The management of Barbar Motors Corporation has threatened to file a criminal lawsuit against the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), claiming the agency illegally took US$5,000 and confiscated 3,447.60 kilogram (49 cylinders) of refrigeration and air-conditioning gases, valued at US$100,000The EPA in January 2014, announced it had fined the Company US$25,000 for illegally smuggling bad gases into the country, which violates the Environmental law.But, addressing journalists on Tuesday, March 4, Sam Saryon, acting manager of Barbar Motors admitted his company was fined US$25,000 by EPA, but was forced to pay US$5,000.“We were compelled to pay US$5,000, after receiving closure threats,” Saryon further alleged. “We did not violate any EPA laws. Instead, we were forced to pay US$5,000, after they threatened to close our business” he alleged.According to him, the imported gases was verified and cleared by both the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and BIVAC.“These are government Import Permit Declaration (IPD) and other relevant documents declaring that our products were good to be used in the country. Our partner in Belgium also confirmed it,” he clarified, though he did not name the Belgian partner.“How can they say we smuggled bad products into the country? We did not do so.”“We did not violate any environmental laws. Our products were verified and cleared by the MOC and BIVAC,” he repeated, “Where is the instrument used to determine that the products were bad?”Where do they get the information?” Saryon asked.All of these are calculated to exploit the company. We will not sit down for the company to lose such huge sums of money.”“We are warning the EPA to give back our money and the confiscated products immediately, or else we are going to sue them for theft of property,” Barbar Motor acting manager threatened.Unfortunately, Saryon claimed, “EPA, without any search and seize warrant from a competent court of jurisdiction, forcibly entered the warehouse and confiscated the products.”However, a source within the EPA, who asked not to be named because he is not the official spokesperson of the agency, said the corporation had indeed brought in the illegal substances and had intentionally mislabeled them.“When we confiscated the gases, we tested them in our lab and found out they were contaminated. We approached them and told them about our findings. They were fined and willingly paid US$5,000 into government’s coffers,” our source said.This person, however, stated that he was surprised to hear that Barbar Motor decided to go to Court.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
BREAKING NEWS: DONEGAL Gardaí have tonight issued a Community Alert after organised crime gangs targeted Jeep vehicles – particularly Toyota Land Cruiser Jeeps.Sgt Paul Wallace says owners of jeeps in the County are urged to be vigilant in relation to the parking and securing of their jeeps overnight.This warning comes after the theft of a number of Toyota Land cruiser jeeps in County Monaghan and along the border with Northern Ireland in recent nights. “People in the community are urged to keep a sharp eye out for movement of vehicles late at night and early in the morning as well-organised criminal gangs are targeting Toyota jeeps in particular,” he said.Simple Precautions Sgt Wallace advises include:Park in an area with good lighting or cctv cover which may deter the thief.Ensure the keys are not easily accessed. Installation of a tracking device in high end vehicles should be considered.Report to Gardaí anything arousing your suspicion, movement of vehicles etc.Get involved in your local Community / Text Alert,Sgt Wallace continued: “Owners of jeeps /prestige cars should put them in the Garage over night if practicable.“Place keys in a secure place, and consider fitting a tracking device. Always remove the keys each time you alight from the vehicle. Otherwise insurance cover may be compromised. “Always remember no matter how valuable your car is or how cherished it is not worth personal injury to you or your family.”Sgt Wallace continued – ‘ We are aware of the targeting and theft of jeeps along the border in recent nights so we are urging the public to be vigilant and proactive. It is acknowledged that communities are playing their part by being more ‘Crime Aware’ and the taking of advise regarding door locking mechanisms, the installation and use of intruder alarm systems and prompt reporting to local Gardai of activities arousing suspicion.“The revigouration and reorganisation of Community / Text Alert particularly in rural areas is to be welcomed in an effort to defeat the criminal. In the coming week meetings have been arranged for Monday Night 24th November at Burtonport Community Centre at 8pm & Wednesday 3rd of December at Ballyare Football Clubhouse at 7.30pm.“Check your door locks review your security get your alarm / CCTV serviced and use it. Visit your local registered locksmith and educate yourself in the products available to beat the criminal – they do work’. Check on your elderly neighbours.” Garda Stations providing a 24/7 service are:Letterkenny on 91-67100Milford on 91-53060Buncrana on 93 – 20540Ballyshannon 071-98 51002.Remember 999/112 in cases of emergency & www.garda.ie/crime prevention for further information.COMMUNITY ALERT: ORGANISED CRIME GANG STEALING JEEPS was last modified: November 20th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:alertCommunitycrimethieves
OAKLAND — The Warriors don’t seem to be fretting too much about that 134-111 blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday at Oracle Arena. These things happen.The Warriors can sometimes play bored. Teams love to give the defending NBA champs their best shot. And in fairness to the Bucks, they are kind of good. Especially Giannis Antetokounmpo. No, instead Warriors fans are rightfully concerned about Stephen Curry, who missed the fourth quarter because of a left adductor strain. In lamen’s …
The climate park will go a long way tohelp animals such as this lion, resting in theshade in the Namaqua National Park, tocool down.(Image: South African National Parks)Khanyi MagubaneGlobal warming has become a hot topic in both environmental and political circles, and South Africa has not been left untouched. The country’s wildlife in particular stands to suffer from an increasingly warm and dry climate.A new addition to the Namaqua National Park in the Northern Cape province is expected to take some of the heat off its inhabitants. The newly acquired 63 000ha of land along South Africa’s west coast will allow animals to migrate to cooler parts of the park. The land will increase Namaqua’s size to 144 000ha, making it the fifth largest national park in the country.According to South African National Parks’ (SANParks) managing executive of park operations, Paul Daphne, the park’s extension from sea level to an elevation of around 1 700m will allow a greater chance of survival for both animal and plant species.“Our state-of-the-art park will be able to accommodate the inevitability of climate change,” he says. “There may be other national parks where this climate change accommodation could take place, but this is the first one consciously designed with that in mind.”From diamonds to gameThe new addition to the Namaqua Park is owned by diamond mining company De Beers and has been leased to the SANParks for 99 years. Once the lease expires, SANParks will have the option of extending the lease for a further 99 years.The land started its commercial life as a diamond mine, but is now home to sheep farmers.Over the next three years, SANParks will start the process of opening the land’s borders to the existing park’s grounds. An estimated R8.5-million (US$852 000) will be spent on converting the new land into a suitable game park.According to SANParks, 55 local workers will be hired to rehabilitate old roads, 4×4 tracks and historic mining sites. New hiking trails and other game park facilities will also be added to the extension.Of further global environmental interest is the area in the park known as a biodiversity hotspot – the Succulent Karoo biome, or ecosystem. According to SANParks.org, this biome has been identified as a priority for protected area development. The new land’s coastline will increase the sanctuary’s ability to protect animals and plants that thrive in similar climatic and geographic environments.“The Succulent Karoo biome has been identified as a priority biome by the department of environment affairs and tourism, largely because of the high number of endemic species. It is one of the biomes with the least percentage under conservation,” says Daphne.The Succulent Karoo biome is mostly characterised by low winter rainfall and extreme summer aridity. Rainfall in the area varies between 20 and 290mm per year while summer temperatures often peak at 40°C. Fog is common in coastal areas and mountain winds blow throughout the year.According to De Beer’s head of ecology, John Kruger, the conservation of the area will enhance the potential for “ecologically-friendly tourism, and therefore create new, sustainable employment opportunities”.Warm temperatures pose threatRising global temperatures are a cause for concern for environmentalists around the world.According to the South African Climate Action Network, the predicted effects of climate change in South Africa include higher temperatures, particularly in the arid areas; a reduction in rainfall in summer rainfall areas; increasing incidents of droughts and floods; and rising sea level threatening low-lying areas.Humans will not be spared. Climate changes will increase various health risks ranging from skin cancer to extended outbursts of cholera and malaria.Global warming also threatens South Africa’s already vulnerable water supply system. It could also lead to desertification, which would threaten food security and the country’s unique biodiversity.A June 2008 report released by the International Panel on Climate Change indicated that up to two-thirds of the animal species in the Kruger National Park face extinction if global temperatures increase at the current rate.According to the report, a temperature increase of between 2.5° C to 3°C could lead to the extinction of 24% to 59% of mammals, up to 40% of birds, and up to 70% of butterflies. Between 18% and 80% of other invertebrates could also be lost, and up to 45% of reptiles.Speaking at a conference on climate change in July this year, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk addressed the importance of avoiding what he termed the “unmanageable impacts” of climate change.He said global warming should be curtailed through a worldwide response focused on prevention rather than cure.“This represents a make-or-break challenge to world leaders. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, all countries need to carry their fair share of responsibility to limit a global temperature increase to below 2°C.“It will be a failure of this generation of leaders if any developed country shirks its responsibility for the problem.”According to Van Schalkwyk, South Africa needs to build a low-carbon economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and a climate-resilient society.It would not, he said, be economically, environmentally or politically sustainable for the country to continue without a carbon constraint programme.A 2002 report by the University of Cape Town on the economic effects of climate change in South Africa indicated that both commercial and subsistence farming stood to take a heavy blow.Although agricultural systems would not be nearly as badly affected as natural systems, the change in rainfall, temperature and CO2 levels would reduce crop yields.According to the report, a detailed biophysical study of maize, South Africa’s largest field crop, showed that the total value of production lost as a result of climate change was R681-million ($66-million), without the CO2 fertilisation effect. With the fertilisation effect, the loss stood at R46-million ($4.46-million).Because of the general positive effect of CO2, the impacts on crop production were found to be relatively minor in relation to the value of the sector as a whole.The report concluded that the greatest potential impact climate change would have on South Africa would be in the lucrative tourism sector, which makes up 3% of gross domestic product.It is, however, the non-market elements which stand to lose the most from rising global temperatures – loss of biodiversity and natural resources, and a grave impact on human health.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at Khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesSaving the land with ecotourism Rallying around cleaner energy South Africa’s national parks Useful linksSouth African Climate Action NetworkClimate Change NewsAfrica GeographicUrban Green FileDepartment of Environmental Affairs and Tourism – Climate change researchSouth African Weather Service – Climate change: what, when and where?
16 March 2010Limpopo’s Department of Agriculture is to spend R6-million to improve emerging farmers’ access to crop, weather and market information through information communication technologies (ICT), including mobile text messaging and the internet.It is hoped that such systems will also help to develop innovative capacity-building models that can be replicated in other parts of Africa.Since the e-Agriculture project was launched in October 2009, 215 farmers and 16 extension officers have been trained in basic ICT skills using Digital Doorways, which are robust computer stations with multiple screens that provide internet access to rural communities.“Our desire is to ensure that farmers access information quicker and easier, without having to rely only on extension officers,” department spokesperson Kenny Mathivha said in Polokwane this week. “We have already installed Digital Doorways in all three districts, namely Mopani, Greater Sekhukhune and Capricorn.”He said the department would also unveil a comprehensive communication and customer care strategy.“This will ensure that our farmers access us and other services through the Internet, bulk cellphone SMS messaging and other means. For example, our extension officers should be able to SMS farmers to tell them not to irrigate today because it will rain tomorrow,” Mathivha said.Using technologyMany emerging farmers welcomed the budget announcement – Matome Mabotsa, a vegetable farmer from Ga Sekhukhune, said rural farmers were “far behind” in using modern technology to communicate.“It shows that the department wants to see farming in the province becoming prosperous, and it happens at a time when competition for markets is strong,” said Mabotsa, a tomato and cabbage farmer.He said maybe the new information-based systems will help them to plant crops at the right time so that they can harvest when the demand is high, which will increase the price they get.“This will be helpful indeed. Imagine being told when to water crops and when not to – we will save a lot of money and this will improve even our spray programme,” said Mabotsa.He also praised the department’s extensions officers, saying “they are playing a major role by assisting us with farming information and helping us to export our products to other provinces”.Source: BuaNews
Three people drowned in as many districts on August 2 as the flood situation in Assam worsened affecting eight of the State’s 33 districts.The death toll since May — when the first wave of floods hit Assam — has risen to 41 with landslides caused by heavy rainfall having claimed the lives of three people.Officials of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said a person each drowned in Dhemaji, Udalguri and Golaghat districts. These and five other districts have been affected by flash floods and the rising waters of the Brahmaputra and four of its tributaries.“About 1 lakh people have been affected by the second wave of floods,” an ASDMA official said. Eastern Assam’s Golaghat is the worst-affected district with 54,135 people displaced followed by Sivasagar (17,905) and Lakhimpur (14,052).Golaghat and Sivasagar district authorities have set up 99 relief camps that are currently housing 20,869 people.The officials said crops on 5,056.35 hectares has been destroyed across the eight districts.“Apart from inundation, erosion has been a major problem. At least 68 houses have been destroyed by rivers such as Jia Bharali and Panchnoi in Sonitpur, Udalguri and Barpeta districts,” the ASDMA official said.