SA, Germany to improve water

A diagram of the workings of the communal water house, which is being piloted in the small Karoo town of Jansenville, Eastern Cape. Dignitaries at the sod-turning ceremony held in July 2008 in Jansenville. The commemorative plaque unveiled by The Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom, and HisExcellency the German Ambassador to South Africa, Dieter Haller. The community will benefit from access to better quality water. (All images: Communal Water House.)Janine ErasmusIn a partnership to boost access to safe drinking water in Africa, South Africa and Germany have developed a unit that promotes water-use efficiency in rural communities.The communal water house (CWH) is being piloted in the small Karoo town of Jansenville in one of South Africa’s most impoverished provinces, the Eastern Cape. It was unveiled in July 2008 by the national Department of Science and Technology (DST).Speaking to an audience of jubilant residents at the sod-turning ceremony, Derek Hanekom, deputy minister of science and technology, said, “Today we celebrate the power of innovative thinking and partnership.“It is hoped that such initiatives will be rolled out to other municipalities in South Africa in the future. This project clearly demonstrates how, through science and technology, we can meet the needs of the poor.”The DST’s key partners in this project are the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which has invested R21-million ($2.7-million), the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the Ikwezi Municipality and the University of Potsdam in Germany.Other partners include the University of Tshwane, the National Research Foundation in South Africa, the German Society for Solar Energy, and German Water and Energy GmbH.First for SAThe pilot project is the first such facility in South Africa and encompasses the use of advanced water treatment, water recycling and improved sanitation technologies, enabling residents to access potable water within a short walking distance. The CWH is designed to service between 200 and 800 people at a time.In the CWH, run-off from cooking and bathing, or grey water, is treated and re-used for laundry, sanitation and irrigation. Solar panels are provided to heat the water, boosting standards of hygiene and making the washing process more efficient. Other community benefits include a reduced need to transport large volumes of water over great distances and the creation of jobs for the construction and maintenance of CWHs.After being drawn from its source, which may be a rainwater tank, borehole or tap, the water is put through a water treatment station and undergoes filtration, biological cleaning methods and UV irradiation, before being diverted to the community water outlet.The DST plans to expand the technology to people in other municipalities. “We are confident that this cutting-edge technology will enable us to reach the last 12% of our people who currently have no access to safe drinking water,” said Hanekom.The water savings from this innovative project are estimated at 10 m3 or 3 500 m3 per year, which is the equivalent of free public services for 150 000 people. The CWH website claims that water is used two to three times more efficiently; therefore more people can be serviced by the same amount of water. Some 50% to 70% of the community’s water is recycled.In addition, energy demand is 100 000 kWh lower per year – as solar energy is used instead of fossil fuels. Access to electricity is not required, reducing the pressure on the environment.“Our partnering with the DST and its project team aims to benefit the poor and contribute jointly to better livelihoods in South Africa,” commented German ambassador to South Africa Dieter Haller, adding that he was proud of the results of the science and technology partnership.Germany and South Africa have collaborated extensively over the years in fields such as economy, biodiversity, defence, geoscience, environment, culture, development cooperation, and science and technology. The two countries have bilateral agreements in place in a number of areas and are currently involved in some 80 active projects with a total investment value of R951-million ($125-million).Access to clean water a global problemThe World Health Organisation states that as of 2002 only 58% of the entire global population had access to improved water, while access to proper sanitation stood at 36%. Many people have to travel long distances to get water from rivers and wells, while drinking from these unreliable sources increases the risk of contracting water-borne diseases such as cholera, hepatitis E, typhoid and dysentery.Part of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals drive is to improve water supply across the world. The World Health Organisation reports that in order to meet the goal of halving the number of people without sustainable access to drinkable water and basic sanitation by 2015, an additional 260 000 and 370 000 people every day from now until 2015 must gain access to improved water and sanitation respectively.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view Useful linksCommunal Water House project websiteDepartment of Science and TechnologyDepartment of Water Affairs and ForestryGerman Federal Ministry of Education and ResearchWorld Health OrganisationUnited Nations Millennium Development GoalsIkwezi Municipality (Jansenville) read more

Is a kiss just a kiss?

first_imgSamson MulugetaWhen Jacob Zuma was confirmed as president of South Africa in parliament in Cape Town on May 6 2009, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela stood up to congratulate him by wrapping her left arm around his neck and planting a kiss on  his lips. For South Africans, it was as normal as a handshake. But for foreigners, it was a classically South African custom.Many world travellers say that South Africa is the only place where they have noticed that people who are not married or romantically involved give each other quick pecks on the lips as a form of greeting. Friends do it, relatives do it, little kids do it, whites do it, blacks do it, coloureds do it. In South Africa, almost everybody does it at social and family gatherings.No-one talks in public about things like this but everybody finds it interesting. And types different greeting around the world are fascinating: the fist-pump in the African-American community made famous when Michelle did it to Barack during the campaign, the complicated hand-shakes of some South Africans that end with a thumb snap, and the “I love you, man” shoulder hug of guys the world over.The lip balm company, Blistex, has a nice list of greetings customs around the world.Is it indeed only a South African thing? What is the etiquette around it? Is the right reaction to respond in kind, offer a cheek, or hold the other person at arm’s length?An email inquiry brought in a torrent of responses.Many foreigners living in South Africa have long been amazed by this bit of local colour.“I find the protocol for greeting someone in South Africa more complicated and varied than just about anywhere else I’ve been,” said Kristy, an American living in Johannesburg.  “For me, it’s basically a question of remembering which of my friends is a hugger, which a cheek kisser and which a lip kisser and responding in kind. But sometimes I forget, and go for the cheek while they’re going for the lips and there’s this awkward fumble!”Sara is a Swede who spent a month in South Africa in East Brunswick, a mostly coloured area.“I noticed these quick pecks on the lips and was a bit amazed,” she said. “But it took about two to three weeks until I received my first ones, by a female friend. I was a bit shocked at first as I didn’t expect it, but then I realized it was a sign of friendship. In Sweden we shake hands until we know each other a bit better, then we hug.”Eva has lived here for 13 years and has inherited a South African family that crosses the coloured and Xhosa spectrum, but is still not used to the custom.“Both cultural groups (the coloured and Xhosa) do the lip kissing thing and no, you don’t have to be close family, which would have made a little more sense,” said Eva, who was born in Uganda but grew up in the United States. “I will never get used to kissing 30 to 40 people at a family event, and watching my kids have to do the same. I love hugs and happy to kiss cheeks as many times as a cheek is offered, but I always feel the lip kissing thing is just a little too intimate!”Justin is a South African journalist who has travelled and lived abroad but is now back home.“I never really thought of this as being an exclusively South African thing, though now that you mention it, I realise that having spent quite a few years outside of South Africa, I have negotiated the various conventions of cheek kissing (once, twice, or thrice) or handshaking or hugging in different countries – but never encountered the lip kissing thing elsewhere,” he said.“I’d say that there is some ethnic differentiation involved – I am more likely to lip-kiss with coloured or white Afrikaans friends than others. Among my other friends, I do with some and not others – it’s hard to distinguish why. I can’t remember what was more common when I was growing up (in a white Anglophone community), cheek kissing or lip kissing. Though lip kissing was certainly not unusual, as it seems to be elsewhere in the world.”Justin lived for many years in Angola where he had to negotiate different conventions of greetings.“I remember when I’d been a long time in Angola, where every social occasion involves a lot of cheek-to-cheek kissing, twice,” he said. “Back in South Africa, without thinking, I did a double cheek-kiss with a friend whom I would normally lip-kissed and then realised she must have thought I was being very strange, or pretentious.”Justin said that cheek-to-cheek kissing is rarer in South Africa, but that it is catching on in some circles.“I’d say that cheek-to-cheek-twice is definitely foreign to South Africa – though it is catching on in some circles. Even cheek-to-cheek-once (no lip contact) is a little bit foreign. In families if it’s not lip-to-lip, it will be one person’s lips on the other person’s cheek,” he said. “But then hugging is also becoming more common, and is less complicated. It’s now fine for men to hug each other, which it definitely wasn’t when I was a kid.”Paul, who owns a guesthouse in Melville, comes from an “Anglo Saxonish” family.“A kiss on the lips as a hello (between women and men, and women and women but not men and men!) is standard fare,” he said. “The cheek kissing thing is more European and considered a bit upper-class and offish. It’s a bit like the African handshake in social occasions as you’re never quite sure when to do it or how it’ll be construed.”Laura, a newspaper editor, said she would extend the custom to southern Africa because she has noticed it in Zimbabwe and Botswana.“It’s a funny thing though, I always try to offer a cheek, but some people get offended when you don’t want to kiss them on the lips,” she said.Delicia, who is coloured and lives in Pretoria, said her American fiancé had asked her about this form of greeting and she could not give him an adequate answer.“I was brought up greeting people this way,” she said. “My dad tells me it’s an English habit.”Astrid, who grew up in Cape Town, said: “’I am coloured and it’s definitely something we do; that’s how I was brought up. We greet with a little peck, but not just to anyone, mainly family or very close friends.”Marlize, an Afrikaner, said: “To greet with a kiss is something that we grew up with. It’s something completely normal to me.  But it’s also something you do more with people that you associate with, a somebody that you like. Not everybody. Also, times have changed, and people are influenced a lot by other people they meet from other countries. “Khadeeja, a Muslim South African of Indian descent, said greeting on the lips as a greeting is rare in her community. “Indian community does not do this among themselves,” she said. “Only my white friends greet this way … the rest of the cultures in South Africa (that is, in my circle) all peck on the cheek, or hug, or shake hands. Personally, I don’t like it, as it is an intimate act.”Virginia, who is of French and Ivorian background, said that her main challenge is to remember what each friend’s preference is. Her now seven-year-old daughter quizzed her when they first moved to South Africa four years ago.“When my daughter asked me why people were kissing on lips, especially parents with their kids – while I had told her it was only a ‘lovers’ thing,” she said. “I then told her that different people from different cultures have different habits. But she was really puzzled by my answer, didn’t seem convinced for a while and eventually just had to accept it (and accept that I will not kiss her on the lips, whatever happens).”Flavia, who was born in Brazil and now lives in Johannesburg, said: “I think it’s just a continuation of what mothers and fathers do to their toddlers. I mean, I don’t have kids but I’ve seen different people kissing their toddlers on the lips. I see it as a very nice show of affection between friends and family members. From my experience it’s not isolated to any race, as I have friends from all backgrounds that do that. “Katarina, who is from Sweden and now lives in Johannesburg with her South African husband, said she still struggles to get it right.“The first time I kissed a South African friend goodbye we ended up in a face fight where – I understood much later – he was aiming for my mouth and I for his cheeks,” she said. “Since then I’ve learned to embrace this way of greeting but live in a constant fear of – without thinking – opening my mouth too much or start doing funny things with my tongue.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]last_img read more

Issues in Supply Chain Management Can Be Catastrophic During Peak Season

first_imgAs we all are well aware, the holiday shopping season seems to be starting earlier with each passing year. It was October when I saw the first commercial advertising for the holiday season.While holiday shopping patterns in retail stores is something we may all notice, there are other areas within the business that may not be as visible to the customer but are just as impactful on the business. The one thing that I have witnessed firsthand is how retailers’ new strategy of providing more options to consumers earlier in the shopping season is affecting issues in supply chain management.“Peak,” as it is referred to, is the time leading up to Christmas when holiday order volume increases dramatically. That’s roughly fourteen weeks of what is now becoming pure chaos for logistics providers.- Sponsor – Here are two key areas where the industry is failing to keep up with the changes in holiday shopping habits and some basic steps that can be taken to address the growing issues in supply chain management.Volume Projections: It’s a Guessing GameMost retailers have analytic models that produce estimated volume projections to determine the number of orders that will be passing through the supply chain network. This information is passed on to contracted transportation providers, allowing them to plan for the staffing models necessary to handle the anticipated product volume.Despite all the computer analytics being used, the one thing that cannot be easily forecasted is how online ordering can be affected by the unpredictability of human behavior. This is especially true from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. In talking with my loss prevention peers in both retail and transportation, consumer sentiment was grossly underestimated going into the holiday season. So regardless of the current political atmosphere, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, or the potential that North Korea may launch a nuclear bomb, US consumers were ready to spend money this holiday season.This buying atmosphere creates both a positive and negative scenario for businesses in the supply chain. The obvious positive result is an increase in revenue. However, a less-than-ideal result follows when unplanned volume cripples the infrastructure that moves parcels along the supply chain. This would be the equivalent of a dam breaking fifty miles upriver with all the towns downriver flooded as a result—except the flood comes in the form of packages.To avoid this type of catastrophe from occurring again, retailers must do a better job of preparing for holiday issues in supply chain management. It’s crucial to be ready for a potential spike in online sales and projecting product volumes in real time. This may be challenging since most of these online orders are being placed during the Thanksgiving holiday when the majority of corporate America is out of the office. One solution would be to have retailers streamline the flow of information to logistics providers by providing daily volume-trend monitoring that is communicated immediately to transportation providers.Transportation, Bottlenecks, and a Tangled InfrastructureThe majority of retailers that do business online don’t have their own transportation infrastructure. This means they have to contract out transportation companies to move freight, which can cause additional issues in supply chain management. One of the most costly services in business is transportation. Therefore, most companies will look for the most cost-effective way to move that box from the warehouse to the client. This cost will vary greatly depending on several factors, which include:The time it takes to deliver the package,The distance the package has to travel, andThe method of delivery.Typically, the more convenient the process is for the customer, the higher the transportation cost will be for the retailer. As a result, most companies will look for a balanced approach that will satisfy both the customer expectation and the costs associated with transporting the order.What this means is that everyone is ultimately contracting with everyone else, and parcels can easily transit multiple companies before reaching your doorstep. With each touch point is an exposure to a parcel being lost or stolen. It is difficult to investigate losses in this network when volumes are normal. Add 50 percent or greater volume in a very short time span, and investigating loss becomes nearly impossible.Some of the contributing factors to this loss include lack of management oversight, mis-shipped packages, and theft that is camouflaged due to operational failures. It is critical for transportation providers to be able to plan and manage this volume appropriately.The most common areas where loss occurs during peak are during the morning launch of drivers. This is when the terminal has the most amount of freight on the floor and the least amount of management oversight. Transportation managers should also focus on conducting spot audits of drivers prior to them launching. This will not only keep the drivers honest but also allow management to find misloaded packages that occurred by mistake.Learn more about the third key area where the industry is failing to keep up with changes in holiday shopping habits in the full article, “The Fallout of Holiday Peak,” which was originally published in 2018. This excerpt was updated May 28, 2019. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

HP Discover 2014 – A Recap from Barcelona

first_imgHP Discover 2014 has officially come to an end, but we’re still basking in the glow of the exciting three days when IT leaders from across the globe gather to discuss the future of technology. Join us as we examine the highlights and takeaways from HP Discover’s second annual event in Barcelona.Day 1 – Disruptive Innovation“This is a time of relentless disruptive change for businesses and for governments. Think about it — ceaseless information flows, threats and uncertainty, constant connectivity, instant gratification, new channels, new markets, and new business models. No company survives without adapting. Without the ability to question, to rethink, to change, and to renew. Not your companies and not us.”HP president, chairman, and CEO Meg Whitman kicked off the event with an impactful keynote on the shift from traditional IT to a new style of IT. She emphasized the need for an infrastructure designed to support the needs of the business, as well as the necessity for agile, scalable technology solutions. With the converging forces of big data, cloud, and mobility, consumerization is poised to revolutionize operations and permanently change the way IT supports the business.Day 2 – Intelligent Business TransformationHP had several key product unveilings that reiterated the current focus on a new IT. New servers, storage, converged systems, and services were evidence of HP’s focus on re-imaging old technology while embracing emerging technology and future disruptors. Discussions ranged from HP Haven (currently the sole big data platform on the market) to The Machine, a computing model that will bear tremendous weight in the evolution of data processing and analysis. “Computers have basically been built the same way for the past 60 years. At HP Labs we want to rethink computing,” said Martin Fink, CTO and director of HP Labs. “This Machine, our goal — in effect — is to allow us to run Haven on steroids.”Day 3 – A New Style of ITThe Intel booth remained a mainstay for event participants for the duration of the event; luckily Ivana Jordanova, HP sales business development manager for Intel EMEA, was there to give those not in attendance a tour.This year’s HP Discover was an enthralling look into the progress of IT in business. The overall focus on big data, cloud innovation, cybersecurity, and mobility in the enterprise was very much a reflection of the SMAC stack — social, mobile, analytics, cloud — we’ve been prioritizing at Intel. Great things lie on the horizon for IT, and we’re happy to be a part of that.Until next year, adiós de Barcelona!last_img read more

STF nabs key JMB leader from Chennai

first_imgKolkata: Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police has arrested a Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terrorist from Chennai on Tuesday morning. The JMB member has been identified as Asadullah Shaikh alias Raja of Nityanandapur at Bhatar in East Burdwan.According to sources, following the arrest of four JMB members, police were trying to locate other members of the banned terror outfit. A few days ago, STF officials came to know that one of the top JMB leaders was hiding somewhere in Chennai. Immediately, a team was sent to Chennai, who got in touch with the local police. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaOn Tuesday morning, police identified the hideout of Shaikh. Soon, the STF team along with the support of local police, raided the place at Nilangarai, Thoriyapakkam in Chennai and were able to nab him. He was produced before the Judicial Magistrate, Alamdur, with an appeal for transit which was eventually granted. The court has allowed three days transit remand for Shaikh to be produced at the Kolkata Court. During preliminary interrogation, police came to know that Shaikh had rented the house in Chennai in order to hide. He had fled from his house in Bhatar immediately after the Khargaragarh blast, which took place on October 2 in 2014. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayPolice suspect that Shaikh was also involved in the Bodh Gaya blast. He was the closest person to JMB leader Kausar, who is one of the prime accused in the Khagragarh blast case. Kausar was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in August 2018 from Bengaluru. At that point of time, Shaikh was also hiding somewhere in South India. After the arrest of Kausar, he fled from his hiding place. Since then, Shaikh had taken shelter in Chennai and was living there. Locals in Bhatar claimed that before the Khagragarh blast they knew that Shaikh works in a brick manufacturing unit in Chennai. He used to come home once or twice a year.last_img read more

Commentary Individual success under spread offenses in college might not translate to

When I first heard that renowned coach Urban Meyer was returning from retirement to coach at Ohio State, I almost choked on the microwavable meal I was eating. I mean, this was the coach who led the Florida Gators to two national championships in 2006 and 2008. Possibilities of great potential rushed through my mind. OSU could now return to its title-contending status it had under former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel. Some changes, however, would need to occur. One of these changes was the implementation of the spread offense into the playbook. No harm done, right? I mean, numerous college football programs across the country use the spread offense and thrive, including many schools in the dominating Southeastern Conference, where Meyer previously coached. In the realm of college football, it’s a great idea. But what happens when the top-notch players move to the NFL? The spread offense has been tried in the National Football League and, sometimes, it can bring some success. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady used this scheme in 2007. But, time and again, the spread offense, for the most part, doesn’t work in professional football. The old tradition of dropping back in the pocket and making plays rules dominant in the NFL and will most likely do so for a long time. The question facing college athletes playing in spread formations across the country is whether individual success in that type of offense translates to the pro level? It might just be the case that it doesn’t. Need an example? How about former Gators and current New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow? Tebow played in Meyer’s spread offense at Florida and he was a freak of college football nature, winning the Heisman Trophy and two national championships. Tebow entered the NFL after his senior season in 2010 and was drafted 25th overall by the Denver Broncos. Once Tebow had his chance to be a starter, he led the Broncos, who began last season 1-4, to the playoffs. Since Tebow was accustomed to using his running ability often in Meyer’s spread offense, though, he was forced to buckle down and throw in the pocket in NFL. He failed miserably, not even being able to throw with the correct form. This complication allowed Tebow and the Broncos to eventually be flushed out by the New England Patriots in the playoffs. Despite Tebow’s sincere dedication to reshaping his throwing form, it didn’t help him when it mattered most. Everyone knows from a psychological perspective that integrated physical habits are extremely hard to overcome. Now, Tebow finds himself as New York Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez’s backup. This was also the case for quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who was the quarterback for the LSU Tigers and played in a spread offense under Tigers coach Les Miles. While he was a dominant player in college like Tebow, Russell struggled after being drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2007. In May 2010, the Raiders cut Russell. While it’s hard to say that the spread offense doesn’t work at all in the NFL, the chances aren’t good from a historical point of view. Spreading the offensive line can open up holes for a no-huddle offense in college, but the speed and athleticism by defensive players in the NFL is too great, and the players will still cover the open gaps. So what about OSU quarterback Braxton Miller? Known for his ability as a dual-threat quarterback, Miller has done well as the Buckeyes’ (3-0) season rolls on. But being under this coaching scheme, success in the NFL still remains murky. Meyer is a sensational coach, there is no question. He’s arguably the best coach in the game right now. His plays and schemes work well for college football, but is his work really going to Miller if he moves on the big stage? read more

Smith reveals key Terry talks for Villa job

first_imgAston Villa head coach Dean Smith opened up on his role in convincing John Terry to join the club’s coaching staff following his retirement.Smith emerged as Steve Bruce’s replacement on Wednesday, with Terry and Richard O’Kelly acting as assistant coaches to the former Brentford manager.“I was told there was an opportunity to take John and I said if I speak to John I think we can both come up with good enough honest answers to see if we both want to move on with it or not,” said Smith via Sky, who took his first training session at Villa alongside Terry on Monday.“That’s what we did. John and I spoke about it and decided it was right. If it wasn’t we both could have said no but I felt it was a win-win for both of us. It was my decision to bring John in, yes.Tottenham Hotspur v FC Internazionale - 2019 International Champions CupMatch Preview: Tottenham vs Aston Villa Boro Tanchev – August 10, 2019 Tottenham Hotspur will get their 2019-20 Premier League season underway at home against Aston Villa, today at 18:30 (CET).“It was probably an hour of Facetime meet. He was warming up for a pro-am golf event and he probably wanted it to be a bit quicker. But to be fair we both had really good questions that we wanted to ask.“He’ll be the first to admit he was nervous this morning. You’re going in front of people who you were once in the dressing room with, having banter with, and getting involved in coaching them and trying to improve them.“I’m quite flattered he’s chosen to work us and Richard, to get those coaching hours in and learn what we do.last_img read more

Kenai River Reopened To Sockeye Salmon Fishing

first_imgAs of August 20, 926,917 sockeye salmon have passed the department’s sonar at river mile 19. Sockeye salmon harvest that occurred prior to the closure August 1 and any additional harvest that may occur for the remainder of the season are not expected to result in escapement below the SEG. The passage of sockeye salmon into the Kenai River has achieved the sustainable escapement goal (SEG) of 700,000 to 1,200,000 Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon, according to the DF&G. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is reopening sport fishing for sockeye salmon on the Kenai River and restoring the bag limit of three fish per day, six in possession effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, August 23.  Sport Fish Cook Inlet Management Coordinator Matt Miller: “With sockeye passage exceeding 900,000 we’re glad to be able to return an opportunity for folks to fish for sockeye as the season winds down.”center_img Anglers are reminded this does not affect sockeye salmon fishing in the waters of the Upper Kenai and Russian River confluence. These waters are managed for Russian River sockeye stocks and closed to the retention of sockeye salmon by regulation August 20. Poor performance by Kenai River late-run sockeye salmon resulted in sport, personal use and commercial closures and restrictions starting in July and continuing through August.last_img read more