Over 1,000 lts of water per second are being pumped out of Santa Clara lake, 24/7, over 90% going to intensive agriculture owned by foreign berry growers, 3% to clean a mine and 6% to locals, who are starting to have their water restricted and in some cases cut off.
40% of the water pumped out - it’s now too low to flow as it should into the purpose-built canals - is lost through insufficient maintenance of the said canals, (i.e. they leak), or it flows, unused, through bad management, into the sea.
The berry growers, who export the vast majority of their produce to northern European countries, employ few locals but instead 16,000 poorly paid Nepalese, Pakistani and Indian semi-slaves, (who in some circumstances, were found to be living 30 to a two-bedroom cottage). These poor people, crammed together as they are in insanitary conditions, have contributed 80% of the region’s covid cases while only being 40% of the population, and this high Covid ratio within them has shut down the majority of the local tourist industry for the better part of the last six months, materially affecting the livelihoods of the whole area.
It’s also an environmental disaster as the berry growers have already bulldozed out of existence rare and meant-to-be protected habitats, for which Portugal received funds from the EU.
The same berry growers, who have effectively taken over the water management company, are domiciled abroad, mostly in the States and Holland through a blizzard of different companies which own other companies etc. etc., and have received massive tax rebates from the Portuguese government on the tax that they did pay here in 2019.
The water company managing the distribution of this vital resource even cut off the flow into the original river until local residents raised a stink greater than that raised by the drying and dying river bed. The whole thing is made infinitely worse by climate change, which has led to a dryer local habitat visible on a daily basis.
It's the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture promoting the whole thing while the Environmental Agency wallies about strafing locals who raise a brick anywhere in the vicinity - meanwhile the berry growers have put 1,000 hectares of a Natural Park under plastic, far more than they are permitted to do, so a "Natural Park" is now one in name only, disappearing under a sea of plastic while drinking at an ever-increasing rate the only water resource for the whole area.
Those are the bones of the matter. It’s a sad, sad situation - and it’s getting more and more absurd.
CLICK HERE to see a video that demonstrates the reality of this situation.
On the 18th of July, the community gathers to demonstrate against the current model of unsustainable water management in the Santa Clara Dam. SEE DETAILS. The Mira Beneficiaries Association (ABMira), responsible for the management, exploration and conservation of the Santa Clara Dam, controlled by the coastal intensive food industry, with the approval of the Government and various ministries, has been conducting a policy of water degradation, a vital resource for the municipality of Odemira. ABMira, whose main objectives are the representation and defense of its beneficiaries, is responsible for 30%-40% of losses in distribution, denies water to the river and small farmers to "give" it to a restricted group of large companies that leave an unsustainable and unbearable social and ecological footprint for communities and territory.
We demand from the Government: - Priority return of the ecological flow to the Mira River - Public management of a single and common resource - Change in distribution priorities: 1st Rio Mira, 2nd Populations and 3rd ALL farmers (not only those in the current irrigation perimeter) and industry - Investments in infrastructure to reduce losses (closed pipelines and return system). - Greater efficiency in consumption: everyone pays for the amount they consume and at the same price. - Immediate blocking of the expansion plan for intensive production areas on the coast. - Urgent maintenance of the WWTP's that discharge into the Mira River, especially the one in Sabóia.
Portugal registered more than 58,000 new cases of infection in the last month, a period in which admissions to intensive care increased by 122%, but with the number of deaths having only increased by 0.8%.
On June 14th, the country had 858,072 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. The most recent data from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) indicates that Wednesday (yesterday), the eve of today's Council of Ministers assessment of the pandemic, 916,559 cases had already been reported, representing an increase of 6.8% in the space of one month.
By regions, Lisbon and Vale do Tejo were where the most infections were seen in the last month, with almost 32 thousand, but it was the Algarve that registered the highest percentage increase in cases of Covid-19, with 24% , from 22,653 to 28,205.
Active cases increased by 85% With regard to active cases in the country, they increased from 25,403 to the current 47,108, which represents a growth of 85%.
Despite being very far from the figures from the beginning of the year, the evolution of the pandemic in the last month is also reflected in the pressure on the National Health Service, with an increase of 115% in admissions (from 340 to 14th June to 734 to 14th July) and 122% in intensive care (from 77 to 171 on Wednesday).
The “red lines” of pandemic control established by several experts predict 245 beds in intensive care as the critical value for mainland Portugal, pointing to a regional distribution of 85 beds in the North, 56 in the Center, 84 in Lisbon and Vale do Tagus, 10 in Alentejo and 10 in Algarve.
Taking into account the 171 patients who were in intensive care on Wednesday, mainland Portugal reached 69.7% of the 245 bed threshold defined as critical, when, on June 16th, this value was at 36%, which represented 88 in intensive care units.
Number of deaths registered a slight increase Despite this greater pressure on the National Health Service, the number of deaths registered only a slight increase of 0.8%, with 135 more deaths in the period under review making a total of 17,182 since the beginning of the pandemic in Portugal.
The negative evolution of the pandemic in the last month is also evident in the indicators that make up the risk matrix, which changed from the orange to the red quadrant, with the incidence rate of new cases of infection increasing from 83.4 to 346.5 in mainland territory in about thirty days.
The transmissibility index - which estimates the number of secondary cases of infection resulting from a person with the virus - went from 1.10 to 1.15 on the continent, above the established limit of 1.
The pace of vaccine administration has also accelerated in the last month, from 42% to 60% of the population with the first dose (from about 4.3 million to 6.2 million people), while the number of users who completed the vaccination rose from 25% to 42% (from about 2.5 million to 4.3 million).
People between 50 and 64 years old and between 25 and 49 years old were the age groups with the most significant growth in inoculations since June 13th, going from 69% to 90% and from 19% to 57% with the first dose, respectively.
The Portuguese biotechnology company Immunethep announced yesterday that non-clinical trials of its vaccine against the Coronavirus have ended and have shown “high safety and efficacy” against a lethal infection by SARS-CoV-2.
In a statement sent to the Lusa news agency, the company based in Cantanhede, in the district of Coimbra, states that in the non-clinical trials the k18-hACE2 transgenic mice that were infected with the coronavirus develop a disease similar to humans.
Immunethep's co-founder and scientific director states that, “through these non-clinical trials and the observed 100% survival rate, it was possible to confirm the vaccine's efficacy in lethal SARS-CoV-2 infections”.
The Portuguese biotech company had been conducting pre-clinical trials of its SIlba vaccine (SARS-CoV-2 Inactivated for Lung B and T cell Activation) for several months.
“After infection with a lethal virus inoculum we found that, compared to control mice (which did not survive), the vaccinated animals had a 100% survival rate, observable in the first week after the infection, in addition moreover, they did not demonstrate any adverse effects after vaccination”.
Since its foundation in 2014, Immunethep has been dedicated to the development of immunotherapies, mainly against multi-resistant bacterial infections, currently having just 10 employees.
“The realization of this project in Portugal allows the development of unique skills on a global scale in the development of vaccines and other biological products”, concludes the co-founder and executive director of Immunthep, Bruno Santos. "Rapid support from government entities is essential, for us to continue the clinical trials of the vaccine, in time to contribute to the resolution of the covid-19 pandemic”.
The balance of the number of patients admitted to hospitals in the Algarve points to the significant increase in younger age groups in cases of Covid-19 infections in recent weeks. The chairman of the board of directors of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA) says that the trend is to get worse, stressing that there are “a greater number of young inpatients who are ill, who are not known if they will fully recover, or if they are going to have reoccurences”.
Earlier this month, the chairman of the board of directors of CHUA, Ana Varges Gomes, said that the total number of admissions in the two hospital units in the Algarve represents about 60% of the limit of 80 beds defined for the region, with no forecast to open more beds.
The Algarve had 49 patients admitted to Covid-19 wards last week, but 12 of them in intensive care, with a trend towards an increase in admissions among the youngest.
Patients admitted to hospitals in Faro and Portimão are aged between 23 and 67 years old, “a younger age group than was seen in previous admissions” .
“It's really a younger population that we have hospitalised and that doesn't have vaccination” , pointed out Ana Varges Gomes, stressing that there are “a greater number of young hospitalized patients who are unwell, who do not know if they will fully recover or if they will be left with long covid” .
Long Covid in young people "Long covid" refers to the symptoms that remain after recovery from Covid-19 infection, which includes fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cognitive disturbances such as poor memory and concentration.
Although the number of deaths is now proportionally much lower compared to previous waves, thanks to vaccination, long covid is becoming an increasing concern.
With contagion numbers going up, we're going to have a significant amount of long covid, especially at younger ages where vaccination rates are currently much lower.
Especially in the Algarve, health professionals are apprehensive about the evolution of the pandemic situation, “since people are not complying with what they should, that is, not respecting the recommendations” of the health authorities, warns Ana Varges Gomes.
The Algarve has 450,000 inhabitants to support, but at the height of summer, “we now have easily around two million. If people start to get sick with Covid, there is no capacity within the current structure for this type of population increase” , she pointed out.
For her, the epidemiological situation in the Algarve “deserves some vigilance” , given the significant increase in cases of infections of the disease in recent weeks in younger age groups and given the forecast of an increase in population during the summer.
“At this moment, there is still no prospect of opening more beds, but the situation deserves vigilance due to the increase in cases of infections and for us to take decisions on a daily basis” , she stressed.
Ana Varges Gomes admitted that if the situation in the Algarve deteriorates significantly, the vacations of health professionals could be affected, a possibility already taken up by the secretary of State coordinating the response to Covid-19 in the region.
The Confederation of Enterprises, CIP, have good webinars on Circular Economy. Good for the environment, saves raw materials, reduces waste and garbage, and innovates. Many other countries have laws to run this, we do not, yet.
On a day-to-day basis, life can and will throw challenges and complications at you. No matter how big or small, we all face messes day in and day out. It can be overwhelming to figure out how to deal with these issues, especially when they are unexplained or unexpected. Read on for 5 frequent messes and how to tackle them.
Most of us want things we know to be impossible. And yet the most common dreams allegedly involve one's teeth falling out, flying through the sky, and being chased or hunted. Were I a dream interpreter, I would say you wish you could afford a foreign holiday but are being pursued by a dentist waving an unpaid bill. He clearly wants a foreign holiday as well.
Join Ideal Homes this Thursday, 15 July at 5pm London/Lisbon | 12pm EST | 9am Pacific, for the launch of the third season of IdealHomesTV. The premiere episode follows Angela Worrall, CEO, and John Malpas, Real Estate Consultant, as they explore villas for sale in the Algarve. With amazing properties on offer, it’s not to be missed!
The season in the UAE lasts all year round - it is warm and there is practically no rain. The best time to visit the Emirates is from the end of October to December, and from March to the end of April when it is not very hot. The sea water off the coast of the UAE is always warm: the temperature does not drop below 18 ° C. In winter, in the pools of hotels in the UAE, the water is heated, its temperature is 25-27 ° C. In summer, the air temperature can reach 50 ° C, and the sea - 35 ° C.
Cyprus is the third biggest island on the Mediterranean and a top vacation destination for tourists. The island’s holiday season is between April and October. Cyprus receives 320 days of sunshine on an average each year.
Monday. I receive a birthday card that reads “You are one year closer to being a Crazy Cat Lady”. Hmmm. Too late. What was I supposed to do with retirement? I played Candy Crush for a year, then I helped in a charity shop. I’ve found, though, that nothing beats shifting sacks of cat poo. You can keep your watercolours and golf.
Pop along to the Summer Crafts Show in Luz on July 20th and 21st, where lots of local artists and craftspeople will be selling their paintings, stained glass, hand made jewellery, jams and preserves, hand sewn items, soaps, clothing and more...
The EA Cleanup Event this weekend has been confirmed to take place at Conceição station in Tavira, on Sunday 18th July from 9.15 – 10.15. The meeting point will be at the station car park and we plan to tackle the area around there.