Southern Africa

Flood displaced Zimbabweans allege forcible resettlement

MASVINGO, 10 September 2014 (IRIN) - More than 3,000 families in Zimbabwe’s southeastern Masvingo Province who accuse the government of forcibly resettling them to small plots of undeveloped land, are facing hardships including a lack of adequate food, shelter, health and education facilities. full report

Heavy health toll of South Africa’s coal-fired power plants

MASAKHANE, 8 September 2014 (IRIN) - South Africa’s dependence on coal to generate 85 percent of its electricity is taking a substantial toll on human health, according to environmental groups. A recent report from Greenpeace estimates that up to 2,700 premature deaths are caused every year by air pollution emissions from the country’s 16 coal-fired power plants. full report

Zimbabwe’s neglected elderly farmers

HARARE, 2 September 2014 (IRIN) - Girazi Mukumba, 64, a communal farmer in Wedza, about 160km southwest of the capital Harare, is old school when it comes to agricultural practices. full report

South Africa opens space for traditional rulers to claim land

BABANANGO/JOHANNESBURG, 21 August 2014 (IRIN) - The pace of land reform in South Africa has long been criticized as too slow, but experts and black South Africans still awaiting restitution, fear that the recent reopening of the land claims process may not only delay outstanding claims further but could actually reverse the limited progress that has been made in restoring land to those dispossessed by Apartheid-era policies. full report

Analysis: Data to the people!

NEW YORK, 14 August 2014 (IRIN) - Protests against poor delivery of services such as water, toilets, health and education, have become such a ubiquitous part of the South African landscape they barely make the news: as the delivery problems continue, so do the protests, and the vicious cycle of creeping poverty and mounting frustration continues. full report

Zimbabwe's health system in crisis

HARARE, 11 August 2014 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe’s deepening economic crisis is severely affecting the government’s ability to fund public health delivery and restricting poor people’s access to health care, economists, government officials and health experts agree. full report

Shortage of epilepsy drugs in Zimbabwe

HARARE, 11 August 2014 (IRIN) - Drugs for non-communicable diseases like epilepsy are being hardest hit by funding shortfalls affecting Zimbabwe’s public health sector. While the government is struggling to meet its budget commitments, donors are more focused on communicable diseases like HIV and TB. full report

Interview with outgoing Africa Great Lakes Special Envoy Mary Robinson

NAIROBI, 4 August 2014 (IRIN) - In mid-June UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reassigned the special envoy to Africa's Great Lakes region, Mary Robinson, to special envoy for climate change. IRIN spoke to her about her time working on the Great Lakes region. full report

Poor sanitation, poverty behind Swazi diarrhoea outbreak

MBABANE, 1 August 2014 (IRIN) - A nationwide outbreak of diarrhoea attributed to rotavirus has claimed the lives of nearly 40 young children in Swaziland during the past month and highlighted the need for better sanitation and clean water in schools and homes. full report

Tobacco-curing eats up Zimbabwe's forests

HARARE, 31 July 2014 (IRIN) - While, smoking tobacco is extremely harmful for human beings growing it has been good for Zimbabwe's economy and its farmers. Now, however, both the government and farmers have become increasingly aware that tobacco farming also comes at a great cost to the environment. full report