Covid 19 and religion

Humans have adhered to religious beliefs for thousands of years. Many belief systems fly in the face of advice for self and other protection against the current contagious virus.

Here we have an example in the news this month:

Israeli Hasids

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/ukraine-hasidic-jews-belarus-border-pilgrimage-israel-plea-13121262

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid 19 as many countries fight wildfires

As we continue to see the virus take its toll, watching the awful numbers at https://worldometer.pro, there is a background of other disasters for human to grapple with at the same time, such as the earth heating to unbelievable temperatures.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/death-valley-records-highest-temperature-107-years-heat-wave/


Conditions are such that many people will have to find somewhere safer to live. This blog briefly illustrates the wildfire issues.

Trump gave his opinion in an interview, September 2020:

President Trump doubled down on his denial of climate change yesterday by saying that scientists are wrong and claiming that the world will “start getting cooler.”

The remarks, delivered during a brief visit to California to discuss the state’s historic wildfires, run counter to mountains of research on global warming — including reports issued by his own administration (Climatewire, Nov. 23, 2018).

His comments ignored how climate change has contributed to natural disasters as the nation watches uncontrolled blazes spread across the West, causing catastrophic damage and killing more than 35 people.”

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1063713713

and NOAA has appointed “new deputy assistant secretary of commerce for observation and prediction. It’s not immediately clear what his specific responsibilities are or why he was hired, according to the news site.”  see: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/516160-delaware-professor-who-has-questioned-climate-science-hired-at-noaa

C02 Coalition are funded to oppose environmentalists

https://neweconomics.org/2020/08/road-to-recovery&sa=D&ust=1598436506209000&usg=AFQjCNF-jBcJBbWOBkj7Y8dBPjHNqHX_og

Ramiro Gomez / Creative Commons

The above map was 2014

And in 2017 https://sciexaminer.com/news/science/nasas-scientists-insinuate-never-seen-connection-wildfire-famine-africa-946.html


As the earth heats due to climate change, this is 2020:

USA https://fsapps.nwcg.gov/afm/

South America https://www.pixalytics.com/heat-fire/samerica-fires-openstreetmap/

Australia https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/21/everything-burnish g-australian-inferno-continues-choking-access-cities-across-country


Central Africa https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/27/world/africa/congo-angola-rainforest-fires.html


Expect tens of millions of internal climate migrants by 2050, says World Bank


And wars displace people who flee to places where wildfires are commonplace. Only this time, some of the people have Covid.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid 19 immigrants detained and placed in medical isolation



Reproduced from https://www.icij.org/investigations/solitary-voices/they-were-punishing-me-for-getting-sick/?utm_source=ICIJ&utm_campaign=1f8a56091a-0825_WeeklyEmail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_992ecfdbb2-1f8a56091a-82075869

“‘They were punishing me for getting sick’

Immigrant detention centers in the United States are locking detainees with COVID-19 in solitary confinement cells for days or weeks at a time, with little opportunity for medical treatment, according to detainees and immigrant advocates.

“In the end, what they did was psychologically torture me,” said Carlos Hernandez Corbacho, who said he spent more than a week in isolation cells at Arizona’s La Palma Correctional Center in June after showing symptoms of COVID-19. “That’s how I felt — like they were punishing me for getting sick.”

Quarantining people believed to have the coronavirus is crucial to slowing its spread. But solitary confinement cells that hold people detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, are a far cry from a hospital bed or a hotel room: cells are claustrophobic, sparsely furnished, and those confined are allowed limited social interaction. A stay can cause lasting trauma and trigger suicidal impulses.

Placing COVID-19 patients in solitary confinement, experts say, is inhumane and jeopardizes the overall population by deterring detainees from reporting symptoms.

“Resorting to solitary confinement to treat physically ill immigration detainees demonstrates ICE’s appalling inability to provide humane and truly civil detention,” said Ellen Gallagher, who works for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General. Gallagher has been an outspoken critic of ICE’s use of solitary confinement, which she calls “barbaric.”

The United Nations special rapporteur on torture has said that solitary confinement should be banned except in “very exceptional circumstances.” In 2019, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ Solitary Voices investigation found that ICE routinely isolates detainees that it sees as difficult to manage, including the sick, disabled and mentally ill, for extended periods of time in solitary confinement cells.

In an emailed statement, ICE said that its quarantine practices are not a punitive measure and are conducted in accordance with the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control guidelines. “Detainees who test positive for COVID-19 receive appropriate medical care to manage the disease,” ICE spokesperson Danielle Bennett told ICIJ in a statement.

ICE said that while it does medically isolate detainees, the experience is substantially different than punitive forms of solitary confinement. Quarantined detainees have access to recreation, telephone calls and libraries — subject to “restricted movement protocols” necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19, Bennett said. They can also communicate with lawyers and courts.

At any given time ICE holds tens of thousands of detainees awaiting immigration proceedings or deportation — processes that have slowed since the outbreak of the pandemic — at facilities dotted across the U.S. Conditions are similar to those in prisons: detainees live in close quarters and find it impossible to socially distance.

In recent months, ICE detention centers have seen surging coronavirus case numbers, with some facilities reporting exponential outbreaks. As of mid-August, nearly 5,000 detainees had tested positive for the coronavirus and ICE says five had died, although immigration advocates say this is an undercount. Activists and detainees around the country have pressed ICE to improve facility sanitation and to release vulnerable detainees.

ICIJ spoke with three current or former detainees directly — all held at La Palma — and reviewed detailed case notes provided by advocates and detainees describing an additional six instances. Each said they were put in solitary confinement after they were exposed to someone who had contracted the virus, after showing symptoms, or after testing positive.

CDC guidelines say that medical isolation should be “operationally distinct” from punitive solitary confinement, “both in name and in practice.” But in court documents and in interviews, detainees said their experience was effectively the same. They were locked alone in small cells and received little to no medical aid, they said.

Freedom For Immigrants, an advocacy group, has received more than a dozen reports of ICE detention centers in California, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Colorado and Arizona placing detainees who were suspected to have coronavirus into solitary confinement cells, including those typically reserved for segregating violent detainees from the general population.

In May, Choung Woong Ahn, who according to ICE had a history of mental illness and suicide attempts, hanged himself while quarantined in a solitary cell at the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Facility in California. The 74-year-old was undergoing a 14-day isolation period after returning from a stay at a hospital.

A memorial for Choung Woong Ahn was held San Francisco after his death. Image: Deborah SvobodaAnother detainee, Oscar Perez Aguirre at Colorado’s Aurora Contract Detention Facility, said he was hospitalized for COVID-19 symptoms, and returned to the facility so weak he couldn’t stand. He was put in a cold and dirty solitary confinement cell for more than two weeks, according to court documents.

In June, officials at Arizona’s Eloy Detention Center put at least 45 men in solitary confinement after they tested positive for COVID-19, Mother Jones reported.

At California’s Adelanto ICE Processing Center, and in Louisiana’s Pine Prairie Processing Center, detainees medically isolated in solitary cells reported being denied opportunities to shower and receive medical attention, according to Freedom for Immigrants.

Detainees at Adelanto and Alabama’s Etowah County Detention Center said they were reluctant to seek medical care due to fears of being placed in solitary confinement, the advocacy group reported.

“As the pandemic has progressed, we’ve documented a trend of people detained in ICE prisons not wanting to report symptoms out of fear they will be placed in medical solitary,” said Rebekah Entralgo, a spokesperson for Freedom for Immigrants.

Despite years of evidence to the contrary, CoreCivic — which contracts with ICE to run La Palma and a number of other detention centers — denies that their facilities use solitary confinement.

“The claim that solitary confinement is used in our facilities is patently false,” CoreCivic spokesperson Ryan Gustin said. “Like most public and private secure facilities during this pandemic, we use separate housing units within our facilities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 when someone is confirmed positive for the virus.”

Gustin said that CoreCivic has rigorously followed “the guidance of local, state and federal health authorities, as well as our government partners,” including at La Palma.

‘A nightmare’: Stuck in solitary with COVID-19

Hernandez Corbacho thought he’d finally reached safety when he first arrived in the U.S. 10 months ago. He and his wife, Maydel Curbelo Perez, had fled Cuba, where police were monitoring them for their vocal criticism of the country’s dictatorship, she said.

Carlos Hernandez Corbacho and Maydel Curbelo Perez

Using the money they had saved up for their wedding, the couple boarded a plane to Nicaragua in May of 2019, crawling up through Central America by foot and in a combination of buses, taxis and planes until they reached Nogales, Mexico. There, on the border with Arizona, they presented themselves to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for political asylum.

But things didn’t go as planned. ICE separated the two in detention. Maydel won her political asylum case in March, but Hernandez Corbacho’s court dates were repeatedly canceled amid the pandemic, leaving him stranded in ICE custody for five more months before the judge finally granted him asylum August 19.

In June, Hernandez Corbacho felt the first tickle of a cough in his throat. Hernandez Corbacho had contracted a virus that has killed over 800,000 across the globe.

But he said he was afraid to say anything. He’d heard rumors of officials locking detainees with COVID-19 symptoms in solitary, and wanted to put it off as long as possible. By the third day, his symptoms had grown severe: he had headaches, chills, nausea, and had lost his sense of smell. An official took him to see the nurse, who, inexplicably, sent him back to his cell, he said.

After vomiting throughout the rest of the day, staff finally took him to the infirmary to be tested, at the insistence of his fellow detainees. He tested positive for COVID-19.

ICE officials put Hernandez Corbacho in what he describes as an isolation cell in the infirmary, which he said was filthy: full of dirt, dust and bugs that he had to clean away himself. It was furnished only with a bed. He had no books, or entertainment, other than a Bible. There were no windows. The frequent clanging of iron cell doors, opening and closing like a cargo train, and guard radio conversations made it impossible to sleep.

I cried. I thought, he’s going to die in there – Maydel Curbelo Perez

Alone in his cell, he still felt nauseous and ill. Officials gave him an aspirin, which felt lucky — he’d heard most sick detainees got nothing. As his symptoms abated, they were replaced by anxiety and restlessness.

Across the country in Miami, his wife was panicking. She knew her husband was sick. They talked on the phone daily. Suddenly she couldn’t get a hold of him. A friend released from La Palma told her he’d seen Hernandez Corbacho taken to the infirmary, but when she called, no ICE official would tell her where or how he was.

“I was so scared,” she said. “I cried. I thought, ‘he’s going to die in there.’”

After five days, guards moved him into a solitary confinement cell primarily used to punish detainees, he said. It was also filthy, and also sparsely furnished. Three days later he was released back into the general population, he recalls. He still felt sick.

“I never thought I’d experience in the United States the kind of abuse that occurs in my country,” he wrote in an open letter to human rights groups. “I lived a nightmare.”

After the first couple days in isolation, he was able to call his wife again. On the other end of the phone, she worried for his mental health. She encouraged him to read, to write — to find some way of occupying his mind.

“At the end, he was telling me, ‘I can’t take it anymore,’” she said. “It was making him desperate.”

Why solitary doesn’t work for medical isolation

Containing an outbreak in any kind of facility — from detention centers to prisons to nursing homes — has proven a challenge even in the best of situations. For detention centers, the simplest solution, experts say, is to release as many detainees as possible.

As soon as March, thousands were released early from U.S. prisons to lower the risk of the virus within facilities — including several high-profile, white-collar criminals like Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. ICE detainees are held on civil, not criminal, charges.

There are measures detention centers can take to mitigate the spread, like extensive testing, contact tracing, social distancing, personal protective equipment and reliable communication, said Dr. Terry Kupers, a psychologist specializing in the effects of solitary confinement. But that approach has its limits.

“Correctional facilities have a very, very poor record of doing all of these things in the best of times, and they’re not intensifying their approach during the pandemic,” he said.

Detention centers simply aren’t outfitted with the facilities to control a virus at this scale, said David Cloud, director of research at University of San Francisco’s Amend, a team of academics advocating for criminal justice reform. Solitary confinement cells are used, in part, because there’s often nowhere else for sick or exposed detainees to go, he said.

In cramped detention facilities, medical isolation can still fail to contain the spread of infection. Shared ventilation, cross-contamination and the movement of guards can still spread the virus within the facility, Kupers said.

The effectiveness of medical isolation is even more inhibited if the distinction from punitive solitary confinement isn’t clearly communicated because it can deter the sick from coming forward, Cloud said.

That means officials should strive to make detainees as comfortable as possible in isolation, safely providing them with access to medical aid, recreational activities, entertainment and some social interaction, he said. Medical isolation that feels like a punishment dissuades detainees from reporting symptoms, which can continue to fuel an outbreak.

Entralgo agrees, adding that the pandemic has amplified some of the most difficult issues facing detainees.

“Covid-19 has really exacerbated some issues that already exist within the immigration detention system,” Entralgo said. “Poor medical treatment, lack of communication with the outside world — these things have existed in immigration detention for decades.”


                                                                                            *********************

In the meantime Trump continues to redirect funding from the US Coast Guard and other agencies to a detention system whose daily population has grown by more than 40% since he took office. And it’s only getting bigger.

Read also https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/24/detained-us-largest-immigrant-detention-trump

In memory of 74 yr old Korean immigrant, Choung Woong Ahn


“This tragedy was senseless and preventable,” said Eunice Cho, senior staff attorney with the ACLU National Prison Project. “Suicides in ICE detention have increased to disturbing highs under this administration — and that was before COVID-19. ICE is now detaining approximately 28,000 people; many have reported receiving almost no official information about the pandemic. Make no mistake: ICE and the administration are responsible for this death. No one should be held in civil detention during a pandemic.”



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid-19-driven need

With few exceptions, the richer the wealthy become, the more selfish they behave, from severely diminished contributions to charities to the failure to exert leadership to reverse the breakdown of society. Take all the failures of the election machinery from obstructing voters to simply counting the votes honestly with paper records. The U.S. Senate won’t vote to give the states the $4 billion needed for administering the coming elections despite the Covid-19-driven need for expanded voting by mail. The Silicon Valley, undertaxed, mega-billionaires could make a $4 billion patriotic donation to safeguard the voting process in November and not even feel it.

Rampant commercialism knowing no boundaries or restraints even to protect young children is running roughshod over civic values. Every major religion has warned about giving too much power to the merchant class going back over 2000 years. In our country, justice arrived after commercial greed was subordinated to humane priorities such as abolishing child labor and requiring crashworthy cars, cleaner air, water, and safer workplaces. Mercantile values produce predictable results, from excluding civic groups from congressional hearings and the mass media to letting corporations control what the people own such as the vast public lands and public airwaves.

Then there is the American Empire astride the globe, enabled by an AWOL Congress and propelled by the avaricious military-industrial complex. In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower presciently forewarned that “[W]e must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” All Empires devour themselves until they collapse on the countries of their origins. Over 55% of the federal government’s operating spending goes to the Pentagon and its associated budgets. The military-industrial complex increasingly leads to quagmires and creates adversaries abroad, as it starves the social safety net budgets in our country. Our country’s military spending with all its waste is surging and unaudited. The U.S. spent more than $732 billion on direct defense spending in 2019; this is more than the next ten countries with the largest military expenditures.

A society that requires its people to incur crushing debt to survive, while relying on casinos and other forms of gambling to produce jobs, is going backward into the future.” Ralph Nader, 2020


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pandemic and benefits to banks

Pam Martens and Russ Martens have been very critical of the role of the Federal Reserve and BlackRock in the current economic crisis. They have anticipated that, if the current drift of events continues, American taxpayers will once again be gobsmacked with a huge growth in the national debt. This development would amount to another major transfer of wealth away from working people to the beneficiaries of Wall Street firms and the same commercial institutions that received the lion’s share of funds during the last bailout.

The co-authors picture BlackRock is part of a scheme to use “Special Purpose Vehicles” like “Enron used to hide the true state of its finances and blow itself up.” They entitle their article published on 31 March, 2020 as “The Dark Secrets in the Fed’s Wall Street Bailout Are Getting a Devious Makeover in Today’s Bailout.”


The authors observe. “What makes the New York Fed’s bailout of Wall Street so much more dangerous this time around is that it has decided to use a different structure for its loans to Wall Street – one that will force losses on taxpayers and, it hopes, will provide an ironclad secrecy curtain around how much it spends and where the money goes.”


https://wallstreetonparade.com


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid 19: out of sight out of mind

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2020/08/04/Census-Bureau-to-end-counting-a-month-early/3901596513638/

http://www.ncai.org/news/articles/2020/08/05/national-native-organizations-issue-joint-statement-on-u-s-census-bureau-change-to-2020-census-operations

Reproducing website concerns:

National Native Organizations Issue Joint Statement on U.S. Census Bureau Change to 2020 Census Operations

Published on Aug 05, 2020
CONTACT

NCAIpress@ncai.org

Riof@nuifc.org

landreth@narf.org

National Native Organizations Issue Joint Statement on U.S. Census Bureau Change to 2020 Census Operations

This week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it is ending its Census 2020 field operations on September 30, 2020, despite severely low response rates in historically undercounted areas, including in many tribal areas across the country.

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), and the National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC) are deeply alarmed and concerned with this unwarranted and irresponsible decision. An accurate Census count is essential to ensure fair and accurate representation of all Americans, including this country’s First Americans, because Census data is used for reapportionment of congressional seats and in redistricting to elect representatives at every level of government. Ending the 2020 Census count early during a global pandemic is not only bad policy, it puts at risk the ability of our communities to access social safety net and other benefits that a complete Census count affords Americans wherever they are.

Our tribal nations and tribal communities have been ravaged by COVID-19, and an extension of the Census enumeration period was a humane lifeline during an unprecedented global health catastrophe that provided critically needed additional time to tribal nations to ensure that all of everyone in their communities are counted. For millions of American Indians and Alaska Natives, whether they live on rural reservations or in America’s large cities, an inaccurate Census count will decimate our ability to advocate for necessary services for our most vulnerable communities. An incomplete count also undermines our representative system of government in violation of the United States Constitution and in derogation of the federal government’s trust responsibilities to tribal nations.  

NCAI, NARF, and NUIFC strongly support a complete Census count and call on the United States Congress to take urgent legislative action to include an extension of the Census field operation timelines in the next COVID-19 package.
### 
About the National Congress of American Indians:

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit http://www.ncai.org.
About the Native American Rights Fund:

Founded in 1970, NARF is the oldest and largest non-profit dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and individual Indians nationwide. For the past 48 years, NARF has represented over 275 Tribes in 31 states in such areas as tribal jurisdiction, federal recognition, land claims, hunting and fishing rights, religious liberties, and voting rights. For more information, visit http://www.narf.org. 
About the National Urban Indian Family Coalition:
Created in 2003, he NUIFC advocates for American Indian families living in urban areas by creating partnerships with tribes, as well as other American Indian organizations, and by conducting research to better understand the barriers, issues, and opportunities facing urban American Indian families. The NUIFC works to ensure access to traditionally excluded organizations and families, and to focus attention on the needs of urban Indians. Learn more by visiting http://www.nuifc.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid 19: bringing out the worst kind of enforcers after lockdown

Ruthless Colombian cartels are executing those who break their coronavirus lockdown rules.

Armed groups have introduced their own bloody system of “justice” and quarantine in regions where infection rates are out of control.

The worrying news was revealed by experts from the campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW).”

Colombian cartels executing people who break coronavirus lockdown


Timeline of Colombian cartels:

https://www.timetoast.com/timelines/history-of-the-colombian-drug-cartels

The virus has seriously thwarted their trade, here are some extracts from the article linked below:

“Coronavirus is dealing a gut punch to the illegal drug trade, paralyzing economies, closing borders and severing supply chains in China that traffickers rely on for the chemicals to make such profitable drugs as methamphetamine and fentanyl.

One of the main suppliers that shut down is in Wuhan, the epicenter of the global outbreak.

“The godfathers of the cartels are scrambling,” said Phil Jordan, a former director of the DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center.

‘Cartels Are Scrambling’: Virus Snarls Global Drug Trade

And how drugs spread Covid 19 en route:

https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/17/italian-police-intercept-coffee-beans-stuffed-with-cocaine


Source: UNODC World Drug Report 2010

How Does Illegal Drug Money Affect the Economy?

Currently, we are experiencing fundamental changes to the global economy, and some economists believe that the era of Western economic supremacy is drawing to a close. As this transitional phase continues, we are likely to see radical changes within the drug trade. The current trend towards legalising and regulating the world’s most valuable cash crop – cannabis – may be an aspect of this fundamental change.”

In Kenya, Africa, policing in poor areas during  curfew has resulted in violence and deaths.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/22/kenya-police-brutality-during-curfew

“Another man, 26, from Mombasa’s Mwangulu area in Lungalunga, said that on April 2 police stormed into his compound at around 7:20 p.m. and beat him with whips. He had just stepped out of his house to go to the latrine within his compound when police started beating him, saying he had violated the curfew by being outside at that time. He was injured on his back, hand, and neck.”

Kenya has been a hotspot for criminal drug crime:

WAR ON DRUGS: Kenya, the Forgotten Hotspot of the Heroin Trade

Three years ago the above report emphasises the seriousness of the drug problem in Kenya. Here is an extract:

“Undeniably, Kenya is a major trafficking hub for drugs. It also has a growing consumption problem. Those interviewed for this report detailed a number of approaches that can help defeat traffickers and trafficking: Detect, deter and interdict. It needs strengthening of the country’s data collection systems, international co-operation, effective border controls, and law enforcement.”

https://www.leafly.com/news/industry/covid-19-drives-marijuana-sales-bump-then-slump

https://www.masslive.com/marijuana/2020/04/coronavirus-cannabis-control-commission-to-study-medical-marijuana-supply-chain-after-spike-in-patient-applications-during-covid-19-pandemic.html

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clean Water Shortages Worldwide: how to fight disease, such as Covid-19?

“According to a point of Buddhism, water is the most valuable and most important thing because of its connection with disease,” says the monastery’s facilities manager, Urgyan. “Clean water helps everything: healthy body, healthy mind.”

A Nepalese Region Reclaims Its Holy Water



India
, March 2020

The water challenge is only growing. Twenty-one Indian cities, including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, will run out of groundwater by 2030, affecting 100 million people, according to a report by NITI Aayog. Many villages are also facing a severe water crisis, leading to a development crisis, and it is also forcing people to migrate.

As the coronavirus episode shows, India does not have the luxury of time to face related challenges. Since the construction of mega water conservation and distribution projects requires time and funds, it is imperative that the State increase its pressure for small-scale decentralized efforts to guarantee a safe and healthy life for all citizens.”

https://truthdive.com/2020/03/22/without-clean-water-fighting-disease-is-an-impossible-dream-analysis/amp/

In Africa, within  The Vhembe District Municipality is a Category C municipality located in the northern part of the Limpopo Province. It shares borders with Zimbabwe and Botswana in the north-west and Mozambique in the south-east through the Kruger National Park. The Limpopo River valley forms the border between the district and its international neighbours. 

The district includes the Transvaal, and areas that were previously under Venda and Gazankulu Bantustan’s administration. It is comprised of four local municipalities: Musina, Thulamela, Makhado and Collins Chabane. The district municipal offices are located in the town of Thohoyandou. 

It covers a geographical area that is predominantly rural. It is a legendary cultural hub, and a catalyst for agricultural and tourism development.

Map:


In order to help its citizens, the council has moved fast to provide water for remote village residents to wash their hands:


“The executive mayor of the Vhembe District Municipality, Cllr Dowelani Nenguda, digging the foundation for one of the 10 000 litre water tanks that will be installed at Ha-Ramantsha village under the Makhado Municipality. The tank is one of the 132 tanks donated by the Department of Water and Sanitation in areas without water in order to assist in the prevention of Covid-19. Photo: Vhembe District Municipality.

The Department of Water and Sanitation has donated four water trucks and 132 water tanks (10 000 litres each) to the Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) in order to fight Covid-19.

https://limpopomirror.co.za/articles/news/52270/2020-04-02/relief-to-areas-without-water-to-help-fight-covid-19

Venezuela: Access to clean water is vital to fight the spread of COVID-19. For Venezuelans that’s an issue. Less than half the households in Venezuela have running water every day. 

https://newsus.cgtn.com/news/2020-04-07/Venezuela-fighting-COVID-19-without-clean-water-PtLlnC8U1y/index.html

Brazil: 

These tiny “houses” are the famous brazilian favelas, which can be also called slums. Those are houses built illegally by people who can’t afford buying or living in a proper house. It’s in fact a big issue in Brazil since people who live there are taking the risk of not having clean water, or electricity in some of the cases.


Mexico:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-mexico-water/water-shortage-leaves-poorer-mexicans-high-and-dry-in-coronavirus-fight-idUSKCN2262Z3


Extreme poverty is on the increase in Colombia´s most under-developed regions, with figures revealing over 40% of inhabitants of the remote Chocó have a monthly income of less than 91,000 pesos (47 US dollars).”

http://www.colombia-politics.com/poverty/

United States of America

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/21-million-americans-don-t-have-access-to-safe-drinking-water-that-can-put-them-at-higher-risk-of-getting-covid-19/ar-BB16DIjf

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/without-clean-safe-water-coronavirus-threatens-communities-2020-7

https://www.nativeamericacalling.com/clean-water-native-america/


Refugees without water:

Endless proxy wars have created refugees in dire need of clean water as they endure dreadful conditions.

“The rapid global spread of the COVID-19 has demonstrated that no matter how successful America is at fighting this pandemic here at home, we will never stop this threat unless we’re also fighting it around the world. In this series of issue briefs, the USGLC takes an in depth look at the global response and COVID-19’s impacts on vulnerable populations, global development and diplomacy, and the future of U.S. global leadership. Read more from our series here.”

See: https://www.usglc.org/coronavirus/refugees/

And solutions for the Rohingya stranded in Bangladesh:

In 2019 

New Clean Water Technology Installed in Rohingya Refugee Camps: The Refugee Crisis as a Water Crisis

It can be done. No one should be without access to clean water. No corporate should privatise life giving water supplies which then exclude the poor who can’t afford it. Water is life.  Those who privatise it point with the finger of death.

https://www.thestar.com/business/2020/07/02/environmentalists-cheer-as-nestle-sells-canadian-water-business.html

https://www.barrons.com/articles/nestle-could-sell-most-of-its-north-american-water-brands-finding-a-buyer-may-fall-flat-51591965477

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/23/millions-of-americans-cant-afford-water-bills-rise

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/impact/how-many-people-cant-afford-their-water-bills-too-many

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/countries-where-water-is-expensive/

https://www.wateraid.org/us/

Worldometer at 16th July 2020 snapshot:

2,361,593,763 Water used this year (million L)

455,461 Deaths caused by water related diseases this year

799,510,308 People with no access to a safe drinking water source

Then how are they to wash their hands?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fossil fuel industry: using the coronavirus pandemic as cover for a stealth attack on environmental protections that keep us safe.

Today I learned a Judge in Canada has given approval to proceed with the Canadian side of the Trans Mountain expansion project after a federal court sent it back for review last summer.  Just as the indigenous tribes protect the rainforest but are losing the legal fight by stealth of deregulators, ( see https://borderslynn.com/2020/06/02/brazil-the-rainforest-is-dying-it-is-the-heart-of-the-earth-ecocide-is-the-cause/) so the Canadian indigenous tribes who protect the land from Eco harm are losing their legal battles whilst Covid 19 rampages through their populations.

“TORONTO — The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday dismissed an appeal from British Columbia First Nations against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would nearly triple the flow of oil from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast

The court dismissed the appeal from the Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribes and Coldwater Indian Band, effectively ending the yearslong legal battle over the project.”

Alberta energy minister faces backlash for saying COVID-19 pandemic a ‘great time’ to build pipeline”

See: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/canada-high-court-dismisses-indigenous-appeal-of-trans-mountain-pipeline/
See: https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/pipeline-gets-green-light-from-canadian-court-Edq6WYl7x0inSPTdkrqiiA


Read the timeline history at https://globalnews.ca/news/7131724/trans-mountain-pipeline-timeline-2/
And reported concerns in 2018 at https://theintercept.com/2018/07/17/trans-mountain-pipeline-tar-sands-canada-us-kinder-morgan/

July 2, 2020: The Supreme Court refuses to hear the appeal from First Nations about the Indigenous consultation process.

Tracking Covid 19 in the Indian nation’s health system 

 https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/indian-country-s-covid-19-syllabus-EiN-p5Q-XkW-smnaebJV6Q

Graphic of Trans Mountain oil spills from Kennedy Stewart 2. Enbridge Kalamazoo oil spill disaster (2010) next to Kinder Morgan Burnaby oil pipeline spill (2007) 3. Photo of Kennedy Stewart by Mychaylo Prystupa

https://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/kinder-morgans-historic-oil-spills-are-double-kalamazoo-disaster-ndp-mp
LLoyd are the insurance company backing the scheme:

Unfriend Coal — a global network of NGOs and social movements appealing for insurance companies to divest out of the fossil fuel business — has called out major insurance companies Lloyd’s, Zurich, and Munich Re for providing hundreds of millions in liability insurance coverage to the Trans Mountain pipeline project.”

https://www.claimspages.com/news/2020/05/14/lloyds-zurich-munich-re-come-under-fire-for-supporting-tar-sands-pipeline/

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Food Industry: using Covid-19 as an excuse to stop using Fairtrade produce

Please read about the plight of Fairtrade  farmers:

After a decade of sourcing cocoa and sugar for KitKat in the UK and Ireland, Nestlé have informed Fairtrade they no longer plan to buy Fairtrade cocoa and sugar from some of the world’s most vulnerable small scale farmers.  “

https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/Media-Centre/News/June-2020/Fairtrade-producers-raise-their-voices-to-ask-Nestle-to-keep-KitKats-Fairtrade?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=++&utm_content=SC:+DOAE+K

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment