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Niger To Compensate Child Fluoride Victims

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$100m In New Bank Notes Not Missing

Niger is to pay out at least $3.5 million in compensation to hundreds of children of the central town of Tibiri who suffered deformities after drinking water with high fluoride content, state TV reported Sunday.

Local health authorities calculated back in 2001 that 4 918 youngsters suffered serious bone malformations after drinking the water which state water company SNE distributed between 1985 and 2000.

“We are going to pay. There is no reason for the government not to comply with a judicial ruling,” Finance Minister Hassoumi Massoudou told parliament.

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“There is no problem with resources to pay these young people,” Massoudou said, adding “arrangements will be made for the ruling to be applied” though he did not say when the payments would be forthcoming.

A judicial ruling three years ago found that the victims in the region some 650km east of Niamey should be compensated.

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Massoudou said the government will “make available two billion CFA francs ($3.5 million) to compensate the Tibiri children who were victims 20 years ago of contaminated water.”

Niger’s Niger Human Rights Association (ANDDH) broke the scandal in 2000 after doctors highlighted a growing number of bone deformations of local children aged between 15 months and 15 years.

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Symptoms included skull enlargement, convulsions, severe bone pain and fragility, as well as discoloured, reddish teeth.

An international study found that the local water had fluoride content of 6.9 mg per litre – more than four times the 1.5 maximum permitted by the World Health Organisation.

French group Vivendi bought SNE in 2001.

African News

Proposal For UN To Study Climate Technologies Rejected

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Proposal For UN To Study Climate Technologies Rejected

A push to launch a high-level study of potentially risky technological fixes to curb climate change was abandoned at a UN Environmental conference in Nairobi late last week.  Countries, including the United states, had raised objections.

Switzerland’s Environmental Ambassador Franz Xavier Perrez, said that was a huge disappointment.  His country had proposed the UN assessment with the backing of eleven other governments.

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“Geo-engineering” technologies are gaining prominence, and they aim to pull carbon out of the atmosphere, or block some of the Sun’s warmth to cool the earth.

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Supporters say these technologies could help fend off some of the worst impact of runaway climate change, including worsening storms and heatwaves.  Opponents, on the other hand, argue the emerging technologies pose huge potential risks to people and nature and could undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Tanzania: Stiegler’s Gorge Hydro-Electric Project To Produce Thousands Of Jobs

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Tanzania: Stiegler’s Gorge Hydro-Electric Project To Produce Thousands Of Jobs

Tanzanian government is optimistic that the implementation of Stiegler’s Gorge hydro-electric power station would produce thousands of jobs.  It is also expected to generate more than two thousand mega-watts.

Energy Minister, Dr. Medard Kalemani, told the parliamentary committee on energy and minerals that five thousand Tanzanians would be employed as temporary workers, and four hundred others would be employed under permanent contracts.

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Kalemani said the implementation of the project would not only uplift the livelihoods of Mloka villagers in Rufiji district in cost region, and of Kisaki villagers in Morogoro region, it would also enable the supply of electricity to 37 villages in Kibiti and Chalinze.  He said twelve villages will be connected to electricity under Tanzania Rural Energy Agency program.

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African Court Doubles Its Judicial Productivity

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African Court Doubles Its Judicial Productivity

President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, Justice Sylvain Ore, has said the pan African organ, based in Arusha, has doubled its judicial productivity, and is optimistic it will even do better this year.

Commenting on the on-going reforms at the African Union, initiated under the guidance of the immediate past chairperson, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Justice Ore wanted the court to be a model for internal reforms and an efficiency icon for the rest of the institutions and citizens of the continent.

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The African court was established by the African Charter and began operations in two thousand six in Addis Ababa.  It moved to its permanent seat in Arusha a year later.  It has finalized 48 cases with a hundred thirty-five cases pending.

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So far, 30 countries have ratified the protocol establishing the court, but only nine countries—Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, the Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, Tunisia, and hosts Tanzania—have made the declaration to allow individuals and NGOs to access the court directly.

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