Monday, July 6, 2009

Will 50/50 be back?

Tonight was the last broadcast of the popular TV programme 50/50, --- the longest ongoing environmental programme in the world!

The TV show has been revamped on a number of occasions but has been going strong for 24 years. It was the one-and-only programme I looked forward to viewing once a week on a Monday evening. In fact the weekly programme was so popular that the SABC never really bothered advertising it.

I particularly enjoyed the diversity of topics which were all related to nature conservation and environmental issues in South Africa. The one-hour programme was presented in a professional manner in a combination of both English and Afrikaans. Over the years it has proved a powerful and influential tool in highlighting conservation issues in an objective, independent manner, winning a host of awards along the way.

The SABC has apparently promised that the show will be back on air in April 2010, but there are a few rumours going around that this may not happen. We’ll have to wait and see. I suppose the odds are 50/50!

50/50 has placed much emphasis on increasingly endangered water resources in South Africa and have also touched on aspects related to corruption and incompetence in local government departments, --- particularly in the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs.

Some of the issues that were covered by 50/50 included the following:
  • Global warming
  • Alternative energy
  • Water crises
  • Wild life conservation
  • Heritage conservation
  • Development threats
  • Urban greening
Here follows two stories that were recently presented on the show:

Crocs Dying in Kruger

The crocodiles in the Kruger National Park are dying from a condition known as pansteatitis, which hardens the body fat and eventually shuts down all mobility.

The Park’s response has been to burn any dead crocs as the disease spreads fast once the healthy crocs start feeding on the affected ones, and as a result the rate of death is far slower than last year.

The cause of the outbreak remains somewhat of a mystery, but it is thought to be as a result of a cumulative pollutant build-up in the river system.

Pollution in Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay is one of the most beautiful places in the Southern Cape and is a sought after tourist attraction – But this little village has a dark secret. Its back yard looks like a pig sty!

Where all these tyres are dumped used to be a small lake with weavers and other water-bird species. Apparently the efforts by the local municipality to stop people from dumping in the area have also failed. Every time they tried to block off the road with a heap of sand, the developers found another road to access the area.



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