Friday, 5 August 2016

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Peat in the Netherlands

Peat, or turf, is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation.
Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, mires, and swamps. Peat forms when plant material, usually in marshy areas. It is composed mainly of marshland vegetation: trees, grasses, fungi, as well as other types of organic remains, such as insects, and animal remains.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Zika virus

The World Health Organisation has called an emergency meeting (28 January 2016) to address the spread of the mysterious Zika virus, as health experts warned the outbreak is ballooning at an “extremely alarming” rate.

Zika virus is a virus transmitted by daytime-active mosquitoes. Zika is spread by mosquitoes, not from person to person. There is no vaccine to prevent infection or medicine to treat Zika.
Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
The name Zika comes from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947.

The infections, known as Zika fever, often causes no or only mild symptoms. Since the 1950s it has been known to happen within Africa and Asia. In 2014, the virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia, then to Easter Island and in 2015 to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the Zika outbreak has reached pandemic levels.

Zika virus is related to dengue and yellow fever. The illness it causes is similar to a mild form of dengue fever, is treated by rest, and cannot yet be prevented by drugs or vaccines. 

Symptoms of the Zika virus

  • About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill.
  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes. Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache.
  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
  • People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.
  • Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some people.
  • There is a link between Zika fever and microcephaly in newborn babies by mother-to-child transmission. Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.

The story of Daniele Ferreira dos Santos and her baby Juan
Around the fifth month of her pregnancy, Daniele Ferreira dos Santos fell ill with a high fever and angry red splotches on her skin. She soon recovered. But weeks later, when she went to the hospital for a prenatal exam, the news was horrific: The baby she was carrying likely had a severe brain injury.
When Juan Pedro Campos dos Santos came into the world in December, the circumference of his head was just ten inches, about 20 per cent smaller than normal.
Ms Santos was never diagnosed with Zika, but she blames the virus for her son's defect and for the terrible toll it has taken on her life. Living in Recife in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, she is at the epicenter of the Zika outbreak, and Pedro is among 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly that may be connected to the virus, although no link has yet been proven. 

A man wearing protective clothing sprays grave stones with a fumigation machine. Health workers carry out fumigation as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Short term aid and Long term aid

Aid is a transfer of resources from a MEDC to a LEDC. Aid includes money, equipment, food, training, skilled people and loans.

Short term aid (emergency aid)
Long term aid (sustainable aid)
  • Short term aid is for immediate relief in emergencies such as famines, earthquakes, floods and droughts.
  • Emergency aid saves lives.
  • This includes money, food, blankets, tents and medical supplies.

  • Long term aid is for economic and social development.
  • Its purpose is to improve the quality of life for people living in LEDCs.
  • Long term aid can improve the standard of living of people living in LEDCs

Advantages of short term aid
  • Short term aid gives help which can save lives immediately.
  • Short term aid can develop into long term aid after a disaster, as people in MEDCs realise how poor people are in the affected zone.

Advantages of long term aid
  • New industries can develop which improves peoples chances of getting skills and long term employment.
  • It can lead to improvements in long term farming methods – introducing new crops and better land management practises.
  • Trade with the donor country may continue into the future.
  • Schools, hospitals, roads, dams and other infrastructure projects improve the lives of many people and will last for a long time.

  1. Give two advantages/disadvantages of aid?
  2. Using examples explain why some countries need aid?
  3. Using examples describe and explain two types of aid?
  4. What are the advantages of emergency aid to a country you have studied?

Friday, 25 September 2015

Infant mortality

Infant Mortality is the number of babies dying before their first birthday per 1000 live births.

Water scarcity

Water scarcity is a lack of drinkable water available in a given area. The lack of sufficient available water resources to meet the demands of water usage within a region. 

Water scarcity already affects every continent and around 2.8 billion people around the world at least one month out of every year. More than 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water.

It mostly affects arid and deserted areas, and places where the water is too polluted to drink. It is a social, environmental and economic problem in many countries. 

Water scarcity can be the result of both human and natural causes. Changes in climate and weather patterns can cause the availability of water to drop. Common human causes include over-consumption, bad governance, pollution, and increases in the demand for water.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


What is corruption?
Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for private gain. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement. Government corruption or political corruption occurs when an elected politician or appointed civil servant acts in an official capacity for personal gain.

Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International

The Corruption Perceptions Index is an index that shows how corrupt certain countries are.
First launched in 1995, the corruption perceptions index has been widely credited with putting the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda.

What does a number mean to you? Each year we score countries on how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be. Our Corruption Perceptions Index sends a powerful message and governments have been forced to take notice and act.

Corruption in Nigeria
General Sani Abacha was a Nigerian Army general and politician who served as the President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. 

During Abacha's regime, he and his family reportedly stole a total of £5 billion from the country's coffers. In 2004, Abacha was listed as one of the most corrupt leaders in Africa.