A recent news story cited Ghana’s Deputy Superintendent of Police, David Selom Hukportie, as bemoaning the formidable challenges he faces trying to destroy marijuana farms across the country. Mr. Hukportie, who also heads the Drug Law Enforcement Unit of the Ghana Police Service, said the effort was like "trying to kill a swarm of flies with one’s bare hands".
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Author: Kendra Sharp, January 22 2016 [cross-posted from International Development Innovation Network (IDIN), linked below] - How fitting that the day we celebrated Martin Luther King [MLK] Jr. Day in the U.S. was the day we had our second site visits here at IDDS Lahore. The Apple homepage that came up on my internet browser displayed a photo of MLK Jr. overlaid with his famous quote: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
Author: David Ropeik, January 29 2016 [cross-posted from Big Think, linked below] - A new disease with an exotic name, Zika virus, is spreading "explosively" around the world. It may be causing babies to be born with shrunken heads and brains. No one has immunity. Experts admit significant uncertainty about how the disease spreads, what symptoms it causes, or just which parts of the population face the greatest danger. And the media is going bonkers.
Authors: John Rainford and Joshua Greenberg, January 28 2016 [cross-posted from Policy Options, linked below] - "The government is advising Colombian women to delay becoming pregnant for six to eight months..."
Author: Rishika Das Roy, January 27 2016 - How a life-saving radio station in the Himalayas is helping prepare its listeners for potential flooding, earthquakes and landslides:
Tucked away in the Himalayas, close to some of India’s highest mountain ranges, hides a life-saving community radio station.
Named after a local river, Mandakini Ki Awaaz (‘Voice of the Mandakini’), the broadcaster is located in Uttarakhand state, an area in India at particular risk of earthquakes, flooding and landslides.
Author: BBC Media Action blogger Elizabeth Mbwana, January 20 2016 - Listening to radio programme Nyakati Zinabadilika (Times are Changing) inspired three young unemployed men to approach the district veterinary officer, helping them to start a chicken farm in Tanzania.
A tiny chick cocked his head, flapped its fluffy wings and looked up at me from its box. It was time for feeding.
I’m visiting a chicken farm to meet Ramadhan Boli and his two friends. Until recently, the three young men were unemployed and passed their time sitting idly in the streets hanging out with friends. Ramadhan, known to his friends as Rama, told me, "I wanted to do better in life, but didn’t know where to start."
A recent evaluation by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has shown that the advanced analytical tools and data of the Organization and its support to national climate change strategy development processes have helped to strengthen developing country efforts for climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM).
High environmental degradation is one of the key developmental challenges facing Zambia today. This is because rural livelihoods are largely natural resource based. High poverty levels lead to the majority of citizens over-depending on the environment for livelihoods, making the environment unable to adequately renew itself to ensure sustainability. This has resulted in depletion of renewable natural resources which could have been preserved with effective sustainable environmental management practices.
Author: Ranjani.K.Murthy, January 7 2016 - Living in Chennai at the time of 2015 floods (which in fact hit several coastal districts of the state Tamil Nadu), and hearing commentaries of how climate change and poor disaster reduction/management were responsible for the deaths and the crisis that followed, I was thinking there is something missing in the debate. The missing element was the direction of development followed in Tamil Nadu, and perhaps globally.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has made critical contributions to technical knowledge and analysis on food and agriculture with its knowledge products and services, thus strengthening the evidence base for policies and programmes in this area, according to a recently completed evaluation report. At the same time, FAO needs to improve user-orientation in the design and dissemination of these knowledge products, the report suggested.