Anger following council decision to erect telecoms mast in Ramelton woods

first_imgThe Ramelton Mast Action Group have said they are “upset and dissatisfied” following the recent decision to grant the application for a 30-metre-high telecoms mast in Drumonaghan Woods. Members of the group said locals were left irate because permission had been granted, despite their objections to the development.The group, which has the support of 400 signatories, said they feared the mast would have a huge environmental impact if erected. It is understood that the telecoms mast will cover a wide area in the Milford area, including Drumonaghan Woods, Kilmarcrennan Road, and close to Ramelton Town.It has also been reported that the telecoms unit will carry 10 radio antennas to provide additional facilities.Releasing a statement to Donegal Daily on Thursday, the Ramelton Mast Action Group said “they felt let down” by Donegal County Council’s response.It read: “The Ramelton Mast Action Group, would like to express our upset and dissatisfaction following the recent decision by the Donegal County Council planning office to grant the application made by Cignal for a 30-metre mast in historical Drumonaghan Woods. “Despite our best efforts involving a communal objection co-signed with over 400 signatories, as well as individual objections by local residents, containing numerous points ranging from environmental impact questions to questions relating to the compromising of a public amenity, the council planning office still saw fit to grant the application without any explanation other than it is what the government sees as furthering the countries national broadband plan.“As a group, we feel let down by this response and we’re shocked to learn that our local council are not even slightly interested in their citizens’ concerns.“The group would also like to say we were disappointed that the efforts our local council representatives made were not successful in preventing the permission being granted.”The statement goes on to urged elected representatives to delay this decision “until further research is carried out”.“As of yet, there are no studies confirming 100% that there are no natural or biological issues caused by telecom’s masts and the government’s reluctance to approve sites near schools prove that they too have concerns. “However, as this mast is out of sight, out of mind then they believe we are foolish enough to allow its construction.“We will continue to fight it’s construction and will not cease to do so until our views are taken into consideration.”Cllr Ian McGarvey attempted to bring an Emergency Motion to the Letterkenny-Milford council on Tuesday to ask the Planning Section to revoke the application granted to Cignal Infrastructure Ltd.The executive ruled that the motion could not be raised or discussed as the window for appeal had not passed. Anger following council decision to erect telecoms mast in Ramelton woods was last modified: November 14th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

South African farmer helps Mozambican neighbours

first_imgMozambique’s cashew nut industry isthriving, with the most recent cropsurpassing all others of the last 30 years.(Image: Wikimedia Commons)MEDIA CONTACTS • Filomena MaiopueGeneral director, Incaju+258 21 417723 / 416898• Ben ParkerDirector, Irin News+254 733 860082RELATED ARTICLES• SA invention helps N Darfur women• New bridge to boost African trade• Mount Mabu yields hidden bounty• SA’s women farmers root out hunger• R104m leg up for Zim cotton farmersSource: Irin NewsA colonial-era coconut plantation is being revived in southern Mozambique to provide small incomes to a largely cashless rural community.The initiative is viewed as a pilot project that could be rolled out across the country’s poor isolated communities to generate work for hundreds, if not thousands of people.A year after winning independence from Portugal in 1975, Mozambique descended into a 16-year-long civil war, and emerged from the conflict as one of the world’s poorest nations.Some colonial-era plantations have survived destruction at the hands of charcoal burners and others, but remain under-utilised through a lack of investment, or can’t be developed because of poor road and transport infrastructure.Now, the southern province of Inhambane is about to be revitalised. South African farmer Graham Ford has teamed-up with US NGO TechnoServe, with the consent of the provincial government – as all land in Mozambique is owned by the state – to revive an abandoned coconut plantation near the coastal town of Maxixe.Inhambane, with its tropical climate, is known as a prolific producer of cashews, coconuts and citrus.A small processing factory in the Maxixe community extracts the meat and oil from coconuts collected by local people. These two commodities are then transported about 10km to the highway, where they are loaded onto trucks bound for South Africa.Coconut products from virgin oil to dried flakes have a ready market in the food and healthcare sectors, and gatherers may deliver two sacks of coconuts, stripped of their husks, to the factory every week. This translates into a monthly income of about 1 000 meticals (US$33.50).“Until now the local people have not really used the natural resources around them on a commercial level because they had to take them all the way to the highway. Here they received meagre sums of money by men who took the coconuts to Maputo,” said TechnoServe’s agricultural consultant Rizwan Khan.He said the key to replicating such an initiative, so the poor derived greater commercial benefit, was to situate factories in or near communities.Khan said the international demand for coconut oil was driving the long-term plan to establish similar factories across Inhambane province. With the Maxixe pilot programme serving as a model, and the abundance of coconut trees in the area, the scheme has the potential to lift residents of the province out of poverty.A 2002-2003 government survey identified Inhambane as the poorest of Mozambique’s 11 provinces, with about 80% of the population living below the poverty line. However, a survey conducted in 2008-2009 found poverty levels had decreased to 60% in the province, which was subsequently rated as the seventh poorest.Reviving the cashew nut industryMozambique’s cashew nut industry was severely affected by the lengthy civil war, outbreaks of fungal infections, and insect invasions among its ageing cashew tree population. These factors led to a decline in both quality and quantity.Humanitarian agency Care International is attempting to revive the cashew trade in Inhambane province through its Sustainable Effective Economic Development programme.Care’s Michaela Cosijan, the acting project manager based in Vilankulos on the Inhambane coast, said that cashew nut production was one of the focus sectors, as the resource was being under-utilised.In partnership with the provincial authorities, a campaign has been launched to plant a new generation of cashew trees across the province. An insecticide programme will protect the remaining productive trees.Care is also mobilising farmers to form cooperatives for farmers that will give them a stronger bargaining power for their products’ prices.Paulo Johaui Murrouibe, a cashew nut farmer and one of 3 500 residents in the village of Tsumbo, Inhambane, said :”Previously we sold things as individuals at a low price, and had no ability to negotiate a better deal with the buyers. But now, with Care’s help, we have become organised as a community, negotiating better sales prices and using better farming techniques.”Filomena Maiopue, director of the Mozambican Cashew Institute, told local media recently: “Over the last five years, the average amount of cashew nuts marketed has fluctuated between 70 000 and 90 000 tons. But this year’s figure of 112 000 tons is a great victory for the country, since it is the highest figure attained since independence.”Maiopue also noted that because this figure only takes into account nuts sold through formal channels, the real figure may be even higher. Many farmers hold back a portion of their crop for their own consumption, and there is also an informal market.About half the country’s cashew industry is located in the northern province of Nampula, followed by Zambezia in the centre of the country and Inhambane in the south.“But Inhambane is increasing its production considerably,” said Maiopue, “and in the next campaign we expect it to overtake Zambezia.”last_img read more

Advice from a Homeowner

first_imgWe agree to have our house insulatedAfter meeting with the salesman from an energy efficiency company, completing the audit, and receiving the quote, we decided to go ahead with adding insulation to the attic to a value of R-38, and insulating the walls. Although the company also recommended insulating the floor, we decided to hold off on that because of limited funds and because our basement has always seemed warm year-round.Since we were also planning to paint the exterior of the home, it was recommended to us that the best approach to insulate our walls would be to bore multiple small holes in the exterior stucco instead of into the interior walls, a much more intrusive method which would create dust in our living space. It made a lot of sense as I have allergies, and thus my relief at being offered this solution distracted me from asking if there might be any downside to this method. They assured us the holes would be small and they would be patched up for the painters. I checked with the painters and they concurred, as they had seen such holes in the past.We discussed my windows and doors, and though new windows were offered to me, I knew enough not to replace my historically appropriate, single-paned original wooden bungalow windows as they were in decent shape and could be weatherized. Noise and dustThe insulation was begun while I was at work a few weeks later. I returned home to find a very unhappy spouse who said that the noise had been unbearable, and he and the dog had gone out several times during the day to escape, but had still borne the brunt of it inside the house. The drilling continued for several days, during which some dinnerware broke due to the vibrations of our kitchen wall cabinets. I did come home for some of it and couldn’t believe the decibels.I wondered why we had not been given a heads-up about the noise and the vibrations so we could have made plans to be elsewhere. Also, dust did appear mysteriously inside the house which we were able to vacuum up each day. Our house is more comfortableWe have noticed a big difference in our comfort levels which was the outcome we had desired. Interestingly, we recently refinanced the house and our appraisal report showed no increase in value from improving our home’s energy efficiency, despite pointing out to the appraiser the insulated walls, attic, new highly efficient can lights in the kitchen and window reconditioning by our local master window restoration specialist. ZERO $!Perhaps it’s because we live in a temperate zone…or the appraiser thought that a new granite countertop in the kitchen would have had a REAL impact on value, I don’t know. Hopefully when it is time to sell the house, its energy efficiency value will rise to the fore. I shared with the appraiser that our electric bills are generally about $30 to $35/mo, and our gas bills from $15 to $25 depending upon the season. The appraiser revealed that his own house, more than twice the size of ours a few miles away cost about $300 a month for gas and electric utilities. Apparently several professions could use more education on energy upgrades! Alana Shindler is the fulfillment manager at Home Energy magazine. Her blog originally appeared on the Home Energy website and is reprinted with her permission. Working at Home Energy magazine would seem to have prepared me for having an energy-efficiency retrofit done on my own home, or at least to ask all the right questions. But Murphy’s Law intruded nevertheless, and you may learn from my experience.We live in the San Francisco Bay Area in a 970-sq. ft. wood-framed stucco single-family home on one floor over a basement and garage, with central heat but no air conditioning. Our goal for the audit was to improve comfort, as hot days were hotter inside the house, and cool days were downright cold. The attic already had some insulation, but the walls and floors did not. Advice for home-performance contractorsAs a result of my experience, I have three recommendations for energy efficiency companies, and all of them involve communication.ONE: Give residents fair warning ahead of time about any negative impacts the work will have on people and animals in the space so they can make plans to deal with it.TWO: Have a working partnership with stucco experts for those times when exterior hole-boring is the way to go; or at least recommend to the homeowner from the start that they find such an expert and get a quote to do the patching so that the holes can be filled to the optimal effect. If the industry is going to take a “whole house” approach to energy efficiency, the least the contractor can do is to consider the whole house from the perspective of the customer and not just the part he is concerned with.THREE: Have the salesman call the customer when the work is completed to check in to see that the customer is satisfied. We never saw the nice salesperson again in our home, although someone did come back to do infrared tests to see that the walls were filled properly, and I believe the blower-door test was repeated. Patching problemsRelieved when the noisy hole-boring and the insulation-blowing into the walls were completed, the last phase was the stucco patching in blessed silence. When completed, the concave stucco patches looked awful. I called to ask that the workers come back to level them, as the painters were not responsible for that. One or two guys appeared every day for a number of days to level the patches on the innumerable holes, which they did but without matching the texture of the rest of the stucco.I hoped that the painting would successfully conceal the textural differences, but after the new paint job, all I could see were the circular patches all over the house. The energy efficiency company workers did their best but were unskilled in stucco application.I called an independent stucco guy who came out to the house for his opinion. He said if he had a dollar for every time he’s been called to look at the unsuccessful finish work done to stucco by insulators, he’d be a rich man. He said there was nothing to be done, and that comparatively speaking, it was a lot better than some he’d seen.I was appalled after spending so much money on the new paint job, but felt I had no redress. I blamed myself for not thinking it all through ahead of time. Since then I have learned not to focus on the imperfections in the stucco: I’m sure they’re still there, but I’ve learned to not see them.last_img read more

Indoor Air Quality and VOCs

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img Do you know what activity we spend the most time doing? The answer is sleep. According to the Wall Street Journal, we spend more time sleeping than we do working, playing, caring for family, or doing housework. How we spend our time fascinates me, but what I really wanted the answer to when I found that article was, “How much time do we spend in our homes?”I’ve often heard that we spend 90% of our time indoors. I wanted to see if I could verify that fact, and, specifically, learn what percentage of that time is spent in our own home. It turns out that we spend 86.9% of our time in buildings and 68.7% of our time in our homes, according to a study by the National Exposure Research Laboratory and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That’s a lot of time, much of it spent doing nothing but breathing in and breathing out. Needless to say, indoor air quality is a subject worthy of our attention.For many designers and builders of high-performance homes, providing healthy indoor air quality is a non-negotiable part of the process. “This is something we pay close attention to on every project,” said Stephanie Horowitz, managing director at ZeroEnergy Design, in a recent interview. “We write it into our specification, we educate our clients about the importance of it, we make it a top priority.”Examples of common indoor air pollutants include carbon monoxide, radon, and mold, which present a range of potential risks. Carbon monoxide can kill you quickly. That’s why carbon monoxide detectors are required by law in most areas. Radon can kill you too, albeit much more slowly than carbon monoxide. Still, installing a passive radon mitigation system is considered best practice in new homes and radon testing is… last_img read more