Category Archives: Politics

UN: Half of Drought-Hit Somalia Needs Aid in 2018

NAIROBI, KENYA About 6.2 million people in Somalia - half the population - need emergency aid, such as food, water and shelter, due to unprecedented drought and ongoing conflict, the United Nations said on Wednesday, appealing for $1.6 billion.

The drought - spanning four consecutive poor rainy seasons - has forced millions from their homes and left hundreds of thousands of children malnourished. One in four people in the Horn of Africa nation faces the risk of hunger.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said donors raised enough funds in 2017 to avert famine and stave off an outbreak of cholera, but the situation was set to worsen this year without sufficient aid.

"We are likely to see sectors such as shelter being sub-funded, and then you will see people out in the open, with no adequate shelter - and having very little to conduct their lives with," said Peter de Clercq, head of OCHA in Somalia.

"We will also see more children with acute malnutrition, and there will be less children in school," he said by video conference from Mogadishu, the Somali capital.

Somalia's 2011 famine killed 260,000 people, half of whom died before the official declaration of famine, caused by drought, war and lack of access for humanitarian aid.

The country has been mired in conflict since 1991. Its weak, Western-backed government is struggling to assert control over poor, rural areas under the Islamist militant group al Shabaab - challenging the delivery of aid to the most needy.

Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre thanked the international community for the $1.3 billion raised last year, but warned there was no room for complacency.

"We face similar challenges and risks this year and the years to follow," said Hassan.

"Drought and conflict will continue to affect the lives of millions of Somalis. They will continue to displace thousands more. I request on behalf of the government and Somali people for continued support from international partners."

Source: Voice of America

SOUTH AFRICA’S CAPE TOWN DIGS DEEP TO MITIGATE DROUGHT

CAPE TOWN, In a bid to stave off Day Zero, the South African City of Cape Town is drilling its aquifers to abstract groundwater, which are expected to offer much needed water relief for the drought stricken city.

I [recently] announced that the recent groundwater survey had confirmed that aquifers around Cape Town could deliver at least 150 million litres of water per day.

The Cape Flats aquifer will deliver 80 million litres per day, the Table Mountain Group aquifer will deliver 40 million litres per day, and the Atlantis aquifer will deliver 30 million litres per day, said City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille.

Prime locations have been identified to abstract more water from these three aquifers.

The groundwater abstraction projects form part of the city's programme to supply additional water from desalination, water recycling and groundwater abstraction.

Abstracting groundwater in bigger volumes means that the city can deliver more water to residents at a lower cost. A company contracted by the city started to drill for water at the Mitchells Plain water works last week.

This site was chosen based on the hydrogeological information and the likelihood of it delivering a safe yield of water from the aquifer, said Mayor De Lille.

The Mitchells Plain site is an exploration and monitoring borehole that will provide data about the conditions in the area. All exploration boreholes are designed to potentially become production boreholes in the future.

The city will drill in Strandfontein, Philippi, Wesbank, Bishop Lavis and Kayelitsha to look for the best abstraction points to get water from the Cape Flats aquifer.

According to the city, the programme is based on an environmentally sensitive approach that will ensure sustainable water abstraction, ensuring generations of Capetonians will benefit from this groundwater.

This is the first time such an extensive mapping has been done and will ensure responsible use of groundwater through, for instance, the water recharge of these aquifers, said the City.

De Lille urged residents to continue to save water, despite the city's work to secure new water sources.

The City of Cape Town is working around the clock to bring new water supplies online but we need buy in from all residents.

I cannot stress it enough: all residents must save water and use less than 87 litres per day. If we continue to use more than 500 million litres of water per day, we will reach Day Zero on 22 April 2018. We must avoid Day Zero and saving water is the only way we can do this, said De Lille.

Day Zero is the day when taps will be closed and residents will be required to get water from various designated water collection points.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

No jobs advertised by Defence Force

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has noted false advertisements that have been circulating on social media on the recruitment of new members for the Military Skills Development System (MSDS).

The SANDF said it has not issued any advertisement with regards to the recruitment of new members yet.

The advertisement for 2018 recruitment will be published in the Sunday newspapers on 21 January 2018 and in the Daily Sun newspaper on Monday, 22 January 2018.

Furthermore, the SANDF neither sells application forms nor uses recruitment agencies in its recruitment processes.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Suspected human trafficker remanded in custody

CAPE TOWN �Chibuike Innocent Nwosu (39), has been remanded in custody by the Cape Town Magistrate's Court following his brief appearance for allegations of human trafficking on Monday.

Nwosu was arrested last week Thursday in Milnerton, when a multidisciplinary team consisting members of the Hawk's Anti-human trafficking, K9 and local police followed � up on information regarding an apparent human trafficking case.

The raid resulted in two female victims both aged 22 being freed and taken to a place of safety. The victims had been allegedly forced to work as sex-workers after they were reportedly lured from Mpumalanga and Free State respectively in 2017, with offers of employment. Investigations continue.

Source: South African Police Service

Transport Minister visits train accident scene

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi and the MEC for Police, Roads and Transport in the Free State, Sam Mashinini, have visited the site where Shosholoza Meyl train 37012 derailed at Jeneva level crossing between Henneman and Kroonstad.

The train was travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg today when the unfortunate incident occurred. At time of Minister Maswanganyi's visit to the crash scene, 12 people were confirmed dead and 239 critically injured. The train had 429 passengers on board.

Minister Maswanganyi confirmed that preliminary investigations indicate that the derailment was caused by the truck, which untimely crossed the level crossing at around 9am. Investigations indicate that the power car caught fire, which crossed over to the next coach.

The damages caused by the derailment have affected seven coaches, one of which is a power car that helps in the generation of power in the train.

Emergency services, including fire brigades, were immediately called to the scene to conduct emergency rescue operations. Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) investigators will immediately commence with their investigations.

Minister Maswanganyi has directed the RSR and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to work closely and expedite the investigations into the circumstances that led to the derailment.

To ensure further safety and comfort of passengers, PRASA will provide alternative transport to all passengers.

Minister Maswanganyi has sent his heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and wished the crew and passengers admitted in hospitals a speedy recovery.

Source: South African Government News Agency

The police condemn the attacks on elderly

The South African Police Service condemns the continuous attacks of elderly persons in a number of areas of this province.

This condemnation follows the arrest of a 26-year-old man for the brutal killing of a 75-year-old woman in the Mphephu Policing area outside Thohoyandou on 19 December 2017 at about 18:40 at Tshikuwi village.

It is alleged that the deceased, Elsie Makhokha, was seated in the lapa together with her grandson and she then decided to go inside the house. Her grandson followed her and closed the doors of the house and later, smoke was seen coming from the house. Family members screamed for help and community members responded, broke the windowpane, pulled the deceased out of the house and she was certified dead by the EMS upon their arrival at the scene. The suspect (grandson) tried to run away but members of the community chased him until they captured him and summoned the Police who arrested him. The motive behind this incident is still unknown. The suspect will appear before the Dzanani Magistrate Court soon.

The Police investigations are still continuing.

Source: South African Police Service

Be vigilant in rainy weather

With the widespread rainy conditions over the central and eastern parts of the country this morning, the South African Weather Service says the rain is expected to become heavy in places until Wednesday, leading to a serious risk of flash flooding.

The areas which will be mostly affected will be central and eastern North West, northern and north-eastern Free State, Gauteng, southern Mpumalanga, as well as north-western KwaZulu-Natal and the Midlands.

The increase in cloud on Tuesday will also result in lowered daytime temperatures, especially over Free State and North West.

Indications are that some places may receive as much as 100mm in a 36-48 hour period. This would result in potential incidents of flooding. In addition, severe storms are possible on Tuesday in the north-eastern parts of the Northern Cape province, where strong winds, hail and possibly heavy downpours can be expected, said the weather services.

The heaviest rain is expected along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday where there will the added effect of the low-level onshore flow of the wind caused by the ridge of the surface high pressure system.

The weather services urged the public to take note of the following precautions during flooding:

- If walking outdoors, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles.

- Just 15cm of fast-moving flood water can knock a person off their feet and a depth of 60cm is enough to float a car.

- Never drive on a road covered by water. You do not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away.

- If trapped within a vehicle by rising waters, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.

- Listen to special warnings on radio/or television.

- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognise flood dangers.

The South African Weather Service said it will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Be vigilant in rainy weather

With the widespread rainy conditions over the central and eastern parts of the country this morning, the South African Weather Service says the rain is expected to become heavy in places until Wednesday, leading to a serious risk of flash flooding.

The areas which will be mostly affected will be central and eastern North West, northern and north-eastern Free State, Gauteng, southern Mpumalanga, as well as north-western KwaZulu-Natal and the Midlands.

The increase in cloud on Tuesday will also result in lowered daytime temperatures, especially over Free State and North West.

Indications are that some places may receive as much as 100mm in a 36-48 hour period. This would result in potential incidents of flooding. In addition, severe storms are possible on Tuesday in the north-eastern parts of the Northern Cape province, where strong winds, hail and possibly heavy downpours can be expected, said the weather services.

The heaviest rain is expected along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday where there will the added effect of the low-level onshore flow of the wind caused by the ridge of the surface high pressure system.

The weather services urged the public to take note of the following precautions during flooding:

- If walking outdoors, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles.

- Just 15cm of fast-moving flood water can knock a person off their feet and a depth of 60cm is enough to float a car.

- Never drive on a road covered by water. You do not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away.

- If trapped within a vehicle by rising waters, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.

- Listen to special warnings on radio/or television.

- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognise flood dangers.

The South African Weather Service said it will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system.

Source: South African Government News Agency