Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 13, 2006
Author: P&S

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Zimbabwe to export chrome ore to China in exchange for electrical energy

  • Richards Bay smelter decision due

  • Two shipping lines prepare to introduce direct services between Indonesia and Africa

  • Dreams shattered as illegal immigrants repatriated

  • Zanzibar gets tough over bird flu threat





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    Zimbabwe to export chrome ore to China in exchange for electrical energy

    According to a Zimbabwe radio report, Zimbabwe and China have signed an agreement in which China will build three thermal power stations in Zimbabwe in return for the export of chrome ore.

    The deal was said to be worth US $ 1.3 Billion and was signed off in Beijing at the weekend during the visit to China by Zimbabwe’s vice president, Joyce Mujuru.

    Two of the new power stations are to be built at Hwange where Zimbabwe already has several run-down power stations. The other station will be built in the Zambezi valley, according to the radio station. Chinese machinery and equipment will be utilised in their construction.

    Zimbabwe currently imports much of its electrical energy, either from South Africa or from the DRC but has experienced severe monetary complications leading to shortages in the landlocked country.


    Richards Bay smelter decision due

    After delays of almost four years there was nervous anticipation yesterday regarding the decision to build Indian steel manufacturer Tata Steel’s ferrochrome smelter at Alton North in Richards Bay.

    The decision whether to go ahead and build the multi-million plant near the port has been delayed several times over environmental issues, with objections raised not only from nearby residents of housing suburbs but also from potential industrial neighbours. A paper mill was one such objector which has already resulted in Tata relocating its intended site.

    The construction of the smelter, provided it gets the go-ahead, is expected to add more than a thousand temporary jobs during the construction phase plus a permanent work force of about 130 once the plant is up and running, with another 200 or so to be appointed for the second phase.


    Two shipping lines prepare to introduce direct services between Indonesia and Africa

    According to Schednet, two of the largest shipping lines, Maersk Line and CMA CGM are about to launch direct services between Indonesia and Africa.

    The report quoted the Indonesian newspaper Jakarta Post as saying the lines sought to take advantage of rising trade between Indonesia and the African continent.

    Maersk is to place five ships on its new weekly East African service, commencing a rotation at the port of Tanjung Priok in Indonesia.

    According to the newspaper, CMA CGM on the other hand intends deploying 10 vessels on its new Asia-Africa service, which also makes a port call at Tanjung Priok.

    CMA CGM’s calls include Tanjung Priok, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Klang, Durban, Luanda, Pointe Noire, Lome, Abidjan, Tema, Tin Can, Douala and Port Gentil.

    - source Shednet & Jakarta Post


    Dreams shattered as illegal immigrants repatriated

    Dakar, 12 Jun 2006 (IRIN) - Mody Dia, a 31-year-old Senegalese computer technician, saved his money, survived a treacherous six-day voyage across the ocean in an open boat and began to see his dreams come true as he stepped onto the soil of Spain’s Canary Islands.

    The European mainland and employment were only a short flight away.

    But when Dia boarded a plane last week his dreams fell apart. He landed back in Senegal as one of 99 illegal migrants repatriated by his own government from the Canary Islands.

    “They have betrayed their youth,” said Dia of Senegal’s officials. “We took canoes, risked our lives, they demanded our identities and then we were returned! By doing that they have created unemployed people, bandits and fools.”

    The planned repatriation of hundreds more illegal Senegalese migrants from the Canary Islands was suspended earlier this month after some initial returnees claimed mistreatment, saying they were lied to and handcuffed.

    More and more African men, women and children are boarding open wooden boats on the coasts of Senegal and Mauritania in the hopes of reaching Spain’s Canary Islands. More than 9,000 illegal migrants landed on the islands in the first five months of the year, which is more than during 2005.

    “I only want to work in Spain for a couple of years, make a living and then come back and invest here,” Dia said. “Even if it is difficult it can’t be worse than here. Here there is nothing.”

    Despite years of high economic growth and low inflation, according to the International Monetary Fund, Senegal continues to struggle with high urban unemployment, even for university graduates.

    Dia’s journey began on his birthday, April 22. After saving about USD 1,600 for the journey, Dia went to the northern seas-side city of Saint Louis. He waited for a week and then boarded a pirogue - or canoe - before dawn. He said at least 70 other migrants also boarded canoes.

    “There was everything in those pirogues … fishermen and people with degrees but there wasn’t much to eat, just a few sacks of rice,” Dia said. “We were frightened. At one point I thought that it was the end with the waves several metres high. There were some who couldn’t endure the journey. It is hard. I don’t like to talk about it very much.”

    But the fear then turned to elation as the Canary Islands came into view.

    “From far away you could see the lights and we knew that we had made it,” Dia said. He and the other migrants were taken to a holding area.

    “We lived in good conditions, better than here,” he said. “They gave us three meals a day, we drank filtered water and each of us had a bed. It was good. I even began to learn Spanish by reading the newspapers.”

    Then a delegation of officials from Senegal arrived and, Dia said, assured the migrants that they were not there to repatriate them.

    Spain has no formal repatriation agreement with Senegal. As a result, Spanish authorities in the past were forced to release illegal Senegalese immigrants, and others with no identity papers at all, on the Spanish mainland.

    So when Dia and the other migrants were brought to the airport, 22 days after they had arrived in Tenerife, they believed that they were being flown to the Spanish capital Madrid, or Malaga in the south.

    Instead, the group of 99, including Dia, landed where their journey began – in Senegal.

    Angry about what he feels is a betrayal by his own country, Dia and other migrants and their mothers demonstrated on Wednesday in front of the presidency to demand an audience with President Abdoulaye Wade and to introduce a letter explaining their reasons for leaving Senegal.

    A key ministerial a conference on illegal immigration is due to be held in the Moroccan city of Rabat in July. A new plan drafted by European and African countries combines measures to crack down against trafficking with proposals on keeping would-be migrants home. Senegal has proposed a plan granting plots of land to would-be migrants for farming.

    “They talk to us about that [farming] now, but we don’t want it,” said Dia. “Where have you ever seen computer technicians or fishermen cultivating the land?”

    Among measures agreed in the international plan are tighter border controls, better police cooperation and state-of-the-art tracking equipment for African states, as well as an observatory body to monitor migration. Other measures are aimed at promoting economic development to keep African youngsters at home.

    But Dia says that if he cannot return to Europe legally he will board a pirogue again, despite the risks.

    “As they say, better to die far away than to remain poor here,” he said. “Leave or die.”

    Source - http://www.IRINnews.org
    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)


    Zanzibar gets tough over bird flu threat

    Stone Town, Zanzibar, 12 Jun 2006 (IRIN) - Authorities on Tanzania's semiautonomous island of Zanzibar have intensified efforts to control the importation of chicken in a bid to check the threat of bird flu on the island.

    Hundreds of chickens smuggled onto Zanzibar mainland Tanzania were burned last week after importers failed to send them back.

    "Over the past three weeks, we have confiscated more than 400 chickens in total, smuggled into Zanzibar, and successfully ordered the sending back of about 120 chickens to where they were imported from," said Kassim Gharib of Zanzibar’s bird-flu taskforce on Monday. "We are prosecuting two people for illegally importing about 340 chickens."

    Gharib told a news conference in Stone Town, capital of Zanzibar, that the two people facing charges had failed to send back the illegally imported chickens to their point of origin, despite orders to do so. "If found guilty, the culprits risk a fine of not less than USD50 or jail term of six months or both sentences," he said. "The banning of the importation of the chickens also includes from the Tanzanian mainland to Zanzibar just for precaution purposes. We are taking these precautions to protect the health of our people from possible bird flu infection."

    The taskforce is part of the island's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment. Zanzibar banned the import of chicken and other poultry products in 2005 and also barred the delivery of 16 tonnes of chicken meat imported from Brazil in November 2005. The Tanzanian media reported last week that the mainland government had also reinforced its ban on poultry imports, fearing that continued importation of chicken was risky to humans and the local poultry industry.

    The deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu has already been reported in several African countries. The poultry industry in Asia and a number of European countries has been ravaged by the disease, which has also claimed dozens of human lives.

    Source - http://www.IRINnews.org
    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)


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