12 December 2022

'Leaving the milk open, they call someone a thief,' said the cat
BBC Africa Live 12 December 2022. 4:35 Proverb of the day. An Oromo proverb from Ethiopia sent by Jeneral Jo

Language in human evolution: Homo sapiens started uttering speech sounds only some 70,000 years ago, around the time our ancestors migrated out of Africa. Then, the only part of the human vocal tract enough developed to produce sound was the oral cavity – the first ever speech sounds were “click” sounds. With time, tongues became more manoeuvrable and made the production of different click sounds possible. From about 50,000 years ago, the production of consonants and vowels began to be possible, with the vocal tract’s development (mouth, pharynx, nasal passages and most important of all the larynx with the vocal cords). Finally, “language, as we know it today, probably began to emerge about 20,000 years ago”.

South Africa: Because of critical levels of Escherichia coli – a human health hazard –, many Durban beaches have had to close. “The ageing water infrastructure has steadily decayed due to non-maintenance, lack of human capacity and financial resources, poor water governance and delayed – or no – action to address the deposition of sewage into various water courses such as the Umgeni River, and ultimately out to sea.” Then the April 2022 floods made things worse. Money will need to be spent as water governance, water infrastructure, wastewater treatment need to improve dramatically.

South Sudan: In Upper Nile State (north-east of the country), fresh fighting between the army and Maiwut opposition forces as well as inter-ethnic clashes in the Fashoda area are reported by OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs/a UN agency) to have displaced almost 40,000.
BBC Africa Live 12 December 2022. 9:28

11 December 2022

Kenya: In the past, the Maasai held an annual lion hunt, a rite of passage – warriors had to kill a lion to transition to manhood. But as lions became rare, “environmentalists and the group's elders founded the so-called Maasai Olympics”. A BBC report in pictures.

Zambia: 27 dead (suffocated) Ethiopian migrants were found by the side of a road in Ngwerere (north of Lusaka). In October, 25 Ethiopians had been found in a mass grave in Malawi – probably also migrants trying to reach South Africa.