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One more time; keep the City Clean

Freetown after Independence in 1961 up to the early seventies was a reasonably clean city. Local dump sites for garbage were strategically located all over the city and were regularly cleared out by either the City Council or the Ministry of Health. The City Council was then a vibrant entity focused on providing municipal services to the City. Drains were cleaned out regularly by Council or through the services of Contractors such as the late Ajibu Jalloh and others. Markets were washed through an arrangement with the Fire Force. 

 

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The Most Polluted City in the World Isn’t Beijing or Delhi

           

Commuters travel through a traffic jam on their way to New Delhi from Gurgaon on May 3. (Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE - WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database (update 2016)

washingtonpost.com - by Adam Taylor - May 13, 2016

What's the most polluted city in the world? Some might point to Beijing, the Chinese capital, and its now legendary smog problem. Others may point towards India, where Delhi's own air pollution problems are become similarly infamous. However, a new report from the World Health Organization suggests that these megacities are actually only the tip of the iceberg – and the actual city with the world's worst pollution is probably in Iran.

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Global Warming Cited as Wildfires Increase in Fragile Boreal Forest

The boreal region stretches across the Northern Hemisphere through Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. Boreal forests are increasingly affected by fire and climate change.

Sources: Natural Resources Canada; Alberta Agriculture and Forestry; U.S. Geological Survey; University of Maryland - By The New York Times

Scientists say the near-destruction of Fort McMurray last week by a wildfire is the latest indication that the vital boreal forest is at risk from climate change.

nytimes.com - by JUSTIN GILLIS and HENRY FOUNTAIN - May 10, 2016

Scientists have been warning for decades that climate change is a threat to the immense tracts of forest that ring the Northern Hemisphere, with rising temperatures, drying trees and earlier melting of snow contributing to a growing number of wildfires.

The near-destruction of a Canadian city last week by a fire that sent almost 90,000 people fleeing for their lives is grim proof that the threat to these vast stands of spruce and other resinous trees, collectively known as the boreal forest, is real. And scientists say a large-scale loss of the forest could have profound consequences for efforts to limit the damage from climate change.

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National View: Climate change affects migration of infectious disease

By William B. Miller Jr., M.D.


Posted Apr. 19, 2016 at 2:01 AM 

Zika is all over the news. Zika is surely dangerous, but it has its limitations and is likely to be well contained. However, its greater significance extends beyond any current spread. Instead, it exemplifies the crucial emerging trend of a novel infectious agent that has swiftly become a global threat.

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Climate Change An Imminent Health Risk, White House Reports

A new report released by the White House warns that climate change is an imminent and growing threat to public health, and that extreme heat will kill around 27,000 US residents per year by 2100.

A science advisor to the Obama administration by the name of John Holdren commented on the report at a recent press conference, noting that extreme heat waves will make outdoor work periodically “impossible:”

“People who work outdoors will be unable to control their body temperature and will die. This is a really, really big deal.”

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EPA Targets Ebola, Pathogen Disinfectant Claims

April 8 — The Environmental Protection Agency has issued aguidance document clarifying the claims disinfectant makers can and can't make during outbreaks of emerging pathogens.

The guidance is meant to prevent some of the confusion that occurred during the recent Ebola outbreak, when some cleaning industry companies were unsure if they could legally market their products as being effective at killing the virus.

It also creates a way around the EPA's rule preventing companies from making claims that their product can kill a specific microbe without lab studies on that specific microbe. In the case of many new or emerging pathogens, such as Ebola or avian influenza, efficacy tests in a lab could be infeasible or even dangerous.

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Green" industrialization part of focus for African Development Week

 

Carlos Lopes. File Photo: UNECA

Migration, climate change and what's been called "green" industrialization are just some of the issues topping the agenda when African economic and finance ministers gather in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, beginning this Thursday.

The conference is part of the wider events for the first African Development Week organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, known as the ECA, and the African Union.

Carlos Lopes is the ECA Executive Secretary at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Ernest Chicho asked him about the background for the week and what to expect.

Duration: 4'28"

see more on: http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2016/03/green-industrialization-part-of-focus-for-african-development-week/#.Vv0A1tIrJdh

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Social Progress Index 2015

socialprogressimperative.org

CLICK HERE - Social Progress Index 2015 (158 page .PDF report)

MEASURING NATIONAL PROGRESS – To truly advance social progress, we must learn to measure it, comprehensively and rigorously. The Social Progress Index offers a rich framework for measuring the multiple dimensions of social progress, benchmarking success, and catalyzing greater human wellbeing. The 2015 version of the Social Progress Index has improved upon the 2014 version through generous feedback from many observers and covers an expanded number of countries with 52 indicators.

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CLICK HERE - Publications

http://www.socialprogressimperative.org

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Argentine & Brazilian Doctors Suspect Mosquito Insecticide as Cause of Microcephaly

          

Since 2014, the insecticide Pyriproxyfen has been used to kill mosquitos in water tanks in Brazil. Water tank in Bahia state, northeast Brazil. Photo: Francois Le Minh via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

gmwatch.org - by Claire Robinson - February 10, 2016

A report from the Argentine doctors’ organisation, Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns,[1] challenges the theory that the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil is the cause of the increase in the birth defect microcephaly among newborns.  

The increase in this birth defect, in which the baby is born with an abnormally small head and often has brain damage, was quickly linked to the Zika virus by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. However, according to the Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, the Ministry failed to recognise that in the area where most sick people live, a chemical larvicide that produces malformations in mosquitoes was introduced into the drinking water supply in 2014. This poison, Pyriproxyfen, is used in a State-controlled programme aimed at eradicating disease-carrying mosquitoes. . . .

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