Logo: Farm Radio Weekly

1404 Scott Street,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1Y 4M8

Tel: 613-761-3650
Fax: 613-798-0990
Toll-Free: 1-888-773-7717
Email: info@farmradio.org
Web Site: http://farmradio.org/

Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

FRW news in brief

FRW news in brief

1- Botswana: Court ruling allows LGBT rights group to register organization

In a groundbreaking decision, the Botswana High Court recently ruled that members of a rights group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT persons can formally register their organization.

According to Monica Tabengwa of Human Rights Watch, “The court’s ruling is a significant victory for the LGBT community, not only in Botswana but elsewhere in Africa where LGBT groups have faced similar obstacles to registration.”

In upholding the application, Justice Terence Rannowane of the Botswana High Court ruled that, although same-sex sexual relations are illegal in Botswana, freedom of association, assembly, and expression are important societal values. He added, “Enjoyment of such rights can only be limited where such limitation is reasonably justifiable in a democracy.”

To read the full article, go to: https://www.ifex.org/botswana/2014/11/14/basic_freedoms/

2- West Africa: One in seven women at risk of dying in childbirth in Ebola-hit countries

Women are dying in childbirth at an alarming rate in countries hit by the Ebola epidemic. Aid agencies warn that as many as one in seven are at risk because helpers fear contact with bodily fluids.

The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 800,000 women in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia will give birth in the next 12 months. Some 120,000 of these could face life-threatening complications and tens of thousands die, according to a group of 13 leading UK charities, including ActionAid.

Korto Williams is the head of ActionAid in Liberia. He says: “We have to do more to [prevent this]. We have to ensure that pregnant women get the care they need or we will see the rate of maternal deaths skyrocket.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20141111000016-1mypz

3- Central African Republic: Crisis leads to ‘information blackout’

The Central African Republic is caught up in the worst humanitarian and political crisis of its history, with almost half its 4.6 million people in need of emergency aid.

The ongoing violence and turmoil in CAR has led to an information blackout. The country has poor mobile phone connectivity and the largely rural population relies heavily on radio. But the national broadcaster has ceased broadcasting and many other radio stations have been looted and shut.

According to Reporters Without Borders, three local journalists have been killed. A recent report by International Media Support found that “Central Africans are living in complete darkness as they have no access to information.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2014/11/central-african-republic-chaos-and-self-censorship-stalk-nations-journalists/

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

1-Ghana: MP justifies ‘stoning to death’ for women who commit adultery

A Ghanaian Member of Parliament, Nelson Abudu Baani, is calling for women who commit adultery to be stoned or hanged to death.

His comments have attracted severe condemnation from women rights activists and the general public, who have called for his resignation. But Mr. Abudu Baani said stoning or hanging unfaithful women to death would serve as a deterrent to other women.

He says: “That is my view. I just want [Parliament] to institute punishments for women who would be adulterous … if other people have any other punishments, they should bring it.”

Mr. Abudu Baani dismissed critics who described his suggestion as backward, saying the threat of punishment would only help women to remain faithful to their husbands.

To read the full article, go to: http://m.starrfmonline.com/1.1897376 More reaction to the story is available here: http://thisisafrica.me/stone-adulterous-women-death-says-ghanaian-mp/

2-Tanzania: Forty thousand Maasai to be evicted from Serengeti to make room for Dubai royal family

Forty thousand Maasai will be evicted from their homeland by the end of the year after the Tanzanian government reportedly backtracked on a promise to leave the pastoralists alone.

Last year, the Tanzanian government appeared to have resisted a land purchase by the Dubai royal family, proposing instead a “wildlife corridor” dedicated to hunting near Serengeti National Park. But the deal to sell the land for a private hunting reserve is reported to have gone through, and the Tanzanian government says the Maasai will have to leave.

Samwel Nangiria is the coordinator for a local civil society group called Ngonett. He says: “I feel betrayed. [Compensation of] one billion [Tanzanian shillings – $578,500 U.S.] is very little and you cannot compare that with land. It’s inherited. [Our] mothers and grandmothers are buried in that land.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.salon.com/2014/11/17/tanzania_will_sell_masai_homeland_to_dubai_royal_family/ For further background information, see: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2013/04/15/news-brief-tanzanian-maasai-to-lose-land-to-%e2%80%98green-land-grab%e2%80%99-agencies/

3-Ethiopia: Abortion law reduce maternal deaths

Ethiopia decriminalized abortion in 2005 in an effort to lower high maternal death rates. At least a third of these deaths were due to botched abortions.

Dawit Argaw owns the Blue Star Clinic in Addis Ababa. He believes that safe abortions save women’s lives. He adds, “In my religion, it is forbidden. But for me as a human being, I accept it [as necessary], so that is why I do it.”

Increased access to contraceptives also improves women’s health, and the number of unwanted pregnancies is declining as more women choose to use birth control.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100463/ethiopia-s-game-changing-abortion-law

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

1-Mozambique: Fighting cervical cancer

Mozambique is reeling under the twin burden of HIV and cervical cancer. Eleven women die of cervical cancer every day, or 4,000 a year. Yet this cancer is preventable and treatable, if identified early.

Cervical cancer is caused by two of the 40 types of Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. Being infected with HPV doubles the risk of acquiring HIV, while HIV hastens the progression of cervical cancer. Many people unknowingly carry some types of HPV, but the virus often dies off without medical treatment.

Health authorities are tackling the problem with a three-pronged strategy: information for prevention, routine screening for detection, and better treatment. Routine screening for HPV is now offered with family planning services, and Mozambique’s Ministry of Health hopes to cover all districts by 2017.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/10/fighting-the-neighbours-disease-in-mozambique/

2-Rwanda: Afro-pop, rap and R&B musicians promote healthier diets − through beans

Rwanda’s top musicians are promoting better nutrition and health with a new music video released last week.

The song extols the nutritional benefits of high-iron beans, now available in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. Almost 40 per cent of Rwandan children do not get enough iron in their diets. In severe cases, this can lower their IQs and learning capacity, resistance to disease, and energy levels.

The campaign has featured musicians such as Miss Jojo, Riderman, and Urban Boyz in a series of road shows across the country. The artists have performed live for more than 30,000 people. Rwandan rapper Riderman says, “We came together to make sure that we say goodbye to malnutrition.”

To read the full article and hear the song, go to: http://appablog.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/afro-pop-rap-and-rb-musicians-promote-healthier-diets-through-beans/

3-Sierra Leone: SMS messages tackle Ebola across West Africa

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, or IFRC, has sent about two million text messages a month to Sierra Leoneans since the Ebola outbreak began in March. The messages advise people how to avoid getting infected, and to seek immediate treatment if they do catch the virus.

The Trilogy Emergency Relief Application system was rolled out in Sierra Leone last year following a cholera outbreak, and allows blanket SMS alerts to be sent to people in precise geographical areas.

Robin Burton is the IFRC’s mobile operator relations consultant. He says, “The service has been brilliant in Sierra Leone, and other countries want to follow suit because Ebola is a clear and present danger.” The charities plan to extend the service to Benin, Togo, Ghana, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Burkina Faso.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20141105172430-9qaas/

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

1-Central African Republic: Violence hits food production, economy ‘broken’

According to a new assessment by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO, violence in the Central African Republic has taken a heavy toll on farming.

The report notes that livestock numbers have fallen by as much as 77 per cent as a result of cattle raids during the two-year conflict.

Food reserves in rural areas are more than 40 per cent below normal levels. Markets have shut down because traders fear for their safety.

FAO representative Pierre Vauthier says, “The economy has been completely broken,” and he fears there could be a “total collapse of production” after the next harvest.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20141030175929-ng1b7/

2-Somalia: At least three million in need of aid

In September, the United Nations said that more than a million people in Somalia were struggling to meet their daily nutritional needs.

But now, according to United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the country is threatened with famine. Mr. Ban says: “Over three million Somalis are in need of humanitarian assistance, and unfortunately that number is growing. I urge donors to step up contributions to avert another famine in Somalia.”

Philippe Lazzarini is the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Somalia. He says rapidly rising malnutrition and food shortages resemble the warning signs that preceded the 2011 famine in which 260,000 people died.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20141029201643-dz0eq/

3-South Sudan: Fighting likely to surge as rainy season ends

The imminent end of the rainy season means warring parties in South Sudan’s civil war are preparing for major offensives, according to the think tank, International Crisis Group, or ICG.

ICG says fighting eased during the rainy season, giving both sides time to import arms and marshal their forces.

Rival factions have been fighting for nearly a year, with a growing number of militias and self-defence forces joining the conflict. This is occurring despite ongoing peace talks and several ceasefire agreements.

The conflict has disrupted harvests and food markets. Famine was averted this year by emergency food aid and normal rainfall. But U.N. agencies recently warned that at least 3.8 million people in South Sudan will need humanitarian aid.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20141030183300-piaoj/

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

1-Mozambique: Farmers choose cassava over hybrid maize

The Mozambique Institute of Agricultural Research has developed high yielding cassava varieties that resist mosaic disease.

The new, widely adopted varieties are being used by farmers who supply the brewing industry. They are proving more popular than hybrid maize varieties, as farmers consider the cassava better able to withstand tough climatic conditions and a lack of inputs.

To read the full article, go to: http://spore.cta.int/en/component/content/article/278-spore/agriculture-2/10565-cooperatives

2-Uganda: Broadcaster’s conviction spurs call to end cases of criminal defamation

Radio journalist Ronald Ssembuusi has been ordered to pay a fine of $375 U.S. or face one year’s imprisonment, after being convicted of criminal defamation.

In 2011, Mr. Ssembuusi reported on CBS Radio that a former local politician was being investigated in connection with the disappearance of solar panels. Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda is leading calls for the law on criminal defamation to be repealed.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights passed a resolution in November 2010 that states: “Criminal defamation laws constitute a serious interference with freedom of expression and impede … the role of the media as a watchdog.”

To read the full article, go to: https://www.ifex.org/uganda/2014/10/20/ssembuusi_sentenced/

3-Kenya: Warmer days a catastrophe in the making for pastoralists

Extreme weather events and more frequent and prolonged dry spells are making life difficult for pastoralist communities.

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report predicted that temperatures in Africa, particularly in the more arid regions, are likely to rise more quickly than in other land areas.

Dr. George Keya, assistant director for Range and Arid Lands Research, said that if the short rains fail this year, “We will be facing a catastrophe in arid and semi-arid areas where pastoralists live.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/10/warmer-days-a-catastrophe-in-the-making-for-kenyas-pastoralists/

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

1-Somalia: Radio station turns words into action

Like many African countries, Somalia is a predominantly oral society. This means that radio can be a powerful communication tool.

The many radio stations in Somalia compete for listeners, but Radio Ergo is the country’s only dedicated humanitarian radio service. Over the past three years, Radio Ergo has created a niche by making a positive difference in the lives of people across Somalia.

Radio Ergo’s programming is varied. Every day, listeners can tune in to dramas, talk shows, and interviews with experts on a range of humanitarian issues, including health, education, displacement, and weather warnings which, for example, give people time to move safely to higher ground.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.unocha.org/top-stories/all-stories/somalia-ocha-founded-radio-station-turns-words-action

2-Uganda: Rising temperatures mean pests and diseases more damaging to coffee

Coffee is Uganda’s single largest export earner. The East African nation is the largest exporter of coffee on the continent; Ethiopia consumes more than half of what it produces.

The Uganda Coffee Development Authority estimates that 85 per cent of Ugandan coffee is produced by small-scale farmers, the majority of whom own fields of half a hectare to two and a half hectares. The coffee sector employs three and a half million people.

But all is not well in the Ugandan coffee business. Dr. Africano Kangire from Uganda’s National Coffee Research Institute says that warmer than usual weather may be creating a breeding ground for pests and diseases.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/09/as-uganda-heats-up-pests-and-disease-flourish-to-attack-its-top-export-crop/

3-Kenya: Farmers back referendum for more local aid

A growing number of impoverished Kenyan farmers are calling for a referendum to review the country’s constitution. They hope to improve their position under the country’s system of county governance.

Implemented in 2010, the Kenyan constitution devolved power to the county level, enabling counties to raise funds through their own levies. But according to lobby groups, the central government still oversees how the money is spent.

Isaac Ruto is the chairman of the council of regional governors, which supports the referendum campaign. He says, “The call for a referendum is because resources are not reaching marginalized Kenyans in various parts of the country.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20141020082634-rjw65/

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

1-Kenya: President Kenyatta to step down while appearing before ICC

Uhuru Kenyatta will temporarily step down as president of Kenya during his hearing at the international criminal court.

The African Union passed a resolution granting immunity from international tribunals for sitting presidents. But Mr. Kenyatta said he would invoke a hitherto unused article of the Kenyan constitution that allows the deputy president, William Ruto, to temporarily become president.

Mr. Kenyatta faces charges of crimes against humanity. It is alleged that he helped instigate violence that followed Kenya’s December 2007 presidential election, when more than a 1,000 people were killed. Mr. Kenyatta maintains that he is innocent of all charges.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/06/kenyan-president-uhuru-kenyatta-attend-international-criminal-court

2-Uganda: Farmers uproot cassava in fear of floods

Persistent rains have caused flooding in the Alebtong District of central Uganda, washing away crops. Farmers have begun uprooting their cassava, fearing it might rot in the ground.

The chairperson of the Alebtong District disaster preparedness committee, Mr. Richard Alioka, said the district might be hit with food shortages.

Residents are also worried about diseases, especially cholera, as several streams and wells have been contaminated.

Bishop Tom Ibrahim Okello, the president of the Uganda Red Cross Society, said people should not sit back but plant new gardens. The Society has been distributing relief items, including blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, cups and bars of soap.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Residents-uproot-cassava-in-fear-of-floods/-/688334/2453470/-/f3fyxp/-/index.html

3-Cameroon: Dire conditions for Nigerian refugees

Thousands of Nigerians who fled Boko Haram attacks are crowded into the Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon’s Far North Region. According to relief agencies, they are living in increasingly squalid conditions and at risk of contracting measles and other diseases.

The UN Refugee Agency, or UNHCR, says the population of the camp has risen from 6,000 to 15,000 over the past four weeks, and services are severely strained.

Camp manager, Muhamat Alhidi, says, “The population has reached a level where more urgent actions need to be taken to build more tents and provide sanitation facilities such as toilets and new wells.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100689/dire-conditions-for-nigerian-refugees-in-cameroon

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

1-West Africa: Radio informs public about Ebola

Radio Kintoma has been dispelling the rumours that Ebola is a plot by the government to frighten the population.

The community radio station in Voinjama, a Liberian town just south of the border with Guinea, has been broadcasting messages about Ebola since the outbreak began in May.

Mary is a small-scale farmer from northern Liberia’s Lofa Province. She says, “I now believe Ebola is real and it kills people every day.”

Radio Kintoma is providing crucial education on how Ebola is transmitted from one person to another. People have learned to stop burying their own dead, to wait for health workers to come and tend to sick people, and to stop shaking hands and engaging in other everyday social rituals which increase the risk of transmission.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20140925093608-a5osu/?utm

2-Nigeria: Ebola and the media

Nigeria reportedly has the eighth largest Internet population in the world – 67 million users. There are also nearly 166 million mobile phone subscribers in a population of 175 million.

With so many Nigerians online, websites such as ebolalert.org and ebolafacts.com have become important channels for providing accurate information to help people stay safe. They complement telephone hotlines and more traditional public health approaches.

According to UNICEF Communications Specialist Geoffrey Njoku, over a six-week period, nearly 60,000 people received more than 3.6 million texts with key messages about Ebola and how to stay protected.

Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu has declared survivors of Ebola to be the “safest people to be around,” given their new immunity to the virus.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100674/ebola-and-the-media-nigeria-s-good-news-story

3-Great Lakes: Experts warn of ‘dire consequences’ as Lake Victoria’s water levels drop further

Climate experts say the rise in global temperature is affecting rainfall patterns over Lake Victoria.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report states that increased warming and rainfall in the western Indian Ocean will lead to climate extremes in East Africa.

Professor Hannes Rautenbach from the University of Pretoria says, “The rain belt over Uganda will shift.” The report argues that Lake Victoria, which has been receiving high volumes of rain, will soon experience a 20 per cent drop in rainfall.

This decrease, coupled with increased evaporation due to higher air and water temperatures, will cause a drop in water levels in the near future.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/09/experts-warn-of-dire-consequences-as-lake-victorias-water-levels-drop-further/

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-Ethiopia: Farmer hotline heats up

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, and Ethio Telecom have launched an information hotline to provide rural, small-scale farmers with access to timely and relevant agricultural advice.

In the 12 weeks since it was launched, 300,000 farmers have made over 1.5 million calls to the service. This success underlines the demand for agricultural extension services in hard-to-reach parts of Tigray, Oromia, SNNP and Amhara regions.

The free telephone hotline provides pre-recorded information on land preparation, planting, crop protection, post-harvest activities, fertilizer application, processing, irrigation and weather. An SMS alert system notifies farmers and government extension agents about other agricultural issues.

To read the full article, go to: http://allafrica.com/stories/201409181595.html

2-Nigeria: Soap operas tackle serious issues

Television soap operas have long been popular in Nigeria. But one of the longest running soaps is broadcast on the radio.

Story, Story: Voices from the Market is a drama recorded in real locations rather than a radio studio. A recent episode dealt with the Ebola outbreak. One of the characters fell ill with the virus after returning to Nigeria, providing a platform to air critical information on the virus.

The program’s producers believe radio soap operas like Story, Story, with their millions of dedicated listeners, can help with situations like the current Ebola outbreak.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-08/its-not-just-soap-opera-its-radio-movie

3-Central African Republic: Supporting local media to end violence

The ongoing violence in the Central African Republic represents an opportunity for the media to play an important role in facilitating communication and dialogue in the country.

Radio is the most popular and accessible medium in the CAR. Under-resourced radio stations often use newspaper stories as on-air news items. But if these stories are inaccurate or misleading, the already tense situation can be further damaged.

To promote peace and national reconciliation, the Association of Journalists for Human Rights is mentoring a network of 18 community correspondents across the country. The organization provides workshops on how to sensitively cover stories on violence, and produces and distributes radio news bulletins in French and Sango to local FM and shortwave stations.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.odihpn.org/humanitarian-exchange-magazine/issue-62/supporting-local-media-in-the-central-african-republic

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-Liberia: Hip hop radio station informs community about Ebola

A Monrovia-based music radio station is playing a different tune by broadcasting public information about Ebola. Hip hop DJs at Hott FM rap regularly about quarantine centres, preventative measures and new cases of the disease.

The UN Children’s Fund, or UNICEF Liberia, teamed up with Hott FM to produce a hip hop song called, “Ebola is real.” It provides practical, youth-focussed advice on the virus. Two other Ebola-themed songs have been getting airplay across the country.

UNICEF states that almost half of Liberia’s population is under the age of 18. Using popular music to broadcast essential information about Ebola may help stem the spread of the disease.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-01/liberias-hottest-hip-hop-station-has-all-latest-ebols-music-and-news

2-Kenya: Better soil protection boosts crop yields

According to a report from the Nairobi-based Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA, about 1.7 million small-scale farmers in 13 African countries have adopted practices to improve the health of their soils, boosting their crop yields and incomes.

AGRA says its soil health program has led to the rejuvenation of more than 1.6 million hectares of degraded land in the past five years. Farmers who participated in the AGRA initiative in Tanzania, Malawi and Ghana have reported 200-300 per cent increases in yields of maize, pigeon pea and soybean.

According to the report, it is essential to tackle soil erosion and introduce beneficial farming practices such as crop rotation and sustainable fertilizer use. “Unhealthy soils,” the report states, “… could kill Africa’s hopes for a prosperous, food-secure future.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20140821222748-4l1tj/

3-Democratic Republic of Congo: Thirty-seven dead from Ebola as virus spreads

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has spread into northwestern DRC, 800 kilometres from Kinshasa, the capital of the central African nation.

The Ministry of Health says the Ebola virus has spread to nine northwestern communities. Félix Kabange Numbi, DRC Minister of Health, reported that 37 people have died as of September 11. There were a further 66 suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola, according to the Minister.

The NGO Médicins sans Frontiérs has opened two health centres in affected areas of the DRC to help treat people infected with the virus. The World Health Organization states that, since March, 2,300 West Africans have died in the Ebola outbreak.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.jeuneafrique.com/Article/ARTJAWEB20140912082729/sante-virus-ebola-ebola-sante-ebola-a-fait-37-morts-en-rdc.html?utm

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-Ethiopia: Africa Green Revolution Forum

The Africa Green Revolution Forum was held recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Leaders from across Africa debated a new vision for agriculture and food security.

Key debates at the forum included the issue of small-scale farmers’ access to land over the next 20 years, and whether a “foreign land grab” is the main threat to accessing land for agriculture.

Lack of access to farm land poses a threat to economic stability. Researchers called on African governments to protect young people’s futures by safeguarding the land rights of rural communities. They argued that small-scale farmers need proper attention and investment over the next 35 years to ensure that Africa’s countries develop at least middle-income economies.

For more information about the Forum, go to: http://www.agrforum.com/index.php/program/

2-Sub-Saharan Africa: ONE launches anti-corruption campaign

The anti-poverty group ONE argues that progress made in fighting extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa has been lost to corruption and crime.

The organization released a report entitled A Trillion Dollar Scandal. The title refers to the amount of money that disappears annually in illicit financial dealings and money laundering. The report states that corruption is responsible for an annual 3.6 million deaths, and that eliminating corruption could provide funds for 500,000 primary school teachers, education for 10 million children, and treatment for more than 11 million people with HIV and AIDS.

ONE is urging donors to make tackling corruption a priority. Promoting transparency in government would make information, such as ownership of companies, available to the public and discourage corruption and theft.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-29040793

3-West Africa: Ebola threatens food security

The ongoing Ebola outbreak may cause labour shortages during the upcoming harvest season, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO. Food prices have already begun to rise.

Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have been severely affected by Ebola, with almost 2,300 people dying since March. FAO warns that the food security problem could intensify in the coming months as the outbreak widens.

Over the next three months, FAO and the U.N. World Food Program, or WFP, will deliver 65,000 tonnes of food to 1.3 million people affected by Ebola. WFP says $70 million U.S. is needed for this emergency relief. In addition, FAO needs $20 million U.S. to support farmers on the ground.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20140902070026-27kni?utm

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-West Africa: Translating information on the Ebola outbreak

The NGO Translators without borders is providing free translation of Ebola fact sheets.

The translations provide preventive information on Ebola in local languages such as Fulani, Krio and Mandiké, as well as in French.

The fact sheets tell readers how to recognize the symptoms of the Ebola virus, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from spreading to other people.

To read the full article, go to: http://translatorswithoutborders.org/node/121

2-Cape Verde: Archipelago turns to local vegetable production

There has been a huge increase in island-grown food in Cape Verde over the last three years.

Investment in new agricultural technologies such as drip irrigation has helped increase local harvests. On the tourist-friendly islands of Sal and Boa Vista, vegetable production has increased by 250 per cent since 2011, from 168 tonnes to 608 tonnes.

Official statistics show that vegetable imports to the archipelago have actually decreased by 17 per cent over the same time period.

To read the full article, go to: http://spore.cta.int/en/component/content/article/296-spore/agriculture-and-health-2/10096-horticulture-171-en

3-Sub-Saharan Africa: Poverty and hunger will not end without better management of rainwater

Delegates to a recent World Water Week conference in Sweden have called on the United Nations to address rainwater management in the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

The SDGs will replace the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, which expire in 2015, and will be discussed at the UN General Assembly meeting in September.

With the changing climate resulting in more irregular rainfall patterns, effective rainwater management could help millions of small-scale farmers in Africa. The senior scientific advisor to the Stockholm International Water Institute, Malin Falkenmark, says, “There is very limited fresh water [in some regions] and reduced possibility to irrigate, so you have to rely on rain.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20140831204123-hl6xy

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-Sierra Leone: College radio informs listeners about Ebola

Sierra Leone is now at the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Access to affected villages has been hampered by rain and poor roads, but also by rumour and fear.

Radio has an essential role to play by providing accurate information in local languages, and engaging local leaders to help people understand how to avoid spreading the disease.

Independent radio stations have been quick to mobilize in response to the outbreak. They are working together to produce and broadcast programming that responds to the acute need for more information on Ebola.

At Cotton Tree News-Radio in the capital, Freetown, a team of professional and student journalists are reporting on Ebola and hosting live debates which bring together decision-makers and members of national and local governments.

To read the full article, go to: http://hirondelleusa.org/news/ebola-virus-college-radio-in-sierra-leone-fights-against-misinformation/#.U9o33bcgkNU.twitter

2-Guinea: Discouraging bushmeat consumption

Medical teams struggling to curb Ebola in West Africa are discouraging people from eating bushmeat, as some believe this may have caused the outbreak.

A number of factors have contributed to the spread of Ebola, including poor knowledge and superstition, especially in rural communities; cross-border movement; and poor public health infrastructure.

But some rural communities are determined to continue their traditional practices. A resident of Nongoha village in Guéckédou says, “Animal husbandry is not widespread here because bushmeat is easily available. Banning bushmeat means a new way of life, which is unrealistic.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100428/ebola-softly-softly-on-bush-meat

3-Africa: Stigma of AIDS still a major barrier to addressing disease

Though West Africa’s massive Ebola outbreak has been dominating the global health spotlight, HIV and AIDS remain enormous issues in Africa.

Uganda’s anti-LGBT environment may explain the nation’s significant increase in new HIV infections, a trend that − with the exception of Angola − has been reversed in most other African nations.

Dr. Deborah Birx is the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, leading all U.S. government international efforts in HIV and AIDS relief. She says, “The AIDS pandemic in southern Africa is the primary cause of death for adolescents, and the primary killer of young women.”

U.S. President Barack Obama recently pledged $200 million U.S. to 10 African countries to help double the number of children on life-saving anti-retroviral drugs.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/08/stigma-still-a-major-roadblock-for-aids-fight-in-africa/

4-Mozambique: Coping with HIV and AIDS?

Mozambique is struggling to contain the HIV epidemic, with one in ten of its 24 million people infected.

Only 60 per cent of Mozambicans have access to health services. There are an average of five doctors and 25 nurses per 100,000 people in Mozambique. In neighbouring South Africa, the ratio is 55 doctors and 383 nurses.

Recently, the United Nations ranked Mozambique 178th of 187 countries in terms of human development. Life expectancy is only 50 years, 70 per cent of the population live in poverty, and an estimated 56,000 women are newly infected with HIV each year.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/08/how-mozambique-is-coping-with-aids/

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-Senegal: Cattle tracking technology

Cattle rustling, or raiding, is a common problem for herders in sub-Saharan Africa.

But now, rural Senegalese farmers will be able to keep track of their cattle with radio frequency identification tags and mobile phones.

The new cattle-tracking technology is designed to deter cattle rustlers.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28399336

2-Sierra Leone: Radio public service announcements counter misinformation about Ebola virus

The Ebola virus continues to claim lives in West Africa.

BBC Media Action has produced a series of eight public service announcements, or PSAs, which will air on 30 local radio stations in Sierra Leone.

The PSAs provide information on prevention, symptoms, and the importance of not eating bush meat. They also seek to dispel myths about the spread of the disease.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcmediaaction/posts/Using-radio-to-respond-to-Ebola-in-Sierra-Leone-

3-Kenya: Harvesting rainwater with rock outcroppings

Residents of Mutomo, a trading centre in eastern Kenya, used to trek over 100 kilometres to fetch water. But now, rock outcrops are being used to create a water harvesting and supply system.

In a rock catchment, rainwater running off rock surfaces flows down to a reservoir sited below the catchment area via long channels of flat rocks cemented onto the rock surface.

Since 2009, Mutomo has built 40 rock catchment reservoirs. Recently, they introduced tilapia to the reservoirs to help the community feed itself. Despite suffering from poor rainfall, the villagers now have enough water to sustain themselves until the next rainy season.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20140728134036-1wlc9/?source=jtOtherNews2

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at ma#mce_temp_url#

1-Democratic Republic of Congo: Mobile phone app could help prosecute sexual violence suspects

The international NGO, Physicians for Human Rights, or PHR, is testing a smartphone application called MediCapt in the DRC.

The organization is using the app to document victims of rape and sexual assault in the DRC. The app stores photographic images of victims’ injuries along with medical examination forms in an online database. Law enforcement officials can use MediCapt as forensic evidence.

Though the application is still being developed, PHR has trained physicians how to use the new technology, and hopes that the system will be available in areas of conflict around the world in the near future.

To read the full article, go to: http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/07/11/3459162/app-rape-war-zones/

2-Liberia: Rape in post-war Liberia

During Liberia’s 14-year civil war, sexual violence affected as many as 77 per cent of the country’s women and girls.

According to a new report from UK-based Overseas Development Institute entitled The Fallout of Rape as a Weapon of War, the incidence of sexual violence and rape in post-war Liberia is still “extremely high.” Data from 2013 show that up to a quarter of women and girls report being raped by a stranger, and nearly three in four married women have been sexually assaulted by their husbands.

Under President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia’s government has enacted new anti-rape laws and established new courts, but prosecution rates remain low.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100364/tackling-liberia-s-high-rape-rate

3-Zambia: Sexual and reproductive health education on the radio

A new radio program, made by youth and for youth in Zambia, is raising awareness of sexual and reproductive health across the country.

The presenters and producers, aged between 16 and 22, want to de-stigmatize the subject of sexual and reproductive health and condom use.

Tikambe natulande, or “Let’s talk,” was developed by BBC Media Action and Restless Development, a Zambian youth-led organization.

Three radio stations − Radio Mkushi in Central Province, Radio Kasama in Northern Province, and the state broadcaster, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation − each  air their own version of the program.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcmediaaction/posts/zambia_blog_boyd_chibale_tikambe

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-Somalia: Poor rains increase risk of famine

Rainfall was only half of normal levels during the recent March-to-June rainy season in Somalia.

Crops and livestock have not received enough water, meaning that the number of hungry people will increase this year, echoing the situation in the lead-up to the 2011 famine.

The ongoing food crisis is already affecting over 850,000 people in the country. The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini, stated, “The food crisis in Somalia will deteriorate in the coming months, with drought conditions already observed in parts of the country.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20140708140346-1tfpo

2-Malawi: Celebrating 50 years of independence

On July 6, 1964, Malawi gained its independence from the United Kingdom. This year, the 50th anniversary of independence coincided with the commemoration of 20 years of multi-party democracy.

But, 50 years after independence, Malawi still relies on donor aid. Forty per cent of the country’s budget is funded through aid, and two-thirds of that was suspended after the recent Cashgate scandal revealed that millions of dollars had been stolen from government coffers.

In his inaugural speech, recently elected President Peter Mutharika said the nation must expand its economic base by improving agriculture through irrigation and value-added processing, and by developing the mining sector, to move the country away from its dependency on donors

To read the full article, go to: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/06/malawi-celebrates-50-years-independence-201461584719773907.html

3-Mali: Eliminating pesticides

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization established a farmer field school in the Bla region of southern Mali in 2003. While only 34 per cent of cotton farmers in the area participated in the program, pesticide use on cotton farms in Bla − more than 4,300 households − dropped by 92 per cent.

FAO’s analysis showed that alternative methods of pest control were three times more cost-effective than purchasing and using synthetic pesticides.

Growers in the Bla study group reduced their average production costs by not applying chemical pesticides. By shifting to alternative “biopesticides” like neem tree extract, farmers saved nearly $500,000 US over the study period, with no negative impact on yields.

To read the full article, go to: http://spore.cta.int/en/component/content/article/284-spore/agriculture-1/10037-extension

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-Tanzania: Researchers urge farmers to adopt intercropping and organic fertilizer

Agricultural experts from Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique and Malawi came together recently in Arusha, Tanzania, at a meeting organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA.

There was general agreement that in order to increase yields, small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa need to embrace farming systems that include intercropping and organic fertilizers.

AGRA Tanzania Project Coordinator Stephen Lyimo says intercropping improves productivity and profitability while organic fertilizers improve soil fertility.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.coastweek.com/3727-agriculture-02.htm

2-Ethiopia: Seed banks increase farmers’ options

Small-scale farmers in Ethiopia are benefiting from seed banks in community-based training centres across the country. The most recent to open is in the Oromia region.

There are now 18 seed banks spread across Ethiopia’s Oromia, Amhara and Southern regions. Farmers can source and plant a greater variety of seeds from these banks, which also serve as training centres for local farmers, including women, on beekeeping and horticulture.

The community centres also provide farmers with greater access to information to combat the effects of climate change. Ethio-Organic Seed Action and the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity plan to expand the seed banks into more areas of the country.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20140704110845-bjkc6

3-Uganda: Refugees and asylum seekers prosper

Many of the 387,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda have been able to find enough work to support themselves and their families. This is helping to relieve the burden on humanitarian services in the country.

Most live in refugee settlements where they can farm and earn a living, although many have relocated to Kampala and other parts of the country.

A research team from Oxford University’s Humanitarian Innovation Project found that 78 per cent of refugee households in Kampala no longer receive assistance from the UNHCR or other agencies. In refugee settlements, 17 per cent of households receive no assistance.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100284/refugee-economies-the-ugandan-model

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-South Africa: Is urban agriculture the way of the future?

A 2011 World Health Organization report states that South Africa is a food secure nation.

But the report also says that, while the prevalence of food insecurity dropped by half between 1998 and 2008, the proportion of people at risk of food insecurity did not change during that period. Furthermore, a study performed by the African Food Security Network in 2008 found that 70 per cent of urban South African households reported facing “significant” or “severe” food insecurity.

Urbanization is said to be the cause, with rural people moving to urban areas at a furious pace. Many end up in what researchers term “poor localities.” South African urban planners and policy-makers are now focusing on how urban agriculture should be integrated into urban planning.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100266/cape-town-poor-tap-into-new-food-markets

2-Cameroon: A haven for refugees from the Central African Republic?

The Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Chad and Cameroon have taken in 226,000 Central African Republic refugees fleeing violence between anti-balaka and ex-Seleka groups since December 2013.

Eighty thousand refugees have crossed into Cameroon this year. Local officials are blaming insecurity in Cameroonian towns and cities on the refugees. Undocumented workers are being exposed to detention and exploitation.

The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, is struggling to identify the undocumented workers arrested by authorities.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100233/car-refugees-seek-city-life-in-cameroon

3-Zimbabwe: Mugabe says remaining white farmers must go

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe said recently that white farmers would no longer be allowed to own land in the country.

Announcing a new land tenure system, Mr. Mugabe indicated that the government will also encourage the financial services sector to allow farmers access to funding.

Controversies over land ownership in Zimbabwe led to the destruction of a once-thriving agricultural sector, while economic sanctions triggered a decade-long recession that led millions to emigrate.

President Mugabe argues that he is correcting colonial land imbalances which are skewed in favour of a few thousand white farmers.

To read the full article, go to: http://allafrica.com/stories/201407030346.html

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org


1-Zambia: Refugees find a home

Three refugees from Angola’s 33-year-long civil war were recently granted permanent resident status in Zambia.

Ten thousand Angolan refugees may now qualify for resident status and, ultimately, Zambian citizenship. African Union officials hope that Zambia’s government will offer the same deal to 4,000 Rwandans who fled the 1994 genocide, and to refugees who fled liberation wars and persecution in other southern African countries.

The UNHCR views Zambia as an exemplary country for welcoming those facing violence and giving them a place to call home. The country is seeking $21 million US in financial support for its refugee integration projects.

To read the full article, go to: http://allafrica.com/stories/201406181021.html

2-Uganda: Travelling testimonies

Makerere University’s Refugee Law Project has been travelling through Uganda to collect testimonies from “veterans, ex-combatants and other war-affected men, women and children.”

The objective of the Travelling Testimonies project is to tell the stories of war-affected communities in Uganda. The project displays photographs and mementos which tell the stories of Ugandans affected by conflicts other than the war against the Lord’s Resistance Army in northern Uganda.

Travelling Testimonies will be on display until July 26 at the Makerere University Art Gallery in Kampala, Uganda.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/06/travelling-testimonies-ugandas-first-mobile-exhibition-to-document-conflicts-other-than-the-lra-war/

3-South Sudan: Poaching threatens country’s wildlife

Conservation officials say government and rebel forces are killing and eating wildlife.

Wildlife officials have abandoned their posts because of the drawn-out conflict, allowing militia forces and civilians to kill wildlife in game parks and wildlife reserves. Several game species are being killed to provide bushmeat for soldiers. Elephants are also being killed for meat and ivory.

Officials from South Sudan’s Ministry of Tourism say that if the country’s wildlife were sustainably managed, tourism could contribute up to 10 per cent of South Sudan’s GDP within 10 years.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/06/south-sudans-wildlife-become-casualties-war-killed-feed-soldiers-rebels/

Post your comment »

FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-Zimbabwe: Children not being tested for HIV

Zimbabwean children who lack parental permission to undergo HIV testing are being turned away from clinics, and many do not come back.

The UN’s Development Program found that 200,000 Zimbabweans between 10 and 14 years of age are living with HIV. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reports that children between six and 15 years old are not getting adequate HIV testing and counselling.

In Zimbabwe, a child under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a consenting legal guardian to receive testing. The government is being urged to change its guidelines and to increase awareness of the high prevalence of HIV in children.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100185/young-zimbabweans-miss-out-on-hiv-testing

2-South Sudan: Children suffering from lack of education

One and a half million people have been displaced in South Sudan since the fighting between government and rebel forces began last December. About half of these are children.

According to the international NGO Save the Children, families are fleeing from camps for Internally Displaced People, or IDP camps, and taking their children across borders. Refugee camps often have better provision for children’s education than IDP camps.

Since the fighting began, more than 110,000 children in South Sudan have received only emergency education. As of May 2014, the education service had received 32 per cent of its required funding, far behind health at 52% and mine clearance, which has received 74% of needed funds.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100210/amid-the-violence-education-suffers-in-south-sudan

3-Djibouti: UN warns of drought

A UN official in Djibouti says the tiny Horn of Africa nation is confronting its fourth consecutive year of drought.

The city of Djibouti is facing a huge influx of people fleeing disease and malnutrition in the countryside. The UN Resident Coordinator for Djibouti, Robert Watkins, is appealing to donor countries to help meet the UN appeal for $74 million US.

Mr. Watkins says the biggest issue facing people in Djibouti is the lack of water. A countrywide water shortage has caused many cattle to perish. Unless rehydration centres are supported, many people may die from dehydration.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20140612171432-vg3vo/?source=jtOtherNews3

Post your comment »