ExxonMobil, NBA, Africare have reinstated their commitment to youth and sports development as they sponsor the third season of the Power Forward programme at the National Stadium in Kukwaba, Abuja.Power Forward, a partnership between ExxonMobil, the NBA and Africare, uses the game of basketball to teach and mentor students from secondary schools in Abuja about health literacy and life skills such as leadership, respect and personal responsibility. The event which had in attended former NBA player, Kelenna Azubuike, featured boys and girls championship games, performances from the Philadelphia 76ers Flight Squad and other youth competitions.According to Dr. Paul Arinze of ExxonMobil, “Power Forward, through its focus on health, builds on efforts by the ExxonMobil Malaria Initiative to combat malaria in Nigeria. The successful initiative works with a range of partners to prevent, treat and, ultimately, eliminate malaria especially in pregnant women and children under 5 who constitute the most vulnerable.”He added that, “Our appreciation to the National Basketball Association, Africare, the NBA Talents, National Malaria Elimination Program of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, the Power Forward Schools and everyone for their support for this initiative. The Power Forward project was initiated 2013 in partnership with ExxonMobil, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Africare to implement a youth development program that incorporates both life-skills training and public health education, using the convening power of basketball. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Construction of an abattoir is ongoing at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), but the location and the size of the facility have raised suspicion among farmers.24-acre of land being fenced for abattoirIn December 2016, the Agriculture Ministry said that the cattle industry is expected to grow with the establishment of two abattoirs in Regions Five and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), claiming that those facilities are expected to see improved breeding stock and better husbandry practices. In January 2018, the Ministry again announced that the beef industry is soon to benefit from the construction of a state-of-the-art abattoir in Region Five.Head of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), Nigel Cumberbatch said the construction of the abattoir is in keeping with the agency’s drive to ensure higher quality meat for consumers.He also disclosed that Region Five is deemed the most suitable location for the abattoir since “Regions Five and Six are the largest cattle producing regions and we feel it is important to put the abattoir where the animals are. The construction will cost us in excess of $2 million. It will be an international standard abattoir,” Cumberbatch explained.Mohamed RafaideenIn November last year, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), it will be constructing a “high efficiency” ready-to-use abattoir in the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary-Agriculture Development Authority (MMA-ADA). Recently, the fencing of a 24-acre plot commenced.However, the project is being questioned by Mohamed Rafaideen, a Rice Producers Association representative who also produces rice in the MMA Scheme.According to him, Government is utilising prime land for the facility.“They are putting an abattoir on 24 acres of land when you probably only need half of an acre,” he told this publication.However, he said that is the smallest of issues as he pointed out environmental hazards of placing the facility at Onverwagt.Rafaideen said an abattoir should not be in the rice cultivating area since the area is one where chemicals are used.“When we process the meat here and have to export it, will we be able to get international certification for the meat coming out of this abattoir while chemicals are used right around the abattoir?” he asked.The farmer also looked at the cost to fence 24 acres with a concrete base and metal pipes connected with mesh.“It is very expensive… The twenty-four acres again is a waste of money. If we have an abattoir on half an acre of land, then it will make sense with this type of fencing, but right now what they’re doing is wasting money. What will they do with twenty-four acres? Are we going to raise the animals at the abattoir from the initial stage then take it into the abattoir?”“You need to have persons doing things which make sense. We have comedians.”He said only about 5000 square feet is needed for the building.“Definitely it’s a waste of money and it shows gross incompetence all the current Administration,” he said.Meanwhile, when contacted, an official at the Ministry said with an international standard abattoir, “we can also say to the persons who are bringing in meat, that we are slaughtering under proper hygienic conditions and if the quality is good, we see no reason why you cannot purchase animals feeling satisfied with the wholesomeness of the meat that will be coming out of the abattoir”.