Posts tagged as: northern

La Niña in Observation Phase During Rainy Season

By Diane Uwimana

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Urban territory has announced that the rainfall will be low for this agricultural season (from October to December).

The meteorological forecast from September to December during this agricultural season shows that the rainfall will decrease gradually. “The situation will be normal but the rain is likely to be light,” says Aaron Ntibiranyibagira, forecaster at Burundi Geographical Institute [IGEBU]. He also says the situation is caused by the “La Niña” phenomenon which is in observation phase since 18 September. “The effective rain will fall at the beginning of October 2017”, he says.

Ntibiranyibagira says the prediction from October to December shows that a development of the phenomenon opposite to El-Niño (La Niña) is characterized by a deficient rain that falls differently according to the time and place.

In the north-eastern region of Burundi, the precipitation will be relatively above the average of 20 mm and will be normal In Mugamba region (central and southern areas) while it will be below average in Imbo western region.

According to IGEBU forecast, farmers should start cultivating their fields given that the precipitation has reached 20 mm within three successive days.

The IGEBU forecaster says Burundi has experienced a windy rainfall from the Congo Basin which influenced the local region, thus causing the rain to fall from September.

Célestin Ndayizeye, Minister of Environment, Water and Urban Territory says Burundi Government is aware of the adverse effects of these extreme climatic phenomena (El-Niño and La Niña). He says the latter caused humanitarian catastrophes in the past in such a way that the government declared famine in the Northern provinces following the “La Nina” phenomenon between 2000 and 2004. For all these reasons, he says, the Government of Burundi has already put in place the National Contingency Plan and the Platform for Risk Prevention and Disaster Management to prepare communities in time to mitigate the effects of these disasters. Long lasting droughts have a negative impact on fields and harvests”, he says.


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Kenyatta Terms Supreme Court Ruling as ‘Coup’

Photo: Capital FM

Supreme Court judges.

By Ibrahim Oruko

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the decision by the Supreme Court to nullify the August 8 presidential election was a “coup by four people sitting in court.”

The President described the majority decision in the full judgment delivered Wednesday as judicial dictatorship that had robbed Kenyans the power of decision making.

“This was a coup…I must call it what it is,” he said, while meeting Jubilee Party elected leaders from Northern Kenya at State House, Nairobi, on Thursday.

“This is a voice of a few, who on their own decided they can choose a leader for the majority of Kenyans. If this is not dictatorship, I don’t what it is,” he said.


He said all the gains of the Constitution promulgated in 2010 was overturned by the judgment, which in his words has allowed a few people to lead over the majority.

“The judgment has shown the voice of the people matters no more. What matters is the voice of a few people, who arrogate to themselves powers they don’t have,” he said.

He said the Constitution had entrenched democratic values, devolution and conferred on the people basic rights and freedoms and curtailed the power of the president to do as he pleased.

He told Justice David Maraga that the judgment does not fit within the meaning or spirit of the Constitution.

He was riled by the court when it said it will not hesitate to nullify presidential election if it is not conducted as provided by the law.


“They say numbers don’t matter but they refused to look at the important documents, which is the only way to determine the expression of people’s sovereign will,” he said.

He said the judges should have ordered a recount of the ballots if they were truly genuine in their push for justice.

“In a free country source documents best express people will, but the judges refused to look at them. They are lucky they are dealing with a polite man, who respects the constitution and is not interested in seeing Kenyans fight,” he said.

He told the leaders to support his bid and prove to the judges that no person has the power to overturn the will of the people.

He reiterated that he respects the court decision, saying repeat elections should be held within 60 days.


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Ntungamo-Mirama Hills Road Tarmacking Completed

By Justus Lyatuu

The construction of Ntungamo-Mirama Hills road has been completed. TradeMark East Africa, the contractor, handed over the road to Uganda National Roads Authority last week.

Moses Sabiti, TMEA country manager, said Mirama hills route now offers a shorter path to Rwanda than passing through the Katuna border post.

Sabiti explained that the unpaved section of 37km of the Northern Corridor Road Network was a major constraint to the one-stop-border point (OSBP) but now that the road is paved, movement of goods is expected grow between Kampala and Kigali.

“Improved physical infrastructure along the northern corridor that is fit for purpose will contribute to reducing the time to transport goods between Kampala and Kigali and, therefore, also contribute to reducing trade costs in East Africa,” Sabiti said.

The road cost $22 million funded by government and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) through TMEA. Sabiti further explained that delays at the border posts have been a non-tariff-barrier (NTB) especially for countries like Uganda and Rwanda which are landlocked.

“Traders lose up to $600 (Shs 2.1m) a day due to delays at border posts and that burden is passed onto the consumer,” he said.

However, Ronald Kweezi Mugisa, URA’s station head at Mirama hills, said traffic has been low but now that the road has been completed, more traders are expected to use the route.

“Currently we receive around seven buses a day from both sides and about 15 trucks going through the border. This is a very small number yet we can clear up to 30 trucks and 40 buses a day,” he said.

He added: “We have staff but there is less work to be done; our wish is people to use this facility more often.”

John Bosco Rusagara, the director, infrastructure transport and mobilization at East African Business Council (EABC), said the new road and OSBP will enhance the clearing and movement of goods.

What we want now is that the agencies here do their work 24 hours, that will encourage more transporters to use this facility,” he said.

Rusagara added: “URA should do their work 24 hours seven days a week; we also want space for clearing agents who will be able to direct trucks to use this route.”

Gabriel Ngabirano, a bus driver who operates on that route, said, although people suffer a lot at Katuna, they still prefer using the route because the Katuna border post operates 24 hours.


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EAC Eyes 30,000 Km Roads

By Marc Nkwame in Arusha

EAST African Community (EAC) member states envisage upgrading their 30,000-kilometre road network to bitumen standards in the coming 33 years.

At an average rate of 900 kilometres per year, the region’s entire road network will be covered by 2050 as provided for in the EAC Vision 2050.

Decent road infrastructure is among the development milestones detailed in the Vision 2050, which prioritises improved road networks to support industrialisation drive and ease movements of both people and goods.

“The EAC Partner States have agreed on ten transit transport corridors which constitute EAC Road Network, including twelve feeder corridors,” reads the EAC Vision document, maintaining that the infrastructure vision under the Road Transport Sub-sector will be achieved through developing the EAC Corridors.

It’s envisioned that 2050, the level of services along the main transport corridors will have improved substantially, reaching categories B and A, from the current average regional levels of C, D and E.

Current flagship projects include Uganda’s Entebbe and Kampala-Jinja Expressways, the Mombasa-Mariakani and Chalinze Expressways in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively. Of critical importance also will be the upgrading of secondary and feeder roads from gravel to bitumen standards, achievable through the use of low cost technology and local materials.

“The discovery of oil and gas in the region is a boon for road construction sector, as the costs of construction are likely to drop because of reduced import costs of petroleum based products,” reads the Vision document. The Vision document estimates the cost of developing the corridors at between 20 and 25 billion US dollars.

Projects prioritised under the Heads of State to relieve the congestion at the ports constitute much of the priorities in the sub- sector for the next 20-25 years.

But, revisions will be made to the projects especially those related to the community expansion to accommodate other countries, especially now that South Sudan has joined the EAC, after the Vision compilation.

The current East African Road Network covers Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania, including the Northern Corridor (Mombasa-Voi-Eldoret-Bugiri – Kampala-Masaka-Kigali-Kibuye – Kayanza-Bujumbura), measuring 1,800 kilometres.

The 3,100-kilometre Central Corridor covers Dar es Salaam – Morogoro-Dodoma-Singida – Nzega-Nyakanazi-Bujumbura to Kigali and Gisenyi and the Dar es Salaam (TAZARA) Corridor (Morogoro-Iringa-Mbeya -Tunduma) is 1,100 kilometres.

There is also the Namanga Corridor (Iringa-Dodoma-Kalema -Arusha-Nairobi-Thika-Murang’a – Embu-Nyeri-Nanyuki-Isiolo – Marsabit-Moyale), with 1,800 kilometres.

The Sumbawanga Corridor links Tunduma-Sumbawanga-Kasulu-Makamba-Nyanza Lac-Rumonge, all the way to Bujumbura, measuring 1,300 kilometres while the Sirari Corridor (Lokichokio -Lodwar-Kitale-Bungoma-Kisumu -Kisii-Mwanza-Biharamulo) is 1,500-kilometre long.

The Coastal Corridor (Mingoyo-Dar es Salaam; Chalinze-Vanga -Mombasa-Malindi-Lamu) has 1,500 kilometres.

The Mtwara Corridor (Mtwara-Mingoyo – Masasi-Tunduru-Songea-Mbamba Bay) is 800-kilometre long. There are also the 500-kilometre Arusha Corridor (Arusha-Moshi -Himo-Lushoto – A1) and the Gulu Corridor (Nimule – Bibia – Gulu – Lira – Soroti – Mbale -Tororo), 600 kilometres.

The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor (Lamu-Isiolo-Lodwar – Nadapal) transcends to Ethiopia through 1,700 kilometres.

The corridors bring the total EAC Road Corridor Network length to 15,800 kilometres, which if joined to other feeder roads, stretch to 30,000 kilometres in total.

University of Kigali Seeks More Experts to Boost Students Research

By Michel Nkurunziza

University of Kigali has opened search for 27 lecturers, mainly expatriates, as it looks to revamp research projects of master’s degree students in responding to the country’s development issues, Prof. Manasseh Nshuti, the chair board of promoters, has said.

Prof. Nshuti was speaking during a meeting that brought together university promoters, senior management staff, and bachelors and masters’ degree students to discuss various issues concerning education, new plans, and infrastructure development, among other academic issues.

“We are putting more efforts in promoting research. We have ordered for over 27 doctors and professors who are coming soon to help in revamping research projects for masters’ degree students, which should respond to the country’s development issues,” he said.

The university has a population of 4,500 students in Kigali and 1,300 in its Northern Province campus, but Prof. Nshuti said they could limit the number because of limited accommodation capacity.

“We have also hired experts from UK for quality control,” he said.

He stressed that the university could also soon start to grade (show marks on) student’s master’s degrees as a way of motivating performance and enabling successful competitiveness at international level, adding that research projects will be financed even for being published in researchers’ journals.

Prof. Nshuti urged students to improve English language skills so as to eliminate language barriers that could affect their competitiveness on wider market, adding that degrees without transformation in the society could be in vain.

Philbert Afrika, the chair of board of directors, said that once students work for only ‘paper degrees,’ the labour market could eliminate them.

“We are improving infrastructure, computer labs, lecturers and all to improve your quality but you have, first of all, to show your commitment,” he told the students.

He urged the students to challenge lecturers so as to promote participatory approaches in class.

Lydia Emuron, the deputy vice-chancellor for research, challenged students to be more aggressive.

“You have to pull teachers out of their comfort zone, challenge them and during your research projects you have to be aware that research problems and hypotheses come from community challenges,” she said.

“Once your mindset is set well, then nothing will fail you.”

South Africa: Eskom to Cut Power in Northern Provinces

Eskom is due to begin bulk power interruptions in the Free State, Northern Cape and Limpopo this week.

The power utility will today implement power supply interruptions in several municipalities in the Northern Cape, including Douglas and Griekwastad in the Siyancuma Local Municipality. The towns of Van der Kloof, Phillipstown and Petrusville in the Renosterberg Local Municipality will also be affected by today’s power interruptions.

Hopetown and Strydenburg in the Thembelihle Municipality and Postmasburg in the Tsantsabane Local Municipality are also scheduled to experience power cuts today.

The cuts are as a result of the non-payment of bills.

Limpopo, Free State

In Limpopo, the power utility is due to implement power interruptions in Thabazimbi, Ipelegeng, Regorogile X5 and 6 on Thursday.

In the Free State, Eskom will implement bulk electricity interruptions in the towns of Reitz, Lindley and Petrus Steyn in the Nketoana Municipality on 27 September.

The towns of Ladybrand, Excelsior, Tweespruit, Dawiesville in Mantsopa Municipality as well as Seretse, Boshof, and Dealsville in the Tokologo Municipality are also scheduled to have power interruptions on 27 September.

On the same day, the towns of Brandfort, Theunissen, Verkeerdevlei, Windburg,Bothaville, Wesselsbron, Bethlehem, Paul Roux, Rosenekal, Fateng-Tse-Ntsho, Kroonstad, Steynsrus as well as Viljoenskroon will also be subjected to power interruptions.

The power utility at the weekend said it remains mindful of the impact of supply interruptions on consumers.

“Eskom remains mindful of the impact such supply interruptions will have on electricity consumers, thus the interruption of supply to municipalities for non-payment is always implemented as a last resort.”

Suspension of interruptions in North West

However, the power utility has suspended its planned bulk electricity supply interruptions to several towns in North West.

The power utility was due to implement electricity interruptions in Lichtenburg, Coligny and Boikhutso on 27 September.

Eskom has further suspended power supply interruptions to Bloemhof, Christiana and Schweizer-Reneke, which were meant to take place on 10 October.

Interruptions to the towns of Coldridge, Vryburg and Stella, Delareyville, Sannieshof, Ottosdal, Koster and Swartruggens, which were due to take place on Wednesday, have also been suspended.

“Our engagements and negotiations with these municipalities have yielded mutually acceptable agreements, thus averting the scheduled interruptions. We hope that the municipalities will honour their commitments in order to ensure continuous supply of electricity.

“However, should they renege, we reserve the right to restart the interruptions without further notice,” said Group Executive: Customer Services, Ayanda Noah.

Nigeria: Measles – Nigeria Has Highest Number of Children in the World Not Immunised – Unicef

By Nike Adebowale

The incidence of measles among children under the age of five increased more than two-fold in the northern part of Nigeria between 2014 and 2016, a survey has revealed.

This was revealed just as UNICEF said the country has the highest number of children in the world not immunised with the first dose of measles vaccine.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said a surveillance data shows that measles incidence among children under five years increased in the northern part of Nigeria from 190 million in 2014 to 527 million in 2016.

He disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at a one-day media orientation forum for the 2017/17 Measles Vaccination Campaign.

Speaking at the event, a UNICEF official, Margaret Adaba, said Nigeria has over 3.3 million of such children, followed by India with 2.9 million.

She said that Nigeria needs to work on creating more awareness on measles vaccination.

Mr. Shuaib acknowledged the country’s challenge with measles and said the federal government plans to mitigate this through a nationwide measles vaccination campaign.

He noted that Nigeria still accounts significantly for the global measles burden, despite the successes achieved in the reduction of measles-related morbidity and mortality.

Mr. Shuaib said that the Measles Vaccination Campaign aims to reach 33 million eligible children in Nigeria.

He said that though the agency was able to reach 85 per cent of children in 2015, this year’s campaign must cover at least 95 per cent of children eligible for the vaccine.

Noting that the federal government has released about N3.5 billion in support of the campaign, Mr. Shuaib urged state governments to release their counterpart funds.

The nationwide Measles Vaccination Campaign will commence in the last quarter of 2017 and will focus on children between the ages of nine and 59 months.


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South Africa: Government Calls for Calm in Fishing Protest

Photo: Kimon de Greef/GroundUp

Police and residents of Hangberg clashed in Hout Bay.

The Department of Forestry and Fisheries says it has not taken a decision on the total allowable catch (TAC) for West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) for the 2017/18 fishing season.

The department on Wednesday said it is concerned that the recent protests linked to a rumoured reduction in the TAC is premature. The department has appealed for calm and it has urged law and order to be maintained to prevent destruction to lives and property.

According to the department, a consultative process is underway, which is based on a recommendation to reduce the TAC from the previous fishing season.

“This process is the normal one that is followed to determine the annual TAC and it must be stressed that the recommendation does not constitute a decision.

“The protest action based on a reduced TAC is misplaced and misleading, as the decision has not yet been finalised. The fishing season for WCRL starts on 1 October for the Northern Cape and 1 November for the other areas. The department will announce the TAC for the coming season shortly,” the department said in a statement.

Through the Fishing Rights Allocation Process (FRAP), the department has also made a significant provision in the WCRL fishery from both the Offshore and Nearshore sectors for the small scale fisheries as part of the implementation of the small scale fisheries policy.

Thousands of people depend on fisheries resources for food and as a source of income to meet basic needs.

“The importance of maintaining or even increasing the yields from these fisheries by sustainable harvesting and sound management that balances science and socio-economic parameters is of great importance to ensure that South Africa’s fisheries contribute to DAFF’s stated goals, which include food security and nutrition, job creation and contribution to the GDP. The responsibility of the department is to ensure that balance,” the department said.

The department said it recognises that fishers, particularly small-scale fishing communities, have legitimate grievances and demands, which the department is attempting to address together with the affected communities.

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Angola: Cuanza Norte – Over 500 People Get Medical Assistance At Massangano Pilgrimage

Massangano — At least 585 pilgrims were assisted by the Medical Emergency Services during the 13th pilgrimage to “Nossa Senhora das Victórias”sanctuary, held on 8-10 September in Massangano locality, Cambambe municipality in the northern Cuanza Norte province.

This was said to Angop on Sunday by the head of Cambambe Public Health sector, Luzirio Jorge, adding that the patient’s clinical state was of diarrhea, high blood pressure, headaches and faints, among other symptoms.

He explained that 19 medical technicians such as physicians and nurses were stationed at the region to secure the pilgrims’ medical assistance.

The event, held under the motto with “Our Lady of Victories, let’s be diligent in the prayers and breaking of bread”, counted on the participation of almost 7.000 pelgrims from various regions of Angola and foreign countries.

The pilmigrage to the sanctuary is an annually- held event promoted by the catholic community of “Order of the Capuchin Friars”, mainly marked by the candlelight procession, devotion and prayers.


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Cricketers Leave for South Africa

By Richard Mwangi

Kenya men’s cricket team leaves for South Africa on Wednesday to compete in the third edition of Africa T20 Cup in Kimberly, South Africa.

The T20 Cup, organised by Cricket South Africa as curtain-raiser tournament for its 2017-18 domestic season, will see 13 South African Provincial teams battle it out with a team each from Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe in four pools.

Kenya is in Pool C along with Northern Cape, Free State and KwaZulu Natal.

Kenya, coached by Thomas Odoyo, will open her title campaign against Free State on Friday.

They will meet Northern Cape on Saturday and play their last game against KwaZulu Natal on Sunday. All the games will take place at De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberly.

Odoyo said: “We have prepared well for the tournament by training in both Twenty20 and 50 overs formats of the game.”


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