By Karen Cardona/Diálogo May 16, 2017 Four out of every 10 children in Guatemala suffer from chronic malnutrition. Although government programs over the past few years have focused on eradicating hunger, an average of 10 children dies from malnutrition every month. However, the Guatemalan Army has not been indifferent to the situation. By restoring more than half of the country’s 16,456 kilometers of road network, including rural dirt roads and paved asphalt roads, it has placed itself at the forefront of the prevention and eradication of child mortality. The Guatemalan Army Corps of Engineers is the implementation arm of the “Development Train” government program. Over the past year, this Armed Forces unit has been clearing a path for basic services to reach the country’s most remote towns. Brigadier General Luis Miguel Ralda Moreno, the commander of the Corps of Engineers, received an order from Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales to restore 8,000 kilometers of roads within the shortest possible time. “I remember when the Commander in Chief of the Army, President Jimmy Morales, gave the order. I couldn’t stop making calculations at the time, and a lot of people didn’t believe in us,” Brig. Gen. Ralda stated. “But we’ve demonstrated why the Corps of Engineers is the most efficient unit in the Guatemalan Army, and we’ve made major headway with the order, to the point of working 24 straight hours.” Over the past year, the restoration work done by Army service members has saved the Guatemalan government $24.6 million. Before the military took over the reins of “Development Train,” town councils had to finance the work, and the annual cost for maintenance of a [kilometer of] road was $20,500. Thanks to the Corps of Engineers, these costs have gone down considerably, to $3,400 per kilometer so far this year. The path of development Getting started was not simple, but the path was clear: The Army needed to build roads to communities where malnutrition had destroyed the lives of children and their mothers. So the Army decided it would be guided by studies carried out by the Ministry for Food and Nutritional Security (SESAN, per its Spanish acronym), beginning by restoring roads in the most desperate communities. “I can say with complete certainty that working with the Army means working efficiently. I recognize the leadership, the humanity, and above all, the resolve with which the Corps of Engineers has done its work to eradicate malnutrition,” said Germán González, a renowned public servant in the fight against hunger in Guatemala. According to González, Army troops have worked without a break, and that has allowed them to bring food and other assistance to families with limited means. That was the case in Jocotán, a municipality in the eastern department of Chiquimula that has some of the highest rates of chronic and acute malnutrition in the country, according to studies conducted by SESAN. The rebuilding of roads to Jocotán meant timely deliveries of food and health-care services for its population. “It is a pleasure to work with the Army because they understand the importance of investing in roads so that communities are able to better pursue development,” González said. Efficiency and savings According to Fernando Carrera, a Jocotán town council member, the president’s order to the military suited them perfectly because the road network had been destroyed. “With the convoy, we were spending between $685 and $822 per kilometer in fuel and parts. Using municipal funds, the standard cost per kilometer of road restored fluctuates between $14,000 and $20,500 per kilometer. Thanks to the Army’s timely intervention, we were able to bring these costs way down. We spent approximately $68,500 to repair almost 100 kilometers. That work, done another way, would have cost $2 million. We wouldn’t have been able to build the road network,” Carrera stated. The savings meant the town could take a census of the population to identify the townspeople’s needs and make decisions based on that information. Economy and education In addition to building a road network in areas affected by malnutrition, the Corps of Engineers also repaired roads in the departments of Izabal, Huehuetenango, Quiché, Alta Verapaz, and Sololá, all of which suffer from extreme poverty. “I remember a community in Livingston, Izabal, in the northeast of the country, where the people had to walk four hours to be able to get to the nearest urban area. Now they arrive at their destination in only 35 minutes,” Brig. Gen. Ralda noted. “Transportation used to cost $17 per trip. Now the service costs $2,” he said. He also noted that many of the beneficiaries are merchants who are now able to transport their merchandise. Town mayors and community members in Sololá didn’t miss the chance to ask the Corps of Engineers to rebuild schools and health care centers, which had lacked roofs or desks for a long time. “We’ve left their facilities like new, and we’ve given them desks for the students. They were manufactured by the War Materiel Corps, which made 10,000 in total,” Brig. Gen. Ralda said. In addition to repairing roads, schools, and health care centers, the Corps of Engineers built housing for victims of natural disasters and carted away thousands of metric tons of garbage accumulated around the country’s major rivers and lakes, thus preventing floods that could sweep away entire villages. Their work is recognized by citizens who greet the convoys with regional foods and see them off with appreciation ceremonies for their work in bringing development to every nook of the country.
May 8, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that a 30-year-old man who died in late April was Indonesia’s 25th avian influenza fatality.Indonesian officials reported a week ago that local tests had been positive for the H5N1 virus and that samples had been sent to Hong Kong for confirmatory testing. The WHO told government officials yesterday that the tests were positive, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. Today the WHO posted a statement noting the case.The man, who lived in Tangerang, outside Jakarta, presumably contracted the H5N1 strain from his neighbor’s infected chickens and died April 26, according to earlier news reports. His is the 115th human death worldwide from avian flu and the 207th case, according to the WHO.WHO data reveal that in 2006 Indonesia has reported the most cases and deaths from avian flu. This year Indonesia has had 16 cases with 14 deaths. Egypt has reported 13 cases and 5 deaths, Turkey 12 and 4, and China 10 and 7.Since the H5N1 virus began spreading widely in 2003, only Vietnam has had more cases and deaths than Indonesia.Shigeru Omi, MD, PhD, Western Pacific director for the WHO, recently singled out Indonesia and China for inadequate responses to avian flu. According to a May 6 AFP report, Omi said, “When it comes to the political commitment or engagement at the district level, some countries, like Indonesia, certainly, are [doing] less than what the central government wanted to have, and this is also the case in China.”Omi, making his remarks at a Vietnam meeting with agriculture and health ministers representing 21 Asian and Pacific nations, said China has worked hard at the national and regional levels, but has “room for improvement” at the provincial district level and below.AFP last month quoted Bernard Vallat, DVM, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), as calling Indonesia a “time-bomb for the region” because of its failure to eradicate H5N1 from numerous locales.Omi urged all nations to report avian flu cases and take other steps much more quickly to avert or slow a pandemic. He said countries often fail to report cases fast enough. “Half of the human cases have been reported to WHO within 2 weeks,” Omi said. “The remaining half failed.”In other news, China reported the second avian flu outbreak in a week among wild geese in its northern province of Qinghai. Seventeen bar-headed geese were found dead Apr 23 in a remote area of the province’s Yushu county, and China’s agriculture minister recently confirmed that the cause was avian flu, according to a May 5 AFP report.The report said the virus has killed a total of 123 birds recently in the area, which is uninhabited and has no domestic birds.In Myanmar, British and Australian avian flu experts plan to spend 2 months increasing public awareness and combating the spread of the disease, according to another AFP report. Their visit to the central Myanmar farmlands comes after the region experienced more than 100 outbreaks in March.See also: WHO report on the Indonesian casehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_05_08/en/index.html
Periodically, it’s essential, in the hustle and bustle of life, to stop and say thanks, to those which, all too often, receive no thanks but much is expected. If you haven’t heard, as yet, the city of Schenectady and Schenectady Neighborhood Watch won the National Competition for National Night Out. This was the only such honor given to any municipality in the state of New York, large or small. The event was held on the first Tuesday in August 2017. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion National Night Out is a celebration of the Law Enforcement-Community Partnership. Last year, it was conducted in the beautiful Woodlawn Park, off Kings Road. Special thanks to the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association and the hard-working Woodlawn Park group, for lending their venue for this important event. The Schenectady Police Department had a wide range of demonstrations and the Schenectady County Sheriff was on board, to offer child ID’s and showcase the Explorer Post. The Schenectady Fire Department was a huge hit particularly, for the kids (big red trucks).The Schenectady mayor and city council and numerous neighborhood association leaders were there and gave a hand in the yearly “Neighborhood March.” They were led by U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, who has established an annual tradition of leading the March, around a portion of the neighborhood. State Sen. James Te-disco and Assemblyman Phil Steck brought proclamations and attended.Planning now for Aug. 7, 2018, bigger than ever. Stay tuned.FREDERIC LEESchenectadyThe writer is president of the Schenectady Neighborhood Watch.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%
The ongoing coronavirus crisis has begun to take its toll on industrial activities in Batam, Riau Islands, as supplies of raw materials from China – the epicenter of the outbreak – have dried up.Batamindo Industrial Park general manager Mook Sooi Wah said about half of the 68 factories operating within the park relied on shipments from China.“They only have enough supplies to last them until the end of the month. If the supplies are still not replenished by then, they only have two options: connect with alternative suppliers from countries other than China, or cease operations completely,” Mook told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. The Batamindo Industrial Park is the first and oldest industrial park in Batam, established through a cooperation agreement between Indonesia and Singapore. The 320-hectare park is home to 68 factories owned by foreign investors and has a total workforce of about 50,000 people.Mook said the crisis would put a significant dent on industrial activities in Batam as raw materials from China were needed for about 70 percent of what was produced in the region.He added that a number of electronics factories ceased operation a few weeks ago because of the current situation.“We hope [the crisis] will end soon,” Mook said, adding that the supply shortage would also affect the livelihoods of factory workers, as they would no longer be required to work overtime to maintain the rate of production, causing them to earn less. Meanwhile, Panbil Industrial Estate general affairs manager Suyono Saputra said that several companies operating within the estate reported that shipments from China had likewise stopped a few weeks ago because of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan, Hubei province.The 170-hectare Panbil Industrial Estate has 25 tenants, including brands such as Philips, Shimano, and TDK. “So the tenants have been using materials that were shipped [prior to the outbreak]. If we don’t receive any new supplies, we will have to look for alternative [suppliers],” Suyono said. “There are indeed business opportunities with countries other than China, but it’s not exactly easy.”In January, imports of raw materials and capital goods dropped by 7.35 percent and 5.26 percent year-on-year, respectively, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday.China’s official death toll neared 1,900 on Tuesday, as reported by AFP, with more than 73,000 confirmed cases worldwide.The government halted imports of live animals from China through a 2020 Trade Ministry Regulation on Feb. 7, among a slew of other policies intended to prevent the coronavirus from reaching the country. (rfa)Topics :
New Delhi: Australia’s cricket team have started a trend wherein they appoint mentors for subsequent series. Ricky Ponting was part of the Australian coaching staff during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in which the five-time champions were eliminated in the final by England while Steve Waugh was appointed as the mentor of the side for the Ashes 2019 contest which ended in a 2-2 draw. Now, it is the turn of former Australia left-hander Michael Hussey to join the backroom staff as the mentor of the side for the upcoming series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.In an interview to the Sydney Morning Herald, Hussey outlined what was his role going to be. “I’m very excited actually. I’m really looking forward to getting back in around the Aussie team. They are going to be trying to get strategies in place, develop a style of play and what players they want and I love all that stuff — planning for a big event. They have floated the possibility of being involved closer to the T20 World Cup (in Australia next year) as well but it’s all pretty loose at the moment,” Hussey said.Apart from Hussey, Australia cricket coach Justin Langer also admitted that Ryan Harris, the former Australia pacer who retired from international cricket in 2015, was appointed as the bowling coach for both the series. Langer said the presence of Ponting, Waugh and now Hussey was enormous for his team. “I can’t tell you how influential these guys can be on the group. It’s nice to have different voices and different eyes and see guys of that calibre giving us feedback on what they see,” Langer said. Also Read | Pakistan Cricket Board Posts Video Of Players Dancing After Sarfaraz Ahmed Sacking, ApologisesAustralia begin their home summer with a three-match Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka starting on October 27. Australia have won only one Twenty20 International out of six encounters at home against Sri Lanka and they will be aiming to arrest that slide. After the end of the Sri Lanka series, Australia will play three more Twenty20 Internationals and two Tests against Pakistan in November-December. The two Tests will be part of the ongoing ICC World Test Championships. After the end of the series against Pakistan, Australia will play a series against New Zealand. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
Pitt quarterback Tom Savage (7) gets off a pass as Old Dominion linebacker Richie Staton (41) pressures in the third quarter of the NCAA football game on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh won 35-24. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) by Will GravesAP Sports WriterPITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh Paul Chryst wants his players to expect to win. The tricky part is making sure that confidence doesn’t morph into overconfidence.Too late, apparently.Several Pittsburgh players admitted they took Navy lightly before a 24-21 loss to the Midshipmen on Saturday, telling reporters they figured the Panthers would pull away for a victory. Instead, Pitt (4-3) collapsed as Navy scored 10 points in the final 4 minutes, including the game-winning field goal as time expired.Though Chryst didn’t get the sense his players were overlooking the Midshipmen, if they did he has no doubt on who to blame.“That’s on me,” Chryst said. “I’ve got to do a better job.”So do the guys on the field. Though Navy is hardly a pushover, the Panthers were favored by a touchdown. Pitt did nearly everything right in the first half, controlling the clock for over 22 minutes and keeping the service academy’s triple-option offense standing on the sideline.A 13-7 halftime lead seemed to feel bigger. While defensive back Ray Vinopal didn’t hear any of the guys in his group talking about the game being over, he’s hardly surprised some of his teammates figured a move to three games over .500 was all but in the bag.“I’m sure there was a bit of that on the team,” Vinopal said. “I try constantly to remind the locker room that’s not the case with any game … You’ve got to respect the game. You’ve got to respect the opponent and you’ve got to win the ones you’re supposed to win. That’s the sign of a good team.”Something the Panthers insist they are, even if they don’t always play like one. Chryst allowed there’s still a bit of immaturity at some spots on the roster. Considering the Panthers have already played a dozen true freshmen and feature a lineup littered with first-year starters, he’s not wrong either.That inexperience, however, goes deeper than just his players. Chryst is still learning in his second year as a head coach. While there have been significant strides made by the staff to develop some cohesiveness and foster a culture of winning, Chryst remains a work in progress.Pitt is just 1-4 in games decided by eight points or less under Chryst. The lone win came last month when the Panthers held off a furious rally to edge Duke. The upset by Navy looked more like losses to Syracuse and Notre Dame last year when Pitt let the chance to win a “50/50” game slip through their fingers.Navy tied the game at 21 on a touchdown with 3:52 remaining. The Panthers went three-and-out and a poor punt by Matt Yoklic gave the Midshipmen the ball at midfield. The great field position meant Navy didn’t have to pass to move the ball. An 11-play drive – nine of them runs – followed, capped by Nick Sloan’s 30-yard field goal as the clock hit zeroes.Chryst called one timeout in hopes of freezing Sloan but didn’t use his other two earlier in Navy’s drive in hopes of giving his team one last shot should the Midshipmen score.Looking back, Chryst doesn’t have an issue with his clock management as much as his decision not to challenge a possible interception by Vinopal earlier in the game. Officials ruled Vinopal was out of bounds. Because every play is reviewed, Chryst assumed the game would be stopped so the replay booth could get another look.It didn’t happen and now the Panthers must find a way to bounce back against surging Georgia Tech (6-2, 4-2 ACC). If it’s tight late, Chryst believes he’ll be in better shape to handle it. It’s the least he can do for his team.“It’d be pretty hypocritical to ask the players to get better and then I’m not,” he said. “I think we do need to learn how to win.”___Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP