Why We Need a Working-Class Media — Discover

Journalists frequently write about the working class, but is anyone writing for them? Because “[e]conomic hardship does not mean the absence of joy, love, pleasure, duty, care,” and stories — and representation! — are powerful.

via Why We Need a Working-Class Media — Discover

Melusi speaks on colonial laws

melusi simelane

Gay rights activist Melusi Simelane wants to draw attention to the country’s colonial-era law against sodomy.

When LGBT+ people took to the streets last year for the first ever Pride march in eSwatini, some hardly believed they could celebrate the event in a country where stigma is rife and gay sex remains illegal.

Now gay rights activist Melusi Simelane plans to go further by timing Pride events to coincide with independence anniversary celebrations in September to draw attention to the country’s  law against sodomy.

“We are looking at the history of colonisation and the common-law offence, which is a hangover of colonisation,” he said. 

The plan to move eSwatini’s Pride rally to September is a departure from tradition. Such events are usually held in June to honour the Stonewall riots in New York in June 1969 that are popularly hailed as the birth of the modern LGBT+ movement.

Hloba eSwatini Clean up campaign

The Matsapha Town Board with other stakegolder initiated the hloba eswatini campaign to raise awareness on environmental sustainability.

The clean-up campaign was from IDM to Ndlunganye where refuse was collected and packed in refuse bags and transported by a tractor provided by Matsapha Town Board. After the clean-up there were presentations held at Matsapha Town Board which served the purpose of raising awareness. Eswatini Channel were there for interviewing representatives of the stakeholders involved on the significance of the event. From that we can safely say that the whole country was able to hear the importance of keeping a clean environment which is goal number 15 and 17 in the SDGs.

participants in the clean up campaign

together with other stakeholders like the Matsapha Town Board, EEA and Kwaluseni Inkhundla. The Bucopho, Indvuna Yenkhundla and the Mayor of Manzini town were also present. The Theme for the Campaign: Imvelo yami, yimphilo yami. Titsandze, Tihloniphe, Hloba Eswatini.

Awareness talk

The University of eSwatini, green team society participated in an awareness raising presentations not only about the earth hour but also the importance of saving water and electricity.

The exercise was held in schools such as Zombodze High School, Nazarene High School and Malkerns Valley Primary School on different days. Awareness was raised under this year’s Earth Hour theme which said “Rethink, Recycle, and Change the way you live”.  Students were taught about the importance of recycling plastic bags and containers in order to reduce the amount of waste and refuse burned. This is because burning waste especially plastic bags contaminates the environment by polluting the very air we breathe.

Nazarene High school pupils

On Rethink, the pupils were taught about the importance of taking into consideration electricity wastage when one fills a kettle to the brim just to make one cup of tea. Through this we change the way we live so much that we achieve goal number seven in the SDG’s which says “Affordable and clean energy”. Recycling ensures “Good health and well-being” as goal number 3 in the SDG’s. The awareness raising was not limited to the schools but it extended country wide and possibly worldwide.

Rise Against Hunger donates rice-meals to 700 people

 Manzini- Close to 700 people taking part in Salesian-run Manzini Youth Care programs, located in the city of Manzini in Swaziland, have better nutrition thanks to an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable. 

The rice-meals were provided to a Salesian vocational training center, primary schools, two soup kitchens, an orphanage and communities around the city of Manzini.

The meals helped ensure all those taking part in Salesian programs had the proper nutrition to help their health and also enabled them to have the energy to fully take part in programs.

Manzini Youth Care was established in the 1970s and provides services to marginalized youth including free primary school for children who have dropped out of school due to poverty, two vocational training centers for older youth, residential care for former street children and a drop-in school for street children when they first come in off the streets. Manzini Youth Care also serves the communities surrounding the city of Manzini to help residents improve their living standards, sanitation and food security.

IMPROPER DUMPING SITES AWERENESS

Kwaluseni- The Matsapha Town Board, University of eSwatini (UNESWA) societies and the Kwaluseni constituency, initiated an activity of not only cleaning improper dumping site at Mbikwakhe area but also challenging the members of the community to practise proper and safe dumping.

The river bank and the river itself was used as a dumping site. The water from the same river is used by people opposite Achievers Private School. They wash cars, irrigate vegetables and fetch it for domestic use.

There was evidence that the bridge at this area had been used as a dumping site for a long time, as such, waste was blocking water from flowing under the bridge. The water was now flowing on top of the bridge. SDG goal number 6 ‘clean water and sanitation’ was negatively affected by this. The waste was picked and packed in refuse bags and transported by a truck to a proper dumping site. In accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such an activity addresses the following goals in the SDGs:

Goal 3, in the sense that keeping a clean environment promotes ‘Good health and wellbeing’. Goal 6 in the sense that by collecting the waste like tins, plastics etc. from running water is a good move towards ‘clean water and sanitation’ hence there is no doubt that somewhere In as far as Goal 14 is concerned, the dirty waste like plastics, and tins etc. may be poisoners to ‘life under water’ like fish. Goal 15 since the waste is deposited into the river, there is a population somewhere (by Archivers Private School) which depend on this river for water. Livestock like cattle are likely to drink the plastics along with the water which can cause health problems for the hence protecting ‘Life on Land’. Goal 17 is addressed in the sense that the Green Team will consult a number of stakeholders like The Kwaluseni Constituency (and the public), community police, Eswatini Environmental Authority, Matsapha Town Board, as well as other societies in the university like UNECO hence ‘Partnership for the goals’

Awareness was raised by involving community members in this activity and by informing them about the importance of preserving clean water. Awareness was further raised through the media; a student representative, Green team chairperson and a community member were filmed by the Eswatini TV where they described the crisis and further urged people in all parts of the country to refrain from using rivers and any water sources as dumping sites. Awareness was further raised by publishing pictures taken at the even on social media as a way of challenging other societies to do the same. A billboard was also suggested as another way of raising awareness with the proposed inscription which says “Dumping is prohibited”.

COMPANIES KEEPING ESWATINI CLEAN

clean up next to Mbabane Government hospital

MBABANE – The different companies in Eswatini organized a mass garbage pick-up, collecting more than 30 bags full of trash yesterday.

This was done as a response to a campaign launch by Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini on July 11, 2019, to keep Eswatini clean at all times. Yesterday morning, equipped with recycled refuse bags and a strong sense of motivation to clean up Sheffield Road, around 40 volunteers from various companies paraded down the streets of Sheffield and Siteshi road, a 400-metre stretch, filling over 30 bags with litter in under an hour.

The companies involved were; The Times of Swaziland, Bandag Tyres, Prime Bakeries, C-Class Restaurant, Universal Panel Beaters, The Oxtail Pot Restaurant, Kwik Fit, House of Lords and Green Cubic.

The purpose of the campaign was to raise awareness about the substantial amount of litter being left on the side of streets instead of inside garbage bins, which the Municipal Council of Mbabane has provided along the streets

It was noted that the majority of the collected trash were plastics, more specifically plastic bottles, Styrofoam containers, candy wrappers, straws and plastic bags.

According to research, plastic is manufactured using four to eight per cent of global oil, which puts it under the category of non-degradable substances. In short, it takes longer to break down.

“Instead of decomposing like natural waste, plastic tends to break down into smaller pieces called micro-plastic,” the research states. It is broken down through photo-degradation (UV radiation) but takes many years to go through the process. Research shows that plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to completely break down.

This campaign sheds light on how vital it is for the citizens of Eswatini to dispose of trash properly. Plastics should be placed in recycling bins, as plastics can be reused. “We want to remind everyone to reuse, reduce and recycle. This ensures a clean environment for the future,” Times News Editor Cassandra Shaw said.

She further invited more companies and individuals to join the campaign so that the environment is conserved for future generations.

UNESWA STUDENTS’ CRY FOR HELP

This is a plea made by some University of Eswatini (UNESWA) students who are living off-campus and renting one-room flats close to the institution. The landlord is a former lecturer whom they allege threatened to throw them out once they complained of the living conditions. About 78 students are renting the one-room flats owned by their former lecturer. They are exposed to a filthy environment following their landlord’s failure to provide waste receptacle bins for them. The block of 68 single rooms is situated at Kwaluseni next to the university and students said it was an ideal place for them as it was closer to school.

liao flats

However, they lamented the conditions they were subjected to by their landlord who had breached their agreement. Speaking on condition of anonymity in fear of being victimised, the students said they were paying E900 per month in rentals for each one-room flat. From the E900 rental fees, the students said the agreement with the landlord was that E50 would be directed towards clearing the yard, while the other goes towards rent and electricity. They said there were a number of challenges they were faced with as the compound sometimes ran out of electricity units.

“Since Saturday, we have been without electricity. We have reported the matter but received no assistance,” lamented the students. At times, the students said the electricity blackout was caused by poor wiring. They claimed that some of the cables were exposed and were very dangerous to them. Further, the students mentioned the issue of dirty toilets which they shared. They said no one was responsible for cleaning the toilets unless they did it themselves. “There are only four toilets provided for us which we are sharing among 78 students renting at the place,” they claimed. When reached for comment, the landlord, who identified himself as Dr Lihawu, said he was digging a pit for the students to dump the waste in.

New measures to counter environmental degradation

MBABANE – Swazi authorities face a tough challenge as the government steps up efforts to arrest environmental degradation.

The recently appointed director of the Eswatini Environmental Authority (EEA), said much of the damage could be reversed if environmental policing were decentralized, and efforts to raise ecological awareness among local communities were increased. “Environment involves everybody; everyone has to do his or her own part. We need to have more communication,” said Allen.

Swaziland has a raft of legislation specifically aimed at improving environmental preservation, but Allen noted that the support of local communities was critical to effective implementation of the laws. “The action plan is in place, but it is up to individual constituencies to do the implementation. Each will do so in their own way,” she commented.

EEA ‘task forces’ are to be dispatched to each of the country’s four regions to consult with traditional leadership, NGOs and the private sector, in the hope that broad consultation will result in greater local ownership of environmentally friendly policies. “Every region is unique: there is a great difference between mountainous northern Hhohho and the dry flat eastern lowveld; environmental problems are not all the same, though the people of each region can still look at themselves through the main issues of biodiversity, waste management, environmental management, and the others,” Allen pointed out.

Recurring drought conditions have meant that farmers have to walk three km every day to the Mbuluzi River, where the water quality is questionable: cows defecate while crossing it and women use detergents when washing their clothes in its flow.

In urban areas the situation is equally bleak. Swaziland has a relatively small population compared to its neighbours, but migration has been rapid and the resource-strapped government has been unable to provide adequate social services to a growing urban population, many of whom find shelter in informal settlements.

Sonnyboy Ngwenya, a volunteer with the local Yongwe Nawe conservation group said: “We are also seeing industrial pollution: rivers are used to dispose of toxic wastes. This is new – a by-product of industrialisation.” [ENDS]

MOTHER STRANGLES, KILLS, DUMPS NEWBORN

MANZINI – Yet another woman will face the wrath of the law after being arrested for allegedly strangulating to death her day-old baby in front of her other children.

She is suspected to have kept the corpse of the infant in the house for 24 hours prior to disposing it in a pit latrine.Information gathered from statements submitted in court was that the accused person allegedly did not want the child and had on several occasions allegedly tried to terminate the pregnancy but failed.

Dlamini revealed in statements submitted in court that she was in labour for more than 12 hours while inside her flat with her two other children, aged four and two. She admitted in the statements that she allegedly strangled her newborn to death and in the presence of the two minors during the early hours about a week ago.

She also revealed in her statement that after allegedly killing the newborn, she put the corpse of the newborn into plastic bags. The accused person disclosed that she placed the corpse beside her on the bed and slept until the morning.

“I woke up and went to the hospital to get my medication and returned hours later. The baby was still on the bed and again I spent another night with it, until the following morning. I then took the corpse and went to the pit latrine and dumped it there, without anyone noticing,” Dlamini alleged in her statements.

The police are said to have failed to apprehend the suspect after getting wind of the murder. Dlamini, who was on the run for five days, was eventually arrested at her parental home at Nsingweni. When she was caught, she disclosed to the police that the baby had been dumped inside the pit latrine. The accused person later led the team of police officers to the scene and the corpse was retrieved.

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