first_imgTHE Defence Forces are set to splash more than €1 million on new locker rooms for soldiers in Co Donegal, donegaldaily has learned.Contractors have already been given the go-ahead for the work which is taking place at a time of massive cutbacks in healthcare and in schools.The mechanical and electrical sub-contractors have now been appointed for the construction of a new locker changing facility at Finner Camp, Ballyshannon. Thomas Hanna & Company plus Eamon McGauran & Son Limited will carry out the work.The works will comprise of the construction of a building to house lockers, changing areas and associated shower and toilet facilities.It is expected to take six months to complete the works.Asked about the scheme, a Defence Forces source insisted the work was ‘incredibly urgent’. The source insisted: “The old facilities belonged to the dark ages. They were well past their ‘use by’ date.“Soldiers at Finner have been waiting for years for this upgrade and we believe it is money well spent.”The source added that the work had created local jobs.GOVERNMENT SPLASHES OUT €1 MILLION ON NEW LOCKERS FOR DONEGAL DEFENCE FORCES BASE was last modified: May 25th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

E-waste pilot project delivers

first_imgWorkers processed over 60 tons of e-waste in ten months. The aluminium rings used to make these pretty earrings came out of a harddrive. Left, an Africa-shaped clock made from a circuit board, and right, a prototype of the e-waste harddrive clock.(All images: HP e-waste plant)Janine ErasmusPreliminary results of a pilot project to tackle the growing problem of electronic waste, or e-waste, in Africa have been released, showing a number of beneficial spin-offs, including job creation and income generation.The project, taking place in South Africa, Kenya and Morocco, is run jointly by IT giant HP, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, and the Global Digital Solidarity Fund, which works to narrow the digital divide on a global level. A number of local organisations and NGOs are also participating.E-waste is defined as electrical or electronic equipment which is waste, including all components, subassemblies and consumables which are part of the product at the time of discarding. It includes computers and entertainment electronics consisting of valuable as well as harmful and toxic components.The aim of the project is to assess and improve the current situation of e-waste management in Africa in such a way that more jobs can be created, especially in the informal recycling sector. It also seeks to incorporate proven informal processing activities into the scheme, and grow them into sustainable operations.Project manager Mathias Schluep of the Swiss research organisation said that they were keen to tap into “some of the incredible entrepreneurial skills in the informal sector in Africa. By providing tools and training we have removed potential environmental and health problems that can be caused by handling e-waste incorrectly.”As most e-waste in developing nations is still disposed of informally, there is little in the way of regulation to protect the workers who are exposed to harmful substances. These include heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury, and chlorofluorocarbons.The three organisations involved have to date gathered important information on how African governments, organisations and society are managing e-waste, which is currently one of the fastest-growing sectors worldwide.“We see these projects in Africa as both providing employment opportunities for local communities and as a step towards a sustainable solution for tackling electronic waste in Africa,” said HP’s environmental business manager Klaus Hieronymi.Recycling as a last resortThe South African operation, located in the industrial area of Maitland, Cape Town, represented the main focus of the project. During its initial run from February to November 2008 the facility processed about 60 metric tons of electronic equipment, generated an impressive income of around R140 000 ($14 000) in the 10 months, and created direct employment for 19 people.The labour-intensive work involves low-tech material dismantling and component recovery from discarded electronic goods. Labourers were drawn from the local community, and were trained to refurbish and repair the unwanted equipment that poured in. Recycling was considered a last resort, and a few creative people even turned non-toxic waste into pieces of art, jewellery and useful items such as clocks.Information gathered from the pilot stage will be invaluable during the second phase, which will see the partners tackling the private sector and governments with a view to broadening the scope of the project to other countries and, eventually, the entire continent. It is hoped that the project will move to a sustainable level, with the deployment of medium to large infrastructure pilots in various countries.E-waste dilemmaThe Global Digital Solidarity Fund was delighted with the results, saying that the project has helped to solve the dilemma of what do with old equipment, since information technology is an important component of many developing countries’ economies. “We have moved some way to closing the loop by providing a model for safe and efficient treatment and disposal of e-waste,” commented spokesperson Cisse Kane.Assessment studies carried out in Kenya and Morocco have shed light on the e-waste situation in the two countries, particularly in terms of legislation, local awareness, infrastructure, and the total amount of waste generated.In Kenya the amount of waste produced from only computers, monitors and printers is about 3 000 tons every year, and this is growing. In 2007 the amount was 200% higher than in the previous year – this is attributed to the increasing importation of computers into the country. Steps should be taken now, said the project report, to address the emerging challenge.In Morocco the e-waste generated by all electronic equipment, including televisions, mobile phones and computers, adds up to a massive 30 300 tons.Neither country has any legislation in place to specifically address e-waste management. This is significant when considering the toxic content of e-waste. If not disposed of properly, heavy metals and other poisonous substances can leach out of discarded components into the soil or groundwater, contaminating plants and eventually the population.Formalisation of the e-waste recycling sector in the pilot countries is one of the issues to be tackled by the project as it moves into a higher gear.Keeping South Africa cleanIn South Africa the awareness of the importance of proper e-waste disposal is growing, and there are already a number of disposal points around the country. More information and exact locations can be found on the website of the E-waste Association of South Africa.E-waste activist Johnny Clegg, better known as one of South Africa’s most loved musicians, has taken up the cause in his capacity as co-founder of black economic empowerment company Vuthela Services. Vuthela is the majority shareholder of e-waste recycling specialist African Sky.“Europe generates more than 500-million tons of e-waste every year,” said Clegg. “If South Africa picked up just 5% of it, we could create 10 000 jobs.”South Africa has its own environmental watchdogs in the form of the Environmental Management Inspectors, better known as the Green Scorpions. This vigilant unit was formed in 2005 through an amendment to the national Environmental Management Act, which then provided for the appointment of environmental inspectors by national and provincial government.The unit is made up of members of the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism as well as representatives from South Africa National Parks. The Green Scorpions are tasked with enforcing the country’s various environmental laws, and bringing to book those who contravene the legislation.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesRecycle that old mobile Using waste to save the world Greenpeace takes on Africa Useful linksHPGlobal Digital Solidarity FundSwiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and ResearchThe Durban declaration on e-waste management in AfricaE-waste Association of South AfricaSwiss e-waste guideGreen ScorpionsSouth Africa National ParksDepartment of Environmental Affairs and Tourismlast_img read more

Honorary MBE for Natalie du Toit

first_imgDavid Dixon Award Incredibly, the following year she was back in the pool and competing in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. She went on to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, winning 13 gold medals and two silver medals. She also competed in the 10-kilometre open water swim in the 2008 Olympics, finishing sixteenth. South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, who led the way in bridging the divide between Paralympic and Olympic sport, is to receive an honorary MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), the British High Commission announced on Friday. Du Toit was presented with the first David Dixon award for the Outstanding Athlete of the Games at the closing ceremony. As a teenager, Du Toit was a rising star of South African swimming when she was involved in accident in 2001, which resulted in her left leg being amputated below the knee. “Natalie is an inspiration to up and coming athletes throughout the world and I am delighted she has been recognised for her achievements.” 30 September 2013 An honorary OBE is what’s next. Du Toit will be presented with the award by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex at a ceremony in Pretoria in October. After the 2008 Paralympics she was awarded the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award, which is presented at every Paralympic Games to one male and one female who best exemplifies the spirit of the Games and inspires and excites the world. After winning a silver medal in her last competitive event, the 100 metres freestyle, at the 2012 London Paralympics, she told reporters: “I look back and realise I gave everything in the pool and gave everything as a person. It’s time to move on. I’ve no idea what’s next.” She qualified for the 800 metres freestyle final – the first time in history that an athlete with disability had qualified for the final of an able-bodied event – and also won gold in the multi-disability 50m and 100m freestyle, both in world record times. Later that year, she received the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) Youth Leadership Award at the European Parliament in Brussels. Du Toit, who retired from competitive swimming after the 2012 London Paralympics, told the South African Press Association (Sapa) on the weekend: “I find myself extremely humbled and honoured to be receiving this auspicious award. To those that have made it possible, I thank you for believing in me and by having stayed by my side.” Order of IkhamangaIn December 2009, Du Toit was presented with the Order of Ikhamanga in gold by President Jacob Zuma. The award is made to South Africans who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism, and sport. Gold is the highest level, followed by silver and bronze. That same year Du Toit carried the South African flag at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, making her the only person in history to have carried her country’s flag at both events. ‘An inspiration’ In March 2010, she was named the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability. British Acting High Commissioner Martin Reynolds said: “Natalie has achieved great success in her sport, demonstrating an ability to compete with the best in both Olympic and Paralympic disciplines at numerous international sporting events.last_img read more