Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 5, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • NYK container ship IWASHIRO returning to Durban with technical problems

  • Successive cyclones bring Madagascar to its knees

  • Arrests made and boats seized in joint anti poaching operation

  • From A to Z - Angola to Zimbabwe in economics

  • SA, Tanzania to strengthen economic ties

  • Pic of the day – VAN GOGH

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    NYK container ship IWASHIRO returning to Durban with technical problems

    The Japanese container ship IWASHIRO, owned and operated by NYK Line is limping back to Durban, the port from which she sailed about a week ago, after experiencing technical problems off the coast of Madagascar.

    It is thought the problem may be related to a troublesome boiler although the 22,000-dwt (18,619-gt) ship is able to return under her own steam to Durban where repairs will be carried out.

    The 185m long vessel, built in 1995 is deployed on NYK’s container service between the Far East and South Africa and was en route to Singapore when the problems developed.

    According to the ship’s agent in Durban, Messrs Mitchell Cotts, Iwashiro is expected to arrive off Durban on 8 April but owing to the current delays being experienced at the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) and the lack of a booking the vessel may have a wait outside of up to four days before a space is allocated.

    Once at DCT about 700 containers have to be discharged and then the ship will move to the repair quay. It is believed that Messrs Dormac has been awarded the contract to undertake the repairs.

    The discharged containers will be loaded onto another vessel headed for Singapore and the Far East. Details about this are not yet known.

    Successive cyclones bring Madagascar to its knees

    cyclone aftermath in north-eastern Madagascar, an island country reeling after six major cyclones this summer. Picture courtesy IRIN/Episcopal Relief and Development

    Johannesburg (IRIN) - As the sixth major cyclone to hit Madagascar this season tears across the northeast of the impoverished Indian ocean island, a relentless succession of natural disasters has left nearly half a million people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

    Tropical cyclone Jaya made landfall on Madagascar's northeastern coast on Tuesday on a projected trajectory that will see it rage through areas already devastated by cyclone Indlala just over two weeks ago.

    "This is the worst cyclone season in the recorded history of the country," Dusan Zupka, the Senior Emergency Coordination Officer assigned to Madagascar by the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, told IRIN.

    According to the latest UN situation report, almost 130,000 people were "directly affected by cyclone Indlala” and “at least 88 people were killed and 30 disappeared, with about 30,000 left homeless or deprived of all their belongings."

    Natural disasters have been tormenting the island since the end of last year; Indlala followed in the wake of five destructive cyclones and unprecedented flooding. "Since December 2006, approximately 450,000 people have become the victims of natural disasters all over Madagascar," said a UN Children’s Fund statement.

    "If we cannot speak of a tsunami here in Madagascar, we can at least say that the affects of the natural disasters are somewhat similar to that in the aftermath of the [2004 Asian] tsunami," said Bruno Maes, the UNICEF Representative in Madagascar.
    "Considering the low level of human development [in Madagascar], the consequences are huge," Zupka said. Madagascar already faces serious challenges: More than 85 percent of its 19.1 million people live on less than US $ 2 a day, according to the 2006 United Nations Human Development report, and food insecurity and malnutrition are chronic, particularly in the drought-prone south.

    "Due to the flooding, tens of thousands of hectares of rice, the basic food source for the Malagasy, have also been destroyed," the UNICEF statement said. "With the increased food insecurity and shortage, there is the risk of increased malnutrition."

    Access to affected areas is a major obstacle to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and although assessments are underway, immediate needs are critical.

    Communication infrastructure, roads, schools and health centres have been severely damaged; provision of food, potable water, shelter, medicines, sanitation facilities, dealing with waterborne diseases and finding alternative means of transportation - like helicopters - until roads are fixed, are essential.

    Officials have warned that in-country supplies are drained. "We are overstretched in terms of human capacity and financial resources," Zupka said, adding that international donors had been generous and that "all UN agencies have boosted capacity [in Madagascar].

    Some replenishment has already come from the international community: "contributions so far in response to the cyclones/floods amount to Ariary 1.5 billion (US $ 7.5 million)," the UN report noted.

    Zupka expressed concern over the lack of international media attention the emergency in Madagascar had received, considering the extent of the multiple disasters and the vulnerability of the island and its people. "It is striking that so little attention is being paid to a crisis that affects so many that are already vulnerable because of poverty," he commented.

    With the cyclone season continuing until the end of April or early May, expectations are that Jaya will not be the last disaster to strike the island.

    Arrests made and boats seized in joint anti poaching operation

    The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), the South African Police Service and South African National Parks have confiscated a vehicle, two rubber ducks and 560 West Coast Rock Lobster in Hawston during a joint ant-poaching operation between Robben Island and the Overberg region on Tuesday night (3 April 2007).Two people were also arrested after a high speed car chase ensued when a Ford Sierra ignored signals by the SAPS officials to stop.

    The confiscated West Coast Rock lobster was returned to the ocean.

    At the same time the area around Dyer Island was patrolled and surveillance carried out by the VICTORIA MXENGE (patrol vessel). No poaching activities were observed as the Victoria Mxenge with her high level of visibility has a huge deterrent effect on poaching and illegal fishing activities.

    In a separate operation the SARAH BAARTMAN was patrolling the Overberg, Kleinmond area on Monday 2 April 2007 again acting as a huge deterrent and prevented any poaching from taking place. Members of the community have communicated to the department indicating that poachers have among themselves communicated that 'the dangerous reds are in the sea', referring to colour of the compliance vessels.

    'Our visible patrolling strategy along with intelligence gathering, strengthened community relations and strong and effective intergovernmental collaborations are definitely paying dividends in preventing these ruthless thieves from plundering our marine resources", says Blessing Manale, head of Communications in the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

    source - DEAT

    From A to Z - Angola to Zimbabwe in economics

    They say there are statistics and then there are…. well, more statistics! Perhaps we ought not to mention the other word. According to the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Angola ranks as the best performing economy in Africa and Zimbabwe the worst.

    Few will find any argument that Zimbabwe sadly deserves being at the bottom of the list, with an inflation rate currently measured at 1730 percent which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts will reach over 4000 percent by the end of this year. Zimbabwe currently has a negative 4.4 percent growth rate, the lowest in Africa. Apart from its appalling politics the country is suffering from a prolonged drought exacerbated by farm seizures that have removed some of the continent’s most effective farmers from the equation.

    At the other end of the scale, according to the Commission, lies Angola, which many who do business with the country may find surprising. Angola however has its oil exports to thank – something which so far as not greatly benefited the rank and file of much of the country although there are signs of infrastructural improvements taking place.

    Angola reached a record 17.6 percent growth rate, well ahead of the next best nation, Mauritania (another surprise) at 14.1 percent.

    What do these statistics mean? Very little in fact, unless the wealth generated in those countries having impressive growth rates is spread around in a manner that benefits the real economy of each nation. Sadly that doesn’t yet happen too often in many African states, although there are encouraging signs.

    SA, Tanzania to strengthen economic ties

    Pretoria, (BuaNews) - South Africa and Tanzania will strengthen their bilateral economic ties when the two countries' presidents preside over the South Africa-Tanzania Heads of State Economic Commission later today (Thursday).

    President Thabo Mbeki left Wednesday to lead a high-ranking government delegation to the meeting he will co-chair with his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete.

    The delegation consists of Ministers of Trade and Industry Mandisi Mpahlwa, Agriculture and Land Affairs Lulama Xingwana, Transport, Jeff Radebe; Buyelwa Sonjica of Minerals and Energy; Home Affairs' Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad.

    Issues on the Commission's agenda include:

    * Progress with regard to the spatial development initiatives programmes: the Mtwara Development Corridor and the Central Development Corridor;
    * The Memorandum of Understanding on Trade and Investment Co-operation;
    * Agriculture and food security issues;
    * Customs and revenue issues;
    * Immigration issues;
    * Transport and communication issues; and
    * Issues relating to minerals and energy.

    President Mbeki is participating within the context of South Africa's commitment to strengthen and consolidate political, economic and trade relations with a view to the consolidation of the African Agenda, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

    "Accordingly, the Presidential Economic Commission allows the Presidents of both countries to preside over the review of progress made with regard to strategic projects between the two countries," the department said.

    It added that South Africa ranked as one of the top 10 countries investing in Tanzania and accounted for 10 percent of total investments in Tanzania.

    More than 100 South African companies are economically active in Tanzania.

    South African exports to Tanzania are predominantly in the areas of manufacturing such as machinery, mechanical appliances, paper, rubber products, vehicles, iron and steel and services and technology.

    South Africa was also the second largest source of foreign direct investment to Tanzania for the period 1994-2005 by injecting nearly R3.9 billion into the Tanzanian economy.

    Statistics provided by the Dti show that trade between the two countries was still low with South African exports to Tanzania increasing from just over R1.5 million in 2001 to R2.7 million in 2006.

    During the same period imports from Tanzania increased from a meagre R38 000 to R300 000.

    Mr Mbeki is expected back in the country tomorrow (Friday).

    Pic of the day – VAN GOGH

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The name VAN GOGH on a cruise ship looks and sounds rather imposing and classic but in reality the ageing Dutch-owned cruise ship bearing this name is a converted ferry that has survived a number of reincarnations which now operates under various charters. The 15,402, 640-passenger ship arrived in South African waters last month on a rare visit and was in Cape Town on 8 March.
    Van Gogh started life as a passenger ferry in 1975 when she operated as Club 1 and later Club Cruise 1. In 1992 the ship changed hands and was converted for cruising, becoming the Black Sea Shipping Co’s Gruziya in 1995 and three years later the Odessa Sky for a Ukrainian company. In 2002 she was purchased by the current Dutch owners although her registered owner is listed as Maratiem & Leasing, one of those convenience Bahamas companies so often employed by ship owners. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    NB Shipping pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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