Causes & Effects Of Poverty ; Serious Rock Fall In São Vicente ; Whaling Conference Starts Today

(22nd June). Today’s main news headline : ‘Women And Children Pay The Price Of The Crisis – The situations of single parent families rise as the consequences of the crisis increase for the most vulnerable’. The fact is proved by the charity of the Diocese of Funchal, Cáritas, which gives support to the needy. A spokesman says that unemployment has pushed many families into despair, resulting in the break up of parents, not helped by other problems such as drug addiction, and illness. It currently has 67 cases, or 29% of its total, that are single women with children. You might see just one or two men in a similar situation he said. It is generally women who approach the charity for help, for whatever reason, and in 2008 that was 91% of cases. What makes the matter worse is that single mothers find it even harder than anyone else to find new employment. The article does say that donations do keep coming in, as those who can try and help those without, and there are also volunteers coming forward willing to help others.

‘Poverty Leads Canon Of Sé To Attack With Passion The Legislative Assembly And Social Security’. Canon Manuel Martins has made some harsh criticism of how Madeira’s government and the S.S. are dealing with poverty. Several statements were made, firstly about the social democrats rejecting the proposal of the BE party (Left Block) to set up ‘social canteens’, somewhere where the poor can go to get food. He says the situation is so bad, that he knows mothers who give their children tea to drink, to help hide their hunger. He talks of cases of extreme poverty where people turn to the church for help, often through unemployment problems, or with drugs or alcohol, or inability to pay for housing or food for themselves and their children, of even the elderly and bedridden, but they have to wait months to meet with officials from Social Security to ask for help. Hospitals also come in for criticism for not helping pensioners with medicines, by giving them prescriptions for expensive brand medicines, rather than free or cheap generic ones.

‘Caniçal Protests About Police Post – The president of the parish council blames the government of Portugal’. He claims that the money was provided in the 1998 state budget, but was never delivered to Caniçal, the featured area of this week in the Diário. "Caniçal is not what they say, it is not just drugs" says a local lady born in Caniçal, but who has moved to Porto da Cruz for peace and quiet. The area has grown with new roads, health centre, civic centres and schools. However it is the problems with the young that worry most, and the people want more support for them, a place to spend free time, a sports facility, or swimming pool, anything to keep them away from drugs. The nearest police station is in Machico, and that is a situation that urgently needs to change.

The main picture of the front page shows a nice looking house, with a rather large hole in the roof : ‘Ten Rehomings In São Vicente – Rockfall hits two houses and a car in the Juncos’. Around 10 families moved out yesterday afternoon, deemed to be in danger from further rockfalls. Throughout the day boulders were falling causing extensive damage to property, and one person was injured when fleeing the zone. The locals are afraid to return home and blame the situation on the works of the via expresso tunnel of São Vicente – Boaventura, for destabilising the rockface. While most families have gone to stay with relatives, the council have agreed to pay the stay of one couple in a hotel, and are considering whether the nearby coast area should be closed.

‘Today Promises Ticking-Off In The Hospital’. This goes back to the story on Saturday’s blog about Henriqueta Reynolds, the director of the anaesthesia service, who was asked to resign by her boss but refused. Now there is a lawyer and trade union official involved, and at an emergency meeting planned for today in Funchal Central Hospital, it seems likely that it will be deemed that her boss exceeded his authority in asking her to resign, and offering her position to someone else, who has already accepted the position.


Paul in Paul do Mar asked me to post this, so here it is :

Whale Conference, Madeira 2009: whales are worth much more alive than dead!

Whatever the objectives of the IWC Conference in Madeira and its difficult on Monday 22 June 2009 for a person in the street to understand what the objectives are as there is not even a press release on the IWC website on the Conference’s opening day! Whales are worth much more alive than dead.

As one organisation Greenpeace put it in their press release:

“The island has a long association with whaling; in the 1700s, whaling ships called here for supplies and to hire skilled crew for whaling voyages. Whaling contributed to the island’s economy with a catch of over 4,000 sperm whales between 1941 and 1981. In 1981, Portugal agreed that to fully protect whales and dolphins would to come into force in 1986. Madeira voluntarily stopped whaling in 1981, five years before the rest of the country

Madeira now has a fast-growing whale watching industry, which works to ensure that the business does not harm the populations on which it depends, showing once again that a whale is worth much more alive than dead. Most Madeiran whale watching vessels complete sightings sheets, which contribute to expanding scientific knowledge of cetaceans in these waters.”

So, a priority of this Conference should be to conserve and protect cetaceans everywhere on the planet.


Greenpeace Press Release on the IWC Conference IWC61

BBC Article

6 thoughts on “Causes & Effects Of Poverty ; Serious Rock Fall In São Vicente ; Whaling Conference Starts Today”

  1. Whale watching industry in Gaula doing it’s bit — one (possibly x2) spotted fairly close in approx 2 km offshore, headed West at 12:30 ish – I’m not positive BUT the Whale looked larger than our average sightings, stayed on the surface longer and appeared to be black and white. It may well have been a Orca (killer) whale and certainly acted differently from our “usual” sightings of Sei or sometimes Sperm whales. I have to say all jolly exciting stuff!
    Thanks for the post Paul.

  2. Doctors are paid commissions and ‘in kind’ by the large drug companies.

    Unless ordered otherwise by their employers expensive medicines will head the list

    of drugs dispensed to the poor.

    Poor people have little influence over their lives unless they rise up against their


    I can see this happening in Britain as the present Parliament dissolves into chaos.

    The bill we shall be left with for the mess they have made, will take a generation

    or so to pay back.

    Off with their heads!

  3. Jon.

    I say a cloud of vapour on the surface 5 minutes ag, followed immediately by another.
    Then it breached, black and white–fantastic!!!
    Might be 2!

    As I type this at 1515 approx it’s breached twice.

    Opposite Hotel Raga Lido.

    Travelling towards Ajuda.

    Cataman (2) on it’s tail.

    Speedboat coming towards it.

    Bu66er orf!

    breached again twice.

    Must be a pair?

  4. Martin,

    Brilliant! Sounds like a pair of Orchas confirmed – well done!
    Hope the speedboat didn’t scare them (off).
    Glad that you got to see ’em mate.

    Celebrate with a glass or two of fine Madeira, I will!

  5. Had a curry for a change and it was much better than you would expect to get in England for the same money.

    Saw an english pub occupied by rather large bellies and tattoos.

    The speed of the orchas amazed me.

    They were slower than the catamarans but as quick as a chunky fishing boat.

    The bellies in the pub couldn’t have coped!

    Madeira as ordered, wilco.

    What a life–eh?

  6. For all those interested in Whales, Dolphins and Marinelife found around Madeira, a photographic exhibition is on in the Hotel Jardim Atlantico, Prazeres, organised by Claudia Gomes of Lobosonda LDA (‘Ribeira Brava’ – fishing boat at Calheta Marina) with a collection of photos taken on some of ther boat trips.


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