Daily Archives: August 17, 2019

House construction using recycled plastic waste to tackle plastic menace in India

HYDERABAD, An Indian couple’s initiative of constructing houses and other structures using sheets made of processed plastic waste will help tackle plastic menace across the country, the Asian News International, ANI, reported on Saturday.

The entrepreneur couple in Hyderabad in the Southern state of Telangana started the initiative after realising the ill-effects of plastic. Prashant Lingam and his wife Aruna, who have a decade-long experience in designing houses and bamboo furniture, decided to use recycled plastic waste for their work after they saw a video in 2017 of a bull being operated to remove plastic from its stomach.

“We got scared after watching that video. Then we started researching on the subject. The infrastructural need of the country is increasing enormously so we thought of building a house with plastic only,” Lingam told ANI.

“We came up with a substitute of plywood and made a plastic plank which is made from ‘milk packets’ and can be used for making furniture, toilets, benches and bus shelters,” he said.

The first house the couple built in Hyderabad’s Uppal was of about 800 square feet. It was constructed using 7 tonnes of plastic. “That much plastic was saved from being incinerated; it was used to construct a new house,” Lingam said.

There are apprehensions among people who are new to the concept of living in a plastic house but there is nothing to worry about. “It is as good as any other regular brick and mortar house. The plastic house is water, fire and heat resistant. Thus, it can last for 30 – 40 years,” he said.

Lingam has been getting support from the Telangana government and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, GHMC, for his work. “Some schools have asked us to build benches for them,” he said.

“Eleven states in India have already imposed a full or partial ban on plastic. However, implementation is not so easy in our country. We should look for alternatives for plastic. There are alternatives available in jute, bamboo and cotton,” Lingam said.

“We can contribute to ‘plastic-free society’ in two best ways. One is by cutting down the use of plastic and the second by reusing it,” he added.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque attracts over 115,000 worshippers during Eid al Adha

ABU DHABI, Abu Dhabi’s landmark Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque welcomed 115,061 guests during Eid Al Adha. Among 40,824 worshippers, 12,742 of them performed Eid Al Adha prayer, while the number of visitors were 74,237 during the occasion.

The renowned mosque received visitors from inside the country and abroad who enjoyed various distinguished services. They were briefed about the mosque’s architectural elements and wonderful engineering designs. The visitors also learned about its role in promoting the culture of tolerance that mirrors the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Meanwhile, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre facilitated 43 cultural visits to the mosque as part of ‘Our Culture’ programme aimed at involving all segments of the society in Eid celebrations and briefing them about the importance of religious and national occasions, as well as promoting Emirati culture.

Source: Emirates News Agency

16 South African nations to discuss common parliament, regional fund

DAR ES SALAAM, Heads of state and government of the 16 countries of the Southern African Development Community, SADC, will discuss the formation of a common parliament and regional development fund at a two-day summit in Tanzania.

The 39th SADC Summit is taking place on Saturday and Sunday in Dar es Salaam with the central theme “A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade, and Job Creation,” Portuguese News Agency Lusa reported on Saturday. The presence of all 16 heads of state and government are confirmed at the summit.

At the meeting, heads of state and government also will also review the transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a Parliament, as well as operationalising the SADC Regional Development Fund. The progress of the process of regional integration, the degree of implementation of the strategy and roadmap for the industrialisation of the community, are among other topics to be discussed.

The SADC is currently presided over by Namibia, with Tanzania, which currently occupies the vice-presidency, to take over the rotating presidency for a period of one year.

The members of the SADC are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Seychelles, said the Lusa report.

Source: Emirates News Agency

New e-system for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims’ departure from Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, About 30,000 Hajj pilgrims from abroad have started using an electronic system to complete their departure procedures automatically from their residences before reaching the airport.

The new system named ‘Return Initiative’ launched by the Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation, GACA, will make a qualitative and historic leap in the services for the pilgrims, according to the Saudi Press Agency, SPA.

The pilot phase of the system is serving the pilgrims departing for Indonesia, India, and Malaysia from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, said GACA President Abdul Hadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri. This service will be extended to all Hajj and Umrah pilgrims traveling through the Kingdom’s airports in future, he said.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has congratulated Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Health for successfully hosting the hajj season 1440 AH without a single public health event or disease outbreak being reported among pilgrims performing the hajj. In addition, WHO expressed its deep appreciation to all the health care heroes and volunteers for their dedication in providing healthcare services to around 2.5 million pilgrims.

The WHO had deployed a team of experts to support the Saudi Ministry of Health to ensure public health preparedness measures and prevent any potential disease outbreaks, the SPA report said.

Source: Emirates News Agency