Stories written by Nasseem Ackbarally

Andrea Gungadin on the roof with her solar panels. Credit:  Nasseem Ackburally/IPS

MAURITIUS: Renewable Energy Gets a Boost

A new initiative to support production of renewable energy in Mauritius may provide a model for other countries to follow suit.

Sex workers marching for human rights  Credit: Nasseem Ackbarrally/IPS

HUMAN RIGHTS: Mauritian Sex Workers Demand Rights

"Sex workers rights are human rights", close to a hundred people shouted during a recent march in Rose-Hill, a major town in Mauritius. Their aim was to sensitise the population, particularly the parliamentarians, to the state of sex workers on the island.

Mauritian schoolchildren. Credit:  Nasseem Ackburally/IPS

MAURITIUS: Social Ills Prevail Despite Meeting MDGs

The small island state of Mauritius is the only African country likely to meet all eight of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 - at least on paper. But its citizens say government could do more to improve livelihoods, gender equality and environmental sustainability.

Brigitte Rabemanantsoa Rasamoelina, a female politician from Madagascar says a women

INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS: Women Join Forces for Political Equality

"Instead of moaning all the time, why don’t you create your own (political) party?" some men asked Brigitte Rabemanantsoa Rasamoelina, a female politician from Madagascar. She accepted the challenge and in February formed Ampela Mano Politika, a political party which started with only 22 female members and now has over 5,000 female members ... and 10 men.

This Bangladeshi worker, photographed in his dormitory, did not want his name to be published as he feared being sent back to his home country. Credit: Nasseem Ackburally/IPS

RIGHTS: Poor Foreigners Working Like “Modern Slaves” in Mauritius

Workers from Bangladesh have helped Mauritius to achieve the economic success and world market share that the Indian Ocean island state boasts about. But many live and work in conditions described as akin to "modern slavery", apart from facing discrimination, the denial of labour rights and even violence.

Women voters are ambivalent on the need to increase female representation in the Mauritian parliament. Credit: Nasseem Ackburally/IPS

MAURITIUS-POLITICS: Voting for the Future

Incumbent Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam has won the Mauritian election, retaining a third term of office.

Women's rights organisations want political parties to nominate one female candidate for every three candidates in the next election. Credit: Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

POLITICS-MAURITIUS: Plea for More Female Candidates

Sandhya Boygah considers herself a victim of male-dominated politics. In 2007, she was asked by her party, the ruling Labour Party, to step aside and allow a man to stand for the elected post she sought.

A handful of Mauritian women have overcome prejudice to earn their living from the sea. Credit:  IRIN

MAURITIUS: These Women Chose the Sea

She cannot swim, but Marie-Claite Hector is not afraid of the ocean. The 53-year-old pushes her small boat with all her strength towards the blue lagoon, starts the engine, and sets out to sea.

Eric Mangar:

Q&A: Even Island States Can Make Plans to Improve Food Security

Eric Mangar deplores the fact that Mauritius, despite being a net food importer, has failed to learn its lessons from the food crisis. The island state is pursuing "business as usual" without taking steps to improve food production on the local front.

AFRICA: Water Summit Ends

As the Second Africa Water Week ends, participants have reiterated that lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation has a direct bearing on public health and the economy in Africa.

WATER-AFRICA: Civil Society Demands Action, Not Words

"No more commitments... We have had enough of the promises. Can we please see something happening on the ground? Right now, it is business as usual and that’s why Africa is off-track on the MDG target."

Salil Roy: The government has a moral obligation towards small scale farmers. Credit:  Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

Q&A: Small Sugar Farmers Not so Sweet on End of Sugar Protocol

The Sugar Protocol enabling developing world sugar farmers to produce for the European market over the past 34 years ended on Sep 30. Among these, the small island state of Mauritius built two major industries -- tourism and textile and clothing – on the back of its sugar sales.

Mauritian scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim was awarded the African Union Women Scientist Regional Award 2009 this month. Credit:  Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

Q&A: Plants Know No Frontiers, They Grow Everywhere

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has spent the last two decades travelling among the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean studying plants.

Not enough Mauritians have their blood sugar levels tested. Credit:  Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

HEALTH: Diabetes Wreaks Havoc in Mauritius

Every year 400 Mauritians undergo amputations, another 400 have heart surgery; 175 people's eyes are under the knife every week - all due to a disease that is easily prevented, Type 2 diabetes.

Environmentalists believe almost all of Mauritius

ENVIRONMENT-MAURITIUS: Hold Your Fire

Mauritius appears to have a happy problem with the 400,000 tons of waste it produces each year. The island's only landfill is full and the government must decide whether to turn to incinerating waste - generating electricity in the process - or to compost it, to the benefit of farmers.

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