Monday, 28 April 2014

NGO, RED CROSS HOLDS ANNUAL BLOOD DONATION CAMP

  

      
  

Identifying the dearth of blood for patients requiring urgent transfusion in hospitals, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Sant Nirankari Missionin conjunction with the Red Cross Societyof Nigeria, recently held its Annual Blood Donation Camp in Lagos.

The annual blood donation camp organised by the Sant Nirikari Mission, which is the 5th edition to be supervised by The Red Cross Society of Nigeria, witnessed large turnout of volunteers who turned out in large numbers with the sole aim of helping to ease the plight of patients in desperate need of blood. 

 Speaking on the sidelines after the blood donation exercise, coordinator of the NGO in Nigeria, Brig. Praveen Kapur RTD, while shedding light on the rationale behind the annual blood camp, said “Over the years we watched with keen attention the loss of lives at an alarming rate, mostly due to the non availability of blood for victims who needed urgent transfusion.

 

“This became very worrisome for us, making it pertinent that we get involved to save lives through this effort which started 5 years ago. As far as Nigeria is concerned, this is the fifth year in succession that we are organising the blood donation camp. We’ve had very encouraging responses in the past and we hope to continue next year”.


Praveen continued, “Today, both Indian and Nigerian doctor’s volunteer freely to this course helping us attend to donors and also most importantly certifying if blood being donated is suitable for transfusion and also on hand just in case anyone falls ill”.


Explaining the process, of the blood donation/transfusion, Praveen said, “Realising the delicacy of this blood donation exercise is why we have partnered the Red Cross Society of Nigeria to supervise the process, using the systematic process where in they test the blood pressure, grouping, weight, height etc. After all this is given the clear, the donor is then found suitable and fit to donate blood.

At this stage, all blood samples will be taken to Lagos State blood transfusion bank for screening, of all other infections.


 Also speaking, at the event, Red Cross Co-ordinator Mr. Eka Solomon, lent his voice to Praveen’s statement saying, a lot of patient’s who could have ordinarily been saved have died because of the unavailability of it.


“Creating an avenue where their plight can be eased is no doubt a very noble effort that must be commended. Having said that, we need to encourage a lot more organisations, to also toe the line of Sant Nirikari Mission in this worthy attempt of saving lives”, he said.


  According to Solomon, “inadequate awareness about blood donation is one of the biggest challenges still being faced by the Red Cross. A lot of people are not getting the information right or the education about blood donation”.


“We also encounter challenges when it comes to religious and traditional beliefs. Some do not support and believe in it. It does not matter what you tell those people, they will never support your programme. The other side is made up of those people who believe their blood could be used for ‘something else”.


Solomon further said, “In the light of this, efforts are being intensified to enlighten people more, so as to ensure that we are on the same page with them in terms of the facts which we believe could help change their conception and in return inspire them to support the course of saving lives”


“On the benefits of the blood donation to the donor, Solomon said “there are numerous benefits, many of which have been published in the newspapers by the WHO (World Health Organisation). The more you donate, the healthier you are”.


"Research conducted recently buttresses this point which states that once you donate blood, you live longer than those that do not donate. A donor who donates blood at least two times every year stands lesser risk of contracting heart diseases and cancer due to the fact that blood donation also stimulates growth in the bone marrow which helps produce blood at a faster and regular rate”.


Punch Journalist emerges Science Journalist Of The Year


                              



A correspondent with the Punch Newspaper, Miss Bukola Adebayo has emerged as the Science Journalist of the year at an award ceremony organised by the Nigerian Academy of Science.


The investigative story titled,"On The Track of Blood Merchants" according to the panel of judges, was selected due its accurate and in depth portrayal of the plight of Nigerian patients in need of blood in the nations hospitals.


The Chair of Panel of Judges for NAS Science Media Award, Prof. Olusegun Adewoye, while presenting the award, said the story was overwhelmingly voted for by all members of the panel for its contribution to knowledge of science.


He said,"This story calls for action in the health sector as people rather choose to sell their blood for commercial purposes instead of donating it voluntarily as it is done in other parts of the world". 


Adewoye charged journalists to look deep beyond the surface , dig deeper to tell stories that inform actions, policies from government and the public.

He congratulated Punch Newspapers for the organisations efforts at grooming their  journalists to be award winners, as the pervious winner was Ms. Toyosi Ogunlesi , the Sunday Editor, who later became CNN Journalist of the Year.


  


The winner, Ms. Bukola Adebayo while giving a vote of thanks expressed gratitude on being the Science Journalist of the Year. She said that the decision to investigate the story was born out of the need to expose and educate Nigerians on the dangers inherent in commercial blood donation.


She said,"There are cases where people have contracted deadly diseases in the process of purchasing and receiving blood from illegal sources like the commercial blood donors. I was concerned and this moved me to investigate this deadly trade". 



Adebayo thanked her editor for giving her all the needed support while carrying out the investigation and mentoring her these past years.


 The executive secretary of the Academy, Dr. Doyin Odubanjo, noted that the science media award was instituted to encourage Nigerian journalists to report on issues that are under-reported and impact directly on the lives of the citizens.


He reiterated that the media was a progressive partner in ensuring the needed change in the health sector and encouraged more reportage on issues that would result in health development in the country.

SAMSUNG BOOSTS ACCER AWARDS WITH TVS, IPADS AMONG OTHER AWARDS TO WINNERS

 

                                                           

                                                          PAN AFRICAN CLIMATE JUSTICE ALLIANCE

 


SAMSUNG East and Central Africa Co. Ltd has boosted thePan African Climate Justice Alliance’s 2014 ACCER Awardsfor journalists initiative with exciting prizes to the winners which includes television sets and iPads phones among other trophies.


The General Manager Mr. Allan Oyier said that Samsung is an environmental friendly company and is interested in working with other organizations involved in conservation and environmental protection. 


“The time is too short for us to make a very big impact but we shall offer TV sets, iPads and other trophies to the winners. We also look forward to long-term partnership with PACJA on ACCER Awards on an annual basis” he added.


Mr. Oyier also said that his organization is interested in sponsoring environmental friendly software application to run together with the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance’sACCER AwardsWe want to run an award together with ACCER Awards based on the development of a software application that is environmental friendly like our air conditioners etc. The winner will get big cash and Samsung big screen television prizes” he explained.


PACJA’s Communications Manager Dr. Joseph Kiyimbathanked Samsung for agreeing to partner with them this noblecause. “The 2014 African Climate Change and Environmental (ACCER) Awards competition, whose climax will be a Gala Night on 23rd June 2014 will recognize outstanding climate change and environmental journalists across Africa who will scoop various Awards in this vigorous competition” he said.


The event took place on Thursday April 3, 2014 at Samsung head offices off Wayaki Way in Nairobi Kenya.


The ACCER Awards is an initiative of PACJA that seeks to recognize journalists from across Africa that have, through their reporting, contributed to the understanding and conceptualization of climate change and environment as broader issue affecting development efforts. It also encourages constructive environmental focus in the African media, both at policy and policy implementation level and at the level of public awareness as key partners in environmental conservation and protection.


This is the second edition following the inaugural one that culminated into the Awards Gala Night that took place during the World Environment Day on 5th June 2013, bringing together 189 guests from Diplomatic Missions, UN Agencies, Civil Society, private sector, among others.

 

 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

On The Road:My 20 Year Travel Diary-(Season 4) Prayer as an insurance for safety.

     


In as much as I believe that Nigerians are among the most religious people on earth, you just have to be because we live in a situation where impossible is made possible. When an average Nigerian is traveling, praying is an integral part of the journey because all factors necessary to ensure a successful trip is usually not in place. 

                                                    
  

For example,  roads that are littered with potholes that can make even a pregnant woman experience forced labour.Harassment of police officers, FRSC officials, traffic gridlock that could last for close to six hours. All these  factors make an average traveler pray and look forward to more prayers till he/she gets to the final destination. 


It is a common act to enter a bus and the driver will play Christian music and messages till the end of the trip or see men with bible praying for passengers and at the end of the prayer encouraging passengers to support the work of the ministry. When the passengers think of all that may be encountered during the journey, they are forced to join in the prayers and "support the ministry" of the person leading the prayers. Oh, what a mobile evangelism? 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Perfect Scenario: More African Women Set To Go Natural


                      

For those of us who are passionate about Africa, perhaps the most refreshing development currently in the news, is the fact that many African women are gradually becoming confident in their natural beauty, and are finally rejecting “artificial beauty” altogether. Many African ladies are saying bye-bye to foreign wigs, hair relaxers and the bleaching cosmetics, which are perceived to be dangerous to the skin.

In February 1994, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Cancer Society released an epidemiologic study involving 573,000 women. The researchers found that Black women who had never used permanent hair relaxers showed decreased risk of all fatal cancers combined, as well as urinary system cancers.

There is also a recent shocking revelation which warned that “many of the hair care products on the market affect Black women’s ability of to have children. Consequently, women who regularly use these chemicals/cosmetics, stand a triple risk of getting fibroid”.

Perhaps this explains the reason why cancer, infertility and fibroid are becoming common in the lives of many  African women both home and abroad.

Therefore it is refreshing news that Black women throughout the world are gradually becoming aware of the above risks. This is an obvious reason why many campaigns are currently seeking to encourage Black women to keep their natural hair and to “go natural” so that they can spare themselves the risks of cancer and many more terrible consequences.

Natural hair campaign goes viral It is now confirmed that, the “Black is Beautiful” and the “No More Chemicals” campaign that were recently launched on the various social networks, have all gone viral.

From Facebook to Twitter, YouTube, through Google, many African women are increasingly embracing the idea to go natural; a development that has been hailed as a step in the right direction.

By choosing to go natural, African women are now sending a strong message to the world that they have finally had enough with all those chemicals/cosmetics that have unleashed untold consequences of cancer and reproductive-related problems on the women. It is also an indication that at last the days of “inferiority complex” among Black women are coming to an end.

As the ‘black is beautiful’ and the ‘no more chemicals’ campaigns become bigger and bigger by the day, it will be perceived that any African lady who might still be caught dancing to the tune of “artificial beauty”, is probably one of  those who still needs help to overcome her “inferiority complex”.

“There is nothing as beautiful as the natural African woman (without chemicals). African women must shun their inferiority complex and keep their natural hair, their natural skin colour and of course their natural African fashion. These are the best ways to keep our pride as Africans”, a comment on twitter suggested.

Recently, in a report titled: “No More Chemicals: More Black Women Choosing to Go Natural”, the writer made some wonderful revelations as to why many Black women have finally decided to go natural. They have found out about the danger that comes with the use of these chemicals to maintain their hair and their skin.

“I was pregnant and I knew anything I put on my body goes to the baby.” says Jimmere, a 29 year old woman who is now awake.

“Women are sharing information on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, everywhere. It’s endless,” says Espy Thomas, 31, of Detroit, who with her sister Jennifer, 29, hosts periodic natural hair meet-ups that attract hundreds of women, -the report explained.

The most important part of the report suggested the following:

“More and more Black women are opting to wear their natural hair and discontinuing the use of relaxers.”

This revelation was originally contained in a 2011 Mintel report which suggested that between 2006 and 2011, the sales of hair relaxer kits, have dropped drastically by 17%, an amount that translates into several millions of US dollars. The trend is “expected to continue,” the report concluded.

In an interview with some students at the University of Abuja, (Nigeria) Ufuoma, a lady in her early 20s made the following comment:

I feel very ashamed whenever I see my fellow Nigerian sisters/women trying to look like they’re from Asia or America, especially with those fake wigs here on campus. In my opinion, such African women merely suffer from inferiority complex. They don’t seem to appreciate that the African woman is much more beautiful in her natural form and even more respected by the real men out there. For this reason, I and a couple of friends have set out for ourselves the challenge to lead this campaign here in Abuja.

Another woman in her 30s who identified herself as Uche, made the following comment:

To be honest, even though I do not like the idea that some African women use hair relaxers and wigs to depict their confidence, I believe this trend is as a result of the impressions they get from watching TVs, movies and all these foreign fashion shows where such products are presented to them as ‘modern’ fashion/beauty. We seriously need some institutions that will put pressure on the media to educate our people because we are Africans and ‘they’ are not.  I think it will be a good idea to show our natural African beauty to the rest of the world too. Maybe if we do, they could also want to dress like us.

When reached for his comment, Emeka- a fashion designer and a movie star in Nigeria explained further:

Being a fashion designer in Africa used to be a very big challenge because the problem was not just about women. In fact many of our men especially the politicians never liked to dress the ‘African way’. It is very surprising to see men always in ‘suits and tie’ with heavy coats despite the hot African weather. However, I must admit that though this scenario is common in other African countries, here in Nigeria, our politicians dress the Nigerian way. I have never seen a Nigerian president wearing suit; rather they wear the Nigerian outfit even when they go on foreign trips. Our mothers also like to dress like African women. The major problem however has to do with the youth. Perhaps many of them were copying blindly from foreign fashion: a clear indication that the movie industry must sit up.

Shifting the revolution into full gear, the role of the politicians.


                          
    

       

The good news to us the African people is that this revolution has come at the most appropriate time. Fortunately, the African Union has recently declared a decade for women empowerment. At the same time, the AU itself is currently lead by Dr Dlamini-Zuma, a proud African woman whose African pride is reflected in her love for the traditional African fashion.

       

There are also many respectable women leaders in the likes of Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia. It is my appeal to these noble women of Africa to directly get involved and lead the revolution, so that we can together liberate the minds of every African woman especially the youth, to be proud of their natural beauty, and to portray the African fashion that reflects African norms and values.

Now is the right time for African women to free themselves and start their journey to healthy natural hair. This will enable us create a positive image about African identity to the outside world, to visit Africa, experience our values and appreciate our beautiful continent.


Identity In Brazil: “Our Children Do Not Know That They Are Black"


Racial Identity In Brazil e1391286618913 photo

Brazil still operate a caste system that places black skin at the bottom and white skin at the top

If you weren’t born and raised in Brazil (or any other Latin American country for that matter) the question of Black identity may not seem to be a complex issue. In the US, for  example, one is either Black or they are not, although one could argue that the multi-racial category/identity has significantly contributed to the debate.

Although the US once featured a mulatto category on its census, since the implementation of the “one-drop rule“, the issue became clear as anyone with any known African ancestry was recognized as Black….period. In Brazil, it isn’t quite as simple. While most Brazilians would argue that the country is free of the “one-drop” rule, in the current social structure one could accept this to be true. After all, if Brazilians were judged according to the “one-drop rule”, easily 80-90% of the population would be considered Black.

But historically speaking, there’s a little known side. Various sources (Tucci 2005, Boxer 1981, Lara 1988 and Viana 2007) document colonial Brazil’s discrimination against “infected blood/races”. According to Boxer, “All of the religious orders that had been instituted in Brazil maintained a racial discrimination against the admission of mulatos.” In this period, it was necessary for candidates who wanted to assume public positions, to prove their “purity of blood” as far back as fourth generation, a method that sought to “control the status of free persons of mixed race in the sphere of social hierarchies.”

Although, as stated previously, no one would be foolish enough to suggest that this “purity of blood” rule is still respected among the general population, when one studies the near identical socioeconomic status between Brazil’s so-called “pretos (negros/Blacks)” and “pardos (mulatos/browns)” and their disadvantages vis-a-vis the White population, one could argue that the system itself still maintains this restrictive measure, at least regarding those whose African ancestry is clearly visible.

Still today, as in colonial Brazil, being considered a preto or pardo is still regarded as a social penalty, as such, it’s not difficult to understand how many persons of visible African ancestry avoid a Black identity or are persuaded to classify themselves with terms designed to distance oneself from African ancestry.

I use myself as an example for the affirmation of the title, since I had problems accepting myself as Black, repeatedly looking at myself in the mirror, this when I was some 8 years old, not liking what I saw and believed in the verbal assaults I suffered at school, things like “cabelo de Bombril (scoring pad hair)”, “Hey, give me your hair so I can wash my house”, this reduction made ​​me grow up with a hatred of having such hair.

Since I realized my Blackness I open the eyes for our children who still suffer from this prejudice in schools, they are embarrassed not only in accepting their hair, but also accepting themselves as Blacks, because the idea that being Black is being inferior still lingers.

How many times saying to a child that her color is beautiful, did those children’s eyes look at me with disbelief without understanding where their beauty is.

Unfortunately what still perpetuates itself is the embranquecimento (whitening) of many who are born, newborn children are recorded as being branca (White), being that their parents are Black, the origin of those babies is not seen, but what is put forward is a facilitator that generalizes people with this culture “of not knowing their origins” even parents at the time of registration don’t interpose, for their children being registered as White is a (source of) pride.

The African origins are lost in a sea of prejudice, some children learn from birth that they should not accept (the religions) Umbanda and Candomblé (very repulsed Afro-Brazilian expressions) that are works of a demon that Whites created precisely so that afrodescendentes (Afro descendants) don’t know their African origin. If you ask in some public school class room which children consider themselves Black the answer is already known, not even half raises their hands, but more than half are Black.

Their mirrors are still blond dolls with light-colored eyed, in advertisements there are always White children with straight hair and this is not the reflection in which they see themselves, turning the color of their skin into a burden to carry for the rest of their lives.

Remembering that this text is not to generalize, because there are children who like cabelo crespo (kinky/curly hair), their dark skin, but this is a small portion.

I wrote a short story thinking about this issue of the visibility of Black beauty in the world of childhood.

On rua 19 (street) there was an artist who was happy to have a great desire to paint.

One day he with his brushes and paints in his hands looked at the screen and thought:

I know how to paint, where does my desire come from?

So the artist walked from one side to the other, scratched his forehead and decided to go out to the street.

He realized that for a long time he did not see dogs and people. He began to see how some places are colored and others not so much, he saw that people are of different colors; this left him with itchy hands and the more he saw people, animals and objects, the more he had this itch.

Until that the other side of the street he saw the most beautiful girl in the world, she was Black as the starless sky, her hair looked such soft clouds, the artist surprised by the beauty of the girl crossed the street and started talking to her .

“Where did you find the color of your skin?”

“I don’t know, I just know I was born this way.”

“But I had never seen such a color.”

“So you never looked around a lot, because there are many people with the same color as mine.”

And the girl walked away while the artist watched her.

He returned to the house and picked up his brushes and paints and when made his first stroke on the screen he discovered the desire to paint comes when we see people with beauty and respect.

He discovered that the differences are what bring the desire to paint.



Culled From AfricanGlobe

Friday, 11 April 2014

Nigerian Among Innovation Prize for Africa 2014 Finalists Announced

 


 

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) announced the finalists of the prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2014. Ten African innovators have created practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems, from a domestic waste biogas system to a wafer matrix for paediatric antiretroviral (ARV) drug treatment. Chosen from almost 700 applications from 42 countries, the finalists for the IPA 2014 represent Africans’ potential to address the challenges that are unique to the continent.

 

 

The winners of the IPA 2014 will be announced at an awards ceremony on 5th May in Abuja, Nigeria, where keynote speaker, the Honourable Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Minister of finance, will highlight the importance of innovation to unlock Africa’s potential for sustainable development and economic growth. The winner will receive USD 100 000 for the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and clear business potential.  A runner up will receive USD 25 000 for the best commercial potential and another winner will receive USD 25 000 as a special prize for innovation with the highest social impact.  Prior to the awards ceremony, a roundtable featuring innovation experts will take place, to address the theme “A Path to Building Industrial Nation Skillsets in Africa”.

 

“As global leaders gather for the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa to discuss approaches to inclusive growth and job creation, the IPA 2014 innovators demonstrate that the best way to achieve equitable economic growth for all Africans is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, founder of the African Innovation Foundation and the IPA. 

 

From South Africa to Niger, the IPA 2014 finalists are:

 

•          Ashley Uys (South Africa)

OculusID Impairment Screening

The OculusID Impairment Screening device is designed to measure pupil response to light emissions. The pupil response can then be measured against pre-determined benchmarks. These benchmarks are applied to measure substance abuse, physiological defects and even fatigue. The device is a far less invasive procedure than existing methods.

 

•          Daniel Gitau Thairu (Kenya)

Domestic Waste Biogas System

The Domestic Waste Biogas System is a new type of biogas digester which utilizes any material capable of decomposing instead of relying on animal dung to generate gas. Materials that can be used include dirty water, leftover food, spoiled grain, and vegetable and fruit peelings. This makes biogas usable even by households that cannot afford animals.

 

•          Elise Rasel Cloete (South Africa)

GMP Traceability Management Software CC

This software is programmed to capture, store and trace data about livestock and enables data to be captured in real-time. The data is then stored in an ear tag placed on livestock and backed up on a remote server.

 

•          Joshua Okello (Kenya)

WinSenga

This innovation is a low-cost mobile phone based antenatal diagnosis kit that captures foetal heart beat sounds and provides diagnosis which is sent to the mother through SMS. The data can also be uploaded to cloud storage.

 

•          Logou Minsob (Togo)

Foufoumix

This is a device designed to replace the mortar and pestles used in preparing the popular West African dish, foufou. The “FOUFOUMIX " is a small electrical food processor that allows generates discreet, quick and hygienic foufou in 8 minutes, substantially reducing the amount of time needed to prepare the dish, while also enhancing the hygienic conditions during production.

 

•          Dr. Nicolaas Duneas (South Africa)

Altis Osteogenic Bone Matrix (Altis OBM™)

Altis OBM is the world’s first injectable bone-graft product containing a complex mix of various bone growth compounds derived from porcine (pig). It is used to stimulate the host’s own tissue regeneration system in a way that leads to the healing of a fracture or bone void, much in the same way as occurs in a normal unassisted fracture healing processes.

 

•          Maman Abdou Kane (Niger)

Horticultural tele irrigation

The "Horticultural Tele-Irrigation system is a technological process that allows growers to remotely control their market garden irrigation system through a mobile or landline regardless of geographic location.

 

•          Melesse Temesgen (Ethiopia)

Aybar BBM

The Aybar BBM is a low-cost farming device that can be used by farmers to plough fields that are usually waterlogged and helps them easily drain the water. This turns soils or fields that were otherwise unavailable for farming into high yielding fields.

 

•          Sulaiman Bolarinde Famro (Nigeria)

Farmking Mobile Multi-crop Processor

The innovation uses centrifugal forces to process cassava, sweet potatoes, soy, she-nuts, grains and cereals. It helps to separate the tubers from liquid, particles and impurities/toxic elements. The extractor is designed to replace the present crude fermentation and pressing technology which is extremely slow and wasteful and offers limited output and profitability. The extractor reduces a process that normally takes 3 - 4 days into a 5 minute process offering higher quality product outputs.

 

•          Viness Pillay (South Africa)

WaferMatTM

WaferMatTM is a tasty paediatric formulation of ARV therapy in the form of a wafer that dissolves within 3 seconds of being placed in the mouth. The wafer makes the process of administering the drug to children easier and also makes absorption more efficient.

 

The AIF believes that the best solutions to the challenges Africans face on a daily basis can and will come from Africans themselves and innovation is the key. The IPA selection committee represents private equity investors, seed funders, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, innovation catalysts and development leaders who are looking for ideas that move Africa forward.  The call for applications for IPA 2015 will be announced in July. 

Pollution Forces Wealthy Chinese To Migrate



A number of China's wealthy have decided to emigrate overseas or move to smaller cities, spurred by the country's worsening environmental conditions. The trend has resulted in a structural change in China's society, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Commercial Times, citing an annual blue book on Chinese International Migration (2014).

The blue book, issued by the Center for China & Globalization (CCG), found that many members of China's upper middle class have expressed concerns about the country, most notably the country's air pollution, drinking water problem, as well as food safety scandals.

Citing a 2013 survey conducted by the Chinese monthly magazine New Fortune, CCG revealed nearly 70% of those polled stated that the worsening environmental conditions and quality of healthcare were some of the major reasons for their immigration.

Last year, smog became a serious issue for Chinese nationals, with the air pollution continuing to plague cities across the country this year.

The severe smog has not only affected the lives of the Chinese, but also aroused global concern. The UK's Financial Times reported that serious air pollution in Beijing has forced some foreign nationals to leave the capital city, making it increasingly difficult for companies to recruit foreign talent.

As of last year, the number of mainland Chinese nationals moving abroad was up 128.6% in 23 years, while urbanites, who still chose to reside in their home country but can no longer tolerate the smog and crowded living environment, are moving to smaller cities with better environmental conditions, such as Dali in southwestern China's Yunnan province, Weihai in eastern China's Shandong and Zhuhai in the southern province of Guangdong.

Observers predict that a growing number of residents from big cities will move to the countryside during the next five to eight years.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

On The Road: My 20 Years Travel Diary - Season 3(Night Traveling).

                      


As a teenager, I so  much love travelling at night because I believe it availed me the opportunity to multitask and still travel. But with the increasing level of insecurity and deadly tales of robberies, rape and accidents I now have a great phobia for night travel. During my  travelling at night, I saw the good,the bad and the ugly. There where times when our bus drivers would unknowingly pick passengers on the way while trying to make extra cash and end up carrying armed robbers who will later rob the whole passengers. There were cases of couples who when they got carried away in romantic mood would forget they were in a public bus. There was this particular experience where our bus broke down and we all came down to help the driver and the conductor in fixing the bus.By the time we finished and got to Lagos we were all looking like mechanics. 

Night traveling is simply a time for anything to go wrong, from bus breaking down, to lack of fuel, getting stocked in potholes in the middle of nowhere as most of the major highways are along bush and forest. 

I doubt if attachment is still allowed these days. Attachment is a situation whereby after all the  seats in  a luxury bus are filled up, some passengers will be charged half the normal price and given wooden seats  placed in the middle of the bus that is meant to be the aisle. Sometimes these attachment passengers get so relaxed that they will start acting like legitimate passengers who paid the full price for their seats. 


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

This Is Far From Climate Change.



According to the United States Secretary of State John Kerry, climate change ranks among the world's most serious problems- such as disease outbreaks, poverty, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.


Also the Inter-governmental panel on climate change IPCC's recent reports indicated that climate change is a threat to the earth and man's relationship. Among such relationship's is the arable farmers and nomads relationship. The struggle for fertile lands and greener pastures for herds has increasingly put farmers and nomads against each other causing communal clashes.


Nigeria is not exempted from this struggle with more violent clash resulting in death and destruction of properties and communities sacked. The clash between the Fulani herdsmen and the Tiv tribe in Benue state North-Central Nigeria is becoming worrisome. The crisis has also spilled to the highway with recent attacks on commercial public buses. The Fulani herdsmen has attacked lots of communities in the country with some communities now internally displaced and staying in resettlement camps.



Can these attacks be said to be linked with the struggle for greener pastures and arable lands? I doubt, because the Fulani herdsmen were well armed and attack communities when they least expected. I once linked the growing Fulani herdsmen attack with terrorism, this is because the herdsmen know routes where the military will not be mounting road blocks and can successfully move weapons for terrorist groups. The Fulani herdsmen know the appropriate routes to follow due to there indigent knowledge as they graze across the country, and avoid the prying eyes of security operatives who have been massively deployed to the North-eastern part of the country since the wake of the Boko Haram insurgent. They serve to "geo-tag" the area as they graze and know how to attack communities.


I believe if the Fulani herdsmen attack is not checked, terrorism will continue to grow with loss of lives and properties. Also many communities will be internally displaced. Are we waiting to become refugees in our own country because these attacks are far from climate change.