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Friday, November 30, 2012

Drogba, Eto’o, Pienaar, Heads of States, CAF, Others Unite Against Malaria

Coutersy IFEJ News
Drogba, Eto’o, and Pienaar Join Heads of State, CAF and Football Players Across Africa
to Unite Against Malaria in a New Health Campaign for the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations
Campaign Will Deliver Malaria Prevention and Treatment Messages Across the Continent

Johannesburg, South Africa, 30 November, 2012 – African football stars and heads of state will join the Roll Back Malaria Partnership’s United Against Malaria (UAM) campaign and pledge to distribute
life-saving malaria prevention and treatment messages throughout the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.  Football icons including Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, and Steven Pienaar, along with African Heads of State including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, will lend their voices to the cause, appearing in television spots, billboards and educational materials that will be distributed across Africa. Those Heads of State are members of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.
“We are thrilled to have malaria featured as a social cause of the 2013 Orange AFCON tournament,” said Hervé Verhoosel, Head of External Relations for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, at the press
conference in Johannesburg. “The strong partnership between United Against Malaria and the confederation of African Football (CAF) allows us to leverage the powerful platform of football to reach millions of  fans across Africa – where approximately 90% of global malaria deaths occur – with life-saving messages to help protect communities from this preventable and treatable disease.  The upcoming AFCON will build on the strong commitment and momentum of national federations and
their players from the 2010 FIFA World Cup and move us closer to making malaria a problem of the past. It is also a pleasure for us to have the presence and support of Mr. Kirsten Nematandani, President of
the South African Football Association, who is representing here today the 20 football federations supporting the campaign.”
“We, the South African Football Association, are proud to support the United Against Malaria Campaign and globally the Roll Back Malaria Partnership in order to save lives across the continent,” said Mr.
Kirsten Nematandani, President of the South African Football Association. “UAM is a great example of how football can help raise awareness to combat this killer disease.”
“Across the continent, football dominates the hearts and minds of children and parents alike. But, so does malaria – the cause of 174 million illnesses and nearly 600,000 deaths in African alone every
year,” said Samuel Eto’o, Cameroonian national team player and UAM champion. “We have united to utilize the power of football to fight malaria and we hope our fans will join us.”
Although preventable and treatable, malaria kills a child in Africa every 60 seconds and costs the continent an estimated minimum of US $12 billion in lost productivity and healthcare costs each year.
"I have been a victim of malaria and have witnessed first-hand the devastating effects it can have on individuals and families," said Didier Drogba, Cote d'Ivoire national team captain and UAM champion.
"We need malaria out of the game. Using the popularity of football to increase awareness of prevention and treatment methods will go a long way in the fight to show malaria the red card.”
"Malaria affects nearly everyone on the continent of Africa, including footballers and government leaders. With all eyes on the tournament and its participants, CAF and UAM are committed to utilizing this platform to communicate important messaging to end deaths from this devastating disease," said Mr. Hicham El Amrani, Secretary-General of CAF.
"When we all fight malaria together, we build stronger nations and save lives," said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. "As a football fan myself, I understand the game's power and popularity. We
have the tools to win against malaria and I urge others to join us in the fight."
In Nigeria, Malawi, Benin, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and other countries, malaria messages will be shared using football players, favorite teams and sports programs. Research has shown that audiences
retain and act on these messages more often when delivered by their football heroes. In those countries, billboards, sports journals, tournament programs will complement the PSAs on air to ensure the UAM campaign messages reach every household. In Cote d'Ivoire, images of Drogba and his teammates Kolo Toure, Gervinho and Salomon Kalou attract readers to malaria educational materials, and create excitement about ridding this West African country of the burden of malaria. The UAM campaign has broken language barriers by having PSAs recorded by football stars in over 18 African languages since the campaign was launched in 2009.
"I am honored to be a champion for this cause," said Steven Pienaar, UAM champion and former South African captain. "It is unacceptable that malaria kills one child in Africa every minute. We can take such
simple steps to prevent and treat this disease. United we can beat malaria."


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

Food, Water and Livelihoods in Pacific Islands underThreat

Invasive Species, Waste, and Extreme Weather Events among Key Challenges


Doha (Qatar), 30 November 2012 – Island communities in the Pacific Ocean are facing unprecedented challenges to their economies and environment from the impacts of climate change, according to a new report released at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar.

Sea level rise, tropical cyclones, floods and drought, combined with pressures from unsustainable fishing practices and coastal development, and consumption and production trends, are rendering the livelihoods of some 10 million people increasingly vulnerable, says the study.

Low-lying islands in particular could face projected losses of up to 18 per cent of GDP due to climate change.

The report recommends actions to enforce legislation, improve the availability of environmental data, and strengthen environmental institutions to help meet the major climate change challenges facing the Pacific region.

The study highlights successful efforts to create community-managed conservation areas, such as marine parks, which have used indigenous knowledge to improve recycling, energy efficiency and sustainable water use. Such techniques can be scaled up, and serve as a model for other regions, says the report.

Due to low greenhouse gas emissions and the sustainable management of the region’s forests – often by local communities – some Pacific islands could see net uptakes of CO from the atmosphere in the future.

The Pacific Environment and Climate Change Outlook was prepared by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and other organizations.

Covering 21 countries and territories, mostly small, low-lying island communities, the report provides a detailed assessment of the state of the Pacific environment, and lays out policy options for improving sustainable development in island communities. The experiences of over 500 communities are included in the study.

“This report presents concrete evidence that food, freshwater and the livelihoods of Pacific islanders are under threat, and that the Pacific is at the forefront in humanity’s efforts to combat and adapt to climate change, “said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“Enhancing local capacity to directly monitor, and manage, the impacts of the region’s changing environment is essential for reducing climate risks, but also for unlocking the potential economic benefits that a transition to an inclusive, low-carbon and resource efficient green economy can bring,” said Mr. Steiner.

State of the Environment and Regional Trends

The report highlights a severe shortage of data relating to environmental change in Pacific islands. Nevertheless, several key environmental trends are emerging across the region:

Land
·        Housing, food and other needs of growing population are placing limited land resources (land mass accounts for only 2 per cent of Pacific region) under intense pressure
·        Severe loss of mangrove forests, but region saw a net gain in forest cover between 2000 and 2009
·        Organic and chemical waste (eg. from mining) has become a major problem for both land and sea

Biodiversity
·        80 per cent of alien species in the Pacific are invasive or potentially invasive
·        60 per cent of reptiles, 21 per cent of mammal species, and 13 per cent of birds assessed in report are considered threatened (based on IUCN Red List)

Freshwater
·        Availability of freshwater varies highly, but demand is rising across the region
·        Leakage in water systems affects up to 50 per cent of water supply
·        Water conservation practices (eg. rainwater collection) have not been taken up widely

Fisheries
·        Main commercially exploited species are reaching limits of sustainable harvest
·        Catch of four main tuna species increased tenfold between 1960 and 2009
·        Use of Locally Managed Marine Areas now involves over 500 communities and is being extended to terrestrial areas

Coral Reefs and Marine Environment
·        Climate change and ocean acidification contributing to degradation of coral reefs
·        Important economic impacts as reefs provide major source of revenue from tourism and fisheries
·        Plastics (including marine litter) are a priority pollution threat

Drivers

The Pacific Environment and Climate Change Outlook stresses that efforts to build climate resilience need to go hand-in-hand with actions to tackle other causes of environmental degradation.  

Policy responses should seek to address such ‘drivers’ of environmental change, and not simply react to their effects.

Among the main drivers for the Pacific region listed in the report are:

Population growth: The population of the Pacific region grew at an annual rate of over 3 per cent between 1990 and 2011, with many urban areas growing at twice the national rate.

Exploitation of natural resources: Increased interest in mining activities could lead to more frequent disputes on land use, as well as the shift from subsistence farming towards cash crops such as palm oil
 
Climate Variability: Extreme weather events, coupled with low land elevation and concentrated coastal populations, mean communities in Pacific islands are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with lower capacity for emergency response

Recommendations

From efforts to improve waste management, to community participation in conserving marine areas, the report highlights many actions already underway in Pacific Island communities to tackle environmental degradation.

However, the current scale of action is insufficient to meet the growing challenges posed by climate change. This is primarily due to a lack of funds, skills, and important environmental data.

The report lays out a number of recommendations to improve the climate resilience of Pacific countries and territories, including:

·        Need to implement and deliver commitments made under multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), plans and strategies. Many countries have endorsed, but not yet implemented, agreements covering hazardous wastes, pollution, invasive species, and many other areas
·        Successful implementation will require extensive engagement with, and involvement, of local communities
·        Improved sharing and transfer of knowledge and skills is needed to improve research and data collection on the environment of Pacific islands
·        More awareness-raising activities to improve public knowledge of environment

Notes to Editors

The report covers the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) of:
American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.

A full copy of the report, the Pacific Environment and Climate Change Outlook, is available at: http://www.unep.org/pdf/PEECO.pdf

For more information, please contact:

Bryan Coll, UNEP Newsdesk (Nairobi) on +254 20 7623088 / +254 731666214, E-mail: unepnewsdesk@unep.org




When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

2011 CONAC Report: The Shocking Revelations on Misappropriation of State Funds, Money Laundering, 419 Scams

Billions Diverted at Kribi Deep Sea Port & Lom-Pangar
Network on Money Laundering Uncovered
40 Cases Deposited for Judiciary Action
The Anti-corruption Commission-CONAC has published a 300 pages document exposing the channels of misappropriation of public funds in Cameroon. The report which was presented to the general public by its President Dieudonee Massagam indicates that corruption in the country has reached it peak. The report was presented in four parts highlighted the strategies adopted in 2011 by the commission to check on corrupt practices.  According to the report, CONAC investigation focused mainly on four major axes, which are mining, forestry, social sector, electronic governance and public contracts. In the domain of controls, systematic controls were carried out on the execution of the Public Investment Budget, forestry and wildlife as well as the implementation of HIPC Projects in communities. CONAC control mission also visited the Kribi Deep Seaport and the construction of the Lom-Pangar dam. The third part was devoted on the prevention and punishment of corrupt practices. And the fourth part on cooperation in the fight against corruption.
2 Billion Embezzled at Lom-Pangar
Regarding the Lom-Pangar project, CONAC audit found many irregularities in procurement procedures from preliminary studies to the level of monitoring and the implementation. Cases of misappropriation of public funds estimated at billions of CFA francs involving Cameroonian officials in conveyance with officials of the bidding company contractors were also uncovered. According to the report, this project became the subject of appetites transgressors who found a boon to enrich themselves at the expense of the state and taxpayers. The payments made mistakenly to the detriment of the State or subject to corruption charges on public finances were estimated at FCFA 2,054,717,180 (two billion fifty-four million seven hundred and seventeen thousand one hundred and eighty francs).

Kribi Deep Seaport: White Collar Gangster Unmasked
The results of investigations on the project on monitoring and verification of transactions related to the expropriation and / or destruction of property as well as the compensation of victims have resulted in the discovery of numerous irregularities, abuses and financial favours. It is interesting to note that 58 of 809 beneficiaries’ compensated in each case were receive a payments ranging from 100 million and more than two billion CFA francs per person. The report of the Conac unmasked through a careful analysis of the conditions for the establishment and obtaining land titles in the area helped to understand that 65% of so-called land owners are not titled. In fact they are “delinquent white collar gangsters. A total of 149 land titles were compensated to the tune of FCFA 10,774,638,375, while people in the frantic search for property  were also identified among the owners whose lands are being registered were paid FCFA 8,383,688,000 (eight billion three hundred eighty-three million six hundred thousand). In addition, the report cites eleven categories of the biggest scams were fraudulently paid huge sums ranging from 500 million to more than 2 billion FCFA each. As a result out of the 149 land titles on the basis of which the compensation was calculated, 44 land titles were established after 6 February 2009, date of Order No. 156/Mindaf declaring the construction of port of Kribi. Compared to the overall total payment of 10,774,638,375 FCFA made as compensation to holders of land titles, those whose documents showed a date later than February 06, 2009 received 4,821,356,625 FCFA 44.7% in total.
40 Court cases/Money Laundering
CONAC report also reveled that in 2011, 40 cases were sent to court. The 40 cases were sent to court are estimated FCFA 10,518,533,171 (ten billion five hundred and eighteen million five hundred thirty three thousand one hundred seventy-one).
The report shows how public and private banks have been transformed to instruments of corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing. It also revealed how Managers of state corporations and bank managers are involved in dubious business. They are related to foreign trade transactions, foreign exchange transactions and questionable lending. Regarding the payment by check and bank transfer for the Treasury, the report shows that large sums of money from the state, representing the amount of tax charges are pending in 10 banks. The total amount of money as at 31 December 2010 amounted to FCFA 3,884,727,668 (three billion, eight hundred and eighty-four million seven hundred twenty seven thousand six hundred sixty eight francs). The CONAC instructed the Ministry of Finance to recover this money as a matter of urgency. The report also emphasizes on the fact that various techniques are used by government officials to carryout money laundering in the country. The report various techniques highlighted in the report which are commonly used include: false contracts between mother companies and their subsidiaries in transnational mafia network, the loan disguised and altered value (use of nominees) and the use of shell companies and nominees in the procurement is very rampant. This method of laundering of public funds is common. In general, the report says, the officer splits upstream markets and the provider or supplier overcharged downstream to generate a profit. The scam on the Internet "scamming or fraud 419" is also part of these techniques mafia.



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mafor Achidi Achu Judith Visits Ndu District Hospital after Fire Disaster, Donates to Victims

Maternity Section burnt down
Mafor Achidi Achu Judith has extended a hand of fellowship to fire victims at the Ndu District Hospital.  The fire guts Ndu District hospital in the night of Sunday 26, December 2012 leaving breastfeeding mothers and hospital staff helpless. Being the first elite to come to the assistance of the desperate victims, she brought along with her 10 mattresses, 12 bed sheets, 19 pair of shoes, 70 complete sets of dresses and 02 cartons of soap to support victims and hospital administration. Before handing over her donation to hospital administration, Mafor Achidi Achu Judith said she was touched when she learnt of the fire incident and as an elite, she could not stay unconcerned. She also visited the maternity section and the pharmacy which were completely destroyed by fire. Drugs and hospital equipment worth several millions have been consumed by fire while the women who were at the maternity lost all their belongings.
Reacting to her timely gesture, the medical officer for Ndu District Hospital expressed thankfulness and added that the support will go a long way to sustain the hospital at this difficult moment. The medical officer said Mafor Achidi Achu philanthropic gesture is a mark to be recognized and applauded.
The fon of Ndu on his part applauded Mafor Achidi Achu Judith’s intervention and reiterated that she has proven that she cares about her people. The Divisional Officer for Ndu we gathered has set up a commission to investigate the cause of the fire incident.
However, eye witness accounts indicate that everything in the maternity section of the hospital as well as the pharmacy has been consumed by fire. The hospital was destroyed in a fierce overnight fire that burnt down the entire structure and its content. Notwithstanding, no human casualty was recorded thanks to the intervention of the villagers. Sources say the fire has destroyed crucial records and other valuables equipment of the hospital. The fire was fanned by strong winds which are being experienced in the area during the time of the year. Even though some people are reported to have sustained some minor injuries, there were no immediate reports of serious injuries among those who were at the maternity section. No lives were lost in the incident; however, the cause of the fire was still unknown as at the time of filing this report.
Donation from Mafor Achidi Achu Judith
Eyewitness account informed that the fire spread to the entire building because of its state of nature as it was built so many years ago. It was gathered that in-patients who noticed the fire tried to put it out but could not. Though there was no casualty, drugs running into several millions were destroyed by the inferno and a woman we gathered also lost all her saving. Most of the drugs like anti-retroviral are very expensive and a lot of patients can't afford them, and with the pharmacy burnt, government should step in immediately to provide drugs in the short term because the patients can't afford to stop using the drugs, many claimed. The Divisional Officer for Ndu said elite should endeavour to copy the example of Mafor Achidi Achu Judith, being unwearied in doing good, and deeming it more blessed to give than to receive. As the Bible teaches us “Blessed be God for the unspeakable gift of his grace, whereby he enables and inclines some of his people to bestow upon others, and others to be grateful for it; and blessed be his glorious name to all eternity, for Jesus Christ, that inestimable gift of his love, through whom this and every other good thing, pertaining to life and godliness, are freely given unto us, beyond all expression, measure, or bounds”. As prescribed her gesture could easily be looked into through the lense of book of Mathew 9:6-15 “Money bestowed in charity, may to the carnal mind seem thrown away, but when given from proper principles, it is seed sown, from which a valuable increase may be expected. It should be given carefully. Works of charity, like other good works, should be done with thought and design. Due thought, as to our circumstances, and those we are about to relieve, will direct our gifts for charitable uses. Help should be given freely, be it more or less; not grudgingly, but cheerfully”. To conclude, before leaving Ndu after offering the gift, Mafor Achidi Achu Judith was described by the Mayor of Ndu Council DK Nfor and her own father retired Col. Sunde as a cheerful giver.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mismanagement Scandal at Nwa Council?

 By Fai Cassian Ndi
Nwa Council in Donga Mantung Division is purportedly suspected under a nonconventional epithet petition writer’s claim. CONAC we gathered is actually working on a petition from Nwa which has kick-started another debate. The petition signed by some four concerned citizens of that municipality (which we got hold of a copy), they are suspecting and questioning some expenditures in the council. “In effect, it is suspected that something may be getting wrong with the council finances in the said council: councilors are not allowed to deliberate on the extra-budgetary income before it is spent and the Finance Committee of Nwa Council has been completely marginalized” the petition reads. This state of affairs they say has urged them to solicit for an audit expressed in the forwarding stating that “a sum of eleven million FCFA cash surplus in the 2011 administrative account of Nwa Council is mysteriously not accounted for”. More so they are also questioning the whereabout of “a sum of 49 million FCFA paid to Nwa Council (suspected to be of the “credit carbone” source, November 2011) an amount which according to them came in when the budget was already adopted, yet it was never presented to councilors for a deliberations before it was incorporated into the 2011 budget for eventual expenditure.
The petition also claims that the mayor of Nwa, Dr. Ngomfe Loma David has also violated the contract code to buy a new Toyota Hilux in defiance to what was initially agreed by councilors that the money generated from the sales of the old council land rover and old council double-cabin Toyota Hilux of which has not yet been sold be used to buy a new vehicle for the council.
The petition also accuses the mayor of using the council double-cabin Toyota Hilux abusively by transporting building materials to council project sites without accountability. Besides that allegedly they claim fuel and stationeries are not known, as the Mayor “disregards existing regulations and administrative procedures in this domain”. The mayor is also accused that he “stood off the Nwa Council temporal workers in 2010, in total defiance of the council deliberations and resolutions of the March 2010 budgetary session which had sufficient provisions for the salaries and salary areas of the said temporal”, the petition further accuses of the mayor to have “single handedly proceeded to the employment of close to 60 temporal workers without the knowledge of his deputies and councilors. Zonal balance and equitability the petition as well as socio political balance were completely brushed aside they claim, noting that temporal workers are recruited based on favouristism and non transparency.
The petitioners also raised the issue of a certain 17 million FCFA set aside for maintenance works on the Nwa-Jah-Ngomko out of which only a sum of 5 million FCFA was actually spent and the balance of 12 million FCFA has never been accounted for. In addition, they also claim that a double payment for the JAN Bridge Project in a bid to enrich himself. The mayor is also accused of being a hidden contractor with his enterprise known as “Ets Hamza” which has won most of the contracts in Nwa. And the petitioners ended their petition raising an alarm on the rate at which the mayor attributes mission orders to himself….and that even the mayor’s “driver is put on an exaggerated salary and out-station allowances of more than 200.000FCFA at time, which is very revolting”. 
However, when contacted, the Mayor of Nwa Council Dr. Ngomfe Loma David said the accusations were unfounded and baseless. “What I can say about this petition is that the names that are there are non-existence names. They are writing from hiding, in fact they are cowards. However I am aware they are my political enemies and their fear is my growing popularity and my successes in Nwa. For instance, I took over this council with more than 70 million FCFA debts. Now I am paying November salaries and I am proud of that. I have completed four classrooms and eight others are ongoing. The fear, I repeat is my growing popularity. The truth is that I have done what a mayor has never done in Nwa. I know people are looking for my position and what I know is that the people believe in me and I am comfortable”.
In reaction to the purported surplus of 2011, he wondered where the information was coming from when the 2012 administrative account has not yet been presented to councilors for deliberations and adoption. “It should reflect in 2012 administrative account and not 2011” he added. On whether additional revenue of 49 million FCFA came into the council and it was never brought for councilors to deliberate on it, he argued that the funds were disbursed as “centime additional” (CIC from Feicom) and that is how it was used. He said the analysis of the disbursement came from Feicom after they council had used the money. On whether he favours some establishments in the award of contracts, he responded that he is not a member of the contract board. On the issue of violating council deliberation to buy a car for himself, Dr. Ngomfe said that there is no council deliberation to that effect and that the only deliberation was on the sales of the council tipper.” The vechile they say I bought, I used but Prime Ministerial gre-a-gre” he revealed. He said instead of instead of 17 million FCFA as stated in the petition, the contract for the construction of the road Nwa-Jah-Ngomko was 18 million FCFA and it was awarded accordingly. To conclude, Dr. Ngomfe Loma David said the accusations were more of political witch-hunting than mismanagement.
However, since there is no smoke without fire, we are investigating into the issues raised in the petition as well as the pronouncements made by Dr. Ngomfe. (a suivre)



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa