Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Invitation to the KZN Environmental Network Review Workshop


“Collective voices towards environmental justice”


The Kwa-Zulu Natal Environmental Network(KZNEN) which includes environmental and social justice organisations, invites communities and other organisations to the KZN Environmental Network Review Workshop. The purpose of the review workshop is to evaluate how the KZNEN has been functioning; how it can be improved and to discuss the future activities and events for 2018.

Date: 27th September 2017, Wednesday
Time: 9am – 1pm
Venue: Diakonia Centre

Noluthando Mbeje
SDCEA environmental Project Officer

031 461 1991

Friday, 8 September 2017

All are Invited to attended an Anti Nuclear Meeting on 16 September 2017

Invitation: Anti-nuclear activism in Russia, the U.S. and around the world
When: 16h00-18h30, Sat 16 Sep
Where: St Paul’s Church, 161 Monty Naicker Road, Durban Central (opposite the Workshop)

Recently Earthlife Africa Johannesburg  and SAFCEI challenged the government’s nuclear deals with Russia, the U.S. and South Korea. In April 2017 judgement was delivered in the High Court and these deals were set aside and declared unlawful and unconstitutional. This was a major victory for the anti-nuclear campaign in South Africa. We invite you to come and hear from 2 anti-nuclear activists from Russia and the U.S. They will share their experience fighting nuclear power and talk about the situation in their countries and across the world. Various countries have been phasing out nuclear energy and they will share why people are resisting nuclear power and how they manage to successfully stop the construction of nuclear reactors.

Programme:
16h00: Welcome and introductions
16h05: Nuclear Energy in South Africa – Makoma Lekalakala
16h20: Anti-nuclear activism in Russia – Vladimir Slivyak
16h40: Anti-nuclear activism in the U.S – Chris Williams
17h00: Panel discussion: Experiences fighting nukes around the world – Makoma Lekalakala, Chris Williams and Vladimir Slivyak
17h30: Questions, discussion and way forward
18h00: Snacks and drinks


Speakers:

Makoma Lekalakala is senior project officer of Earthlife Africa in Johannesburg. She has worked for years as a tireless campaigner for environmental justice, with a focus on energy. Her work has included watchdogging of the Medupi coal-fired power plant, and successful courtroom advocacy against Eskom and the government's hasty nuclear energy programme:
http://earthlife.org.za/campaigns/nuclear-energy/

Vladimir Slivyak is with the Russian environmental organization Ecodefense, and has been an environmental and energy activist since 1989. He was principal organizer for various campaigns in Russia and abroad which succeeded in halting construction of nuclear reactors and international transportation of nuclear waste. He has has been teaching environmental policy in one of Russia's leading universities - the Higher School of Economics - since 2015. He has provided policy advice to members of parliaments and governments in Russia, Germany and other countries. Vladimir Slivyak has been involved in the campaign against new nuclear reactors in South Africa since 2015.

Chris Williams, of Hancock, Vermont, USA, is a long time sustainable energy policy activist. He is currently Vermont Organizer for the Citizens Awareness Network (
www.nukebusters.org). For 18 years he was the Executive Director for Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana (www.citact.org), a not for profit consumer and environmental advocacy organization.  He currently serves as board chair of the Nuclear Information and Research Service (www.NIRS.org).

Join us, as we picket outside the racecourse tomorrow!

RESIDENTS take the Clairwood Race Course Developer to the High Court!

The current traffic jams is a sign of worse to come. Every day teachers, pupils and workers are late for work. There is dust affecting residents daily, clothes cannot be left on washing lines, cars cannot be kept clean and you cannot sit outside in your yard or even have a meal as there is dust and sand everywhere. The Developer has ignored requests from the affected community to meet and discuss these concerns. At 3 mass meetings held, the community has decided to picket outside the race course this Saturday 9 September from 8.30 to 11am.

We call on the community to join this protest in our numbers to show how angry we are with this “logistics park”. Capital Fortress which is owned by major South African banks will not get away as the SDCEA together with the Legal Resource Centre has lodged an application to the Durban High Court to have the decision of the past MEC Mr Mike over turned. A whole day has been set aside for Friday 15th September 2017 for the review application to be argued.

An educator and well-known activist Roshan Ramdheen stated: “government continues to fail the people of the Durban South, we are an island surrounded by polluting industries and now we have to contend with over 3000 more vehicles entering the Clairwood Race course daily. The quality of life and that of our neighbourhood will be destroyed forever. We cannot rely on government to protect us we have to unite and fight to protect the future of our children”.

Residents of the affected areas have asked why money is placed before the lives of our young children.  At various meetings frustrated residents stated they will not stand by idly and allow the area to be destroyed and they might as well kill us all instead of our children.

The local residents, schools, small legal businesses, religious institutions  and cultural groups will be picketing outside the Clairwood Racecourse on Saturday 9th September 2017  starting at 08.00am  and end at 11.00am

For more details please contact:

Desmond D'Sa [SDCEA Coordinator]
Office: 031 4611 991
Cell: 083 982 6939


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

We are and will continue to organize ourselves as communities of Buen Vivir!


Final Declaration - Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el Ta Muk’

                       We are and will continue to organize ourselves as communities of Buen Vivir!


From near and far, our steps were found in these Mayan lands of San
Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico; we have been walking from

our lands and from our different nations to live and build together the nation
of Buen Vivir!
We set out from our native and indigenous communities from Asia: Nepal,
India; from the Americas: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Peru,
USA, Brazil and from Africa: South Africa and Zimbabwe.
We met in this learning exchange, which we called: Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich'el
Ta Muk’ (Buen Vivir with respect) to walk together and learn from
each other. Our objective was to exchange our knowledge, practices and
solidarity, to strengthen Food Sovereignty and the Buen Vivir of our
peoples.
With our united steps and heart full of joy and hope...
                                                                        WE OPENLY DECLARE
We will continue to strengthen the recuperation of the knowledge of our
grandfathers and grandmothers, between men and women, between youth
and children, to fight for our autonomy. We will commit ourselves to
protect the land "Pachamama" because she is our mother and from there
we came. Everything we are and have, we owe it to her. We owe her
respect.
The capitalist system and its neoliberal policies are causing us a global
crisis that affects us all, especially Mother Earth. We live in a cruel war that
makes us invisible, which imposes fear and makes us lose our ancestral
knowledge, our indigenous clothing, and contaminates water, earth and
air, causing a global crisis that puts at risk all humanity and our planet,
that is, life itself.
With pain in our hearts, we suffer and live the dispossession of our
territories by extractive and transnational corporations that promotes
forced migration, which generates extreme poverty, where our sons and
daughters stop studying or change their roots for the search of a better life
that is urbanized with a capitalist vision, where our homes are destroyed,
women are trafficked, and we have no health, we have no freedom of
expression; and we become consumers, without land, without water,
without local native seeds, and without freedom. This is achieved almost
always by the complicity of the authorities.
We demand from our governments and transnational
corporations the following:
• Stop the privatization of our natural resources and our cultures!
• Make reparation for damages caused to Mother Nature, to
indigenous peoples, peasant farmers and punish the exploiters!
• Let our voice be heard in the public policies!
• Recognize our right to decide our own path and our selfdetermination!
• Stop the violence and discrimination against women; recognize their
struggle and the rights of women and youth for Mother Earth!
We do not want an agriculture that is dependent and killing the
environment!

Our goals to continue our learning exchange are:
• We want to share our knowledge and our experiences to advance
Buen Vivir.
• We want to fight and build our autonomy with food sovereignty and
have the right to the self-determination of our peoples.
• Enforce food sovereignty, ancestral practices, local seeds and agroecology
as a way of life and organization in our laws.
• Recognize the work and struggle of women and young people in
defending our territory, in practicing agroecology and transferring
knowledge and wisdom to the next generations.
We return to our lands with our hearts filled with the dreams of the
Zapatista communities, the life lessons of the Sumidero Canyon, the example of JTatic Samuel Ruiz and the many experiences of each and one of the participants.
VIVA LA UNIDAD DE LOS PUEBLOS ORIGINARIOS”
                                     “LONG LIVE THE UNITY OF OUR NATIVE AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES”
***********************
Organizations participating in this learning exchange
Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el Ta Muk’
BRAZIL
1. Movimento Camponês Popular (MCP)
2. Movimento dos Trabalhoradores Rurais sem Terra (MST)
GUATEMALA
3. Asociación de Mujeres Ixpiyakok (ADEMI)
4. Asociación Femenina para el Desarrollo de Sacatepéquez (AFEDES)
5. Asociación para la Promoción de Salud y el Desarrollo Socio-
Económico (APROSADSE)
6. Comité Campesino del Altiplano (CCDA)
7. Comité de Unidad Campesina (CUC)
8. Instituto para la Superación de Miseria Urbana (ISMUGUA)
9. Red Kuchub’al
10. SERJUS
HAITI
11. Mouvman Peyizan Papay (MPP)
HONDURAS
12. La Via Campesina - Honduras
INDIA
13. GRAVIS, India
MEXICO
14. Alianza Crecer Juntos Sitalá
15. Alianza Toj Óolal
16. Caritas de San Cristóbal de Las Casas
17. Centro de Apoyo Educativo para la Comunidad
18. CAE: Circulos de Alimentacion Escolar
19. Coordinación Diocesana de Mujeres (CODIMUJ)
20. Consejo Regional Indígena y Popular de Xpijul
21. Desarrollo Económico Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas (DESMI)
22. Educación por la Paz (EduPaz)
23. El Hombre Sobre la Tierra
24. Enlace Civil
25. Inesin
26. Ka Kuxtal
27. Ñepi Behña
28. Pastoral de la Madre Tierra
29. Ser Mixe
30. UNMIC
31. Unión de Organizaciones de la Sierra Juárez de Oaxaca (UNOSJO)
32. U’yits Ka’an
33. Uyool Che’
NEPAL
34. ASHA Nepal
35. Women Awareness Center Nepal (WACN), Nepal
PERU
36. Asociación ANDES
37. Federación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas, Artesanas, Indígenas,
Nativas y Asalariadas de Perú (FENMUCARINAP)
38. Grupo Género y Economía
39. Red Ñuqanchik Marionijei Noshaninka
SOUTH AFRICA
40. South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA)
41. Surplus People Project
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
42. El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (CATA)
43. Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF)
44. Grassroots International
45. Thousand Currents
46. Urban Tilth
47. US Food Sovereignty Alliance
48. W.K.K.F.
ZIMBABWE
49. Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZIMSOFF)

Communities of South Durban Breathing Toxic Air for Decades.


It’s been decade’s and people are still breathing toxic air from chemical & petro chemical industries in South Durban, resulting in notoriously high levels of asthma; cancer and other related respiratory problems in the local communities. The health impact on communities living in south Durban is made worse because of the relatively low height of smoke stacks (50 – 100 m) due to restrictions by plane flight paths (when the old Durban airport was located in Isipingo), the basin topography and local climatic effects. The Bluff dune dams the air that drains downward off the Berea ridge through the river valleys and into the basin trapping the pollution. Off-shore winds also blow pollutants back onto land (at Umbogintwini and Amanzimtoti) area.
In winter, night time temperature inversions compound this problem by keeping pollution close to the ground and preventing it from dispersing upward. The costs of ill health are particularly burdensome for the poor and can drive households from poverty to destitution, but it has been difficult for communities to tackle the persistent air pollution problems they have experienced over the years. The two biggest petro chemical polluters are Engen and SAPREF oil refineries, were historically protected from any public scrutiny by the Apartheid Key Points Act, giving them free reign to pollute. Many other factories and companies in South Durban also contribute enormously in air pollution e.g. paper and pulp industries Mondi and SAPPI.  
The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) has done consecutive ambient air monitoring for a period of five months, from March – July 2017, in the communities of Wentworth; Merebank and the Bluff. SDCEA appointed a reputable company called APEX to do the air sampling and air analysis. Monitoring units were deployed at selected location around the three communities.
Results for nitrogen dioxide NO2 showed very high and worrying figures compared to sulphur Dioxide SO2. The health effect of the two pollutant are listed below.
v  SO2, Causes coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or a tight feeling around the chest and nose, throat irritation.
v  NO2, Inflames the lining of the lungs, & it can reduce immunity to lung infections. This can cause wheezing, coughing, colds, flu and bronchitis.    
 


Friday, 25 August 2017

Links to News Articles regarding Shongweni Landfill Site, Toxic Trek, Waste and Toxic Air

News Articles

Shongweni Landfill Site



Toxic Trek




Waste disposal giant threatens activist with legal action

Waste firm in a fix over toxic fumes

Toxic stench firm admits to being fined

DEA sets strict measures for Durban "toxic air" firm

Media banned from open and transparent "toxic air" meeting

Toxic air company cosies up to community

Toxic air results are "junk science"