Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. Presently, he is teaching Mathematics at JCRE Global College. Jugeshwor can be reached at: [email protected] Or WhatsApp’s No: 9612891339.

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Tuesday, 09 March 2021 17:31

Problems & Solutions of Waste Management

India and other developing countries share a common problem in terms of urban solid waste management. The municipalities are unable to manage the increasing generation of waste due to rapid growth of population, change in lifestyles, urbanization and industrialization. Some of the common problem in solid waste management includes financial constraints, inadequate infrastructures, poor implementation of policies and undesirable behavior towards disposal of waste. The other problems associated to this are non-segregation of waste at source, open dumping and the major portion of which are diverted to landfills. This poses a threat to health and environment. Every business on the planet, no matter how small, has a responsibility to dispose of waste properly, as well as to participate with the global community in a search for answers. Irresponsible handling and disposal of wastes have huge environmental effects that led to ever more serious problems. Production of too much waste is the beginning of the whole waste disposal and waste management puzzle. For example, America alone is responsible for generating 220 million tons of waste per year. According to a report from the World Bank, the average global municipal solid waste (MSW) generation per person daily is about 1.2 kg. Moreover, experts expect this figure to rise to about 1.5kg by 2025. We live in a culture of throw away consumerism. Additionally, producers try to maximize their profit by producing one-use products. There seems to be too little commitment or incentive overall to producing environmentally friendly products or encouraging reuse and recycling. Many products from major manufacturers, as well as the packages we purchase them in, contain hazardous and health threatening compounds. To make matter worse, many of us simply throw these products and their packaging away when we’re through using them. Union, state and local authorities, generally speaking, often appear reluctant to rein in waste disposal miscreants.
Solid waste management is the collection, treatment and disposing of solid material that is discarded because it has served its purpose or is no longer useful. Improper disposal of municipal Solid Waste (MSW) can create unsanitary conditions and these conditions in turn can lead to pollution of the environment and outbreaks of vector-borne diseases- that is, diseases spread by rodents and insects. The task of solid –waste management present complex technical challenges. They also pose a wide variety of administrative, economic and social problems that must be managed and solved. The sources of solid waste include residential, commercial, institutional and industrial activities. Certain types of wastes that cause immediate danger to exposed individuals or environment are classified as hazardous. All non-hazardous solid waste from a community that requires collection and transport to processing or disposal site is called refuse or Municipal Solid Waste. Refuse includes garbage and rubbish. Garbage is mostly decomposable food waste; rubbish is mostly dry material such as glass, paper, cloth or wood. Garbage is highly putrescible or decomposable whereas rubbish is not. Trash is rubbish that includes bulky items such as old refrigerators, conches or long tree stumps. Trash requires special collection and handling. Construction and demolition (C & D) waste or debris is a significant component of total solid waste quantities; although it is not considered to be part of the MSW stream. However because C& D waste is inert and non-hazardous, it is usually disposed of in municipal sanitary landfills.
Despite the fact that many plastic toys still contain the harmful chemicalBiphenyl-A (BPA), these toys are poorly regulated. Moreover, officials only loosely enforce the regulations that are on the books. One category of solid waste that is rapidly expanding is that of plastic packaging.In fact this category accounts for more than 30% of our planet’s waste disposal volume. Moreover, almost 40% of non-biodegradable plastic waste comes from packaging. Overall this one category exacerbates waste disposal challenges at a staggering rate. Another type of solid waste, perhaps the fastest growing component in many developed countries iselectronics waste or e-waste, which includes discarded computer equipment, televisions, telephones and varieties of other electronic devices. Concern over this type of waste is escalating. Lead. Mercury and cadmium are among the materials of concern in electronic devices and governmental policies may be required to regulate their recycling and disposal. Solid waste characteristic vary considerably among communities and nations also rates of solid –waste generation vary widely. Waste disposal involves various processes, including collection, transportation, dumping, recycling and treatment of different kinds of wastes. Sometimes some wastes are buried and that are buried underground do not rot. Moreover not all waste burn. Often decomposing waste generates smells that people find distressing. At the same time long term effects such as leaching, underground water pollution and the release of potentially unsafe gases like methane, continue to plague modern day landfills. And some of these gases are explosive or toxic , not to mention their contribution to the planet’s greenhouse effect.
Most communities require household refuse to be stored in durable, easily cleaned containers with tight-fitting covers in order to minimize rodents or insects’ infestation and offensive odors’. Proper solid waste collection is important for the protection of public health safety and environmental quality. Once collected,municipal solid waste may be treated in order to reduce the total volume and weight of material that require final disposal. Treatment changes the form of the waste and makes it easier to handle. Solid waste treatment and disposal can be carried out by incineration, composting, sanitary landfills, reuse, recycling etc. In the end responsible waste management lies with each one of us. We must do what we can to shop for products that come with minimal packaging. We must also reuse, recycle and reduce our household and business waste as much as possible. Moreover, we must work alongside environmental advocates to change and enforce regulations that provide for responsible waste management. The effective management of MSW is determined by joint action of appropriate technology and policy coupled with stringent implementation and desirable behavior of the society. It is also determined by the responsive functioning of the duties assigned to different stakeholders in public –private partnership of a region.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021 17:25

Effects of soil diversity loss

Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids and organisms that together support life. Earth’s body of soil, called the Pedosphere, has four important functions viz, as a medium for plant growth; as a means of water storage, supply and purification; as amodifier of Earth’s atmosphere and as a habitat for organisms. All of these functions in their turn modify the soil and its properties. The health of soil is dependent on the mix of living organisms they contain, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa, insects, worms, other invertebrates and vertebrates. This variety of organism present in soil is known as soil diversity. Soil diversity drives the carbon, nitrogen and water cycle upon which life on earth depends. The productivity of land is therefore determined to a large extend by its soil diversity. When land is degraded, it loses its soil biodiversity. Soil which takes hundreds of years to form, can be eroded easily by wind and water when soil biodiversity lost, causing land to produce less food, store less water and release carbon into the atmosphere. The correlation of soil and biodiversity can be observed spatially. Traditional agricultural practices have generally caused declining soil structure. Soil erosion leads to a loss of top soil, organic matter and nutrients, it breaks down soil structure and decrease water storage capacity, in turn reducing fertility and availability of water to plant roots. Soil, erosion is therefore a major threat to soil biodiversity. About a third of the World’s land has already been degraded, with two-third of this degradation attributed to the agricultural sector, particularly chemical fuelled, intensive agricultural production. According to the assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration, produced by Intergovernmental Science-Policy platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), land degradation is currently undermining the wellbeing of at least 3.2 billion people and represents an economic loss of 10% of annual global gross product. By the year 2050, the global population is projected to surpass nine billion people. These people will be wealthier than ever and will demand more agricultural products, placing even greater demand on soils and undermining the long-term productivity of land. The Food and Agriculture Organization of UN (FAO) has estimated that based on current trajectories, the world only has 60 harvests left.
Globally, soil diversity has been estimated to contribute between1.5 billion US dollar and 13 trillion annually to the value of ecosystem services –the good and services provided by healthy ecosystem, including the provision of food, hydrological services and regulation of climate . Soil organism regulates nutrients availability and uptake of nutrients by plants, maintain soil structure and regulates hydrological processes. The loss of healthy soil reduces agricultural yields and could result in a food production shortfall of 25% by 2050. It is estimated that increasing soil biodiversity could contribute up to 2.3 billion tons of additional crop production per year, valued at 1.4 trillion US dollar. Research in Argentina, India and west African sahil has also found that crop yield can be increased by 20-70 kg/ha for wheat,10-50kg/ha for rice and 30-300kg/ha for maize with every 1000kg/ha increase in soil organic carbon around the plant root. Soil stores two-thirds of the fresh water on planet and this function is determined by the level of organic matter in the soil. This water from soil support 90% of the world’s agricultural production. The losses of soil biodiversity reduce the infiltration capacity to store water, lowering food production and worsening the impact of draught. By 2050, an estimated 1.8 billion people will be living under water stressed conditions. One estimate suggests that the loss of 1gm of soil organic matter decreases soil available moisture by 1 to 10 gm.
Soil biodiversity represents one of the largest carbon stocks on Earth and plays a major role in mitigating climate change. It is estimated that there is more carbon stored in the soil than the total carbon in both the atmosphere and above-ground vegetation. When soil is lost in the form of greenhouse gases (GHGs), contributing to climate change. Increasing soil biodiversity could provide at least half of emission reductions needed to limit the global average temperature increase to well below 20C above pre-industrial levels set by the Paris Agreement. Target 15.3 of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development aims to halt the world’s net land degradation. Healthy soil is both a natural resource and public good underpinning sustainable development. The target of the 2030 Agenda for food, water and energy security, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, all hinges on healthy soils. For instance, research has estimated that restoring only 12% of degraded agricultural land by 2030 could boost small holders’income by 35-40 billion US dollar per year and help to feed an additional 200 million people annually, while increasing resistance to draught, water scarcity and reducing GHG emission.
It is preferable to avoid degradation in the first place by adopting sustainable land management practices and sustainably managing agricultural landscapes. Farming practices that increase soil biodiversity include sustainably managing soil, water and nutrients. Controlling erosion and maintaining ground cover. Once such method is agroforestry which involves planting trees alongside crops. Government should support land users in adopting sustainable land management practices for instance through subsidies and other means. Land users should be paid for conserving the public good rather than purely for the individual foods and other commodities they produce. Government should also promote private investment in sustainable land management for instance by facilitating financial opportunities for small and medium agribusiness that engage in sustainable land management. The services, healthy soil provides should be incorporated into land-use planning. This planning requires input from a number of sectors to ensure the delivery of collective goals, for example food production, water supply and biodiversity conservation. Government should also strengthen land tenure and resource rights to enable local communities manage land more sustainably.

The safety and security of Journalist has never been a matter of serious concern for both Indian Academy and media industries. Despite several journalists associations, serving Journalists deployed in the areas of conflict and crisis across borders (North-East or Kashmir or North-West across the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan) repeatedly demanding for the removal of impunity to the military, armed police and special armed constabulary, the government’s apathy continued unabated. Recently International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in its report on “End Impunity in India” has written that the journalists association in India including IFJ affiliates, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and national Union of Journalists (India) have been expressing deep concern at the slow progress of investigation on killings of Journalists. They have been demanding a separate law for the protection of Journalists and speedy prosecution in case of murder. In 2015, the press Council of India (PCI) recommended that the Central Bureau of Investigation, an independent body, conduct investigation into the killings of Journalists in 2016.The report also added that Journalists in rural areas and small towns, especially those working for regional language medias apparent to be more vulnerable to intimidation and attack and even being killed for their works. Many take grave risks to expose crime and nexus between the law enforcing agencies and politicians. Geographical locations, class, caste and social network are as significant as job security and backing by the employer. Freelancers’ stringers and those on precarious contract were more at risk and their killers more likely to get away with murder. Ironically, it is these intrepid freelance Journalists’ and stringers who uncover major scams and corruption where corporate-backed media house fear to tread.
The spate of killings of reputed Indian journalist, GauriLankesh of Bengaluru, K.J Singh (Punjab), Bhaumik Santanu and Sudip Datta Bhaumik (Tripura ) and Rajesh Mishra ( Uttar Pradesh ) has once again brought to the fore the stark realities of threats hanging over the lives of intrepid Journalists who have evinced a lot of courage to espouse the causes of truth. While these Journalists did not die in cross firing across border of India, they fell to the bullets of mafia that operated in tandem with the local feudalists or capitalists or factionist groups catering to the political clouts in their respective areas of reporting. The unfortunate assassination of K.J Singh further heightened the magnitude of the crisis as his 92 year old mother was also eliminated during attempt to assassinate him. Despite all these happening, there is a trepid or lukewarm response both from government and media-house, besides Indian Academy. There is the horrendous fact that every year India is losing not less than 10 to 15 precious lives of Journalists, on average, mostly drawn from the conflict areas such as the North-East or Kashmir or the border areas in North-West, or from the Naxal-infested forest areas of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. But for playing the requiem in the last-post blare, the Journalists who laid down their lives for the honor of the nation or for a greater cause have not received any honors-either from the Government of India or from the agencies they work for. While the role of the Government of India in neglecting the “Safety & security of Journalists”, covering risk zone has been writ large for over decades since independence, the apathy of the news agencies in the private sector to provide safety and security to working Journalists in risk zone is deplorably apparent. Another interesting dimension to this grossly neglected area is that no media Organization carries out any protest campaign or movement, even if its own Journalists are killed. It is true that the killing of Journalists in India is very high compared with other countries in South-Asia and elsewhere. As rightly observed in the report of International Federation of Journalists in 2016, the Uttar Pradesh is the most dangerous one followed by a number of other states in North-East (Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh), in the North (Kashmir,Himachal Pradesh and Punjab) and in North-West (Rajasthan).Among south Indian states, Karnataka registered a high incidence of the killing of working Journalists followed by Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. More than urban-centric Journalists, the rural Journalists stringers and freelancers face more risk to their life when they endeavor to report corruption in higher political circles. According to IFJ report in 2012, about 73 Journalists have been killed since 2005 and 95 Journalists were slain during 1990-2004. According to a report of the Committee to protect Journalists (CPJ) in 2016,”Getting Away with Murder: 2016 Global Impunity Index” in at least 40% of the cases, the victim reported receiving threats before they were actually killed. Neither the police nor the management of media house has ever taken these matters seriously. This kind of apathy makes it an all the more important case for an imperative study of several dimensions involved in the indispensable “Security and safety of Journalist” reporting on sensitive matters such as crime, corruption and politics.
A report published by the Press Trust of India (PTI) in2014, carried out the news that among 23 Journalists killed in 2013 in South-Asia, 12 were from India alone. The report also indicated the government for not solving the mystery of the killings of the Journalists. The PTI report in 2014, quoting the IFJ report of 2012, said that most disturbing development is the increasingly targeted nature of violence in both Pakistan and India. The report of PTI in 2015 and 2016 also said that most of the murders of Journalists remained mysterious and unsolved. Actually in many cases, the trial of the accused did not even take off. The latest report of CPJ said that about 11 Journalists identified as working on corruption and politics were killed in the last 10 years and their murder mystery is not yet resolved by the police. It means that they were perfectly planned murders destined to escape from the long arms of law. The CPJ report (2015) published in “The Hoot”portal under the title “Getting Away with Murder”, has stated that India’s impunity index rating is 0.08 making India’s presence among the countries known for killing Journalist with impunity for eight successive years in a row. In 2017, the IFJ demanded that the Central Government should bring in a law that ensures the security and protection of the working Journalists and freelancers operating in Maoist or extremist infested areas such as North-East, Central and South India, as reported by PTI in2016. It is also demanded the Government to bring in an insurance scheme of not less than 100 million rupees for scribes so that their families do not suffer economically if something unfortunate befalls on their families. A report by Freedom House in 2016 said that with the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world, the freedom of press touched its lowest point in last 12 years owing to political criminals and terrorist forces seeking to co-opt or silence the media in their struggle for power. The report further analyzed that heightened partisanship and polarization in a country’s media environment and the degree of extra-legal intimidation and physical violence against Journalists.Reporters Sans Frontiersin its report held the view that mafia and cartels began to pose the biggest threat to media freedom worldwide.
In the case of North-East India, the media was caught between various militant outfits as well as police or military. The Manipur press also confronts a similar threatening situations. On the one side, the media personnel get threats of killing from different militant outfits and on the other side, the police and the military threaten media of dire consequences including threats of encounter. There are twin reasons for this: first the militants’ outfits wage war with the state of Manipur and Government of India and second, they enter into conflicts with other militant outfits to gain upper hand in the region. As a result they send different notices of threats and blockades to media for publication. If media publish one outfit’s notice, it will invite the wrath of rival militant’s outfits. Against the backdrop, the media associations have promulgated a code of conduct for all its media personnel on 19th June 2005 which is still in force. Besides this, Journalists in Manipur also got threats from the coteries of high profile and powerful politicians for exposing their loopholes and wrong doing to the public.One such a case was reported that the editor of a leading English Evening daily was questioned by two close associates of a heavy weight politician of Manipur for allegedly reporting misappropriation of MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) fundon 30th June 2019. In another case, one Manipuri Journalist was also booked under NSA on the ground that he used derogatory words in social media against CM of Manipur and PM of India. A journalist in western Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli was beaten up on camera by a group of GRP, personnel led by SHO Rakesh Kumar in the night of Tuesday the 11th June 2019 when he went to cover a train derailment. He was forced to strip, thrashed and even urinated in his mouth. In another incident, Mitali Chandola, a female journalist was shot at in east Delhi’s Vasundhara Enclave by some masked men inside the car and threw eggs before speeding away. She was then admitted to hospital.On 17th January 2021, editor –in-chief and the executive editor of a local (Manipur’s) web portal were arrested for the publication of an article based on an FIR under Unlawful Atrocities (prevention) Act (UAPA) and Section 124A (sedition) of the IPC by Singjamei Police. On 29th January 2021,The Editor Guild of India condemned the “intimidating manner” in which the police of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have registered cases against journalists and editors for reporting the violence during a tractor rally protest by farmers in Delhi on 26th January 2021. The FIR was filed against, India Today journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, National Herald’s ,senior consulting editor Mirnal Pande, Quami Awaz editor,Zafar Agha, The Caravan magazine’s editor and founder Paresh Nath, The Caravan’s editor Anant Nath and its executive editor Vinod K Jose.On Saturday the 13th February, the office of a leading Manipuri local daily “Poknapham” was attacked by hand grenade by an unknown woman for the reason unknown to the said media house. Killing and threats to Journalist are due to different reasons. The reason arises from the depth of Indian Social and political complexities. Government needs to enforce a law for safety and security of the Journalist so that what is called 4th pillar of democracy (Journalism) can work proactively for good Governance and welfare of our people.
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Hunger has been increasing in the world since 2014. According to the most recent State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World(SOFI) report, published jointly by FAO, WFT, IFAD, UNICEF and the WHO, around 690 million people(8.9 % of the World’s populations) were chronically undernourished in 2019; 12 million more than in 2018 and 60 million more than in 2014. Africa is the region with the highest prevalence of undernourishment with 18.8% of the population affected in 2019 (39.6 million people). Meanwhile Asia, at 378.7 million in the region with the most undernourishment people. In2020, the consequences of the desert locust crisis in eastern Africa and the Covid-19 global pandemic will further worsen these figures. Depending on the scenario, the pandemic’s long-term effects could force 83 to 132 million people in to hunger in 2020-2021. As the world population continue to grow, much more effort and innovation will be urgently needed in order to sustainably increase agricultural production, improve the global supply chain, decrease food losses and waste and ensure that all who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition have accesses to nutritious food. Many in the international community believe that it is possible to eradicate hunger within the next generation and are working together to achieve this goal. World leaders at the 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) reaffirmed the right of everyone to have accesses to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger. The UN Secretary General’s zero –Hunger challenge launched at Rio+20 called on government, Civil Society, faith communities, the private sectors and research institutions to unite to end hunger and eliminate the worst forms of malnutrition.
The zero hunger challenge has since generated widespread support from many member states and other entities. It calls for: zero stunted children under the age of two; 100% accesses to adequate food all year round; all food systems are sustainable ; 100% increase in smallholders productivity and income; zero loss or waste of food. The sustainable Development Goal to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” (SDG2), recognizes inter linkages among supporting sustainable agriculture, empowering small farmers, promoting gender equality, ending rural poverty, ensuring healthy lifestyle, tackling climate change and other issues addressed within the set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the post-2015 Development agenda. Beyond adequate calories intake, proper nutrition has other dimensions that deserve attention, including micronutrient availability and healthy diets. Inadequate micronutrient intake of mothers and infants can have long-term development impacts. Unhealthy diet and lifestyle are closely linked to the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases in both developed and developing countries. Adequate nutrition during the critical 1,000 days from beginning of pregnancy through a child’s second birthday merits a particular focus. The Scaling-Up-Nutrition(SUN) Movement has made great progress since its creation five years ago in incorporating strategies that link nutrition to agriculture, clean water, sanitation, education, employment, social protection, health care and support for resilience.
Extreme poverty and hunger are predominantly rural, withsmallholders’ farmers and their families making up a very significant proportion of the poor and hungry. Thus eradicating poverty and hunger are integrally linked to boosting food production, agriculture productivity and rural incomes. Agriculture system worldwide must become more productive and less wasteful. Sustainable agricultural practices and food systems, including both production and consumption, must be persuading from a holistic and integrated perspective. Land, healthy soil, water and plant genetic resources are key inputs into food production and their growing scarcity in many parts of the World makes it imperative to use and manage them sustainably. Boosting yields on existing agricultural lands including restoration of degraded lands, through sustainable agricultural practices would also relieve the pressure to clear forest for agricultural production. Wise management of scarce water through improved irrigation and storage technologies, combined with development of new draught-resistant crop varieties can contribute to sustaining dry lands productivity. Halting and reversing land degradation will also be critical to meeting future food needs. The Rio+20 outcome documents call for achieving a land-degraded –neutral world in the context of sustainable development. Given the current extend of land degradation globally; the potential benefits from land restoration for food security and for mitigating climate change are enormous. However, there is also recognition that scientific understanding of the drivers of desertification, land degradation and draught is still evolving.
There are many elements of traditional farmer knowledge that enriched by the latest scientific knowledge can support productive food system through sound and sustainable soil, land, water, nutrient and pest management and the more extensive use of organic fertilizers. An increase in integrated decision-making process at national and regional levels are needed to achieve synergies and adequately address trade-offs among agriculture, water, energy, land and climate changes in temperature, precipitation and pests associated with climate change, the global community is called upon to increase investment in research, development and demonstration of technologies to improve the sustainability of food systems everywhere. Building resilience local food system will be critical to averting large-scale future shortages and to ensuring food security and good nutrition for all.

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