Environment

Govts Urged to Curb Air Pollution

If South Africa implements the World Health Organisation's landmark resolutions on air pollution, the government will have to take action against polluting companies, including Eskom.
 
After discussing air pollution for the first time at the World Health Assembly, the United Nations' health body adopted resolutions intended to counter the world's most serious single environmental health risk.
 

Over 2 000 Maputo Vehicles Run On Natural Gas

According to Autogas, a company that converts vehicles to run on gas rather than liquid fuels, more than 2 000 vehicles powered by natural gas are now on the roads in Maputo city and province.

Speaking to AIM, Autogas, general manager, Joao das Neves, believes that, if the trend to replace petrol and diesel by gas continues, then Mozambique could save perhaps US$500 million on its bill for imported fuels over the next 10 years.

The number of vehicles powered by gas rose from 700 in 2013 to over 2 000 in 2015.

SA Rescue Team Leaves Nepal

The specialised South African search and rescue team that scrambled to aid earthquake-struck Nepal, leaves the capital of Kathmandu.
 
The team, made up of paramedics, firefighters and urban search and rescue technicians has been in the country for a week.

Lack of Funding Hinders Development

The chairperson of Botswana’s Organisation of Wildlife Victims Welfare (OWVW), Oefile Tladi, says that lack of funding for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) hinders their development.
 
Tladi argues that despite lack of funding and manpower, OWVW is determined to reach its mandate and objectives of reducing deaths or injuries caused by wild animals and increasing safety in wild life areas by conducting public education.
 

Shell Rushing Govt Over Fracking

The Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) says reports that oil and gas multinational Shell is reviewing its plans for fracking outside the Americas could be a ‘Trojan horse’.
 
In a press statement, TKAG head, Jonathan Deal, points out that this could be a clever ploy to pressure government into speeding up shale gas exploration licences and regulations.
 

US$50m for Areas Affected by Floods

The World Bank has assured of assisting Malawi with US$50 million to help in maintaining areas that were affected by the recent floods.

Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, points out that, “The [World] Bank decided to help the country having considered the diverse impact of the flooding and the desperate need for a quick response."

Gondwe says that apart from assisting those affected with the calamity, the money will also be used in rebuilding damaged roads, bridges, schools and houses of people affected.

SA Urged to Switch to Renewable Energy

Greenpeace anti-nuclear activists have unfurled a banner at the 2nd Nuclear Industry Congress Africa 2015 in Sea Point which read ‘nuclear investments cost the Earth’.
The banner hung for a short while in the hotel foyer where delegates were registering for the congress, until hotel security asked activists, perched on a ledge above it, to come down.

Greenpeace’s Melita Steele, says that their intention have been to ‘communicate directly with the congress delegates, which we did, so we came down’.

SA Urged to Invest in Renewable Energy

As rolling blackouts leave many South Africans in the dark, Greenpeace Africa says the government is not fast-tracking investments in renewable energy, but is instead pushing forward with unsustainable, unaffordable plans for nuclear expansion which would deliver too little, too late, and at far too high a price.

Greenpeace Africa spokesperson, Mbong Akiy Fokwa Tsafack, points out that South Africa is in the midst of a crushing energy crisis - one of the worst to date.

Lack of Funding Threatens Climate Change Response

According to Madalitso Mwando, Zimbabwe is struggling to pay for measures to cope with climate stresses and weather-related disasters, such as recent floods, amid domestic spending cuts and slow progress in accessing international finance.

Mwando says the budget for the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate has been reduced to US$52 million for 2015, from US$93 million set aside for 2014.

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