Tag Archives: photography

How and Why Coca-Cola is Restoring Water to Our National Forests

When I stepped out of the U.S. Forest Service SUV after nearly a two-hour scenic autumn drive from Taos, New Mexico to the Carson National Forest, we were standing in an expansive valley so big that huge cows below us looked like mere dots in the distance. We had finally arrived at Valle Vidal, a massive grassy meadow with vistas as far as the eye could see and elevations reaching close to 13,000 feet in Carson National Forest. Even though Valle Vidal is overwhelmingly beautiful to take in its environmental impact is being increasingly hampered by major stream and groundwater degradation that needs immediate remedying in order to protect fish and wildlife as well as to store more ground water for communities downstream.

I was in New Mexico visiting the Carson National Forest with Coca-Cola North America’s sustainability team last week to learn about their water restoration efforts in northern New Mexico as well as the company’s overarching nationwide partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and National Forest Foundation that replenished 1 billion liters of water to nature and communities reaching 60 million people in the United States. Coca-Cola also recently announced that it has successfully reached one of its principle global sustainability milestones ahead of schedule to effectively balance its water usage in its beverages and production. Coca-Cola has reached its goal five years ahead by replenishing 191.9 billion liters of water across the globe in 71 countries. In the United States, Coca-Cola North America has pledged to double the 1 billion liters of water that it has already replenished by 2018.

Continue reading How and Why Coca-Cola is Restoring Water to Our National Forests

Our Favorite Sound Capture of 2013

Using Soundcloud was one of the best ways to report from the field in Africa last year. One of our favorite sound captures of last year was in Tanzania after spending time with the Maasai in the arid northern part of the country. Hosted by Oikos, an Italian NGO that works with the Maasai to help them preserve the little environmental integrity that is left, we were treated to a traditional dance performed by Maasai men after a dinner of roasted goat and other traditional fare.

Play the sounds of the Maasai below.

Read more about Oikos and their work in When the Rains Slowed: Food and Hunger in Tanzania.

[Photos] Family Planning Kits from Ethiopia, Zambia, South Africa

I have been fortunate to visit health posts and family planning clinics in a handful of countries. One of the things I always ask to see while visiting are family planning kits used for educational purposes for clients. Some of the kits have been fancy, others have been fairly rudimentary, but they all serve the same purpose: educating women about their options to space or prevent pregnancies.

Below are a few photos of family planning kits I have seen in Ethiopia, Zambia and South Africa. You can also check out a Marie Stopes clinic I visited this summer.

Family Planning - Ethiopia
Family Planning Kit – Ethiopia
Family Planning Kit
Family Planning Kit – Johannesburg, South Africa
Family Planning Kit - Zambia
Family Planning Kit – Lusaka, Zambia

And even though this isn’t  a family planning kit I loved seeing young teenage girls at the Fountain of Hope community center for street affected kids reminding each other about peer pressure, STIs, and pregnancy.

Fountain of Hope

 

Be sure to follow the following hashtags during this week’s International Conference on Family Planning: #FP2020,  #FullAccess#FamilyPlanning, and #ICFP2013.

[Photo Gallery] Visual Storytelling in Zambia

From mid July through the end of the month I traveled throughout Zambia covering stories about HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria with the International Reporting Project as an IRP Zambia Fellow. I joined nine other new media journalists who put a new spin on traditional reporting of these infectious diseases. You can read my published pieces so far below and see some of my photos from the trip. All of the trip photos have been captioned if you would like to learn more about a specific one.

Feeding Malnourished Children in Macha, Zambia #ZambiaHealth

I saw for the very first time in my life a severe acute malnourished child. He was two. I didn’t ask his name as not to pry into the intimate lives of two parents whose main concern was the life and health of their little one, but I will never forget his swollen face.

I met this toddler at the Macha Mission Hospital in the Southern Province in Zambia where I am traveling as an International Reporting Project fellow. His face was full of open sores, especially around his mouth, and he was severely lethargic, not even able to hold his head up and opted instead to rest his heavy head on his father’s shoulder. His father’s eyes met mine as he asked through them for me to help. I couldn’t. I was just there as an observer.

The malnourished child’s tiny bare feet were sticking out of dirty trousers and were exposing raw flesh that was trying to heal. I noticed his feet where also quite swollen, a noticeable sign of oedema and an exclamation point saying that he did not have the proper amount of nutrients and food coursing through his body to make him a happy and healthy little boy.

In this area of Zambia, in Macha, most of the people are subsistence farmers who live on homesteads and survive on less than $1.50 USD per day. This is consistent throughout the country where 60.5 percent of Zambians live in poverty and the top 10 percent of Zambians own nearly 48 percent of the wealth according to World Bank data. Poverty is rife here, especially in the rural areas where employment is a toss-up, and some of the outcomes of endemic poverty is malnutrition in children. In fact, 45 percent of Zambian children are stunted due to a lack of proper nutrition.

At this government-run hospital Macha Mission nurses provide malnourished children with HEPS (high energy protein supplement). They prepare this porridge-like mixture for the children during their stay and when they leave parents are given the supplement powder to continue providing necessary nutrition to their children.

While one of the most well-known international nutritional products for malnourished children is Plumpy Nut for children and Plumpy Sup for adults, the Executive Director of Macha Mission Hospital, Mr. Abrahan Mhango, told me that Plumpy Nut and Sup are not always available to them and so the hospital uses a powdered nutritional supplement instead.

HEPS - High energy protein supplement

Mixtures, of course, are made based on nutritional need and age and size of the children. The chart for mixture amounts is easily referenced in the hospital kitchen for the nurses.

HEPS Schedule

Breastfeeding in Zambia

At every clinic where I have gone and even in everyday settings I have seen pro-breastfeeding literature, billboards, and even handwritten signs. These seem to be working. In Zambia, 61 percent of mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and then it gradually tapers to 37 percent from 6 – 23 months. Save the Children recommends that children be breastfed during the first hour after birth.

Breastfeeding

I have no idea what Zambia is going to do about their malnutrition problem. I will follow this story and report from what I see on the Net. I hope malnutrition and stunting rates go down.