22 September 2010Paul Tergat had so little to eat while growing up in rural Kenya that staying in class was a daily challenge. But when he was eight, the United Nations changed his life – and set him on the path to a glittering career in track and field that has brought him Olympic medals, global titles and a world record. The World Food Programme (WFP) began distributing free school meals in Mr. Tergat’s home district in 1977, giving him an incentive to go to school and the energy to make the daily three-mile trek from his home in Kenya’s Rift Valley.Now an Ambassador against Hunger for WFP, Mr. Tergat says he might have dropped out of school, like many of his classmates, and missed out on an education and the opportunity to nurture his athletic talent, but for the school feeding programme.“I would say that it is true by the time I was ready to go to school, many of the kids from my region were unable to go to school. They instead went out to look for something to eat because where I come from it is very dry and rocky,” Mr. Tergat, now 41, told the UN News Centre yesterday.Mr. Tergat, who won two Olympic silver medals and a record five consecutive World Cross Country Championships and set a world marathon record, has used his stature as one of the world’s best long distance runners to raise awareness and encourage support for the WFP’s school-feeding programmes.“It is important that we give opportunities to young people just as I was given the opportunity by WFP. I am now giving back to the community and I want to see more children reach their full potential in terms of developing their careers and contributing to the world in general,” said Mr. Tergat, who is in New York for the UN summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).The MDGs range from halving extreme poverty and reducing the proportion of hungry people by half, to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015.“It is important that we achieve the MDGs – we can achieve healthy and educated nations,” Mr. Tergat said, adding that his presence at the summit led him to believe that there was a general consensus that the world must achieve the Goals. “But everybody needs to play their part,” he said.According to WFP, $3.2 billion is required every year to feed 66 million schoolchildren worldwide. About $1.2 billion would enable the agency to feed 23 million children in Africa.“The most important thing is to create awareness as a living example of what support for WFP can achieve,” said Mr. Tergat, who now mostly participates in motivational races to encourage young people to take up sport.
Seeing Machines has signed a strategic agreement with Caterpillar Global Mining to provide in-cab Fatigue Monitoring Systems for use in mining machines. The exclusive agreement covers the use of eye-tracking technology in the cabs of mining vehicles to enable the monitoring of operators for signs of fatigue and distractions. The agreement covers a multiple-phase approach that commences with a supply and support agreement of the Fatigue Monitoring Systems through the global CAT Dealer network and progresses to further phases that include joint product development and technology licensing agreement.Mining companies have identified fatigue management as a key health and safety issue. Factors such as night shift work, high altitude, fly in – fly out and long shifts, all contribute to increasing fatigue risk especially when operating mining machines. At present only limited technology is in place to protect the employees and operators of mines from these risks.The Seeing Machines Fatigue Monitoring System is based on patented eye-tracking technology that can detect if a driver is distracted or falling asleep at the wheel. Using sensing equipment that requires no re-calibration between different drivers, the system tracks head alignment for potential distraction of the driver while simultaneously tracking and analysing eye behaviour to detect micro sleeps. This enables warnings to be given through in-cab alerts, or for alerts to be provided to site managers for direct intervention.Ken Kroeger, CEO of Seeing Machines said “The agreement with Caterpillar shows the huge value that eye-tracking technology can have in keeping drivers safe. The open-cut mine is a challenging environment and the application of this technology in such a critical area shows the value and robustness of the Seeing Machines systems. After establishing eye-tracking as proven technology in the most difficult environments for this part of the mining industry, the next step is to establish its value in wider markets to protect drivers, workers and the public at large.”David Edwards, Safety Solutions Manager for Caterpillar Global Mining said “The safety of our mining customers’ employees is a paramount issue to us.Seeing Machines delivers both safety and productivity benefits to the mining industry. Going forward we see even closer integration between what in-cab fatigue monitoring can deliver in both intervention alerts and analytics to improve safety and performance.”Under the agreement, Seeing Machines and Caterpillar envision greater integration of the Fatigue Monitoring Systems with Cat MineStar System so that data on fatigue and distraction can be integrated into the overall management functions of the mine and business.“The agreement with Caterpillar is a major business breakthrough for Seeing Machines in establishing our technology in the mining industry,” stated Terry Winters, Chairman of Seeing Machines. “The application of our technology in this market and our business alliance with Caterpillar are critical steps in the evolution of Seeing Machines.