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Wasting no Time in the Race to Clean up South Africa

As the world’s waste generation surges and landfill availability gets increasingly stretched, a number of South African companies are taking waste reduction to heart.

World Bank figures show that South Africa produces almost 54 500 tons of waste a day, making it the 15th highest producer of waste in the world. It did, however, expect South Africa to fall, relatively, as other countries continued to grow faster.

Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) baseline figures for 2012, the most recent local estimate, indicate that South Africa produces 108 million tons of waste a year, with the Western Cape generating 20% and Gauteng 45%. About 98 million tons go to the country’s 826 landfill sites. With estimates showing that a mere 10% of South Africa’s waste is recycled, there is a lot of room for South African companies to reduce their waste, helping to create a sustainable environment for generations to come.

While municipalities manage household waste, the management of big industrial and commercial waste is the responsibility of the companies that produce it.

Getting rid of waste is a significant industry in South Africa, with DEA estimates indicating R15 billion revenue and almost 30 000 jobs. Achieving the DEA’s target of recycling 20% by 2019 seems increasingly unlikely, particularly given the significant investment this would require by cash-strapped municipalities. One way around this is through public-private partnerships (PPPs), a model that several Western Cape municipalities are implementing. This has the potential to attract R1.3 billion and create 1 600 jobs in the next five years in that province.

“The available figures are not that recent and many are based on estimates, so it is unclear exactly how big South Africa’s waste problem is,” says Heidi Newton-King, Spier’s Director of Sustainability. “But, what we do know is that waste management is a growing problem and companies need to be innovative, investing time and money to play their role in addressing it.”

A waste economy report shows that four projects implemented nationally in 2016 attracted over R1 billion in investment and created 148 jobs in the waste sector.

There are numerous projects, including public-private partnerships, to get waste under control with several companies leading the way in waste management in South Africa.

From June 2016 to May 2017, just 1.75% (5 812 kg) of Spier’s waste – the equivalent to slightly less than 6 bakkie loads was sent to landfill.

“Changing perceptions around waste is critical if we want to find long term solutions,” Newton-King says. “Each section of the business sorts its waste individually, with waste storage and categories differing before it’s taken to the farm’s sorting facility and sorted a second time to make absolutely sure the waste can’t be recycled and to help us identify any new non-recyclable  items in the waste stream.”

Non-recyclable items are mostly multi-film packaging (such as coffee bags and tea sachets) as well as surgical gloves, hair nets and pot scrapers.

In 2007, Spier installed a pioneering centralised wastewater treatment plant, which recycles 100% of its wastewater. The cleaned water is then used to irrigate the garden and grounds and the busiest guest toilets.

Woolworths was South Africa’s first major retailer to begin using recycled beverage, juice and milk bottles. All stores offer reusable fabric bags, plastic hangers, signage, baskets and trolleys that are all made from recycled materials. In new stores, the shelving is produced from recycled materials.

In addition, its food and clothing which would otherwise go to waste, is donated.

SAB’s breweries re-use or recycle almost 90% of general waste. More than 80% of SAB beer is packaged in returnable glass bottles or cans and about 99% of spent grain from its breweries is re-used by farmers for animal feed or for renewable energy.

Waste water is used to produce fertiliser or energy and since 2008 it has cut water use per litre of beer by 28%.

“Technically zero is not about achieving zero waste to landfill as much as it is a whole-systems approach that aims for a change in the way materials flow through our business,” Newton-King says. “Our commitment to the final couple of percent means that we are consistently evaluating our purchasing decisions as new items are brought into the stream all the time.”

“With a driving force of minimising our impact on the environment, we believe staff training and education is critical to change perceptions about why recycling is important and the benefits of doing so both at work and at home,” she concludes.

Issued by HWB Communications Pty Ltd

Cape Town Tourism will continue to build on the city’s tourism success

Cape Town Tourism’s service level agreement (SLA) has been expanded for another year by the City of Cape Town. The partnership will incur ongoing success and development enhancements in areas of responsibility, providing tourism experiences across the greater Cape Town to the benefit of the local tourism industry.
The agreement has led to extensive collaborative projects, particularly within the areas of responsible tourism, universal access in tourism, visitor safety and in counteracting seasonality in the sector, in addition to the primary responsibilities of tourism marketing and visitor services.

Providing detailed information for visitors

In practice, this means marketing the city’s attractions, experiences, accommodation and people across a variety of platforms including digital, social media and traditional media. Cape Town Tourism provides a wealth of detailed information for visitors to explore the city more, to ensure that their experiences are consistently world-class.

Cape Town Tourism also represents the city at trade shows and on other trade marketing platforms, to showcase what’s on offer and attract more visitors. This, with a view to expand the market locally, regionally and globally to key markets, which include the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Far East, as well as on the rest of the African continent ¬ – this includes promoting Cape Town as a destination and also identifying opportunities and potential partnerships.

Cape Town Tourism is a membership organisation comprising almost 1,300-member businesses, which include all tourism or tourism related businesses ranging from SMMEs to large multinational organisations.

Promoting and growing the tourism industry

As the city’s primary tourism organisation, Cape Town Tourism conducts extensive research into the economic value of tourism as well as visitor perceptions.

“We have long enjoyed working with the honorable mayor and her team as well as all those who represent the tourism industry in Cape Town in promoting this fantastic destination and ensuring that all expectations are met and exceeded for our visitors; it’s an honour that this working relationship is set to continue,” says Enver Duminy, CEO, Cape Town Tourism.

“Cape Town Tourism is doing vital work in growing and promoting an important industry that employs thousands of residents each year. The city and its tourism partners are working together to enhance our tourism offering and build a resilient industry that attracts tourists from the rest of Africa and abroad all year round. This agreement will assist us in building on the success of the past few years while the industry supports skills development for our residents and drives economic inclusion for all our communities,”
says Patricia de Lille, executive mayor, City of Cape Town.Cape Town Tourism encourages locals to extensively explore the city and to make use of the city’s resources on offer, and treat visitors well to ensure the ongoing growth of the tourism sector.

Source: bizcommunity

Mining can be green and “sustainable”

Miners, First Nations feed fodder to government policy wonks

Government needs to help encourage greater Indigenous participation in the mining sector if it wants to make progress on national reconciliation and to “unlock billions of economic activity” across the country.

The Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF) submitted an Aug; 14 policy paper at the Energy and Mines Ministers conference in Saint Andrews, N.B.

CMIF is a coalition of mining interests, led by the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, who believe Canada can be a top supplier of sustainably-sourced minerals and metals operating within a low-carbon regime.

Since the mining industry is the largest private sector employer of Indigenous people, CMIF said government needs to invest in Indigenous health, education, skills training, and make progress on resource revenue sharing. CMIF suggests government use industry “as a platform” toward national reconciliation.

The coalition wants a more balanced climate change policy that curbs emission but enables the economy to grow. Onerous compliance burden on “emissions-intensive” industries like mining will lead to mineral production moving to countries with “less stringent climate change policies.”

On the regulatory side, CMIF is asking for processes – from initial stage environmental assessment to the permitting stage – that are “effective, timely and coordinated” if Canada wants to be viewed as a favourable place to invest.

Before withdrawing land and walling off highly prospective areas to exploration, government should have a “systematic and structured process” in place that considers an area’s mineral potential.

And because of the increasing costs of doing business in the Far North, the Canada Infrastructure Bank needs to support infrastructure projects that benefit both industry and Indigenous communities.

CMIF also wants government support in the proposed CLEER (Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated) Clean Resources Innovation Supercluster, led by the Canada Mining Innovation Council and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation that would make Canada a world technology leader in sustainably-sourced resources.

“Canada’s mining industry, which operates some of the lowest-emitting, highest-tech, and socially-responsible mining operations globally, is looking forward to working with governments, communities and Indigenous peoples to get the foundational pieces in place to foster future growth and achieve our collective vision,” said Mining Association of Canada president-CEO Pierre Gratton.

Also at the conference were a group of Indigenous and advocacy groups who are urging the ministers to do more to protect the environment and communities negatively impacted by the industry.

“We’re not against ‘clean growth’ or ‘clean energy,’ but these must not be empty words,” said Jacinda Mack, a member of the Secwepemc and Nuxalk Nations in British Columbia, in a news release issued by Mining Watch.

Her community was negatively affected by the Mount Polley tailings spill in 2014. She is a coordinator of the First Nations Women Advocating for Responsible Mining.

“We’re here to alert the public and our governments that there are still serious problems with the way mining is done in this country and that there can’t be any clean growth or clean energy without first having clean mining,” she stated.

Source: northernontariobusiness

Water and power efficiency walk hand in hand

South African mining companies can manage water usage as part of a wider, integrated strategy for sustainable business, writes Stephen Austin, independent energy advisor to Ensight Energy Solutions.

The persistent drought in most of South Africa over the last couple of years and especially in the Western Cape province these last two years should serve as a wakeup call to South African industry and government. We live in a water-scarce country, yet many organisations are failing to manage water usage in a way that reflects just how precious this resource is and how important it is to conserve it.

South Africa is one of the 30 driest countries in the world, with an annual rainfall of less than 450 mm, well below the world average of around 860 mm a year. As we begin to feel more of the effects of climate change, we can expect to endure more extreme weather conditions, including the possibility of more frequent droughts that last longer.

Agriculture accounts for around 60% of South Africa’s water usage and 12% goes to domestic use, according to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWA). Usage for afforestation makes up 3.7%, power generation accounts for 2.2%, and mining and bulk industrial use comprises around 5.7%. Little attention is paid to the industrial sector’s use of water, yet it is an area where we can score relatively quick and easy wins.

A growing operational risk

Nonetheless, we are not seeing mining companies pay much attention to water effi ciency, for the simple reason that it is not a major operational cost for most of them. Where energy costs may account for up to 30% of a major mining company’s operational expenditure, water might make up less than 2% of its operating costs.

The relatively low cost of water usage for most mining companies, however, belies its importance in production. From cooling production machinery to smelting material to moving minerals, water is crucial to mining. If the water supply to a plant stops, it will not be able to continue production, which will in turn damage its revenues and profits. This is a good reason to embrace water effi ciency as a business imperative – another is that the cost of water is likely to rise in the years to come.

The good news is that a strategy for water efficiency can work in lockstep with a mining company’s drive to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. If you are wasting electrical power on a mine, there is a good chance you are wasting water too (and vice versa).

Imposing discipline on your energy usage will also help to reduce water usage in most cases. This is about looking at your environment in a holistic way and seeing how your various systems and equipment interact with each other.

Ways to use water more efficiently

For example, a mine that is using ineffi cient slurry systems to move material will possibly be pumping more water than it needs to into the system as well as using excessive power. A small increase in the density of the slurry mixture and a more efficient water pumping system could decrease water requirements by as much as 30%. Similarly, in a process plant running equipment that is 30 years old, it’s not unusual to be using water at a pressure four times higher than necessary to suppress dust – a potential waste of both power and water.

Another great example is how poorly optimised the cooling systems are in many mining processes – if you’re using old, inefficient technology, it will be generating more heat than necessary, demanding more water and power to cool it. Another innovation that South African mining companies could look at is desalination plants to produce fresh water. They can use energy efficient solar sources or recaptured heat from other systems for this purpose.

Ensight Energy Solutions, which helps companies in energy-intensive industries such as resources to implement efficient solutions that reduce their energy costs and their carbon emissions, has worked closely with a number of mining companies on energy efficiency strategies. When we measure how this impacts on water usage the results are encouraging.

We helped one customer save around 143 000 MWh in energy a year through a range of strategies – this also reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 142 000 t and saved nearly 5 700 Mℓ of water (that’s enough water for 76 600 hippos’ annual water requirements).

Given the fragile water situation in South Africa, mining companies should embrace water efficiency both as an essential component of their risk management strategy and as a contribution towards ensuring the sustainability of our country. Using water efficiently can help organisations meet their energy efficiency and carbon emission goals; it is an integral part of running a responsible and sustainable business.

Source: cbn

Lift Off for Africa’s First Airport Brewery

There is a new addition to Africa’s busiest air transport hub, O.R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg: the continent’s first airport-based brewery. Airport Craft Brewers is a reflection of South Africa’s burgeoning independent beer sector, with growing numbers of beer drinkers not satisfied with industrial, mass-produced beverages.

The hectic international arrivals terminal at the O.R. Tambo airport. Not far from here, businessmen in smart suits lean on a marble bar counter, sipping black and copper-colored beers.

A tall man in his 40s, in a white lab coat, zips between big, shiny, silver tanks, monitoring the temperature of his latest brew.

Phumelelo Marali learned to make beer from one of South Africa’s master brewers, Lex Mitchell.

“He always said to me that, ‘Phumi, it will take you two years to be exact, to learn how to brew beer,’ which is now in a [proper] brew house. It took me six months. But it took me about four years to understand the technicality behind it,” said Marali.

Marali prefers brewing, and drinking, sweeter beers, like his dark malt porter.

“Roasted kind of toffee notes, that is what you get from a porter; chocolaty, and some people in their nose, they pick up coffee,” he said.

He also makes blonde lager, German-style wheat beer, and Irish red ale.

The brewery owners decided to make all the beer at the airport so customers could see the process firsthand and to ensure a “fresher” taste. The brewery turns out about 20,000 liters a week.

Marali says it is great to be one of South Africa’s few black beer brewers, and to be at the forefront of the country’s craft beer revolution.

A decade ago, there were six craft beer makers in South Africa. Now, there are about 200, with the artisanal sector having captured almost one-percent of the nation’s massive beer market.

The sector remains dominated by South African Breweries, one of the world’s biggest brewers and part of the multinational beer behemoth, Anheuser-Busch InBev. But economic analysts say craft brewers like Marali are successfully carving out a niche in the local South African market.

The airport supplies a constant flow of customers.

Most of his clients though, are South Africans, like James Nkuma, holding a golden beverage in the bar area.

“It is a blonde [lager]. I love, I love it; I enjoy each and every second of it. It is an easy to drink beer. It is light, not hard like I need to drink and drink and get drunk; no,” he said.

Marali’s also training the next generation of young brewers, like Sibusiso Khumalo.

“Calculations, what you have to put in, the right recipe; the temperatures. The whole process takes one month,” said Khumalo.

But as Marali says “good things come to those who wait.”

Source: voanews

African Agri Investment Indaba

600+ GLOBAL LEADERS, 40+ EXPERT SPEAKERS
100+ KEY INVESTORS, 50+ PROJECTS PRESENTED
30+ COUNTRIES, 18+ HOURS OF NETWORKING!

The African Agri Investment Indaba is your gateway to the entire agri value chain.
Join us on 20 – 22 November 2017 in Cape Town.

Key topics include:

  • Agriculture at the core of the economic diversification agenda
  • Africa’s role in global food security
  • Improving the investment environment for African agriculture – ensuring growth and stability through policy reforms
  • Financing the Agro -Industrialization Revolution in Africa
  •  Investment, innovation, technology, economies of scale and quality reforms to ensure global competitiveness
  • Plus regional focused investment seminars
  • Click here to view the programme at a glance

Space is limited, secure your participation today:

 

Become a sponsor and/or exhibit and position your brand at the forefront of your customer’sminds – contact Kevin at kevin.kyle@agricouncil.org
 
Register as a delegate and gain first-hand knowledge on industry gaps and meet with other key industry players. Register today and receive $100 off the standard price – contact Lauren at lauren.hansen@agricouncil.org or register online
We look forward to welcoming you in November.

 

12th Southern African Energy Efficiency Conference (2017SAEEC)

12th Southern African Energy Efficiency Conference (2017SAEEC)
14 – 15 November 2017
Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation is pleased to confirm that Africa’s biggest energy efficiency conference, 2017SAEEC, will take place for the 12th consecutive year on 14 – 15 November 2017 at Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

The theme for the conference, which attracts delegates and exhibitors from all over Southern Africa, will be “Energy Efficiency for sustainable growth and prosperity” and will focus on how to achieve this goal.

During the 2016 show more than 1,200 feet went through the exhibition hall. This year the 2017SAEEC will once again get delegates, exhibitors and sponsors in touch with energy producers, utilities, municipalities, intensive energy users, property developers, architects, property owners, government and regulators who are eager to invest in the solutions presented or exhibited!

To be successful in the current economic climate you have to be known to your potential market – this event will achieve that! Grow your business, your brand and network by showing your commitment to energy efficiency with other stakeholders like government  and key businesses by becoming an exhibitor, sponsor or attendee at the 2017SAEEC.

The 2017 agenda is in the planning phase and you are invited to get involved. Exhibition space and sponsorship options are taken up quickly, therefore let us know urgently of your intent to participate.

For more information please contact the 2017SAEEC Conference Organizers
Tel:  +27 18 290 5130
Email:  support@saee.org.za
Website:  www.saee.org.za/cabout.aspx

The Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation Conference is presented by the Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation (SAEEC) and organized by Timzama Event Imagineers.

Africa feeding Africa

While North America’s farmers pin their career hopes on the need to feed a hungry Africa, that continent’s farmers are making plans of their own

A core belief in North American agriculture is that our farmers must produce ever more food if we are to have any hope of feeding the world, particularly areas like Africa where the population is growing so rapidly.

The numbers are indeed staggering.

According to the Population Reference Bureau, Africa’s population will hit 2.5 billion by 2050, and the United Nations estimates that Africa’s share of the global population will increase from 16 per cent in 2015 to 25 per cent in 2050 and 39 per cent in 2100.

These statistics certainly do underscore the need for additional food. But what about the other half of the equation. Yes, demand will rise. But will that demand have to be met by imports?

Some African farm leaders are convinced that agricultural development on the continent will see Africa, led by South Africa, feed itself in the decades to come, meaning it will actually reduce its reliance on the global community for its food security.

Realistically, it may set its sights even higher.

“Agriculture accounts for 65 per cent of the continent’s employment,” said Dr. Klaus Eckstein, CEO of Bayer South Africa, at a recent conference of agricultural journalists in South Africa. “Africa has the potential to be self-sustaining as well as to feed the world. We can produce crops that match the standards of leading countries around the world.”

His words were echoed by Dr. John Purchase, CEO of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa, who stated that revitalizing the agriculture and agri-processing value chain is at the top of nine major focus areas for growth in the country.

It’s not easy farming in South Africa, he added, citing political problems, land reform policies, and water scarcity as significant challenges. The current drought across the Southern and Western Cape areas of the country, a major horticultural production area, is the worst in more than a century, for example.

“Africa is where big population growth will come in the next 35 years… it’s a massive opportunity for agriculture but also a critical risk if we don’t get it right,” Purchase said. “For example, how we manage our water is critical to the future, but we have diversity in South Africa where we can produce a whole range of crops from tropical through to livestock production.”

Progress is already being made with South African farmers and marketers starting to grow sales on their own continent instead of in Europe or elsewhere.

According to Purchase, Africa has become a growing destination for South African agricultural exports since the global economic downturn in 2008 that affected the country’s long-established export markets, particularly in Europe.

“By far since 2008, Africa is our destination; more than 50 per cent of our agricultural export goes into Africa,” Purchase said, attributing a large portion of this success to South African supermarket chains expanding into neighbouring countries like Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mauritius and Zimbabwe.

The change is particularly evident in the fruit and vegetable sector. According to the South African Produce Marketing Association, Africa has surged to number two in the top five major export markets for African fruit, behind only the European Union, and ahead of Asia, the Middle East, United Kingdom and Russia.

In vegetables, Africa is also the second most popular destination, accounting for just over 34 per cent of all fresh vegetable exports from South Africa; 83 per cent of potatoes, 80 per cent of carrots, 78 per cent of garlic, 76 per cent of ginger, 54 per cent of cucumbers and 34 per cent of tomatoes stay on the continent.

“Africa is the only part in the world where land can still be brought into production; the countries with the biggest growth potential in Africa and potential for South African farmers are in western and eastern Africa,” said Lindie Stroebel, CEO of the Produce Marketing Association. “Local procurement has become a priority for some supermarkets to address complications of transportation and border crossing.”

This evolution is evidence of the forward-thinking attitude of many leading farmers in South Africa despite the risks posed by infrastructure challenges, climate change, government policies and a growing number of brutal attacks on predominantly white farmers in the country.

Brylene Chitsunge is one such example, having bought her 1,000-acre farm near Pretoria in 2010. The feisty black farm leader raises Kalahari red goats, a breed of African cattle called Nguni, pigs, ostrich, rabbits and chickens, as well as growing vegetable and fruit crops.

Innovation and collaboration are the name of the game on her farm, where she’s willing to try just about anything to see if it will succeed, with the rule being “everything has to produce.”

Chitsunge’s small tomato crop now fills 10 greenhouses and is sold to over 200 restaurants as well as in leading South African retail chains like Pick n Pay and SPAR. She invented an overhead spray system for her greenhouses to help her produce a consistent, quality crop — each 1,000-plant greenhouse will produce about 10 tons of tomatoes.

“Quality, sustainability and appearance are very important,” Chitsunge said, adding that technology can help farmers add value. “I have cameras to stream video of my veggie fields or my chickens laying eggs for customers and I can remote-view my farm from anywhere.”

She’s also an outspoken advocate for advancing women and small-holder farmers, and for the need for education to build Africa’s agricultural future.

“It’s a value train, not a value chain,” Chitsunge says. “Education is so important, and if we get that right, it’s time for Africa,” she said.

The Schoeman family has been growing citrus in South Africa for almost a century, and the family business ships oranges, lemons, and mandarins from its almost 3,500 acres northeast of Pretoria to 32 countries around the world, including Canada.

They’re in the midst of building a new pack house to accommodate new plantings of mandarins and lemons, and are transitioning towards bio-friendly production, always with an eye to the future.

“If my neighbour’s farm goes up for sale, I would buy it; we have such a strong belief in South Africa,” said family patriarch Kallie Schoeman, a former South African national farmer of the year whose self-proclaimed motto is: “Get bigger, get better or get out.”

ZZ2 is one of South Africa’s largest produce companies, growing tomatoes, avocados, mangoes, and more, as well as raising stud cattle and weaners. The family-owned business employs almost 10,000 people in primary agriculture throughout South Africa, and uses a consistently updated framework to lead company development for the next 12 months.

That includes constantly adding new crops, new land, new technologies, and new markets as well as continually seeking out new opportunities.

For example, ZZ2 recently added almost 30 acres of cherries which strategically ripen about the time when British Columbia’s crop ends — making the company the only one in the world with fresh cherries for a six-week period, said ZZ2’s CEO Tommie van Zyl.

“We never thought we’d have a product that was so wanted it is being flown out — they’re flying to Hong Kong right now,” van Zyl said.

It’s a pattern that is repeated more and more, with horticulture creating models for other farmers to follow.

“We are building ZZ2 for the future, and the way we see things developing, it will represent in the future what South Africa looks like,” said van Zyl. “The future is more important than the past… we are inspired by what we think we can become.”

 Source: country-guide

 

Get ready for climate impacts beyond your imagination

It’s time to start imagining the worst weather scenarios possible, if we are to be prepared for more severe natural disasters in this era of climate change, writes ADB’s Renard Teipelke.

Regular patterns seem to define most people’s lives. We usually prepare for the future based on what we experienced in the past. But this approach does not work when dealing with the impact of extreme weather events – which are increasingly less predictable and more severe due to climate change.

I would like to share with you the story of recent disasters in two places that at first sight could not be more different, but which share an interesting lesson for making cities more resilient against climate change.

Let me first take you to my uncle’s hometown of Braunsbach, a small town of 2,500 people in the province of Schwäbisch-Hall in southwest Germany. Most people only know this place because of the nearby Kochertalbrücke, one of the world’s tallest viaduct bridges.

Fitting the bucolic image of a stereotypical German small town, Braunsbach is indeed a peaceful, quiet place with a nice town center in the valley, surrounded by houses and green fields on the hillside. One main creek and two smaller creeks run through the town and add to the picture-perfect scenery.

On 29 May 2016, a locally concentrated rain shower hit Braunsbach. In contrast to usual storms, the clouds did not move away but rather remained hanging over a small area near the hills. The downpour released in a single day as much rain as the area usually receives over several months. The tiny creeks swelled into torrents of water, and as the floods came down from the hills they created mudslides and on their way to the valley swept away even seemingly stable structures.

Braunsbach was left an inferno of mud and destruction, and the damage bill amounted to more than $122 million, a big amount for such a small town.

The distortions caused by climate impacts will result in volatility that we are currently not ready for, because most people struggle to imagine crises beyond the scope of those they have experienced in the past.

Extreme weather shocks citizens

After I have visited post-disaster Braunsbach earlier this year, my work brought me nearly 7,000 km south to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. If you leave the main B2 road and take a few connector and slip roads that are not on the map, you reach Chamazi Ward in Temeke District, one of the city’s many unplanned settlements.

Chamazi, however, is not the typical dire slum neighborhood in East Africa. I found a community of loosely assembled houses that lack many basic services, but are built with lasting materials as future investments by hopeful residents.

People extracted sand from a low-lying area behind the neighborhood with unintended and rather unfortunate consequences for the residents. The rainy season turned the area into a small pond, where both sand extraction and fishing continued. This newly-formed swamp received storm water from elevated parts of the neighborhood, but did not have a clear direct outflow to the nearby river.

The rainy season earlier this year made the swamp swell up again. One night, a resident came home late from work and saw the water seeping through the area between the pond and the river. He and his neighbors were barely able to escape before over 20 houses and an entire 4,000 m2 area were flushed away.

In both Braunsbach and Chamazi, extreme weather events left people in horror about nature’s disregard for the built environment. No one died, but citizens lost their properties, and their livelihoods were put at risk.

Reconstruction efforts and flood resilience planning have started in Braunsbach. But people in Chamazi now live with a big crater cutting their neighborhood in half. Unless adequate drainage infrastructure is built, the next rainy season will again bring stormwater running through the earth tracks of the neighborhood, flooding houses on the way to the river.

Asia is extremely vulnerable

My point, however, is not about the differing reactions to climate-related disasters in an advanced country and a developing one. Instead, both cases are quite emblematic of the kind of climate challenges that many parts of the world face today.

Nevertheless, what happened in Germany and Tanzania is not the “typical” flooding that people envision when imaging future extreme climate events around the world, particularly in Asia and the Pacific.

Asia is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. A recent ADB report warns that even if climate change mitigation actions are effectively implemented, some subregions, ecosystems, sectors, and livelihoods will still be at risk.

Predicting far in advance extreme climate events will be as difficult as to manage. The distortions caused by climate impacts will result in volatility that we are currently not ready for, because most people struggle to imagine crises beyond the scope of those they have experienced in the past.

The thought of heavy rain causing such devastation in Braunsbach and Chamazi never crossed the mind of residents. But since these incidents will continue to occur and likely become more extreme, we must be fully aware so we can prepare for disasters on a large scale.

Only by paying close attention to even the most extreme impacts will communities be able to effectively implement measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change, in Asia and beyond. We must imagine disasters we’ve never seen before to be ready when they strike.

Renard Teipelke is Consultant, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department at the Asian Development Bank. This post is republished from the ADB blog.

Source: eco-business

15 African youth finalists in entrepreneurship prize

Fifteen emerging young African entrepreneurs will put their talent to work on the continent after being chosen as finalists in the Anzisha Prize 2017.

The youngsters from 14 countries on the African continent competed in a field of more than 800 applicants for the seventh annual Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier award for her youngest entrepreneurs.

Supported by African Leadership Academy (ALA) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, the Anzisha Prize celebrates and cultivates the next generation of young African entrepreneurial leaders who are creating job opportunities, solving local development problems and driving economies.

Nearly half of all candidates are young women, representing sectors as diverse as clean energy, agriculture, waste recycling and youth empowerment. For the first time, candidates from Angola, Liberia, Mauritius, and Sudan entered the competition.

“We are excited by the number of young women finalists and thrilled that the prize is contributing to their economic empowerment,” Anzisha Prize associate Melissa Mbazo said. “The success of these women-led businesses will be accelerated by access to Anzisha’s financial and mentorship support.”

Among these young innovators is Liberian Satta Wahab, founder of Naz Naturals, a cosmetics company that creates organic hair care products that empower young girls and women to feel beautiful and confident with their natural hair. The pool of finalists also includes 21-year-old South African Maemu Lambani, the young owner of a digital marketing agency; and Thowiba Alhaj, the founder of Work Jump-Up Sudan, an organisation empowering university students by linking them to job opportunities.

Leadership boot camp

“The calibre and diversity of the young men and women competing for this year’s Anzisha Prize is impressive and improves each year,” said Koffi Assouan, program manager, Youth Livelihoods at the Mastercard Foundation. “As the pool of Anzisha fellows continues to grow, so too does their impact and influence on local communities and economies.”

Finalists will fly to Johannesburg to attend a 10-day entrepreneurial leadership boot camp where they will be coached on how to pitch their business to a panel of judges for a share of US$100,000 worth of prizes and support. The grand prize winner will receive US$25,000, while the runners-up and third place winners will receive US$15,000 and US$12,500, respectively.

The remainder of the prize will be divided among outstanding finalists, including a $10,000 agricultural prize funded by Louis Dreyfus Foundation, as well as four $5,000 challenge prizes to bolster initiatives led by past Anzisha Prize finalists. All other finalists will each receive $2,500 prizes.

Finalists will also benefit from ALA’s Youth Entrepreneur Support Unit (YES-U), which provides consulting and training support to Anzisha finalists. This includes the Anzisha Accelerator boot camp, mentorship and consulting services, travel opportunities to network, and business equipment, valued at US$7,500.

Finalists will be evaluated by a panel of five experienced judges who have contributed to building youth entrepreneurship in Africa, such as Wendy Luhabe, a pioneering social entrepreneur and economic activist. Laureates will be announced during an inspiring gala evening on October 24, which will include a keynote address from serial entrepreneur Fred Swaniker, founder of both the African Leadership Academy and African Leadership University.

The 2017 finalists for the Anzisha Prize are:
1. Ajiroghene Omanudhowo22, Nigeria: Ajiroghene is the founder of three businesses operating under the parent company 360 Needs. ASAFOOD delivers food to universities, ASADROP is a logistics company specialising in parcel delivery and Beta Grades helps students prepare for their exams by providing computer training.

2. Victoria Olimatunde, 15, Nigeria: Victoria is the founder of Bizkids which teaches high school students about financial literacy, savings, money management, and small-scale business management. Bizkids encourages young people to create jobs as entrepreneurs, not just seek jobs as employees.

3. Dina Mohamed Ibrahim, 22, Egypt: Dina is one of the founders of Metro Co-Working Space, which rents work spaces to entrepreneurs and provides workshops and resources from them to thrive.

4. Edgar Edmund17, Tanzania: Edgar is the founder of GreenVenture Tanzania which recycles plastic waste into cheap and affordable building products like paving blocks. GreenVenture helps people build houses while promoting environmental sustainability.

5. Fadwa Moussaif22, Morocco: Fadwa is the founder of Boucharouette Eco Creation (B.E.C.) which empowers local women to become independent by using quality fabrics to revive the art of Boucharouette rug-making.

6. Gerald Matolo, 20, Kenya: Gerald the founder of Angaza Africa Technologies, which makes briquette-machines, solid waste carbonization kilns, and processes biomass briquettes.

7. Ibrahima Ben Aziz Konate, 22, Cote D’Ivoire: Ibrahima is the founder Poultry d’Or, a company that processes and distributes poultry products and agro-foods the same day.

8. Ignatius Ahumuza21, Uganda: Ignatius is one of the founders of Art Planet Academy, which provides practical agriculture training in schools. Art Planet creates and innovates climate-smart farming technologies, tests them at demonstration farms and incorporates them into a practical agriculture training curriculum.

9. Jessan Kumar Persand, 22, Mauritius: Jessan is the founder of Crab Aquaculture Project (Jessan Seafood), a business that breeds and raises crabs. Jessan produces about 2,000 crabs per month which are sold to hotels and restaurants.

10. Maemu Lambani21, South Africa: Maemu is the founder of Fearless Trendz, a digital marketing agency whose aim is to transform growing and local businesses into global brands by using social media.

11. Moonga Chowa, 22, Zambia: Moonga is the founder of Chilimba, a mobile platform that works on any mobile phone and allows savings groups to manage their contributions in an efficient and transparent manner, enabling them to migrate to safer digital money.

12. Rebecca Andrianarisandy20, Madagascar: Rebecca is the founder of GasGasy which supplies affordable, environmentally-friendly and sustainable bio-fertiliser made in Madagascar for Malagasy people. It is easier to spray on crops because it is liquid fertiliser. GasGasy acts as an insecticide and is gentle on the soil.

13. Satta Wahab21, Liberia: Satta is founder of Naz Naturals, a Liberian cosmetics company that creates organic hair care products from unrefined shea butter and empowers young girls and women to feel beautiful and confident with their natural hair.

14. Thowiba Alhaj20, Sudan: Thowiba is one of the founders of Work Jump-Up Sudan, an organisation that intends to empower university students by linking them with job opportunities. Their primary activity is to search for potential employers and encourage them to offer students part-time jobs.

15. Vicente Zau19, Angola: Vicente is the founder of Vicente News Company, an online platform that aims to promote African music, mainly Angolan music, across the continent to encourage the growth and development of African music in foreign countries.

To keep up with the latest news, meet the finalists, hear more about their ventures, watch the awards gala live on YouTube.

Source: bizcommunity