MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government against pushing his […]
CONTROVERSIAL Zanu PF-linked cleric Obadiah Msindo has
claimed that opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa lost a golden opportunity to
push for electoral reforms for the 2023 general elections when he spurned
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s offer to ap…
TWO serving members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police
appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court on Friday facing theft charges after
they allegedly raided a project manager of an infrastructure development
company and made off with US$41 462, which he …
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has never interfered with the operations of the Judiciary as it is an independent arm of the State whose decisions are not influenced by any political interests, Chief Justice Luke Malaba has said. In an exclusive interview with The…
A 21-YEAR-OLD man, who was last month convicted of
assaulting Health minister Obadiah Moyo’s daughter Ashleigh and sentenced to
five months’ imprisonment, has appealed against both conviction and sentencing,
saying the presiding magistrate erred.
Source: Pro-ivory countries should quit Cites | The Herald 02 SEP, 2019 There’s no doubt there are countries who will be willing to trade in ivory outside Cites under clearly defined rules of accountability Jeffrey Gogo Climate Story A few days ago Zimbabwe tried for the umpteenth time to convince Cites to allow trade in registered raw […]
Source: Pro-ivory countries should quit Cites | The Herald 02 SEP, 2019
Jeffrey Gogo Climate Story
A few days ago Zimbabwe tried for the umpteenth time to convince Cites to allow trade in registered raw ivory under a controlled and sustainable model, but failed. Well, it may be the last petition from the country under the Convention on such matters really, which by some measure it should be.
So the decision followed within hours of the rejection that Zimbabwe may leave the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (Cites). President Mnangagwa dropped the bombshell. The decision isn’t cast in stone yet, but it is not something that came as a total surprise.
With a puppet block of countries from eastern and western Africa, backed by wealthy pseudo-animal rights groups from the West, the Geneva leg of the biennial Cites conference, which ended after two weeks on August 28, looked to be always gravitating towards a complete ban on commercial ivory trade.
And so it did. Governments overwhelmingly turned down proposals by a group of range states within SADC to reopen global trade in ivory, even for a one-time sale to Cites-approved countries. In the alternative, a band of 32 puppet African nations calling itself the African Elephant Coaltion pressed, with some success, to permanently end any trade in ivory, and in live elephants outside their natural habitats.
This eventuality had been building up for decades, since 1989, when all populations of the African elephant were listed as an endangered species under a Cites categorisation called Appendix I, effectively ending international trade in ivory.
The protection was relaxed between 1997 and 2000 when populations in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe were down-listed to Appendix II, a less endangered status, to allow two once-off sales of ivory stockpiles to Japan and China in 1999 and 2008.
That was the last time any ivory was ever traded under Cites, even though illegal, underground markets continue to flourish. Now the message is sinking home to those countries within SADC who had hoped that Cites will see reason for reopening global commercial ivory markets. The reality is that, save for some miracle, this may never happen.
Hence, the sharp reaction from not only Zimbabwe, but also Namibia, threatening to quit the Convention they accuse of evolving into a monopoly institution, pandering to the whims of Western interests and manipulation, at the expense of genuine wildlife issues. It is not an outrageous threat from the two neighbouring countries. It has happened before, very recently as a matter of fact. After more than 30 years of lobbying, and failing, Japan eventually withdrew from the International Whaling Commission effective July 2019, allowing the nation of many islands to resume whale hunting.
Japan argues hunting and eating whales are part of its culture. Likewise, Zimbabwe argues ivory trade is a key source of revenue for elephant conservation as well as general community upkeep. Japan has now granted permits to catch 227 minke, Bryde’s and sei whales this year in Japanese waters, its first commercial hunt since 1986.
When Zimbabwe eventually leaves Cites, if it chooses to so do, which it should, it will no longer be subject to the rules of the Convention, just as much as Japan is no longer bound by the International Whaling Commission rules.
Any attempts at withdrawal by Zimbabwe, and indeed Namibia, should not be considered an act of rebellion against global legally-binding treaties, but simply one of national preservation against an incapable, manipulative institution.
It is clear all channels to effect change from within Cites have been followed, and failed. Attention-seeking stunts such as burning the stockpiled tusks, as did Kenya a few years ago, don’t look like they are an option.
There’s no doubt there are countries who will be willing to trade in ivory outside Cites under clearly defined rules of accountability, governance and transparency, which do not fuel illegal killings of the African elephant.
God is faithful.
Source: Africa’s groundwater reserves may be more resilient than first thought | The Herald 02 SEP, 2019 Groundwater reserves in Africa are estimated to be 20 times larger than the water stored in lakes and reservoirs above ground. These are the freshwater stores that flow in rocks and sediment beneath the Earth’s surface. They are […]
The post Africa’s groundwater reserves may be more resilient than first thought appeared first on Zimbabwe Situation.
Source: Africa’s groundwater reserves may be more resilient than first thought | The Herald 02 SEP, 2019
Groundwater reserves in Africa are estimated to be 20 times larger than the water stored in lakes and reservoirs above ground.
These are the freshwater stores that flow in rocks and sediment beneath the Earth’s surface.
They are a vital source of drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa, where groundwater is often the only year-round supply of fresh water in rural areas. Increasingly it is being used in towns and cities as well.
Accessed through wells, boreholes and springs, groundwater is so valuable because it can be found almost anywhere and is generally high quality.
It is often a more reliable source during drought than other water sources. As climate change affects the reliability of water supplies at the surface, more freshwater will likely be drawn from beneath the ground to support rising populations and to irrigate crops.
The big question is how much groundwater can be used sustainably as the climate changes?
Despite its obvious importance, surprisingly little is known about how groundwater in sub-Saharan Africa is replenished and how resilient it is to climate change.
The main reason for this is that, until now, scientists haven’t had access to groundwater level records that go far enough back to see how the climate and groundwater are linked. So regional assessments of groundwater have, to date, relied on computer simulations that aren’t tested by groundwater data.
Since 2014, scientists from across Africa and the world have compiled and analysed decades of groundwater and rainfall records from across sub-Saharan Africa.
The aim is to understand how the amount of water stored underground varies from place to place according to the climate and the geology.
The team found 14 long-term records from nine countries, with environments ranging from very dry deserts to humid areas with more rainfall and vegetation.
Groundwater levels are determined by the relative balance between recharge — the process by which groundwater is replenished — and discharge — the flow of groundwater to springs, streams, wetlands and the sea.
The withdrawals people make, for irrigation or drinking water, also contribute to reducing the amount of stored groundwater.
By analysing long records of groundwater level and rainfall, our team showed that in wetter parts of Africa groundwater is mostly replenished by rainfall that trickles down through the soil to the water table, and that this occurs consistently over large areas.
But in drier regions, groundwater is mostly recharged locally by water leaking into it from temporary streams and ponds, which only flow after particularly heavy rainfall.
This finding is important because previous studies have ignored how much leaking streams and ponds contribute to groundwater, and so are likely to have underestimated how well groundwater can be replenished in dry regions.
Climate change’s silver lining?
This has profound implications for our understanding of how resilient groundwater in Africa will be to climate change.
It reveals that groundwater recharge is very sensitive to the intensity of rainfall, not just the overall amount of rain. This is especially true in the most naturally water scarce parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
These findings challenge predictions from computer models that freshwater will become scarcer in African drylands as climate change reduces rainfall.
Instead, global warming is making rainfall come in fewer but heavier bursts — that could actually be good for increasing groundwater recharge overall.
Heavy rainfall and floods are often caused by weather patterns such as El Niño and La Niña. These are predictable up to nine months in advance.
So, groundwater recharge could be enhanced by capturing a portion of flood water and storing it underground where it can later be withdrawn for drinking or irrigation during dry periods.
In some areas, the land surface might not be able to accept all of the potential replenishment that is available from rainfall.
This happens when rocks are not very porous and unable to store much water, or in wetter areas where the water table is shallow. Pumping groundwater in such areas could create more “room” to accommodate greater seasonal replenishment.
The World Health Organisation (WHO)estimated in 2015 that 319 million people in sub-Saharan Africa still lacked access to safe water.
This is also the only region in the world where per capita food production fell over the 20th century.
As populations here grow, people will need to be able to withdraw more freshwater to drink and grow food in the face of more frequent droughts.
Crop irrigation fed by groundwater could be an important solution. This new research helps to show when and where groundwater could provide drinking water and be used to irrigate crops in a sustainable way, so that the stores of groundwater will still be there for future generations.
For this, monitoring of groundwater levels should continue and be expanded across Africa. — The Conversation.
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Source: Fake products slow down solar revolution | Herald (Opinion) Sifelani Tsiko Agric, Environment & Innovations Editor Fake solar inverters, bulbs and batteries have flooded the local market, an energy expert has warned saying the country’s energy regulatory authority will soon embark on a blitz to flush out dealers selling fake products. Engineer Nobert Mataruse, a […]
Sifelani Tsiko Agric, Environment & Innovations Editor
Fake solar inverters, bulbs and batteries have flooded the local market, an energy expert has warned saying the country’s energy regulatory authority will soon embark on a blitz to flush out dealers selling fake products.
Engineer Nobert Mataruse, a top Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority official, told participants at an energy conference recently that customers had to be cautious because the market was awash with fake solar products.
“In recent months we have witnessed an influx of solar products which are not appropriate,” he said. “We will be descending on the culprits at the Gulf Complex (a market in downtown Harare) who are selling fake products.
“There are some unscrupulous dealers who are selling solar panels which are inscribed 300w when in actual effect they only generate 200w or less. ZERA has taken delivery of a solar testing plant and very soon we will go on a blitz, confiscating all fake solar products.”
BoldAds Events, a division of the Zimpapers Group in partnership with Hivos and Destiny for Africa, hosted the conference under the theme “The Status of Energy in Zimbabwe and Innovative Alternatives”.
The conference, which attracted participants from various sectors of the economy, sought to explore renewable energy solutions for the country.
Peak winter energy demands, constant breakdowns at Hwange Power Station, falling water levels at Kariba Power Station and lack of foreign currency to import power from South Africa and Mozambique has led to rolling power cuts lasting up to more than 10 hours daily in most parts of the country.
This has driven up demand for solar energy systems for both domestic and industrial consumption.
Apart from solar power, wood has become the main source of heating and cooking for the majority of the poor.
Zesa, the country’s power utility, imposed the worst rolling blackouts in the first half of the year, with households and industries going without electricity due to lack of foreign currency, declining water levels at Kariba hydropower station and obsolete equipment at the Hwange Thermal Power Station.
Many settlements throughout the country are now receiving less than seven hours of electricity per day from the national grid, pushing up demand for home solar systems, firewood and charcoal in both urban and rural areas.
The rising demand for solar has led to the influx of counterfeit and substandard solar panels and accessories in the country.
Participants at the energy conference said most Zimbabweans were being ripped off by dealers selling counterfeit and substandard products.
“In downtown Harare most dealers are selling fake solar panels and associated accessories — especially solar batteries,” said an energy expert.
“This has posed inconveniences and costs especially for the poor people who are desperate for solar energy. ZERA needs to take drastic measures to protect the poor otherwise this will lead to conflicts on the market.
“We risk losing the confidence of the consumers and the services we give to our clients. Trust will be lost.”
Some energy experts say the solar market has been infiltrated with dishonest dealers in the solar panel business who are using fake printed labels and fake receipts of non-existent companies to avoid liability.
They say most retailers were selling substandard solar products which do not meet local or international standards.
Most were reportedly not keen to seek certification from ZERA and the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ).
Experts blamed the country’s highly porous borders and lax surveillance and control mechanisms at the country’s ports of entry.
In addition, they say weak control systems of counterfeit and substandard solar products, lack of public awareness of genuine solar energy products, lack of enforcement and management of importation procedures and profiteering have added to the woes.
“Many people are struggling to access energy and without adequate money they often look for cheap solar products,” said another energy expert.
“Customers are often asked by the dealers whether they want original items or cheap ones. To save money most Zimbabweans go for cheaper ones without knowing that they are fake.”
Rose Mpofu of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said there was need for more public awareness campaigns on genuine solar products and technical information on them.
“People need information and knowledge on solar products,” she said. “They need to be sensitised and well informed on solar standards.”
Conference participants felt strongly that there was a need to develop practical measures to curb the influx of substandard solar panels and accessories.
“ZERA is doing all it can to raise public awareness,” said Eng Mataruse. “Very soon we will be going a campaign across the country to raise public awareness. On our website we have a list of reputable solar dealers and not the dishonest ones we see at the Gulf Complex.
“We won’t hesitate to confiscate fake solar panels once we start using our solar testing plant equipment.”
ZERA, he further said, would soon undertake the testing of solar products as the authority was keen on controlling the substandard and counterfeit products.
Eng Mataruse said ZERA will continue to raise public awareness and educate the public on soalr products and other renewable energy products.
“We want to educate Zimbabweans on genuine solar products so that they can be able to identify and access genuine solar products,” he said.
Tawanda Muzamwese, an energy expert, told participants that low perception of renewable energy in the society was also a big challenge in the uptake of renewable energy.
“People still face problems when it comes to the purchase of renewable energy components. Prices are still prohibitive, they also have to contend with fake products which are not durable and have no warranty. Some of the solar equipment, for example, is not user-friendly,” he said.
“The quality of the products still remains largely unmonitored and most people do not have the correct capacity and power rating of the equipment.”
Some energy experts say most fake solar products originate from China, Indonesia, India, Dubai, Taiwan, Thailand, South Africa and Nigeria.
The use of substandard panels has affected the amount of energy consumers get, leading to heavy losses.
Experts also say there are distributors who also sell under-rated panels at higher prices while others have also been found to tamper with the wattage on the solar panels, forcing customers to pay more for low wattage panels.
They encourage clients to do solar panel testing to ensure that they get the wattage that is commensurate with their money.
In addition, they urged clients to buy products from registered solar companies which were able to conduct the necessary tests.
“People should buy solar products from a licensed distributor and insist on getting a warranty,” said a renewable energy expert.
“They should monitor their solar system regularly during the warranty period to detect any defects such as the peeling off of the outer protective coating. In case you detect defects or inconsistencies, launch complaints immediately.”
Police in Wedza, Mashonaland East, have arrested a 19-year-old man who beheaded his father, wrapped his head in a plastic bag before throwing his dismembered body into a pit. The body and head of the deceased, Joshua Munhuwani (57) of plot 11 Fairwood …
A 12-YEAR-OLD girl from Bluffhill low-density suburb in Hararelost her mind after she was allegedly hit by her mother with a brick on the head for asking her to mark her homework. The mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the minor, ap…