Garbage pileup blamed for record dengue toll

“The situation could get worse if we don’t tackle the garbage problem quickly,” Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne told AFP as official figures showed 210 people had died from dengue so far this year — well over double the figure for the whole of 2016. “It is not something my ministry can do alone but we need a collective effort.”The number of infected people in the first six months of this year was nearly 70,000 compared to about 55,000 cases for the whole of last year, official figures showed. Sri Lanka has suffered a record 200 deaths from dengue fever this year, the health minister said Monday, blaming a garbage disposal crisis in Colombo, the AFP news agency reported.Rotting garbage has been piling up in many parts of the capital since the country’s main rubbish tip collapsed in April, crushing dozens of homes and killing 32 people. With nowhere to take the trash, municipal collection has drastically slowed and led to huge piles on the streets which authorities say are encouraging mosquito-breeding. Military spokesman Roshan Seneviratne said troops had been deployed to help tackle the crisis, while police said they had prosecuted 454 people for illegally dumping garbage.Stagnant water left behind after last month’s flooding was also seen as contributing to the spread of dengue, a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. read more

Sweet savings lead to provincial coop award for Brock student

As a financial analyst, Massine Bouzerar found ways to save Cadbury millions of dollars and helped earn him Ontario’s co-op student of the year award.Massine Bouzerar wasn’t just another co-op student.Six weeks into the second term of his placement, the 21-year-old let his bosses at Cadbury know that he wanted a bigger role.You don’t dream of becoming a CEO without taking risks.“I said give me something challenging, give me something really tricky,” Bouzerar said.As a financial analyst, Bouzerar found ways to save the company millions of dollars and helped earn him Ontario’s co-op student of the year award.“This is a first step, getting that recognition and showing I’m on the right path toward my goal,” Bouzerar said. “It’s a pretty big goal, but I think if you don’t make challenging goals for yourself you won’t achieve anything in life.”The bachelor of business administration co-op student at Brock’s Goodman School of Business spent two placements at Mondelez International, Cadbury’s parent company.Bouzerar was given a productivity project to determine where Cadbury could save money.The Denis Morris High School grad studied different products Cadbury produced and how much they cost on a yearly basis versus what they should cost.For example, if the company overspent by $10,000 on producing its popular Caramilk chocolate bar one week, Bouzerar had to identify the reasons why.In the process he may have saved Cadbury $10 million.“It was about taking a long-term perspective,” Bouzerar said. “With $10 million, you can’t really achieve all of it in one year, but it’s about setting goals for the next three to five years for everyone.”Bouzerar is already preparing for his next step.He’s accepted a full-time job in product management and marketing, pricing and product strategy with Rogers, which begins April 4.Bouzerar credits much of his success to Brock’s co-op program.“I think it’s crucial,” he said. “I think if you didn’t do co-op, you’re having a really hard time finding a job.“I think what co-op did for me was prove to employers out there that I can hit the ground running.” read more