16 March 2023

Mozambique: Cyclone Freddy has killed at least 53 and “hundreds of thousands are at risk of a humanitarian crisis”. The government has now allocated 3.4m USD for the reconstruction of schools and infrastructure. The province of Zambezia (centre of the country) has been hardest hit.
BBC Africa Live 16 March 2023. 6:26

Toyin Falola: The professor of history who has published around 200 books turns seventy. The article briefly presents three of his most recent books (African Spirituality, Politics, and Knowledge Systems; Decolonizing African Studies; African Memoirs and Cultural Representations). The scope of his publications is amazing. “He has also recently co-edited the Palgrave Handbook on Islam in Africa and a multi-volume book project on women’s studies and female agency in Africa.”

Malawi: Tropical Storm Freddy’s death too has risen from 225 to 326 and is expected to rise further as some communities are yet to be reached.
BBC Africa Live 16 March 2023. 17:06

15 March 2023

Congo-Kinshasa: The Banyamulenge, traditionally cattle keepers who arrived in South Kivu between the 16th and the 18th centuries who today number about half a million, are generally seen as affiliated to the Tutsi. They have often been treated as outsiders, foreigners, invaders, even by the Congolese state. Their “political adversaries range from local politicians to armed groups and militias”, e.g., the MaiMai, Biloze-Bishambuke, Red-Tabara and Forces Nationales de Liberation, with the looting of the Banyamulenge’s cattle “a constant occurrence since the 1960s”. There have been major attacks by security forces and local militias on the Banyamulenge in 1996, 1998 and 2004 and a new wave of violence started in 2017.

Tropical Forests: Destruction (logging, wildfire, land clearing) by far outstrips regrowth. Scientists from the University of Bristol studied the world’s three largest tropical forests using satellite data, especially for estimating carbon absorption by degraded and recovering tropical forests. Beyond the protection of primary forests, secondary and degraded forests also need to be protected and allowed to recover. “26% of the current carbon emissions from tropical deforestation and degradation” can be compensated by carbon absorption by such degraded and recovering forests.

Urban Agriculture: Based on research in South Africa, Singapore, Belgium and the Netherlands, this article gives an overview of the different forms of urban farming – which is very diverse, in size, methods, technology…

Malawi/Mozambique: Tropical Storm Freddy has killed 225 and injured more than 700 by the latest count with 41 still missing. Poor districts of the commercial capital Blantyre have been hit hardest by floods and landslides. In neighbouring Mozambique, only 20 seem to have died because of the storm – there, the “government had invested in flood defence measures” after the last three years’ tropical storms.