

The CS also urged the party to take action against the perpetrators and at the same time asked the Jubilee coast fraternity to be united adding that for those who support development and progress, “the path is with Uhuru Kenyatta and nobody else.”

The CS defended his role in supporting the president saying nobody could stop “me from getting votes for my president.:

As a Cabinet Secretary appointed by President Kenyatta, Mr Balala said he was delivering a political manifesto by Jubilee and as such, he had an obligation to ensure Mr Kenyatta is re-elected so as to “progress with plans of transforming the lives of our people.”

Mombasa County Jubilee aspirants Ms Amina Abdalla, Mr Omar Shallo, Mr Runya Lewa, Mr Abdi Daib and Mr Ashraf Bayusuf were in attendance.

The leaders called on those purporting to be supporting the president to join them in making the structures that will help the party secure more votes and stop the apparent divisions.

Fast-Rising Valary Aiyabei Ready for Big Stage

By Bernard Rotich

As athletes prepare for Sunday’s Berlin Marathon, many will be looking forward to good run and to achieve greater goals in their careers.

It’s an athlete’s dream to win a race or at least be on the podium, and Prague Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei is no exception.

Aiyabei will team up with 2015 Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono for the race on the streets of the German capital.

Fresh from breaking the course record for Prague Marathon in May, Aiyabei has recovered well and is aiming for a good race.

Aiyabei says her training sessions went well and she is looking forward to running a good race in Berlin where she will compete in her first major marathon.

“Having recovered well from the race that I participated in May, I want to be in the podium on Sunday in Germany. My training has been incident-free,” the athlete said.

She insists she is not scared of competing against big names from Ethiopia.

“I know there will be stiff competition from the Ethiopians who are tough but I have also done enough training and I’m ready to compete against them. I will run my own race and just hope for the best,” said Aiyabei.

“I have improved in my training compared with what I did before I participated in Prague Marathon in May. I concentrated on the long runs which entails covering more than 35km during training,” said the Iten-based athlete.

Aiyabei ran in Prague in May, breaking the course record to win in 2hours, 21:57min ahead of Ethiopians Amene Beriso and Tadelech Bekele who were second and third respectively.

The athlete also won both 2016 Barcelona Marathon and 2016 Valencia Marathon in a course record.

Aiyabei is coached by her husband Kennedy Tarus who also doubles up as a pacemaker in marathon races. According to Tarus, Aiyabei has trained well and should seal a podium finish and lower the course record should weather conditions allow.

“She can lower the course record in Berlin. We just hope for the best. We’ve done our part,” said Tarus.

The two Kenyans are expected to face stiff competition from Aberu Kebede (2012) winner, Amane Beriso who was second in Dubai Marathon (2016) and Meseret Mengistu who was 2015 Paris winner all from Ethiopia.

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 »

Runtown, Sheebah to Shoot Video in Kigali

By Donata Kiiza

Nigerian artiste Runtown and Ugandan queen of dancehall Sheebah Karungi are expected in Kigali this week ahead of the highly anticipated “Runtown Kigali Experience” on September 23 at Amahoro Stadium’s main parking lot in Remera.

The concert will also feature performances by talented local artistes Bruce Melodie, Charly and Nina, Active, and Emprah Jahboy.

After the show, the two singers will shoot the video for their latest collaboration- Weekend. The tune, which is in Luganda and English, has a blend of Nigerian and Ugandan touch, and is the first musical project the duo has worked on together.

The song’s official audio was released in August this year, and it is already enjoying massive airplay on various music stations in Uganda. It was recorded and produced by producer Nessim at Badi music studio in Kampala.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of I Factory Africa, Collin Mugabo, who is bringing Runtown and Sheebah in Kigali, the artistes chose to shoot their music video in Rwanda because of its beautiful natural scenery and weather. Runtown, born Douglas Jack Agu is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer. His popular songs include Mad Over You, For Life, Lagos To Kampala and Money Bag. Sheebah Karungi, 28, is a Ugandan recording artiste, dancer and actress. After quitting Obsessions, a dance group she joined in 2006, she rose to fame upon the release of her hit single titled Ice Cream. She is a common figure on the local music stage, having graced several concerts in the country.

Rwanda

Rwanda Rallies World to Ratify Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol

Speedy ratification of Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol will go a long way in benefiting individual countries… Read more »

Nigeria: Nurses to Join Other Health Workers in Shutting Down Hospitals Thursday

By Senator Iroegbu

Abuja — The nurses and midwives in federal health institutions across the country are set to abide by the decision of the Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) to embark on industrial action tomorrow if the federal government fails to accede to its demands at the expiration of the ultimatum given to the government by midnight today.

Rising from a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja tuesday, the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), as a bonafide collaborator with JOHESU, called on its members in federal health institutions which include teaching hospitals, research centres and federal medical centres to down tools and stay away from hospitals and other health facilities nationwide on the order of the umbrella body.

The National President of NANNM, Abdulrafiu Adeniji, while briefing journalists on the development said: “By yesterday’s expiration of our ultimatum, all federal health institutions will remain closed.”

By extension, he said: “All states and local government health institutions are hereby put on red alert. If nothing is done after one week that the strike might have commenced, they should also go on strike”, adding that the only language that the Nigerian government understands is the strike.”

According to him, the meeting, which had in attendance members of the national executive council of the association, representatives of the chairmen’s forum, executives of NANNM in federal institutions as well as state executive officers, was “occasioned by the looming crisis in the nation’s health sector with a view to review the situation and come up with resolutions.”

Stressing that the federal government has taken the association for a ride, the president vehemently said NANNM was not satisfied with the condition of healthcare infrastructure in the country and as a result, asked the government to implement the report of the December 2016 Inter-Ministerial Committee in which contains the solution to industrial crisis in the health sector.

The association, therefore, called on the government to expedite action of the proposed gazetting of a well-deserved scheme of service for nurses and midwives who have to bear the pains and brunt of remaining on the same salary scale for long, while it also asked for the commencement of the scheme of Internship for nurses and midwives. “If this is not done, it will demotivate nurses and other health workers.”

Other resolutions reached at the meeting he said, the association condemned in entirety the non-inclusion of nurses in the position of decision-making by the Federal Ministry of Health and federal health institutions, saying such position of Directorate cadre should be created for nurses and such be filled with qualified candidates.

Adeniji blamed the festering of quackery in the health sector especially the nursing profession on the inability of the government to recruit more nurses to fill existing vacancies and to fill the job deficit gap.

He said out of about 170,000 licensed nurses and midwives turned out by training institutions across the country, only about 22,000 are gainfully employed in federal institutions, while a majority of Nigerian trained nurses and midwives work outside the shores of the country.

While charging non-governmental organisations and faith-based organisations to desist from engaging non-qualified nurses for health related campaigns and programmes, he said, “there must be a red alert on the issue of quackery. We must join hands together to ensure that quackery is reduced to the barest minimum.”

MP Wants Mining Company to Pay District U.S.$190 Million

Photo: Daily Monitor

Member of Parliament for Msalala, Ezekiel Maige

By By Mnaku Mbani

Member of Parliament for Msalala, Ezekiel Maige (CCM) wants the Bulyanhulu Gold Mine to pay Msalala District Council a total of Sh425 billion in unpaid service levy.

Speaking to the Citizen in a telephone interview on Tueday, September 19, Mr Maige said the amount is in accordance with the estimates made by the Presidential Committee on minerals, headed by Prof Nehemiah Osoro.

“The company started to pay the service levy in 2015 using an old formula of $200,000 flat rate per year instead of 0.3 per cent of the gross revenue of the company,” he said.

He said the recent report which indicates that Acacia paid $11 million to Msalala District Council was not true. He said he was not aware when the amount was paid.

The former minister for Tourism said since the company started its operation in 1998, the economic dividends gained from mining activities were not equivalent of what was harvested.

“My people are among of the victims of bad investment policies that have been implemented in Tanzania over the last two decades,” he said.

Mr Maige is in the view that the existence of the gold mine at the district has not benefited the people as many of them were evicted from their areas without proper compensation.

It is estimated that about 200,000 people were removed from the current Bulyanhulu Mine site in 1998 without compensation.

He said seven in ten people in Msalala District were happy by the decision of the government to revisit gold business transactions in Tanzania and only three out of ten are unhappy with the decision.

He said even employment at the mining areas did not consider local residents and all of their goods and services needs were outsourced outside the district.

Tanzania

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Tanzania: MP Wants Mining Company to Pay District U.S.$190 Million

Photo: Daily Monitor

Member of Parliament for Msalala, Ezekiel Maige

By By Mnaku Mbani

Member of Parliament for Msalala, Ezekiel Maige (CCM) wants the Bulyanhulu Gold Mine to pay Msalala District Council a total of Sh425 billion in unpaid service levy.

Speaking to the Citizen in a telephone interview on Tueday, September 19, Mr Maige said the amount is in accordance with the estimates made by the Presidential Committee on minerals, headed by Prof Nehemiah Osoro.

“The company started to pay the service levy in 2015 using an old formula of $200,000 flat rate per year instead of 0.3 per cent of the gross revenue of the company,” he said.

He said the recent report which indicates that Acacia paid $11 million to Msalala District Council was not true. He said he was not aware when the amount was paid.

The former minister for Tourism said since the company started its operation in 1998, the economic dividends gained from mining activities were not equivalent of what was harvested.

“My people are among of the victims of bad investment policies that have been implemented in Tanzania over the last two decades,” he said.

Mr Maige is in the view that the existence of the gold mine at the district has not benefited the people as many of them were evicted from their areas without proper compensation.

It is estimated that about 200,000 people were removed from the current Bulyanhulu Mine site in 1998 without compensation.

He said seven in ten people in Msalala District were happy by the decision of the government to revisit gold business transactions in Tanzania and only three out of ten are unhappy with the decision.

He said even employment at the mining areas did not consider local residents and all of their goods and services needs were outsourced outside the district.

Tanzania

Former Minister Speaks About Accident That Claimed Relatives

Former deputy minister for finance Gregory Teu, whose relatives perished in a road accident in Masaka, Uganda, spoke… Read more »

MPs Scuffle As Age Limit Debate Rages On

Photo: Solomon Arinaitwe/Daily Monitor

Police officers intervene in the fight between Ayivu County MP, Bernard Atiku and Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga, one of the MPs supporting the lifting of presidential age limit.

By Monitor Reporter

As the debate on the contentious planned lifting of the presidential age limit escalate, some politicians have decided to settle their differences physically.

Ayivu County MP, Mr Bernard Atiku was on Tuesday spotted scuffling with Arua Municipality MP, Mr Ibrahim Abiriga, one of the MPs supporting the lifting of presidential age-limit.

When contacted, Mr Atiku said the scuffle ensued after Mr Abiriga accused him of hiring youth to attack him (Abiriga) during the Saturday football match between Onduparaka and Maroons FC in Luzira.

“I was walking out of Parliament to pick some documents in my car and I found Abiriga standing with a group of journalists on the steps of Parliament. Then Hon. [David] Abala (Ngora County) stopped me to inquire about some information. As I was talking to him, I heard Abiriga abusing me. Then as I moved closer to ask what he was saying, Abiriga started abusing me that I’m a stupid fellow and a fool,” he said.

Mr Atiku said: “He (Abiriga) claims that I bought youth to abuse him during the game of Onduparaka and Maroons FC in Luzira. When I tried to explain to Abiriga that I was not at the game on Saturday, he insisted that I was there as attacked me. I pushed him away and that’s when police moved in to separate us.”

By the time of filing this story, Mr Abiriga could not be reached for a comment as his known telephone numbers were off.

Meanwhile, Parliament will discuss a motion on the presidential age limit on Thursday.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, says he received a notice from a Member of Parliament requesting to present a motion to the House to make some recommendations to government on the presidential age limit.

Mr Oulanyah says he spoke to the speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga on Monday morning on the motion and received a copy of the motion the same day in the evening signed by three legislators. He says a second notice of motion was presented to the Speaker from another member of the House on Wednesday morning.

However, Mr Oualnyah says all the motions relating to the age limit debate will not come to the floor of Parliament until when he meets the Speaker to discuss the notices on Thursday morning.

He says if need be, the Business Committee will be given time to meet and handle the matter.

Speaker Oulanyah, however, says the motions will be included on the order paper if it is decided by the authority of the speaker. He cautions legislators against exciting the public on the matter.

Last week, about 240 MPs aligned to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party endorsed a proposal to repeal Article 102 (b), which restricts the presidential age to be between 35 and 75 years.

The move is allegedly aimed at paving way for President Museveni to seek another term of office since he will be above 75 years in 2021.

On Friday, Cabinet also endorsed a proposal by the Igara West MP, Mr Raphael Magyezi to table a private member’s bill on the floor of Parliament on the matter.

The debate on the presidential age limit has raised concern across the country leading to protests by a section of Ugandans against the proposed amendment.

On Monday, police picked up 14 youth activists belonging to group dubbed “The Alternative” for staging protests against the proposal.

Police have also summoned four legislators including Mr Muhammad Nsereko, Mr Barnabas Tinkasimire, Mr Theodore Ssekikubo and Mr Allan Ssewanyana, some of the legislators opposed to the lifting of age limit, for allegedly inciting violence.

Ethiopia: Ethio Telecom Gears Up Monopoly

By Abiy Solomon

The monopoly telecom operator, Ethio telecom, will begin registering new mobile phones into the system starting from tomorrow in a bid to prevent smuggled phones in the local market and prevent a telecom fraud committed by breaching the company’s satellite network.

Ethio telecom announced the registration in a press conference at Hilton Hotel last Thursday, September 14, 2017.

Ethio telecom, the state monopoly telecom provider, is going to make 2.7 million mobile phone apparatuses out of operation within a year. This marks the commencement of the national Equipment Identity Registration System (EIRS) jointly undertaken by Ethio telecom and the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology (MCIT).

EIRS aims at modernising the country’s telecom service and is recognised by Global System Mobile Association (GSMA) while maintaining users’ advantages in terms of better service, enhanced security and national revenues.

It will also block illegally imported gadgets, that are capable of bypassing the service provider’s satellite network and enabling them to make international calls.

The system is designed to take out invalid mobile phones that are cloned or are of substandard production, according to Abdurahim Ahmed, a corporate communications director at Ethio telecom.

“The existence of such products deters the quality of the telecom service and poses a threat to the users’ well-being,” said Abdurahim, while briefing the issue to the press at Hilton Hotel last Thursday.

To this end, mobile apparatuses are automatically registered with their specific identification number known as IMEI, which binds a particular SIM card to a particular device.

The system will also prevent mobile phone theft, health hazards caused by substandard devices and the revenues the government loses from illegally imported apparatuses.

All the active mobile apparatuses are automatically registered whereas unused devices will be registered after inserting Ethio telecom’s SIM card by September 18, 2017.

Users can dial *#06# to identify their phone’s IMEI number and dial *868# to have a look at & use the available registration alternatives, according to Ethio telecom.

The new system will bond the mobile apparatus with the SIM card of the particular user using IMEI, which is a unique number given automatically to identify GSM, WCDMA, and iDEN mobile phones, as well as some satellite phones. IMEI is only used for recognising the device and has no permanent or semi-permanent relation to the subscriber. The number is used by the GSM network to know valid devices.

EIRS prevents phone theft as it blacklists a reported stolen phone, making it out of operation in the service provider’s network territory by recognising the IMEI number.

“Since our phones are tightly interwoven with our daily lives in many aspects, the recurrent phone theft is a significant issue troubling users,” explained Ayalneh Lemma, head of legal services at MCIT. “Thus, we believe, the system will eradicate the threat rendering stolen phones useless on the network.”

Moreover, the registration enables 14 legal phone assemblers, and importers in the country to regain a fair business competition ground, which has previously been manoeuvred by contraband phone traders, according to MCIT.

The use of IMEI will enable mobile phones in Ethiopia to be recognised in GSMA’s database. Hence, being registered in GSMA’s database is the major criteria for having a valid device.

“Our registration system is intended to take out substandard and cloned apparatuses that cost users due to below standard device speed, battery life and network signal quality,” said Balcha Reba, director of Standardization & Regulatory Directorate at MCIT. “These counterfeited devices don’t have a valid IMEI number, making it easy to revoke their registration system.”

Shimeles Tessema, a Computer Science instructor and software Developer, agrees with the registration’s advantage, though in a different way.

“The IMEI registration is more relevant in enforcing standard mobile apparatuses than preventing theft,” he elaborates. “The low-cost substandard mobile devices often use cheap and lower specification elements such as modems, battery and processor, which consequently hang up the quality of the telecom service we ought to get.”

The registration, thus, would instruct and encourage users to go for standard apparatuses, which in turn lets them have better service.

“Given there is only one telecom operator in our country, we can’t choose between the best service,” Shimeles said. “Our only resort remains to be conserving the service Ethio telecom delivers to us at its best.”

Responding to the argument whether device registration, which entails to making some phones invalid, is a priority than improving other telecom services, Abdurahman claims that both are parallel priorities.

“We can boldly say that we have been successful in telecom infrastructure development,” he said. “We were privileged to be named the second largest telecom infrastructure in Africa.”

Ethiopia is a country on the 107th rank of Internet penetration. However, there is a dramatic shift in the development of telecom services. Starting telecom service in 1999, Ethiopia currently has over 50 million subscriptions, of which 16 million use Internet services, representing for 15.4pc of the total population. About 17 years ago, the number of people who used Internet was only 10,000 in the country.

Ethiopia: France Swears 2 Billion Br to Finance Controversial Abattoir

By Samson Berhane

The French Development Agency (AFD) pledges close to two billion Birr financing to modernise and relocate Addis Abeba Abattoirs Enterprise on 20ha land within nine kilometres radius from the runway of Bole International Airport- the largest international airport in the country.

Admasu Nebebe, state minister of Ministry of Finance & Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) and Frederic Bontems, ambassador of France to Ethiopia signed the financing agreement on September 13, 2017, at the premises of the Ministry, located on King George Avenue.

The rapid population growth, which has already surpassed three million last year, coupled with insufficient capacity of the current Abattoir necessitated the relocation of the Abattoir, according to Degamlak Dendir, manager of the relocation project.

“This is a major step taken to modernise and bolster the capacity of the abattoir,” said Degamlak. “With the construction of the new abattoir, we can provide better slaughtering services to local as well as international clients.”

The loan was requested by the Addis Abeba City Administration after it decided to relocate and upgrade the current abattoir, which is located along Mozambique street commonly called Qera, in 2011.

Also, the fact that the Enterprise is facing major challenges including environmental, social and economic issues made the relocation necessary, according to the Enterprise.

“One of the major objectives of the project will be hygiene and quality of the product, said Bontems, during the signing ceremony while explaining the nature of the project. “It will help the Enterprise to comply with international environmental standards on top of boosting its production.”

The finance is secured five years after the project was ceased owing to a fear of rejection from Civil Aviation Authority over the feasibility of relocating the abattoir to Hana Mariam, around Tanzania Street, an area where planes descend for landing.

The Authority was worried that birds attracted by the abattoir would create problems for aeroplanes. Later on, the Authority gave the green light for the project after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Enterprise and Ethiopian Airports Enterprise.

“Although we have no objection to the project, we have agreed to follow up the project from the beginning of the construction till it becomes operational and even after it is operational,” an official who works at the Authority’s Aerodrome Department told Fortune. “The agreement gave us full authority to follow the project.”

The Authority and the Abattoir Enterprise agreed after the latter promised to construct a closed abattoir in the area.

“The new facility will be out of bird’s sight as it closed and no waste will be discharged outside the abattoir,” said Degamlak. “We have already planned to recycle the waste of the abattoir.”

The Enterprise has been slaughtering livestock in its existing facility over the past six decades, slaughtering around 400,000 livestock annually. This will be doubled after the realisation of the new project, according to Degamlak. It will help slaughter 60pc of the meat consumed in the capital.

The project, which is a part of the Second Growth & Transformation Plan, will be completed in the next five years, according to the Enterprise.

Degamlak confirmed that the Enterprise is in process of hiring a consultant for the project after floating a bid in April 2016, although he refrained from disclosing who they are dealing with now.

Home to over 100 million livestock, Ethiopia is listed amongst the top ten nations globally, in terms of livestock population. As of now, there are over 116 local and 70 foreign-owned abattoirs in the country. Last year, the country managed to export 95 million dollars worth of meat and meat products.

Bontems applauded the move of the Enterprise.

“I know the effort made by AFD, City Administration and MoFEC during the evaluation and design phase to make sure that the interests of local communities are taken into account,” he said. “This will continue to bear attention at a high environmental and social standard.”

About 6,000 people were living in the area before the City’s Administration cleared the land for the construction of the new abattoir.

“Sufficient compensation was given to people who are entitled to the property on the land,” said Admasu.

Ethiopia will repay the loan to France in 25 years. The duo signed the loan agreement at a time when the outstanding loan of the country has reached 23 billion dollars, according to the Ministry.

Africa: More Than a Billion Live On Degraded Land, At Risk of Hunger – UN

By Alex Whiting

Rome — “We cannot prevent drought but we can prevent the calamity and crisis that comes with that”

More than 1.3 billion people live on agricultural land that is deteriorating, putting them at risk of worsening hunger, water shortages and poverty, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) said on Tuesday.

People’s use of the earth’s natural reserves has doubled in the last 30 years. Now a third of the planet’s land is severely degraded, and every year 15 billion trees and 24 billion tonnes of fertile soil are lost, UNCCD said.

“The land we live on is being strained to breaking point. Restoration and conservation are key to its survival,” UNCCD said in a report launched in Ordos, China.

UNCCD promotes good land stewardship, and is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues.

As land becomes less productive – which can happen through deforestation, overgrazing, flash floods and drought – people are forced to migrate to cities or abroad, there is greater likelihood of conflict over dwindling resources, and countries’ economies are hit, said UNCCD deputy executive secretary Pradeep Monga.

“If you don’t fix land degradation, we get into a cycle where people are losing their livelihoods, their homes, their fields,” he said.

And if the amount of productive land shrinks, less will be available to feed the world’s population which is predicted to increase to more than 9 billion people by 2050, up from 7 billion today.

“If we can stop land degradation and green our deserts, we can easily become food secure,” Monga told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Small choices, like families cutting back on food waste, as well as improvements to land management, smarter ways to farm, and national policies to stop degradation, can make a lot of difference, he added.

China, which introduced the world’s first law to prevent and control desertification in 2002, has greened hundreds of thousands of hectares of desert in Inner Mongolia resulting in more food, more jobs and a better life for the local people, Monga said.

“People’s confidence in their quality of life is back, and these places become much more habitable,” he said.

Drought degrades land, but if countries have good drought plans in place and act on them then people can be protected from its worst impacts.

“We cannot prevent drought but we can prevent the calamity and crisis that comes with that. It’s like facing a hurricane – we have time,” he said.

“If we manage the land well, the world will become a much better place to live in every sense.”

– Reporting by Alex Whiting @Alexwhi, Editing by Ros Russell

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