Video: 137 Fishermen Arrested In Accra

 

A total of 137 fishermen have been arrested at Prampram in the Ningo-Prampram District in the Greater Accra Region for engaging in illegal fishing activities.

The suspects, including women and children were arrested by a local watchdog committee set up by the Prampram fisherfolks to prevent illegal fishing activities in the area.

However, some of the suspects were subjected to severe beatings by the Prampram fisherfolks for invading their area with their illegal fishing methods.

Explanation

Confirming the incident to Graphic Online, the Prampram District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Issah Mohammed Cantonam, said the suspects were arrested between May 1 and May 7, this year.

He said the first batch of the illegal fishermen, involving 97 people, including women and children were arrested on Monday, May 1, 2017 while the second batch, comprising 40 people were arrested on Saturday, May 7, this year.

He said items retrieved from the suspects included 17 canoes, power generators, electrical cables and lights, and other illegal fishing tools.

He told Graphic Online that most of the fishermen come from Ada and Tema Newtown in the Greater Accra Region.

Arrest

Explaining why some of the suspected illegal fishermen were manhandled, DSP Cantonam said when the members of the local “sea watchdog committee” confronted them, the illegal fishermen attempted to pour petrol on them thus leading to a scuffle between the locals and the illegal fishermen.

He said due to the activities of illegal fishermen, most coastal areas have set up “sea watchdog committees” as part of measures to halt the illegal activities.

He said the police have seized all the illegal fishing tools from the suspects, including their canoes.

DSP Cantonam, however, said the suspects have been granted bail but would be processed for court soon, adding that the police would also investigate the matter to deal with those who vented their anger on the suspects.

Galamsey returning – Segyimase, Akrofusu residents express fears

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa, citifmonline.com

Reports from Segyimase near Kyebi in the East Akim Municipality of the Eastern Region indicate that illegal mining activities are gradually resurfacing.

These indications come some three weeks after the deadline of the nationwide ultimatum from government ordering the cessation of illegal mining activities, known locally as galamsey.

Residents have been complaining that the illegal miners have flouted the government’s orders, and the Assembly Member for the area, Emmanuel Akyeanor Tabi, expressed fears that  the miners have no intention of leaving the sites they operate on.

He explained that, the mining area in question was under a legal concession, but he alleged that the concessionaire had been leasing out land to the illegal miners.

Narrating to Citi News, Akyeanor Tabi said “the genesis of the whole thing is that, the place is under concession, but they released it to galamsey miners. So they [the illegal miners] were doing galamsey, they destroyed the water bodies, they mined without reclaiming and all kind of things.”

“So the Minerals Commission revoked that license temporarily, pending the concessionaire’s ability to reclaim all the land and dredge the rivers destroyed, and then they will see if they will be able reallocate the license to him.”

But Mr. Akyeanor Tabi said the concessionaire is yet to adhere to the Minerals Commission’s directive and has gone on to “bring in new galamsey operators who are working in the concession. They have paid the concessionaire and the concessionaire has asked them to come back and work.”

The effects of illegal mining in Kyebi as a whole have been well documented with the shutdown of the Ghana Water Company treatment plant at Kyebi in March 2017.

Kyebi was left with a single borehole as its water treatment plant shut down

The River Birim which feeds the Kyebi treatment plant is in a sorry state

The treatment plant, which takes water from the Birim River flowing from the Atiwa Forest, is seen to be heavly polluted by illegal gold mining activities.

Akrofusu calls for more security
The fear of a return of illegal mining extends to the Akrofusu electoral in the Atiwa District, where the Assembly member of that area, Kwaku Nyarko, complained to Citi News that illegal mining with heavy equipment was still ongoing.

This is despite the efforts of security personnel in the area, according to the Assemblyman, who said, “the galamsey situation at my end is still going on, especially with the chanfang and excavator, and chanfang miners who are in the river.”

“We ordered men from the Anyinam district, and we took up some operations; but immediately after the operation, they started working again… the police are still embarking on the operation, but they wait and work in the night.”

In light of the security struggles, Mr. Nyarko said government, “should bring more men so that we will be able to combat the galamsey people from there.”

Minerals Commission believes galamsey has almost stopped

These concerns come on the back of the Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn, saying that illegal small-scale mining activities were close to zero in the country following the intense media campaign and government action.

According to him, there were clear indications that illegal miners have suspended their operations and vacated their sites after government intervention.

Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn

Speaking in an interview on Eyewitness News’ Pointblank segment, Dr. Tony Aubynn said “when the ultimatum was given weeks ago, we were all waiting to see what will happen, but at the end of it, when we went round to the places, we saw virtually no mining activity going on, almost total cessation. By and large, there was no mining, and what we also saw was that, a lot of excavators, a lot of them had been parked. For now, we have seen that it [galamsey] has stopped,” he said.

 

Source: modernghana.com

Noise, the ‘ignored pollutant’: health, nature and ecopsychology

By: Paul Mobbs

 

The sonic backdrop to our lives is increasingly one of unwanted technospheric noise, writes Paul Mobbs. And as it eclipses the sounds of nature, it’s taking its toll on our health, wellbeing and quality of life. So as well as campaigning for more trees, and quieter cars, trucks and aircraft, what’s to be done? Let us seek out calm moments of quiet tranquillity – and listen to the birds.

Human interaction with nature is an absolute essential for well-being. Walking out into a dark morning to sit in a hedge and listen to birds may seem a strange route to health, but the evidence is that it works.

A few days ago I went for a walk, well before the dawn, in order to listen to the ‘dawn chorus’. It’s something I like to do a few times a year, especially in the early Spring when the birdsong is at its loudest.

I’ve been doing these walks since before my teens. Over that period there’s been one inescapable change in the countryside around my home town of Banbury – noise.

In many ways the modern urban-dweller has become immured to noise; we exclude it, and bar it from our thoughts – a process even more challenging since the advent of the personal stereo and the mobile phone. But we never truly escape it.

For those who like to enjoy the natural environment, noise is something to be escaped from within the relative sanctuary of the landscape. These days that’s getting harder and harder to accomplish.

That’s not only because of noise from all around – in particular from urban areas, roads and the increasing mechanisation of agriculture – but also due to the increasing level of air traffic overhead.

Bird song is good for you

Walking out before the dawn my objective was to reach Salt Way, which fringes the south-western quadrant of Banbury. It’s the old Roman salt route from Droitwich to Buckinghamshire, which has existed since long before the town itself, and which links to the more ancient prehistoric Portway and Welsh Road trackways.

Due to its age Salt Way has exceptionally dense, wide and species-rich ancient hedgerows which demarcate it from the surrounding fields.

Perfect for listening to birds. Except on that morning, as even before rush hour the easterly breeze was wafting the sound of the M40 motorway from over two and a half miles away, on the other side of town.

That got me musing on an interesting paper by Cox et al., ‘Doses of Neighborhood Nature‘, which I’d just read in the journal Bioscience.

In the study the researchers were able to demonstrate a positive correlation between the quality of people’s everyday experience of nature, and a lower prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress. These results build upon a wealth of other similar studies which have appeared over the last few years – part of the growing fields of ecopsychology.

One of the principal metrics the study used to assess the ‘quality’ of a persons natural experience was the afternoon abundance of birds. While that doesn’t strictly correlate to where I am now, stood in the gloom of a pre-dawn byway, I think the comparison was valid – given the louder and intense levels of birdsong I was able experience.

Noise and nuisance

If ‘natural’ experiences are good for you, does the inverse effect hold true? – that urban noise is bad for you?

The damage of noise to society has been acknowledge in English law since Henry III introduced the concept of ‘public nuisance’, almost 800 years ago. Urban environments can also create negative health effects, especially in terms of stress and mental health.

Generally what many research studies find is that our recovery from the stresses of everyday life tends to be better, and takes place faster, when we are exposed to green landscaped spaces or less noisy natural environments. Difficulty is, that’s getting harder to do these days – the result of higher urbanization globally.

Banbury is a growing town. Immediately to the west of the section of Salt Way where I was sat, the construction of a few hundred houses was about to commence. Permission for another thousand was recently granted on the opposite side of the main A361 road. To the north another five hundred are being planned or built, and another 2,500 are being added to the southern edge of the town right now.

That doesn’t just mean that the species rich hedgerow along Salt Way will be severed from the countryside by urban development – perhaps reducing its diversity in future.

As each year passes, it takes longer to get to the outside of the town; and progressively harder to escape the ‘noise’ envelope of the town as its larger size generates higher volumes of traffic and thus noise.

But aren’t cars are getting quieter?

Road vehicles are not the only significant source of noise. Eg, for those of you who drink instant coffee, the occasional hiss of high pressure steam that radiates out across Banbury is created by your caffeine craving – as the leading brands are made here in Europe’s biggest coffee plant.

The common misapprehension about road noise is that it’s about motorized vehicles. In fact, unless the vehicle has a mechanical fault, a large part of the noise comes from the tyre’s contact with the road surface. Hence the use of many more electric vehicles would still give rise to significant road noise.

As a briefing from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology noted in 2009, while the noise emitted by cars has reduce by eleven decibels since 1970, there has been no associated reduction in the road noise generated. That’s because tyre noise is difficult to tackle, and also because traffic volumes have significantly increased, meaning there are more tyres making noise.

Here in Banbury we also have another problem – aircraft. It’s a lot less ‘acute’ than it was, since the USAF’s jet fighters left their local base in 1994. However the trans-Atlantic air corridors for south-east England and middle-Europe cross the skies above North Oxfordshire. At certain times of the day, particularly morning and evening, the ‘chronic’ level noise from above is almost constant.

The invasive nature of that noise was highlighted in 2010 when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted. I went for a walk and there was something glaringly different about the landscape. Then I realized: no aircraft noise – the result of the flight ban.

The effect was stunning, stirring, and unfortunately short-lived.

What we’re talking about here is lost ‘tranquility’

In 2010 the new coalition government conducted a ‘bonfire of the Quangos‘ – closing or merging many of the government’s advisory and expert bodies. For me one of the most significant was the abolition of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP).

Since 1970, RCEP had produced some of the UK government’s best, and most politically embarrassing academic studies on pollution and the environment – from nuclear waste to soil protection.

In 1994, RECP produced its ground-breaking 18th Report on Transport and the Environment. Against the background of the Government’s road building programme of that time, the contents were inflammatory – and increased the level of protests against new road construction.

In that report there were two maps which showed the level of ‘tranquility’ – the area of countryside unaffected by road, aircraft or urban noise – in the south-east of England. One map showed the ‘tranquil’ area in 1960, the other in 1992. Subtracting one map from the other you realize the level of ‘tranquil’ countryside which was lost over that 30-year period.

In their conclusions RCEP stated,

“Noise from vehicles and aircraft is a major source of stress and dissatisfaction, notably in towns but now intruding into many formerly tranquil areas. Construction of new roads and airports to accommodate traffic is destroying irreplaceable landscapes and features of our cultural heritage.”

The importance of ecopsychology to environmentalism

It would be easy to reduce this to an issue of car tyres, or the encroachment of urbanization. Instead what environmentalism has to grasp are the clear messages about human well-being which are emerging from ecopsychological research.

Climate change is abstract. Air pollution, except under extreme conditions, is abstract. Yet studies which examine the fundamental psychological human dependence upon the natural environment can tell us something which, for many, is directly appreciable.

Talking about wellbeing, or the the stress- and anxiety-reducing qualities of green space, might seem a distraction from the perilous ecological challenges of our time. That is a far too limited perspective:

  • If we deal with road noise, by reducing the use of road vehicles, or reducing their speeds, we affect both air pollution and climate change.
  • If we increase green spaces, and take greater care with how the urban fringe is managed, then we improve people’s ability to access nature and increase their well-being – and we also begin to address issues such as biodiversity loss and landscape fragmentation.
  • More than anything, increasing people’s awareness of the natural environment would increase society’s valuation of it – and their propensity to change to protect it.

A few years ago I write a briefing on ecopsychology as part of a series on how lightweight camping/backpacking could be a means to address lifestyle sustainability – and allow people to adapt/develop the skills to live lower-impact lifestyles in their own homes as a result.

A focus on ecopsychology as part of local environment campaigns, especially for children, could be equally transformative – particularly as current economic and political trends are questioning the value of ‘big’ ecological issues such as climate change.

Small is, after all, beautiful?

That morning, walking to the top of Banbury’s local summit, Crouch Hill, the sun rose through a cloudy horizon. All around the noise level had been growing steadily as the rush hour approached and the roads filled with vehicles.

Moving beyond that requires more than a change of transport policy. What it requires is a realization that human interaction with nature is an absolute essential for well-being.

Far more than just changing your diet or going to the gym, contact with nature is a mechanism to find ourselves as ‘whole’ people; part of our environment, not shielded or walled away from it.

Walking out into a dark morning to sit in a hedge and listen to birds may seem a strange route to health, but the evidence is that it works.

 

Source: theecologist.org

Bringing water to Kenya’s drought-stricken wildlife

By: Fran BLANDY

Buffalo approach after a tanker delivers water to a water hole at the Tsavo-west national park on October 19, 2016.  By STRINGER (AFP)

 

Voi (Kenya) (AFP) –

In a wildlife sanctuary in southern Kenya the relentless sun has bleached savannah grasses and dried up rivers, turning water holes first into muddy pits and now, dust bowls.

Herds of elephant, buffalo and zebra have gathered near one of the holes, where for six months, pea farmer Patrick Mwalua has been delivering water to them in a rented blue truck.

After the rains failed for the third time in November, Mwalua was so distressed by the obviously weak and thirsty animals that he began seeking donations to bring water to the Taita Hills sanctuary.

The 41-year-old was haunted by the memory of a 2009 drought, which the International Fund for Animal Welfare estimates led to the loss of 40 percent of the animals in the neighbouring Tsavo West National Park.

“It was so sad. I saw it myself and I felt very bad and I said this thing should never happen again,” he told AFP.

Over his lifetime, Mwalua has seen the climate change drastically, with droughts causing chronic water shortages and increased conflict between villagers and wildlife.

Thirsty elephants — which can drink up to 190 litres (400 pints) of water in one sitting — have in recent months carried out often deadly raids on villages in search of water.

To the majority of locals struggling to survive the failure of their crops, these wildlife neighbours are little more than a menace and competition for land and resources.

‘The animals come running’

However Mwalua believes it is crucial to protect the wildlife, arguing “we are the voice of the animals”.

He reached out to foreigners, who had participated in a conservation programme he runs, to ask for donations to pay for the $250 (237-euro) truckloads of water.

At first, he would pour it into natural water holes but quickly realised that much was soaked up by the baking earth, so turned instead to a cement hole near a tourist lodge.

The animals “come running the moment they see the truck, they even know the timings. When they are really thirsty they even drink when the truck is emptying,” the lodge’s assistant manager Alex Namunje told AFP.

A GoFundMe crowdfunding page, set up by an American friend, has raised over $200,000 — most of that in the past two weeks, as word spread about Mwalua’s initiative.

“It has blown my mind,” said Mwalua, who plans to buy his own water truck and dig a borehole in the park.

Meanwhile the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust — famed for rearing orphan elephants — has now joined him in trucking in water to the water hole.

In a sign of the crisis the region faces, the charity has drilled 13 boreholes over the years, Angela Sheldrick, who runs the trust, told AFP.

Snakebites

Zebra approach a watering hole after a tanker delivers water to thirsty wildlife at the Tsavo-west national park in Kenya on September 29, 2016

While conservationists praise Mwalua’s efforts, they warn that climate change and human activity have affected water supply so badly it will take much more to solve the problem.

“It is a good initiative but how much water can we truck into Tsavo? How many boreholes can you sink?” asked Jacob Kipongoso, head of the Tsavo Heritage Foundation.

Conflict between humans and wildlife is only going to get worse, he believes.

One deadly clue is the snakes’ behaviour.

Every morning, in Kipongoso’s village, when women go to the water pumps, they see the swirling snake tracks in the sand.

Desperate for water and a cool place to shelter as drought and climate change affect their habitat, snakes increasingly come into contact with people.

As a result, snakebites have shot up so much in recent years that the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is trying to amend a law to stop having to compensate those bitten, which costs millions of euros per year.

Deadlier than poaching

Patrick Kilonzo fills a hired bowser water tanker before embarking on a 70 kilometre journey to deliver the water to thirsty wildlife in the Tsavo-west national park in Kenya, on February 24, 2017

The main water source for Tsavo West is Lake Jipe, which straddles the border with Tanzania. According to Kipongoso, its level has dropped 10 metres (33 feet) in a decade.

“At the same rate it means in another four or five years it will be a swamp, in another 15 years it will be a dust bowl. That means Tsavo West is dead, finished,” he warned.

He blames the water problems on “sheer human activity” in catchment areas.

In the nearby Amboseli park, during the 2009 drought, 14 elephants were killed by poachers, while another 99 died because of lack of water, according to KWS figures.

“What all that means is we need now to stop focusing on poaching and start facing the imminent catastrophe which is the mass death of elephants and wildlife from lack of water,” Kipongoso said.

“The only way you can do that is landscape rehabilitation,” he said, referring to reverting the land to its state before human activity changed it.

Mwalua’s undertaking is exhausting. Bleary-eyed, he eats a quick breakfast of Swahili sweet bun and tea before embarking on the 70-kilometre (43-mile) journey.

Delivering the 12,000 litres of water is a slow, hour-long drive that he sometimes makes several times a day, despite suffering from kidney failure requiring twice-weekly dialysis.

But he perks up when he sees the waiting animals.

On a February afternoon, clouds gather above the savannah and a rare burst of rain fills the air with an earthy petrichor but doesn’t stick around long enough to penetrate the soil.

Weeks of driving rain are needed to break the drought, and forecasters are already gloomy about the next rainy season due this month.

Create District Sanitation Fund For Household Toilet Facilities

By: Abubakari Seidu Ajarfor

 

Coalition of NGO’s In Water And Sanitation (CONIWAS) is calling on the current administration to pay particular attention to financing household toilet facilities by establishing a fund at the District Assembly.

Speaking at a news conference in Accra, the Spokesperson Civil Society Organization and Community Group in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Lartey Benjamin said government should dedicate portions of the District Assembly Common Fund to Sanitation Fund to assist community members to set up toilet facilities in their homes.

According to him, more that 5million people practice open defecation due to lack of decent toilets at home with Ghana being ranked as second to Sudan.

Ghana has been ranked as second in Africa in open defecation with 19 per cent of its population resorting to sanitation practice deemed the riskiest of all, a United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report.

Mr. Benjamin added that surveys by a few projects indicate that more than 80% of households in low income communities have indicated that they need financial support – soft loans, grants etc, to enable them to install toilets at home.

He expressed worry that there is currently no clear funding mechanism for household toilets adding that in 2010, the government made a commitment to invest at least U$200 million annually in water and sanitation and a further U$150 million per annum towards hygienic treatment and disposal of septage and faecal sludge as well as sullage and storm-water management.

The Spokesperson added that government also made a commitment to make further allocations up to the minimum threshold of 0.5% of GDP to cover capacity building for hygiene education including proper hand-washing methods, country-wide outreach of Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and general enhancement of enabling elements.

He posited that these commitments made to the Sanitation and Water for ALL (SWA) Global Partnership in 2010 have not yet been honoured.

Owing to the fact that the requirement in the National Environmental Sanitation Strategy and Action Plan to set up a Sanitation Fund has also not been implemented.

Stressing on technology, Mr. Benjamin emphasised that there is no clear national programme to promote solid waste separation, treatment and reuse.

“The most common practice has been dumping of all sorts of waste at landfill sites, which are also becoming more difficult to find in recent years. As part of the government’s resolve to partner with the private sector to develop some other sectors, we expects the government and the new ministry to extend a similar drive to the solid waste management industry, whereby waste will be sorted, treated and re-used,” he intimated.

The Spokesperson indicated that government can launch a campaign to that effect and provide the enabling environment for private investors in waste management so that their interest could be sustained.

According to him, a 2014 Ghana Living Standards Survey indicates that more than 62% of households in Ghana drink water from sources contaminated with faecal matter and that people in rural areas are more than two times more likely to be affected than those in urban communities.

He said the priority technology for rural water supply in Ghana is the borehole since it is the most affordable option.

Mr. Benjamin however noted that more than 50% of rural households depend on wells, and well water is the most affected in terms of quality.

The Spokesperson indicated that lack of enforcement of the law has slow down or even prevent effective implementation of most initiatives in sanitation and water.

He urged the Ministry to therefore work to remove all obstacles that make enforcement of bye-laws difficult.

According to him, the sanitation and water sector is very weak in terms of documentation and information management. The sector lacks a central repository for critical information required for effective decision-making.

He added that information management systems, at the moment, are fragmented between various agencies and there is no central reporting mechanism.

Mr. Benjamin urged the Ministry to establish a central mechanism to harmonize all existing information management systems, coordinate sector research and produce periodic sector performance reports against the SDG indicators and targets.

He concluded that CONIWAS would be glad to learn that the new Sanitation and Water Resources Ministry is working to tackle the root causes of the challenges facing the sanitation and water sector – non-prioritization which underlies the perennial under-resourcing of the sector, non-enforcement of laws as a result of weak institutional capacities, weak research into modern technology options, and poor documentation and information management.

 

Source: modernghana.com

Fire razes 12 fuel tankers at Ashaiman

 

Twelve out of fourteen tanker trucks belonging to a private business yet to be identified have been destroyed by fire at a tanker yard at Ashaiman.

The tanker trucks were all full with petroleum products meant for distribution to some fuel stations on Monday.

According to the Deputy Chief fire officer in charge of operations with the Ghana National fire Service, William Gyasi Mensah, the fire service received distress call at 13:05 sunday afternoon regarding a fire outbreak at the yard.

He said “upon receiving the call, we quickly rushed to the scene where we realised it was a tanker yard which had some tanker trucks filled with products in them. We managed to put of the fire which lasted for almost four hours”

He said in all thirteen fire tenders and 35 fire personnel were used in bringing the situation under control.

According to Mr Mensah, preliminary investigation reveals that the cause of fire might be due to the illegal transfer of products.

“We are still investigating to know the actual cause of the fire but we can not rule out transfer of products because the pumps that were used for such acts are all visible here,”he noted.

He refuted claims that there had been some casualties as a result of the incident, saying  ” from the time we arrived up till now, there have been no casualty whatsoever let alone any death that has been recorded. There is no such incident here and the public must not believe those announcements as they are all not true”

 

Source: modernghana.com

Fifth of world’s food lost to over-eating and waste, study finds

Encouraging people to eat fewer animal products, reduce waste and not exceed their nutritional needs could help to reverse troubling global trends, researchers say.
Credit: © BillionPhotos.com / Fotolia

Almost 20 per cent of the food made available to consumers is lost through over-eating or waste, a study suggests.

The world population consumes around 10 per cent more food than it needs, while almost nine per cent is thrown away or left to spoil, researchers say.

Efforts to reduce the billions of tonnes lost could improve global food security — ensuring everyone has access to a safe, affordable, nutritious diet — and help prevent damage to the environment, the team says.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh examined ten key stages in the global food system — including food consumption and the growing and harvesting of crops — to quantify the extent of losses.

Using data collected primarily by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the team found that more food is lost from the system than was previously thought.

Almost half of harvested crops — or 2.1 billion tonnes — are lost through over-consumption, consumer waste and inefficiencies in production processes, researchers say.

Livestock production is the least efficient process, with losses of 78 per cent or 840 million tonnes, the team found. Some 1.08 billion tonnes of harvested crops are used to produce 240 million tonnes of edible animal products including meat, milk and eggs.

This stage alone accounts for 40 per cent of all losses of harvested crops, researchers say.

Increased demand for some foods, particularly meat and dairy products, would decrease the efficiency of the food system and could make it difficult to feed the world’s expanding population in sustainable ways, researchers say.

Meeting this demand could cause environmental harm by increasing greenhouse gas emissions, depleting water supplies and causing loss of biodiversity.

Encouraging people to eat fewer animal products, reduce waste and not exceed their nutritional needs could help to reverse these trends, the team says.

The study is published in the journal Agricultural Systems. It was carried out in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College, University of York, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research.

The research was funded through a Global Food Security Programme supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council and the Scottish Government.

Dr. Peter Alexander, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences and Scotland’s Rural College, who led the study, said: “Reducing losses from the global food system would improve food security and help prevent environmental harm. Until now, it was not known how over-eating impacts on the system. Not only is it harmful to health, we found that over-eating is bad for the environment and impairs food security.”

Professor Dominic Moran, of the University of York, who was involved in the study, said: “This study highlights that food security has production and consumption dimensions that need to be considered when designing sustainable food systems. It also highlights that the definition of waste can mean different things to different people.”

 

Source: sciencedaily.com

 

Rainstorm injures 11 students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A storm amidst a heavy downpour has severely injured 11 students during an athletics competition held at Akim Asene Methodist School Park in the Eastern Region.

The students who were running from the rains to take cover in the classrooms were crashed by flying roofing sheets and had serious injuries to their backs, waist, arms and legs.

They were rushed to the Jubilee Hospital at Akim Oda where seven were treated and discharged whilst four who were in critical condition were admitted.The four are however responding to treatment.

The competition which drew students from 12 schools at Asene and Manso for a three-day activity has since been cancelled.

Mr Daniel Kwaku Gyasi, the Assemblyman for Asene Ewisa East Electoral Area, told the Ghana News Agency that the incident occurred when the rain started around 1600 hours on Thursday.

Mr Kwame Aboagye, the Member of Parliament for Asene-Akroso-Manso, later visited the scene with the chief of the town and the officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation of Birim Central Municipality.

Mr Aboagye pledged to pay the hospital bills of the victims.

It was suggested that the classroom blocks with the ripped roofs should be demolished to avoid any unexpected tragedy.

Some houses in the area were also affected by the rainstorm.

 

Source: ghanabusinessnews.com

2016 Was The Hottest Year Yet, Scientists Declare

By:

Last year, global warming reached record high temperatures — and if that news feels like déjà vu, you’re not going crazy.

The planet has now had three consecutive years of record-breaking heat.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released its annual State of the Climate report, which says it’s the hottest it has been since scientists started tracking global temperatures in 1880.

A separate analysis, by NASA scientists, came to the same conclusion.

The news comes as a confirmation hearing begins for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has been nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has ardently defended fossil fuels and fought against federal efforts to regulate greenhouse gases that warm the planet.

President-elect Donald Trump has professed open-mindedness about climate change. Still, he once called it a hoax, and scientists have been worried by his picks for his transition team and administration, as well as by the questions asked about climate scientists at the Department of Energy.

As the politics swirls around them, climate scientists keep churning out data.

“[Last year] was the warmest year on record, beating 2015 by a few hundredths of a degree, and together those two years really blow away the rest of our record,” says Deke Arndt, chief of the monitoring group at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, N.C.

He says 2016 was about 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit above the global average for the 20th century. “And that doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you take that and you average it all the way around the planet, that’s a big number,” Arndt says.

The warming was truly global. “Some part of every continent, and some part of every major ocean basin was warmest on record,” Arndt says, adding that in the United States, only Georgia and Alaska had record-setting warmth but “pretty much the entire country was above normal, and well above normal.”

This represents long-term warming along with the short-term effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon, he explains, predicting that the streak of breaking records will probably end this year as those El Nino effects dissipate. But the long-term warming trend should continue to go up and, Arndt says, threatens new records almost every year.

“The long-term warming is driven almost entirely by greenhouse gases,” Arndt says. “We’ve seen a warming trend related to greenhouse gases for four, five, six decades now.”

 

Source: npr.org