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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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Energy firm plans to invest $25 billion in Mozambique gas project

This is the largest foreign direct investment in the history of our country – President Filipe Nyusi

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Energy firm plans to invest $25 billion in Mozambique gas project
Photo credit: Anadarko Mozambique

Mozambique government on Tuesday announced plans by US energy firm, Anadarko, to invest $25 billion in developing offshore gas reserves in Mozambique.

Anadarko is one of the global companies investing billions of dollars to exploit major gas reserves discovered off Mozambique’s northeastern coast.

“This is the largest foreign direct investment in the history of our country,” President Filipe Nyusi said at a ceremony with Anadarko executives.

The liquefied natural gas project Dolphin Tuna foresees an investment of $25 billion, the energy ministry said in a statement.

Annual production on the project is expected to start in 2024 with an estimated output of 12 million tonnes. 

Gigantic gas reserves were discovered at the beginning of the decade off the northern Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique.

Estimated at 5,000 billion cubic meters, they would make Mozambique a major exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

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Morocco’s sale of 8% stake in Maroc Telecom to inject $920 million into state budget

52.74 million shares, priced at 127 dirhams will be sold as a block order to local institutional investors

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MAROC TELECOM STORE | Maroc Telecom has been sold by the Moroccan government

Morocco says it plans to sell off an 8 percent stake in Maroc Telecom, which will lead to an 8.87 billion dirham boost towards financing the country’s budget. This privatisation programme is aimed at improving state financing according to the Morocco capital market regulator, AMMC.

Another 6 percent stake in the company comprising of 52.74 million shares, priced at 127 dirhams will be sold as a block order to local institutional investors such as retirement funds, insurance companies and banks on June 17, according to the prospectus.

Related: Digital colonialism: The price Africa pays for cheap internet

The remaining 2 percent will be sold on the Casablanca stock exchange in a public offering at a share price of 125 dirhams starting on June 26 and closing on July 5 2019.

The 2 percent stake also includes 2.9 million shares, representing 0.3% of Maroc Telecom’s capital, to be sold to the company’s employees at a share price of 117.7 dirhams, the prospectus showed.

The sale will cut the state’s stake in the company to 22% from the current 30%. Maroc Telecom is listed on both the Casablanca stock exchange and the Euronext exchange in Paris.

Related: Formula One in talks to make African comeback

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Ethiopian Airlines rejects ‘pilot error’ claim by US politician

The 737 MAX 8 is currently grounded worldwide after the March crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302

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CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde Gebremariam

A US politician who blamed pilot error for contributing to the deadly crash of a Boeing 737 Max flown by Ethiopian Airlines was “seriously misinformed”, the carrier’s boss has said.

Republican Sam Graves told a House of Representatives hearing last month that “facts” in investigations after crashes in both Ethiopia and Indonesia “reveal pilot error as a factor in these tragically fatal accidents”. 

He also said “pilots trained in the United States would have successfully handled the situation” in both incidents.

But in a BBC interview aired Monday, Ethiopian Airlines chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam said criticisms of his crew’s actions were “seriously misinformed”, and that Graves did not “have the facts in his hands”.

“People who’ve made those comments should ask themselves, ‘Why on earth have they grounded 380 airplanes over the world?’ The facts speak for themselves,” he said. 

The 737 MAX 8 is currently grounded worldwide after the March crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which killed all 157 people onboard and drew scrutiny to the new Boeing model’s anti-stall system.

Pilots were already worried about the safety of the model following the October 2018 crash in Indonesia of a Lion Air 737 MAX 8 that killed 189 people.

Boeing is working to submit a modified version of the aircraft’s software and hopes to get the approval of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its counterparts throughout the world.

But aviation regulators meeting last month were unable to determine when the popular jet might again be allowed to fly, causing costly headaches for airlines worldwide.

Revelations of close ties between Boeing and the FAA in testing the MAX led to a crisis of confidence among the public and airline pilots, as well as some of the other agencies that regulate civil aviation.

“We have work to do to win and regain the trust of the public,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg conceded at the Paris Air Show on Sunday.

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