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Residents of Hann Bay pursue ‘zero waste’ in Senegal

The pollution problem is receiving more attention, with President Macky Sall broaching the issue in his April 2 re-inauguration speech

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A woman holding a fish walks on tyre and plastic waste on June 1, 2019 in Dakar's highly populated Hann Bay

Once an idyllic stretch of white beach enticing fishermen and tourists alike, decades of factory and household waste have turned Senegal’s Hann Bay into a dump. The shore, which separates an industrial zone in the capital Dakar from the Atlantic Ocean, is now a shocking sight.

It is littered with plastic dirt as far as the eye can see. Lacking sufficient waste removal services, residents either have to roll up their sleeves as volunteers trash collectors or pay private firms to clean up.

A volunteer cleans up a beach littered with tyre, plastic waste and dead fishes on June 1, 2019 in Dakar's highly populated Hann Bay
A volunteer cleans up a beach littered with tyre, plastic waste and dead fishes on June 1, 2019 in Dakar’s highly populated Hann Bay. – Senegal’s President Macky Sall launched a “Zero Waste” initiative to step up against the dumping of waste in public spaces. (Photo by Seyllou / AFP)

The pollution problem is receiving more attention, with President Macky Sall broaching the issue in his April 2 re-inauguration speech which mooted a “zero waste” future for Senegal.

On paper, trash collection in greater Dakar is a government service. But more than 10 percent of households do not have rubbish pickup, according to Lamine Kebe, a coordinator for the public waste-gathering service UCG.

In some areas this percentage is far higher, particularly in far-flung suburbs. There, rubbish trucks battle to make their way through litter-strewn streets.

On a recent Saturday morning, a few dozen young people sporting gloves, spades and rubbish bags were hard at work in Hann Bay, heeding a cleanup call from Senegal Entraide, a grouping of public service volunteers.

Cash for trash in Hann Bay

A Development Agency, which backs measures to clean the bay, notes that “60 percent of Senegal’s manufacturing industry lies along Hann Bay and empties its polluted effluents directly into the bay”. Residents, too, play their part, dumping everything from plastic bags and clothes to kitchen scraps, animal carcasses and toilet waste.

“Citizens should not ask what their district can do for them, but what they can do for their district,” said Senegal Entraide president Mahmoud Sy. The cleanup task is too big for volunteers alone, and many people have started small, informal businesses, earning cash to take away the trash.

Volunteers clean up a beach in Dakar's highly populated Hann Bay
Volunteers clean up a beach in Dakar’s highly populated Hann Bay on September 15, 2018. – Senegal’s National Office of Sanitation (ONAS) organized the initiative on the occasion of the World Cleanup Day. (Photo by SEYLLOU / AFP)

One such entrepreneur, Ma Niang Dieng, daily sends carts hauled by donkeys or horses around the alleyways of Rufisque, a labyrinthine Dakar suburb home to a major industrial zone. Many of the roads are impossible for cars or trucks to navigate.

“These are the zones where we work,” Dieng explained. In the paved parts, public lorries fetch the waste, “but it is in the nooks and crannies that we intervene most of the time”. Dieng observed the comings and goings of his employees, responsible for bringing garbage to a local depot from where a UCG truck would take it to the city’s rubbish tip.

Residents pay a monthly fee of 1,500 CFA francs for Dieng’s services, “which isn’t expensive,” in the view of a Rufisque school headmaster, Moustapha M’Baye. Dieng said he pays each of his cart drivers about 55,000 CFA francs per month.

Such private initiative is welcomed by the UCG, Kebe said. Every day, UCG lorries collect some 2,400 tonnes of waste in the greater Dakar region, which has a population of more than three million. “We don’t have the human and material resources to deploy to every district,” Kebe said. “So when an association accompanies the process, we can only congratulate them.”

But meeting Sall’s ambitious long-term goal of “zero waste” is more than a matter of resources, Kebe added. Success will also require a mindset change from industry and from residents themselves. “We sweep up, we collect, but two minutes later, it’s like nothing has been done,” said Kebe.

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Forbes lists South Africa’s Trevor Noah as world’s 4th-richest comedian

Noah, whose ranking makes him the richest comedian in Africa, earned a whopping $28m in the period between June 2018 and June 2019

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Forbes lists South Africa's Trevor Noah as world's 4th-richest comedian
U.S-based South African comedian, Trevor Noah. (Comedy Central/AFP)

South African comedian, Trevor Noah is the fourth-highest paid comedian in the world, according to the Forbes Rich List 2019.

This is the first time the 35-year-old star has made it into the magazine’s top 10 since he began his work.

Noah, whose ranking makes him the richest comedian in Africa, earned a whopping $28m in the period between June 2018 and June 2019 from various projects, including his day job as the TV host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”.

Most of his income, however, came from his 70-stop world tour as a stand-up comedian, making him eligible for the list of richest stand-ups.

In the 2019 list, the South African came behind Kevin Hart ($59m), Jerry Seinfeld ($41), Jim Gaffigan ($30m).

Other than his tour, sources of Noah’s 2018 income were his two shows on Netflix, and book sales from his bestselling autobiography “Born A Crime”, which is still ranked No. 1 on the New York Times’ bestseller list for paperback nonfiction.

Forbes lists South Africa's Trevor Noah as world's 4th-richest comedian
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images/AFP

As a group, the top 10 best-paid comedians raked in $272m, that’s $20m less than the previous period.

The reduction in earnings among the top comedians has been attributed to reduced action among some, including Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, who came in at $30m and $35m last year, respectively.

Trevor Noah’s ‘The Daily Show’ has become quite popular, with the South African inspiring laughter from topics ranging from politics to daily life events.

Noah joined the show in 2014 as a contributor, some two years after making his U.S. television debut on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

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Zimbabwe to issue new currency notes to counter cash shortage

Zimbabwe abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, after a bout of hyperinflation in favour of currencies like the dollar and rand

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Zimbabwe to issue new currency notes to counter cash shortage

Zimbabwe will issue new notes and coins soon to replace the country’s quasi-currency that was introduced three years ago in a failed attempt to counter a crippling shortage of cash.

The return to a fully-fledged local currency exchangeable outside the country’s borders will be backed by an undisclosed amount of foreign-exchange reserves, gold and loans, according to the country’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube.

Zimbabwe abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, after a bout of hyperinflation in favour of a basket of currencies including the US dollar and the South African rand.

In a bid to deal with the subsequent cash shortages, it introduced so-called bond notes and RTGS dollars in their electronic form, which are not accepted outside the country.

Ncube re-introduced the Zimbabwe dollar in June, accompanied by a ban on the use of foreign currencies-leading to a rapid erosion of spending power with the local dollar trading at almost 10 to the greenback.

Bond notes were officially said to be at parity as recently as February.

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South Africa plans “affordable” nuclear energy approach

Economists say a large-scale nuclear new build is something South Africa cannot afford

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South Africa plans "affordable" nuclear energy approach
South Africa's Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe. (File photo)

South Africa has made a decision to add energy capacity in an affordable way, according to its Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe.

Former South African President, Jacob Zuma championed a massive nuclear expansion project with Russia, but his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa put those plans on hold in one of his first moves after becoming leader of the governing African National Congress (ANC) in late 2017.

Economists say a large-scale nuclear new build is something South Africa, whose last investment-grade credit rating is hanging by a thread, cannot afford.

A clear timeline for new nuclear capacity has not been disclosed as the government’s energy plan will require approval first.

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