tv Global 3000 KCSMMHZ February 25, 2012 5:00am-5:30am PST
europe are killing jobs in africa democracy is the answer -- young people in guatemala discover how they can change their society. and small scale answers to a great challenge -- why sri lanka is investing in hydro electric power but first, what do you do with your old clothes? like many of us, once you have decided to finally get rid of the things that have been cluttering up your wardrobe for ages -- you probably give them to charity. a good intention, but many people will be surprised to learn that once their old clothes disappear into that charity container, they become part of a global business empire. we trace used german clothing from the collection point to its destination. and we discover -- often poor africans end up wearing them, but they have to pay for these second hand clothes in more ways than one -- here's how.
>> in diepholz, lower saxony, marita schmidt cleared out her closet, and is donating old clothes to the red cross, assuming they'll go to people in need. but will they? we're going to find out. a private company -- ((not the red cross -)) picks up the clothes. the red cross just puts their name on it. we're subcontractors, working for efiba, this is what we do here. >> we visit the red cross district manager to find out more. >> we don't have anything to do with what's in the containers. they're emptied by efiba. and efiba is responsible for what happens to the clothes after they're picked up. >> the local red cross sells the donated clothing by the kilo. but where do they end up? we head to bitterfeld-wolfen to efiba's parent company, soex, a
major international clothing recycler. on the loading ramp, we see masses of donated clothing -- including some from the red cross. pailak mzikian shows us the world's biggest sorting facility >> this is where we start unloading. you can see how they're hard at work. we get 400 tons a day. it all comes from our subsidiaries, efiba and retextil. they collect used clothing germany-wide. >> efiba gathers donated clothing for a number of charities, not just the red cross. but soex isn't a charity -- it's a for-profit organization, and the clothing is a commodity. >> it's not going to be donated to africa. no way. that wouldn't make sense anyhow, both from an economic and sustainability point of view. we're a full-profit company at soex, not an ngo.
>> soex may not be a charity -- but the german red cross is. we head for tanzania, in eastern africa. it's one of the largest recipients of donated clothing on the continent. over 20-thousand tons of used textiles arrive here every month. dar es salaam is a bustling city of three million. most of its residents live on less than a euro a day. we're told that most of the people on the street are wearing donated clothing from europe and the united states. on almost every corner, street vendors are selling used clothes. but how do the clothes get there? where are the companies that do business with donations from germany? our translator tries to help us gain access, but the doors remain locked.
we realize we won't get very far on our own. we pay a visit to godfrey mwendwa -- he knows the textile industry inside out. >> i worked for the texile industry for the last 24 years. until the industry came under receivership. >> we go to one of the city's largest used textile markets. in tanzania, used clothing is called "mitumba" -- and the market is bursting at the seams with it. most of the "mitumba" comes from donations -- a lot of it from germany. >> some 20 years ago, we were able to produce this shirt material. but then, with the decline of the textile industry, most of this is no longer produced locally, the fabrics for shirt materials.
>> the harbor of dar es salaam -- about 50 containers of used textiles arrive here each month. one of the containers is from soex. it's headed for the largest used textile dealer in tanzania -- a company called villa mar. >> yes, this is from soex. yes, these textiles are from germany, from soex. the quality is better than the rest. germans throw the clothes away, even though they're still good. that's why people here love the clothes, for more business here, to earn more money. >> we pay a visit to one of the country's last textile factories. godfrey mwendwa has known the manager for years.
this is the production plant, but there are no orders on the board. most of the machinery is shut down -- and it's been off for a long time now. henry mugeba is managing a dying company. >> 20 years ago, we had about 6000 workers here. but now, at present, we are only about 600 workers only. >> the slums of dar es salaam are desperately poor. the families of many former textile workers live here. their children wear "mitumba" -- donated clothing from wealthier countries. there isn't any locally-produced clothing anymore. we want to find out more about the people who used to work in the factories. godfrey mwenda introduces us to juma athumani and his wife alia. now that juma is out of work,
they often can't even afford rice. alia says today all they have is tea. >> she said that the situation is more or less the same. the condition, the financial position of the family was relatively poor. >> when there's no food, juma, alia and their two children make do with tea. that's happening more and more often these days. >> i've lost hope in the future. right now i don't even have money to feed my family. >> back at the "mitumba" market in dar es salaam. these seamstresses used to work for the textile industry. now they take in the pants of well-fed europeans to fit the locals. they work long hours and earn
less than 80 euros a month. >> they're using raw material from mitumba. instead of using tanzanian material. this is due to the collapse of the textile industry. >> the rise of the low-cost fashion industry in europe brought a glut of discarded clothing. much of it ends up in markets like these. you see these small children's clothes here. most likely the have been donated from europe, by european communities. who, through good intentions -- they wish that such material reaches poor families in many countries in africa, like here in tanzania. so the bad thing, worst thing scenario which they don't want you to see, is that when this material comes here, should be offered for sale, instead of being offered for free it was intended.
so this is a very sad story. a sad story -- and charitable organizations in germany bear some of the responsibility. >> according to estimates seven out of ten items of clothing worn in africa were originally second hand donations. to the americas now -- guatemala is one of the poorest and most dangerous countries in latin america. growing up here often means an early encounter with the violence of the drug cartels. in a country where few children make it past elementary school, not many youngsters manage to break out of the cycle of poverty they live in. a local ngo project invites young people to take a step back from their daily struggles and think about how they can change their society. here they learn that democracy is about participation and having a say in their future. some 500 youths have already
taken up the challenge, and many have returned home with a new approach and many ideas about how they can create more democratic structures in their daily lives. >> look, i can't change the past. but from now on, i know that i don't want to do those bad things. that means something. but it doesn't mean you can erase the past. >> this past was shaped by violence. it's a past that many young people share here in alta verapaz, a region in northern guatemala. >> los zetas, a mexican drug cartel, expanded its reach across the border into guatemala some time ago. their victims are mostly young people under age 25.
and the gang members who prey on them are young, too -- they're recruited off the streets of alta verapaz. >> they knew i was violent, and other young people were scared of me. so if i was with them nobody would try anything because i was there. >> juan is 19 years old. he doesn't want to tell us his real name -- that would be too dangerous. like most boys in his neighborhood, he was recruited by the drug bosses. he got good money for the work. about 90 tons of cocaine were seized by central american authorities in 2009. far more than that made it into europe and north america. in late 2010, the government of guatemala declared a state of emergency. the authorities seized weapons,
explosives, and drugs. but a one-time crackdown can't solve guatemala's problems, says alberto brunori. >> in the absence of any real public policy for youth, what we're seeing is something very serious. if you don't include youth, to failure. >> if a young woman wants to study she doesn't get the opportunity. this is a source of violence that we face because we are not being educated like we should. >> mayda comes from a rural family. her parents are farmers. she's the only one in her family to complete secondary school. she's more educated than most here, but for her father, she's mainly a hard worker.
>> she is my right hand. that is, she's always helping me out. when she does, there's no need to pay someone else. >> but mayda has other plans for the future. >> my problem is that i like to help others. that's why i want to continue studying. i feel that change within myself and it can help my country which is in such a bad place. >> these young people also hope to take charge of their future, and leave the poverty of their upbringing behind. they're all taking part in an educational project run by a local ngo. the teacher asks what they understand by democracy and
tells them it's about participation. roberto alvaro pushes his students to think independently and to tackle important questions -- about democracy, about development, and about what they want for themselves. >> we can not allow the youth to just vote without analyzing the reason why they cast that vote. they're not just preparing for exams but for real life. >> over 500 young people have taken part in the course over the past two years. many of them return home, and start working with local organizations or ngos. mayda finished the course, but she wants to keep studying. juan applied to the trainee program, and was accepted.
>> during the first week we studied about self esteem and how to live with other people in a calm, democratic way. we're beginning to apply what we know about democracy and peace, and we are making a change. >> it's a good start. but to transform guatemala, more young people need a chance at education, and a chance to shape their own lives >> and now we'd like to tickle your taste buds. as always our reporters keep looking for the best global recipes for food on the go. so if you want to share your favourite no-fuss dishes, please let us know about them and they might appear here on the programme. and today we want to introduce you to "zagorski cuspajz" -- a popular snack in croatia.
>> the croatian capital zagreb is a bustling metropolis, and a city that prides itself on its european flair. but in one respect, the city is flouting the trend toward globalization. when it comes to food, zagreb returns to its roots. nena prezelj's specialty is "zagorski cuspajz" -- a vegetable stew.
>> i serve it with these little rounds of polenta, and a bit of cream, grated parsley root, carrots, and celery. it's all nice and fresh, and organic, nothing frozen. >> the verdict -- delicious. nena didn't have to go far to find a recipe for her stew. it's a dish she knows from home -- the region of zagorje ((sagorje)), north of zagreb. >> we like to come here and we're here often. it's all so brightly colored, warm, and tasty. you can sit outside even in the winter. it's really lovely. >> so, dobar tek -- bon appetit!
>> growing economies need energy. an old question?! -- maybe, but there are many new answers. sri lanka is currently experiencing around seven per cent economic growth. a challenge for its economy and its electricity grid. sri lanka is mainly known for its tea production, but what few people know -- this island nation has a long history of renewable energy sources. some 45 per cent of power comes from hydro-electric plants. while there's little space for more large scale dams, many companies are discovering that small plants could be the answer to securing local power supplies. >> colombo is the capital of sri lanka and its political and economic mainstay. now that the civil war is over, signs of revival are everywhere. last year, the economy grew by
7 percent. and that means sri lanka's energy needs are growing as well. one big consumer of energy is the tea industry. sri lanka is famous for ceylon tea, and it's one of the country's top exports. the freshly-picked tea leaves have to be processed near the plantation, otherwise they'll spoil. this factory ships 55-thousand kilos of tea each day. now that machines have taken over the job of weighing and chopping the tea leaves, output has soared. for the company, this means higher profits, but also greater energy needs. >> most of the people who can afford to have, especially the
private sector, they have gone for automation. but not only because of the labor. tea is a food, so a hygienic thing. so we need to have without handling of labor. if we can automate, we have a better product. >> to hold its energy costs in check, the company invested in renewable energy. now, the electricity it needs comes from a nearby hydroelectric plant, which opened last year. it's a small-scale plant, which meets the factory's needs and even contributes 1-point-4 megawatts to the national grid. the tea factory invested about 2 and a half million euros to build it, and hopes to recoup that within four years. the sri lankan government supports these initiatives by paying a good price for the electricity. >> we are exporting energy to the national grid and they are paying a reasonable rate for the export of energy from the power plant.
so that's why it was a good opportunity. >> sri lanka has plenty of experience with hydropower, and that's in part due to the tea industry. the first tea plantations in sri lanka were in the highlands, where there's plenty of rain. a hundred years ago, the tea factories already turned to waterfalls and rivers for energy. today hydroelectric power meets about 45 percent of sri lanka's+ energy needs. but there's little room on the island to build any more large dams like this one. but there's still plenty of space for small hydrolectric plants. one such plant is being built here, at the edge of the highlands. the investors stop by every few months to keep an eye on the work. a pipe needs to be excavated. it was covered by a landslide
during the rainy season. the plant will cost about 1 million euros. but the investors are convinced it's a good opportunity. >> small hydros they of a size where private sector, or the entrepreneurs, can invest. they can go to a bank, get a loan. they are not huge financial cost to them. so it encourages entrepreneurs to build small power plants like this. and also the environmental impacts of this small plants are smaller. mostly, there is no large damn that inundates a big area and displaces people. here in a small hydro you never have any displacing of people. >> one day, this small hydroelectric plant will supply about 15-hundred households with green electricity. to generate it, part of the river was diverted.
the water runs through a pipe and then plunges almost 100 meters. the power of the moving water drives the turbine. but before construction could begin, the investors had to apply for many permits. and that meant winning over many different officials to the project. >> it is a difficult one because, one, we had to balance the environmental issues. we are constructing this inside a forest, so we got to minimize the damage to the forest, minimize the felling of trees. as well as if you take the channel is very long, and the stock is fairly big, we 1.5 km of channel length. so the construction complexity, the costs are higher. >> the plant will be finished later this year. when it's done, the plan is to connect the rural community to the main power grid.
for sri lanka's government, bringing electricity to rural regions is an important goal. this house was connected to the main grid a year ago. before that, the household only had electricity between 6 and 10 in the evening. the electricity came from the village's biomass power plant. but now the family has electricity all day. >> because we have 24 hours' electricity, we can get up early and get things done earlier. because there are lights in the house and on the roads. that has changed our lives, we have more time and can relax in the evening. >> as more rural areas are connected to the main grid, sri lanka's energy needs will continue to increase.
that's why plans are underway to build more mini-hydroelectric plants. right now, there are a hundred in operation -- soon, it's hoped, there will be a hundred more. >> and that's all we have time for on this editoin of global 3000. thanks for watching and don't forget to tune in the same time next week. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--