“The investigation is from thebattalion commander down to the company commander. They should look after thewelfare of their men. They should have used dalawangsasakyan para hindi sila crowded satruck,” said Pamuspusan. “Kasi we have to anticipate possibleincidents like i-ambush sila or may landmine or vehicular accident. Or dapat naglakad na lang sila kasi malapit lang ang kanilangheadquarters. Ito hindi na plano properly,” Pamuspusan said. He also wondered why the battalion didnot use police 6×6 trucks. A truck transporting RMFB policemenfell into a ravine in Barangay Ginomoy, Alimodian. Four policemen died whileover 20 others were injured. The truck was owned by the local government unitof Alimodian. It was taking the policemen back to their camp from an offensiveoperation. RMFB is temporarily headed by PoliceLieutenant John Lemuel Villafranca, Batiles’ deputy. PHOTO BY IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN ILOILO City – The commander of thePolice Regional Office 6’s (PRO-6) Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) wasrelieved from his post. “We need an investigation para alam natin ang lapses. May nakita akong mali sa kanila. Kahit may namatay at may nasugatan, weneed to this,” said Pamuspusan. PRO-6 director Police BrigadierGeneral Rene Pamuspusan cited “command responsibility” for relieving Batiles. The director said he already met thefamilies of the casualties and also visited the injured in hospitals. Police Lieutenant Colonel Leo Batilesfaces investigation over the vehicular accident in Barangay Ginomoy, Alimodian,Iloilo on Saturday afternoon. “I assured them of our support. I madesure their needs were being provided,” he said./PN
Joaquin Valverde, owner of Valverde Country Hotel, has installed a mini solar farm, the first of its kind in the Gauteng. The new solar facility has the capacity to supply 2 500 litres of hot water to 18 guest rooms and two kitchens. (Images: Wilma den Hartigh) MEDIA CONTACTS • Joaquin Valverde Valverde Country Hotel +27 72 587 0362RELATED ARTICLES • Africa leads solar laptop revolution • Simple solar solution for rural Africa • SA becoming a renewable energy hub • SA’s future renewable energy mecca • First CT homes to feed power to grid Wilma den HartighWhen Joaquin Valverde bought Valverde Country Hotel in Muldersdrift, west of Johannesburg in Gauteng, about nine years ago, he had a vision to transform what was an abandoned building into a thriving business.But Valverde didn’t want to do it the conventional way – he wanted an eco-conscious business with a low carbon footprint.Instead of just paying lip service to going green, he’s introduced various greening initiatives at Valverde over the years. The most recent introduction is a mini solar farm, the first of its kind in the province.“We are embracing the trend to go green, which seems quite apt considering that Valverde means ‘green valley’ in Spanish and Italian,” Valverde says. “We believe that it is time for businesses to take environmental responsibility seriously.”Finding a concept that worksInstalling solar power technology at the hotel was a lengthy process and the final product is the result of many months of design, approvals and testing.Regardt Botha from RHB Consulting, a small engineering consulting company responsible for the design of Valverde’s solar facility, says that an initial proof of concept phase was completed in May last year. This involved levelling the ground and installing the ring feed piping, pumps and the first set of geysers.After about six months of testing the system over the coldest part of winter, the second phase was completed at the end of last year.Botha explains that the hotel’s solar power project had a few challenges. Usually, solar collectors are mounted on the roof of a building where the most sunlight can be captured.However, this was not possible at Valverde as all the buildings have thatched roofs, which could result in rotting of the thatch if the hot water leaked out.The positioning was also important as the collector panels had to face north and be installed away from buildings to prevent shadows on the panels.The solution to Valverde’s challenges was a centralised hot water plant and a ring feed to circulate it throughout the facility.Instead of hiding the geysers and panels, the mini solar farm was installed right next to the hotel’s swimming pool. “We decided to make a feature of it,” Valverde says.Sun power to heat waterThe new solar facility, valued at R150 000 (US$20 000), has the capacity to supply 2 500 litres of hot water to 18 guest rooms and two kitchens.This particular system, made from high quality materials to capture the maximum sunlight, is one of the most accessible types of solar technology for businesses and residential homes. It’s affordable, requires little maintenance and is relatively easy to install.The hotel can expect savings of about R10 000 ($1 300) to R12 000 ($1 600) a month on its electricity bill. “It will allow a 40% energy saving in the long run,” says Valverde.And there is no question about it – the water heated using this system is hot. On a visit to the farm early in the day the water temperature had already reached 70 degrees Celsius. Botha says on a sunny day, the water temperature can be as high as 95 degrees Celsius.If the water gets too hot, it is mixed down using a tempering valve to between 55 and 60 degrees Celsius to prevent scalding.Botha says one of the criticisms of this solar system is that the water does get very hot, but he argues that this is actually a benefit. The system’s highly effective sun energy storage capacity means that even with two consecutive rainy days, a situation not unheard of in the area, there will still be enough hot water to go around.Two-phase heating systemThe two-phase heating technology of the facility consists of two rows of five geysers, each connected to a solar panel. The first row of pre-heating geysers feeds into the second row of main supply geysers, which ensures that the hotel always has a supply of hot water ready to use.The dual glass vacuum tubes made from toughened glass are one of the unique features of this system, and work just like a conventional thermos flask keeps beverages hot.The thermal insulation mechanism doesn’t allow heat to escape easily, keeping liquids warmer for longer than in a typical container.When the tubes absorb solar energy, the sun penetrates the outer tube, heat is absorbed by the inner tube and the vacuum between the two retains the heat.“Because the tubes are round, they are less sensitive to the sun’s orientation and can absorb a greater amount of heat,” explains Valverde. “A specially formulated coating allows the tubes to absorb maximum heat without radiating it out again.”Reducing water consumptionBesides reducing energy consumption, cutting back on the amount of water used by the facility is another top priority for Valverde.So he’s installed a grey water recycling plant that works with a bio-filter to clean water using bacteria and natural filters.All wastewater runs through a natural filtering system, and is collected in two dams.“In doing this we are able to reduce our overall water consumption by using the water for irrigation,” he explains.Indigenous fish species such as tilapia and barbel have been introduced to the dam, which helps to maintain a healthy ecosystem by attracting local birds, frogs, ducks and even the occasional fish eagle.The hotel owner has also invested in other water-saving devices such as low-flow showerheads.Buying local, reducing wasteWhenever possible, Valverde sources fresh produce from local farmers. This further reduces the hotel’s carbon footprint and supports local suppliers.“We buy all our lettuce, herbs and some vegetables from a local farmer who produces everything organically,” he says.All organic food waste is disposed of in the hotel’s worm farm and the compost that results is used to cultivate the gardens and the vegetable patch on the property.Awarded green statusValverde recently became a member of the Event Greening Forum, an initiative that promotes sustainable and ethical business practices within the events industry in South Africa.“If you look at our picturesque surroundings it’s easy to understand what inspires us to preserve our natural heritage,” he says.
If you’re not sure what you’ll be doing this Mandela Month, why not join GEM and Brand South Africa in helping those in need. With a wide range of organisations and initiatives to choose from, you can find something that appeals to you.The GEM Project invites you to join its group of volunteers who are going the extra mile to help the needy on Mandela Month. (Image: GEM Project, via Facebook)Not sure how you’ll be spending your 67 minutes this Mandela Month? Download the GEM Project app and find out what opportunities there are to play your part in your area.With a wide range organisations and initiatives in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Howick, you can find the right place for you to help build a better South Africa for all through active citizenship.The GEM Project App is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and the Blackberry App Store, ready to get you set on Nelson Mandela International Day and the days that follow.Where to goSome of the opportunities open to volunteers:Cape TownIkamva Youth – grades 10 and 11 tutoringVolunteers are expected to support learners with their homework and tutor them in concepts they find challenging.Subjects include mathematics, physical science, business studies, electrical technology, mechanical technology, engineering graphics and design.Proteus Technical High School, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis, Cape TownLadles of Love – soup kitchen for the homelessJoin GEM in giving homeless people in Cape town nourishment and love. It’s the @Ladles way and every bit helps.Doppio Zero, St George’s Mall, Cape Town CBDUpcycle and UcookVolunteers help to set up the kitchen and other activities.Claremont Civic Centre, 231 Main Road, ClaremontDomestic Animal Rescue GroupThere are 10 volunteer stations for those who want to meet the animals. There is also a children’s corner and a book sale.Hout Bay Road, Hout BayTears Animal RescueLoads of activities are planned to make rescued tails wag and kittens purr.4 Lekkerwater Road, SunnydaleCart Horse Protection AssociationVolunteer at the Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre at the Firlands Equestrian Estate in Somerset West. Help clean the roofs, stable walls and paddocks.Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Firlands Park, Helderberg RuralJohannesburgThe Gift of JoyThe organisation is hosting children from a children’s home for a day of fun at Gold Reef City. Spend time with the children by joining them on the rides.Gold Reef City, OrmondeArk Animal CentreThe day is about spoiling the dogs. Walk, brush, play or just love the canines. Or for those who want to spruce up the place, you can paint or garden.17 Howard Avenue, ChartwellSandton Community Policing ForumJoin the Sandton Community Policing Forum as it cleans, fixes and repairs the Sandton Police Station.2 Summit Road, Morningside, SandtonWestbury Youth CentreHelp the Westbury Youth Centre serve senior citizens tea, coffee and lunch. Then help to clean the centre.Westbury Youth Centre, cnr MacMillan and Du Plessis streets, WestburyEthembeni Children’s HomeHelp facilitators at the home with daily chores before spending time with the toddlers.84 Davies Street, DoornfonteinPretoriaNew BeginningzVolunteers wash windows and walls, clean the balcony, plant vegetables and paint classrooms. You can also donate fresh fruit and veggies, non-perishable food, baby formula, wet wipes, nappies and pocket change for the children.558 Bengal Street, Laudium, CenturionHowick, KZNLove Howick & Oasis ChurchThe church calls on individuals, families, churches, businesses and the government to help clean up the Howick CBD. Take black bags, gloves and scrapers to remove illegal posters.70 Main Street, Howick, KwaZulu-NatalBe sure to keep an eye on the GEM Project App for any updates or new additions to their list of volunteering events.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Darjeeling: The Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus in Siliguri is all set to get a makeover.State Tourism minister Goutam Deb visited the bus terminus on Tuesday. Later, while talking to media persons, Deb stated that the revamping of the bus terminus was proposed by the state Transport minister. “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had asked us to revamp the bus terminus. A few days ago the Principal Secretary of the Transport department was in Siliguri. The revamping of the bus terminus was discussed. A drawing and Detailed Project Report is being prepared,” said Deb. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHe stated that the company that had designed Uttar Kanya (secretariat), Biswa Bangla Krirangan and at present is revamping the Mainak Tourist Lodge in Siliguri, is drawing up the plans for the terminus. “We will have an administrative block of around 15,000 sq ft. We will have air-conditioned dormitories and family rooms. A cafeteria and takeaway food counter is also being planned,” Deb said. An additional floor will be constructed in the existing building so that the shops that are located on the front of the terminus can be relocated. “We will be spending around Rs 5 crore for the revamping. The project will be completed by October 2020,” stated the Tourism minister. Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus located in Siliguri is the biggest bus terminus in North Bengal. State transports as well as private buses ply from the terminus regularly.
APTN National NewsThe Peepeekisis First Nation in Saskatchewan is rejecting the federal government’s demand for more say in how band money is spent.This could have serious repercussions according to residents there.APTN’s Chris Stewart has the story.
A new Department of Homeland Security request for additional troops and other logistical support on the southern border has been received by the Pentagon, CNN reported Friday.The request arrived late Wednesday and was still under review by Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan Friday afternoon, according to CNN.The request would authorize about 300 troops such as military lawyers, cooks and drivers to help with migrants entering the U.S. Senior defense officials had recommended approval of the request, though it would counter current DOD policy.A 2006 policy prohibits military personnel from coming into contact with migrants, according to The Hill.Earlier this month DOD approved a request from DHS to identify housing for as many as 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children, but not oversee their custody, as ADC has reported.Over the past year up to 5,900 troops have been deployed to the southern border performing missions including surveillance, aviation support and placement of deterrent wiring between ports of entry. Currently there are 3,000 active duty troops and 2,000 National Guard reserves deployed along the southern border.Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class TaWanna Starks ADC AUTHOR
Kolkata: Five persons were arrested when they assembled in New Town with a motive to decamp with valuables from a house in the area. Acting on a tip off, police conducted a raid in New Town and arrested the accused.Cops came to know that a group of miscreants had chalked out a plan to decamp with valuables from a house.Based on a specific information, police was waiting at the spot where all the five were supposed to assemble.After waiting for around an hour, the police, who were in plainclothes, found the miscreants reaching the spot one after the other. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThey gheraoed them from all sides and caught them red handed. Some of them attempted to escape. But the policemen chased them and arrested the miscreants.Police said the five arrested people are SK Sarif (22), a resident of Satragachi at Moukhali in Howrah, Tahzeeb Ahmed (29) of Howrah, Goni Gazi (19), a resident of Nandakishor Para in South 24-Parganas and Anup Bhim (36) of Mahadebpur in Nadia and Satyajit Pramanik of Thakdari Pramanik Para in New Town. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedPolice recovered a sharp knife and iron rods from the miscreants.It may be mentioned that the police have intensified its vigil in the area and it has helped in reducing crime in the area. Police have initiated interrogation to know whether others are involved in their racket. They are also trying to know whether they are involved in anymore cases of dacoity.A police officer said one of them is a local resident and he had chalked out the plan to decamp with the valuables from the house. They had also conducted a reccee in the area before attempting to commit the crime.