Meagre new funding announced by the government w

first_img“Meagre” new funding announced by the government will do nothing to solve the “full-blown social care crisis”, disabled campaigners have warned.They spoke out after the government announced that it would ring-fence an extra £240 million for councils to spend on adult social care next year, as well as allowing local authorities to bring forward council tax increases that were already set to raise further ring-fenced social care funding.But user-led groups, disabled activists, disability charities and cross-party politicians say the extra funding will be inadequate for dealing with the crisis.The announcement last week by communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid (pictured) will mean councils can raise council tax by up to three per cent in both 2017-18 (an extra £208 million) and 2018-19 (an extra £444 million), instead of two per cent in each of the next three years.He also announced that £240 million from changes to what his department calls the New Homes Bonus – rewarding councils for new homes built in their areas – will be ring-fenced as a new adult social care grant.Campaigners and social care experts pointed out that the rise in council tax will raise far more in wealthy areas than less prosperous local authorities.And a Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman confirmed that the £240 million was a one-off grant, and would not be repeated next year.Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of the national service-user network Shaping Our Lives, said: “Social care seems to have become the policy that anti-spending governments have decided can safely be ignored and left in crisis. So it goes on.“Another year where all the weak-willed efforts of social care’s self-appointed leaders and big charities to encourage policymakers to make some real investment have again failed.“Also where all the desperate efforts of grassroots disabled people’s users’ and carers’ organisations have been ignored.“But you heard it here first. Social care may well be the policy – because of the scale and impact of its failure – that irrevocably damages this government and brings to an end the evils of austerity and anti-welfare policies. It is hurting too many.”Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said the government’s “inadequate response” to the “full blown crisis in social care” had been criticised by both opposition and Tory politicians.She said the rise in council tax “leaves areas with the highest levels of need unable to raise sufficient money”.She pointed to evidence from Ray James, the immediate past president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, who has told MPs that the most affluent areas raise about two-thirds of their council spending through council tax, compared to the most deprived areas that raise less than 20 per cent, so increasing council tax “raises least money in areas of greatest need”.Burnip said that the government’s pledge to redistribute funding from its Better Care Fund (BCF) to areas unable to raise enough money through increases in council tax had also been criticised, because this would “reduce the amount available for transformation and integration of care, the purpose for which the BCF was originally established”.She said: “Further, but of vital importance, particularly to the disabled people’s movement, these proposals are aimed at providing basic social care only and do not in any way address issues of the right to live independently in the community.“A loss of this [UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities] article 19 right is one of the major areas of criticism aimed at the government by the recent damning UN report.“Independent living is a right and aspiration that disabled people in the UK must never lose sight of as a basic and fundamental human right.”Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said she agreed that the extra money was not enough, that raising extra funding through council tax increases was unfair, and that the government did not appear to have a plan for solving the social care funding crisis.She added: “My fear is that the meagre additional funds that do become available will go straight to social care service-providers who are becoming a well-organised lobbying force, rather than to disabled people who want to have choice and control by employing our own personal assistants.”Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has written to the prime minister to ask for “urgent talks at the highest level” on averting the “deepening crisis in social care”.John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, has written to chancellor Philip Hammond, calling on him to authorise further spending, and describing the rise in council tax as “inadequate, and fundamentally unfair”.Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary and a former social care minister, described the extra money as “a truly feeble response to a national crisis”.And Dr Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP who chairs the Commons health select committee, called for urgent cross-party talks to secure “a long-term, fair, sustainable settlement for both health and social care”.The prime minister, Theresa May, told MPs on the Commons liaison committee this week that the government was starting to work on a long-term plan for addressing the funding of adult social care, but gave no hint as to what that plan might be.Clive Betts, the Labour chair of the communities and local government committee, told May that the number of people receiving social care had fallen from 1.7 million to 1.1 million over the last six years, while there were now about one million people who should be entitled to social care but were not receiving it.Real terms spending on social care fell by nine per cent over the last parliament, he said.But May said: “It is wrong to assume that the only solution in social care is a solution about funding.”She said there were different standards of delivery of social care across the country, with some “very good examples” of integration between NHS and social care, and areas where there were “virtually no” delayed discharges from hospital caused by a lack of social care in the community.Betts said that Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, had told his committee last week that even if all councils were brought up to the standard of the best-performers and there was full integration of NHS and social care, it would still not solve the social care funding pressures.Betts said: “The idea somehow that this problem is going to go away if we slightly improve performances in some local authorities and we integrate health and social care better, simply isn’t true, is it?”May said the government accepted there were “short-term pressures” and a more medium-term problem with “delivery”, as well as a longer-term issue of ensuring a “sustainable system of social care going into the future”.She said: “The government is already starting internally to look at this issue in relation to long-term social care.“We want to make sure that we have got a solution that is going to be sustainable, but this isn’t going to be an immediate ‘let’s have a quick review over a matter of weeks, and that’s it’.”She resisted requests to ensure that this review of future funding was carried out on a cross-party basis.last_img read more

Latina Mothers Turn Lens on Housing Conditions in the Mission

first_img 0% Because of domestic violence, Wendy Lara and her two children have lived in a shelter for the past seven months. “Some people there have problems worse than us. We don’t know who we are dealing with in the shelter. We have to arrive by 8 p.m. and leave by 7 a.m. In the shelter, we can’t live like a normal family.” – Wendy Lara“This is the area where my child was bathed every morning. We usually had to take showers in the garage because we had no access to the bathroom in the house. The bathroom in the house did not have hot water and was always getting clogged. In order to bathe with hot water, we had to heat water on the stove.” – Deyser“What we are seeing through this project is that if our kids in the Mission don’t have adequate housing, or their health is being affected by their housing condition, then our dreams of having them go to college is challenged by that. The importance of this community participatory research project is that we are involving the families that we are serving in articulating solutions of the problems we are trying to solve. It was very challenging, extremely emotional to showcase their resilience, their strength, in this way. ” – Laura Olivas, Mission Promise Neighborhood Leadership Program Manager“I want to honor these women for the amazing truth they have made visible to us. The courage it takes is significant part of our humanity, it’s what it takes to build community.” – Dolores Terrazas, Mission Promise Neighborhood Director of Children Services Tags: homeless • housing • meda • mission Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Through photographs and personal narratives, eight low-income, Latina mothers in the Mission showcased their living conditions, displacement, and housing insecurity for the photo voice exhibit, “An American Dream?” on July 13 at the Mission Neighborhood Centers at 362 Capp St.Low-income families, in particular Mission families, have been deeply affected by the housing crisis. Many live doubled up in rooms, hotels or in shelters. The exhibit is part of the Community Assessment for Safe & Affordable Housing, a project organized by the San Francisco Department of Public Health , and the Mission Economic Development Agency.“I live in one room that I call multipurpose and I think it is the same size as the memory in my cell phone because i keep everything there. This room becomes a dining room at dinner time, a playground for my kids, a bedroom, and a living room when my children do their homework.” – Olga Sanchez.“My family is affected by seeing our neighbors on the street without a safe and stable place to live. I live in fear that my two children and I might end up in the same situation. it affects us emotionally, causing us stress, anxiety, and depression. My children experience the same fear that this is the American dream for us.” – Wendy Laralast_img read more

SF Supervisor asks BART directors to come clean filthy 16th St Plaza

first_img Tags: 16th Street BART • mission street • public transportation Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% For months, BART Director Bevan Dufty has been out at 16th and Mission streets on Wednesday morning sweeping the trash on the plaza. A few weeks in, he was joined by District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen.Appalled at the state of things, Ronen has now called out the other BART directors, inviting them to join in the morning cleanups and asking for a long-term fix.“The conditions we have seen are truly disturbing and, at times, disgusting, and I am outraged about the health and safety risks to BART riders and my constituents who pass through the plaza every day,” Ronen said in a statement.The letter asks BART to clean the plaza every day and quadruple the amount of time staff spend power-washing the area. Ronen also says the city should implement an intervention program for drug dealers who ply their trade on the plaza and get homeless outreach teams to regularly talk to homeless people who spend their days in the area.center_img “While I knew the general conditions of the plaza were bad, cleaning it myself has opened my eyes to the deeply unhealthy conditions at the plaza — conditions that are unacceptable for a major transit hub in the Bay Area,” Ronen wrote to the directors.Some of the directors remained out of their offices on Monday, and none have responded to a request for comment. We will update this story if any of the directors respond.Update 1Debora Allen, BART Director for District 1, which includes Concord, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre and Walnut Creek stations says she responded to Dufty to set up a time to meet with him and Ronen to talk and see how she can help. Allen writes:I am aware of the terrible conditions at 16th St. Mission and other stations in the BART system. I applaud Director Dufty’s stand against BART management to get adequate janitorial coverage at his stations and believe that as Directors we must demand better from BART Management for all stations.In my district in Central Contra Costa, there is often one system service worker (janitor) taking care of three and sometimes four stations in a day. That is just unacceptable. We have vacant positions that need to be filled immediately, and I will be working with Director Dufty to get that done.Update 2Nick Josefowitz, BART Director for District 8, which includes parts of Balboa Park, Embarcadero, and Montgomery stations, and the liaison for San Francisco Airport station, will be joining the cleanup efforts in January. last_img read more

ALEX Walmsley will be available for Saints trip t

first_imgALEX Walmsley will be available for Saints’ trip to Catalans after he submitted an Early Guilty Plea to the RFL Disciplinary.The in-form prop had been charged with Grade A ‘Strikes with Knee’ for an incident during Friday’s game at Hull FC.But after submitting the EGP he is now available to take on the Dragons.Walmsley has appeared in all four of Saints games so far – starting twice and coming off the bench in the other two.He has clocked 540 metres in those contests.last_img

Brunswick County parents want more water choices in schools

first_img “I send my kids to school, I can control what they drink here at home, but I cant control what their choices are at school unless I provide those choices and not all parents have the privilege to provide those choices,” concerned parent Emily Donovan said.Because of concerns over GenX in the drinking water, parents in Brunswick County are working to implement a program with more water choices in the school systems.Some would like to see free bottled water made available to students.Related Article: Chemours sued over air, water pollution claims“I know when you ask any parent that’s serviced by H2GO if they would love to have a donation of clean water options, I haven’t found a single one say no,” Donovan said.But ultimately it would be up to the schools.“What I think is most important right now is that we are part of the conversations that our county leaders are having with state leaders as it relates to water quality,” Brunswick County Schools PIO Jessica Swencki said.Donovan is not the only parent who wants to see something offered in the schools, but she said she wants her children to focus on learning and not be concerned about whether the water they drink is safe or not.“I want him to focus on reading, I want him to focus on math and science, I want him to focus on learning not have to worry about water,” Donovan said.For now until the county issues the water as unsafe Brunswick County school officials said they will not implement any new programs.“At this time we have not been advised to take any protective measures and at this time we have not been advised about any alternative water supply for our students in Brunswick County,” Swencki said.There will be a board of education meeting next Tuesday and Donovan plans to be there to talk to leaders about bringing a similar water program to Brunswick County schools. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Association of Educators is working on a plan to give bottled water to families as concerns continue about GenX and other contaminants.This has some parents in Brunswick County looking for a way to do it at their schools.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Wilmington Police requesting funds to create new protest response unit

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department is requesting money to form a unit that will help keep the peace during protests and demonstrations.Wilmington City Council will decide whether to approve an ordinance to use $41,775 of state drug tax funds to form a Mobile Field Force Team.- Advertisement – The 30 member team will be trained in de-escalating tense situations. The money will cover the cost of equipment, supplies, and training for the new team.According to the city manager’s office, nationally and locally, demonstrations, both peaceful and violent have increased due to various political and social causes. Currently, the police department does not have a civil disturbance unit that is specifically trained to manage these types of events.Items the police department would need include bull horns, riot batons, gas masks, stinger grenades, body protections, safety glasses, etc.Related Article: Weekend checkpoint nets 4 arrests, more than 100 citationsCity Council will vote on the ordinance at their meeting tonight at Wilmington City Hall.last_img read more

Animal Services asks Ocean Isle Beach homeowner to shelter dogs before freezing

first_imgOCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) – Another night of below freezing temperatures had neighbors concerned on Ocean Isle Beach after they say there were dogs out in the cold.There’s no law on the books in the state to charge a pet owner for leaving dogs in extreme cold if they have shelter. Neighbors could not sit by claiming the conditions the dogs were in not only inadequate but illegal.- Advertisement – “That’s not taking care of a pet,” said neighbor and animal advocate Janie Withers.That’s how Janie Withers saw the situation. Withers says a trio of dogs were chained outside and had neighbors telling her they had been like that for more than a day.“The water bowls are frozen that violates the state law of North Carolina,” said Withers. “Dogs must have access to water. Water has been frozen all day, it’s freezing.”Related Article: New area flood gauges installed to increase safety, flood prediction capabilityShe reached out to Brunswick County Animal Services, who all day Tuesday, monitored the home and gave the owner a notice to bring the dogs inside.However, neighbors we talked too said that folks should not put the owner in the doghouse just yet.“I love dogs and I would be the first person to call animal control, but if you just happen to ride by and see a dog on a chain and you don’t know the situation, don’t start trouble,” said Deborah Looney who lives right next to the home where the dogs are.Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram released a statement saying the dogs have adequate housing, food and water but added,”APS does have concerns for the safety of the animals due to the extreme cold conditions.”Here is more of the statement from the Sheriff saying:“As with any case of alleged animal cruelty, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Animal Protective Services remains vigilant in investigating the mistreatment of animals and will take any necessary action within the law to protect them.  Although the referenced animals are in compliance with North Carolina law and have access to food, water and shelter, APS does have concerns for the safety of the animals due to the extreme cold conditions. APS has spoken with the pet owner, advised them of those concerns and recommended that the animals be moved to a location where they will have better protection from the outdoor elements.  The pet owner has indicated that they will move animals indoors this evening due to the cold conditions.  APS will follow up tonight to ensure the animals are safe.”“We will not allow animals in this county to be mistreated under any circumstances.  Although we are restricted by law in many cases and may be unable to take ownership of an animal, APS makes every effort to educate the pet owner, make recommendations on how to keep their animals safe, and to follow up and hold pet owners accountable.”Neighbors have their takes on this.“He can’t get to the food, if he could eat, and he can’t drink water because it’s frozen,” said Withers. “How does that or how is that adequate and abiding by the laws of the state of North Carolina it’s not in any way.”“I mean there are dog houses, they’re dog houses. I don’t see where the inadequacies are coming from,” said Looney.As day turned to night and the temperature reached below freezing the owner did make it home and was able to bring the dogs inside.The owner of the dogs declined to talk on camera when we asked for his side for this story.last_img read more

Police looking for golf cart burglar in Carolina Beach

first_imgCAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — If you’re a golf cart owner in Carolina Beach, you may want to keep your golf cart under lock and key.“Over the past three weeks, we’ve received four reports for missing golf carts, Carolina Beach Police Chief Chris Spivey said.”- Advertisement – The most recent theft was during the Carolina Beach music festival.“It’s just too easy to take a golf cart. In a couple of minutes it could be gone. So I’m taking care not to get it stolen,” golf cart owner Dane Yates said.Spivey says golf carts have been stolen in the past, but usually have turned up. Now, that’s not the case.Related Article: On your mark, get set, shop! Carolina Beach mayor dishes details on Publix“Somebody may take a golf cart from a location and then drive it somewhere and leave it. that seems to be what commonly happens these past incidents have rendered no golf cart found so they’re a little bit different than what we’ve encountered before,” Spivey said.Police are asking golf cart owners to keep their golf carts secured by parking them inside of their own garages, fastening a chain to them to keep them safe, or getting a custom key made. The reason the chief recommends making a custom key is because many golf carts use the same kind of key, making it easy to use them in another golf cart. Some golf cart owners are furious and don’t want to see it happen to their own carts.“It would be a great surprise and anguish and anger of course. and plus, those things are not cheap. So, there’s quite a bit of monetary substance gone out of my pocket,” golf cart owner Bill Jolly said.But for now, the cart burglar is still on the loose.last_img read more

SILVER ALERT Woman last seen in Wilmington Monday

first_imgShe was reportedly wearing blue capris and carrying a green bag and a Dallas Cowboys bag.WPD says Hawes is cognitively impaired. Marian Hawes has been missing since September 24, 2018. (Photo: WPD) UPDATE: Marian Hawes has been found.WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police have issued a silver alert for a missing woman who was last seen Monday.- Advertisement – Marian Hawes has been missing since September 24, 2018. (Photo: WPD) Marian Hawes, 67, was last seen at the Taco Bell on South 17th Street around 4 p.m. Monday, police say. Marian Hawes has been missing since September 24, 2018. (Photo: WPD) 1 of 2last_img

Hundreds in shelters 3 weeks after Florence reached land

first_imgDisplaced people from Hurricane Florence at shelter on Mercantile Drive in Leland. (Photo: WWAY) RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Hundreds of displaced residents remained in eastern North Carolina shelters three weeks after Hurricane Florence’s eye reached the Atlantic coast.The state emergency management office says 11 shelters counted 625 people early Friday, compared with the 22,000 people in over 100 shelters when the storm arrived.- Advertisement – Emergency management office spokesman Keith Acree said 1,000 other people are benefiting from a government program that provides temporary housing such as hotel rooms while more permanent housing is located.North Carolina and federal officials said this week more than $210 million in grants, payments and low-interest loans have been provided to state residents harmed by the storm.A program offering one-time help with groceries will no longer take applications after Saturday in all but one of the 28 counties declared federal disaster areas.last_img read more

Wilmington florist gears up for busy Valentines Day

first_imgPink roses (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Months of planning and weeks of preparation come to a head at many local businesses this week as preparations are under way for a Valentine’s Day with heavier than normal predicted activity.Warmer weather combined with a workweek Valentine’s Day, Thursday, this year has many in the industry planning long days.- Advertisement – Dana and Jeff Cook, owners of Wilmington’s Julia’s Florist say that this year looks rosy.“In years past we have battled blizzards and ice storms so this year’s weather forecast was a joy to follow” Jeff Cook said. “With a Thursday Valentine’s Day you have many customers eager to display their flowers on work desks and many others taking advantage of early delivery on Wednesday or taking advantage of our free delivery for Valentines orders with Monday and Tuesday delivery. At Julia’s we are fortunate to have the volume of business allowing us to receive flowers direct from growers and delivered bi-weekly. But the next few scheduled deliveries will be many times our normal size.”Valentine’s Day for florists starts well in advance of the 14 and Jeff said he particularly enjoys following along as the flowers move from big rig trucks to his coolers and then from grower boxes to processing (chopping, separating, dipping) to fresh buckets of water and then to designers before going back to the coolers and to routers and delivery drivers.Related Article: Broken hearts: Valentine’s Day Sweethearts candy unavailable this year“Just the whole operation is a fascinating phenomenon that never gets old,” Cook said. “Of course the simple act of giving flowers is something many learn at a young age to never take for granted and owning a flower shop has certainly reinforced that feeling.” Also, “I never get tired of delivering the flowers and noting the expressions on the faces of the recipients. Flowers really do make a unique and beautiful statement.”In the upcoming days, Julia’s will add seasonal help, rental delivery vehicles to their fleet and rented refrigerated storage trucks.“Everyone in our extended family realize it is all hands on deck time and the team work really makes it a fun time instead of the stress creator many could assume,” he said.When asked for tips to give to any customers for Valentine’s Day he said he always goes back to his “pre-ownership” years and realizes the importance of the Keeping It Simple method for customer ordering and the quality control that is crucial to success.“We respect our customer’s keeping it local and ordering directly from our store or calling in, or of course our website,” Cook said. “Ordering locally is not only a smart tactic but something that we think about every day of the year, not just for our industry.”A final tip he offers is to get your order in early.“Every year we have to cut off deliveries and we hate to do it, but we are always careful to guarantee not only our flowers but our deliveries and the entire process.”When that moment of halting deliveries occurs, the walk-in business at the store will explode and he has learned to prepare for the procrastinators as well.last_img read more

Girl hit by a car in Marsaxlokk

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> A 12-year-old girl was run over by a car in Marsaxlokk.A police spokesperson said that the incident happened around 3.15pm on Monday on Triq Melqart, when the girl was hit by a car being driven by a 27-year-old from Żabbar.An ambulance was called on site which took the victim to hospital. The girl was certified to be suffering from grievous injuries.The police is investigating the case.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img

70 boat migrants disembarked in Lampedusa

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi A boat of 70 asylum seekers were disembarked in Lampedusa, yesterday evening.According to media reports, they were understood to be Libyans fleeing the country after a renewed outbreak of fighting. The initial estimates reported that the boat had 90 people.We now know that there were 53 Tunisians and there were 17 Libyans. The majority were males with only one woman on board.Sources speaking to the Italian News agency Ansa, said that the boat was initially intercepted by the Italian authorities on the way to Sicily, while in the waters between Malta and Sicily. The boat was then escorted to Lampedusa by the Italian Coast Guard.The newspaper La Stampa reported that the immigrants had made a distress call to the Italian authorities but this was ignored.Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Twitter ‘In Italy we enter by respecting the rules. We are already at work so that illegal immigrants arriving in Lampedusa will be sent back to their homes in the next few hours’.AGGIORNAMENTOIn Italia si entra rispettando le regole. Siamo già al lavoro affinché i 90 clandestini arrivati oggi a #Lampedusa vengano rispediti a casa loro nelle prossime ore.— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) April 11, 2019Alan KurdiThis news comes as 64 migrants remain stranded on board the Alan Kurdi rescue vessel off the coast of Malta. It has been just over a week since Sea Eye requested a safe port of disembarkation.Italy’s attempt to separate families was a breach of human rights – Sea EyeEC calls on Member States to find a solution for Alan KurdiThe European Commission has been trying to negotiate with EU member states but no conclusions have been found so far. Two people have already been medically evacuated from the vessel due to health reasons.Woman medically evacuated to Malta from rescue vesselWatch: Pregnant woman evacuated from Alan Kurdi following epileptic attackWhatsApplast_img read more

WordPress powering 25 of the Web

first_imgAdvertisement As of today, one in every four websites is now powered by WordPress.The open-source content management system (CMS) now powers 25 percent of the Web.This is according to the latest data from W3Techs, which measures both usage and market share: – Advertisement – “WordPress is used by 58.7% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 25.0% of all websites.”While these numbers naturally fluctuate over the course of the month, the general trend for WordPress has been slow but steady growth.“We should be comfortably past 25% by the end of the year, ” Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg declared.Matt said that the big opportunity is still the 57% of websites that don’t use any identifiable CMS yet, and that’s where he thinks there is still a ton of growth for CMS.[Via VB]last_img read more

The Refurbished Galaxy Note 7 Galaxy Note FE Might Be Launched to

first_imgThe Samsung Galaxy Note 7 that was recalled back in 2016 after multiple reports on explosions. (Image Credit: droid-life) Advertisement For many that have been following the case of the Samsung’s phablet; the Galaxy Note 7 – should probably the story very well. Recapping, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 faced a humiliating recall over exploding batteries which caused the firm dollars in lost profits and hammered its global credibility after around three million Galaxy Note 7 devices were returned to the firm.However much this was big loss to the firm, they decided to refurbish the phablet launching it on 7th July 2017 as the Galaxy Note FE (Fan Edition) – or Galaxy Note 7R to others.Having faced this problem, the company still has its loyal handset holders, and according to online reports, claim that the handset holders seem to be willing to let go of the past if it means owning one of Samsung’s best flagships from 2016. – Advertisement – Earlier on, we reported how the South Korean firm started selling refurbished Galaxy Note 7 smartphone under the moniker Galaxy Note FE limited to its home country first; South Korea. However, it looks like Samsung is ready to take the smartphone outside its home country.The Galaxy Note FE (Fan Edition) could now make its way to some overseas markets, suggests to a report by The Investor. According to the report, the Galaxy Note FE has experienced huge popularity since it went on sale last week. Only 400,000 units of the Galaxy Note FE have been made for South Korea, and Samsung says that it has no plans to roll out more in the country.However, some sources suggest that the company is considering launching the smartphone in some overseas markets later this month.[related-posts]Priced at around USD$608 (approx. UGX), the Galaxy Note FE is about 20% cheaper than the Galaxy Note 7, and comes with a smaller 3200mAh battery.Editor’s Note: This contains some inputs from Gadgets 360.last_img read more

Update on the implementation of the Presidential directive on Internet service provision

first_imgJames Saaka, Executive Director, NITA Uganda during the launch of the eCitizen Portal at Statistics House, Uganda in October, 27 2015. (Image Credit: ChimpReports) Advertisement Following up on the recent presidential directive on the provision of internet services to Government agencies, there have been a couple of ongoing meetings, led by the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, to harmonize and provide guidance on how the directive will be implemented.The discussions have involved officials from Uganda Registration Services Bureau, National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) and Uganda Telecom Limited.Sources inform us that NITA-U has demonstrated intent in implementing the directive by ensuring that the internet service provided to Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs) is supplied through the channel that Uganda Telecom uses, West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC). The internet supplied by WIOCC would complement the already superior internet service being consumed by the 322 MDAs that receive connectivity from the National Backbone Infrastructure whose current internet capacity supplier is Seacom. – Advertisement – To-date, it is reported that NITA-U has been able to maintain an SLA (Service Level Agreement) of 98% with its current MDAs that receive connectivity from the NBI. With the now characteristic ‘always on’ nature of online government services, efficiency has been observed in agencies across the board. This is attributable to the stringent SLAs that NITA-U has delivered thereby ensuring reliability and consistency in the on-ward services provision in Government agencies.It is owing to this robust network that mission-critical government systems like Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) from the Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development have maintained an excellent uptime throughout the year.It is expected that with NITA-U purchasing additional internet capacity from WIOCC, nation-wide connectivity of Government offices will improve as previously underserved MDAS/LGs that were in areas of the country where NBI hadn’t reached, would now get connected to the government network through this initiative.Some experts have raised concern on the ability of WIOCC to provide internet services to UT to enable connectivity through the NBI to Government agencies at a price as competitive as NITA-U has been getting as a result of the strategic bulk internet procurement that NITA-U undertook from Seacom. Currently, as a result of the bulk procurement of internet, NITA-U has lowered the cost of connectivity for Government agencies from $1200 per Mbps in 2012, to the current cost of $70 per Mpbs. NITA-U has indicated before in the media that it plans to lower the cost further to $50 per Mpbs in July 2018.Industry experts have raised concern on whether WOICC & UTLL can match the current competitive price point that is provided by Seacom.  Investigations reveal that WIOCC participated and was unsuccessful & expensive in the International Competitive Bidding procurement for the Provision of Bulk Internet Bandwidth for Government of Uganda bid under the World Bank funded project, Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (RCIP). If indeed WIOCC has competitive pricing that would benefit Ugandans, how come it was not able to provide a good price in the above bid? Below is a summary of both bids:BidderBid PriceSeacomUSD 4,745,000WIOCCUSD 5,254,740DifferenceUSD 509,740WIOCC was more expensive by the successful awarded bidder, Seacom by an entire USD. 500,000.[related-posts]More information on this procurement can be found on: wait to see if indeed UTL, through WOICC, can match the current internet pricing being offered by NITA-U to Government agencies.last_img read more

MTN Uganda Foundation Donates Over 40 Hospital Equipments to Revamped Kabarole Hospital

first_imgMTN Uganda Foundation hands over 40 hospital equipments’ to the revonvation of the Kabarole Hospital on Friday 20th, April 2018. MTN Uganda’s CEO Wim Vanhelleputte pictured in a yellow t-shirt shaking hands with some of the stakeholders. Advertisement Non-profit entity to MTN Uganda; the MTN Uganda Foundation on Friday handed over the revamped out-patient department (OPD) block to Kabarole Hospital Church of Uganda (C.O.U) and donated hospital equipment to benefit hundreds of patients who frequent one of Western Uganda’s busiest public hospitals.For those unaware about the Foundation, it was inaugurated in July 2007 as a vehicle through which MTN Uganda implements its corporate social investments (CSI). The main objective is to improve the quality of life in communities across the country by supporting and implementing sustainable projects in education, health, art and sciences, sports and other national priorities.During the handover ceremony, 10 hospital beds, 10 hospital mattresses, 10 hospital blankets and 10 mosquito nets were received by officials from the Ministry of Health and Kabarole Hospital. – Advertisement – “Our donation today is small but will go a long way to assist each and every patient who comes here to get better treatment by ensuring their stay here is made as comfortable as possible in order to aid their full healing and recovery,” MTN Uganda’s CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte said at the event.MTN Uganda’s CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte pictured handing over hospital equipment’s’ to the staff hosiptal on Friday 20th, April 2018.He further said that as part of their Access to Health Care initiative Project, its their aim as MTN Uganda to support the delivery of better quality health services to all across Uganda through the provision of hospital equipment.Access to quality health services is enshrined in the Goal Number 3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The nine goals were developed in order to direct the path for development around the world.According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the third SDG is “Good health and well-being” which targets “access to quality essential health-care services” for all.The ‎Senior Manager Corporate Affairs at ‎MTN Uganda, Ms. Justina Ntabgoba-Kayemba, praised the work done by the staff of Kabarole Hospital, which has been in existence for almost 115 years, in delivery of health services to residents of Fort Portal.“We congratulate the Kabarole Hospital staff for the great work done towards provision of outreach services, core clinical services, community health services and medical operational services. This donation will rejuvenate them to carry out their duties better,” she said.MTN Uganda’s CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte poses with the staff hospital in front of the revamped Kabarole hospital on Friday 20th, April 2018.The Medical Superintendent Kabarole Hospital, Mr. Edward Mugisha noted that the donation will enable the private-not-for-hospital become more self-sustaining and deliver affordable healthcare.“The hospital is reliant on donor funding but this has been declining. The funds are used to cover utilities and provide for the staff leaving less money for us to finance our several infrastructure projects. This donation and renovation frees some resources to ensure we deliver affordable healthcare.”last_img read more

Sharz is Using a Digital Approach to Promote Higher Education Placement Overseas

first_imgHairah Kibuuka – Managing Director, Sharz Advertisement Studying abroad may be one of the most valuable experiences for any student. It gives them the opportunity to study in a foreign nation and take in the allure and culture of a new land as well improve on their employability. In an increasingly global workplace, employers want employees who are flexible and comfortable in multicultural settings.Studying abroad can, however, prove to be an impossibly large stack of tasks to accomplish with the long application processes involved. Meet ‘Sharz’, an education placement agency that is embracing a digital approach.Sharz is a highly dynamic placement agency based in Uganda, that helps connect students and professionals towards appropriate study opportunities in secondary/high school, undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels abroad. It specializes in student placement, training and business development for Universities and Colleges. – Advertisement – They provide free consultation to students by helping them make the right selection for courses as well as identifying the right institutions for them.According to the company’s Managing Director, Hairah Kibuuka, the agency prides itself on the ability to innovate, both around the options they provide to their students, as well as the initiatives they undertake to attract the right students for partner institutions.Sharz has taken a digital approach to deliver its services which is inline with their tagline “Borderless Study consults”, as they use the digital platforms to fulfill their mission of accelerating student success by bridging borders on international education.The agency’s approach is to partner with institutions all over the world to identify courses of interest to their students, with the top destinations being institutions in Canada, Australia, UK, USA, Malaysia, and Turkey, according to Mrs. Kibuuka, in an interview with PC Tech Magazine.[related-posts]“We start with counseling the student, helping them make the right selection on courses and identifying the right institutions, then proceed with the application process. This is accompanied by an application fee that varies between institutions,” she said, about the agency’s process.“An offer letter is then received, and an initial deposit of the tuition fees is paid to the institution for a letter of acceptance to be released,” Kibuuka continued.“The letter of acceptance is then what we use for student visa applications, followed by other supporting documents,” Kibuuka concluded.Sharz aims to offer the best consultancy services to students so they can compare various courses being offered by different educational institutions thus enabling them to make informed decisions about their choices of further studies.last_img read more

Ugandans Can Now Send Money Globally Without Incurring Costs Using Chipper Cash

first_imgChipper Technologies Executive Director; Ed Mageba speaking at the launch of Chipper Cash in Uganda at a press conference held at Grand Imperial Hotel on Wednesday May, 15th 2019. Advertisement FinTech company; Chipper Technologies — founded by Ugandan entrepreneur; Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled from Ghana has officially launched their product; Chipper Cash to Uganda.The product; Chipper Cash was officially announced last year, as the company scouted African countries to run the product. The company to-date has managed to spread across 5 African countries; Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.According to the company, the 5 countries have high usage of mobile money transactions. The company says it plans on its expansion to other countries, but did not reveal which in particular. – Advertisement – Chipper Cash as the company claims is the largest mobile cross-border money transfer platform in Africa. Users can send money anyway in the world swiftly with no charges on sending and receiving incurred.All the transactions are made through the Chipper Cash mobile application downloadable from Google Play and App Store. Both the sender and recipient need to have the app for the transaction to happen.The service is by-far used by 70,000 users in the five countries with 35,000 users coming from Uganda. Ed Mageba, Executive Director of Chipper Technologies said Uganda has the biggest users because it has highest number of people transacting through mobile money in Africa.Ed on behalf of the company said, their aim is to reach one million users before end of 2019. He says they want to improve on the financial inclusion in Africa, connecting Africa to the rest of the world.“This is an ambitious target but one we strongly believe we will achieve given the quality of our platform,” said Ed.One of the ways the company aims at growing their user base in through referral programs. For every referral you make, your account is credited with UGX1,500. The more referrals you make, the more you earn. Ed notes that you can earn up to UGX2.5 million just in referral programs.Chipper Cash supports all the major mobile money platforms in Uganda including; MTN, Airtel, and Africell.Signing up for a Chipper Cash WalletDownload the app from Google Play or App Store.Run/Open the app where you will be prompt to register using your mobile money number.For verification purposes, you verify using a 6-digit numeric code.You then prompt to enter your First and last name.Basing on your phone number it automatically selects your mobile money platform.Your account will be created your account is credited with UGX100 (termed as a reward program).Ed noted that users can also use Chipper Cash to pay for their products or services. The vendor provides a QR code that the customer scans to make the payment. He said its going to be used in supermarkets, restaurants, saloons, among others.[related-posts]last_img read more