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Economy

Toxic Water Scheme Causes Hundreds To Rally

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water-flowing-by-luke-adderson

The World Bank has shaped the Nigerian water sector has persisted with numerous failed water privatisation initiatives for decades, causing yet more controversy.

In Lagos, ongoing street protests, global pressure from public officials (including members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human right to water), and local and international media exposure have made the scheme politically toxic, forcing the World Bank’s private arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to cancel a proposed advisory contract in October 2014, and in December 2015 the World Bank officially removed water privatisation as an objective of its $200 million water loan. The Lagos government is now virtually alone in publicly advocating for the controversial (PPP) scheme.

Resident: “I would rather die than allow that to happen”

Since November 2015, dozens of communities have been holding meetings, educating themselves about failed water PPPs around the world, spreading awareness about the Lagos government’s plans to pursue that model, and planning mobilizations. This March, the newly established women’s network blocked traffic in Lagos and in late July, at least 200 residents, workers, womens’ health advocates, and human rights leaders marched to the government’s gates following the Lagos house of assembly speaker’s unexpected public endorsement of the unpopular PPP scheme. Residents are telling stories of life in communities where central water pipes can run alongside houses without reliable water. Rather than consulting residents or investing in the system, the Lagos government has announced special “water courts” to prosecute individuals distributing water and doubled down on pursuing a model that has repeatedly led to rate hikes, water shutoffs, and costly arbitration.

There are hundreds to rally at the event.

  • Report: At a half-day conference on October 11th, leaders of the “Our Water, Our Right” coalition will hold a press conference to announce the release of its new water policy report: “Solving the Lagos Water Crisis: the Way Forward for Public Water.” Invitees will include Governor Ambode and senior administration officials.
  • Rally and deliveries: On the 12th, hundreds will sing, chant, and march with signs, trucks, and giant banners, to “Alausa,” the compound housing the governor’s offices and the Lagos house of assembly, where they will deliver copies of the report.
  • Community tours: Residents will lead neighborhood tours and tell stories of how the Lagos government’s failure to invest in a strong public water system has affected their communities and how they would be impacted by water privatization.
  • Timing: The events come the week after the World Bank’s Annual Meetings in Washington, D.C., and amid celebrations of Nigeria’s independence day.
  • Who:
    • Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode (invited)
    • Lagos State Water Corporation Managing Director Muminu Badmus (invited)
    • Lagos Commissioner for the Environment Adejare
    • Environmental and human rights leader Nnimmo Bassey (invited)
    • Women Arise Executive Director Joe Odumakin
    • Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria Deputy Director Akinbode Oluwafemi
    • Public Services International affiliate labor union’s Lagos State General Secretary Biodun Bakare

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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