Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!
19 February 2020
Post No. 131
The Week’s Contents
• Support Human Protection and Humanitarian Relief in Burkina Faso
• Week beginning 17/02/2020: Chemicals and Waste
• Poverty Reduction Networks and Nature’s Network
… and much more!
~ Support Human Protection and Humanitarian Relief in Burkina Faso in 2020
After conducting an in-depth review of 2019 Light Appeals and Projects, it has been resolved to renew our call for the support of the peoples of Burkina Faso who are still suffering from violence and insecurity despite the Silence-the-Guns policy in Africa.
The aim of the in-depth review was to identify the nature, severity and criticality of the situation in places and countries on whose behalf we made appeals last year; with respect to armed conflicts, natural disasters and other unexpected life-threatening events.
The data and news we got from local people on the grounds and from multilateral agencies suggest that there is a need to ask for support for security-deprived and displaced people in Burkina Faso.
In practical terms, it means that our Light Season and Projects continue with an appeal to support the victims of armed attacks in Burkina Faso. The Burkina Faso is part of our second wave of appeals (or In-life Blaze of Hope) making our Light Appeals and Projects.
The appeal is about Bringing and Lighting a Blaze of Hope for the Victims of Armed Attacks and Conflicts in Burkina Faso.
We always advocate for preventive development and we do not seek for destructive events to happen. However, when events like the one in Burkina Faso happen, CENFACS can advocate in helping to reduce any adverse effects and impacts erupting from events like this.
CENFACS is looking forward to your support to deliver this Wintry Appeal. Thank you!
Under the Main Development section of this post, you will find further details about this appeal.
~ Week beginning 17/02/2020: Chemicals and Waste
Minimizing the adverse impacts of chemicals and all waste throughout the cycle, on human health and environment (Goal 12; Target 4)
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG) 12 is about Responsible Consumption and Production. Within this goal, there is a target (target 4) which is related to Chemicals and Waste. This week, we are looking at this target and its progress in terms of shift towards a more sustainable consumption and production patterns in Africa than ever before, since this target has to be reached by the end of 2020.
In particular, we are looking at the extent to which there has been reduction of material footprint in Africa; material footprint being defined within the sustainable development literature as ‘the total amount of raw materials extracted to meet final consumption demands’.
We are examining the reduction of material footprint as the population in Africa continues to grow while economic output is not growing at the same rate. In fact, we are studying together African population, material footprint and gross domestic product growth index. We are as well working on the domestic material consumption in Africa. Domestic material consumption is defined within the sustainable development literature as ‘a measure of the total amount of materials directly used by an economy to meet the demands for goods and services from within and outside a country’.
All these concepts or jargons enable to get the extent to which Africa is minimizing the adverse impacts of chemicals and all waste throughout the cycle, on human health and environment.
Still as part of our work on chemicals and waste, we are studying the results of the Third Conference of the Parties to the Bamako Convention, which took place from 12 to 14 February 2020 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
The Bamako Convention prohibits the dumping or incinerating of hazardous waste in inland water and oceans, promotes the control of transboundary movement of hazardous waste within Africa and seeks to ensure that waste disposal is conducted in an environmentally sound manner.
The theme of this February Conference was: “From Decisions to Action: Working for Africa with a Safe Chemicals and Waste Future”.
It is a good news to learn that the Third Conference of the Parties (COP 3) to the Bamako Convention adopted a set of decisions reaffirming the Parties’ commitment to strengthen the Convention in order to prevent African countries from receiving unwanted hazardous waste in their territories as well as promoting sound management of chemicals and waste produced within the continent.
One can hope that the decisions taken and actions which will follow will enable Africa to reach the UNSDG 12 and target 4 by the end of 2020 as planned.
~ Poverty Reduction Networks and Nature’s Network
We are still in CENFACS month of Sustainable Development. As part of it, we are discussing poverty relief networks and nature’s network, and trying to understand how both networks work and why the first type of network should refrain themselves from upsetting the second.
A poverty reduction network is an interconnecting group of people having a set of values in terms of dealing with poverty and poverty reduction. It is a group of people making sure they live above the poverty line; meaning as well they have a voice, access to productive assets and economic opportunities; women’s empowerment; connections to resources, etc. A poverty reduction network can build and maintain healthy relationships with nature’s network for mutual benefits.
Nature’s network is a group or system of interconnecting natural things such as animals, plants, water, air and weather systems. They can interact and exchange information while developing natural contacts. As Peter Wohlleben (1) puts it in his book:
‘The natural world is a web of intricate connections, many of which go unnoticed by humans. But, it is these connections that maintain nature’s finely balanced equilibrium’.
So, humans in their activities and approach to reduce poverty need to take into account nature’s network or finely balanced equilibrium as argued by Wohlleben. In order to meet their poverty reduction aim and goals, poverty reduction networks run by humans do not need to destroy or upset or adversely affect nature’s network. They should try to avoid interfering in the ability of the nature to restore itself.
Briefly, a sustainable development approach to poverty reduction requires that human poverty reduction networks do take care of the needs of nature’s network. This is because human networks depend as well on the health of nature’s network and natural resources.
(1) Wohlleben, P. (2018), The Secret Network of Nature: The Delicate Balance of All Living Things, Random House
~ Energy Connections Project: Donate, Gift Aid and Make a Pledge
You can donate; make a gift aid declaration or a pledge so that your action can bring energy to those in need in Africa.
Energy Connections Project (ECP) is a contemporary sustainable renewable energy solution to energy poverty and the poor. Your donation or gift or pledge will help to achieve triple benefit as follows:
(a) Reduction of poverty, particularly but not exclusively energy poverty
(b) Helping poor people transition to clean or renewable energy
(c) Reduction or mitigation of the adverse impacts of climate change
You can be one of the energy connectors for the energy poor in helping them to meet their basic life-sustaining needs of energy.
Please bring that helpful energy difference they desperately need to run and save their lives.
~ Circular Economic Solutions to Poverty
In this post, we are also talking about our Extended Community Services Support; particularly our service related to Circular Economic Solutions to Poverty from our 2020 Poverty Reduction Tools Box.
Indeed, a linear economic model of take, make and throw away has shown us its limits. The circular economic approach helps to overcome these limits as it curbs pollution and mitigates global warming. It helps us to decouple our household economy and natural resource use in order to reduce poverty or simply meet our basic life-sustaining needs.
For those who want to work with us by adopting circular principles to reduce poverty, CENFACS will welcome them with their circular economic needs. Through advice, tips and hints; we can together with them find ways of
√ Recycling resources and items
√ Reducing waste and energy loss
√ Creating circular economic opportunities and resources for their needs
√ Saving money, assets and resources
√ Cutting down their carbon footprint, etc.
We can as well work with those who want to make circular economy investments.
If anyone needs circular economic solutions to their problems or poverty, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.
~ Implications of Covid-19 for Poverty Reduction in Africa
Because of the seriousness of the Covid-19, we continue to discuss its implications for poverty reduction in Africa. As mentioned in one of our previous posts, China was Africa’s largest investor in terms of foreign direct investment until 2018 from the available data. As Covid-19 has affected China and does not show any sign of calming, this could impact Africa’s poverty reduction work both on short and long terms.
There are many factors and hypothesis that need to be considered. If China reduces its investment in Africa and there is no substitute to China’s investment in the areas it is intervening in Africa, there could be a vacuum to fill. Although, there are already many African countries that start to assess the coronavirus threat to their own health systems regardless of what China could bring to their economies, thoughts are still going on about the effects of Covid-19 on other sectors of African economies. All will depend on the speed of recovery from China and the world as well the global control of this deadly disease.
Let’s hope that Covid-19 will be put under firm control and its effects will be nullified on poverty reduction work in Africa before it is too late. The thought on Covid-19 continues…
• Support Human Protection and Humanitarian Relief in Burkina Faso
Our Season of Light Appeals and Projects continue with this new appeal for the peoples of Burkina Faso who are experiencing waves of armed attacks on their daily lives.
Before looking at this support, let us recap on last year’s appeals for Burkina Faso, in particular the February 2019 Burkina Faso Appeal and the 3-Frontier Area Appeal of November 2019.
=> The February 2019 Burkina Faso Appeal
In our post of 13 February 2019, we launched an appeal to bring Hope for the Victims of Armed Attacks in the Burkina Faso and its Neighbourhood. They were some initiatives taken to stop these attacks. Notably, the collaborative initiative taken by the G5, which is the group of five countries made of Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad; is a project of working together to stop and end atrocities on the ordinary peoples of Burkina Faso and their region. Following this initiative and other ones, the situation stabilised a bit.
In November 2019, we conducted a review of our 2019 humanitarian appeals, we found that the Burkinabe problem of insecurity and violence still persisted. We even realised that those insecurity and violence were not only in Burkina Faso; but in the borders with its two other neighbours (Mali and Niger) in what is called the 3-frontier area.
This new situation led us to make an inclusive appeal under the umbrella of 3-Frontier Area to deal with the worrying developments regarding the insecurity situation in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. In some parts of these three countries, civilians were killed and displaced and there was no sign of peace.
=> 3-Fontier Area Appeal of 20 November 2019
The 3-Frontier Area Appeal to Support the Victims of Insecurity and Displaced Persons in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger
3-Fontier Area is geographical area made of parts of three West African countries (which are Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) where there were some high levels of insecurity and threats to human life.
3-Fontier Area Appeal was about supporting the victims of continuing insecurity and displaced persons in some parts of the above named three countries. In these three countries, there were continuing armed conflicts between local armies and security forces on the one hand, and armed groups on the other.
As a result, there was a decline of the security situation, an increase in instability and ethnic violence. According to local sources, more than 1,500 civilians were killed in Mali and Burkina Faso, and more than 1 million internally displaced people.
There were some peace processes or initiatives that took place in the region to reduce and end insecurity and violence. However, many of these processes or initiatives were unsuccessful. This has resulted in violence and insecurity resuming in the Burkina Faso, this year.
=> Support Human Protection and Humanitarian Relief in Burkina Faso in 2020
After recently conducting an in-depth review of the Light Appeals and Projects, we found that the data and facts indicated that there was very little, if no, progress at all regarding the situation in Burkina Faso. This last review was an analytical study by CENFACS aiming at identifying and assessing how critical and severe the situation was in these countries in relation to armed conflicts, natural disasters and other major events. The review has found that there has been a worsening violence against civilians in the provinces of Soum, Sanmatenga, Seno and Sourou. Therefore, there is need to Protect and Relieve people in Burkina Faso.
==> Data that speak for the victims of violence and insecurity in Burkina Faso
According the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (2), there are
<> 948,000 people who need protection in 2020 in Burkina Faso
<> 2.2 million people are relying on humanitarian aid and lacking access to healthcare in 2020
<> 318,000 pupils lacked access to education in January 2020
<> 2,410 schools were closed because of insecurity
<> 614,000 people were forced to flee their homes because of violence
<> Around 56% people were internally displaced and live without shelter
==> What CENFACS wants you to do
CENFACS wants you to create a magic by providing life-saving gift to the victims of this insecurity without giving money. How?
We are appealing to you again to try to do something about what is happening in Burkina Faso so that the poor civilians can enjoy peace and internally displaced people can safely return to their homes.
We often argue that there are always some little things one can do to try to change a very complex situation on the grounds without sometimes giving money, although there is a say that Money is King. These little things may include the following:
√ Talking to someone who has influence on what is happening on the ground can change life
√ Networking, campaigning, responding to a petition, and so on can make a significant impact
√ A phone call or a mobile phone text message or even a tweet or a video can save millions of lives.
√ Raising your voice about the crisis in Burkina Faso at a peace talks or gatherings
√ Spreading the news in your social networks and contacts about the issue
These kinds of simple things that one can do matter a lot for those whose life is at risk. It is not surprising if Wangari Maathai said that “It is the little things citizens do that is what will make the difference” (Wangari Maathai, Environmental Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner).
CENFACS hopes you will act upon this humanitarian February 2020 appeal and create the magic of life-saving gift without giving money so that the sufferers in Burkina Faso can rediscover their way to sustainable and inclusive peace.
Thank you for your readership and for considering delivering on this support.
Help CENFACS keep the Poverty Relief work going in 2020.
We do our work on a very small budget and on a voluntary basis. Making a donation will show us you value our work and support CENFACS’ work, which is currently offered as a free service.
One could consider a recurring donation to CENFACS as a New Year’s resolution.
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Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.
Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.
We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2020 and beyond.
With many thanks.