Medical workers in Monrovia have noticed an unsettling disconnect: while evidence points to the accelerating spread of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, the number of bodies being collected is dwindling.
Every day the corpses of people who’ve died from the hemorrhagic disease are collected from treatment centers and hospitals around the Liberian capital. They are stored at the morgue, then taken to a crematorium for burning in the evening.
But the number of bodies being collected from beyond the medical facilities — of those who died at home — is falling.
O.C. was untouchable. For years the stocky man with pockmarked skin and heavy-lidded eyes had run a cocaine-trafficking network on the coastal plains of northern Guinea. Planeloads of cocaine were flown into Boke airport from neighbouring Guinea-Bissau, the country that became known as Africa’s first narco-state.
Brightly painted wooden fishing canoes are as much a feature of West Africa’s coastline as its crashing waves, sandy beaches and palm trees. Millions of people depend on fishing for their livelihoods and for food. National economies and foreign-exchange earnings are given a boost by vibrant fisheries industries. Yet at least one fifth of the catch is lost to illegal fishing, a problem that has been assessed by the Marine Resources Assessment Group as costing up to $9bn worldwide and $1bn in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. Continue reading An offshore free-for-all