Category Archives: Göteborgsposten

Women openly harassed in Pakistan

Article published in Göteborgsposten
27 August 2018
By Rina Saeed Khan

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!”

Article published in Göteborgsposten, 27/8-2018. Full article (in Swedish) here:

Cameroon at the brink of civil war

Article published in Göteborgsposten
7 October 2018
By Arison Tamfu

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 independency in the English speaking parts of the country, and the violence is escalating.

Full article (in Swedish) here:

A flourishing container economy in Kenya

Article published in Göteborgsposten
By Kimani Chege

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.

Continue reading A flourishing container economy in Kenya

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.
Alan started working as a bricklayer after his mum and stepfather fell ill from tuberculosis and anemia. He was the sole breadwinner and made the equivalent of £5/day, until March when he could no longer find employment.
-The money I made was enough for us to have bread for breakfast and bread and rice for lunch. We didn’t have dinner. When there was no more money I gave my siblings salted water and put them to bed, he says.

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.

While the fight against malnourishment has been a state priority, overweight and obesity has not been viewed as a problem. But in 2008, the national demography and health survey pointed to an increase of cases of high blood pressure, diabetes, and renal failure, caused by poor diet.

Doctor Roxana Barbero, an endocrinology specialist, estimates that the increase of cases of obesity and overweight in Bolivia the last 20 years is comparable to the situation in countries like Mexico and USA, where the numbers of overweight are among the highest in the world.

-The last 10-20 years we have observed that 90 percent of the children that come to see us have problems related to overweight. Dietary changes and a decrease in physical activities are the reasons for this, she says and explains that fast food and soft drinks are the main culprits. Today, Bolivians eat more deep fried foods and the children are less physically active.

Article published in Göteborgsposten 28/8-17.

The forgotten disaster

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 April 2018
By Daniel Majack

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.

Lemon Gaba is one of the temporary refugee camps outside of Juba.  It is home to 7 000 internal refugees, many of whom fled the conflict in the border city of Yei when new when new battles broke out last year. Amour Pach Jok is one of them. She looks exhausted, hungry, and malnourished, rushing to get a kettle to make tea after having spent four hours gathering firewood in the bush.

-I got up at 6am to go and search for firewood. I then sell the firewood to get some money for lunch, she says in the local language dinka, and explains that she fled her home with her five children, but without a single possession. Since then, life is a question of survival.

She is not alone. The women we meet tell us about decreasing food rations, an insufficient supply of water, and contagious diseases.

Article published in Göteborgsposten, 1/5 2018. Full article (in Swedish) here:

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.

-The church doesn’t want a law that allows divorce, but it shouldn’t make any difference as the state and the church are separated in the Philippine constitution, says Melody alan, general secretary of the organisation Divorce Advocates of the Philippines (DAP).

Article published in Göteborgsposten, 8/3-2018. Full article (in Swedish) here:


App saves lives in Nairobi’s informal settlements

Article published in Göteborgsposten
Aug 24 2017
By Kimani Chege

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 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.

Egyptian women have had enough of sexual harassment

Article published in Göteborgsposten
January 29, 2017
By Nesma Nowar

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.

Rasha Sultan, pictured, says that sexual harassment means she often doesn’t leave the house during big public holidays when the streets are crowded. Every time she has participated in the yearly Eid celebrations it has ended with her filing a harassment report at a police station.

Full article (in Swedish) published by Göteborgsposten:{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}C3{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}A4rlden/egyptiska-kvinnor-har-tr{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}C3{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}B6ttnat-p{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}C3{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}A5-sexofredande-1.4134600

Women take to the road

Article published in Göteborgsposten
August 21, 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.

Article published in Göteborgsposten 21/8 2016. 



Prepared for a new disaster

Article published in Göteborgsposten
August 16 2015
By Maria Elena Hurtado

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 floor boards 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.

Article published in Göteborgsposten 16/8-15. 


The silent war of the Amazon

Article published in Göteborgsposten
May 2, 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.

Article published in Göteborgsposten 2/5 2015. Full article (in Swedish) here:{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}C3{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}A4rlden/det-tysta-kriget-i-amazonas-1.121189

More boreholes dangerous for Nairobi

Article published in Göteborgsposten
21 November 2016
By Geoffrey Kamadi

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.

“We see that not only is there a risk of the city sinking, but also that the exploitation of the groundwater affects the forces that keeps the earth’s crust together. This means that even small quakes kan cause significant damage, especially in a densely populated city like Nairobi”, says Robert Orima who is responsible for laws being followed at The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), an authority that coordinates activities that might have an environmental impact in the country.

Nairobi is especially vulnerable as the city rests on what used to be marshland. The ground has layers of clay and silt in the layer closest to the topsoil, which means the geological foundation particularly unstable.
The exploitation of the groundwater also carries other problems. Robert Orima says that when more groundwater is pumped up, the concentration of salt is higher in the small amount of water that remains.
“This water is mainly being used for  irrigation, which creates problems for agriculture”, he says.

Christopher Agwanda, groundwater expert at The Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA), is also concerned that the ecosystem will be disturbed by increased amount of boreholes.

-Holes near outlets and sewers can mean that contaminated water trickles down to the groundwater, and when the boreholes aren’t properly made other surface contaminations can also seep through.

-One of our greatest challenges is illegal boreholes. The migration from the countryside means that we’re overpopulated, and our water infrastructure is four decades old, so that’s why we’re seeing an increasing amount of boreholes, says Christopher Agwanda and adds that the majority of all boreholes are made without permission.

Article published in Göteborgsposten, 21 November 2016. Full article (in Swedish) here:{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}C3{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}A4rlden/fler-borrh{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}C3{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}A5l-farligt-f{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}C3{9e78cf8d5a9ae6e82d29a8df4b273023a3380ebfd48f1a18a2e2cfa634ecec51}B6r-nairobi-1.3976838