Children sitting on a makeshift raft play in a river full of rubbish in a slum area of Jakarta.
One of this week’s photos of the week at Reuters News Service.
Impoverished Palestinians on the Gaza Strip are being forced to scavenge for food on rubbish dumps to survive as Israel’s economic blockade risks causing irreversible damage, according to international observers.
Figures released last week by the UN Relief and Works Agency reveal that the economic blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza…has had a devastating impact on the local population. Large numbers of Palestinians are unable to afford the high prices of food being smuggled through the Hamas-controlled tunnels to the Strip from Egypt and last week were confronted with the suspension of UN food and cash distribution as a result of the siege.
The figures collected by the UN agency show that 51.8% – an “unprecedentedly high” number of Gaza’s 1.5 million population – are now living below the poverty line. The agency announced last week that it had been forced to stop distributing food rations to the 750,000 people in need and had also suspended cash distributions to 94,000 of the most disadvantaged who were unable to afford the high prices being asked for smuggled food.
“Things have been getting worse and worse,” said Chris Gunness of the agency yesterday. “It is the first time we have been seeing people picking through the rubbish like this looking for things to eat. Things are particularly bad in Gaza City where the population is most dense.
“This is not a humanitarian crisis,” he said. “This is a political crisis of choice with dire humanitarian consequences.”
The Israeli government trades on the Holocaust a half-century ago to justify their own variety of fascist rule. Americans who joined in late to the anti-Nazi struggle are the easiest to troll. Our successive governments offer a bipartisan cave-in to the abuse of one nation by another.
Mail went into the bin to be recycled
A businessman from the English city of Leeds says that he is “shocked” that rubbish he put out for recycling has ended up being dumped in India. Junk mail sent to Paul Sharman’s home was found by environmental campaigners to have been dumped in disused wells in the state of Tamil Nadu.
They say that it is not environmentally or socially fair for rubbish from the UK to be shipped to India.
Environmental campaigners say that companies contracted by British councils to recycle waste often end up sending it to India.
They say that it is supposed to be sorted out before shipment into paper, plastics and cans. But they say sometimes this is not done properly, which means that when it arrives at re-processing plants in India it is impossible to recycle.
As a result, much of it is dumped in disused agricultural wells hundreds of metres deep on farmland in places like Tamil Nadu – in this case near the southern port of Tuticorin.
The most distressing yarp was the blather from local politicians who insisted this simply didn’t happen. Someone should stuff Mr. Sharman’s junk mail up some convenient orifice in the council member’s fundament.
It’s happening, dude. Get over the excuses and work at solutions instead.