Written by CBC NEWS Friday, 24 May 2013 13:19
In Haiti growing numbers of health care professionals and relief workers have become openly critical of the United Nations.
This as the annual rainy season gathers over the country, bringing the risk of a renewed cholera epidemic that first struck in October 2011
Duncan Mclean, a health program manager for Doctors without Borders, a voluntary organization that treated some 23 thousand Haitians for cholera last year says the situation is worse than it was two years ago
According to the Haitian health ministry, more than 656 thousand people have been infected, and just over eight thousand have died of water-borne cholera as of March 31.
Written by CBC NEWS Thursday, 23 May 2013 21:50
Barbadians are being told that there is no quick fix to the high cost of electricity and energy in the island.
The comment came from managing director of the BL&P Mark King at a news conference at the utility company's headquarters.
Mr. King admitted that the fuel clause adjustment reached approximately 43.9 percent in March per kilowatt hour, which is the highest ever experienced.
Mark King says fossil fuels will be with us for a while and that a limit will be set in terms of the amount of alternative power that can be absorbed into the national grid, through wind or sun power, noting that it causes the system to have ups and downs and can lead to blackouts.
Mr. King also told journalists at a news conference at the BL&P's Garrison headquarters that a recent study pointed out that by 2029 Barbados would only benefit to the tune of 29 percent from the use of such energy in the national grid.
He says the Light and Power Company is doing all that's possible to reduce energy costs in Barbados including using the cheapest oil for generating electricity.
And he admitted that the fuel clause adjustment reached approximately 43.9 percent in march per kilowatt hour, which is the highest ever experienced.
Mr. King says they recognise that more and more people want to access renewable energy and they have come up with a policy in this regard.
He has also rejected suggestions that the utility company is abusing its dominant position in the market.
Written by CBC NEWS Wednesday, 22 May 2013 13:40
An Australian garden won Best in Show, the top prize at Chelsea, for the first time in the 100-year history of the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual show.
To whoops and tears, the 15-strong team from Fleming’s Nurseries accepted the award from BBC presenter Alan Titchmarsh and claimed it was the best moment in Australian horticulture as well as “a good omen for the Ashes”.
The designer Phillip Johnson is well known in Australia as a pioneer of sustainable gardening.
His garden used solar powered-pumps to create a waterfall surrounded by UK-grown tree ferns and flowers. The water was filtered to create a chemical free swimming pool. There are 120 species of plant in the garden, much more than the average Chelsea show garden, and frog song was played around the area.
The 38-year-old designer said the garden was designed to inspire people to “connect back to nature” by creating their own billabong.
He pointed out that most people could use rainwater from the roof, fit a filter and create their own water feature. This not only stops rainwater flowing into the street from the drain but stores water for drought and creates a “permeable” surface to stop floods.
He then advised using local native plants to attract in frogs, birds and dragonflies.
“If you had a little back yard, you could create this anywhere. You would be able to grow this in suburbia,” he said.
“I want everyone to look at the down pipes from their roof and see how it can sustain a billabong - or body of water that fluctuates throughout the seasons,” he said.
Alan Titchmarsh, the BBC presenter, welcomed more “integrated water management” in British gardens.
He said the Government should legislate so that every new house should have a place to store rain water and recycle grey water.
He said floods and recent hosepipe bans could be avoided by households managing water better.
“We have plenty of water in this country, he said. “It is just in the wrong place.”
Wes Fleming, the owner of Fleming’s Nurseries has taken eight gardens to Chelsea, four of which won gold.
His ninth and last garden at Chelsea was designed to show how urban environments and cities should be built in the future to manage water and sustain wildlife.
“Our infrastructure cannot cope with rainwater so if we can capture it and use it on our own properties it makes perfect sense.”
The Queen visited the site yesterday. Fleming, from Melbourne and the founder of Australia's ninth garden campaign, was told she had no time to stop but she did and then walked about the site. It was a good omen.
Fleming said he was "dangerously confident" of winning but it was still unbelievable; no other Australian entry has ever won best in show.
"I have dreamed of this moment since I was a little boy growing up on the nursery and mum and dad regaling in tales of Chelsea Flower Show," an emotional Fleming said.
"I've been chasing this honour for my whole adult life so to have been awarded not only the coveted gold medal but Best in Show at the world's most highly regarded event is a moment no words can describe."
Of his meeting with the Queen, Fleming said: "She did more listening than talking but she did say "I believe this is your last garden" and we explained to her the reasons why we couldn't come back and she was quite disappointed," Fleming said.
"It was really quite lovely that the Queen knows about you, it's really quite special. She thought our display this year was lovely and the comments by those about her Majesty was it was a beautiful slice of Australia."
Despite the win, it will be Fleming's and his Trailfinders Australian Garden team's last showing.
"Chelsea is wonderful media and a great event but in all honesty it's like building dolls houses," Fleming said.
"For us it has been about increasing awareness and influencing policy and government about the need for planning, the need for green and better open spaces for environment and have the horticultural industry involved in future planning.
"In 100 or 50 years time it's not going to be accountants telling us how we live and the health of society, it's not going to be lawyers, marketing people or IT people, it will be the horticultural industry that determines the future of our life.
"That might sound trumped up … but we need to get governments and the greater populace generally to recognise that planting trees and creating landscapes is not just for aesthetics."
But Tony Smith, an award-winning British designer, said that sustainability at Chelsea Flower Show is a“nonsense”. “You save the environment by not flying 15 people around the world,” he said.
However, he said storing, filtering and using your own water saved a lot of energy and money.
“It is laudable to encourage people to be as good as they can be but it is not enough to save the planet.”
Bob Sweet, Head of RHS shows and one of the judges, said it was one of the best show gardens he had ever seen at Chelsea.
He said the garden managed to look like the real Australian landscape through attention to detail
“It has not been done as a show garden it has been done to look natural,” he said.
David “Ponty” Pontifex, who was in charge of construction, said the RHS had originally wanted to put the garden 24m east along the embankment.
But the Australian team questioned what the pipes were in the plan 3m in diameter and just 2m down under the billabong.
When they found out it was the London sewage pipes they demanded to be moved.
“Otherwise we would really have been in the sh**t,” he commented.
Written by CBC NEWS Thursday, 23 May 2013 21:48
If a government senator gets his way private schools in Barbados will get an increase in government aid to assist with their bursary programmes.
Parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Education, Senator Harry Husbands says this is long overdue given the important role these institutions play helping to shape the minds of the country.
He acknowledged that it has been over a decade since the monetary offerings to the institutions was increased.
Senator Husbands made the disclosure during a tour of the Ursuline Convent School Thursday.
Administrator at the school Susan Chinnery believes government's effort to assist private schools especially in these trying economic times must be commended.
She says the issue of raising the state's bursary aid to private schools has been a contentious one for over 20 years
Ms Chinnery says given its financial constraints government has been very humane in dealing with the matter and government's intervention over the years has offered significant relief for many parents.
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