Archive for August, 2014

August 18, 2014

SADC Awards: Six Journalists Scoop Wards for Excellent Reporting

Barbara Lopi
17 August 2014

Six winners of the 2014 SADC Media Awards have been announced and presented with the prize of US$2000.00 each during the opening ceremony of the 34th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government Summit in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The Chairperson of SADC, President Arthur Peter Mutharika of Malawi presented the awards to Ms. Felicity Male from Botswana, Mr Simango Alfredo Henriques from Mozambique, Ms Jacqueline Hindjou-Mafwila from Namibia, Mr. Factmore Dzobo from Zimbabwe, Ms Emelda Shonga-Mwitwa from Zambia and Mr Munyaradzi Chamalimba from Zimbabwe.

SADC logo

SADC logo

Two of the Awards are for excellence on reporting on transboundary Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the region and the other four are for excellence in promoting regional integration in SADC.

Mr. Dzobo from the Chronicles Newspaper in Zimbabwe received the Award in the Print Water Category, for his report on the need for SADC Member States to utilize transboundary watercourses to promote regional integration.

The Award in the Photo Water Category went to Ms. Male from Botswana Press Agency for her photo depicting water cooperation by, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa ministers responsible for water during the signing of the memorandum of understanding for the three countries to draw water from the Orange Senqu River.

The Awards for excellence in the coverage of integrated water resources management was introduced in 2007 by the SADC Water Sector programme with funding from the Royal Danish Embassy to enhance awareness raising on water issues within the region, and to motivate journalists to write about transboundary water issues.

The Awards for excellence in promoting regional integration in SADC went to Mr Chamalimba for the Photo Category for his entry which highlighted how Zambia and Zimbabwe collaborated in co-hosting on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly.

Ms Shonga-Mwitwa’s received the Award in the Print category for her feature article which appeared in the Zambia Daily Mail focusing on the strides made by the SADC Region in Gender equality.

The Award for the Television Category went to Mr Henriques for his entry which highlighted the effects of poaching of rhinos on the South African and Mozambican tourism industries and discussed the future of rhinos which are in demand in the SADC region.

Ms Hindjou-Mafwila received the Award in the Radio Category for a feature on desertification in the SADC region and how Member States were addressing its effects of land degradation.

August 15, 2014

Uganda: Farmers Want To Turn To Irrigation As Drought Drags On

Chris Mugasha
August 15, 2014

Thousands of farmers in Uganda’s western district of Kasese want the government of Uganda to help them start irrigating their gardens following continued dry weather that is causing food shortage.

The district has up to 13 rivers. But farmers there have continued to lose their crops as a result of drought. Now the farmers believe that the solution is taking advantage of these rivers to irrigate their gardens.

One of the main rivers there is Nyamwamba which often bursts its banks causing mayhem in the district. In May 2013, River Nyamwamba burst its banks causing floods that left at least 10 people dead.

Several farmers in the district are now crying foul after the dry weather that started in March this year devastated their plantations.

Mubuku government prison farm is one of the worst affected. Farming efforts of inmates at this prison were wasted after their 300 acres of a maize plantation dried up.

“We were going to utilize all the rains because we planted in time but unfortunately we stopped receiving rains in March immediately after we had planted. We are expecting zero yields,” narrates the Officer in Charge of this prison Ronald Kalali.

People looking at part of Mubuku prison's maize garden which has dried due to drought

People looking at part of Mubuku prison’s maize garden which has dried due to drought

According to Kalali, from the 300 acres of land, they had planned to harvest 10 bags of maize per acre.

Currently the 500 inmates at this government prison are relying on food from farms of other prisons in the region.

Kalali insists that the lasting solution to such a problem is irrigation.

Peddy Munyanzikwiye, Kasese District Agriculture Officer says that the district is not financially able to expand the Mubuku irrigation scheme to cover more farmers. “There isn’t much we can do,” she says.

She however says they have started on mini-irrigation schemes beginning with Muhokya area where they constructed a system which can irrigate 200 acres.

Part of Mubuku prisons maize garden which has dried due to drought

Part of Mubuku prisons maize garden which has dried due to drought

Munyanzikwiye notes that they plan to establish more mini-irrigation schemes.

The World Food Programme-WFP estimates that more than 20 million people in Africa are on the brink of starvation.

%d bloggers like this: