Crematorium Paralyzes Boystown

first_imgThe use of the old Indian crematorium by the Liberian government for the cremation of Ebola-infested human bodies, has compelled hundreds of residents to abandon homes and farms in the area, according to investigations conducted by the Daily Observer.The crematorium occupies a portion of swampland near Boystown, off the highway leading to Marshall City,  Lower Margibi County.Residents, once excited about their decent and beautifully painted houses, are fleeing the area because of what they call the serious environmental hazards caused by the burning of Ebola dead bodies in the crematorium.“No one wants to live around here anymore,” Mr. Albert T. Reeves, community chairman told the Daily Observer during a tour last Tuesday. “Many here are affected psychologically and what we are asking for is the relocation of the crematorium by the Liberian government.”Many residents who accompanied our reporter on the tour remained grim, urging that the government find a new place, far beyond any community, to cremate the Ebola corpses.A huge plot of land next to the crematorium, once used for rice cultivation, has been abandoned because of increased activity at the crematorium, according to Reeves.“Whenever the human bodies are being burnt in the morning and in the afternoon, there are huge explosions and everyone here can feel the ground itself shaking,” Reeves said.“He said the nearly 5,000 residents in the various smaller towns have expressed their opposition to the crematorium and have written a letter of complaint to Senator Oscar Cooper, of Margibi County and asking for redress.The towns include Gbonosum, Gbono’s, Ben, Kpain, Zolie, Zorkpeh, Kpeh, Barjoe, Bannah, John and Government Farm.In their letter, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer, the residents said, “On August 2, 2014, we were shocked to learn that the old Indian crematorium which should not be used to cremate anybody because of its proximity to an emerging community, had been selected for the cremation of EBOLA BODIES by the custodians of our safety and rights.”The community noted its opposition when the exercise began “in our backyards but (we) were harassed and intimidated into submission by heavily armed soldiers…”Among the many that joined the tour were leaders of churches that had been abandoned and others whose membership had dwindled to a handful of worshippers.What irks the residents is the lack of response from Senator Cooper.“We’ve been waiting to hear from him about our concerns but since the letter was sent to him on October 6, we are yet to hear from him,” Reeves said.Reeves confirmed that the crematorium was built in the 1970s when there was no Liberian community near the area.“Our people sold the land to the Indians for the project,” he admitted, “but you know that cremating bodies is not what we do here.”While that in itself was not really a problem, the increased activity following the current (Ebola) crisis has been the problem, he said.“Look over there at those houses,” said Reeves pointing to a cluster of houses in the distance. “Everybody there is gone and farms in this area have all been abandoned.”When contacted, the Chairperson of the Task Force for Cremation of Liberian Ebola Dead, Madam Ciatta Bishop, told the Daily Observer that she was aware of the concerns of the residents.She noted that as much as she agreed with the residents’ concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a Liberian government agency responsible for pollution control, is also aware of the nature of the crematorium.  When contacted yesterday, EPA’s deputy executive director, Stephen Y. Neufville, told the Daily Observer that the residents’ request is being acted upon and a team of EPA officers is working on it.  “After their investigation,” Neufville said, “we will act on their (EPA) recommendations” by bringing them to the immediate attention of the Liberian government.  Another issue raised by the residents is the stigma hounding them at the nearby market. “They refuse to sell products to us as we are also known as the Ebola community,” said Reeves.  He appealed to the Liberian government for psycho-social intervention to educate residents in and around the area to discontinue stigmatizing of their community residents.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Guyana among 60 countries to have ratified Paris Agreement on climate change

first_imgPresident David Granger being congratulated by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Guyana’s ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate changePresident David Granger was the first Head of State to be congratulated on Thursday by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at a special “High-Level Event on Entry into Force of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change”.The event was convened to specially recognise the deposit of the instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change by those countries that have already completed that process, a release from the Government Information Agency (GINA) stated.Sixty of the 197 parties to the Convention have ratified that Agreement, which was signed on April 22 this year.  With more than 55 countries having formally joined the Paris Agreement, the first of the two required thresholds to bring it into effect has now been crossed.  The second threshold will be met when countries representing a total of 55 per cent of global emissions officially sign on.  So far, that percentage stands at 47.5 per cent.President Granger has indicated that Guyana’s ‘green agenda’ is consistent with the Paris Agreement and the country has demonstrated that it was a reliable partner in the fight against the effects of climate change. “Our forests actually help the Earth to breathe and in that regard, Guyana is an asset to Mother Earth,” he said.Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged countries that have not yet ratified the Agreement to accelerate their domestic processes.  He said, “I am confident that by the time I leave office, the Paris Agreement will have entered into force.”At COP 21 in Paris, held from November 30 to December 11, 2015, a landmark agreement to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low- carbon future was reached.  One hundred and seventy five countries signed on to that Agreement on April 22 at a signing ceremony in New York.last_img read more

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Korkoya’s U.S. Voter Status Confirmed by State of New Jersey

first_img– Advertisement – The UP prayed for specific orders for Korkoya and the Executive Director to recuse themselves from handling the runoff process. In the face of National Elections Commission (NEC) chairman Counselor Jerome George Korkoya’s bold-faced challenge that anyone claiming that he is an American citizen should take him to court, a human rights lawyer in the United States has obtained an authentic public record document from the year 2008 showing that Korkoya did in fact register to vote in the State of New Jersey.The document, obtained on April 17, 2017 through a Freedom of Information request under the State of New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA), confirms that Jerome George Korkoya registered in that state as a member of the Democratic Party and voted on November 4, 2008 in the election that saw Democratic candidate Barack H. Obama emerge as President of the United States of America.OPRA is a statute that guarantees that “government records shall be readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination by the citizens of this State, with certain exceptions, for the protection of the public interest, and any limitations on the right of access… shall be construed in favor of the public’s right of access,” according to the Act, in its Legislative policy declaration. Under the statute, however, access must be processed via the Freedom of Information (FOI) request.The FOI request was filed to the Division of Elections in the New Jersey Department of State by Frederic A. Jayweh of the Africa Center for Law and Human Rights, who wrote:“We are writing to request the citizenship and voting records of Mr. Jerome George Korkoya.  We are humbly requesting: 1) Certificate of Naturalization of Mr. Jerome George Korkoya; 2) Voter Registration Card of Mr. Jerome George Korkoya; 3) And other Voting Records that your office has on Mr. Korkoya. We understand that Mr. Jerome George Korkoya voted in Willingboro City, New Jersey in 2008.  Thanks.”Jayweh’s request was responded to by a staffer from the Division of Elections, who was only able to provide a document titled, ‘Voter Profile’, regarding Korkoya. The document is linked below.State of New Jersey Voter Record (2008) on Jerome George KorkoyaThe Division of Elections staffer also informed Jayweh that “the other records requested are not maintained in this office.  You will need to reach out to the [Burlington] County Superintendent of Elections.”While the Division of Elections could not confirm Korkoya’s citizenship status as per Jayweh’s request, the New Jersey Department of State website requires that: “To register to vote in New Jersey you must be: A United States citizen; I am at least 17 years old, and understand that I may not vote until reaching the age of 18; A resident of the county for 30 days before the election; and You are NOT currently serving a sentence, probation or parole because of a felony conviction.”Though the New Jersey Division of Elections was not able to confirm Korkoya’s U.S. citizenship, the State’s website says only U.S. citizens, inter alia, are eligible to voteThe Jerome George Korkoya who voted in the 2008 US elections is believed to be the same Jerome George Korkoya, who now heads Liberia’s Elections Commission, a position which, according to the Liberian Constitution, he should be ineligible to hold.While Cllr. Korkoya insists that the US citizenship allegations are nothing but a ‘smear campaign’ against him, several other persons including a number of civil society organizations and rights activists, among them Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe, said it would be better for Cllr. Korkoya to resign his post if it is true he holds foreign citizenship.  Gongloe also noted that the NEC chair would be subject to perjury proceedings if it was confirmed that he holds foreign citizenship.A few weeks ago, the Daily Observer inquired at the U.S. State Department, through the American Embassy in Monrovia, as to whether the Liberian government could request immigration status on persons of interest who have lived in the United States and are seeking political office (via appointment or election).  The Embassy Public Diplomacy Director responded to our request, saying that the US government is restricted from disclosing such information due to privacy laws.It is important to note that, although the New Jersey Department of State did not disclose Korkoya’s immigration status, per Jayweh’s request, the fact can be determined directly from the State’s voter eligibility requirements.“Under Liberian laws, it is wrong for any Liberian to hold passports of two different countries, because this country does not allow dual citizenship,” Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson also said.Meanwhile, opposition party, National Democratic Coalition (NDC), promised to institute legal action against Korkoya before the conduct of the October elections.On a recent phone in radio show, Cllr. Korkoya challenged anyone who has valid evidence that he holds a US passport to take him to court. “One thing the detractors need to understand is that social media is not the court or any legal instrument to declare me guilty of any wrongdoing. I am a Liberian citizen and that is all I have to say,” he declared.The Liberian Senate, which confirmed Korkoya as NEC chair, has failed to address the matter.  Instead, they have reneged on their responsibility to correct the glaring mistake, by suggesting that the public take up the matter with Korkoya in court.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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FORGET THE OLYMPICS! COLÁISTE STUDENTS HIT THE SLOPES

first_imgSCHOOL trips were never like this in our day.Snowboarding hadn’t been invented – and the nearest slippery slope was negotiated with a bin lid (note to children, this was before wheelie bins!)These days it is very different. This pic shows a group of Coláiste Ailigh students and staff who spent their midterm break skiing and snowboarding in Borovets, Bulgaria.Jealous! FORGET THE OLYMPICS! COLÁISTE STUDENTS HIT THE SLOPES was last modified: February 22nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Colaiste AilighletterkennySki triplast_img read more

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Podcast: Sportsday on talkSPORT 2, July 29

first_imgThis Friday morning on Sportsday we look back on the opening round of this year’s US PGA Championship at Baltusrol.There is also reaction to West Ham’s 2-1 loss to NK Domzale in their Europa League qualifier and the latest from the Rogers Cup tennis in Toronto.All that plus the latest from the transfer windown and we build up to another night of T20 Blast action and the Rugby League Challenge Cup semi-finals.All brought to you by Russell Hargreaves and the team.last_img

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DONEGAL FAMILIES LIVES RUINED SO LIBYANS CAN EAT CORNCRAKES

first_imgA DONEGAL County Councillor today launched a scathing attack on the National Parks and Wildlife Service – saying their protection of the Corncrake is killing communities.Cllr Seamus O Domhnaill said six Special Protection Areas on the islands and in Fanad and Inishowen were severely restricting the lives of local people.And he said the moves were pointless because “corncrakes only spend four to six months a year here in Donegal and then they go off to Libya where they are shot willy-nilly and served up as delicacies in Libyan restaurants.” The councillor had a motion before today’s council meeting hitting out at the protection areas.Farmers, he said, needed permission every time they wanted to grow a crop.Planning permission for homes was ‘impossible’ he claimed.He was supported by Cllr Marie Therese Gallagher who said the special protection areas were ‘mad’ and was an example of EU policies ‘gone mad’. Cllr O Domhnaill said that unless the Government reverse the designations “we might as well close the doors.” DONEGAL FAMILIES LIVES RUINED SO LIBYANS CAN EAT CORNCRAKES was last modified: April 15th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Trio in action on Groves’ Wembley bill

first_imgSteve O’Meara, Gary Corcoran and Mitchell Smith will appear on the undercard of George Groves’ European super-middleweight title fight at Wembley Arena on 16 March.Groves, the Commonwealth champion, will face Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye for the EBU belt recently vacated by his arch-rival and fellow West Londoner James DeGale.And O’Meara (pictured above) will be in action for the first time since an unsuccessful attempt to win the Commonwealth light-middleweight belt in December.The 29-year-old, who was born in Shepherd’s Bush and lives in West Drayton, remains in the hunt for a major title.Welterweight Corcoran, from Wembley, will be looking to extend his unbeaten record, as will Harrow Weald’s super-featherweight prospect Smith.See also:Corcoran easily extends unbeaten record O’Meara suffers defeat in title clash Groves tipped to win world title in 2013Groves set to fight for European title Groves to fight for title at Wembley ArenaGroves lining up world title challengeThe press conference to announce Groves’ Wembley returnTrainer Booth discusses George Groves’ European title fightGroves ready to add European belt to his title collectionGroves warned ahead of title 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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USMCA Vote Could Move to 2020

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorINDIANAPOLIS (DTN) — USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky said Thursday it would be “very unfortunate” for agriculture if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delays a vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement until 2020.Pelosi, D-Calif., was quoted by reporters on Thursday adding some uncertainty to the possibility of a vote on USMCA before the end of 2019. Pelosi was scheduled to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in her office on Thursday to continue negotiations on some sticking points in the trade deal for Democrats.“I’m not even sure if we came to an agreement today that it would be enough time to finish,” The Hill and other publications quoted Pelosi saying.SUPPORTED BY AG GROUPSTo declare USMCA is a priority for agricultural groups is almost an understatement. Agriculture as an industry has been among the biggest advocates for USMCA passage, as 950 groups and businesses signed a letter in May calling on Congress to ratify the deal. After Congress returned from summer recess, farm lobbies and others held a rally to champion the trade deal.The group Farmers for Free Trade just Thursday emailed a list of editorials from newspapers around the country endorsing USMCA and calling on Congress to pass the deal.Further delays of the trade deal could also endanger some moderate House Democrats such as freshmen from Midwest states on the House Agriculture Committee. Reps. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, and Angie Craig, D-Minn., have been among those calling for the House to take up the trade pact.Earlier this week, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, met with House Democrats, pushing them to continue delaying a vote until further labor and enforcement provisions are made. Axne said afterward she told Trumka that, while she supported the enforcement of labor regulations, farmers and manufacturers in her district were hurting due to the trade war and tariffs, which a new trade agreement would alleviate.“The longer we wait, [the more] it increases the pain the folks in Iowa like our farmers are getting right now,” she said.President Donald Trump, in his defense against impeachment, has also frequently brought up that Pelosi has not made enough effort to pass USMCA.MEXICO APPROVED DEALUSMCA was signed last Nov. 30 by President Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada. Mexico’s legislature has approved the trade deal, but Canada’s parliament is waiting until the U.S. Congress also moves to pass the trade deal.Censky spoke to reporters Thursday after a speech during the Sustainable Agriculture Summit in downtown Indianapolis. DTN asked Censky about delaying a vote on USMCA.“That would be very unfortunate because we have been waiting a long time for this,” Censky said. “Farmers are looking for trade certainty, the American people are looking for trade certainty, and I think it just postpones locking in an improved trade agreement.”Censky added that the trade agreement locks in the current duty-free access most U.S. agricultural products have going into Mexico. The deal also makes some improvements with biotechnology agreements and with access to Canada, Censky pointed out.“It cracks open additional market access into Canada for our dairy, our wheat, our poultry and egg producers, and it updates the provisions of NAFTA. It’s good for American workers, so if it’s postponed, that would be very disappointing and I hope that doesn’t happen because we need to get it done.”Agricultural groups over the summer pointed out food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico grew from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018 under NAFTA. The USMCA is expected to boost U.S. agricultural exports by an additional $2.2 billion per year.CRP RULECensky also said Thursday that USDA expects to open enrollment for the Conservation Reserve Program in early December. The rule for CRP signup and changes in the program are under review at the White House Office of Management and Budget. USDA expects OMB to release the rule soon, though Censky said he doesn’t want to say when that could happen.Congress raised the cap for CRP to 27 million acres in the 2018 farm bill. Current USDA enrollment reports show 22.35 million acres in the program. Censky said USDA expects “really good and robust participation” to increase acres.“We think it’s going to be one of the biggest CRP signups we’ve had for a lot of years,” Censky said.Under any sign-up, USDA also is expected to reduce CRP rental rates, which were capped at 85% of the county’s average rental rate for general sign-up.Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(ES/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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How can we make parking smarter?

first_imgRyan Matthew Pierson How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Related Posts Tags:#connected car#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#parking#Smart Cities#smart city#top Believe it or not, the parking industry is getting smarter. For cities hoping to integrate more smart technologies into their infrastructure, smart parking is a brilliant way to monitor, manage, and monetize parking. As automated vehicles go from vision to reality, smart parking will become increasingly more necessary.One firm, IPS Group, has a solution.See also: California parking garage operator prepares from driverless carsThis smart parking firm has an all-in-one package solution for Smart Parking that tackles deployment from stem to stern. A comprehensive, fully-integrated Smart Parking platform that covers in-vehicle payment, parking enforcement management, permit management, mobile apps, metering, and data management to help cities better manage and understand its parking infrastructure.Works for driversImagine being able to navigate not only to your destination, but directly to an open parking space, pay the parking fee with a tap, and know exactly where your car is when you are ready to leave. They will also be able to see special offers from local merchants they can take advantage of while they’re in the area. This is a win for local business.No more waiting in line at the kiosk behind another driver that doesn’t understand how to pay the meter. No more endless searching for an empty parking spot. Better traffic flow because less cars are clogging up lanes slowly trudging along looking for an open space.On the other side, drivers will face improved parking enforcement. So, if you grab a spot and don’t intend to pay for the duration of your vehicle’s stay, you can expect swift ticketing and/or towing. Code enforcement officers will have the ability to see exactly how long your car has been in that spot.Looking forward, automated vehicles will certainly need a smarter way to determine not only where an open spot is, but to have the ability to park without being at risk of being out of code. No one wants their automated vehicle to pick them up with parking tickets all over its windshield. A smart parking system could one day be able to communicate with these vehicles and let them know where the nearest open spot is to that they can park, and give the driver the ability to feed the meter remotely using a mobile app.Works for citiesCities benefit greatly from smart parking technologies. Not only do they have improved code enforcement, but they can see, in real time, how parking habits are affecting the flow of traffic.Cities would benefit from access to IPS’ product suite, including:Smart single-space metersMulti-space pay stationsPay-station upgrade kitsVehicle detection sensorsSmart cash collection systemsMobile applicationsEnforcement and permitting solutionsHosted data management software with advanced data analyticsCities that opt for IPS Group’s system will benefit from it being an all-in-one package solution. Its data management system is also set to get a major upgrade this summer. Not only does it connect with all of IPS’ solutions, but it adds modules, data intelligence, and a modern user interface to boot.Having all of this under one umbrella makes it easier for cities to adopt and integrate these platforms into their overall smart city strategy. However, it also means that once everything is in place, it is more closely tied to that system, for better or for worse.On the surface, it would appear that IPS Group is on the right track. Smart city technologies are supposed to make life easier for the citizens and the government, alike. Its integrated, cloud-based Smart Parking system is built to do just that.center_img How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…last_img read more

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Top Retailers Battle it Out With IoT in the Grocery World

first_imgRelated Posts Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. Frank Landman Follow the Puckcenter_img In the last decade, increasing demand for convenience launched several grocery delivery services, including AmazonFresh, Postmates, and Instacart. Also known as online grocery, some retailers offer grocery delivery and pickup services to customers who don’t have time to shop. Some grocery delivery services can create shopping lists automatically, making grocery shopping even more natural.Although online grocery shopping seems convenient, it’s not a fully developed model.Grocery delivery services need IoT tech to workThe grocery delivery model is gaining popularity but hasn’t been delivering on its promises. The systems are flawed, and customers aren’t happy. Retailers are now turning to technology to save their online grocery services.For example, Kroger is using autonomous vehicles from Silicon Valley-based startup Nuro to deliver groceries to make deliveries faster and cheaper. The company was considering drones, but decided cars would be more effective. If other grocery delivery services want to be successful, they’ll need to follow Kroger sooner than later.Online grocery is strugglingDespite more retailers (and consumers) adopting grocery delivery each year, grocery delivery isn’t a profitable business model. Although grocery is an $800 billion business, it’s low-margin. Grocery stores are already barely profitable. Delivering groceries only increases the cost of doing business. It’s expensive to buy and maintain delivery vehicles, pay drivers, and keep the food cold and fresh. To make it work, retailers have to pass on the cost to the consumer. Most retailers charge a small delivery fee per order, but Amazon charges much more. For example, in 2014, it cost $299 per year to subscribe to AmazonFresh.Every convenience comes at a price, and many are willing to pay. However, the conveniences promised by online grocery aren’t being fulfilled. Even water delivery was canceled by Instacart/Costco this week. Thanks to missing items, damaged produce, and canceled orders, consumers are paying high surcharges only to be inconvenienced instead of the absolute necessity of these deliveries. Why would someone order groceries online when they don’t know if they’ll get what they ordered? If they go to the store, they’ll walk out with exactly what they need, and it won’t cost anything extra.What’s going on?Online grocery creates more problems than it solvesFor a business model to be profitable, it must solve a problem. Online grocery shopping doesn’t necessarily solve a problem since brick-and-mortar grocery stores work for the vast majority of consumers. Those who can’t shop pay someone else to do it for them. Grocery delivery is more of a convenience than anything else. However, that convenience seems to be theoretical since customers aren’t happy.What’s wrong with online grocery shopping? TABS Analytics CEO Kurt Jetta explained to CBS Sunday Morning that shopping for groceries online isn’t a personal experience, and many consumers need to see prices while looking at the shelves in person. It’s harder to make price comparisons online, even with a well-designed website. The convenience offered is excellent, but some people still prefer to shop for groceries in the store.The flaws, as seen in customer complaints, defeat the purpose of ordering groceries online. Technology is the only hope to save this business model, and retailers are starting to get the picture.IoT can solve the problems inconveniencing customersThe grocery delivery model created more problems than it solved. If retailers want to be successful with this model, they’ll need to embrace technology to solve those problems. For example, there’s no justifiable reason a customer should receive an order with items missing, and orders should rarely need to be canceled.Grocery delivery companies need a verification process that ensures every item is not only gathered but added to their bags that are then placed in the delivery vehicle. Canceled grocery orders have a significant impact on customers who sometimes rely on delivery for everything. If a company needs to cancel or reschedule orders because they’re out of a product, they need to rework the way they order and keep items in stock. IoT can help with that as well.IoT can improve order verificationThe process of verification should include manual and electronic systems. For instance, the person gathering the groceries should electronically check off each item as it’s gathered. The quantity of bags used to collect the order should be recorded and verified when loaded into the car. The bags should be marked and scannable so they aren’t confused with anyone else’s order. When the delivery arrives, bags should be verified and scanned as they’re unloaded. If the driver unloads the wrong bag, the handheld scanning device should alert them that they’ve scanned the wrong bag.It’s unclear whether any current grocery delivery services use IoT tech to verify orders, but it’s unlikely considering the vast amount of people complaining about items missing from their order.IoT can improve produce selectionThere are some items people want to buy in person without exception. Things like meat, fish, and certain fruits like avocados and tomatoes are best selected in person. However, technology can help with that.Imagine getting a Skype call from the person gathering your groceries. They’re about to pick your avocados when they call to ask you how you prefer them. Do you want them soft? Squishy? Hard? Green? Somewhere in the middle? With video chat, you can tell that person exactly how you like your produce. You can specify if you prefer firm, thick tomatoes or thin, squishy tomatoes.Having a quick video chat with the person gathering your groceries would also create a personal connection that would make the experience a touch more personal. It wouldn’t replace the experience of selecting produce in person, but it would be good enough for many people.It would be icing on the cake if grocery gatherers are trained to select ripe produce. This can be done with technology, too. They can learn from video training sessions and then go out to the produce and practice what they’ve learned. It’s surprising how hard it is to pick ripe produce without formal training.Artificial intelligence can improve future ordersOnce a customer has placed enough orders, artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to fine-tune their shopping experience. AI can gather information on purchase habits to suggest items when they might be running out, like laundry soap and trash bags. AI can also make suggestions for complimentary items a person might not realize they need.Amazon tried to do something like this when they launched “Dash” buttons in 2015. Dash buttons were Wi-Fi enabled buttons consumers could stick around the house to reorder items automatically with a single push. The buttons failed, and Amazon went to an all-digital method for automatic reordering. It was a good concept, but too cumbersome to catch on.AI can bring in money from advertisersBrands can use the information gathered by AI technology to market to customers on social media. While many people wouldn’t like the idea of getting advertisers involved, money from advertisers is often the only way to keep a business going. The trick would be to give advertisers access to consumers’ buying habits without being too intrusive.Is online grocery here to stay?It’s hard to tell if online grocery is here to stay. Retailers are following in Amazon’s footsteps with grocery delivery, but many aren’t aware of the flaws.For many, grocery delivery is a convenience. For some, it’s a necessity. It would be a shame to see the whole industry disappear due to unprofitability. Perhaps Kroger can make grocery delivery profitable with their autonomous vehicles and use technology to work out the flaws in the system. Top 5 Areas Where Companies Want IoT Solutions Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

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