Solar plans for Lang Lang

first_imgBy Kyra Gillespie The renewable energy developers behind a proposed 150-acre hybrid solar and battery farm in Lang Lang say…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

City hotels report high occupancy, increased bookings

first_imgCPL gives boost to economy─ from influx of cricketers, officials, fans, tourists By Shemuel FanfairThe Caribbean Premier League (CPL) cricket tournament could be described as “a gift that keeps on giving”.Several hotels across the country — both large and smaller establishments — have run out of space to accommodate the influx of overseas guests, and this is a sure indication that the local economy is slated to receive an additional boost from increased arrivals.The Roraima Duke Lodge Hotel, KingstonGuyana Times understands that accommodation establishments are booked out for this weekend as the Guyana Amazon Warriors take on their rivals in a set of exhilarating Twenty-20 cricket matches. And the fans of those rival teams have descended on Guyana to root for their teams, even as thousands of Guyanese will be in the thick of things, confidently anticipating their home team would triumph over all opposition.Reliable information reaching this publication details that well-known establishments like the Ramada Princess Hotel, Duke Lodge and Regency Suites Hotel are fully booked at least up to Monday. While the Regency was said to not have any extra accommodation for the next 6 days, the Guyana Marriott Hotel reportedly still has rooms available; but the general consensus is that increases were recorded.The Regency Suites in GeorgetownThe nexus has been drawn that these increases fall in line with the current stretch of CPL games which conclude this Tuesday. The six teams contesting this year’s tournament are the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, Trinbago Knight Riders, Barbados Tridents, St Lucia Stars, and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.As reported, the CPL games have added significantly to the Guyanese economy over the years. In 2016, some US$17 million were added to the local economy as direct and spin-off effects from CPL. This net sum had been calculated by assessing the influx of tourists to the country, hotel bookings, vending during the games, and the overall spending of persons during this period.Guyana Times has also noted that, last year, approximately US$90 million were poured into the entire Caribbean region as a result of the CPL tournaments. United Kingdom-based research firm SMG Insight/YouGov had carried a study on the tournament which indicated that the event generated US$102 million across all seven host venues.The Guyana Marriott Hotel in GeorgetownSt Kitts was last year’s biggest recipient, with US$22.7 million (EC$61.2 million) injected into its economy; while Barbados recorded an economic boost of nearly US$16 million (Bds$32 million). The Barbados Tourist Board’s shirt sponsorship deal with the Tridents franchise had managed to generate US$7.7 million in media value – representing a 128 per cent increase over the 2015 numbers.Trinidad and Tobago had also benefited to the tune of some US$14 million (TT$93.6 million) from the CPL, although total visitor spending had declined to US$2.9 million, some 25 per cent less than the 2015 figure.St Lucia, which witnessed the St Lucia Zouks reaching the playoffs for the first time, saw US$10.8 million flowing into its economy, with visitor spending and media value also rising significantly over last year’s figures.last_img read more

Reversible lane OK’d for Mulholland Tunnel

first_imgIt is the worst traffic bottleneck in Los Angeles. And after more than eight years of debate and study, the City Council on Wednesday approved an $11.3 million plan to create a reversible lane during rush hours through the Mulholland Tunnel on Sepulveda Boulevard. At any given time of day, the three-lane Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel separating the San Fernando Valley from West Los Angeles carries nine times the usual amount of traffic in one direction or the other. But under the plan, city officials will reconfigure the lanes to add a southbound lane in mornings and a northbound lane in evenings to accommodate traffic flows. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Message boards will be installed in both directions and special lights within the tunnel will be installed to inform motorists when the lanes are open. The tunnel also will be connected to the city’s electronic-monitoring system so traffic can be reviewed constantly. Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Jack Weiss hailed the project, saying they had been working for years to get homeowner groups and neighborhood councils to back the project. “When you’re leaving the city and going to the Valley during rush hour, it makes no sense to require drivers to go from two lanes to one lane,” Weiss said. “It is a bottleneck without any purpose. A reversible lane will provide great improvement for drivers from the Valley and to the Valley.” Rosendahl said the reversible lane is part of overall improvement efforts along Sepulveda Boulevard from the tunnel to Wilshire Boulevard. Other parts of the program designed to improve traffic flow include creating right-turn pockets, lengthening left-turn lanes and creating a bicycle path. Officials said construction is expected to begin in June 2008 and take one year. (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Burnley will be stronger this time, says Dyche ahead of Chelsea match-up

first_imgSean Dyche believes his Burnley side will present a different proposition to Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday than the one brushed aside 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in August.The Clarets go into the game seeking an eighth straight home win after turning Turf Moor into the kind of fortress which leaves them riding high in 12th place, nine points clear of the relegation zone.While Antonio Conte’s side are also offering a more potent threat than at the start of the campaign, Dyche believes his players have every reason to approach their daunting challenge with confidence.Dyche said: “It (the Chelsea game) was early in the season and they played miles better than us on the day.“Beyond this result we’ve morphed into a stronger unit with a bit more experience and knowledge of what the Premier League is about – it doesn’t guarantee a result but it does give you a better chance.”Despite the one-sided win at Stamford Bridge Conte’s men were still struggling to find the right formation in August and Dyche pinpointed the switch to three at the back as the turning point in the visitors’ season.“The biggest thing was when they changed their formation – that seems to have worked well for them and it looks like they’ve got that feeling where everyone knows their job,” added Dyche.“They’re a fine side but they were before really. Even with Conte and his experience it takes time to get the players to adapt and know what he wants from them, and they’ve done that now.“Every game is a test in the Premier League but (Chelsea) are so strong at the moment that it is probably the biggest challenge we’ve had. They are top of the league for a reason.”Robbie Brady and Ashley Westwood could be handed their first starts for the Clarets after coming off the bench in last week’s 2-1 defeat at Watford.Jeff Hendrick starts the first match of a three-game suspension after his red card at Vicarage Road, while Steven Defour and Dean Marney are still both ruled out.For Dyche, his success in bringing in a number of new players in the January transfer window could prove crucial for the season run-in if injuries and suspensions begin to bite.He added: “If things go against a player, whether it be injuries or suspension, it gives the other players a chance and players who have been waiting for that chance.“You want people to come in and affect that and they’re a group who are ready to affect that, so we are pleased with the way they’re operating.” 1 The Burnley boss is confident his team will be stronger this time around last_img read more

Best assist-to-goalscorer partnerships in the Premier League – top 10 ranked

first_imgAlvaro Morata scored his seventh Premier League goal of the season on Sunday, netting past David de Gea as Chelsea defeated Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.It was the Spain forward’s fourth headed goal of the campaign, making him the most influential aerial threat in England’s top flight with at least two more headers than any other player.When he arrived in west London, Morata was well regarded for his hold-up play and teamwork, and there is one specific Chelsea player he is combining with excellently.Morata’s goal against Man United was assisted by Cesar Azpilicueta, who sent in a cross from the inside-forward position to the striker that is becoming a frequent sight for Chelsea supporters.In fact, Azpilicueta has assisted five goals for Morata which ranks as the best assist-to-goalscorer combination in the entire Premier League this season.But who else makes up the top 10 in this ranking? Click the right arrow, above, to see the results… 10 Sadio Mane has assisted two goals for Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) 10 10 Sead Kolasinac has assisted two goals for Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) 10 Riyad Mahrez has assisted two goals for Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) Kieran Trippier has assisted four goals for Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) 10 Dominic Calvert-Lewin has assisted two goals for Wayne Rooney (Everton) 10 Nathan Redmond has assisted two goals for Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton) Matt Ritchie has assisted two goals for Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United) Harry Maguire has assisted two goals for Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) Cesar Azpilicueta has assisted five goals for Alvaro Morata (Chelsea) 10 Henrikh Mkhitaryan has assisted two goals for Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) 10 10 10last_img read more

Arsenal consider offering new contract to Welbeck to fend off interest

first_img shining Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Danny Welbeck could be offered a new deal by Arsenal However, the Gunners have already allowed Aaron Ramsey to join Juventus for free and losing another player who has vast Premier League experience may be a costly mistake.Furthermore, Unai Emery is a fan of Welbeck’s versatility – with the former Man United star a very popular figure among the dressing room. Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions gameday cracker Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won ADVICE huge blow Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS 2 no dice 2 Welbeck, 28, is out of contract in the summer and would be an attractive asset in the summer on a free transfer.Everton, West Ham and Newcastle are reportedly monitoring the progress of the striker to see if a new deal will be offered.There is no indication that Welbeck would be willing to sign a new agreement to keep him north London bound as he may want a move away to be guaranteed more first team opportunities. Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ BEST OF Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Arsenal are considering offering Danny Welbeck a new contract to stay at the Emirates, according to reports.The striker has been recovering well from a serious ankle injury that has kept him out for most of the season and according to the Mirror, a new deal is being discussed by the Gunners hierarchy. tense Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Welbeck is currently the third choice No 9 at the club, with both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette proffered in the role.The other option is that the Gunners offer him a deal on the basis of how much he plays due to his persistent injury problems – but he may be reluctant to agree to those terms.It was widely reported Welbeck would be on his way out of Arsenal following his ankle injury that has kept him out since November last year. REVEALED Unai Emery likes Welbeck for his versatility and could keep him on at the club REPLY last_img read more

How England should line up in Euro 2020 qualifiers, according to stats

first_img Chelsea fan arrested for allegedly racially abusing Heung-min Son AFP or licensors Things appear to be ok between Sterling and Gomez but the Man City star will not play England’s next match Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week Smalling, 29, hasn’t played for England since June 2017 Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:47Loaded: 20.70%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:47 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen The incident has cost Sterling his place in the starting XI against Montenegro but he is still with the squad so is in contention to play in the final qualifier at Kosovo on Sunday – a game you can also listen to LIVE on talkSPORT, kick-off 5pm.Meanwhile, Tom Heaton, Ross Barkley and Fabian Delph have pulled out injured. Jordan Henderson won’t play against Montenegro either as he’s suspended but is available to face Kosovo.Manager Gareth Southgate will therefore be making changes. But who should be playing, according to the stats? has consulted WhoScored to see which players should start actually start at Wembley and out in Kosovo based on who the top player is in each position that have also made at least eight appearances in their specific role this season. Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman You can listen to full commentary of England vs Montenegro LIVE on talkSPORT, kick-off 7:45pm.This will actually be England’s 1000th international but their preparation has been overshadowed by a training ground bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.What every team must do to qualify for Euro 2020The pair clashed during the closing stages of Liverpool’s win over Manchester City on Sunday.However, their dispute was clearly not resolved and it is understood Man City star Sterling grabbed Reds defender Gomez by the throat at St George’s Park less than 24 hours later and the Liverpool defender was pictured with a mark just below his eye the following day. Getty Images – Getty 8 Five of these players are not in England’s squad Lundstram has three Premier League goals this season targets England vs Montenegro (Thursday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORTCoventry vs Rochdale (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2Azerbaijan vs Wales (Saturday, 5pm) – talkSPORT 2Tranmere vs Wycombe (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2Kosovo vs England (Sunday, 5pm) – talkSPORT Should Ramsdale have been called up by Southgate? Harry Maguire, who’s move to Old Trafford led to Smalling’s departure in the summer, is all the way down in eighth with a rating of 6.88.Midfielders: John Lundstram, Mason Mount, James Ward-ProwseIn midfield, only one player from Southgate’s squad makes this XI with Mount boasting a rating of 7.20.But in the defensive midfield role there’s something of a surprise with Sheffield United man John Lundstram the best performing player in that position with a rating of 6.95.Lundstram started his career at Everton but is playing in the top flight for the first time this season and he has been brilliant.He was the Blades’ best player in their draw at Tottenham last weekend, striking the post with a crisp strike in the first half. stalemate Getty Images – Getty appointed 8 LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Chris Smalling, Fikayo Tomori, Ben ChilwellLiverpool fans will wonder what Alexander-Arnold has to do to be a regular starter for England and so do the stats. The right-back has a rating of 7.36. He’s ahead of Atletico Madrid star Kieran Trippier, who is rated at 7.17.At left-back, Chilwell edges out Danny Rose with a rating of 7.16 to Rose’s 6.61.The centre-back pairing is a surprise though with Fikayo Tomori partnering Chris Smalling, who is on loan at Roma from Manchester United.In fact, it’s Smalling who is considered to be the best performing English centre-back with a rating of 7.26 while Chelsea youngster Tomori is rated 7.09. Kosovo vs England – with Henderson and SterlingBut against Kosovo, Henderson and Sterling are allowed to play so this is the XI that should start against Kosovo if the WhoScored database was the England manager. 8 Liverpool transfer news live: Mbappe latest, Lille star wants to join Reds in future 8 Dean Ashton on Sterling-Gomez bust-upcenter_img Getty Images – Getty Getty Images – Getty Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ Getty – Contributor 8 Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti rookie error Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship Exclusive: Smalling on his new Roma chapter 8 8 update Formation: 4-3-3Goalkeeper: Aaron RamsdaleJordan Pickford, Dean Henderson and Nick Pope are the keepers Southgate has to choose from in these upcoming qualifiers.But Bournemouth man Ramsdale is the best performing English stopper so far this season with a WhoScored rating of 6.87 out of 10.Pickford, who is likely to start both games, is actually the sixth-best performing English goalkeeper this season, according to the stats. WhoScored’s England team to face Kosovo statement Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta In the second half, he was on the wrong end of the tightest VAR call of the season as Lundstram was offside by a mere toe’s length before David McGoldrick put the ball in the net.And in Henderson’s absence for the Kosovo game, it spells an opportunity for Southampton man James Ward-Prowse, who has a score of 6.86.This is a surprise given Saints’ poor start to the Premier League season. They are currently 19th.James Maddison and Jack Grealish miss out having played as wingers at different points this season meaning they failed to fit the appearance criteria. 8 on target Ward-Prowse scored against Man City earlier this month but Saints lost the game 2-1 Forwards: Jadon Sancho, Tammy Abraham, Dwight McNeilSterling has been in excellent form this season and has a rating of 7.64 but as he’s not playing against Montenegro he’s been left out of this XI.The next best performing left winger this season has actually been Burnley man Dwight McNeil, who is rated 7.19 so far this campaign.Despite being taken off during Borussia Dortmund’s 4-0 defeat at Bayern last weekend, Sancho has been the best performing Englishman on the right with a 7.53 rating.Meanwhile, Chelsea youngster Abraham has knocked Harry Kane off as England’s top striker with a rating of 7.59 compared to Kane’s 7.01. Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff Gareth Southgate will want to book England’s place at Euro 2020 as early as possible latest England will be looking to secure their place at Euro 2020 when they face Montenegro at Wembley tonight.The Three Lions have a three-point lead at the top of their qualifying group and need just a point from their final two games as second placed Czech Republic and third placed Kosovo face each other on Thursday too. LIVE on talkSPORTlast_img read more

Tigers football falls to Neenah, just misses 3-0 start

first_imgBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD – The Marshfield football team played its best half of the season in the first half of Friday’s Valley Football Association South Division game against Neenah.In the second half, however, the tables turned.Marshfield committed three turnovers on its final four possessions and couldn’t get the ball back from the Rockets in the final 6 minutes on its way to its first loss of the season.Jose Alba-Zielinski caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from Joe Jung with 8:25 to go in the fourth quarter for the go-ahead score as the Rockets pulled out a 27-24 win at Beell Stadium. Both teams are now 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the VFA South.Marshfield led 21-14 at halftime and pushed the lead to 10 after a 33-yard field goal by Zach McManus on its opening drive of the third quarter.A fumbled snap was recovered by Neenah’s Sam Ferron at the Tigers’ 19 and Austin Belot scored on the next play to cut Marshfield’s lead to 24-21 with 1:28 to go in the third quarter.Marshfield punted on its next two possessions and following the second punt, Jung hit Alba-Zielinski on a short pass and the Neenah senior outran the Tigers’ defense for the long touchdown to put the Rockets ahead.Marshfield had its next drive end on an interception and the Rockets were able to convert four first downs – two coming on fourth down – to run out the final 5:59 of the game.“We were in a dog fight again, lose this one by three, and turnovers were an issue,” Marshfield coach Denny Goettl said. “We’ll keep coming together, we’ll keep playing as hard as we can, and keep battling back.”Belot finished with 175 yards rushing on 25 carries and Jung had 211 yards passing and 69 on the ground to lead the Neenah attack.Nick Hoheisel had his third-straight 100-yard rushing game, piling up 137 yards on 28 carries, and he also scored a touchdown for the Tigers. Quarterback Tyson Slade had 148 yards passing and had a dazzling 22-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the first quarter.Slade hit Jon Hardinger on a fade pattern in the right corner of the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown just 1:21 into the game to put the Tigers on top.Alba-Zielinski caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Jung to tie the game before Slade’s run put the Tigers back on top.Slade scrambled out of the pocket, took off down the left sideline and turned across the field, scoring near the right sideline.Hoheisel’s 6-yard touchdown run gave Marshfield a 21-7 lead with 5:18 left in the first half, but Neenah quickly scored when Alec Elkin had a 61-yard TD catch from Jung.McManus’ field goal capped a nine-play drive to open the second half for the Tigers, but they wouldn’t score again as the turnovers mounted.Goettl said the Tigers are going to find themselves in close games throughout the season, and the first three games are perfect examples.“We know who we are,” Goettl said. “I keep saying ‘dog fight’ and I hope the kids understand now. The last couple of weeks they came out on our end. We’ll battle back and get going. We just have to get healthy again.”Marshfield plays at Oshkosh West next Friday. The game starts at 8:15 p.m. at Titan Stadium and will be broadcast on WDLB-AM 1450 and City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of Rockets 27, Tigers 24Neenah 7 7 7 6 – 27Marshfield 14 7 3 0 – 24First QuarterM – Jon Hardinger 27 pass from Tyson Slade (Zach McManus kick), 10:39.N – Jose Alba-Zielinski 45 pass from Joe Jung (Chris Keider kick), 8:10.M – Slade 22 run (McManus kick), 0:34.Second QuarterM – Nick Hoheisel 6 run (McManus kick), 5:18.N – Alec Elkin 61 pass from Jung (Keider kick), 2:48.Third QuarterM – McManus 33 field goal, 8:21.N – Austin Belot 19 run (Keider kick), 1:28.Fourth QuarterN – Alba-Zielinski 64 pass from Jung (kick blocked), 8:25.Team StatisticsFirst downs: Neenah 15; Marshfield 15.Rushing (att-yards): Neenah 43-248; Marshfield 37-157.Passing (comp-att-yards-int): Neenah 7-19-211-0; Marshfield 10-19-148-2.Penalties (no.-yards): Neenah 10-87; Marshfield 7-85.Punting (no.-avg.): Neenah 3-39.0; Marshfield 3-38.3.Fumbles (total-lost): Neenah 0-0; Marshfield 2-1.Individual StatisticsRushing: N, Austin Belot 25-175, Joe Jung 16-69, Jose Alba-Zielinski 1-5, No. 36 (no name provided) 1-2. M, Nick Hoheisel 28-137, Tyson Slade 4-14, Braden Bohman 5-6.Passing: N, Jung 7-19-211-0. M, Slade 10-19-148-2.Receiving: N, Alba-Zielinski 3-119, Alec Elkin 2-63, Belot 2-29. M, Bohman 4-74, Jon Hardinger 4-50, Isaac Huettl 1-17, Hoheisel 1-7.Punting: N, Alba-Zielinski 3-38.0. M, Zach McManus 3-37.3.Fumble recovery (defense): N, Sam Ferron.Interceptions (defense): N, Jung, Brandon Diedrich.Records: Neenah 2-1, 1-1 Valley Football Association South; Marshfield 2-1, 1-1 VFA South.last_img read more

CSIR at the World Water Forum

first_imgThe Orange River is one of South Africa’smajor water sources. (Image: GraemeWilliams, more photos, visit the image library.)Janine ErasmusThe Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will feature prominently at the World Water Forum in Istanbul this month, with a number of the organisation’s groundbreaking research projects going on show. Top South African water scientists will also take part in discussions and presentations.CSIR group executive Khungeka Njobe is excited about the organisation’s participation in the fifth edition of the World Water Forum (WWF5), particularly as South Africa is on the shortlist to host the next event.“South Africa is competing against France and Canada to host WWF6 in 2012,” she said. “We will be using this opportunity to share with the global water community our progressive legislative and policy framework and world-class research. The Department of Water Affairs is leading the bid process, but the CSIR has a critical role to play in demonstrating the country’s leadership in water research.”The host for 2012 will be announced during the forthcoming session. Should South Africa be awarded the sixth World Water Forum, it will be a major coup for the southern hemisphere, which has never had the chance to host the event. The country’s bid is centred on Durban, which has the infrastructure and facilities to host an event of this magnitude.The 2012 World Water Forum in South Africa will mean that water problems relevant to sub-Saharan Africa will come under the global spotlight, and that the Southern African Development Community region will be placed on the global water map. The event will give Africa the chance to become a valued contributor to the water-related issues of the world, rather than merely a recipient of donor aid and professional advice.Top-level representationCSIR projects on display at the Forum include acid mine drainage methodologies, human health projects, rural service delivery, and programmes focusing on water for growth and development. Many of these projects fall under the CSIR Built Environment and CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment sectors.CSIR representatives at WWF5 include engineer Dr Kevin Wall, CSIR water resources manager Marius Claassen and researcher Renias Dube. Wall is also scheduled to present a paper on South Africa’s strategy for water services asset management, and the three scientists will assist Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry Lindiwe Hendricks during the week-long event. Hendricks will host a round table involving her ministerial counterparts from around the world.The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s Water for Growth and Development programme, one of the projects on show in Istanbul, is in the running for the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize, one of three prestigious water-related awards up for grabs.The other two awards are the Turkish Republic Prime Minister’s Water Prize, and the Kyoto World Water Grand Prize.The King Hassan prize, worth R1-million (US$100 000), is for individuals or organisations that have made outstanding contributions in various aspects of water resources, whether scientific, economic, technical, environmental, social, institutional, cultural or political.The Kyoto prize is worth R280 000 ($28 000) and acknowledges grassroots-level activities that work towards addressing critical water needs of communities and regions. The Turkish Republic Prime Minister’s Water Prize is for journalistic excellence in the coverage of water issues. A prize of R264 000 (€20 000) each will be awarded to two journalists.Global collaboration on water problemsAccording to the World Water Council, 1.1-billion people around the world live without clean drinking water, and 2.6-billion people lack adequate sanitation. Poor access to safe water increases child mortality by up to 20 times, and in areas not served by usable water 3 900 children die every day from water-borne diseases.The World Water Forum is the largest water-related event in the world and aims to facilitate global collaboration on these critical water problems. The forum is organised by the World Water Council and takes place every three years, providing an ideal platform for policy-makers from all over the world to press for greater political commitment to and higher priority for water management strategies.The 2009 forum takes place in March in Istanbul, Turkey, after successful events in Mexico (2006), Kyoto (2003), The Hague (2000), and Marrakech (1997). This year’s theme is “Bridging Divides for Water” and is a reference to the location – Istanbul stands at the cross-roads of Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Africa – as well as the intent of providing a bridge between the developed and developing worlds.There are a number of side events associated with the main forum, among them the World Water Forum Expo and Water Fair, the Global Water Education Village, and the Youth World Water Forum.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at linksWorld Water ForumWorld Water Forum – Facebook pageWorld Water CouncilDepartment of Water Affairs and ForestryWater for Growth and Development (pdf)last_img read more

The sky is not the limit for African astronaut Mandla Maseko

first_imgAstronaut Mandla Maseko will feature in the next instalment of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to be aired on Sunday 20 July at 9pm on SABC2. Maseko won the global Axe Apollo Space Academy competition for an hour long sub-orbital trip of 62 miles, or about 100 kilometres. Handpicked for the trip on the Lynx Mark II Spaceship, Maseko is one of only 23 civilians from around the world to win a seat on the space mission. He saw off a million other entrants to emerge victorious. (Image: Sthe Shabangu)• Brand South Africa+27 11 483• South Africa takes to space • Ubuntu coming to phones• Blast-off for space weather centre • Ubuntu beats Windows and Mac • From township to space, the world’s first black African astronautMelissa Jane CookIt is an extraordinary dream come true. Like music to Mandla Maseko’s ears, this part-time DJ will blast off into space, literally. No-one in Maseko’s family has ever stepped outside South Africa, but now the 25-year-old is preparing to rocket into space in 2015.Maseko won the global Axe Apollo Space Academy competition for an hour long sub-orbital trip of 62 miles, or about 100 kilometres. Handpicked for the trip on the Lynx Mark II Spaceship, Maseko is one of only 23 civilians from around the world to win a seat on the space mission. He saw off a million other entrants to emerge victorious.The son of a toolmaker and a cleaning supervisor, he hails from the dusty Mabopane Township near Pretoria. He will be the first black African, and the only other South African besides billionaire Mark Shuttleworth to have gone into space. Shuttleworth is a white entrepreneur and philanthropist who bought a seat on a Russian Soyuz capsule for £12-million and spent eight days on board the International Space Station in 2002.“Excitement does not begin to describe how I feel right now,” Maseko told the Pretoria News daily. “If there was a better word than ‘excitement’ I would use it.” He was forced to put his civil engineering studies on hold because he could not pay the fees; now will get to experience zero gravity and a journey that normally comes with a $100 000 price tag.He heard the news of his achievement on 5 December 2013, only a few hours after the death of Nelson Mandela. “I have run the race and completed the course, now here is the torch,” Maseko imagined Mandela would have said to him. “Continue running the race and here’s the title to go with it.”Watch Mandla Maseko discussing his once in a lifetime opportunity:Entering the competitionIn August 2013, Maseko was lying on the couch when he heard an advertisement for the competition on the radio and decided to enter, along with thousands of other South Africans. “I needed to send in a picture of myself jumping off something. I jumped off the wall in the backyard. I had to do it three times before I was happy with the picture.” His motivation for entering, he said was because he wanted “to defy the laws of gravity”.Hopefuls from more than 105 countries competed for a spot on the shuttle. Only 30 entrants from South Africa were selected from a field of 85 000 determined individuals for the first set of challenges in Free State; they were cut down to three, who went to the US for further gruelling preparations. Maseko was among them – one black, one white, one of Indian origin. “We wanted to show South Africa is way past the colour of our skin. We are the human race.”From December 1 to 8, Maseko and fellow South Africans Dean Roddan and Haroon Osman faced arduous challenges at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida. This would test their resolve, strength and courage.While at the Axe Apollo Space Academy, Maseko engaged in a series of missions that gave all recruits a taste of the thrills and trials faced by real astronauts. Among training missions, he learned to pilot an Air Combat USA aircraft and braced himself for the strength of blast off in a G-Force Simulator at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex.Other challenges included skydiving, building and launching a rocket and conquering obstacle courses. “Unfortunately we could not get our rocket to launch, but we made up points because we were judged on bravery, enthusiasm and teamwork,” Maseko said. “We face things head on. I knew I had to learn, master and excel at the challenges, so I did.”Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, was one of the competition’s judges, and Maseko got the opportunity to meet Aldrin when he was announced a winner. “I got to shake his hand three times. I was like, ‘Oh, is this you?’ He said, ‘Yes, it is me!’” For Maseko, the encounter was magical. “This is how it feels to be out in space,” he thought.Aldrin is among 12 people – all American, all men and all white – to have walked on the moon. But Africa has growing space ambitions: the majority of the Square Kilometre Array, the world’s biggest and most powerful radio telescope, will be spread across South Africa and eight other countries on the continent.Watch Mandla Maseko discussing Space Jump Suits:Destined for greatnessHe was a “typical ekasi township boy” who still lived at home with his parents and four siblings, said Maseko. His father, who grew up in such poverty that he got his first pair of shoes when he was 16, was determined that his children would never go hungry. “I don’t remember going to bed without having eaten,” he said. “My dad provided for us. He is my hero, and then Nelson Mandela comes after.“I’m not trying to make this a race thing but us blacks grew up dreaming to a certain stage. You dreamed of being a policeman or a lawyer, but you knew you wouldn’t get as far as pilot or astronaut. Then I went to space camp and I thought, ‘I can actually be an astronaut.’”But he had known since he was a boy that he was destined for greatness. “We were not brought up to believe we can be bigger than big, but I always knew I would be.” His mom, Ouma Maseko, agreed: “When I was pregnant with him in 1988, I knew I would give birth to a star,” she said.The young Maseko’s imagination was fired by the science fiction series Star Trek and films such as Armageddon and Apollo 13. “I thought, that looks fun. No matter what life throws at you, you can use it and come out on top. If you get lemons, you must make lemon juice… My life has taken a total turn and this is my big break. People will be telling their children and grandchildren that I was the first black South African youth in space.”Plans for the futureDuring the long wait before his trip, Maseko hopes to complete his civil engineering qualification. One day when he had money, he said, he wanted to pay for the education of a child from his area. This humble boy has been offered a gigantic launch pad and the ability to defy the laws of physical and political gravity. His long-term plans are to study aeronautical engineering and qualify as a space mission specialist with the ultimate dream of planting the South African flag on the moon.“South Africa has come a long way. We have reached a stage where we are equal and we are one. This year is the 20th anniversary of democracy and what better way to celebrate than sending the first black South African into space?”The idea of making history when South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy, appeals to him. “The vision of all youths here in Mabopane is to drive a taxi, do drugs or work on houses. It’s good to be a solution to your township rather than a problem. I want to break that system and this is a nice way to go down in history. I believe that will motivate me. The sky is not the limit.”Derek Hanekom, the minister of science and technology at the time – he became tourism minister in May this year – saw Maseko as a role model for “the future generation of space professionals and enthusiasts”. His experience could not have come at a better time than “when Africa is gearing up its space ambitions” as host to the world’s biggest and most powerful radio astronomy telescope, said Hanekom.The director of that project, Bernie Fanaroff, also hailed Maseko as an ambassador for science. “Anything that raises the profile of science up there must be good because it brings to the attention of young people what they can achieve in science and engineering.”It is a big responsibility, but the last word must go to the spaceman himself: “I have had to learn so much about astronomy and space to teach others. It’s been a dream, a lifetime dream come true, and I don’t want to stop here. When I come back, I want to become an astronaut and I will work hard to get there,” he said.last_img read more