Archive for November 10th, 2014

10/11/2014

Unseen Ebola

Human Wrongs Watch

‘The Ebola epidemic has forced millions in West Africa to change how they interact, starting with the strict rule of “Don’t touch”. But for the visually impaired, like Basiru Bah in Sierra Leone, losing human contact is itself a threat to survival.’

Basiru Bah, 17, explains how Ebola prevention methods present a special challenge to those who are visually-impaired. (c) UNICEF Sierra Leone/2014/Yolanda Romero

Basiru Bah, 17, explains how Ebola prevention methods present a special challenge to those who are visually-impaired. (c) UNICEF Sierra Leone/2014/Yolanda Romero

By  Yolanda Romero* 7 November 2014 — In Sierra Leone, social mobilization teams have been spreading the message out about how best to protect yourself from the Ebola virus. One large billboard sponsored by UNICEF and the Sierra Leone Football Association is typical: promoting hand washing and the 117 Ebola hotline. Elsewhere, what are often quite graphic posters, explain the symptoms and what to do.

The messages are clear for all to see. But they’re not accessible to everyone, especially the country’s more than 40,000 visually-impaired people.

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10/11/2014

On International Day, UN Urges Protection of Environment from 'Ravages of War'

Human Wrongs Watch

From the contamination of land to the plundering of natural resources, the environment has long been a “silent casualty” of war, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 6 November 2014 affirmed as he warned that the fast-changing dynamic of contemporary conflict required steadfast solutions for future peace building and sustainable development.

Low yields from slash-and-burn agriculture cannot ensure food security for the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) rapidly growing population. Photo: UNEP

Low yields from slash-and-burn agriculture cannot ensure food security for the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) rapidly growing population. Photo: UNEP

“Armed conflicts are becoming ever more complex, and require solutions that address the root causes,” Ban said in his message marking the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.

“Issues of poverty, vulnerability to climate shocks, ethnic marginalization and the transparent, sustainable and equitable management of natural resources must be considered within and alongside peace agreements if we are to build more resilient and prosperous societies.”

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