Category Archives: Tanzania

Golden Dawn Immigrants-Fake NeoNazi’s

All those links were sent to me on Twitter and I am more than glad to post them,I do beleive I will find more on those people due time.No threats allowed according to the WP policy or the HR declaration. So please stay vigilant of what you are going to post :)I checked all blog categories so that the post can get the most views possible. Regards!

“##Spiros Macrozonaris## IMMIGRANT Golden Dawn Deputy leader in Montreal, Canada” :

Facebook profile :

INTERESTING FACEBOOK POST MR. MACROZONARIS, HE CANNOT EVEN WRITE GREEK! BAD NAZI BAD! :

His NON 100% PURE GREEK son’s Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/macrozonaris?ref=ts&fref=ts

1. Greek Immigrant who married a “foreigner” >>>>>French-Canadian Doris Morrissette, they bore a son, Nicolas Macrozonaris (World-Class Sprinter – CANADIAN Olympian 🙂 ..who unfortunately is not 100% Pure Greek…

2. Conversations with Nicolas on Twitter, lead to nothing, he is ‘pretending’ that he has NO knowledge of what Golden Dawn supports and believes YET he states that he does not condone his fathers “actions”

Twitter @Macrozonaris TWEETER CONVERSATIONS with Nicolas –>

###### MUST WATCH #####
Video from CBC Montreal, from week of Oct 12th – INTERVIEW with Spiros Macrozonaris – next to him sits LOOSER Ilias Hondronicolas : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-3rbLI4K78

#Ilias Hondronicolas ———> on PHOTO second guy from the left :

#MORE HONDRONICOLAS:

(FRIENDS WITH ELENI ZAROULIA SHARING HER PHOTOS!)
( MUST SEE )

#MORE PAPAGEORGIOU:


Big pharma takes aim at deadly counterfeits

 

By Katie McQue [Source]

GATEWAY TO AFRICA | In Africa the cost of all medications, including generic drugs, exceeds the means of most and many people are faced with a grim choice: purchase counterfeit medications, ingredients unknown, or go without treatment.

With 30% of the total available pharmaceuticals in Uganda believed to be counterfeit, the country, like many others, is struggling to keep control of a business that is both deadly and lucrative.

“A lot of deaths occur. But nobody reports these and nobody is going to investigate,” said Suraj Ali, a partner at the Ugandan legal firm Muwema & Mugerwa.

The situation in Uganda is typical in much of sub-Saharan Africa, and the reasons are economic. In regions of high prevalence of poverty the cost of all medications, including generic drugs, exceeds the means of most. Few people have medical insurance, and they are faced with a grim choice: purchase counterfeit medications – ingredients unknown – or simply go without treatment.

The big pharmaceutical firms are worried. “When you visit a market in Tanzania, you see that they are being sold everywhere,” Ed Wheatley, AstraZeneca’s investigations director for the region, said at June’s Visiongain Pharmaceutical Anti-Counterfeiting conference, in which representatives from major drug makers gathered to deliberate the problem.

This big problem is also a big business – it is widely estimated that counterfeit drugs have an annual turnover of US$75 billion worldwide, with a profit margin of about 70%. This means that the global share of counterfeit medications is 10% of the pharmaceutical market. Around the world 200,000 people die annually due to counterfeits.

Most of the fakes hail from factories in China, India and Pakistan, and counterfeiters are more concerned with matching the packaging than the ingredients of the original. Criminals steal hospital vials with branded labels, print their own hologrammed boxes – even buy tablet-making presses on eBay.

The World Health Organisation estimates that 32.1% of these drugs do not contain any active ingredients; 20.2% have incorrect quantities of active ingredients; 21.4% include wrong ingredients and 8.5% have high levels of impurities or contaminates.

The loss of sales and reputation is significant, as users of the fake drugs may still associate their illness with the genuine article. In some countries, drug makers can also be liable for harm caused by fakes.

In Germany, for example, a company can be called to account if it can be proven that it did not utilise all the possibilities provided by state-of-the-art technology to prevent counterfeiting. In most US states, any part of the manufacturing and sales chain can be liable for damages to the consumer arising from faults in a product’s construction, manufacturing or labelling.

Given this risk it is understandable why pharmaceutical companies are keen to intervene in the African counterfeit market. Some assist local governments with on-the-ground intelligence, leading to raids and prosecutions. This assistance is necessary in countries where awareness is low, resources devoted to the problem are scarce and corruption is high.

“There is a lot of corruption,” Ali said. “A lot of the magistrates are underpaid and they get bribed.

“We have a national drug authority that is supposed to prevent counterfeiting, but it is underfunded,” he added. “There are very few inspectors; they don’t have the equipment to check drugs properly… Things find their way into the country – the borders are very porous.”

 


Jatropha biofuels: UK investors sell controversial crop as 'green'

 

UK fund managers are selling investments in jatropha plantations as a wallet-swelling, planet-saving financial bonanza. But the reality for poor farmers is very different. Andrew Wasley reports

A number of UK-based investment companies are marketing a controversial biofuel crop as an ‘ethical investment’ despite it being linked to conflicts over land, food security and growing hunger in developing countries, the Ecologist has learned.

Onyx World, BluSky Investments, Viceroy Invest and Sustain Investments have been criticised by environmental and anti-poverty campaigners for selling investments in jatropha because of increasing concerns over the crop’s impact on poor communities.

Jatropha, a bushy shrub which grows in Africa, Latin America and south-east Asia, is being touted as a ‘miracle’ biofuel because the plants’ seeds contain a potentially valuable, non-edible, vegetable oil that can be used for biodiesel.

The investment companies are selling jatropha as the new ‘green oil’ and claim it has the potential to alleviate poverty and improve livelihoods in developing countries. One of the plants’ biggest benefits, the companies claim, is that it thrives on low grade, marginal land, and in semi-arid areas with poor soils, thus not competing with food production.

But, according to campaigners, the supposed benefits of jatropha are largely unproven, and the experiences of many farmers encouraged to plant the crop do not tally with the claims of the biofuel industry or its investors. Yields have fallen short of predictions, say farmers, and good agricultural land has been given over to jatropha, threatening food security. Promised incomes have also failed to materialise, it is claimed, because of poor demand for jatropha seeds.

Get rich and save the planet

Onyx World Ltd, based in Colchester, offers investors returns of up to 29 per cent annually if they buy into jatropha. The company’s investment brochure, titled ‘Money really does grow on trees’, claims that jatropha benefits local communities by improving farming practices, stimulating local economies, preserving family units and allowing the use of marginal land.

The environment benefits, Onyx World claims, because jatropha is a carbon neutral fuel source, a replacement for fossil fuels, reduces global warming and does not displace food crops.

Sustain Investments and BluSky make similar claims. Viceroy Invest says investors will be ‘helping to eradicate third world poverty and creating employment, whilst also saving the planet from greenhouse gases’.

The Ecologist’s findings come as a new report by ActionAid links the expansion of industrial biofuels, derived from crops including jatropha, palm oil, soya and sugar cane, to rising food prices and increasing global hunger.

Meredith Alexander, head of trade and corporates at ActionAid, told the Ecologist: ‘ActionAid deals with the harsh realities of a billion people going hungry now and the threat that climate change will make matters even worse. Like snake oil salesmen of old, propagandists for jatropha oil have a list of miraculous claims a mile long, but no matter what they say, jatropha is not a solution to climate change and actually makes hunger worse.’

Friends of the Earth’s Kenneth Richter, said: ‘The positive spin about jatropha made by investment companies doesn’t marry up with the experiences of farmers growing the crop. This so-called biofuel wonder crop is failing farmers and failing the environment. Companies should stop investing in jatropha until they have properly assessed its social and environmental impact.’

Almuth Ernsting, from Biofuel Watch, said that the claims made by the investment companies were ‘highly dubious’ and conflicted with evidence collated by NGOs.

Displacing food crops

Although there is no suggestion the investment companies are directly involved in bad practice or wrongdoing, campaigners say the speedy and unregulated nature of the ‘jatropha rush’ raises doubts that that the crop is being grown in a sustainable or ethical manner.

ActionAid says that in Tanzania the crop is being targeted at areas with good rainfall, fertile soils and well developed infrastructure – ideal locations for food cultivation – rather than marginal land.
In Senegal and Swaziland the group says evidence suggests the plant will only survive with irrigation systems, contradicting industry claims that jatropha grows well with limited water usage. A Friends of the Earth investigation in Swaziland raised similar concerns about jatropha’s apparent ability to grow on land with poor soil and without regular watering.

The Friends of the Earth study also highlighted allegations that farmers were encouraged to sign contracts they did not properly understand, and which couldn’t be terminated for several years, locking the contractor into jatropha production regardless of the crop’s productivity.

Charities say food security in many parts of Africa is being compromised because land for food is being used for crops destined for biofuels, and that this is linked to local rises in food prices:

‘I and the community expected to increase our cash income and revenues by working on the plantation,’ Mamadou Bah, a farmer from Senegal, told ActionAid researchers. ‘Our food is insufficient because we gave away our land. We have to fight for our rights and find alternatives to fill the gap in food and livelihoods.’

A similar story was uncovered in Ghana, where shea trees, traditionally used to make shea butter that is used in cosmetics and soaps and for cooking, have been destroyed to plant jatropha.

‘The shea nuts I am able to pick during the year help me to have my children in school, to buy cloth and also to supplement the household’s food needs when the harvest from my husband’s farm runs out,’ Sanatu Yaw told researchers. ‘But this year I could not get much because of the trees that have been cut. Now they have destroyed the trees so we have lost a good source of income forever, yet we have not been paid anything in compensation.’

Uprooting jatropha plants

In Assam and Megahalaya in north-eastern India, where farmers have been encouraged to grow jatropha on a contract basis, many claim not to be receiving an adequate income, or no income at all – largely because of poor yields and a lack of demand for seeds:

‘Until now we have had no income from the jatropha plantation,’ farmer Parindra Gohain said. ‘They told me it would be two years before we would have income, but it is already three years. People are a little down now because the whole project is already four years running and there is no income. I still hope that I will get profit otherwise I will pull up the plants.’

Raju Sona, another farmer said: ‘No one will buy jatropha. People said if you have a plantation then surely you have a good market, but we didn’t see such good market. When I got the message that there was no market, I got discouraged….I felt very bad. I expected profit. I threw [the seeds] away. They were no use to me. I destroyed the plants because of lack of market. The thing is that we have land, but if I use it for jatropha and I don’t get good production after spending money, it will be a great loss for me.’

The Indian government plans to cultivate jatropha on millions of hectares of land as part of its intensive drive to generate energy. Critics say efforts should be focussed on tackling the country’s chronic hunger problem.

Early claims misleading

Onyx World and Viceroy Invest are both agents for Carbon Credited Farming (CCF) Plc, a London-based company specialising in developing renewable fuel and energy sources.

Although its focus is currently on jatropha, CCF has global interests in genetics, forestry, fertiliser and pesticides. The company says it is currently in the process of securing 70 years of genetics for oil palm which will increase the yields from most Asian oil palm plantations.

CCF states it is committed to best practices in its farming operations, engages in holistic agricultural techniques and permaculture, and is working to develop not-for-profit and charitable giving programmes.

Jeff Reeves, of CCF’s global operations team, said that the company was aware of the criticisms of biofuels, including jatropha, and acknowledged that there have been problems associated with the crop in a number of regions, including India and several African nations.

He cited land evictions in India and people being forced to grow jatropha in Burma as particularly problematic.

‘In many cases it is government policy and people that are to blame, rather than jatropha itself,’ he told the Ecologist. ‘Well managed, jatropha and other biofuel crops can work, but there has been countries where [poor management] has meant this is not the case.’

Reeves said that misleading claims about jatropha, made following early trials and describing it as a ‘wonderweed…. able to grow in deserts’, were to blame for a lot of the hostility the crop is now facing.

He said he would examine some of the claims being made by investment companies offering jatropha cultivated by CCF.

Onyx World referred the Ecologist’s enquiries to CCF. Viceroy Invest, Sustain Investments and BluSky declined to comment.

Some names have been changed. Andrew Wasley is a journalist with investigative agency Ecostorm

Read an article by ActionAid’s Meredith Alexander, ‘Jatropha is no miracle plant for hungry farmers’ here

Onyx World has informed us that the company ceased to offer 90 per cent returns on jatropha investments in September 2009. This article was updated on 29th March, 2010, to reflect this.

 


Jatropha biofuels: the true cost to Tanzania

.Billed as wonder crop, the establishment of jatropha plantations on the ground in Tanzania has been far from successful, or, in some cases, ethical

Biofuel investment and production in Tanzania is a highly contentious issue.

Biofuel investors have been doing business in Tanzania since 2000, but business stepped up a gear after 2006. To date there are 17 investor companies here, from UK, Germany, Sweden, the Nederlands and America – a small number compared to those in Brazil and Indonesia, but a number with clear motives.

With over four million hectares requested by investors for biofuels (but only 650,000 hectares currently allocated), this is a sizeable potential earner for Tanzania.

Or is it? Much of the hype and excitement surrounding biofuels – and surrounding the oil seed crop jatropha in particular – seems to be coming from international consultants and investors. Ministers, farmers, politicians and NGOs who are based here are unanimous in one thing: scepticism. Dr Felician Kilahama, head of Tanzanian Beekeeping and Forestry, and part of the task force overseeing jatropha cultivation in Tanzania puts it succinctly: ‘How will jatropha benefit Tanzania? Well exactly. We have no answers. We want food first, not jatropha’.

Jo Anderson, a Tanzanian environmental consultant, feels similarly:
‘There’s a lot of theory about jatropha. Despite acres of scientific research, there’s no evidence of it working on a large scale at all. It’s driven by the industrialised countries and donors’ need to find potential fuel to mitigate against environmental problems: it’s sold as a plant that grows anywhere: on degraded land, as a hedgerow… Any poor farmer can just put it in, and get rich. But jatropha doesn’t grow on the commercial industrial scale needed to run biodiesel plants: the transaction costs of large scale don’t add up. On a small scale, say 500 villages, you could produce the oil for this village to cook on, but not enough to run it at the size the investors need.’

READ OUR EXCLUSIVE INVESTIGATION INTO THE UK FUND MANAGERS SELLING JATROPHA AS AN ETHICAL INVESTMENT

A crop of questions

The arguments around jatropha fall into several distinct categories. First the land-use debate: can it actually be grown on marginal land? Should valuable land be used for food, or fuel? And how should land be partitioned, both nationally and at village level? What about the water and forests on that land: how does one calculate their actual economic, social, cultural, ecological and projected value, and to whom? Locals or investors?

And then come questions of benefit: will Tanzania actually profit from biofuels – can we use biofuels here rather than simply export to Europe and the US?

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) claims that over 70 per cent of Tanzania is potentially available for agriculture, yet for this to be true valuable indigenous forest must be cut down. Dr Felician Kilahuma, Head of The Beekeeping and Forestry Ministry is worried: ‘Thus far villagers who are desperately poor have sold off land at way below its market value to biofuel investors without fully understanding or thinking it through – they are selling off valuable investments. Plus of course, in Rufigi [an area in Southern Tanzania], one of the 25 allocated global hotspots – an area of ‘outstanding natural biodiversity’ – 81,000 hectares were given over to [bioenergy company] SEKAB for biofuels. This is valuable forest, where the rare hardwoods African blackwood, and mpingo are grown.’

SEKAB was in the process of closing down its operations in Tanzania as this article was written and refused to comment: so far the future of this plantation is unclear.

Land clearances

The story is not an isolated case. A report published by WWF Tanzania in March 2009, ‘Biofuel Industry Study: An Assessment of the Current Situation’, includes a very long list of endemic animals and plants (including rare orchids and the rarest bush baby in the world – Galago rondoensis) on the the redlist living in areas where Dutch firm BioShape has plantations.

Land has been cleared there, admits BioShape, but not by burning, and the company says it has paid compensation. Opponents say the land was not gained legally, and that it makes no sense to counter climate change through deforestation. The Makonde carvers flourish in this area, and the hardwoods are used to make woodwind instruments. And, as Fred Nelson, of the NGO Tanzania Natural Resources Forum points out, ‘The World Bank says managed forests can potentially earn $25-$50 a month for villagers, from medicinal products, food, charcoal… we don’t know what jatropha can earn for people yet’.

Mark Baker, of EI consultants based in Tanzania, is less equivocal:
‘Recently, in Kilwa, the Dutch firm BioShape rejected land that is labelled barren, or idle, in favour of fertile forest, the Namatimbile, the largest coastal forest in East Africa. Why did they do that if jatropha can grow on weak land? And anyway, what exactly is ‘barren’ land if it is being used extensively by pastoralists?’

Like SEKAB, BioShape said that it has now completely ceased operations in Tanzania, for reasons that are unclear. No-one from the company was prepared to comment on its activities.

Not indigenous

SEKAB and Bioshape are not alone: of the nine other major jatropha investors in Tanzania, 90 per cent are using at least some land that is not considered ‘marginal’, according to WWF.

A key question is whether jatropha really is as hardy and durable as its supporters claim. Geoffrey Howard, of the International Union of Conservation of Nature in Kenya says: ‘Because jatropha is used locally on graves by East Africans we assume it’s indigenous. It’s not. Jatopha is essentially an invasive species. It is thirsty, needs irrigation and in no studies has it met the expectations of projected yields, either in terms of fruit, or oil produced.’

Jam tomorrow

Perhaps the least investigated side of the jatropha debate is the social and economic implications. It is hard for most people in the industrialised world to imagine the level of desperation that many Tanzanians experience. In the Rufigi Delta, where Swedish firm SEKAB has recently halted its work with jatropha, locals look set to be bitterly disappointed.

Mohamed Osman Makaui, a resident of Nyamage village in Rufigi, who was unaware the project had completely stopped, told me: ‘Overall my expectations for the future of the village are good and I am hopeful about the presence of the [biofuel] company here. If the company sticks to what they have agreed in their discussions with us, the income of our village will grow and everyone will benefit from their presence.’

According to WWF’s report, no compensation had been paid for land at the time of publication in March 2009, and no jobs created. The campaign group also alleged that glaring holes exist where labour relations, child labour and health and safety considerations should be; though Tanzanian law states these are necessary preconditions for investors, in practice they can’t enforce these practices. At the time, SEKAB told WWF that it was still waiting for the land deeds, and that compensation will be paid when these are received. Now that the company has ceased operations in Tanzania, the likelihood of compensation being paid is unknown.

In a damning Oxfam report, ‘Another Inconvenient Truth’, a subsidiary of British firm Sun Biofuels plc was criticised for telling the press it was awarding compensation of over $600,000 to villagers who allowed jatropha to be planted on their land, a figure that was later revealed to be twice the offered amount, and many times what actually seems to have been taken up by villagers who were uncertain on what to do with their claim forms.

In fact, WWF’s research suggests that even where land was purchased, over half the biofuel investors did not carry out Environmental Impact Assessments, and none consulted villagers or informed them of what they were doing, or offered villagers opportunities in farming management.

A way forward?

There is clearly a big need for thorough and comprehensive minimum standards for jatropha investors, both before they arrive in Tanzania, and once they are here.

Says Professor Pius Yanda at the Institute for Research on Environment at the University of Dar Es Salaam: ‘At the moment there is a complete freeze on jatropha investors, as we assess what our options are for jatropha. Minimum guidelines need to include clear definitions of no-go areas for investors, and a policy for jatropha use here in Tanzania, so we run our own cars, buses and factories on jatropha. At present Fairtrade International is researching jatropha as a fair trade product, we shall see.’

But jatropha could yet be produced in an equitable and sustainable way. On the ground in Tanzania, firms were distinctly cagey about agreeing to let the Ecologist look at their projects, but one notable exception was Diligent Energy Systems. After two years, this small Dutch company has signed up 5000 farmers to grow jatropha.

What makes Diligent so interesting is that it owns no land. Effectively it ‘outsources’ the growing: villagers get the economic benefits of money for seeds and cultivation. Secondary benefits include oil for cooking stoves, lamps, oilseed cake (which Diligent is encouraging villagers to put into anaerobic digesters, producing biogas with which to cook), soap, and fertiliser for use on other crops.

There’s no perceptible negative impact, though as Hayo De Feijter, general manager of Diligent, admits: ‘It’s not terribly profitable for farmers yet – 5kg of jatropha yields about 1 litre of oil, but potentially it’s only positive. We aim to make money for local farmers, and for the company, and we avoid all the environmental problems or compensation issues: we pay there and then. If this model could be developed – outgrowing schemes – it’s very hopeful.’

The farmers seem to agree with him. Mzee El Rahema, based in Makoa, in West Kilimanjaro says: ‘I get 180 shillings per kilo (18 pence) of jatropha; I do farming as well, but the extra income means the kids get food, schooling, clothes. It absolutely, definitely does help me and our community, and I am delighted.’

Thembi Mutch is a freelance journalist based in Tanzania

Source


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