Prices Continue Upward Amidst Runoff Delay

first_imgA Petty Liberian business man complained about slow business and hardship in the countryThe day after the Supreme Court ruled to put a stay on the November 7 runoff, businesses across the country began to hike prices of their goods. Many businesses are now treading with caution about importing new goods amidst the prevailing political uncertainty. Only few businesses, who have braved the storm are willing to import goods in smaller amounts and would no doubt maintain the hiking prices.Transportation in the country has increased — especially in Monrovia and its environs. In a taxi cab, from Barnersville Junction to Central Monrovia is L$100 as well as from Paynesville Red Light to Central Monrovia, though the approved price is L$70.The fare of buses is not stable, fluctuating between L$40 to L$60.A half bag of rice – 25kg is now been sold for L$1,970 in some areas, while in other areas, it is priced at L$2,050.As of Friday, November 17, the price of gasoline was L$400, while the rate of a US dollars to a Liberian dollars is L$127.00 (1US$ to L$127.00).An executive member of the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL) — a coalition of business organizations told the Daily Observer that most of the traders are complaining that the uncertainty caused by the current impasse in the elections is making it much more difficult to do business. He said the increase in the prices of goods on the market is squarely because of the political stalemate in the country, which directly affects business due to the risk of importing new goods at this time. Thus, they prefer saving their money.The PATEL official who asked to be quoted anonymously, said: “ I myself am not sending for new goods. I will keep my money; I have added at least US$7.00 on each of my goods to prolong my sales.“I wouldn’t be surprised if the Runoff isn’t held in December, for businesses to triple their price hiking,” he said.Petty traders have to pay for their goods in USD or a very high LRD equivalent in order to continue selling. They, too, have to set their profit margins in order to stay afloat.Mohammed Ali, a businessman in Monrovia, said: “There is no business. Buying is very slow. We increased our prices because those who we bought from in bulk increased their prices too. It’s really tough.”A drug store (pharmacy) owner, Teeklo Johnson, also revealed that tablets and syrup prices have increased.For her part,  Siah Saah said in kissi: “All our business partners are scared to bring goods in the country because of this whole election thing that has no head, no tail.”Mrs. Sarah Teah indicated also because of the suspension of the runoff, things are more complicated because the high demand in the US dollars. She said they often increases the price of her goods “because after we sell our goods, we have to go and buy the U.S. [dollars] from the money changers before we go to pay for our goods—sometimes if you are lucky, you will pay between L$128 and L$130 before you get the U.S. dollars.”“We cannot blame the [wholesalers] for asking we the business people to buy in U.S. dollar,” the businesswoman said. “When they are sending for their goods too, they have to send U.S. dollars—but the whole problem here is this dual currency business. If we have one currency, things will not be hard like this.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Charter advocates say LAUSD must hand over classrooms

first_imgDistrict officials deny the association’s allegations, saying they have tried to work with charter leaders but have only limited resources themselves. “I think we’re on the leading edge of the charter-expansion movement in this country, and a lot of times we’re breaking new ground,” said Jim Cowell, director of construction at LAUSD. “We’re very committed to charter-expansion opportunities because we realize that charter-school children and LAUSD children are all public-school children, and we’re working hard to provide adequate facilities for them.” In fact, the district is in the middle of a school construction boom, funded by $11 billion in bonds that voters have approved over the last five years. The district has allocated $120 million of that bond revenue to charters, including $20 million to purchase land for campus construction, Cowell said. The district also has earmarked an additional $67.2 million for charters from funds to build traditional schools. HOW WOULD YOU FIX LAUSD? Share your thoughts in The Education Revolution, our new education blog. Despite a voter-approved law requiring school districts to share resources with charter campuses, LAUSD is withholding $85 million from the independent schools and has fulfilled only two requests for facilities since 2005, according to records and interviews. The California Charter Schools Association plans to step up pressure on the Los Angeles Unified School District to comply with Proposition 39, which was passed in 2000 and requires school districts to provide sufficient facilities to accommodate every charter school’s students. Association officials say the district is trying to stymie the growth of the booming program by unreasonably restricting access to cash and classrooms. “They just don’t take seriously their legal requirements to provide facilities to charter school students,” said Caprice Young, a former LAUSD board member who now heads the Charter Schools Association. “Their record has been absolutely abysmal. They treat charter students like second-class citizens.” But Young complains the district has spent just $35 million of the $120 million to provide badly needed facilities for charter students. She questions why the district hasn’t been more forthcoming – and more aggressive – with its plans for the remaining $85 million. “We’ve been more than patient. Over the last several years we have provided proposals over and over again on how to provide seats in overcrowded neighborhoods, and we’ve been consistently ignored,” Young said. The association’s complaints notwithstanding, the district has provided facilities for some charters, including the NEW Academy Charter, part of a landmark mixed-use project in Canoga Park. But Young says those kinds of investments are too few and far between. She says LAUSD has denied or made “unreasonable” offers – the facility proposed did not have enough space or it was too far from the community served – in 57 of the 59 facilities requests made by its charter schools from 2005 to 2007. For example, College Ready Academy, with 238 students, was offered the use of four classrooms at a campus 27 miles away from students, Young said. And Synergy Charter Academy, which requested at least eight classrooms close to the South Los Angeles homes of its 140 students, was offered four classrooms at a school in Venice. So Synergy, like many schools, found itself operating out of a parish center adjacent to St. Patrick Church. That means that teachers have to create a classroom setting every Monday morning – laying down rugs, taking books out of storage, reconfiguring desks – then dismantle it every Friday afternoon. “We need to grow to sustain operations, to serve students,” said Meg Palisoc, the principal at Synergy, which boasts Academic Performance Index scores of 813 on the state’s standardized tests. The statewide goal is 800. “I hope the district is trying its best to find our school a facility.” The district says the demand for independent campuses is growing so quickly – there are already 103 charters, more than any other district in the nation – it simply can’t keep up. But with an April 1 deadline looming for releasing a facilities plan under Proposition 39, district and charter officials both say they are looking at all alternatives. The charter association may be weighing a lawsuit like one filed last year against San Diego Unified, which forced that district to significantly expand its facilities offerings. The number of charter schools that got “reasonable” offers of facilities subsequently jumped from 11 to 79 percent. Los Angeles Unified officials, meanwhile, are considering policy changes that would allow them to free up more bond money for charters. “We can work in partnership and collaboration with charters, because if they provide opportunities for students in critically impacted areas, that helps everybody,” Cowell said. Experts say the law that mandated equal treatment for charter students created a dilemma for school districts, forcing them to cooperate with a movement designed to reform the status quo. “At the base of it, it seems to me it’s just cold politics. You’ve got both parties acting in their self-interest,” said Penny Wohlstetter, a professor and director of the Center on Educational Governance at the University of Southern California. “That’s why the courts need to come in to resolve this. This problem is not going to be resolved through negotiations between the two parties.” She noted that some states have made disinterested third parties responsible for charter operations in order to remove politics from the equation. “In L.A. Unified’s defense, they never asked for that responsibility,” Wohlstetter said. “We may end up seeing this issue come to the fore in California.” naush.boghossian@dailynews.com (818) 713-3722 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Ex-Sunderland midfielder rejoins Hartlepool

first_img Tommy Miller 1 Former Sunderland midfielder Tommy Miller has re-joined Hartlepool United.Miller, who started out at Hartlepool, returns to the League Two club 13 years after the end of his first spell.The experienced 35-year-old, who has also appeared for Ipswich Town, Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town, Swindon Town and Bury, is eligible for Hartlepool’s opening game of the season against Stevenage.last_img

FM18 predicts Liverpool’s season with Alisson, Fabinho, Keita and Shaqiri

first_img 12 smart causal It promises to be an exciting season on Merseyside, and talkSPORT.com wanted to get an idea of how the Reds will fare in 2018/19.Using the in-depth database and scientific approach of Football Manager 2018, updated to July 22, we simmed through the entire season to find out how Liverpool’s campaign went.You can see the results below…TRANSFERSLiverpool have enjoyed a brilliant summer of business in the transfer market, leading many to suggest the Reds have ‘won the transfer window’. This is a title that often proves to be a curse – just take a look at the Reds’ Merseyside rivals Everton last season – but it is hard not to agree with the verdict.Klopp has fixed the most glaring weaknesses in what was already a good squad, bringing in a top class goalkeeper in Alisson and strengthening Liverpool’s midfield with Fabinho, signed from Monaco, and Naby Keita, finally brought to Anfield a year after he agreed to join the Reds. When Liverpool played against the top teams last season it was evident just how poor their midfield was in comparison to their rivals – at times it was non-existent – but that is an issue which appears to have now been resolved. Fabinho and Keita have both been brought in to improve Liverpool’s midfield Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Klopp’s side host West Ham on the opening matchday of the season Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won 12 England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won possible standings How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Despite focusing on Europe, Liverpool found themselves kicked out the competition at the next stage, with Manchester City – who were beaten by the Reds in the Champions League last season – progressing to the semi-finals courtesy of a 5-3 aggregate victory over Klopp’s side. Karius was forced to play the second leg with both Alisson and Mignolet injured, and he had another night to forget on the European stage. Latest Liverpool news REVEALED VERDICTEnding the season with victory in the FA Cup would certainly satiate Liverpool’s need for silverware, but the complete absence of a title challenge from the Reds would see some serious questions asked about Klopp.They would have actually moved backwards – having finished fourth in both of the last two seasons – and after spending over £150m on new players, there is a good chance the German coach would find himself under pressure if this virtual season was to become a reality. RANKED There’s not long to go now before another Premier League season gets under way.The 2018/19 top flight campaign kicks-off on Friday, August 10 with Leicester visiting Manchester United, and fans will be treated to the first sight of Jurgen Klopp’s new-look Liverpool two days later. You’ll Never Walk Alone, Loris. Unless you screw up, then we’ll kick you out the team predicted Despite all these dreadful results, Liverpool did win the Merseyside derby on Everton’s home turf In the January window, Klopp secured the services of Hirving Lozano, the Mexico starlet, in a deal that would delight Liverpool fans if it happened in real life. Netherlands wonderkid Ferdi Kadioglu, 18, was also brought to Anfield with Klopp making sure to keep an eye on the future. shining SEASON REVIEWIt certainly wasn’t the best season for Liverpool.The first real blow to the Reds’ chances of silverware came in September, when they were knocked out the EFL Cup at the third-round stage by Premier League rivals Crystal Palace. This defeat came during a run of dreadful results – just three wins in 11 matches – that hurt their Premier League hopes, and also put their chances of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage under threat. REVEALED Alisson was Liverpool’s best performing goalkeeper throughout 2018/19, but, quite surprisingly, he and Simon Mignolet both made 29 appearances. The Brazil international started the bigger matches, but he was not guaranteed to feature week in, week out.Klopp rotated Mignolet and Lorius Karius in the 2016/17 season, and clearly he took the same approach with his glovesman this term.Before we move on, spare a thought for the aforementioned Karius. The signing of Alisson, which came because of his mistakes in the Champions League final, saw the German become Liverpool’s third choice keeper – and he was even relegated to the Reds’ Under-23 squad. 12 Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars silverware Liverpool ended up finishing fifth in the Premier League, just one point off the top four, but also only ahead of sixth placed Spurs because of goal difference. Chelsea pipped Manchester City to the title, while Newcastle joined top flight new boys Cardiff and Fulham in being relegated to the Championship. 12 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Liverpool won a single Premier League match throughout January and February – against Cardiff In terms of departures, a number of Liverpool’s young players were sent away from the club on loan to continue their development, with the only two permanent sales shown above. Ragnar Klavan, the back-up central defender, left in the summer for Besiktas, while striker Danny Ings moved in January, taking the reverse of that well-trodden route from Southampton to Liverpool to guarantee himself consistent first-team football.TACTICSGiven Klopp’s success with the 4-3-3 throughout his time at Liverpool, it is no surprise he stuck with the same system for 2018/19. The German’s best XI (below) is as expected, aside from two notable inclusions.A fully fit Nathaniel Clyne was the first-choice right-back throughout the campaign, ahead of Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, while Adam Lallana found himself reborn at Anfield as part of a midfield trio also featuring Fabinho and Keita. The England internatioanl scored an impressive 10 goals throughout the campaign, though he did occasionally rotate with Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who recovered from his injury early to feature in the second half of the season. Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool’s other summer arrival, has not been signed to displace one of the side’s brilliant front three, though the Switzerland international does improve the quality of Klopp’s rotation options, with the Reds only having the likes of Dominic Solanke, Danny Ings, and a far from his best Adam Lallana on the bench throughout 2017/18.With all these signings confirmed in real life, the virtual Klopp did little work throughout the remainder of the summer transfer window on FM. Milan Badelj, the Croatia international, was the only first-team arrival, and bringing in such a high quality defensive midfielder for free was shrewd business. Fran Munoz, the other signing, is a young Spanish forward who took a place in Liverpool’s Under-23 side. 12 12 Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade 12 12 Karius certainly does himself no favours gameday cracker Luckily, Liverpool had one more thing to play for after the league season ended, with Klopp’s side going all the way to reach the FA Cup final.And the Reds won, beating the team who knocked them out of Europe after extra time courtesy of a Mohamed Salah double. Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Liverpool recovered to get back into the title race and secure their place in the knockout stage of Europe’s premier cup competition, but another run of poor form hit the Reds at the start of the new year, with FIVE successive Premier League draws recorded. This basically ended their chances of winning the league championship, and attentions turned elsewhere, especially after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals by progressing past Bayern Munich in the round-of-16. 12 That Sunday, the Reds host West Ham at Anfield aiming to get their season off to the best possible start with real hopes among the Liverpool faithful that this will finally be the club’s year to win a first Premier League title.Klopp, the manager, has made some brilliant signings, and while you can never tell just how well players will fit in at a new club, on paper Liverpool have one of the strongest squads in the entire first division. How Liverpool could line up at Leicester with midfielder set for lengthy absence Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade huge blow 12 12 It was a positive end to the season for Liverpool 12last_img read more

BURGLAR ON CRIME SPREE IS JAILED FOR FOUR YEARS

first_imgA BURGLAR behind a drugs and drink fuelled crime binge has been jailed for four years after hearing a judge describe break-ins as ‘like the rape’ of the family home.Letterkenny Circuit Court heard that Gavin Mitchell, 34, of Windmill View in Letterkenny, had stolen cider from a shop before stealing a jeep which he later crashed on January 17 last.The court the cost of the spree in thefts and damage was more than €10,000. Then in May, Mitchell – who was on bail for other offences – had “frightened the lives” out of two shop assistants in the town when he used a metal bar to threaten them before taking more than €4,000 from the till.He had escaped the scene of a crime in a taxi.The shop assistants knew Mitchell and his image was captured on CCTV.The court heard that defendant faced a number of other charges.During the hearing Mitchell took the stand to apologise for his crimes, saying he regretted “how I have turned out.’He had been battling drink and drugs and told the court he was now clean and wanted to start a new life.Judge John O’Hagan detailed Mitchell’s lengthy criminal record and his “propensity to stealing.”The judge said burglaries Mitchell had been involved in had “caused great hurt and upset” to victims and burglars breaking into homes and touching and stealing the belongings of other people amounted to “the rape of a building” because of psychological damage left behind.He gave Mitchell credit for pleading guilty and wanting to have the matters cleared up before the courts and told him that had he been convicted by a jury he would have gone to jail for six years.Judge O’Hagan sentenced Mitchell to four years imprisonment on each of two counts of burglary, four years for robbery, two years for taking a vehicle, tow years for criminal damage and two years for theft. All the sentences are to run concurrently.The judge suspended the last year of the sentence.On hearing the judgement, Mitchell said: “Thank you Judge” before he was led away in handcuffs.AT HEARING © 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailyBURGLAR ON CRIME SPREE IS JAILED FOR FOUR YEARS was last modified: February 1st, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:CIRCUIT COURTGAVIN MITCHELLJUdge John O’Haganletterkennylast_img read more

LOCAL NEWS: LETTERMACAWARD COMMUNITY NOTES

first_imgLETTERMACAWARD NOTES Fund raising Album Launch of Laughlin Sisters Sara and Jennifer Laughlin will launch their first album on Saturday 25th August in the Highlands hotel Glenties at 8.30pm. This album will be launched on an evening of music and dance with many surprise guests appearing on the night. There will be an unique, once in a lifetime opportunity on the night to earn yourself a run in a WRC Subaru S12B driven by Declan Boyle (on a test day). All proceeds from the night and album will go to Oncology unit Letterkenny general hospital. This cd will be a token of appreciation and thanks to the dedicated staff there who have dedicated themselves to the care of patients sufferings along the turbulent road which cancer brings to the life of many of us, our families and friends. Come along and enjoy a fantastic night’s entertainment while supporting a very worthy cause. You will most certainly not be disappointed and hopefully go away from the night a little more uplifted by the power of music and of course rallying. Saint Vincent  De Paul Sale End of season clearance sale at Saint Vincent  De Paul Thrift shop, Dungloe to make way for new stock. Sale from Monday 27th August till Saturday 1st September. Everything just €1. Come along and pick up a bargain.LOCAL NEWS: LETTERMACAWARD COMMUNITY NOTES was last modified: August 25th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:LOCAL NEWS: LETTERMACAWARD COMMUNITY NOTESlast_img read more

Men’s Basketball Falls In Overtime After Rallying From 20-Point Deficit

first_imgPrint Friendly Version Next Game: Box Score (PDF) DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University men’s basketball team overcame a 20-point, second-half deficit to force overtime before falling to Fresno State, 78-76, Saturday afternoon at the Knapp Center as part of the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Conference Challenge.A 10-1 run in the second half helped pull Drake (1-7) within striking distance late. De’Ante McMurray (Alton, Ill.) then completed a three-point play with 1:49 left followed by a pair of free throws with 56 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.Billy Wampler (Eau Claire, Wis.) opened the overtime period with a three-pointer to give Drake lead of the game. Both teams continued to swap baskets and forth until a layup from Fresno State’s Jaron Hopkins with 3.8 seconds put Fresno State (5-2) up for good.”We talk about not being that far away, but there’s always those segments where we can’t put things together,” Wampler said. “We have to learn to trust each other and do that for a full 30 minutes.” Box Score (HTML) Jackson State 12/10/2016 – 2 p.m. Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats 1350 ESPN Des Moines Mediacom MC22 Listen Live Watch Live Story Links Wampler led the Drake with 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. T.J. Thomas (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and McMurray both added 13 points while C.J. Rivers (Cahokia, Ill) recorded 12 along with six rebounds, three assists and two steals.”We have to trust each other as a team, we’re one step away from being the team we need to be,” McMurray added after the tough loss.Paul Watson and Jahmel Taylor led Fresno State with 19 points each while Hopkins recorded 12 points with 11 rebounds and six steals.As a team, Drake shot 25-of-62 (40.3 percent) with 45 points from its bench players while Fresno State converted on 58.2 percent of its shots in the win.Fresno State opened the game by taking a 41-29 lead at halftime after leading by as many as 14 points in the opening half. The win was Fresno State’s first in three games against Drake.Drake remains home to welcome Jackson State to the Knapp Center on Dec. 10 with tipoff scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Mediacom MC22, The Valley on ESPN3 and 1350 ESPN Des Moines. Full Schedule Roster Photo Gallery last_img read more

Volleyball Adds Standouts For 2019

first_imgOn the heels of another one of the most successful seasons in program history, the Drake University volleyball team continues its upward trajectory with the addition of four student-athletes to the program for the 2019 season. The Bulldogs will welcome Alex Lemke, Haylee Kent and in-state talents Madison Baxter and Haley Bush to the team next fall.”I am excited about our 2019 signing class,” said Drake head coach Darrin McBroom. “This is one of the most talented classes that we have ever signed and I think they have the right focus and mindset to keep our program on the upward trajectory that we have been experiencing.”Haylee Kent and Haley Bush are both outside hitters with Kent hailing from Kent, Wash., while Bush is from nearby Waukee, Iowa.”Both of them have the size and the arms to be impact players in the conference,” McBroom said. “In addition to their very successful high school careers, they both have a unique set of experiences that will allow them to compete for court time in their freshmen seasons. Bush has an extensive background with the USA High Performance programs while Kent has been a decorated beach player since age 14.”Kent, who stands at 6-feet, 2-inches, was a four-year letterwinner at Kentwood High School and her league’s MVP. As a junior, she broke her school’s record by recording 367 kills in one season to go along with a school-record 32 kills in a single match. Her outstanding junior season earned her a spot on the Seattle Times All-Area Team, The Tacoma News Tribune All-Area Team as well as earning First Team All-State accolades.Bush is also 6-feet, 2-inches and recently led Waukee High School to its first Iowa State Tournament appearance since 2011. As a senior, she recorded 310 kills, 201 digs and 46 aces throughout the regular season. She was recently selected to the Iowa Class 5A All-State team and first team All-CIML for the second-straight year. Bush is also a four-time All-Academic award winner.Lemke, a 5-foot, 11-inch, setter from Lincoln, Neb., was a two-time honorable mention All-State selection who was a team captain her senior year after earning third-team All-State honors as a junior. As a senior at Lincoln East, she had 792 assists, 157 digs and 46 aces. Her club team, VCNebraska finished 10th at AAU Nationals in 2018 and fifth in 2017. “Alex Lemke stood out at our camp the last two years,” McBroom said. “She is a very intense and competitive player. As a left-handed setter-hitter, there will be numerous ways in which we can use her talents to benefit the program.”Baxter, a setter from Cedar Rapids, Iowa,  was selected as the All-Metro Player of the Year, as well as setting the Cedar Rapids Jefferson record in career assists with more 3,500. During the past two seasons, her team won both their Conference and District Championships, while placing fifth both times at the State Tournament. With her club team, she was a four-time USAV National Qualifier and placed fifth and second the past two years at Nationals.”Maddy is a very competitive setter who knows how to compete and lead her teams,” McBroom said. “She has demonstrated this ability with her high school and club teams. She will add significant depth to our program and will compete for time early in her career.”These four additions to the program join a roster that has recorded back-to-back 20 win seasons after going 21-15 in 2018 with an appearance in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament semifinals. The team also made its first postseason appearance since 1995 with a berth in the National Invitational Volleyball Classic.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

SA, Lesotho showcase water project

first_img12 March 2012 South Africa and Lesotho will show off their jointly managed Lesotho Highlands Water Project – one of the biggest engineering projects of its kind in the world – at the world’s biggest gathering of water experts in Marseilles this week.The World Water Forum (WWF), held every three years, is set to get under way in France’s second-largest city on Monday.The event -expected to attract 25,000 delegates to its sixth gathering since 1997 – will also likely serve as an opportunity to attract funding for South Africa’s big water infrastructure building plans.As announced in the recent national budget, the country is aiming to spend well over R60 billion constructing new and renovating old water supply and sanitation systems over the next three years.Representatives from more than 180 countries – including 140 ministerial-level delegations – are set to attend the gathering in Marseille.The city – home to the headquarters of the international World Water Council, which organises the WWF – bills itself as “the world’s water capital”.South Africa’s water minister, Edna Molewa, as well as her deputy, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, are expected to attend the five-day forum, which ends on Friday.On Sunday afternoon, officials from both South Africa’s Department of Water Affairs and the joint Lesotho Highlands Water Commission were working to complete their combined display stand, located in an exhibition hall next to Marseille’s Parc Chanot conference centre.Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project was signed last year. It includes, among other things, the construction of the Polihali Dam in eastern Lesotho, and the boring of a 38km-long tunnel to connect it to that country’s giant Khatse Dam.The total cost of the second phase – at 2010 prices – is estimated to be over R15.4-billion, including R7.6-billion for a pump storage facility and transmission lines.The estimated completion date is July 2020, at which time the LHWP will deliver an additional 17 cubic metres of water a second to South Africa’s thirsty industrial heartland of Gauteng.South Africa is also set to showcase a real-time water quality monitoring system at the WWF.An international first, the system is able to keep tabs on water flow and quality across a wide geographical area, allowing planners to better manage the resource.Sapalast_img read more