African press review 1 August 2011

Text by: Carla Westerheide
3 min

In today's African papers; what some women have been led to because of the drought in the Horn of Africa, Ramadan prayers, water robbery, toilets and where not to go on holiday!


The drought in the horn of Africa and especially in Somalia has been making headlines for weeks. Kenyan paper The Standard has published an article on women who have decided to collect and clean animal intestines and deliver them to butchers, saying they will walk for hours in the heat to find dead animals and take their intestines.

The reason this is important is because the job is considered “dirty” in Somalia; and anyone who does it is considered an outcast. The article quotes a local leader saying these women “have defied culture”.

Most of them are between 60 to 85-years old and got into the “business” because their husband left or died due to the drought. They were left with no choice. They could beg on the streets or make a living cleaning intestines.

In Nigeria the Guardian Nigeria published an article on Ramadan, which starts today, 1 August. Religious leaders in the county have called on the population to use these months of fasting also to “pray for the transformation of the country for the betterment of its citizens,” and for “the sustenance of democracy, peace and unity in the country”. Government officials have also made similar calls.

Uganda’s Daily Monitor headlines on water thieves. Apparently, some 170 thousand litres are pumped illegally everyday, with people tampering with water metres so they won’t have to pay the bill.Something that’s costing water companies 30 per cent of their profit.

Shame on the thieves, says the paper, adding that tampering with water metres affects what it calls “honest users” because they don’t have any water pressure and eventually have to pay the bill because the water company needs to compensate for the lost income. And these are not just individual people, but big businesses are also guilty of stealing water!

Donors announced they will give 29 million euros to “spur the innovation of toilets in Africa”. This is an article in Kenya’s East African. Some of the ideas include turning waste into energy or fertilizer. It’s all very high-tech and profitable.

The World Health Organization says that for every euro spent on toilets and sanitation, a country could generate 6 euros because it could save on health care costs and increase productivity. The goal is to serve up to 1.5 million people who currently don’t have toilets.

And South African paper The Star tells you where not to go on vacation: The United States! The average tourist puts on three and half kilos because of all the huge portions.
The worst are the Brits, who put on about 2 kg during their vacation, not matter where they go. The UK is 6th on the list of “fat destinations,” where people gain about 3 kilos.

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