- MALAWI'S Multiplying Crocodiles Increase Attacks
Blantyre, Malawi (PANA) (Panafrican News Agency, May 5, 2000) - A
woman is still battling for her life in hospital in the central lakeshore district of
Nkhota Kota after being attacked by a marauding crocodile while fetching for
water in Lake Malawi.
John Mlenga, an information officer in the district, said Friday this incident is just
the latest in a series of unprecedented crocodile attacks in the area.
"She went to the beach to collect water on Wednesday morning when she was
attacked," he told PANA.
Mlenga said when passers-by rescued her, her arm was severely savaged by the
creature. There has been an unprecedented increase in crocodile attacks lately
around the lake, with eight attacks in April alone.
People in the area suspected the increase in the number of crocodiles has come
about because of a change in management of a sugar company in the district.
The Dwangwa Sugar Corporation used to rear crocodiles on its farm but when
the company was sold to Illovo Sugar Group a few years ago, the new
management decided to stop the crocodile farming.
Illovo's acting human resources manager, Dickens Chaula, said the former
management used to rear crocodiles for food and export.
"Crocodile meat was a delicacy among both the expatriate and local
communities," he added. A crocodile's tail meat was a must dish for the
expatriates and hides were exported by the old management.
But Chaula said when the new management took over, it decided to stick to its
main line of sugar production.
The crocodiles were sold to a Zimbabwean farm. Although the Zimbabwean
farm is yet to collect them, no crocodile has been released into the lake.
Khaled Hassan, a renowned crocodile hunter, said this seemed to be a good
year for crocodile breeding. He noted that the boom in crocodile population
could only be checked if government allowed the culling of crocodiles from 200
to 800 a year.
Malawi is tied to a protocol it signed with the International Committee for the
Protection of Endangered Species, which classified crocodiles among
It therefore limits the culling of crocodiles to 200 a year.
Crocodiles, according to Hassen, are killing two people daily in southern Malawi
which is dominated by the country's biggest and crocodile-infested Shire River.
He said the animals prey on humans when they venture out of the water in search
for food since they are too many for the little food they have under water.
Environmental Affairs Minister Harry Thomson, the member of Parliament for
Chikwawa district, one of the affected districts in southern Malawi, said
government would try to convince CITES that the crocodiles in Malawi was not
among the endangered species.
The government would not allow the lives of its citizens to be endangered, he
- But good info for my childhoods class which will be doing projects on child labor. Maybe having the info will spur people to change things. I still hold out hope...How's the home solar project??KCOn Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 9:26 AM, Christine Chumbler <wartpiggy@...> wrote:
Nothing to be proud of here, I'm afraid.
Malawi's child tobacco pickers 'poisoned by nicotine'Aug 24 2009 07:05Children in Malawi who are forced to work as tobacco pickers are exposed to nicotine poisoning equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes a day, an investigation has found.
Child labourers as young as five are suffering severe health problems from a daily skin absorption of up to 54mg of dissolved nicotine, according to the international children's organisation Plan.
Malawian tobacco is found in the blend of almost every cigarette smoked in the West. The low-grade, high-nicotine tobacco is often used as a filler by manufacturers, reflecting a long-term global shift in production.
Tobacco farms in America declined by 89% between 1954 and 2002. Three-quarters of production has migrated to developing countries, with Malawi the world's fifth biggest producer.
Seventy percent of its export income comes from tobacco and the country is economically dependent on it.
Plan cites research showing that Malawi has the highest incidence of child labour in Southern Africa, with 88,9% of five to 14-year-olds working in the agricultural sector. It is estimated that more than 78 000 children work on tobacco estates -- some up to 12 hours a day, many for less than 1p an hour and without protective clothing.
Plan's researchers invited 44 children from tobacco farms in three districts to take part in a series of workshops. They revealed a catalogue of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and spoke about the need to work to support themselves and their families and pay school fees.
The children reported common symptoms of green tobacco sickness (GTS), or nicotine poisoning, including severe headaches, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, coughing and breathlessness.
"Sometimes it feels like you don't have enough breath, you don't have enough oxygen," one child said. "You reach a point where you cannot breathe because of the pain in your chest. Then the blood comes when you vomit. At the end, most of this dies and then you remain with a headache."
GTS is a common hazard of workers coming into contact with tobacco leaves and absorbing nicotine through their skin, particularly when harvesting. It is made worse by humid and wet conditions, which are prevalent in Malawi, as residual moisture on the leaves helps nicotine to be absorbed quicker.
Everyday symptoms of GTS are more severe in children than adults as they have not built up a tolerance to nicotine through smoking and because of their physical size. There is a lack of research into the long-term effects of GTS in children, but experts believe that it could seriously impair their development.
Neal Benowitz, professor of medicine, psychiatry and biopharmaceutical sciences at California University in San Francisco, said: "Numerous animal studies have shown that administration of nicotine during infancy and adolescence produces long-lasting changes in brain structure and function, as well as behavioural changes that are not seen when nicotine is administered to adults.
"The brain of a child or adolescent is particularly vulnerable to adverse neurobehavioural effects of nicotine exposure."
Plan called on Malawi's government to enforce existing child labour and protection laws and on plantations to provide safer, fairer working conditions for those children forced to work. It demanded that multinational tobacco companies scrutinise their suppliers far more closely and follow their own corporate responsibility guidelines.
Macdonald Mumba, Plan Malawi's child rights adviser, said: "This research shows that tobacco estates are exploiting and abusing children who have a right to a safe working environment.
"Plan is calling for better enforcement of child labour laws and harsher punishment for employers who break them. These children are risking their health for 11p a day." - guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2009
Hotmail® is up to 70% faster. Now good news travels really fast. Try it now.
"...for f*ck’s sake, the only thing that privilege is good for is to try to help other people." –Junot Diaz