Monday, March 31, 2014

Jamaica needs waste-disposal policy - ODPEM

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Jamaica needs waste-disposal policy - ODPEM

Published: Monday | March 31, 2014
Petre Williams-Raynor, Contributing Editor THE OFFICE of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has pointed to the need for a comprehensive waste-disposal policy for the island, following the most recent fire at the problem-plagued Riverton City dump in the capital.

Acting Director General Richard Thompson said the policy would address the development of properly engineered landfills for the island's major towns as well as "recycling, garbage separation, management of the landfills and a public education campaign around waste management".

"Other aspects of waste management, including the extraction of methane that comes about from the natural breakdown of waste, especially your kitchen waste, would also be covered," he told The Gleaner.

Riverton fire

The most recent fire at Riverton has attracted the ire of environmental advocates who insist it is past time that a solution to Riverton - and Jamaica's solid waste disposal challenges generally - is found.
"The situation should not revert to business as usual once the fire is out. The three government ministries with oversight responsibility for solid waste management - health, local government and environment - must ensure that urgent steps are taken to bring the Riverton dump into compliance with our environmental laws and the recent permits issued by the National Environment and Planning Agency," the Jamaica Environment Trust said in a March 20 press release.

The most recent fire — which cost an estimated $30 million to douse — started on March 16 and affected five acres of land at the site.

It also prompted renewed concerns for the health of residents of the Kingston Metropolitan Area due to compromised air quality and Jamaica's decades-old struggle with waste management islandwide.
"In looking at the present situation [at Riverton], it is difficult to manage. You are talking about over 100 acres of land, it is unfenced so now you have a security concern and you get any and everyone coming on the disposal site," Thompson noted.

Access control

Immediate next steps, he suggested, ought to include ramping up controls at the site to ensure that only authorised individuals have access and prescribe what they have access to, even as the island moves toward the development of the policy.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Noel Arscott, for his part, said a policy without regulations would be toothless.

"The draft regulations to deal with how we deal with garbage are with the Chief Parliamentary Counsel. I don't want to enunciate a policy that cannot be implemented because of a lack of regulation to enforce it," he told The Gleaner last week.

At the same time, Arscott suggested that current priorities rest with recycling and waste to energy.
"The general direction, having consulted numerous entities, is really to utilise the recycling," he said. "As our energy bill soars as a per cent of our economy ... we are aggressively pursuing waste-to-energy initiatives that will deal with the way we deal with garbage."

"We are in serious negotiations with a number of parties to do a waste-to-energy facility, both at Riverton and Retirement," the minister added.

The expectation, he said, is that an agreement will be reached by year end.

Meanwhile, concerning Riverton and other disposal sites, Arscott said: "We have in fact now, as we speak, a amount of initiatives of garbage separation which should reduce the amount of stuff going to the disposal sites."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

$128 Million. HUD Disaster Recovery Funding For Chicago Area

March 14, 2014
Quinn, Durbin, Emanuel Announce More than $128 Million in HUD Disaster Recovery Funding For Chicago Area

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) has awarded a total of $128,300,000 in funding through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program to communities in the Chicago area for recovery efforts following severe storms and flooding that began on April 18, 2013. This funding was made available through the fiscal year 2013 Sandy Supplemental Appropriations Bill, passed by Congress last year.

“Families throughout Illinois who were inundated by last year’s record floods are still rebuilding and recovering,” said Quinn. “This critical funding will help hundreds of families throughout the Chicago area get back on their feet. I thank President Obama, Senator Durbin and all of the Illinois federal representatives who worked to line up this vital assistance to families who need it.”
“Last April’s severe storms caused some of the worst flooding that I have ever seen in the Chicago area and surrounding counties, and forced hundreds of families to leave their homes,” said Durbin. “In the year since those storms hit, communities throughout the Chicago area have worked hard to recover. This funding will help in those efforts, and is especially critical for those families that lost their homes and are working hard to rebuild their lives.”

“The significant flooding that hit our area last Spring caused extensive disruption and damage to homes and residential areas,” said Emanuel. “This much needed funding will help Chicagoans repair what has been damaged so they can rebuild and move on with their lives.”

Under this announcement, the following communities will receive funding:
  • Cook County, Illinois: $54.9 million dollars;
  • City of Chicago, Illinois: $47.7 million dollars;
  • DuPage County, Illinois: $18.9 million dollars; and
  • State of Illinois: $6.8 million dollars.
HUD's CDBG-Disaster Recovery grant program benefits communities that have experienced a natural disaster. The program is intended to address housing, business and infrastructure needs that have not been met by other forms of public and private assistance, including disaster recovery funding provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). For more information on the program, please visit: CDBG Disaster Recovery Assistance.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rice Award. Deadline: March 31, 2014


The Andrew E. Rice Award for Leadership and Innovation by a Young Professional in International Development recognizes the achievements of an exceptional young professional working in the field of international development.
The recipient of this award will demonstrate leadership and innovation, as well as tremendous promise for advancement in the field of international development. The selected winner will also recognize the importance of international development as a means of service to those who are most in need and will work toward sustainable, people-centered development.

The Rice Award will be presented to the awardee at the Society for International Development Washington, D.C., chapter’s annual conference on May 20, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The award consists of an inscribed plaque recognizing the awardee, a prize in the amount of $1,000, a one-year, honorary membership to SID-Washington and the opportunity to present their work at an upcoming SID-Washington event.

Application and all supporting materials must be received by Monday, March 31.

For more information on the application process, please click here.

If you have further questions, please contact Elizabeth Healy at 202-331-1317

Situational Awareness: Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever in Guinea. March 2014

Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever in Guinea

(Situation as of 25 March 2014)
25 March 2014 - The Ministry of Health (MoH) of Guinea has notified WHO of a rapidly evolving outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in forested areas south eastern Guinea. The cases have been reported in Guekedou, Macenta, and Kissidougou districts. As of 25 March 2014, a total of 86 suspected cases including 60 deaths (case fatality ratio: 69.7%) had been reported. Four health care workers are among the victims. Reports of suspected cases in border areas of Liberia and Sierra Leone are being investigated.

Thirteen of the cases have tested positive for Ebola virus by PCR (six at the Centre International de Recherche en Infectiologie (CIRI) in Lyon, France, and seven at the Institut Pasteur Dakar, Senegal), confirming the first Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreak in Guinea. Results from sequencing done by CIRI Lyon showed strongest homology of 98% with Zaire Ebolavirus last reported in 2009 in Kasai-Occidental Province of DR Congo. This Ebolavirus species has been associated with high mortality rates during previous outbreaks.

The MOH together with WHO and other partners are implementing measures to control the outbreak and prevent further spread. The MoH has activated the national, provincial and district emergency management committees to coordinate response. The MoH has also advised the public to take measures to avert the spread of the disease and to report any suspected cases.

Multidisciplinary teams have been deployed to the field to strengthen surveillance, sensitize and educate the public, manage case and implement appropriate infection prevention and control measures in health facilities and communities affected. The MOH and MSF have established isolation facilities in Guéckédou district, and plans are underway to establish an additional isolation ward in Macenta district.

The Emerging and Dangerous Pathogens Laboratory Network (EDPLN) is working with the Guinean VHF Laboratory in Donka, the Institut Pasteur in Lyon, the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, and the Kenema Lassa fever laboratory in Sierra Leone to make available appropriate Filovirus diagnostic capacity in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Additional laboratory capacity is being established with the deployment of mobile laboratories supported by international partners.

WHO and other partners are deploying additional experts to provide support to the Ministry. The necessary supplies and logistics required for supportive management of patients and all aspects of outbreak control are also being mobilized. The MOH is also preparing a request to the African Public Health Emergency Fund (APHEF) as well as to other potential donors to support outbreak response. APHEF supports timely deployment of rapid response teams during outbreaks and emergencies, and procurement and prepositioning of epidemic and emergency response supplies.

WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Guinea in respect to this event.

icon Dashboard: Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever in Guinea ( Situation as of 25 March 2014) (546.67 kB)

Free...2014 NIMHD Translational Health Disparities Course. August 11-22, 2014. NIH, Bethesda, MD.

2014 NIMHD Translational Health Disparities Course

Integrating Principles of Science, Practice and Policy in Health Disparities Research

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will again host a course on the science of health disparities this summer. The course will take place on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, from August 11, 2014 to August 22, 2014.

This two-week intensive course will provide specialized instruction on the concepts, principles, methods, and applications of health disparities science, practice, and policy. It will also integrate principles and practice of community engagement. Nationally and internationally recognized experts in health disparities science will lead individual sessions.

Cost: The course is free, but admission is competitive and daily attendance is mandatory. Participants are responsible for transportation, room and board.

How to Apply: Submit an application via the NIMHD website at from April 14, 2014 to May 22, 2014. Applications will only be accepted online.
All application materials, including recommendation letters, must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. EST on May 22, 2014 for consideration. 

Application Information: The following comprises the application packet:

Completed online application must include:

·        Relevant professional experience (250 word limit);
·        Educational history including honors and awards (250 word limit);
·        Essay describing interest in the course and how it will contribute to work/future career goals in the area of health disparities (350 word limit); and
·        Letter of recommendation addressing in concrete and specific terms strengths, personal qualities, and relevance of course for career trajectory (350 word limit). 

**Once the applicant submits the application, it will generate an automatic e-mail to the applicant’s reference, requesting a recommendation. An application is not complete until the reference submits the letter of recommendation.

Course Information

• Applicants will be notified if they have been accepted, waitlisted, or rejected by June 25, 2014.
• The course overview and syllabus will be on the NIMHD website by mid-April.

Course Contact
• For additional information, contact the course planning committee at

Thursday, March 27, 2014

$10,000.00. BMe begins accepting nominations for its 2014 "BMe Leadership Awards"

10 Black Men in Detroit, 10 in Baltimore and 10 in Philadelphia to Earn $10,000 Each for Doing What Good Black Men Do

March, 20, 2014 

Today BMe begins accepting nominations for its 2014 "BMe Leadership Awards" which are presented to inspired black men in Philadelphia, Detroit and Baltimore who are committed to helping others and improving their community.

The BMe Leadership Award was created to recognize the many ways that black men are assets to communities. It rewards and celebrates everyday black men whose meaningful contributions are often overlooked.

In each city, 10 BMe Leadership Award earners, called 'BMe Leaders' will receive public recognition, a $10,000 grant to apply toward their community work and the opportunity to be networked with other black men like them. BMe promotes BMe Leaders as examples of inspired black men locally and nationally.

"We all personally know men like these - our fathers, co-workers, mentors and friends," says Trabian Shorters, BMe's founding CEO. "Here's a chance to honor them because their contributions are so often overlooked. Everyone nominated will have a chance to be recognized."

Nominees, as well as their nominators of any race or sex, benefit from gaining access to the BMe Community, its news, web tools and local community-building events.

Nominees must be at least 18 years old and their contributions to the community must benefit those in their respective cities of Detroit, Baltimore or Philadelphia. Since 2012, BMe has presented 70 Leadership Awards to black men who continue to make a significant and lasting impact on their neighbors and city. 

On April 7th nominees will be asked to submit a short application detailing what they would do with the $10,000 grant if selected.

Click Here to Nominate a Good Black Man in Detroit, Baltimore andPhiladelphia to Become A BMeFellow

1231  Good Hope Road  S.E.
Washington, D.C.  20020
Office:   202-618-9097 

Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.   Tom Peters
…….The search is on.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Free Training. Get up to speed! Fundamentals of Climate Change

"Take online courses as a group to discuss the issues".  Tests are completed alone, but discussions can be in groups.  Something for our senior 'wiser' citizens to do together.


Fundamentals of Climate Change
Free Course
Enrollment key: CCDPs
Through its five modules, the e-course Fundamentals of Climate Change covers the scientific basis of climate change, the observed and projected changes and impacts, together with, the approaches and responses development professionals and practitioners may use to address climate change within their work.

Module 1: Introduction
Module 2: Observed changes and impacts.
This set of topics cover the major observed changes in the climate system over the last 150 years and how human activities have contributed to these changes.

Module 3: Projected changes and impacts.
The three topics covered in this module provide an overview of the changes projected by the end of 2100 in the climate system.

Module 4: Responses to Climate Change.
This set of topics look at what is happening in the international negotiations under the main convention dealing with climate change, what are the ways to adapt to the changes that have occurred and likely to occur, what are some options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, what are some of the resources (such as finance, approaches, methods and tools) that are available.

Module 5: Conclusions

Learning objectives 
This course addresses the basic of climate change, including:
  • The greenhouse effect, and how it impacts the earth's climate
  • Current and projected impacts of client change on ecological, biological and socioeconomic systems
  • International negotiations and agreements addressing the climate change problem
  • Mitigation and adaptation approaches
  • Financing climate change related development actions
  • Tools and resources

Note, this e-course was produced in 2009 by the Sustainable Development Department of the World Bank as a course targeting World Bank staff hence the language in the course was targeted to development practitioners, but since the climate change scientific information, with adaptation and mitigation approaches, are of relevance to a broader community, this course is being made available via the WBI e-Institute also to an external audience. Updates to this course are currently not being planned. 

Target Audience:
Policymakers, government representatives, project developers, private sector, academia, civil society

New User? Register!

  1. Click here to register on Moodle.
  2. Check your e-mail for the confirmation.
  3. Click on the confirmation link in the e-mail.
    Course Theme:Climate Change
    Sub-Theme:Essentials of Climate Change
    Course Format:Self-paced
    Contact Name:Peter Schierl
    Contact Us

    World Bank eLearning Free Training: Safe and Resilient Cities. April 23 - May 21, 2014

    Safe and Resilient Cities
    April 23, 2014 - May 21, 2014
    Application Ends On : April 16, 2014
    November 04, 2014 - December 02, 2014
    Application Ends On : November 25, 2014
    April 14, 2015 - May 12, 2015
    Application Ends On : May 05, 201
    This e-learning course focuses on disaster risk management (DRM) at the city level. Participants will learn, in particular, about planning and decision making under uncertainty and how to make their cities more resilient to climate change impacts and natural disasters. The course provides cutting edge tools on vulnerability assessment, institutional assessment and gap analysis, and on how to access finance for risk management.

    This course is divided into 4 modules:
    • Module 1: Introduction
    • Module 2: Technical Analysis and Vulnerability Assessment
    • Module 3: Accessing Finance for Urban DRM and Resilience
    • Module 4: Building and Implementing the Local Resilience Action Plan (LRAP)
    The course includes case studies from cities from around the world, presentations, videos and a selection of useful readings for further in-depth knowledge. In addition, Discussion forums will be organized and facilitated around each module, fostering participation and knowledge sharing among peers. Assignments will have to be completed according to the proposed schedule in order to successfully conclude and receive a certificate.

    Upon completion of the course, each city participant should be able to form a team in charge of urban resilience planning, develop a LRAP, including operational measures (regarding city governance, infrastructure of environmental services, health, access to financial services, education, etc.), and define an implementation strategy.

    Please consider the following in terms of time commitment:
    • Module 1: 12 hours
    • Module 2: 12 hours
    • Module 3: 8 hours
    • Module 4: 8 hours

    Target Audience:
    City officials in developing countries

    Course Theme:Innovative Solutions for Cities
    Sub-Theme:Public Safety and Resiliency
    Course Format:Facilitated
    Amount:US $ 0 (Course is free of charge)
    Contact Name:Rasha Rayes
    Contact Us

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    Ages 18-24 year old Opportunities: FEMA Corps. The application deadline for the Summer 2014 class is April 1st.

    Are you between the ages of 18-24 and looking for a way to serve? Then don't miss this awesome opportunity to become a member of FEMA Corps. The application deadline for the Summer 2014 class is April 1st. Visit for more information.

    Africa is the World's Most Food Insecure Continent

    Comment: Economic growth should go hand-in-hand with water, food, and agricultural growth.  BEMA

    FAO Opens Africa Conference

    FAO Assistant Director-General Bukar Tijani says more youth are needed in agriculture. Credit: FAO
    FAO Assistant Director-General Bukar Tijani says more youth are needed in agriculture. Credit: FAO

    Joe DeCapua
    The Food and Agriculture Organization says Africa is the world’s most food insecure continent. The U.N. agency is holding its 28th Regional Conference on Africa this week in Tunis.

    The FAO gave the bleak description of Africa despite some strong economic growth in recent years – an average 4.8 percent increase in Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, between 2000 and 2010. It says the problem stems from low agricultural productivity, low incomes in rural areas and high rates of malnutrition.

    There have been improvements, though. The FAO cites greater production of staple crops, the growing of better varieties of bananas in eastern and central Africa and the planting of higher yielding maize. There’s also greater production of cotton, teas and flowers. But the agency says it’s not enough to ensure food security for a growing population amid climate change.

    FAO Assistant Director-General Bukar Tijani said the conference is focusing on greater investment in smallholder farmers. Women play the major role in such farms, but Tijani says there will now be an emphasis on attracting youth.

    “The theme of the conference itself is really to support youth in different endeavors of agriculture. But then we have to be very precise. We have to also be pulling youth into agriculture because agriculture is seen as a traditional, historical culture and not as farming or as enterprise or as business.”

    The FAO said agricultural production in African countries, on average, “has increased slightly less than one-percent per year, compared with about two-percent in other developing countries.”

    Tijani said that Africa’s youth must see that agriculture is big business, not just a tradition. Entrepreneurship, he says, can be applied to agricultural products.

    “That is crops, livestock, [fisheries], forest products and the value chain activities related to it, including technologies, communication, ICT – everything that could attract youth into it because it’s big monies,” he said.

    Representatives of more than 50 countries are expected to attend the FAO regional meeting in Tunis. They’re being asked to build on the continent’s economic growth to provide “stable agriculture and fiscal policies that encourage investment.”

    ‘The future of Africa or any generation lies in the youth. And that is why I’m calling on youth to come into agribusiness so that you can have employment generation, wealth creation, incomes within agriculture across Africa,” said Tijani.

    The meeting also addresses policies to end hunger on the continent by 2025. The FAO said, “Over the past decades, absolute levels of hunger and undernourishment remain worrying in sub-Saharan Africa.” It added the Sahel and the Horn of Africa are of “particular concern.”

    The regional meeting in Tunis runs until March 28.

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

    COMCAST Program for Low Income Familiies for Access

    Comcast Extends Program for Low – Income Families:  Comcast recently announced that it will extend its “Internet Essentials Program” indefinitely.  This program connects more than 1.2 million Americans to the power of the internet at home.  It will also sponsor over $1 million in grants to non-profit organizations across the country to create Internet Essentials Learning Zones. (Details)

    Saturday, March 15, 2014

    Event: March 26, 2014. Faith in Action Emergency Preparedness Summit. Washington, D.C.

    Having trouble viewing this invitation? Click here for a webpage view.

     Faith in Action Emergency Preparedness Summit 


    Wednesday March 26, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM EDT
    Add to Calendar 


    Trinity Washington University
    125 Michigan Avenue, NE
    O'Connell Auditorium
    Washington, DC 200017

    This event is free and open to the public, but faith leaders and official representatives will be given priority in registration. Lunch is included. For more information, please email Ericka Oliver or call (202) 727-7925.

    In partnership with the Mayor's Office on Religious Affairs, DC Homeland and Security Management Agency (HSEMA) and DC Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (DC VOAD), Serve DC invites District houses of worship and faith leaders to participate in this half-day summit to discuss how the faith community can support the city's official Emergency Response System and be better prepared to respond during emergencies and disasters.

    More detailed information on sessions and speakers is forthcoming.

    This event is free and open to the public, but faith leaders and official representatives will be given priority in registration. Lunch is included. For more information, please email Ericka Oliver or call (202) 727-7925.

    Jeffrey D. Richardson, MSW
    Chief Service Officer
    Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism

    Desk 202.727.7200 Mobile 202.297.2137

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    “So You Want to Work for FEMA”. Webinar: March 27, 2014

    Webinar Session 1
    “So You Want to Work for FEMA”

    March 27, 2014                     11:00 am – 12:30 pm EDT

    So you want to work for the world’s finest emergency management agency but are not quite sure how to go about it.  You checked but did not find what you were looking for or even applied without success.  How do you go about getting your resume in front of the “right” person?
    Join the Emergency Management Higher Education Program and Mr. Corey J. Coleman, FEMA Chief Component Human Capital Officer, for a webinar on FEMA’s recruiting activities.  Mr. Coleman and his staff will discuss:
    ·       FEMA locations,
    ·       Authorities available to hire students and recent graduates,
    ·       The Student Volunteer Program,
    ·       Upcoming hiring needs, and
    ·       Tips for the Federal hiring process. 

    There will be time for questions and answers, so come ready to participate and learn about FEMA’s recruiting authorities and activities.

    Point your browser to

    Questions?  Contact Dr. Houston Polson, Director FEMA Emergency Management Higher Education Program at or call 301-447-1262.

    African Union. U.S. Representative Her Excellency Amina Salum Ali

     The Washington Diplomat
    Ambassador Profiles 

    Her Excellency Amina Salum Ali

    Ambassador Amina Salum Ali became the permanent representative of the African Union to the United States on April 13, 2007.

    Ambassador Ali speaks on behalf of the African Union and its member states to accelerate socio-economic integration of the continent, promote peace and stability, and build partnerships between African governments and all segments of civil society, in particular women and youth, as well as the private sector.

    One of the major functions of her office is to support the African diplomatic corps in its efforts to consolidate and strengthen partnerships with both the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government, as well as other federal agencies, the Bretton Woods institutions and the Organization of American States.

    A veteran Tanzanian civil servant and politician, Ambassador Ali was born and raised on the island of Zanzibar and educated in India, where in 1979 she earned a bachelor's degree in economics, and two years later a master's in business administration in marketing. She was a long-serving member of Parliament and has held various ministerial positions in the Tanzanian government, the most recent of which was minister of state in the office of the chief minister in Zanzibar.

    Ambassador Ali also served as a board member of various institutions such as the Tanzania Telecommunication Company and Mzumbe University in Morogoro. In addition, she established various capacity-building institutions including the Institution of Finance Administration and the Presidential Fund for Self- Reliance.

    As the African Union's first woman ambassador, Ambassador Ali is committed to promoting women's rights and children's issues. She is also the founder of Zanzibar Women Welfare Trust, an NGO that supports the development of women and children to combat devastating health issues like HIV/AIDS. Ambassador Ali is also is a member of IDB Bank eminent women panel to mainstream women development policies in the bank.


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