Life among the dead in Haiti’s largest graveyard

Article published in Göteborgsposten
1 November 2019
By George Harry Rouzier

In Sweden we remember and honour our dead during All-Hallows’ weekend by decorating graves with flowers and lighting candles. In Haiti All Souls Day, 2 November, is marked by the feast of the dead, where thousands of vodou priests and priestesses gather to communicate with the spirits and remember relatives. But in Port-au-Prince, death is not the end.

Full story (in Swedish) here: https://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/livet-bland-de-d%C3%B6da-p%C3%A5-haitis-st%C3%B6rsta-kyrkog%C3%A5rd-1.19840816

25 years since the Rwanda genocide: He married the daughter of the man who killed his family

Article published in Göteborgsposten
6 April 2019
By Jean Pierre Bucyensenge

Rwanda. John Giranza was brutally beaten, with broken bones and a cracked head. He lost 38 members of his family and was hospitalised for six years. ”It’s a miracle I survived”, he says.
Today, he is married to the daughter of one of the murderers.

It was in April 1994 that all hell broke loose in Rwanda. The Hutu militia, called Interhamwe, armed themselves with machetes and other weapons and then started killing people all over the country, with the support of police and military. Interahamwe was driven by an extremist ideology whose flames had been fanned by officials in the Hutu led government. The UN estimate that around one million people were killed during the 100 days of the genocide between april and june 1994.

”The perpetrators were mainly people who we knew and lived side by side with” says John Giraneza, who was 20 years old at the time of the Genocide.

Full article (in Swedish) here: https://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/25-%C3%A5r-sedan-folkmordet-i-rwanda-han-gifte-sig-med-dottern-till-sin-familjs-m%C3%B6rdare-1.14382895

Women openly harassed in Pakistan

Article published in Göteborgsposten
27 August 2018
By Rina Saeed Khan
Photos: Muhammad Furqan

Pakistan. In Lahore, many women are scared of using public transport because of sexual harassment. The organisation Environment Protection Foundation is trying to counteract this by an initiative in which women are trained to drive rickshaws.

Ghulam Fatima, a widow, says the decision to drive a rickshaw is the best she has ever made.

“I’m so happy to no longer have to rely on my inlaws to support my children. I used to not even be able to ride a bike, and now I’m driving my own vehicle around Lahore!”

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/kvinnor-trakasseras-%C3%B6ppet-i-pakistan-1.7849486

Cameroon on the brink of civil war

Article published in Göteborgsposten
7 October 2018
By Arison Tamfu
Photos: Rodrigue Mbock

Cameroon. Paul Biya, Cameroon’s president, almost holds the world record for time in office. Today, Sunday, he’s likely to be given another seven years. But the country is increasingly divided. Separatists have declared independence in the English-speaking parts of the country, and violence is escalating.

Full article (in Swedish) here:

Change on everyone’s mind in Zimbabwe’s historical election

Article published in Göteborgsposten
30 July 2018
By Farai Mutsaka
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Zimbabwe.  Zimbabwe is preparing for a historical election. For the first time, the inhabitants in the once flourishing country to vote without Robert Mugabe’s name on the ballot.
In November last year – during his 38th year in power – the ageing ex president was forced to leave his seat after strong pressure from the military, the own party Zanu-PF, and the general public.

Full article (in Swedish) here:

Cricket star favourite candidate in Pakistan elections

Article published in Göteborgsposten
23 July 2018
By Rina Saeed Khan
Photos: Muhammad Furqan

Pakistan. Pakistan’s former Prime Minister was recently imprisoned following a corruption scandal. A cricket star can become the new leader. GP reports from the fragile democracy preparing for elections.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/kricketstj%C3%A4rna-favorittippad-i-pakistanska-valet-1.7274018

The forgotten disaster

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 April 2018
By Daniel Majack
Photos: Chol Mayak

South Sudan. The conflict in South Sudan – the youngest country in the world – is in its fifth year, and the humanitarian crisis has both intensified and expanded to unbelievable proportions.
In one of the world’s worst – and simultaneously least known – humanitarian disasters, two million people have fled abroad. They have fled mainly to the neighbouring countries Uganda (one million), Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. The same amount of people have been forced to leave their homes but are refugees within the country’s borders.

The refugees are predominantly women and children, according to the UN. The men have been swallowed up by the conflict between government forces and the armed opposition. Some have been killed; others are actively at war. Women and children have been left to flee the violence.

Full article (in Swedish) here:  http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/den-bortgl%C3%B6mda-katastrofen-1.5676758

Women’s fight for divorce

Article published in Göteborgsposten
8 March 2018
By Purple Romero

The Philippines. The first time Jona’s husband hit her they had been married for eleven years. Soon the abuse became a routine, and when he started hitting the children too Jona chose to escape. But she is still married to him – the Philippines is one of only two countries in the world that does not allow divorces.

“I feel like a prisoner in this marriage”, says Jona. “I want to get a divorce but I can’t, as it’s not allowed. They say that matrimony is holy, but don’t they care about those of us who are suffering?”

The resistance comes mainly from the catholic church, which has considerable power over public opinion.The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) have tirelessly opposed the attempts of legalising divorce, as they believe it would be “against family and against matrimony”. All attempts have either failed or fizzled out as the legislators don’t want to lose the support of the influential catholic bishops.

Full article (in Swedish) here:


A flourishing container economy in Kenya

Article published in Göteborgsposten
15 October 2017
By Kimani Chege
Photos: Migwa Nthiga

Nairobi. Lately, shipping containers have revolutionised business in Kenya. The containers are renovated and put to new uses, such as shops, offices and homes. They are appreciated for their safety, their relatively low cost and for being reasonably easy to move.

Josphat Mwangi who sells food and household items in a refurbished container appreciates the location right behind a police station, as well as the durability. Nobody can break in, because the shipping container is made from such sturdy materials, he says.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/en-blomstrande-containerekonomi-i-kenya-1.4734156

Obesity and malnourishment in the same country

Article published in Göteborgsposten
28 augusti 2017
By Rocio Lloret

Bolivia. In March this year, 12-year old Eva Vega Quino starved to death in the small room – previously a toilet – that she shared with her parents and five siblings. Her death shook the entire nation and made the extreme poverty many Bolivians live in visible.
“When she died we hadn’t had anything to eat for two weeks”, says Eva’s half brother Alan Quino. Alan is 19 years old, but only weighs 45 kilos and does not look older than 14.

The family lives in El Alto, close to the capital of La Paz, in a house given to the family by the state after Eva’s death.

El Alto has thousands of migrants from the countryside, and three of its districts suffer extreme poverty. According to UNICEF, 46 percent of the children in the poorest part of the population are malnourished.


App saves lives in Nairobi’s informal settlements

Article published in Göteborgsposten
24 August  2017
By Kimani Chege
Photos: Migwa Nthiga

Kenya. Kenya is one of the countries in the world with high mortality rates for women and children. Although the situation has steadily improved since 2004, still 510 of 100 000 women die in childbirth, according to the UN.
Grace Gathigia luckily wasn’t among them. She became a mother six weeks ago.
“It’s not easy being pregnant in an informal settlement. I’m glad I survived and gave birth to a healthy child in a clinic, and then received continuous care from local health care workers. Some of the women pregnant at the same time as me lost their children during pregnancy, or shortly thereafter”, she says.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/app-r%C3%A4ddar-kvinnor-och-barns-liv-i-nairobis-slum-1.4565884

Egyptian women have had enough of sexual harassment

Article published in Göteborgsposten
29 January 2017
By Nesma Nowar
Photos: Heba Adel

Egypt. A study made by UN Women and Egypt’s National Council for Women in 2013 showed that 99,3 percent of women have experienced some sort of sexual harassment in public places.

Sarah Salah, a 19-year old student, says that she daily gets sexually harassed, either on public transport or on her walk from the bus station to the university.
“I can’t handle this daily stress anymore”, she says. “It’s common that men on the crowded bus use the lack of space as an excuse to shamelessly touch intimate parts of my body.”

Sarah is scared to tell her parents about her experiences because she is worried they would stop her from going to University. Although sexual harassment happens to women across the Egyptian society, those on a lower income are more vulnerable because they rely on public transport.

“These women are often forced to stay at home because the family sees it as a way of protecting them”, says Nevine Ebeid from the women’s rights organisation New Woman Foundation. “The message from society is that women have no place in the public realm.”

Full article (in Swedish) here:

More boreholes dangerous for Nairobi

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 November 2016
By Geoffrey Kamadi
Photo: Migwa Nthiga

Nairobi. Tap water in Nairobi is a very unreliable resource. In many areas water flows from the taps three days a week – but sometimes people will go without water for up to two weeks.

The lack of water means that people buy water from wandering salespeople instead – who in turn get their water from an increasing number of boreholes.  This has led to an exploitation of the city’s groundwater, which could become a big problem further down the line as there is a risk the city will start to sink and the infrastructure might become unstable.

Full article (in Swedish) here:  http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/fler-borrh%C3%A5l-farligt-f%C3%B6r-nairobi-1.3976838


Women take to the road

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 August 2016
By Ahmad Quraishi

Afghanistan. The number of female drivers is increasing in Afghanistan, 15 years after the fall of the Taliban. This is not to everybody’s liking, but is a societal right and not against islamic law. 23-year old Sadaf Fetrat says that she feels safer in her own car than in a taxi, as sexual harassment against women is common. The number of female drivers is rising steadily, but there is a fear that the taliban and other oppositional groups might use women’s driving as a term in peace negotiations with the government.




Agriculture hit hard by El Niño

Article published in Göteborgsposten
8 August 2016
By Purple Romero
Photos: Veejay Villafranca

The Philippines. The province of Isabela in the Philippines has been badly affected by the weather phenomenon El Niño, and worst hit is the city of Cabagan.
“It’s never been this bad”, says Dominga Bucag who, despite the warnings, decided to grow corn. “The crops didn’t even survive through April”

El Niño doesn’t exist because of climate change, but its effect is enhanced by the fact that climate change brings heat. Isabela’s 85 000 corn farmers were doubly hit because of a combination of two weather phenomena: As well as El Niño, the province was hit by the typhon Melor, which caused massive amounts of flooding.


Dispute over new wind park

Article published in Göteborgsposten
12 June 2016
By Geoffrey Kamadi

Kenya. In the far away region of Marsabit County, 365 wind turbines are being installed. The project, named Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) is to be ready in 2017 and is estimated to produce 310 megawatts yearly, adding 15-20 percent to Kenya’s electricity production.

The cost is mostly covered by government funded Scandinavian investors, with the aim of furthering development, and it is presented as the largest private investment in the history of Kenya. But the locals who live where the wind park is planned are upset. 150 000 acres have been leased to realise the park, and the land is owned by local communities.


Time for Peru to choose its path

Article published in Göteborgsposten
10 April 2016
By Jorge Riveros-Cayo
Photos: Martin Mejia

Peru. The Presidential election is coming up in Peru, and it looks like it will be a tight race, with Keiko Fujimori in the lead. She’s the daughter of the previous president Alberto Fujimori, who at present is serving a 24 year long prison sentence for corruption and crimes against human rights.

Keiko Fujimori has had around 30 percent of the votes in the polls, but the last few months that number has increased to 40 percent, which means she has a big chance at winning the election in the first round. But her father’s history means a lot of people are upset she might become the president.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/dags-f%C3%B6r-peru-att-v%C3%A4lja-v%C3%A4g-1.185221

Tough for poor people with diabetes

Article published in Göteborgsposten
7 April 2016
By Thelma Chikwanha
Photos: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Zimbabwe. Today, the World Health Day focuses on diabetes. In Zimbabwe HIV/Aids receives more support, but almost as many are estimated to have diabetes. For poor people it is a challenge keeping the illness in check.

“To be a diabetic doesn’t mean that life is over, but it is a diagnosis that is testing both financially and emotionally”, says Betty Mapuranga, 57. She lives in Warren Park, one of the poorest areas of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.

In Zimbabwe, 72 percent of the population lives on less than 1,25 dollars per day. Diabetics such as Betty Mapuranga has a difficult time managing the problem of costs related to medicines and healthy foods.
“I’ve had to give a lot of things up because of this illness”, she says.


Towards a fifth term

Article published in Göteborgsposten
17 February 2016
By Richard Kavuma
Photos: Samson Baranga / Benon Herbert Oluka

Uganda. Tomorrow Uganda holds elections, and most signs indicate that the sitting head of state, Yoweri Museveni, is heading for a fifth term. However, organisations concerned with human rights issues warn that the calm in the country is false.

In previous elections, both courts and the opposition has claimed that the elections were neither free nor fair, but in favour of the ruling party. This time opposition groups have been talking about forming citizen armies to protect those voting, something that can be interpreted as a call to confrontation.


Polio is getting eradicated

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 December 2015
By Rina Saeed Khan
Photos: Muhammad Furqan

Islamabad. At the health clinic in the G-9 district of Islamabad, free polio vaccine is given in drips. Doctor Zeenat Mahtab says that a lot of people refuse the drops because of rumours and false information spread by the taliban.

“It is rumoured that the polio vaccine causes infertility in children and that it makes them sick. Now we’ve finally been able to get religious leaders to publicly state that there are no issues with the polio drips and that they actually are very important for a child’s health”, she says.

Full article (in Swedish) here:  http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/nu-%C3%A4r-polion-p%C3%A5-v%C3%A4g-bort-1.179351

Climate change threatens the Kalash people

Article published in Göteborgsposten
15 November 2015
By Rina Saeed Khan

Pakistan. “What choice do I have? This is the only piece of fertile land I own, even if it’s covered in blocks of stone right now. I must get it in order so I can plant my crops”,  says Mohd Faizi, a villager from Ayun in the Chitral district, whilst removing stones and digging in the sand covering his corn fields and fruit orchards.

Chitral has been badly affected by floods the last few years – especially in 2010 when all of Pakistan was hit – but the extent of this year’s flooding is unprecedented. Normally the monsoon never reaches Chitral, and many experts say that the floodings are because of climate change.



Concerns over new mine

Article published in Göteborgsposten
23 August 2015
By Jorge Riveros Cayo

Peru. The planning of a new copper mine in Tía María is the latest in a string of conflicts around mines and environment in southern Peru. Local farmers are worried the mine will contaminate the water and their land. At the same time, mining is an important income source for Peru.


Prepared for a new disaster

Article published in Göteborgsposten
16 August 2015
By Maria Elena Hurtado
Photos: Joaquin Elgueta

Chile. In the evening on the 1st of April the lights suddenly went out in 52-year old teacher Cecilia Araya’s house in northern Chile. The floorboards started shaking and windows shattered – she knew exactly what was happening.

-Three minutes later, the local authorities sent out an earthquake and tsunami warning via phones, TV and the local radio stations. The sirens along the coast urged people to go inland, Cecilia remembers.



The silent war of the Amazon

Article published in Göteborgsposten
2 May 2015
By Ana Aranha

Brazil. The Brazilian government is planning to build a hydroelectric facility on the land of the indigenous munduruku people, something that has made the mundurukus declare war.

“Let the government come, we will fight till our death”, says Maria Leusa Cosme Kaba Munduruku. She is a 28-year old mother of four and respected by her people as a leader and warrior.

The hydro power project in the Amazon was started when the sitting president Dilma Rouseff was the mine and energy minister. She claimed that hydroelectric powers would play a strategic part in the promised acceleration and growth of Brazil.

Full article (in Swedish) here: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/det-tysta-kriget-i-amazonas-1.121189

Fight for textile workers’ rights

Article published in Göteborgsposten
24 May 2015
By Sushmita Preetha

Bangladesh. Two years have passed since the garment factory Rana Plaza collapsed. Taslima Akhtar can still hear the screams from the thousands of workers who got trapped under the remains of the nine storey building.

Taslima is a unionist and a co-ordinator for an organisation that fights for textile workers rights. The place where Rana Plaza stood is a constant reminder of how fragile their lives are.

Läs hela artikeln här: http://www.gp.se/nyheter/v%C3%A4rlden/kvinnor-utnyttjas-i-bangladesh-1.93625