Zambians brace for water shortage despite recent rainfall

Worlds largest artificial lake drops by six metres in three years after lengthy drought Zambia is facing severe water and electricity shortages after a lengthy drought, with reservoir levels remaining worryingly low despite recent rains. Water levels in Lake Kariba, the worlds largest artificial lake at more than 5,500 sq km, have dropped by six metres in the past three years. In early March, available water for hydroelectric production at the Kariba dam, which spans the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, was about 11.5%, a slight recovery on the record low in January. A year earlier, hydro levels at the lake exceeded 42%. When running at capacity, the Zambezi River Authority. It is now restricted to about a quarter of …

Kenya’s rare white female giraffe ‘killed by poachers’

Death of giraffe and her calf leave just one male specimen alive Kenyas only female white giraffe and her calf have been killed by poachers, conservationists have said, in a major blow to conservation of the rare animals found nowhere else in the world. The bodies of the two giraffes were found in a skeletal state after being killed by armed poachers in Garissa in eastern Kenya, the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy said in a statement. Their deaths leave one surviving white giraffe a lone male borne by the same slaughtered female, the conservancy said. We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffe, said Mohammed Ahmednoor, the manager of the conservancy. Its killing …

Jubilation as Congo discharges last Ebola patient

(CNN)The last Ebola patient being treated in the Democratic Republic of Congo went home from a treatment center on Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization, a significant step in the countdown to declaring an end to the world’s second-deadliest outbreak of the disease. While praising the “tireless efforts” of agencies in the the fight to tackle the outbreak,WHO regional director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti called for caution and vigilance. “It is not yet the end of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We must stay vigilant in the coming weeks and beyond,” Dr. Moeti said in the statement. The WHO estimates that 2,226 people were killed in the current outbreak in Congo — its tenth since …

Lesotho PM requests immunity from charge of murdering wife

Lawyer argues that Thomas Thabanes office gives him immunity from prosecution Lesothos prime minister has made a surprise appearance in court, where his lawyer argued that his office granted him immunity from prosecution for allegedly murdering his estranged wife shortly before he took power. Thomas Thabane sat in the public gallery of the court in Maseru, the capital of the small mountain kingdom, with his present spouse. charged with murder this month after briefly fleeing the country. Both deny any wrongdoing and sat impassively through the hearing. Lipolelo Thabane, who was shot dead in 2017. Photograph: China TV His spokesman, Thabo Thakalekoala, said: The prime minister is protected by the constitution although he is not above the law. This whole …

Young refugees in Kenya take a VR school trip to London’s National Gallery

(CNN)A group of young refugees in a camp in Kenya became possibly the world’s first students to go on a virtual school trip, attending a lesson at London’s National Gallery via VR headsets. “It’s wonderful to be able to share an experience of the National Gallery and my thoughts about the paintings with the students in Kakuma through technology,” Milroy said. “The live virtual reality tour makes it possible for the students to get a feeling for what it’s like to wander through the galleries and enjoy the paintings as objects in a space, to get a sense of their fabulous material form, and encounter them each with its particular setting,” she added. The tour featured nine paintings based on …

How the race for cobalt risks turning it from miracle metal to deadly chemical

As a case in the US alleges links between tech companies and child miners in Congo, the Guardians global environment editor assesses the dangers of element in high demand for batteries If the prophets of technology are to be believed, the best hope for solving the climate crisis is ever more possible link to cancer. As with any chemical, the risks depend on the amount and duration of exposure. Cobalt is a metal that occurs naturally in rocks, water, plants, and animals. It is less toxic than many other metals. At low levels, it is fatal heart attacks among heavy drinkers, who also had poor diets, was linked to the cobalt additive. More recently, German doctors have questioned whether worthless …

Tony Gum’s best photograph: the emotional toll of abortion

Women need to be equipped for how gruelling an abortion can be. It does mess with your mind. I was trying to put myself back together again This image, Sweet Saboteur, was inspired by a painting I did last November, during a particularly difficult time in my life. The year before, I had fallen pregnant and, unable to keep the baby, I had had an Free da Gum (2016), was much sweeter, sincere, young and bright. But then going through life and experiencing things and having relationships and falling out of them, and going through the termination itself, and dealing with the fallout that all resulted in this darker, grungier, bolder work. Here, I wanted to give the viewer a …

Cyclone Kenneth: at least five dead as heavy rain lashes Mozambique

Experts say storm could move back out to sea and intensify again, as water levels rise Mozambiques government urged many people to seek higher ground on Saturday in the wake of Cyclone Kenneth, fearing flooding and mudslides in the days ahead as heavy rain lashed the region. At least five people were killed, the government said. Mozambiques disaster management agency said one person had died in Pemba city and another in hard-hit Macomia district, while residents on Ibo Island said two people had died there. Details of the fifth death were not immediately available. Interactive Nearly 3,500 homes in parts of the countrys northernmost Cabo Delgado province were partially or fully destroyed, with electricity cut, some roads blocked, and at …

Malawi starts landmark trial of first ever child malaria vaccine

Immunisation gives partial protection against the killer disease, and lessens the severity of other cases Malawi will begin immunising young children against malaria today, in a landmark large-scale pilot of the first vaccine to give partial protection against the disease, the World Health Organization said. Although the vaccine protects only a third of children aged under two years from life-threatening or severe malaria, clinical trials have found those who are immunised are likely to have less severe cases of the disease. Earlier, smaller trials also showed the vaccine prevented four in 10 cases of malaria overall, in babies aged between five and 17 months. Malaria remains one of the worlds leading killers, claiming the life of one child every two …

Drawings by children show the psychological impact of Cyclone Idai

(CNN)One month after Cyclone Idai ripped through Mozambique and killed at least 750 people, children there are showing signs of severe psychological stress, the charity Save the Children has warned. Entire towns and villages were submerged during the Category 2 storm, which made landfall shortly after midnight on March 15, with 175 kph (109 mph) winds that brought and huge rains as it moved towards Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Half a million children at risk as Libya violence continues: UNICEF

(CNN)More than half a million children are at “direct risk” in Libya as renegade general Khalifa Haftar’s forces advance on the United Nations-recognized government in the capital of Tripoli, according to UNICEF. Nine of the dead are civilians, including two doctors working to provide critical healthcare in Tripoli, the WHO said. About 3,400 people have been displaced, according to UN estimates. Militias from the coastal towns of Misrata and Zawia — which are not under the UN-recognized government’s direct control — have deployed troops to the capital as part of the counter-offensive against the LNA. Death toll rises In the eight years since former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was deposed and killed in 2011 — following a military intervention led …

Cyclone survivors clinging to rooftops in Mozambique as they await rescue, aid officials say

(CNN)Cyclone Idai has swept through Southern Africa, potentially killing hundreds of people and leaving widespread flooding in Mozambique. “Thousands of children lived in areas completely engulfed by water. In many places, no roofs or treetops are even visible above the floods. In other areas, people are clinging to rooftops desperately waiting to be rescued,” said Machiel Pouw, Save the Children’s response leader in Mozambique. The European Union has announced it would send $3.97 million in emergency aid to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The United Arab Emirates has said it would send nearly $5 million in aid. The aid consists of food supplies and food supplements for children, medical and medicinal supplies, as well as shelter supplies to assist 600,000 people …

Algerian President announces plans to run for fifth term, defying protesters’ demands for him to step down

Algiers, Algeria (CNN)Embattled Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has declared his candidacy for next month’s election, defying massive protests in the country over the ailing and absent ruler’s refusal to relinquish his grip on power. Bouteflika vowed not to run in those elections, Zaalane added. The announcement is likely to prompt further discontent in the North African country after a weekend that saw one of its largest and most impassioned displays of public dissent since the war of independence from France ended in 1962. It is widely believed that the President, who was first elected in 1999, is largely incapacitated, and has left the reins of the country in the hands of a military and civilian elite in recent years. He …