New York/Maputo, Apr 28 (Canadian-Media/UNICEF): An additional 368,000 children in Mozambique are now at risk and potentially in need of lifesaving humanitarian support after the country was hit by a second major storm – Cyclone Kenneth – in less than six weeks, UNICEF said yesterday.
Cyclone Kenneth made landfall Thursday in the Cabo Delgado province of northern Mozambique as a Category 4 storm and forecasters are warning that the slow-moving system could continue to dump rain for days, putting affected areas at heightened risk of lethal flooding and landslides.
Displacement is also a major concern as Kenneth destroyed up to 90 per cent of homes in some villages.
“Cabo Delgado has no history of cyclones and we are deeply worried that communities in the area would not have been prepared for the scale of the storm, putting children and families in a very precarious position,” said Michel Le Pechoux, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Mozambique. “The soil is saturated with rain and the rivers are already swollen, so the emergency is likely to get worse from flooding in the next few days. We’re doing everything we can to get teams and supplies on the ground to keep people safe.”
UNICEF has advanced teams in Cabo Delgado specializing in health, nutrition, child protection, water and sanitation, and has prepositioned humanitarian supplies, including health kits and water purification supplies, to speed up the emergency response. Assessments are under way and the scale of the disaster will become clear over the coming days.
This is the first time in recorded history two strong tropical cyclones have hit Mozambique in the same season. Tropical Cyclone Kenneth follows on the heels of Tropical Cyclone Idai, which made landfall on 14 March, leaving more than 600 people dead and an estimated 1.85 million people in need.
Devastation caused by cyclones Idai and Kenneth potentially could bring the cumulative number of children in need of humanitarian assistance to nearly 1.4 million in affected areas across the northern and central Mozambique. Following Cyclone Idai in March, UNICEF launched an appeal for US$122 million to support its humanitarian response for children and families affected by the storm and its aftermath, in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi over the next nine months.
#UnitedNations; #InternationalChernobylDisasterRemembranceDay; #UNLibrary; #OCHA; #UNDP; #nuclearpowerreactors;
United Nations, Apr 28 (Canadian-Media/UN): More than three decades after the devastating explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, parts of Belarus’ adjoining regions have sprung back to life and the biggest of them, Homiel, has become a leading destination for domestic and international investors, United Nations (UN) reports said.
Image Credit: UNDP Belarus/Siarhei Hapon: Restoration work is underway in Chernobyl-affected areas, 33 years after the disaster. (April 2019)
Sixty per cent of Homiel’s produce - comprising meat, dairy products and handicraft – are exported to neighboring regions and countries while the region attracted $17.7 billion worth of domestic and foreign Investment between 2011 and 2017, representing just over 15 percent of the country’s total direct investment during that period.
A ceremony marking International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day (ICDRD) was held at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday. While the Soviet Government only acknowledged the need for international help to mitigate the disaster in 1990, that same year the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for more international cooperation.
A Chernobyl Trust Fund, managed now by the humanitarian affairs coordination office, OCHA, was created by the UN in 1991, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) became involved in 2002, when the Organization announced a new focus on longterm development. The agency and its offices in the three countries affected, have taken the lead in that area, ever since.
“In the 33 years since that tragic night, there’s been a re-thinking of the way local populations in southeastern Belarus have handled themselves”, said Zachary Taylor, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative in Belarus. “Stigma is still pervasive, but the economic revival is visible. This is a fertile and productive region and its people are open, resilient and resourceful.”
37,000 small- and medium-sized businesses now operate in the areas directly affected by the disaster, up from only 2,375 in 2002.
“But let’s not rest on our laurels. There’s much more that needs to be done to bring the area back to its full potential. We need to keep investing in training, safety, long-term development planning, new technologies, including tourism and organic farming. This is an area that’s been left behind for too long. Let’s double our efforts to make sure it catches up,” said Mr. Taylor.
The disaster affected Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. Around 470 small towns and villages have been destroyed in Belarus alone, with 138,000 people unrooted from their homes.
The disaster still represents a huge financial burden. In Ukraine last year, 5 to 7 percent of the national budget was still dedicated to Chernobyl-related recovery activities. In Belarus, the overall economic loss is estimated at $235 billion. Missed profits and investment opportunities alone are estimated at $13.7 billion.
UNDP has been working with the rest of the UN system and international partners to help Chernobyl-affected areas in Belarus and Ukraine move from recovery and humanitarian support, to creating new jobs, strengthening social services, improving infrastructure, business and increasing investment opportunities.
#flooding; #Grand Lake; #New Brunswick
New Brunswick, Apr 22 (Canadian-Media): Grand Lake in New Brunswick experiencing the rising waters and has already surpassed flood stage, media reports said.
In 2018 also floods combined with a fierce wind storm, damaged many properties along Grand Lake.
#floodrisks; #Ottawa, #Gatinueau, #OttawaRiver;
Ottawa, Apr 21 (Canadian-Media): Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, are facing flood risks due to rising water levels on the Ottawa River, media reports said.
In the wake of the looming flood risk many residents of Ottawa and Gatineau are spending their Easter weekend preparing for the flood risks.
Ottawa River Regulation Board Planning Board reported this morning that water levels are expected to rise slowly and hit peak levels late Sunday.
Levels will remain high for several days with ongoing risk, but cooler than forecasted temperatures along with less than anticipated rain have reduced expected inflows in most locations, said Michael Sarich with the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board.
Given below is the list of where to seek assistance or help out over the Easter weekend.
#Notre Dame cathedral; #Paris; #UNESCO; #fire; #WorldHeritageCentre
United Nations, Apr 16 (Canadian-Media): Two-thirds of the largely medieval roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris have “gone” after the devastating fire in Paris on Monday evening, but UN cultural experts are standing by to offer help where it is needed in rebuilding the iconic structure.
UNESCO/George Papagiannis: Notre-Dame cathedral after the fire in Paris. Sections of the cathedral were under scaffolding as part of extensive renovations. (16 April 2019)
That’s what UNESCO World Heritage Centre Director Mechtild Rössler told UN News after visiting the site on Tuesday.
She described seeing people praying outside the stricken symbol of the city and the nation, still trying to take in the scale of the disaster:
“I saw many, many people going from the Metro, to the site of Notre Dame, and I have to say many are still in a state of shock, because it’s not only the Christian community, it’s a building for all of us”, she said. “Really, it’s a universal symbol and it’s the centre of France …I think this is really shocking people profoundly and they lost something that is part of their identity.”
Dr Rössler said that a team of UNESCO experts is on hand to investigate the stability of the stonework and potential damage to stained glass windows, echoing a statement by the UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, in which she announced that a “rapid damage assessment” would be carried out as soon as possible with the authorities.
After visiting the site of Notre Dame on Monday night Ms. Azoulay said “we are all heartbroken.” The Cathedral is part of the World Heritage site officially known as “Paris, Banks of the Seine”, inscribed on the World Heritage List, in 1991.
“Notre Dame represents a historically, architecturally, and spiritually, outstanding universal heritage. It is also a monument of literary heritage, a place that is unique in our collective imagination”, said the UNESCO chief, adding that the inferno which engulfed the cathedral, but appears to have left the medieval stonework intact, “reminds us of the power of heritage that connects us to one another. We are receiving messages of support from all over the world.”
The cathedral, where construction began in the 1160s extending for more than a century, is considered to be the finest example of the French Gothic style of architecture, with its groundbreaking use of rib vaults and buttresses, stained glass rosettes and sculpted ornaments.