Home' Greymouth Star : June 27th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1844 - Founder of the Mormon Church,
Joseph Smith, and his brother are killed by a
mob who break into an Illinois jail where they
have been imprisoned on politically-related
1880 - Ned Kelly and his gang
of bushrangers occupy Glenrowan
Hotel in Victoria.
1893 - A major stockmarket plunge
begins in the United States, leading
to a depression and the collapse of
600 banks and 74 railway companies.
1961 - Death of William Wyler,
US film director responsible for Ben Hur.
1988 - Mike Tyson retains the world
heavyweight crown when he knocks out
Michael Spinks 91 seconds into the first round
of their title fight in Atlantic City.
1993 - Film star Julia Roberts and country
singer Lyle Lovett are wed.Their marriage lasts
2002 - John Entwistle, the bass player for
British rock band The Who, dies.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
General Sir John Monash, Australia’s military
commander in World War One (1865-1931);
Helen Keller, US blind and deaf scholar
(1880-1968); Bob Keeshan, US actor Captain
Kangaroo (1927-2004); Bruce
Johnston, US musician with the
Beach Boys (1942-); J J Abrams,
US television writer and producer
(1966-); John Eales, Australian
rugby player (1970-); Tobey
Maguire, US actor (1975-); Khloe
Kardashian, US tv personality (1984
-); Ariana Grande, US singer (1993-).
“Genius is eternal patience. ” — Michelangelo,
Italian artist (1475-1564).
“And when Jesus had been baptised, just
as He came up from the water, suddenly the
Heavens were opened to Him and He saw
the Spirit of God descending like a dove and
alighting on Him.” — (Matthew 3:16).
One of the largest
parties with a
ever to leave the
West Coast departs by railcar and will fly to
Sydney tomorrow to follow the New Zealand
Kiwis in Australia. All members of the West
Coast Rugby League Supporters’ Club, the
51-strong party will visit Sydney, Brisbane and
Surfers Paradise. They will see the Kiwi tests, at
Brisbane and Sydney.
“All the members of the party are very
thrilled about the trip, and with only three
days to go can hardly wait,” said the organsier
Mr G Warnes today.
At a social function on Saturday night,
members of the touring party got to know each
other. Decorating the walls were the jerseys
of all the major league playing countries.
Organiser for the Marist club, Mr P Kerridge
said there had been a great deal of work
involved but it had all been worth it.
In a very slim list of major and minor works
to be carried out this year by the Greymouth
Borough Council, biggest job financially will
be the new road over the Erua Moana lagoon.
This road will replace the present wooden
bridge to Blaketown, said borough engineer
Mr W R Beyk this morning.
Financial stringency brought about by a cut
in spending of the National Roads Board and
the maintenance of rates at their present level
has severely pruned the works programme.
Originally the engineer had a ‘budget ’ of over
£100,000 for spending within the department.
However, he realised in the early stages that
this would probably be an impossible amount
for the council to meet and had produced an
alternative works programme.
uFood for thought
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adick Thenest remembers how
his eight-year-old daughter
had a narrow brush with
death two years ago, when
she contracted cholera after
drinking contaminated water.
She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible
diarrhoea said the refugee from Burundi.
A slight delay in rushing her to hospital
would have meant something else — but
with God’s grace she sur vived.
The father of four, aged 35, is among
thousands of refugees grappling with
frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases
in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in
western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation.
Living in a refugee camp is a constant
struggle. You either stick to health rules or
contract diseases, he said by phone.
The health risks in Nyarugusu camp
— home to about 100,000 refugees,
mainly from Burundi and Democratic
Republic of Congo — have grown due to
an influx of people this year, amid spikes
in the political instability afflicting both
But Thenest, who came to the camp two
years ago at the height of political tensions
in Burundi, has learned how to protect his
family from bouts of diarrhoeal diseases
— a m ajor cause of death in children
“I always ensure that my children use
clean and safe water he said. I have
instructed them to wash their hands with
soap after using a toilet. ”
Thenest, who works as a technician with
international engineering charity Water
Mission, said the health situation in the
camp was improving as more people
get access to clean water from a recently
installed solar-powered water treatment
The plant produces thousands of litres
every day — women no longer go far to
fetch water, he said.
As part of a broader initiative to
help refugees access clean energy and
sanitation, Water Mission is installing
more such plants in three refugee camps in
The $5.3 million project, funded by
the Denmark-based Poul D ue Jensen
Foundation, is expected to provide safe
water for some 250,000 refugees in
Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli camps.
Benjamin Filskov, Water Mission’s
country director, said investment in solar
technologies by the organisation would
help communities access clean and safe
water, and contribute towards achieving
the world’s development goals.
“ We will document saved lives and
ensure general public health, as a result of
safe water,” he said.
According to Water Mission, the
Tanzania project aims to pump 100% of
the water using solar power, with diesel
generators as back up.
A recent shipment of 780 solar panels
to Tanzania will produce 226,000 watts
of power and provide a continuous supply
of safe water to keep children in good
health, it said in a statement.
With rising use of renewable energy,
refugee communities in Africa and the
Middle East are increasingly embracing
solar power to help build their economic
resilience, reduce deforestation and
prevent violence against women and girls.
From Dadaab in Kenya, to Darfur in
western Sudan and Azraq in Jordan,
solar power is being deployed to provide
affordable and sustainable energy
solutions for tens of thousands of
In semi-arid eastern Kenya, Africa’s
largest solar-powered borehole —
equipped with 278 solar panels — is
providing 16,000 refugees in Dadaab
camp with a daily average of about
280,000 litres of water, which they use for
drinking, cooking and personal hygiene,
according to the European Commission.
In Azraq, a 2-megawatt solar farm that
started operating in May — the world’s
first in a refugee camp — has enabled the
UN refugee agency, UNHCR, to provide
free, clean electricity to 20,000 Syrian
refugees, covering the energy needs of
two villages connected to the national
Refugee families can now run a fridge,
tv, fans and lights in their shelters, and
recharge their phones, which is crucial
for maintaining contact with loved ones
abroad, the agency said.
Yet while access to clean energy for
refugees and their host communities is
a global priority for UNHCR, analysts
say millions of displaced people still lack
access to sustainable, cheap energy sources
because of a lack of funding.
At Kakuma refugee camp in north-west
Kenya, residents receive 10kg of firewood
for cooking every eight weeks, but for
most, it is not enough, said Anna Okello,
a research analyst with Practical Action
Consulting International who works in
The need to gather extra firewood often
results in personal security problems as
adolescent girls and women face sexual
harassment when they go out to collect it,
Clean energy sources like solar can
deliver benefits to refugees by enhancing
safety, security, health and livelihoods, she
If reliance on firewood can be lessened
through solar cooking, this will have a
direct impact on the development and
protection of women in the camp, she said.
For example, it frees up time other wise
spent on firewood collection or cleaning
sooty pots, she explained.
A lack of electric power has caused other
problems for Kakuma’s nearly 180,000
“ I don’t dare go to the toilet alone at
night because it is too dark,” said Aisha
Ilanda, 31, from Congo.
Providing solar street lamps and lanterns
and energy-efficient cooking stoves can
greatly improve the lives of refugees and
contribute to their protection, Okello said.
Introducing solar technology to Kakuma
could also help build economic resilience
among refugees who make up a vibrant
community exploiting new business
opportunities such as charging mobile
phones and operating money transfer
ser vices like M-Pesa.
Access to solar energy would help these
businesses stay open longer; street lighting
could make the streets safer; and solar
lights can provide a safe learning space
inside homes, Okello said.
The sun is plentiful in Africa — it is free,
it does not pollute and will never run out
of power, she added. — Reuters
Water Mission worked closely with UNICEF to install 10 patented water treatment systems in Tanzania’s Nyarugusu refugee settlement, providing safe water to over 25,000
Burundian refugees, including this boy taking his first drink.
Solar energy powers refugees
When it comes to the natural world and
today’s advocates for it, Jane Goodall is one
of the first names that comes to mind.
The primatologist and renowned
environmental activist is most famous
for her work with chimpanzees, living
alongside the species for several years in
Gombe, Tanzania when she was in her
Goodall’s work led to a number of
important discoveries, including that these
animals could make and use tools, and feel
and express emotion in a similar way to
At 83, Goodall has seen a lot of the world
— she still travels about 300 days a year.
Despite the sometimes challenging issues
that face our environment today, she is
still positive and hopeful about the future,
something she will be discussing on her
tour of New Zealand which started in
Dunedin last night.
“I have to think positively about the
future of our planet because people tell me
after my talks that they have changed their
lifestyle, and people genuinely do care,”
Goodall says. “And I’ve seen change.
“ We’re not winning the battle. Not even
close, but there are a lot of things I see that
still make me hopeful.”
Goodall’s main message to the world, and
one she will be focusing on at her talks in
Dunedin, Wellington, Christchurch and
Auckland, is one she has been spreading
for years — it is not too late for the planet
and its inhabitants as long as we take
action and start to make changes.
“The big issue is that as the problems get
worse and the attacks on the environment
get worse, ordinary people just feel there’s
nothing they can do and they lose hope
and do nothing, and that ’s the disaster,”
“But more and more people are
beginning to think about the choices they
make and to see that all of these choices
are important. It isn’t too late.”
As Goodall puts it, her five main
reasons for hope are simple. Firstly, the
human brain and the new innovations
being created every day are limiting the
destructive impact humans are having on
Secondly, the resilience of nature, which
she highlights using the example of New
Zealand’s black robin. At one point the
species had just one fertile female left.
Today there are several hundred of
the birds and although still endangered,
the population managed to sur vive near
Thirdly is what Goodall describes as the
indomitable human spirit and the passion
of individuals in trying to make the world
a better place.
Fourthly and most recently is the
explosion and power of social media, with
people much more aware and able to
participate in events and organisations and
to be more connected than ever before.
And finally, the energy and commitment
of today’s youth — something Goodall
is very involved in through setting up the
Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots
New Zealand is one of more than 100
other countries involved in the programme,
in which young people from kindergarten
through to university select three projects
to work on — one to help people, one
to help animals and one to help the
“Humans can do the most amazing
things. We can send rockets into space
and build incredible things, and yet we are
destroying our home,” Goodall says.
“But at the end of the day, I think we can
still turn things around. Everywhere I go
people tell me what they are doing to make
a difference and that makes me hopeful,”
she says. “And we have to be hopeful.”
— New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: courtesy of the Jane Goodall Institute.
Jane with Uruhara in Gombe.
Jane Goodall’s message — it’s not too late
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