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Saturday, 02 December 2023

Climate catastrophe: emissions of the richest burn the planet


Oxfam, an international charitable NGO, has reported recently in Inequality Kills ahead of the World Economic forum Davos agenda that; a new billionaire has been created every 26 hours since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The worlds 10 richest men have correspondingly doubled their fortunes, while over 160 million people are projected to have been pushed into poverty. Meanwhile, an estimated 17 million people have died from COVID-19, a scale of loss not seen since the Second World War.

The Inequality Kills briefing regards extreme inequality as a form of economic violence, where structural and systemic policies and political choices are skewed in favour of the richest and most powerful people which results in direct harm to the vast majority of ordinary people worldwide.

At a conservative estimate, the report discloses that; 231,000 people each year could be killed by the climate crisis in poor countries by 2030.Millions could die in the second half of this century.

One study estimates that the greenhouse gases emitted by 273 Americans in 2020 will kill one person during the rest of this century through heat waves alone. Meanwhile, the emissions of the richest people are driving this crisis, with the CO2 emissions of 20 of the richest billionaires estimated on average to be 8,000 times that of the billion poorest people.

It continues that; we estimate that inequality is now contributing to the deaths of at least 21,300 people each day-or one person every four seconds. This is a highly conservative estimate for deaths resulting from hunger in a world of plenty, the denial of access to quality healthcare in poor countries, and gender-based violence faced by women and rooted in patriarchy. We also provide estimates for the deaths resulting from climate breakdown in poor countries.

Inequality between nations, and within nations, is also deadly for the future of our world. We all suffer from a heating planet when rich countries fail to address the effects of their responsibility for an estimated 92% of all excess historic emissions. We all lose out as a result of the over-consumption by the richest people that is driving todays climate crisis, with the emissions of the top 1% double that of the bottom 50% of humanity combined.

Despite the 2021 COP26 climate negotiations and heedless of the wishes of those countries most affected by climate breakdown, and the voices of Indigenous communities and young people in particular the leaders of rich countries, above all, are still failing to prevent further planetary destruction or to ensure sufficient protections against human suffering that will become worse as temperatures continue to rise.

This failure to act is a historic and present-day act of violence, and a direct result of our unequal and carbon-fuelled economic model. Vital to addressing the climate crisis is recognizing the inequalities that perpetuate it.

The report points a finger at rich countries, disclosing that they are responsible for an estimated 92% of all excess historic emissions, far above their fair share of CO2 emissions. There is also significant inequality between countries in access to knowledge and technologies that are vital to both adapting to climate breakdown, and reducing and preventing greenhouse gas emissions. For example, rich countries, on behalf of their domestic companies, have filed complaints with the WTO as low- and middle income countries have encouraged the growth of their renewable energy industries.

The report gives the example that; the damage a person does to the climate increases with their level of wealth. Based on consumption data estimates, Roman Abramovich, a Russian-Israeli billionaire and owner of Chelsea Football Club whose assets include a superyacht and a custom-designed Boeing, is responsible for at least 33,859 tonnes of CO2 emissions consumption in a year.

It would take the average person over 7,000 years to use the same amount. While the richest people are able to afford greater protection against the worst impacts of the climate crisis, some billionaires have reportedly bought bunkers to prepare for worst-case scenarios, it is the poorest people who have contributed least to this crisis who suffer the most.

Many of them face losing their homes and livelihoods, as they live in areas more vulnerable to extreme weather; in the wake of disasters, they hold the least in assets and have the least access to help. Women living in poverty are disproportionately affected: for example, women are more exposed to the risk of gender-based violence as they are forced to walk further to find water.

Women, especially the poorest women, are also forced to take on more unpaid care work to support members of their families and communities whose health has been compromised by increased pollution and heat waves associated with the climate crisis.

Surviving the climate crisis? OxFam calls for urgent funding for adaptation, loss and damage, and a fossil fuel-free world. Climate adaptation is a matter of life and death for communities facing the harshest impacts of the climate crisis. An increase in funding by rich countries to at least $50bn a year for climate adaptation between now and 2025 is urgently needed for communities in low- and middle income countries, with needs rising further to $140300bn by 2030.

Funding by rich countries is also required to meet an urgent need for addressing loss and damage when adaptation is no longer possible, as poor communities and climate vulnerable countries are already experiencing the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

The financing requirements for loss and damage in low- and middle-income countries may reach $200580bn a year by 2030. And tackling the impacts of the immediate crisis is not enough on its own; investment is needed for the transition to a fossil fuel-free economy that is powered by clean energy. Rich countries also need to make good on their promise to provide $100bn a year from 2020 in climate finance for low- and middle-income countries, including to support the transition to clean energy.


19 Bokamoso Private Hospital nurses graduate at Lenmed Nursing College

28th November 2023

The graduation of 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College marks a significant milestone in their careers. These nurses have successfully completed various short learning programs, including Adult Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Nursing Care, Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing, Anaesthetic Nursing, and Recovery Room Nursing. The ceremony, held in Gaborone, was a testament to their hard work and dedication.

Lenmed Nursing College, a renowned healthcare group with a presence in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Ghana, has been instrumental in providing quality education and training to healthcare professionals. The Group Head of Operations, Jayesh Parshotam, emphasized the importance of upskilling nurses, who are at the forefront of healthcare systems. He also expressed his appreciation for the partnerships with Bokamoso Private Hospital, the Ministry of Health, and various health training institutes in Botswana.

Dr. Morrison Sinvula, a consultant from the Ministry of Health, commended Lenmed Health and Lenmed Nursing College for their commitment to the education and training of these exceptional nurses. He acknowledged their guidance, mentorship, and support in shaping the nurses’ careers and ensuring their success. Dr. Sinvula also reminded the graduates that education does not end here, as the field of healthcare is constantly evolving. He encouraged them to remain committed to lifelong learning and professional development, embracing new technologies and staying updated with the latest medical advancements.

Dr. Gontle Moleele, the Superintendent of Bokamoso Private Hospital, expressed her excitement and pride in the graduating class of 2023. She acknowledged the sacrifices made by these individuals, who have families and responsibilities, to ensure their graduation. Dr. Moleele also thanked Lenmed Nursing College for providing this opportunity to the hospital’s nurses, as it will contribute to the growth of the hospital.

The certificate recipients from Bokamoso Private Hospital were recognized for their outstanding achievements in their respective programs. Those who received the Cum Laude distinction in the Adult Intensive Care Unit program were Elton Keatlholwetse, Lebogang Kgokgonyane, Galaletsang Melamu, Pinkie Mokgosi, Ofentse Seboletswe, Gorata Basupi, Bareng Mosala, and Justice Senyarelo. In the Emergency Nursing Care program, Atlanang Moilwa, Bakwena Moilwa, Nathan Nhiwathiwa, Mogakolodi Lesarwe, Modisaotsile Thomas, and Lorato Matenje received the Cum Laude distinction. Kelebogile Dubula and Gaolatlhe Sentshwaraganye achieved Cum Laude in the Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing program, while Keletso Basele excelled in the Anaesthetic Nursing program. Mompoloki Mokwaledi received recognition for completing the Recovery Room Nursing program.

In conclusion, the graduation of these 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College is a testament to their dedication and commitment to their profession. They have successfully completed various short learning programs, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their respective fields. The collaboration between Lenmed Nursing College, Bokamoso Private Hospital, and the Ministry of Health has played a crucial role in their success. As they embark on their careers, these nurses are encouraged to continue their professional development and embrace new advancements in healthcare.

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BNF secures 15 constituencies in UDC coalition, wants more

28th November 2023

The Botswana National Front (BNF) has recently announced that they have already secured 15 constituencies in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) coalition, despite ongoing negotiations. This revelation comes as the BNF expresses its dissatisfaction with the current government and its leadership.

The UDC, which is comprised of the BNF, Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), Alliance for Progressives (AP), and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), is preparing for the upcoming General Elections. However, the negotiations to allocate constituencies among the involved parties are still underway. Despite this, the BNF Chairman, Patrick Molotsi, confidently stated that they have already acquired 15 constituencies and are expecting to add more to their tally.

Molotsi’s statement reflects the BNF’s long-standing presence in many constituencies across Botswana. With a strong foothold in these areas, it is only natural for the BNF to seek an increase in the number of constituencies they represent. This move not only strengthens their position within the UDC coalition but also demonstrates their commitment to serving the interests of the people.

In a press conference, BNF Secretary General, Ketlhafile Motshegwa, expressed his discontent with the current government leadership. He criticized the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for what he perceives as a disregard for the well-being of the Batswana people. Motshegwa highlighted issues such as high unemployment rates and shortages of essential medicines as evidence of the government’s failure to address the needs of its citizens.

The BNF’s dissatisfaction with the current government is a reflection of the growing discontent among the population. The Batswana people are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress and the failure to address pressing issues. The BNF’s assertion that the government is playing with the lives of its citizens resonates with many who feel neglected and unheard.

The BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, even before the negotiations have concluded, is a testament to their popularity and support among the people. It is a clear indication that the Batswana people are ready for change and are looking to the BNF to provide the leadership they desire.

As the negotiations continue, it is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize the interests of the people. The allocation of constituencies should be done in a fair and transparent manner, ensuring that the voices of all citizens are represented. The BNF’s success in securing constituencies should serve as a reminder to the other parties of the need to listen to the concerns and aspirations of the people they aim to represent.

In conclusion, the BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, despite ongoing negotiations, highlights their strong presence and support among the Batswana people. Their dissatisfaction with the current government leadership reflects the growing discontent in the country. As the UDC coalition prepares for the upcoming General Elections, it is crucial for all parties to prioritize the needs and aspirations of the people. The BNF’s success should serve as a reminder of the importance of listening to the voices of the citizens and working towards a better future for Botswana.








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Children’s summit to discuss funding of NGOS

21st November 2023

One of the key issues that will be discussed by the Childrens’ Summit, which will be hosted by Childline Botswana Trust on 28th – 30th November in Gaborone, will be the topical issue of financing and strengthening of civil society organizations.

A statement from Childline Botswana indicates that the summit will adopt a road map for resourcing the children’s agenda by funding organizations. It will also cover issues relating to child welfare and protection; aimed at mobilizing governments to further strengthen Child Helplines; as well as sharing of emerging technologies to enhance the protection of Children and promotion of their rights.

According to Gaone Chepete, Communications Officer at Childline Botswana, the overall objective of the summit is to provide a platform for dialogue and engagement towards promoting practices and policies that fulfil children’s rights and welfare.

“Child Helplines in the region meet on a bi-annual basis to reflect on the state of children; evaluate their contribution and share experiences and best practice in the provision of services for children,” said Chepete.

The financing of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by the state or its functionaries has generated mixed reactions from within the civil society space, with many arguing that it threatened NGOs activism and operational independence.

In February 2019, University of Botswana academic Kenneth Dipholo released a paper titled “State philanthropy: The demise of charitable organizations in Botswana,” in which he faulted then President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama for using charity for political convenience and annexing the operational space of NGOs.

“Civil society is the domain in which individuals can exercise their rights as citizens and set limits to the power of the state. The state should be developing capable voluntary organizations rather than emaciating or colonizing them by usurping their space,” argued Dipholo.

He further argued that direct involvement of the state or state president in charity breeds unhealthy competition between the state itself and other organizations involved in charity. Under these circumstances, he added, the state will use charity work to remain relevant to the ordinary people and enhance its visibility at the expense of NGOs.

“A consequence of this arrangement is that charitable organizations will become affiliates of the state. This stifles innovation in the sense that it narrows the ability of charitable organizations to think outside the box. It also promotes mono-culturalism, as the state could support only charitable organizations that abide by its wishes,” said Dipholo.

In conclusion, Dipholo urged the state to focus on supporting NGOs so that they operate in a system that combines philanthropic work and state welfare programs.

He added that state philanthropy threatens to relegate and render charitable organizations virtually irrelevant and redundant unless they re-engineer themselves.

Another University of Botswana (UB) academic, Professor Zibani Maundeni, opined that politics vitally shape civil society interaction; as seen in the interactions between the two, where there is mutual criticism in each other’s presence.

Over the years, NGOs have found themselves grappling with dwindling financial resources as donors ran out of money in the face of increased competition for financing. Many NGOs have also been faulted for poorly managing their finances because of limited strategic planning and financial management expertise. This drove NGOs to look to government for funding; which fundamentally altered the relationships between the two. The end result was a complete change in the operational culture of NGOs, which diminished their social impact and made them even more fragile. Increased government control through contract clauses also reduced NGOs activism and autonomy.

However, others believe that NGOs and government need each other, especially in the provision of essential services like child welfare and protection. Speaking at the Civil Society Child Rights Convention in 2020, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Setlhabelo Modukanele said government considers NGOs as critical partners in development.

“We recognize the role that NGOs play a critical role in the country’s development agenda,” said Modukanele.

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