Everything You Need To Know About Etherum

What is Ethereum?

Steven Heap/123RF

By Will Nicol — Posted on July 4, 2017 6:30 am

If you follow tech or financial news, you’ve probably seen the name “Ethereum” popping up over the last couple years, often in connection with bitcoin. Ethereum is a rising star in the world of cryptocurrencies, entirely digital forms of currency that grew in popularity after the creation of bitcoin by a person or group calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Demand for Ethereum is so high that it may even be driving up the price of graphics cards, as miners try to generate as much currency as they can. What is Ethereum exactly, and what does it mean for the future of cryptocurrency (and maybe society)? Here’s the rundown.

To start — what is a cryptocurrency?

People often refer to Ethereum as a cryptocurrency, but that isn’t precisely true. It is a platform that allows individuals to conduct transactions and draw up contracts, using a currency called “ether.” To understand what distinguishes Ethereum from a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, it helps to understand what a cryptocurrency is, as well as the concept of a blockchain.

A cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency created through encryption. A cryptocurrency has no physical form — like a banknote or coin — and it is not issued by a central bank or governmental authority. Units of cryptocurrency exist as data on the internet, and are created and managed through something called a blockchain.

A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger, shared amongst any number of computers. When transactions occur, they are recorded in blocks; in order for these blocks to go into the ledger, they must be validated by a certain number of computers on the blockchain network. Crucially, the ledger exists, in the same form, for everyone on the network. Anyone can can look at to see a complete history of every transaction that has occurred, and any changes would be visible to everyone.

The individuals who validate the transactions — which they do by having their computers solve complex computational problems — are called miners. Mining is a surprisingly intense activity, as our guide explains, that requires powerful hardware and a lot of planning. As a reward for their help in validating blocks, miners are given rewards. This is typically a specific cryptocurrency; Bitcoin miners receive bitcoin, while Ethereum miners receive ether.

When you send someone an amount of cryptocurrency, a digital signature is created to authenticate the transaction. Your public key is essentially your “address.” When someone sends you funds, they send it to your public key. When you send funds, you use your private key, which is essentially the password that grants you access to your funds, and a transaction message to create a digital signature. Miners use this signature to verify the transaction, and a new signature will be generated for every individual transaction, so the transaction can’t be repeated.

Why is this important?

Digital transactions have, historically, required third parties, such as banks, to authorize or validate the transaction. This is because money, when digital, is essentially a file, which could be copied and reused. But these more traditional intermediaries typically don’t work for free. Banks and other authorities require individuals to play in their sandbox, and pay whatever fees they demand.

Cryptocurrencies are all about skirting around financial institutions and authorities, but they still need some way to track when and how currency moves through transactions, so as to avoid problems like double spending. The currency would be useless if anyone could just create copies of their units.

Blockchains allow for peer-to-peer transactions, with no need for a third party to participate. They are inherently secure; if any data in the block were changed, computers on the network would need to revalidate it, discouraging tampering. In theory, cryptocurrencies are safe from seizure by authorities. Because they are stored nowhere in particular, and can only be accessed by a person with the private key, it would be incredibly difficult for even a government to seize them.

The broad strokes of a blockchain apply to Ethereum just as they do to bitcoin, but the two products have different goals. As mentioned, bitcoin is strictly a digital currency, designed to function as a means of payment. Ethereum takes a grander approach; it functions as a platform through which people can use ether tokens to create and run applications and, more importantly, smart contracts.

Ethereum focuses on “smart contracts”

What is a smart contract? It is a contract written in code, which the creator(s) upload to the blockchain. Any time one of these contracts is executed, every node on the network runs it, uploaded to the blockchain; thus, it is stored in the public ledger, theoretically tamper-proof.

Smart contracts are essentially structured as If-then statements; when certain conditions are met, the program carries out the terms of the contract.

As an example, say you want to rent a car from a service that uses Ethereum. A smart contract is generated, stipulating that if you send the required amount of funds, then the service will send you a digital key to unlock the car. The process is is carried out on the blockchain, so when you send the ether tokens, everyone on the network can see that you did so. Likewise, when the rental service sends you the key to unlock the car, everyone will see it. In this scenario, the contract might state that if the service does not send you the key, the tokens are refunded.

Since every computer on the network is keeping track of this transaction through the digital ledger, there is no way to tamper with it; if someone altered the details of the contract, every copy of the digital ledger would note this.

Every program on Ethereum will use a distinct amount of processing power, and since the program must be run by the nodes, it is important to keep superfluous activity to a minimum. This is why every contract and program on Ethereum is given a cost in “gas.” Gas is a measurement of how much processing power the program will require, and the higher the gas requirement, the more ether tokens the user will need to spend.

One of the commonly cited advantages of smart contracts is that there is no need for “middlemen” like lawyers or notaries. In theory, this means that you can carry out transactions without the waiting times inherent to paper filings, and without paying fees to whomever would typically oversee such a transaction. This is particularly important for people living in countries where the legal system is corrupt, or woefully inefficient.

Of course, the automation means that, if something goes wrong — if, for example, there is a bug in the code of the smart contract — the blockchain will still carry out the terms of the contract, which could be problematic.

A scandal involving The DAO — a decentralized autonomous organization — serves as a case study in how smart contracts can go wrong. The DAO was essentially a leaderless investment fund; members invested ether, gaining tokens that allowed them to vote on how to invest the DAO’s funds. As CoinDesk explains, the DAO was built through a series of smart contracts.

However, a vulnerability in the DAO’s code allowed one user to funnel millions of dollars worth of ether into a child DAO. A writer for Forbes compares the process to embezzlement, but notes that, because the DAO’s contract allowed for it to happen, it was not illegal; the user was working within the confines of the code.

What does it mean for the future?

In its short time in the spotlight, Ethereum has cast an enormous shadow. It is trading at around $300 as of June 28, 2017, and has grown by around 3600 percent in 2017, according to Business Insider. The platform has already attracted massive corporations like JP Morgan Chase and Microsoft, who are among the more notable members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which aims to provide “Resources for businesses to learn about Ethereum and leverage this groundbreaking technology to address specific industry use cases.”

That bodes well for Ethereum’s usage in the business world, but true believers see the platform as something more than a tool for corporation; they see it as a way to decentralize the internet, and make it more democratic.

In an interview with Wired, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin lays out his view of how Ethereum will disrupt the traditional power structures of the world:

“I think a large part of the consequence is necessarily going to be disempowering some of these centralized players to some extent. Because ultimately power is a zero sum game. And if you talk about empowering the little guy, as much as you want to couch it in flowery terminology that makes it sound fluffy and good, you are necessarily disempowering the big guy. And personally I say screw the big guy. They have enough money already.”

Smart contracts could free individuals from the constraints of the legal system and big business. However, technology enthusiasts often promise such utopian futures; in reality, just as social media has helped the spread of fake news, Ethereum and the automated, decentralized internet it seeks may have unintended consequences, as the DAO hacking indicates. Like other cryptocurrencies, ether is prone to wild fluctuations. While Ethereum has been riding high in 2017 for the most part, it suffered a flash crash in June, a drop which some think may have been exacerbated by false rumors of Buterin’s death. Whether Ethereum is sturdy enough to survive long term, or an ephemeral trend, remains up in the air.

Mike Prettyman Chief Information Officer Green Fire Engineered Reclamation Member GreenFire DAO Whatsapp only Phone: 1-602-315-1571 Skype: mike.prettyman Website: http://greenfirefunding.com email: greenfirereclamation@gmail.com

Bancor initial coin offering raises over $200 million in three hours to become the largest crowdfunded project ever

Bancor initial coin offering raises over $200 million in three hours to become the largest crowdfunded project ever

DOMINIC POWELL / Friday, June 16, 2017

A demo of the Bancor protocol. Source: Bancor.network

A new blockchain startup built on the Ethereum platform has become one of the highest funded crowdfunding projects ever, raising approximately $US153 million ($201 million) through an initial coin offering (ICO) in just three hours earlier this week.

The startup is called Bancor, and it offers a platform aimed at making it easier for other startups and users to launch, manage, and trade their own forms of blockchain currency, known as “tokens”. These tokens are managed through the Ethereum network’s “smart contracts”, which enable self-executing contracts enforced and recorded on the blockchain.

Combining these two features, the Bancor protocol offers “smart tokens”, which enable “any party to instantly purchase or liquidate the smart token in exchange for any of its reserve tokens, directly through the smart token’s contract, at a continuously calculated price, according to a formula which balances buy and sell volumes”.

The ICO was intended to run for an hour, reports Coindesk, with a funding target of 250,000 ether (the main currency of the Ethereum blockchain), or around $US95 million. Due to alleged difficulties with the network, including supposed delayed transactions, the campaign was extended an additional two hours, resulting in a total of 396,720 ether or approximately $US153 million being raised.

Over 10,000 investors got on board with the ICO, with Coindesk reporting the largest single purchase was $US27 million, equalling 6.9 million BNT, the token used by the Bancor protocol to fuel its new platform.

This was enough to shoot Bancor into the number one spot of highest funded crowdfunds, and continues the recent initial coin offering craze, with blockchain startup Brave raising $US35 million in 30 seconds via a recent ICO.

However, due to the transitory value of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, the true amount raised by these startups is ever-changing. With the value of ether increasing over 2800% this year alone, a $US153 million raise could be $50 million more, or less, in a matter of days.

The Ethereum protocol is proving to be a popular platform for successful crowdfunds, with seven of the top 10 crowdfunding projects having been based on the platform, including the crowdfund for the platform itself.

Money in itself is not evil

This is from friend, a most dedicated man, the Director of Kigezi Orphans Project, Serving Children the lord! through this orphange.

*In 1923, nine of the wealthiest people in the world met at Chicago's Edge Water Beach Hotel*.

*Their combined wealth, it is estimated, exceeded the wealth of the Government of the United States at that time*. These men certainly knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth. *Attending the meeting were the following men*:
1. The president of the *largest steel company,*
2. The president of the *largest utility company,*
3. The president of the *largest gas company,*
4. The president of the *New York Stock Exchange,*
5. The president of the *Bank of International Settlements,*
6. The *greatest wheat speculator*,
7. The greatest *bear on Wall Street,*
8. The head of the *World's greatest Economy*
&
9. A member of *President Harding's cabinet*.

*That's a pretty impressive line-up of people by anyone's yardstick.*
Yet, 25 years later, where were those nine industrial giants?

*Let’s examine what happened to them 25 years later*.
1. The President of the then largest steel company (Bethlehem Steel Corp), *Charles M Schwab, lived on borrowed capital for five years before he died bankrupt.*
2. The President of the then largest gas company, *Howard Hubson, went insane*.
3. One of the greatest commodity traders (Wheat Speculator), *Arthur Cutten, died insolvent.*
4. The then President of the New York Stock Exchange, *Richard Whitney, was sent to jail.*
5. The member of the US President’s Cabinet (the member of President Harding's cabinet), *Albert Fall, was pardoned from jail just to be able to go home and die in peace.*
6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, *Jesse Livermore committed suicide*.
7. The President of the then world’s greatest monopoly, *Ivar Krueger, committed suicide*.
8. The President of the Bank of International Settlement, *Leon Fraser, committed Suicide.*
9. The president of the largest utility company, *Samuel Insull, died penniless.*

*What they forgot was how to "make" life while they got busy making money!*

*Money in itself is not evil;* it provides food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, clothes for the needy. *Money is only a medium of exchange.*

*We need two kinds of education*:
a) One that teaches us *how to make a living,*
and
b) One that teaches us *how to live*.

*There are many of us who are so engrossed in our professional life that we neglect our family, health and social responsibilities. If asked why we do this, we would reply that *"We are doing it for our family"*.
Yet, *our kids are sleeping when we leave home*. They are sleeping *when we come back home*!! *Twenty years later, we’ll turn back, and they’ll all be gone, to pursue their own dreams and their own lives*.

*Without water, a ship cannot move*. *The ship needs water, but if the water gets into the ship, the ship will face existential problems*. What was once a means of living for the ship will now become a means of destruction.

Similarly we live in a time where earning is a necessity but *let not the earning enter our hearts, for what was once a means of living will surely become a means of destruction for us as well.*
*So take a moment and ask yourself, "Has the water entered my ship?"*
I hope not!

Hope the above story will drive all of us in a better direction in life.
''Alone I can 'Say' *but*
together we can 'talk'.

'Alone I can 'Enjoy' *but*
together we can
'Celebrate'.

'Alone I can 'Smile' *but*
together we can 'Laugh'.

That's the BEAUTY of
Human Relations.

We are nothing *without*
each other
Together we can bless the children at Kigezi Orphans Home Cbo with whatever little we have!!!! Kigezi is in food crisis but we have hope and faith that your loving and caring heart will rescue these helpless poor little souls at kigezi orphans project!

Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor and natureImage may contain: 2 people, tree, crowd, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: 3 people, crowd and outdoorImage may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Brought to you as part of the GreenFire "Children of the Landfill" project.
Please follow and share this man's message on Facebook

Mike Prettyman
CIO GreenFire Engineered Reclamation
Member GreenFire DAO
Join my friend group on Markethive; http://markethive.com/mikeprettyman
Find more infomation at: http://greenfirefundng.com 
And
http://Childrenofthelandfill.earth
 

 

Blockchain-Based Smart Contracts Approved

Greenfire supports blockchain business and technology. It is a belief held by Greenfire that business is growing into a blockchain technology based accountability system that will provide the move into a more sound money system.

Aaryn Prettyman

 

Maybe you’ve heard the term “blockchain” but aren’t quite sure what it is. You’d be in good company. However you may want to start learning, as it just may be a technology platform that changes the ARM industry someday.

In super-simple terms, blockchain is a decentralized way of keeping track of what is “true” (i.e. who owns what, who has signed what, who has paid what, etc.). This decentralized mechanism is called a “distributed ledger” – imagine a town checkbook, but instead of living in city hall, everyone in the town has a copy of it. Each time an entry is made it must be validated by everyone with a copy, and then everyone’s copy is updated. Each update is a new “block” in the “chain,” and each block needs all the other blocks to form the whole picture. The result is said to be a highly secure, transparent, interdependent chain. 

Today, most information is tracked in major centralized databases owned by one company (or government) or another. As we know, these databases are often vulnerable to hackers, they are not at all transparent, and they can be difficult to get corrected when they are wrong. This has created a lack of trust in our systems, and makes it frustrating to do business.

Blockchain was first used to manage bitcoin, the new kind of electronic currency that pretty much operates on the fringe. But many are now experimenting with a wide range of other, more mainstream uses. One example is that the State of Arizona has just passed a bill giving legal status to smart contracts and blockchain based signatures. Here’s what the bill says,

"A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic signature.

A record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record.

Smart contracts may exist in commerce. A contract relating to a transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely because that contract contains a smart contract term.

For the purposes of this section:

  1. “Blockchain technology” means distributed ledger technology that uses a distributed, decentralized, shared and replicated ledger, which may be public or private, permissioned or permissionless, or driven by tokenized crypto economics or tokenless. The data on the ledger is protected with cryptography, is immutable and auditable and provides an uncensored truth.
  2. “Smart contract” means an event-driven program, with state, that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared and replicated ledger and that can take custody over and instruct transfer of assets on that ledger."

insideARM Perspective

The debt collection community – including creditors, collection agencies and consumers – could benefit greatly from innovation that provides transparency and trust. Unfortunately there are many hurdles, including regulatory limitations and perceived risk by financial institutions. Blockchain may or may not prove to be the solution, but many industries and organizations – including major banks — are in active exploration of how it might be used in their domain. In my opinion, the conditions and requirements of the debt collection ecosystem make it a perfect candidate for this type of innovation.

The iA Institute (parent of insideARM) is devoting considerable effort to the concept of innovation for the industry. In conjunction with the Consumer Relations Consortium, this week we are kicking off the first meeting of our Innovation Council – a thought leadership group of creditor, agency, and service provider executives who will gather to contemplate the future of debt collection technology.

Source: Blockchain-Based Smart Contracts Approved

Blockchain-Based Smart Contracts Approved

Greenfire supports blockchain business and technology. It is a belief held by Greenfire that business is growing into a blockchain technology based accountability system that will provide the move into a more sound money system.

Aaryn Prettyman

 

Maybe you’ve heard the term “blockchain” but aren’t quite sure what it is. You’d be in good company. However you may want to start learning, as it just may be a technology platform that changes the ARM industry someday.

In super-simple terms, blockchain is a decentralized way of keeping track of what is “true” (i.e. who owns what, who has signed what, who has paid what, etc.). This decentralized mechanism is called a “distributed ledger” – imagine a town checkbook, but instead of living in city hall, everyone in the town has a copy of it. Each time an entry is made it must be validated by everyone with a copy, and then everyone’s copy is updated. Each update is a new “block” in the “chain,” and each block needs all the other blocks to form the whole picture. The result is said to be a highly secure, transparent, interdependent chain. 

Today, most information is tracked in major centralized databases owned by one company (or government) or another. As we know, these databases are often vulnerable to hackers, they are not at all transparent, and they can be difficult to get corrected when they are wrong. This has created a lack of trust in our systems, and makes it frustrating to do business.

Blockchain was first used to manage bitcoin, the new kind of electronic currency that pretty much operates on the fringe. But many are now experimenting with a wide range of other, more mainstream uses. One example is that the State of Arizona has just passed a bill giving legal status to smart contracts and blockchain based signatures. Here’s what the bill says,

"A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic signature.

A record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record.

Smart contracts may exist in commerce. A contract relating to a transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely because that contract contains a smart contract term.

For the purposes of this section:

  1. “Blockchain technology” means distributed ledger technology that uses a distributed, decentralized, shared and replicated ledger, which may be public or private, permissioned or permissionless, or driven by tokenized crypto economics or tokenless. The data on the ledger is protected with cryptography, is immutable and auditable and provides an uncensored truth.
  2. “Smart contract” means an event-driven program, with state, that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared and replicated ledger and that can take custody over and instruct transfer of assets on that ledger."

insideARM Perspective

The debt collection community – including creditors, collection agencies and consumers – could benefit greatly from innovation that provides transparency and trust. Unfortunately there are many hurdles, including regulatory limitations and perceived risk by financial institutions. Blockchain may or may not prove to be the solution, but many industries and organizations – including major banks — are in active exploration of how it might be used in their domain. In my opinion, the conditions and requirements of the debt collection ecosystem make it a perfect candidate for this type of innovation.

The iA Institute (parent of insideARM) is devoting considerable effort to the concept of innovation for the industry. In conjunction with the Consumer Relations Consortium, this week we are kicking off the first meeting of our Innovation Council – a thought leadership group of creditor, agency, and service provider executives who will gather to contemplate the future of debt collection technology.

Source: Blockchain-Based Smart Contracts Approved

Payatas scavengers living on Manila’s waste

Greenfire brings ways to clean the pullotants out of these landfills for the benefit of these acavengers. Thier nomadic lives have found a continuation of the poor lifestyle. Greenfire can turn the poverty into prosparity.  http://greenfirefunding.com/ 

Sanitation workers and scavengers pick their way through the refuse of the landfill in the Payatas district of Quezon City, Metro Manila. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

MANILA — What is it like living at the foot of a mountain of garbage?

The Payatas district in Quezon City, Metro Manila, has been called the city's "second Smokey Mountain" — a huge mound of refuse from which many scavengers scrape out a meager income.

Payatas is about a 40-minute drive from central Manila. There, on a spring day, a long column of garbage-laden trucks heads for the dump, billowing up dust. A foul smell is on the breeze.

A nearby hill gives a bird's-eye view of the dump. With a long camera lens one can get a clear look at the top of the massive garbage heap. As the trucks unload, sanitation workers and scavengers scramble.

The scavengers eke out a living collecting and selling metal and plastic scrap to dealers. In the Payatas district, they earn between 100 pesos and 300 pesos ($2 to $6) a day. It is less than the minimum wage, but better than nothing.

Smokey Mountain was the nickname of a large, smoldering landfill located in Manila's Tondo district. After it was shut down in 1995, many of the scavengers who lived there moved to Payatas. The community that arose became known as the second Smokey Mountain, though on this day there was no smoke visible.

Order amid chaos

The Quezon municipal government manages the Payatas landfill. There is a checkpoint at the entrance, through which only registered waste disposal workers and scavengers are allowed to enter.

The scavengers are divided into two groups of 400-500 people each, with the first group allowed to enter in the morning and the second in the afternoon. The dump is supposed to be off limits to children 15 years old or younger.

The entry restrictions were introduced in response to a landslide at the dump in 2000 that left about 300 people dead or missing.

 

 

But the landfill is expected to reach its capacity in a year or two. It is anyone's guess what will become of the community then.

These days, recycling garbage is not the only business in the area. Some people are making handicrafts such as stuffed animals with the help of a nonprofit organization, for example.

The Philippine economy continues to grow, but it will take time for the fruits of development to spread to impoverished areas like Payatas. People living at the foot of the garbage mountain will no doubt keep getting by as best they can, hoping for something better.

Source: Payatas scavengers living on Manila’s waste

Payatas scavengers living on Manila’s waste

Greenfire brings ways to clean the pullotants out of these landfills for the benefit of these acavengers. Thier nomadic lives have found a continuation of the poor lifestyle. Greenfire can turn the poverty into prosparity.  http://greenfirefunding.com/ 

Sanitation workers and scavengers pick their way through the refuse of the landfill in the Payatas district of Quezon City, Metro Manila. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

MANILA — What is it like living at the foot of a mountain of garbage?

The Payatas district in Quezon City, Metro Manila, has been called the city's "second Smokey Mountain" — a huge mound of refuse from which many scavengers scrape out a meager income.

Payatas is about a 40-minute drive from central Manila. There, on a spring day, a long column of garbage-laden trucks heads for the dump, billowing up dust. A foul smell is on the breeze.

A nearby hill gives a bird's-eye view of the dump. With a long camera lens one can get a clear look at the top of the massive garbage heap. As the trucks unload, sanitation workers and scavengers scramble.

The scavengers eke out a living collecting and selling metal and plastic scrap to dealers. In the Payatas district, they earn between 100 pesos and 300 pesos ($2 to $6) a day. It is less than the minimum wage, but better than nothing.

Smokey Mountain was the nickname of a large, smoldering landfill located in Manila's Tondo district. After it was shut down in 1995, many of the scavengers who lived there moved to Payatas. The community that arose became known as the second Smokey Mountain, though on this day there was no smoke visible.

Order amid chaos

The Quezon municipal government manages the Payatas landfill. There is a checkpoint at the entrance, through which only registered waste disposal workers and scavengers are allowed to enter.

The scavengers are divided into two groups of 400-500 people each, with the first group allowed to enter in the morning and the second in the afternoon. The dump is supposed to be off limits to children 15 years old or younger.

The entry restrictions were introduced in response to a landslide at the dump in 2000 that left about 300 people dead or missing.

 

 

But the landfill is expected to reach its capacity in a year or two. It is anyone's guess what will become of the community then.

These days, recycling garbage is not the only business in the area. Some people are making handicrafts such as stuffed animals with the help of a nonprofit organization, for example.

The Philippine economy continues to grow, but it will take time for the fruits of development to spread to impoverished areas like Payatas. People living at the foot of the garbage mountain will no doubt keep getting by as best they can, hoping for something better.

Source: Payatas scavengers living on Manila’s waste

Children Survive Scavenging Waste

 

Greenfire would like to share this tale about Small Steps Project. The life of Children of the Landfill is unimmagiably hard. It is good to see that the awareness of this harsh reality is expanding. 

 

By Amy Hanson from Small Steps Project

Last week a devastating landslide of rubbish on Koshe landfill site in Addis Ababa killed over 100 people. Unfortunately this is not the first and nor will it be the last. Thousands of children currently live on landfill sites and rubbish dumps, surviving from scavenging all over the world. This problem, resulting from mass production and consumption, continues to worsen, as the disposal of waste is not properly addressed. UK charity Small Steps Project aim to alleviate some of the humanitarian consequences by distributing emergency aid and providing sustainable solutions to child scavengers, helping them take small steps into a more healthy, dignified and productive life.

We assumed that this was usually a problem found in developing countries without the funds or skills to provide adequate solutions. That was until we started working within the EU, in Romania, which lacks neither of these, but where children still live and work on dumps.

Over the last four years, since we were called in by the UNDP to support the 0-7 year olds living in squalid conditions, on Pata Rat dump in Cluj, Romania, we have seen millions of euros pumped into the problem, but very little finds it’s way to the solution.

Waste management in Romania is in crisis, it is currently rated the worst for recycling in the EU. They have tried, to solve their waste problem through recycling centres, with EU funds, but despite the enormous amount of money spent, they have so far failed to create effective recycling centres, or employment for the parents or services for the children – including access to water, hygiene, nutrition and education.

The recycling centres have been built, but some stand empty and dysfunctional, as huge mountains of rubbish are dumped illegally, not in designated landfill sites.

The problem with the waste in Romania is not just that they can’t deal with processing it, but they neither can they deal with the people who live on it.

The irony is that the municipality who are given the funds with which to create solutions are the very people who created the problems- they are responsible for outsourcing to companies who spent millions on building facilities which were ineffective, and also for the forced evictions of many of the Roma community which lives on the dump site, and indeed placing them there.

In all the nine years that we have worked on dumpsites across the world, we have never seen so much plastic waste in an EU country as we see in Romania. They are so far behind in terms of waste education that no amount of money seems to help them.

We work in partnership with the local government municipality, which means that we have to collaborate with the people who caused the problems for the people we are trying to help.

We have found it difficult to tell whether the Romanian government wants to find solutions to these problems or whether they simply want to receive the funds for these problems.

When we first arrived on the dump, the municipality had provided a mobile unit, a safe place for the children of the dump to clean, eat, play and learn. However the shiny white warm space remained empty as the children, covered in mud played outside. The municipality had made a token gesture towards a solution, but with no one to run the centre it remained unused.

We stepped in to provide human resources and materials to make the unit functional for the children. Against all the odds, and with the water being regularly cut off, over the last 3 years we have managed to support over 100 beneficiaries, including not just the children but also mothers and babies. We have integrated all the 3-7 year olds into nursery off the dumpsite. And in the mobile unit we provide medical care, a mother& baby group, a toddler program and support for the 7+-year-old children.

But sadly, the situation has recently deteriorated, because the children have now had no water for over 6 months. In the EU with millions of euros of funding going to the government. It is pretty shocking that we encounter the same problems that face us in Asia.

We hope that having lent our expertise to Romania, and integrated the children into the school system, they will continue to support them and take responsibility for their futures. Spending funds on solutions rather than identifying obvious problems: the children require education, nutrition and hygiene. Similarly maybe a country with a proven track record of successful recycling, such as Sweden, might be able to lend their expertise to the Romanian waste crisis.

As it stands, to reach the EU target of 65% recycling by 2030 is looking very unlikely, despite EU financial support still flooding in, in what currently looks like a futile attempt to get Romania inline with the rest of Europe.

Small Steps Project also runs projects for child scavengers in Cambodia and Laos.

For more information on their current work see this 1 min short  and or visit website click here

 

Source: The children surviving by scavenging on rubbish tips…in Europe – The London Economic

Children Survive Scavenging Waste

 

 

Greenfire would like to share this tale about Small Steps Project. The life of Children of the Landfill is unimmagiably hard. It is good to see that the awareness of this harsh reality is expanding. 

 

By Amy Hanson from Small Steps Project

Last week a devastating landslide of rubbish on Koshe landfill site in Addis Ababa killed over 100 people. Unfortunately this is not the first and nor will it be the last. Thousands of children currently live on landfill sites and rubbish dumps, surviving from scavenging all over the world. This problem, resulting from mass production and consumption, continues to worsen, as the disposal of waste is not properly addressed. UK charity Small Steps Project aim to alleviate some of the humanitarian consequences by distributing emergency aid and providing sustainable solutions to child scavengers, helping them take small steps into a more healthy, dignified and productive life.

We assumed that this was usually a problem found in developing countries without the funds or skills to provide adequate solutions. That was until we started working within the EU, in Romania, which lacks neither of these, but where children still live and work on dumps.

Over the last four years, since we were called in by the UNDP to support the 0-7 year olds living in squalid conditions, on Pata Rat dump in Cluj, Romania, we have seen millions of euros pumped into the problem, but very little finds it’s way to the solution.

Waste management in Romania is in crisis, it is currently rated the worst for recycling in the EU. They have tried, to solve their waste problem through recycling centres, with EU funds, but despite the enormous amount of money spent, they have so far failed to create effective recycling centres, or employment for the parents or services for the children – including access to water, hygiene, nutrition and education.

The recycling centres have been built, but some stand empty and dysfunctional, as huge mountains of rubbish are dumped illegally, not in designated landfill sites.

The problem with the waste in Romania is not just that they can’t deal with processing it, but they neither can they deal with the people who live on it.

The irony is that the municipality who are given the funds with which to create solutions are the very people who created the problems- they are responsible for outsourcing to companies who spent millions on building facilities which were ineffective, and also for the forced evictions of many of the Roma community which lives on the dump site, and indeed placing them there.

In all the nine years that we have worked on dumpsites across the world, we have never seen so much plastic waste in an EU country as we see in Romania. They are so far behind in terms of waste education that no amount of money seems to help them.

We work in partnership with the local government municipality, which means that we have to collaborate with the people who caused the problems for the people we are trying to help.

We have found it difficult to tell whether the Romanian government wants to find solutions to these problems or whether they simply want to receive the funds for these problems.

When we first arrived on the dump, the municipality had provided a mobile unit, a safe place for the children of the dump to clean, eat, play and learn. However the shiny white warm space remained empty as the children, covered in mud played outside. The municipality had made a token gesture towards a solution, but with no one to run the centre it remained unused.

We stepped in to provide human resources and materials to make the unit functional for the children. Against all the odds, and with the water being regularly cut off, over the last 3 years we have managed to support over 100 beneficiaries, including not just the children but also mothers and babies. We have integrated all the 3-7 year olds into nursery off the dumpsite. And in the mobile unit we provide medical care, a mother& baby group, a toddler program and support for the 7+-year-old children.

But sadly, the situation has recently deteriorated, because the children have now had no water for over 6 months. In the EU with millions of euros of funding going to the government. It is pretty shocking that we encounter the same problems that face us in Asia.

We hope that having lent our expertise to Romania, and integrated the children into the school system, they will continue to support them and take responsibility for their futures. Spending funds on solutions rather than identifying obvious problems: the children require education, nutrition and hygiene. Similarly maybe a country with a proven track record of successful recycling, such as Sweden, might be able to lend their expertise to the Romanian waste crisis.

As it stands, to reach the EU target of 65% recycling by 2030 is looking very unlikely, despite EU financial support still flooding in, in what currently looks like a futile attempt to get Romania inline with the rest of Europe.

Small Steps Project also runs projects for child scavengers in Cambodia and Laos.

For more information on their current work see this 1 min short  and or visit website click here

Source: The children surviving by scavenging on rubbish tips…in Europe – The London Economic

Burning Illegal Dumps health risk

Land Department and MPKj officers visiting the former forest reserve of Bukit Enggang in Bandar Sungai Long. The site is being used to illegally dump rubbish and carry out open burning activities. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star

 

Land Department and MPKj officers visiting the former forest reserve of Bukit Enggang in Bandar Sungai Long. The site is being used to illegally dump rubbish and carry out open burning activities. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star

ILLEGAL rubbish dumping and open burning at the former forest reserve of Bukit Enggang in Bandar Sungai Long are posing serious health problems for residents.

Over the past 10 years, there have been about 10 illegal rubbish dumps in Bukit Enggang. The residents claimed this had made them fall sick and their children were coughing badly after inhaling smoke from the open burning.

The illegal dumping problem has not been resolved despite residents’ many complaints and actions by the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj).

Sungai Long resident Yong Yew Hong, 53, who lived there for more than three years, said he jogged in Bukit Enggang every day.

“At midnight every day a few rubbish and sand trucks filled with rubbish enter Bukit Enggang and come out empty,” said Yong when visiting the rubbish dump at Bukit Enggang.

“There are about 10 rubbish dumps in the housing areas near Bukit Enggang where residents suffer from the foul smell and smoke from the burning of rubbish.

“They start burning the rubbish in the evening every day. This causes the air in the housing area to be hazy.

Another Sungai Long resident Lee Hui Leng, 34, said they were forced to close their windows and doors to keep the smoke out.

“When my husband and I drove past the area one night, we noticed the people burning the rubbish with kerosene,” said Lee.

Jogger Benny Ong, 74, said he had been exercising and jogging at Bukit Enggang for about 20 years.

“Now Bukit Enggang is famous for illegal dumping. The foul smell and smoke from the rubbish dumps have kept joggers away.

“There are food waste, broken furniture, development waste and many more at the rubbish dumps,” said Ong.

Kajang Municipal councillor Lai Wai Chong said MPKj received 52 complaints from the residents in February and confiscated 12 vehicles.

“Each offender was fined RM2,000 and their vehicles confiscated for a month.

“We will return the vehicles to the offenders only after they pay up the fine,” he said, adding that the council would keep a 24-hour watch over the area to catch the culprits red-handed.

Source: Open burning at illegal rubbish dumps a health risk for Bukit Enggang folk – Community | The Star Online