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.

14 March 2023

Malawi: Tropical storm Freddy’s known death toll in the country has risen to 99, 85 of them in Blantyre. In the ten southern region districts most concerned by the heavy rains and strong winds, a state of national disaster has been declared.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2023. 5:00

Nigeria: In conformity with a supreme court order, the central bank now says that old banknotes will remain valid until end 2023. The 10th of February deadline for the use of the old notes had caused a severe cash shortage, as far too few new notes were available, and some of the ensuing protests had turned violent.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2023. 5:47

Sexual abuse of girl children: Victims, instead of understanding and support, often get blame when they tell about abuse. In Nigeria, the article’s authors conducted in-depth interviews with 11 adolescents former victims of sexual abuse or molestation. “Children should be encouraged to speak up, be provided with safe spaces to do so and be assured of protection.”

Diseases that come with droughts: The article gives an overview of diseases that, although not caused by droughts, can come with them. It distinguishes food-borne diseases (incl. cholera, dysentery, salmonella, hepatitis), water-born diseases (incl. cholera, dysentery, typhoid, rotavirus), vector-borne diseases (incl. West Nile virus, St Louis encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, chikungunya, dengue) and zoonotic diseases, where the risk of spill-over may increase (e.g. Nipah virus, Ebola, monkeypox/mpox).

Rwanda: From today Tuesday onward, the selling of meat that has not been refrigerated for at least 24 hours is prohibited.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2023. 7:09

Burundi: A month ago, two leading members of Burundi's Association of Women Lawyers and three more human rights activists were arrested for “rebellion and undermining state security” and for possibly financing terrorism. The charges are baseless, say Amnesty International and other international and national NGOs, symptoms of a “worsening climate for civil society” in the country.
BBC Africa Live 14 March 2023. 13:49