The News – Three million Afghans in ‘urgent’ need of food: UN

Kabul – Kabul Province – Afghanistan, 15 October 2018. At least three million Afghans are in “urgent” need of food and could face famine if they do not get help, the United Nations warned Monday, as the war-torn country battles the worst drought in living memory.

A dry spell mainly across northern and western Afghanistan has devastated crops, livestock and water supplies, forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

The drought comes at a terrible time for the country, which is already grappling with a 17-year conflict and preparing to hold a parliamentary election that is three years late.

The United Nations is spearheading international efforts to reach 2.5 million of the three million most in need of food by mid-December, UN humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan Toby Lanzer told AFP.

“Those people are surviving on less than one meal a day and in all likelihood that meal is bread and tea,” Lanzer said.

Lanzer said the three million people hardest hit were in the “emergency” phase four of a widely-used food insecurity index, one level below famine.

The figure was “among the highest in the world” and required “the most urgent response”.

“If we don´t (reach them) there´s a risk that these people go into level five,” Lanzer said.

Aid groups distributed basic commodities, including wheat flour fortified with minerals, vegetable oil and lentils, to 600,000 people last month, Lanzer said.

They hope to reach another 600,000 by the end of October.

Another eight million people were in the “crisis” phase three of the food insecurity index, which includes people with “food consumption gaps with high or above usual acute malnutrition”.

Lanzer said the figures were “far worse than we had anticipated” and he warned the situation could worsen as temperatures plummet during the winter months.

The drought affecting more than half of Afghanistan was triggered by a huge shortfall in snow and rain last winter.

Many of the displaced have set up makeshift tents in camps on the edge of urban areas, including the western city of Herat.

Afghan officials and foreign aid groups are struggling to meet demand for food, shelter and health services.

People at the camps told AFP in August they had been surviving on a diet of bread and tea for months because they did not have enough money to buy fruit, vegetables or meat. – Tens of thousands pay homage to martyred Sikh youths at Bargari

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 14 October 2018. Tens of thousands of Sikhs today commemorated the third death anniversary of Shaheed Bhai Krishan Bhagwan Singh and Shaheed Bhai Gurjit Singh Nikke Sarawan at Bargari.

Contrary to the expectations among political circles, the today’s gathering didn’t seem less than the earlier gathering held at Bargari on October 7.

Notably, Shaheed Bhai Krishan Bhagwan Singh and Shaheed Bhai Gurjit Singh Nikke Sarawan had attained martyrdom in unprovoked firing opened by the police cops on peacefully protesting Sikhs at Behbal Klan on October 14, 2015.

Prominent Panthik leaders and AAP leaders enthusiastically participated in this tributary program held in the grain market of Bargari.

Addressing the gathering, all the leaders took on the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) for undermining the temporal Sikh institution by playing in the hands of anti-Sikh powers. They also criticized the Congress led Punjab government for not taking any action against the killer cops.

Rebel AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira, SAD (Amritsar) president S Simranjit Singh Mann, UAD president Bhai Mohkam Singh, General Secretary S Gurdeep Singh Bathinda, Bhai Satnam Singh Manawa, Bhai Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, S Jaskaran Singh Kahan Singh Wala, Bhai Balwant Singh Gopala etc addressed the Sikh gathering on this occasion beside the Sarbat Khalsa appointed Takht Jathedars.

The presence of Punjab Congress leaders Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria was noticed in the other tributary programs organized by the families of martyred Sikh youths in their native villages.

Interacting with media, the Punjab Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said that the Punjab government is planning to build memorials of Shaheed Bhai Krishan Bhagwan Singh and Shaheed Bhai Gurjit Singh Nikke Sarawan in their villages.

Terming the Behbal Klan tragedy as the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy of 21st century, Bajwa said that the Punjab Government is duty-bound to give justice to the victims of Behbal Klan and Kotkapura firing incidents and the perpetrators would be behind the bars very soon.

Gent-Sint-Pieters – Korte Meer – Veldstraat

07 September 2018

Doubledecker to Kortrijk

Here comes the Welkenraedt train

IC to Welkenraedt

Korte Meer
08 September 2018

Korte Meer – Tram 1 to Evergem

Korte Meer – Tram 1 to Evergem

Veldstraat – Tram 1 to Flanders Expo

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue – DSGMC member Avtar Singh Hit elected to head Patna Sahib management board

Sikh24 Editors

Patna – Bihar – India, 15 October 2018. The SAD(Badal) affiliated DSGMC member Avtar Singh Hit was elected to head the Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Board on October 14. He has replaced the former SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar who was elected as president of the committee about two and half years ago.

Sources have informed that the DSGMC general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa played a key role in the election of Avtar Singh Hit as the president of the Takht Sri Patna Sahib Management Board. Avtar Singh Hit ran unopposed in the election as no candidate appeared to challenge his election as president of the management board.

Sikh24 has learnt that the other office bearers of the management committee are also affiliated to SAD (Badal). Dr Gurmeet Singh has been elected as the senior vice president while Inderjeet Singh got elected as a junior vice president. Similarly, M S Dhillon and M S Chhabra have been elected as general secretary and secretary of the management board respectively.

Dawn – Threats to Indus Delta highlighted

Shazia Hasan

Karachi – Sindh – Pakistan, 15 October 2018. “All over the world, rivers naturally flow into the sea. But out here it is the sea flowing into the Indus Delta,” said environmentalist and researcher Nasir A Panhwar during his talk and presentation titled “Survival of the Indus Delta” at the Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences on Saturday.

“The Indus Delta is a unique coastal system where the sea and the river meet, where the soil was very fertile due to the accumulation of silt from the river for thousands of years.

But after the diversion of the upstream water there the amount of silt has become less while bringing up various threats to the delta,” he said, while explaining that the delta included 17 major creaks starting from the Gizri Creek to Sir Creek.

“Due to the diversion there is a less fresh water flow in the delta now and so there is an intrusion of sea, a man made disaster,” he said. “Meanwhile, the rise in sea level is due to climate change, which is again man-made if we go into the depth of it,” he added.

“And because of the sea intrusion, the land is losing its fertility. The falling of the level of ground water has hurt agriculture. Farmers used to grow red rice here, which is no longer possible. Because of the non-availability of fresh water, the subsoil water if there is any is brackish,” he said.

“Fisheries too have been hurt as grazing land for livestock has also become scarce and the animals had to migrate. With the animals leaving, humans too have moved due to an increased lack of livelihood putting added pressure on urban centres.

Also frequency of cyclones and tsunami have made the poor people living in the area even more vulnerable,” he pointed out.

Pakistan is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. “We do sign but then we also forget,” said Panhwar. “The Indus Delta is also a signified Ramsar site which should have been taken special care of as it has national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and an important eco system,” he reminded.

“Another harm done to the Indus Delta,” the researcher said, “was the destruction of the mangrove forests, which provided a natural shield against cyclones and tsunamis along with being the breading ground for shrimp and several species of sea life,” he said.

Among the researcher’s recommendations were revisiting the water accord of 1991 by incorporating the environmental flow concept and declaring the Indus Delta as the fifth shareholder of water distribution, besides the four provinces.

He also said the Government of Pakistan must establish an Indus Delta rehabilitation programme with an independent body to implement it. The government should also ensure at least 10 million acre feet water down stream Kotri Barrage immediately till such a time as the precise amount of water is accessed through a detailed study.

A comprehensive assessment of losses must be carried out and communities provided adequate compensation and a development plan should be launched while recognising the communities’ rights over all the natural resources.

Earlier, Kaleem Durrani of Irtiqa said that despite all its problems, whether political or social, Sindh had never given up. “History is reminiscent of the fact that Sindh has always stood up to challenges dealt with them through the in-depth knowledge of its own people,” he said.