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Friday, October 18, 2013

Community news

Oh no – not again!  Fireworks should be banned – so many dogs run away, get run over and get totally traumatized.  Can’t they think of something else to fundraise? Jan
Dear Mike, won't you put out a reminder to all animal owners to ensure that all their pet, cats and dogs are closed up for the night of Guy Fawkes. It pains me to read about missing animals after fireworks because owners just haven't thought!
Every year I respond with sinking heart to the advertising of Fireworks Displays in the City.  Every year hundreds of animals are traumatised by the event, and many escape and get lost – some never to be found again.  I will certainly not be spending money to go and watch this blatant disregard for animal welfare.
Trees: This has been happening for several months, every day many trucks with fresh cut miombo woodland species. Some trucks are coming off a farm near the Tsatsatsi River/Mutorashanga turn off before getting to Msonedi, on the left from Harare. I have seen other trucks coming from Msonedi and along the Barrick road all going to Mvurwi. I believe that this is for tobacco curing, but by now must amount to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of tons of fresh cut indigenous wood. EMA will not be able to stop it so who can? I challenge anyone to get the authorities to stop this massive plunder. Even Mzhanje trees are going…..there will be NOTHING left.
Why cant the local food industry supplier supply his name and the name of his brand – maybe we are not buying the product because its sub-standard??  His comments about local products being pushed to the back shelves is untrue!  MANY local products now take pride and place among imported brands on our shelves.  Zimbabweans are not concerned with fancy packaging – we are one of the most brand loyal nations (just ask your maid to write you a shopping list to prove this – she will say “handy Andy” “surf” “Colgate” ). Stop bleating Local - ... and get your brand up there – this is the real world ! We have choice !!  MARKETER
I was a local manufacturer but have had to move my production plant to SA because of the high cost and non-availability of the raw materials I required, huge wage increases each year and the huge rentals charged by landlords in Zim for factories that hardly ever have water or electricity. I am able to produce my product in SA, import it and sell it at the same price I was selling it at when I produced it here.
Well done SPCA for all you is time Zimbabweans took responsibility for their animals and the animals around you, stop complaining about the SPCA who are trying so very hard with limited budget. Living on a farm I see all these local dogs which are used for hunting, not sterilized they just continue to mate with these poor females producing un wanted puppies, it is a disgrace. I have tried to get them to sterlize their dogs around here but they would much rather sell them to make a few dollars. Are we becoming a country of complainers instead of helping. Have a look in your cupboards even if its one thing take it to their shop so they can sell it. Every dollar helps. CARRY ON THE GREAT WORK SPCA. Thanks Sue
Herewith comments from two people I asked about trees and their water consumption. I am afraid they don't really give the answer that was hoped for!
Braam says: A researcher once pointed out that it is extremely difficult to give a figure per tree because trees waste water through transpiration at a rate dependant on what is available. If a lot of ground water is available, water will be lost at say 100 l/ day. However, if less water is available the same tree may transpire only 50 l. There is also a relationship between how actively a tree is growing and rate of water consumption. Fast growing trees in commercial plantations utilize a lot of water---I would assume less that old, slow-growing trees in a savanna.
Jonathan says:
Using basic logic.... water use will depend on (a) rooting extent and strategy, and (b) rate of growth, and (c ) leaf area index (or leaf biomass) present per hectare. So look at the rooting strategy of the trees you are interested in (extensive shallow roots as with Terminalia sericea, deep taproot as Baikiaea, or mixture as with msasa). And also at the amount of leaf material, an indication of gross levels of photosynthetic activity and hence water use. Obviously gymnosperms generally grow more slowly than angiosperms and because of their sclerophyllous needle-type leaves use up less water per unit of “photosynthetic activity”. I would doubt if there is much difference between “indigenous” and “exotic” given similar growth rates. The only reason would be that “exotics” may be less constrained by pests and diseases, so are more healthy and vigorous.

Regards, Meg
I recently spent 2 weeks in Joburg and was struck by the use of light vehicles on their roads as compared to the use of 4by4s. Is this something that we think about here in Zimbabwe? The number of people that are driving 4X4s is not proportional to our size and probably not within the carrying capacity of our roads. Not only that but the carbon footprint of a 4X4 is considerably higher than that of smaller vehicles. I wonder what other readers think. I believe its more of a status symbol than anything else. Most people do not NEED a 4X4.

Consider the effects
1) Fuel consumption of that huge engine 
2) Damage to the roads
3) Exhaust fumes emitted by these huge things
4)Litres of water required to wash the monstrosity
5)The amount of money spent which could be invested and help grow the economy

I believe we need to change our mindset from HUGE cars to smaller, cheaper environmentally friendly cars.
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