Using U.S. Dollars, Zimbabwe Finds a Problem: No Change

New York Times
By LYDIA POLGREEN
HARARE, Zimbabwe — When Zimbabweans say they are waiting for change, they are usually talking about politics. After all, the country has had the same leader since 1980.

But these days, Robson Madzumbara spends a lot of time quite literally waiting around for change. Pocket change, that is. He waits for it at supermarkets, on the bus, at the vegetable stall he runs and just about anywhere he buys or sells anything.

“We never have enough change,” he said, manning the vegetable stall he has run for the past two decades. “Change is a big problem in Zimbabwe.” Continue reading Using U.S. Dollars, Zimbabwe Finds a Problem: No Change

Coming Together for Environmental Restoration in Haiti

Beverly Bell and Alexis Erkert interview YVES-ANDRÉ WAINRIGHT, Haiti’s former two-time Environment Minister*

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Apr 24, 2012 (IPS/Other Worlds) – In honour of Earth Day, we run an interview with Yves-André Wainright, who discusses ways that poor governance and the role of foreign donors have contributed to the country’s environmental catastrophe.

He also lays out a blueprint for what could turn the situation around, effectively mobilising both government and the population to begin restoring the environment.

Yves-André Wainright served twice as Haiti’s minister of environment. Trained as an agronomist, Yves-André’s work has focused on environmental management, especially management of natural resources and waste.

His comments follow:

My approach towards management of the environment is to have Haitians who face (the same environmental) challenges come together. We might not all share the same economic interests, but if we work together, we can reach a compromise where one’s interest won’t trump another’s.

Current poverty levels can’t be used as an excuse for environmental mismanagement, like deforestation of watersheds or the poor construction of rural roads. More than an issue of technology or of funding, the challenge with environmental management in Haiti is a matter of governance. Continue reading Coming Together for Environmental Restoration in Haiti