Rain wrecks bridge and leaves family trapped in their home

first_imgAn elderly wheelchair user and his extended family have been trapped in their homes after heavy rain washed away a bridge leading to their homes.The O Duibhir family from An Bun Beag in Gaoth Dobhair awoke this morning to find heavy rain had burst the banks of the nearby River Clady.The heavy swell washed away a bridge leading to the extended family’s three homes being cut off from the main road. John ‘Mor’ O Duibhir, who is in his 70s, requires constant care and receives three home helps to his home.His son Sean said the family are trapped in their homes and need help as soon as possible.“We simply cannot get in or out in our cars. We’re trapped. My father receives visits from the home help services and they will not be able to drive here either.“This has happened a few times before but this is the worst I have seen it. The bridge is completely gone. “We need this fixed once and for all so that this does not happen.“We have spent a lot of our own money fixing this over the years but now the job needs to be done properly,” said Sean who is a part-time fireman.”Local county councillor Micheal Mac Giolla Easbuig visited the family and has contacted both Minister Joe McHugh’s office as well as Minister Boxer Moran’s office as well as Deputy Thomas Pringle.He told Donegal Daily “This is not something that can wait a few weeks and a patch-up job done on it. I have been in touch with Donegal County Council and they are acting.“But we need something done from the top on this situation and we need this bridge sorted immediately for these families. “John O Duibhir needs home helps each day as he is in a wheelchair and we need to have access to these houses reinstated as soon as possible.“After that, we need to make sure that a new bridge is built so that this does not simply happen again this winter,” he said.Rain wrecks bridge and leaves family trapped in their home was last modified: September 3rd, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:bridgeclady riverdonegalfloodsGOATH DOBHAIRhousetrappedlast_img read more

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Riding an African elephant

first_imgWhile Indian elephants have long been used to carry people on their backs, riding their much larger and wilder African cousins has always been seen as too dangerous. An elephant’s trunk is used for picking up objects, trumpeting warnings, greeting other elephants, for drinking water or bathing. (Image: WWF)Brand South Africa ReporterWhile Indian elephants have long been used to carry people on their backs, riding their much larger and wilder African cousins has always been seen as too dangerous. But with tame animals raised by humans, elephant-back safaris are quite safe, and the perfect way to move silently through the bush viewing game.Three South African game lodges offer elephant-back safaris: Camp Jabulani in Limpopo province, Addo Elephant Back Safaris in the Eastern Cape and the Elephant Sanctuary in Gauteng.JabulaniIn 1997 a three-month-old elephant bull was found stuck in a silt dam near Hoedspruit in Limpopo. Discovered by Lente Roode, founder of the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and now owner of Camp Jabulani, the exhausted and malnourished elephant calf was immediately taken to the centre.Roode named the calf Jabulani, meaning “happiness” or “rejoice”, but experts had little hope for his survival without his mother’s milk. But a formula was developed and Jabulani pulled through. Raised in captivity, a attempted reintroduction into the wild herd of elephants on Kapama Game Reserve when he was two years old failed. At five years old the young bull really needed an elephant family when the perfect opportunity presented itself.In 2002, Roode learned of a herd of 12 trained elephants in Zimbabwe whose lives were in jeopardy after the game farm where they lived was invaded by war veterans. Roode bought the elephants, which were moved to the Kapama Private Game Reserve in South Africa. When Jabulani was introduced to the herd, the matriarch Tokwe immediately adopted him as her own.Game viewing from elephant backThis was to be the start of elephant-back safaris in South Africa, and the luxury six-suite tented camp Camp Jabulani, named after the feisty little bull. The 13 adult elephants – Sebekwe, Mnuyati, Nfuli, Joe, Jim, Setombe, Semopane, Tokwe, Lundi, Fishan, Bubu, Dande and Jabulani – take guests out on daily excursions to the bush. At night the elephants sleep in stables.Guests are seated on a comfortable canvas-covered saddle mounted behind an experienced elephant handler. From this vantage point they are able to view game – antelope, giraffe and zebra – up close as the elephants move silently in single file through the bush. It is also possible to see the Big Five as the reserve contains lions, wild elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo.Each safari lasts for about an hour and 20 minutes and includes a talk by the elephant master on elephant behaviour before the ride, and refreshments afterwards. Guests mount and dismount from a specially built platform level with the elephant’s back.Elephant-back safaris are available to day visitors too, but for guests staying over at Camp Jabulani safaris are included in the tariff and can be enjoyed both as a daytime excursion and a night safari with spotlights. Guests may have as many rides as they want, but the activity is not available to children younger than 12 years. The 13 elephants can carry a maximum of 18 passengers between them at any one time.Riding in AddoIn the Zuurberg mountains of Greater Addo – but not affiliated to the national park – is Addo Elephant Back Safaris. At this Eastern Cape lodge guests have the option to walk with or ride the three resident elephants through some of Africa’s most diverse landscapes.Walks with the elephants allow guests to observe their behaviour in natural surroundings, while riding the gentle pachyderms gives an excellent perspective of the area – at a peaceful and gentle pace. Bush, ravines and forest are encountered on each outing, before relaxing at a waterhole while the elephants frolic and swim.There are numerous daily options, from a two-hour morning walk and ride with snacks provided, to a three-hour walk and ride with lunch, an afternoon walk and ride with drinks and snacks for two hours, to a late-afternoon sundowner encounter with elephants, with drinks and snacks provided and lasting an hour.Elephant SanctuaryElephant Sanctuary and Guest Lodge is in the scenic Magaliesberg mountains, just 45 minutes from Johannesburg and Tshwane. The sanctuary lies in natural indigenous bush and is home to plenty of wildlife and about 350 species of birds – and 12 African elephants.Elephant Sanctuary offers guests a comprehensive, hands-on elephant experience that enriches and informs. Mosadi, Moroela, Khumba, Thandi, Jabu, Themba, Mvuso, Kitso, Thaba, Tumelo and Kasper ensure that guests will leave with new-found respect and admiration for the gentleness and intelligence of African elephants.Activities include touching, feeding and brushing elephants, walking with them or riding them through the bush. Guests can opt for a day trip to the sanctuary or overnight in the 10-bedded Indo-African lodge, where all rooms share a common wall with the elephants’ stables.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materialSource: South African Tourismlast_img read more

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New take on iconic vuvuzela

first_imgBuilding on the popularity of the iconic vuvuzela, South African National Parks, First National Bank and a local vehicle component company have teamed up to bring sports fans another instrument to pump up the volume at football matches, the spiralled kuduzela.MEDIA CONTACTS • Reynold Thakhuli South Africa National Parks +27 12 426 5170 • Kirsten Edwards FNB Corporate Communications +27 76 191 4878USEFUL LINKS • First National Bank 2010 • South African National Parks • Travelwires.com RELATED ARTICLES • Colourful vuvuzelas – from kelp • Viva the vuvuzela orchestra! • Football – South Africa styleWilma den HartighWhen the novelty of trumpeting on a vuvuzela wears off, South African sports fans can apply their lips to a different kind of wind instrument, the kuduzela, inspired by the spiral horn of the kudu antelope.The new instrument, said to mimic a bellowing elephant, is the result of a joint effort between South African National Parks (SANparks) and First National Bank (FNB), and has been rolled out just in time for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.SANparks chose the kudu horn model as it has great historic significance for African communities.“Traditionally, in some African communities, the kudu horn has been used as an instrument to call people together for gatherings at the royal house or for a community imbizo [a meeting], but most importantly as a call to battle. Now the kuduzela will fulfil the same role,” said Dr David Mabunda, chief executive officer (CEO) of SANParks.“The kuduzela will call all South Africans, international guests and soccer fans to South Africa for what is set to be a spectacular tournament in 2010 and, appropriately, it will be calling the ‘warring parties’ to the symbolic battlefield of soccer,” he added.Novel business ideaAK Stone Guard, a vehicle component manufacturer based in the industrial town of Vereeniging on the outskirts of Gauteng, has set up a separate division called Kudu Kudu Manufacturing to make the kuduzelas.The company got involved in the project as a result of the economic downturn and consequent slowdown in vehicle production. As business was quiet, the owners started looking for innovative ways to keep the plant operational and their staff employed.With some careful planning, a section of the plant was modified to manufacture the kuduzelas.Reynold Thakhuli, media relations general manager for SANparks, said that through the project the company has managed to retain 25 jobs.“These people would have otherwise faced retrenchment,” he said.AK Stone Guard managing director Gary Immelman is optimistic that more workers will be employed as kuduzela production increases ahead of the World Cup.The kuduzelas are mostly made of recycled plastic from the vehicle plant.To ensure that the kuduzela looks authentic, a real horn was used to produce the mould. Thakhudi said the original horn was taken from a kudu that died of old age in the Kruger National Park.Double spin-offNot only is the project saving jobs, it will also boost conservation education in South Africa.A percentage of the manufacturing cost of each kuduzela will be donated to the Kids in Parks conservation project – an education programme which helps children explore South African national parks and understand their place in the natural and cultural world.“SANparks chose this project because it is important to educate children from an early age about conservation issues,” Thakhudi explained.FNB CEO Michael Jordaan said the bank has committed itself to donating 6.24% of the cost of every kuduzela produced to SANparks for the Kids in Parks project.“This will equate to more than R600 000 from the bank’s order alone,” Jordaan said.Finding your kuduzelaIf you’re itching to get your hands on a kuduzela, and are an FNB customer, you can enter a draw to win one. Simply make three or more prepaid airtime purchases per month by dialling *130*321# to stand a chance of winning.Until the end of September 2009 FNB has the exclusive rights to the kuduzelas for their airtime competition, but after that the horns will be available at Makro outlets, Pick ‘n Pay and Kruger National Park camp shops.If you’re an ardent fan of the trusty vuvuzela, don’t worry about them being phased out or playing second fiddle to the new kuduzela.SANpark’s Thakhudi explained that the kuduzela wouldn’t replace its well-known cousin at football games. It will just bring a unique South African flavour to stadiums during sports events, especially next year’s World Cup.“The kuduzela will sound like a herd of elephants trumpeting and we hope that the two instruments will enhance each other,” he said. • Do you have any queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

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“Steinmaennchen 3” GC1BZ5M GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – August 9th, 2010

first_imgMotoleni says, “Bei meinen Motorradtouren im Gebirge habe ich immer wieder alte Wegmarkierungen in Form von Steinmännchen gesehen.So kam der Gedankediese Idee auch fürs Geocaching zu verwenden. Das erste Steinmännchen steht bei mir Garten und die Resonanz der Geocacher ist überwältigend. Jede Menge toll bemalter Steine und nicht weniger tolle Logeinträge. Inzwischen ist die Zahl der Steinmännchen auf 9 angewachsen. Verschiedene Owner haben mich angemailt, und gefragt, ob sie diese Idee aufgreifen können.”The difficulty 1, terrain 3.5 cache was placed in April of 2008.  It’s been found nearly 40 times since. Geocachers who have logged the find write, “The way to this cache is quite challenging, but worth doing. We wouldn’t have done it if not for the cache. The view from the top is really marvelous! Good shoes are recommended for the walk.”You can explore all the world of geocaching by checking out all Geocaches of the Week.Share with your Friends:More A cairn at the site of “Steinmaenncher 3” SharePrint Related”Swan Valley Safe” GC2MRF0 GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – February 21, 2011February 22, 2011In “Community”Aloha from Hawaii! — Honu Beach Cache (GC102CV) — Geocache of the WeekJanuary 20, 2016In “Community””DSOM – Minero las piedras” GC273NE GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – November 21, 2011November 21, 2011In “Community”center_img View from “Steinmaenncher 3″“Steinmaenncher” translates to English as “Stone Man.”  Steinmaennchen 3(GC1BZ5M) is one of nearly two dozen geocaches throughout the island nation of Seychelles.  The traditional cache takes geocachers up a steep slope and through a dense jungle on the main island, just outside the capitol city of Victoria.The key piece of advice from the cache owner, Motoleni,  is to bring adequate water for the 1.5 km hike.We asked Motoleni why he named the geocache “Steinmaenncher.”  His answer, in his native German, below, describes seeing the “Stone Men,” or cairns, as he drove his motorcycle through the mountains. The piles of rocks were used to hold sign posts.  He asks geocachers to create a cairn at the site of the geocache.  So far, there are nine cairns at the site – some even have painted rocks.last_img read more

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Affordable Housing is Leading Green Building

first_imgI recently learned that in Georgia, as well as much of the rest of the country, Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), the fuel that drives much of the affordable housing industry, strongly encourages green building certification for projects that obtain these credits. Without this connection to tax credits, we would see many fewer certified green homes and apartments, and these affordable developers would not be the leaders in green building that they are today.Realizing that this segment of the housing industry is one of the few seeing much action, I recently attended the annual conference of the Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition (GAHC) in beautiful and historic Savannah.Funny money?I met a lot of great people at the conference and learned more than I wanted to know about the financing of affordable housing deals. Being a sticks-and-bricks kind of guy, I never paid much attention to the intricacies of project financing, and more specifically, the role that tax credits play.The beginning of my education on the subject started with a casual conversation about power company rebates for multifamily projects. I was chatting with a developer and mentioned that a project I was looking at was eligible for about $300,000 in rebates for energy-efficiency improvements. His response was, “How does it affect his basis?”Being a logical, straightforward sort of person, it never occurred to me that getting cash rebates for building renovations could somehow not be desirable. But I was mistaken. It seems that the tax credits on affordable projects are based on the depreciable basis in a project and they are available for a ten-year period following construction. Developers can use these credits to offset income, or if they are non-profits, they sell them to other entities for cash. In some cases, it is better to not receive rebates and other incentives as they may have less value than the tax credits they displace. There are apparently teams of accountants and consultants that run these numbers for developers, helping them figure out the best way to maximize their profits.More green building knowledge neededOK, enough high finance for me. What really struck me at the conference was that even though almost everyone there was involved in green building through having projects certified, there was remarkably little in-depth knowledge of the subject.While I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on the subject, at most conferences I find myself somewhere in the middle of the green building knowledge spectrum. At this event, I was pretty much the only expert in the crowd, something I found both fun and frightening.One panel on green building included a construction manager who was clearly out of his element on the subject. He made several incorrect and misleading statements about various insulation products, leading me to speak up and clarify his points for the audience. He really got my back up by pointing out that fiberglass batts are so much less expensive than spray foam that it’s hard to justify the extra expense. When I pointed out that when you look at overall building performance, and the work required to get different insulation products to perform to equivalent levels, then the costs are much closer, there was, thankfully, acknowledgment that first costs are not the only factor to consider.Strutting my own stuffI was on a panel with a geothermal contractor, a large PV installer, an architect, and a representative of a local affordable housing agency. Most of the questions involved the complexity of making PV and geothermal work on affordable projects, how the incentives affected their basis, and net metering and feed-in tariff issues.I was given an opportunity to rant a little, and as I wrapped up my points on existing buildings, suggesting that implementing measures like retrofitting wall insulation, window replacement, and HVAC equipment replacement without first improving ductwork were generally bad strategies (in the South at least), the moderator cheerily thanked me for contradicting everything they had learned in their careers.At this conference I learned quite a bit about how the affordable housing industry works, met lots of nice people, and made many good contacts that may lead to some future work. It is encouraging that so much affordable housing is certified green, and even though they are not necessarily the most knowledgeable green builders, they are certainly helping move the industry forward while providing healthy and efficient housing for our most needy citizens.last_img read more

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Bad Advice Sounds Nice

first_imgJeb was listening to a podcast while he was driving home. He called to tell me what the person being interviewed had said. He couldn’t wait to tell me. He knew he was going to cause an immediate rise in my blood pressure.The person being interviewed said that salespeople should no longer close. Instead, they should just “connect” with their prospective buyers. She said that when buyers are ready, they’ll let the salesperson know. She said salespeople should just try to be helpful.Bad Advice Sounds NiceThe problem with bad advice like this is that it sounds so appealing to young, soft, impressionable, and failing salespeople.Closing is Commitment-Gaining. If you are in sales, you are going to have to gain commitments. Period. If you sell something with a low price and little risk, closing for the deal is exactly what you should be doing. If you sell something complicated, expensive, and risky you should be asking for a bunch of commitments, including the commitment to buy from you when you have earned that right (might be early, might be later, but ask for it you must). If you want to make a difference for other people, you are going to have to ask for commitments.Not Connecting. Creating Value. I can’t think of anything more detrimental to salespeople than the word “connecting.” It’s soft and squishy. It’s aimless. It’s social selling bunk. There isn’t enough intention behind. Worst of all, it sounds like wasting your dream client’s time. You are supposed to be creating value for your clients. You are supposed to be sharing ideas and helping your customers find a better future state. That’s the connection your customer wants from you.No Waiting. Taking Action. The recipe for failing to create or win an opportunity has to begin with waiting. This is how you fail your prospects and clients. In what world is being proactive, setting an agenda, and driving towards better results a bad idea and waiting a good one. Waiting hurts you. Waiting hurts your company. And most of all, waiting hurts your prospective client by depriving them of the better results they might have sooner rather than later. The right answer is action.Your Fears Betray YouI told Jeb all of this is about fear.Some people are afraid to ask for the commitments they need because they fear their prospective client won’t like them, that they might lose the deal, that they’ll come across as pushy, or that they will be perceived as self-oriented. It’s fear that prevents you from asking.The word connecting sounds nice. It sounds like you are supposed to be pleasant and have a nice chat. Creating value is a much higher bar to get over. It’s fear of not being your client’s peer, fear of not knowing enough, and fear of going toe-to-toe with your dream client that prevents you from sharing what you know.And it’s fear that prevents you from taking action. Some people wait for their prospective client to take the next step because they fear losing the opportunity. If they ask, they may hear no. If they ask, they may be challenged by the objections that make them uncomfortable. They may even have their doubts about their own company exposed.Question any advice that makes you feel comfortable instead of uncomfortable. Question any advice that suggests you can produce excellent results without having to work on the outer limits of your comfort zone.Question any advice that recommends passivity or waiting. Question any suggestions that make something difficult sound easier than you know it to be.last_img read more

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