Blog for Saturday 26th January, 2008
Source : Diário de Notícias 26/1/2008
The government has earmarked the grand sum of €1.6 million to tackle the problem of a rat infestation affecting Madeira. Starting from August, when 30 tons of rat poison are due to be delivered here and lasting until the beginning of 2010, the campaign will focus on the worst affected areas, many of which include farms where the rats are eating the bananas and other crops. The governement says there is no risk to the population of Madeira, and that the poisons will be used carefully to ensure that there is no chance of children being poisoned. One of the main types of rat which are causing the problem reproduces rapidly, giving birth 4 to 6 times a year, with litters of between 6 and 12. First I
have heard about a rat problem, as I think I have only seen two in four years and one of those was as flat as a pancake on our road. You have to question the timing of the clean up operation, as by my calculations if they wait until August the rat population could increase tenfold in that time. It would help if the litter problem was tackled, as it seems to be second nature for many local to discard their rubbish in places they shouldn’t, kids especially.
In a national story, the head of the association (order) of lawyers has called for the creation of a commission to look at the issues of corruption within the country. Of particular concern is the poor management and accountability for public funds, and the costs and expenses incurred that nobody understands. Probably not a bad idea, as stories and rumours of corruption are rife on Madeira, though I suspect poor judgement is the cause much of the time. However, you cannot help but wonder why the pot is calling the kettle black, when corruption is rife amongst many of his own members in the legal profession. My suggestion would be to wait until August, when that big delivery mentioned above
arrives, and take the opportunity to clean up two species in one swoop.
A new air charter service to Madeira is due to run from Dublin (Ireland) between 18th May and 21st September this year. It is run by Panorama (part of the Thomas Cook group). This will extend their existing winter holidays to a year round operation.
Photo : One of Ribeira Brava’s peacocks – anxiously awaiting the forthcoming mating season, when he can start his noisy screaming ritual once more