The everyday management of hundreds of metric tons of fetid dirt, including sewer waste from Monrovia and its environs, especially the slum communities, remain a tremendous challenge to the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) particularly in the absence of reliable trucks.The waste is the fertile breeding site for the outbreak of diseases, most especially the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).UNICEF Liberia Country Representative, Sheldon Yett, said the Ebola virus is closely related to dirt (waste), and so are many other diseases, including cholera and malaria.“We know that about 600 metric tons of sewer waste are generated in the city everyday and that’s a tremendous amount and it is an emergency by itself. Yes, it is related to Ebola and other diseases too. Cholera is an example, because it is also closely related to sewer waste,” Mr. Yett said.The UNICEF Liberia boss said the donation of the six trucks came from the partnership and generosity of USAID and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The Government and people of the United States, through UNICEF, decided to make the donation to Liberia to ensure that Monrovia and its environs are free of any problem that would make the country vulnerable to diseases. The six trucks, valued at US$460,000, can offload dirt or wastes from either side and each truck contains six boxes of spare parts.The deputy team leader for planning of OFDA, Ms. Emily Gish, said the support to the MCC is to help stop the city from overflowing with sewer waste in the rainy season. “We are happy to be here to provide this support, especially when the rainy season is approaching. These trucks must start work immediately in order to help prevent the city from overflowing because of sewer waste,” Ms. Gish said.Assistant Public Works Minister George Yarngo said the issue of solid waste is a huge challenge and expressed gratitude to UNICEF for the trucks. Monrovia Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo thanked UNICEF for the trucks and the said MCC Solid Waste Department has many challenges and available logistics would eliminate them. “We appreciate the OFDA, UNICEF and also the WASH Cluster for giving us the trucks that would definitely make a serious impact on our cleaning exercises,” Mayor Mvogo said.It may be recalled that the MCC through its partners last week launched clean-up campaign against the foul smelling septic drains running through Newport Street and other streets and several other slum communities in Monrovia, including Soneiwhen and Buzzy Quarter. The campaign also includes the removal of wastes from hospitals, health centers and markets, amongst other areas.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Intelsat New Dawn taking off from the French Guiana on 22 April. (Image: Space) The satellite is specifically designed to improve Africa’s communication. (Image: Intelsat) MEDIA CONTACTS • Portia Sibugodi Communications Convergence Partners +27 11 550 5320 RELATED ARTICLES • Intelsat New Dawn set for take-off • SA company selling tickets to space • Blast-off for space weather centre • SA space agency to launch soonBongani Nkosi Intelsat New Dawn, Africa’s new communications satellite, finally blasted into space via the Ariane 5 rocket, which to date has lifted off almost 60 times with satellite payloads.The satellite took off successfully on 22 April from commercial space transport company Arianespace‘s rocket complex in Kourou, French Guiana. Its initial launch on 29 March was aborted.Ariane 5, one of the world’s most successful launch vehicles, also took the Yahsat 1A satellite to space on the same day. This communications satellite will serve the Middle East primarily, and will also offer services to customers in Africa and Southwest Asia.Intelsat New Dawn is specifically designed to improve communications within the African continent. According to its owners, because it operates from a geostationary orbital slot at 32.8° east, it’s well placed to bolster Africa’s telecommunications capacity.Its 28 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36 MHz transponder units are tailor-made to provide critical communications infrastructure for African customers, Intelsat said.“Intelsat New Dawn will be ideally positioned to serve Africa through a payload optimised to deliver new capacity for voice, wireless backhaul, fixed line and wireless infrastructure, broadband and media,” said Intelsat’s statement.New Dawn will be part of Intelsat’s well-established satellite fleet that caters for almost the entire world.“Intelsat New Dawn will be integrated with the resilient Intelsat fleet, allowing us to expand and enhance the vital communications services that are provided by our customers to business consumers throughout Africa,” Intelsat’s CEO Dave McGlade said in the statement.With a life span of at least 17 years, Intelsat New Dawn comes at a time when the continent’s telecoms sector needs to take full advantage of upcoming long-haul submarine and terrestrial broadband cables, following the recent launch of others like Seacom and Eassy.Intelsat owns a 10% stake at New Dawn after it provided the bulk of the 15% equity investments. African investors hold a combined 90% majority.The local funders, which include financial provider Nedbank, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, the African Development Bank and investment management firm Convergence Partners, provided both equity and debt funding.“The satellite will not only deliver crucial services specifically tailored for Africa, it will also herald the dawn of a new era where Africans enjoy far greater involvement in the space communications industry,” said Convergence Partners’ chairman Andile Ngcaba.Terrestrial fibre cable partnershipConvergence Partners is also a partner in Johannesburg-based FibreCo Telecommunications, a venture that plans to implement a new long-haul terrestrial fibre-optic broadband network in South Africa. Local companies Cell C and Internet Solutions are the other investors in the 12 000km open-access cable.The first phase of construction will see a 4 500km redundant core ring, which will link Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban, being completed by the end of 2012. The entire project will be finished off in two more subsequent phases.“The project is on track, with good progress being made on the key activities supporting the development of FibreCo’s network, including negotiations with local and international network implementation partners, government authorities and various other market players,” said Arif Hussain, the consortium’s CEO.
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now When you miss your sales forecast or goal, there is almost always a deal or two (or three) that pushed, prospects that didn’t sign the contract by the end of the quarter. Leaving aside the fact that planning to close a deal at the end of the quarter is a bad idea and providing you no margin should you or your client experiences a surprise, a client pushing a deal once means one thing and pushing it three times is something different.In one scenario, something unexpected happens, and your dream client doesn’t keep the commitment they made before the quarter ended. In other cases, the client demonstrates a pattern of not keeping promises and pushing things forward. These two varieties mean something different when it comes to forecasting.One PushIt can be disappointing to have a deal you were counting on push into the next quarter. It can be much more discouraging when you have done everything right, controlling the process, gaining agreements for next steps, and keeping the whole process on track for you and your dream client. Despite your best efforts, some deals are going to push.Your dream client’s lawyers ended up dealing with a large, unexpected acquisition that required their time, and they didn’t even look at your contract. Maybe you could have controlled getting your paper to them earlier, but you had no way of knowing they would have been unavailable.Maybe your primary contact needed two people from executive leadership to approve your proposal, one of whom decided to elope and left the country for two weeks, leaving you without a signed contract.Your client is struggling with a client of their own, and they couldn’t devote the time or resources to you or your proposal and contract. The deal may be important to both you and your dream client, but the timing is more important to you—especially when you are trying to make your number at the end of a quarter.Fair enough. The deal pushed. Many have pushed before. Many will push in the future, despite my best effort at providing a framework for controlling the process and gaining all the commitments in a way that improves your effectiveness in this area.No more pushy sales tactics. The Lost Art of Closing shows you how to proactively lead your customer and close your sales. Every Commitment PushedSome clients push deals forward more than once. They provide clues that should cause concern on the part of the salesperson and the sales manager forecasting the deal. This second variety of deal-pushers is more prevalent and more concerning than those that push a single time because the patterns emerge early.Meetings get pushed. And then they get pushed again. Stakeholders who are supposed to be engaged are moved to other projects. Other stakeholders are unable to make meetings. The executive sponsor who should care the most about the opportunity is never available to meet with you or your team. Every stakeholder you have met seems to behave as if everything is a fire drill.It’s not uncommon for a meeting to be moved. It is unusual for the same meeting to move two or three times—if the meeting is important to the people who are attending. Nor is it uncommon for stakeholders to move into new roles or new projects, but when the replacement for that role isn’t available for weeks or months, you have a hint as to what real timelines might be. In larger deals, the absence of an executive sponsor by itself may be enough to suggest that your deal may not be as a high a priority for your client as it is for you.When the pattern you perceive is that your client misses many deadlines, cancels a lot of meetings, reschedules meetings, and generally works in reactive mode, you should not be surprised when these things happen at the end of the quarter. In many cases, these prospects or dream clients don’t even know it’s the end of the quarter (unless they’re salespeople).Forecasting DealsThe likelihood that a deal that has pushed once comes in during the next quarter is high. The odds of a deal with a client that has a pattern of not being able to keep their commitments is far less certain.Some sales managers and sales leaders do bad math when they forecast, relying on the stage in their sales process as a guide to forecasting. Many make the mistake of believing that the fact that a client has a contract and made a commitment to sign it is enough to forecast the deal confidently. Later, they are disappointed when these deals push.In many cases, the experience pursuing the deal provided substantial evidence the deal was likely to push. The pattern of behavior on the client’s side offers a better indication as to when the deal will close than the stage in the process.You are going to work with prospects and dream clients who are going to experience events and go through stages where it is difficult to get things done. Your role is to help them as much as you possibly can, taking into account that they’re struggling. If you want to help them, the best thing you can do is learn to control the nonlinear process that is the sales, buying, and change.The One Push RuleIf a deal pushes once with a prospect who has a history of keeping their commitments, forecast it (if it doesn’t break your heart and cross the line the second day of a new quarter).If a deal pushes more than once, pursue it, but leave it off of your forecast, especially if there is a pattern that suggests your dram client is struggling to keep their commitments.