Thobisa Simelane

Littering

Littering

The beauty of the natural environment can only be truly appreciated when human beings have a very limited impact on such environment. Well, at least in Swaziland this is the case. One of the most barbaric of ways that mankind destroys the aesthetic appeal of his environment is littering. Littering is a bad habit that is not about to be subside. It is not an uncommon sight to see a grown person eat a packet of chips only to discard the plastic packet on the ground. It is also just as rife to see people throw things such as bottles,… read more

Hypertrophication Awareness

Polluted water in Africa

Community gardens are a proudly Swazi initiative wherein many communities around the country put concerted efforts into growing and maintaining vegetable gardens to feed orphaned children, the elderly and other people who are otherwise unable to provide for themselves. It is therefore important that the gardens continue to enjoy perpetual success, which success depends on sustainable and environmentally sound methods of farming. Since an overwhelmingly vast majority of the country is rural without running tap water, the community gardens are strategically positioned near water sources such as rivers and dams. Beneficial as it might be to have the water gardens… read more

Combating Greenwashing

Corporate dishonesty

In an era where corporations find themselves under immense pressure to conform to environmental expectations, dishonesty and manipulation are bound to appeal to unscrupulous manufacturers. Greenwashing is one deceptive practice that some corporations have resorted to. Greenwashing is a term used to describe corporate dishonesty where the corporation concerned attempts to conceal the negative impact their products have on the environment by making what can be described as misleading claims pertaining to the environmental benefits of the product or service it offers. Greenwashing is more a claim geared at deceiving than it is a marketing strategy. Thus for instance, a… read more

Warfare Threats

Chemical and biological warfare

The utilisation of harmful chemicals as a weapon in combat was banned by the international community through the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention) of 1997. The secretary general of the United Nations Dr Ban Ki-moon made a press statement wherein he emphatically discouraged Syria from using biological warfare against anti-government insurgents. The secretary general intimated that there would be dire consequences for Syria if it did not heed the call to refrain from using biological warfare, because chemical weapons have no place in the… read more

Government Indifference

chemicals-in-ocean

Government institutions are meant to be at the forefront in the fight to protect the environment from attack. This means that government is expected to at least refrain from activity which would be seen and proven to have adverse effects on environmental media. When government fails to do so, this constitutes a grave injustice. A prime example is a situation that has ensued in the United States. A host of environmental groups in the United States have filed a lawsuit against the government asserting that it has failed to regulate military drills involving the sinking of old ships in the… read more

The Problem With Plastic

Polluting Plastic Bags

Shopping for groceries at the supermarket is an inescapable part of our lives, some of us do it on a daily basis, some weekly and some monthly. Regardless of which store and in which country, what is guaranteed is that if you buy something you will get a plastic bag to carry it in. In Swaziland, plastic bags at till checkpoints are free of charge to customers, unlike in South Africa where plastic bags are sold to customers for a small fee, in part to encourage customers to either purchase durable reusable grocery bags, or to use plastic bags more than… read more

Lake Malawi Threatened

lake-malawi-

Lake Malawi is home to a myriad of endemic fish species. It is a world renowned tourist destination largely due to its aquatic life which makes it a popular snorkelling and scuba diving site. So important is Lake Malawi to biodiversity conservation, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation declared it a world heritage site. The status of the lake as a heritage site and the biodiversity that it accommodates may be under threat. A long simmering dispute between Malawi and Tanzania over the sovereign claim over the lake is the source of the threat. The political intricacies of… read more

Keeping Arts & Crafts Alive

Swaziland's arts and crafts

Arts and crafts constitute the most popular tourist attraction in Swaziland. Tourists from lands near and far are a regular sighting at the many market places shopping for Swazi culture inspired souvenirs to take back home after their holiday is done. The traditional arts community relies heavily on the natural environment to create their art pieces. Many of these art pieces are made from raw materials found in nature such as trees, clay soil, animal hide, different types of grass, and varying types of stone. Like all manufacturers and producers that rely heavily on nature for their products, the art… read more

Lessons from Niger Delta

Niger Delta, Africa

The Niger Delta is an oil-rich part of Nigeria. Oil prospecting and extraction operations have been undertaken by multinational companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, which was part of the controversial case The Social and Economic Rights Action Centre and another v Nigeria (“SERAC case”) which was heard by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. In a nutshell, the SERAC case was a lawsuit where the plaintiffs argued that the government of Nigeria was directly involved in oil production through the state owned Nigerian National Petroleum Company in a joint venture with Shell Petroleum Development Corporation, and that… read more

Privatizing Water Sources

Privatizing Water Sources

Water is increasingly becoming a very important commodity, the depletion of fresh water sources around the globe has led to the belief that the next world war may be over fresh water. This may seem an exaggeration, however, the impression of the gravity is no hyperbole. There is a big debate as to whether water should be privatized and thus not be controlled by government. For purposes of this article, the main question is whether owners of land must also be the legal owners of all water and water sources within their land. I would like to submit that from… read more