Category Archives: Uncategorized

Solar Kiosks Help Light up Rural Kenya

InterPress Service

By Justus Wanzala

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The Solar Kiosk with goods inside. A part from perishable foodstuffs/soft drinks they include solar energy accessories and phone chargers. Credit: Justus Wanzala/IPS

Olkiramatian, Kenya, Dec 7 2015 (IPS) – This market centre in the arid Lake Magadi region, Kajiado of Southern Kenya is with no grid electricity. The area is inhabited by the pastoralist Maasai community. With climate change affecting their pastoral way of life, the community is increasingly adopting a more sedentary life but without amenities.

The centre is hot and dusty. Much as the area enjoys bright sunshine during the day, the situation changes to pitch dark after sunset. But in the last two years, the market centre is witnessing a transformation. It is becoming a beehive of activity.

This is courtesy of Solar Kiosk Kenya Ltd. that installed a retail kiosk, called the SOLARKIOSK E-HUBB. The E-HUBB, designed by GRAFT (partners and co-founders of SOLARKIOSK AG, the Berlin-based mother company), is a modular solar-powered structure that can be easily implemented in remote communities. Continue reading Solar Kiosks Help Light up Rural Kenya

Pope prays for Paris climate conference

Independent Catholic News

“What kind of world do we want to pass on to those who come after us, to the children who are growing up? For the sake of the common home we share and for future generations, every effort should be made, in Paris to mitigate the impact of climate change and, at the same time, to tackle poverty and to let human dignity flourish.”

Pope Francis prayed for the success of the Paris Climate Change conference during his address after the Angelus on Sunday.

The Holy Father said that as he follows the work of the conference closely, he remembers the question he asked in his recent encyclical Laudato Si’: “What kind of world do we want to pass on to those who come after us, to the children who are growing up? The Holy Father then urged that, “for the sake of the common home we share and for future generations, every effort should be made, in Paris to mitigate the impact of climate change and, at the same time, to tackle poverty and to let human dignity flourish.” Continue reading Pope prays for Paris climate conference

Reflecting on Columban Mission to Paris Climate Talks

Independent Catholic News

In the Catholic forums Fr Sean McDonagh has called for a three-year Synod on Creation, developing the ‘Care for Creation’ ministry of the Catholic Church and building on Laudato Si’. It is absolutely clear that new ‘Creation Care’ structures are needed throughout international and national Church structures to work with hierarchy on environmental issues.

Ellen Teague

As the Columbia missionaries’ delegation to the Paris UN climate talks leaves later today, three questions are pertinent in this final blog: Why were we here? What reflections have struck us? How do we continue Colombian mission on Climate Change after COP21?

First, we have continued action on climate change which has been part of Colombian mission work for more than three decades. Second, we have supported people – particularly those most vulnerable to climate change impacts – who are crying out for climate justice.

Greenhouse gases poured into the atmosphere are changing the Earth’s natural cycles on land and in the sea and affecting the stability of the climate that has underpinned human development over the last 11,000 years. COP21 is the latest UN international initiative to address the problem and seek to promote sustainable development, and so we have been a witness to tackling human induced climate change here in Paris. Continue reading Reflecting on Columban Mission to Paris Climate Talks

South Africa: Recent Rains in KZN Not Enough – Umgeni Water

All Africa News

By Kaveel Singh

The rainfall in KwaZulu-Natal over the past two days was insufficient to increase dam levels, an Umgeni Water official said.

KwaZulu-Natal experienced heavy rainfall this week, but Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder said on Thursday the 4mm and 10mm rainfalls was “insufficient”.
“What we have to understand is a lot of this was soaked into the ground and does not raise the levels for the dam. We need significantly longer bouts of rain to [pick] levels up again.” Continue reading South Africa: Recent Rains in KZN Not Enough – Umgeni Water

Climate Change Bites Kenyan Tea Farmers

InterPress Service
By Diana Omondi

Alice Muthoni picking tea in Makomboki, central Kenya. @DW/D. Omondi
Alice Muthoni picking tea in Makomboki, central Kenya. @DW/D. Omondi

NAIROBI, Nov 11 2015 (IPS) – You wouldn’t typically expect heavy rainfall and frost in East Africa. But the Earth’s climate is changing – and this is affecting one of the world’s largest tea-producing regions, in central Kenya.

For Joseph Mwangi and his wife, picking tea early in the morning has become more difficult lately. “We have been experiencing frost on the leaves,” Mwangi says. “This makes it hard to work, because the frost stings our hands,” he added.

Mwangi and his wife Alice Muthoni earn their living as tea-pickers in Makomboki, central Kenya. Due to the frost, they have had to start picking tea leaves two hours later. But this presents new problems to the couple. Continue reading Climate Change Bites Kenyan Tea Farmers

Appeals Court Upholds Delay Of Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

The Huffington Post

The ruling continues to block the DAPA program, aimed at helping parents of children born in the U.S. and permanent residents.

Cristian Farias
Legal Affairs Reporter, The Huffington Post

A federal appeals court on Monday agreed to keep on hold President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration — nearly a year after he announced it as a backstop measure to Congress’ failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform.

The divided, 124-page ruling deals a blow to the administration’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, known as DAPA, and there may be just enough time for a formal appeal to the Supreme Court to be resolved ahead of the 2016 election.

In ruling against the government, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit largely agreed with a lower court judge, who in February issued a “nationwide injunction” that effectively stopped DAPA from taking effect, and concurred that Texas and other states that sued the president over the program had legal “standing” to challenge its constitutionality in federal court. Continue reading Appeals Court Upholds Delay Of Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

Twenty Years On, Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Legacy Echoes from the Grassroots to the United Nations

Common Dreams

The man who led a popular revolt against Big Oil’s destruction in Nigeria remains a figure lionized by activists all over the world

by Godwin Ojo

In Nigeria and around the world, Ken Saro Wiwa's memory lives on. (Photo: Luka Tomac/Friends of the Earth International)
In Nigeria and around the world, Ken Saro Wiwa’s memory lives on. (Photo: Luka Tomac/Friends of the Earth International)

LAGOS, Nigeria – Ken Saro-Wiwa belonged to that rare but wonderful category of poet-writer turned non-violent resistance leader. And like too many non-violent resistance leaders, he was executed by the people whose interests he challenged. November 10th is the twentieth anniversary of his execution in his motherland, Nigeria.

Known on the international stage for his David-and-Goliath struggle with oil giant Shell, Ken Saro-Wiwa remains a figure lionized by activists all over the world, who see his example as a great victory for people power over formidable transnational corporate giants. His legacy also moves and inspires a growing movement of civil society activists who are lobbying the UN and national governments to create a binding treaty to regulate the conduct of transnational corporations with respect to human rights. Continue reading Twenty Years On, Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Legacy Echoes from the Grassroots to the United Nations

Amidst the debris: Environmental impact of conflict in Syria could be disastrous

Pax Christi USA

The ongoing conflict in Syria is likely to have a disastrous impact on the environment and public health, according to a new study published by PAX.
peace-11Four years of fighting has left cities in rubble and caused widespread damage to industrial sites, critical infrastructure and the oil industry. Pollution from these forms of damage is likely to result in acute and chronic risks to civilians and will have a long-term impact on the environment that they depend on.
“With the additional attacks by Russia in or near Aleppo, which has numerous industrial complexes processing hazardous chemicals, existing environmental and public health risks from the ongoing conflict will only be compounded,” cautioned report author Wim Zwijnenburg, researcher for PAX. Continue reading Amidst the debris: Environmental impact of conflict in Syria could be disastrous

Protecting the right of the environment and putting an end to social exclusion are inseparable, Pope Francis

Eco-Jesuit

Photo credit: social-spirituality.net
Photo credit: social-spirituality.net

After having published the encyclical Laudato si’, Pope Francis is showing that his concerns for the “common home” are not isolated thoughts, but a main stream in his pontificate, placing the environment at the same level as that of poverty in the “moral agenda” of the Catholic Church.

The visit to the United States has been a new opportunity for Pope Francis to renew his ecological commitment and to look for connections with poverty alleviation, international negotiations or the very concept of justice. Pope Francis struggles to show caring for the planet is a way of doing justice both for humans and for nature. Continue reading Protecting the right of the environment and putting an end to social exclusion are inseparable, Pope Francis