Rotterdam burn centre reports rise in summer burn injuries

Rotterdam burn centre reports rise in summer burn injuries

ROTTERDAM, 7 July 2023 – As the warmest June on record sees a surge in barbecue-related injuries, Rotterdam's burn centre is urging residents to exercise caution. The centre, along with its counterparts in Groningen and Beverwijk, has reported an influx of patients suffering from severe burns, primarily caused by unsafe barbecue practices.

Rise in Burn Injuries

The three Dutch burn centres (brandwondencentra) have been treating a significant number of patients with severe burns, most of which are attributed to typical summer activities. Barbecuing has been identified as the leading cause. According to Kiran Baran, a burn specialist at the Red Cross Hospital, the use of flammable liquids to ignite barbecues is a common and dangerous practice.

Barbecue Safety Warning

The burn centres, in collaboration with the Dutch Burn Foundation (Nederlandse Brandwonden Stichting), are advising the public to use firelighters (aanmaakblokjes) for a safer barbecue experience.

Summer Burn Hazards

Every year, people sustain severe burns from incidents that are unique to the summer season. These include accidents involving hot metal slides, gas mishaps on boats, and, of course, barbecues.

Burn Centre Statistics

The burn centres have already treated 11 adults and 3 children with severe burns this year. Many of these patients were injured while using flammable liquids during barbecuing. Often, it is the family members or friends of the person using the flammable liquid who are injured.

The Tip of the Iceberg

Ymke Lucas, a burn specialist at the Maasstad Hospital's burn centre in Rotterdam, suggests that the actual number of burn victims is likely higher. The centre only sees the most severe cases, and does not have data on patients treated in hospitals without a burn centre.

Safe Barbecuing Practices

Lucas advises that safe barbecuing can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. However, she warns against the use of flammable liquids to speed up the ignition process. These include substances like spirit, bio-ethanol, petrol, white spirit, and fire gel.

Directions to Maasstad Hospital

The Maasstad Hospital is located in the Zuid district of Rotterdam, easily accessible by public transport or car. The area is well-served by local amenities and is just a short distance from the city centre.


Trompenburg Gardens: Cultivating the trees of the future

Trompenburg Gardens: Cultivating the trees of the future

ROTTERDAM, 5 July 2023 – As the climate warms, the city of Rotterdam is looking to the future with a focus on heat-resistant greenery. Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum, a green oasis in the heart of the city, is leading the way in researching and cultivating the trees and plants of the future.

The urban heat challenge

The phenomenon known as 'urban heat' is becoming increasingly prevalent in cities like Rotterdam. This effect, caused by dense construction, solar radiation, and climate change, results in cities retaining heat and failing to cool down sufficiently at night. A solution to this issue is being explored at Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum, where a focus has been placed on the cultivation of heat-resistant greenery.

The power of one tree

Jaap Smit, the green curator and dendrologist at Trompenburg, explains the significance of this initiative. “Did you know that planting one tree can reduce the need for ten air conditioners?” he says. However, not all native trees and plants thrive in urban heat. Therefore, Smit and his colleagues are exploring flora from warmer regions that can survive in these new conditions.

Future-ready trees

Smit refers to trees not native to the Netherlands as 'naturalised trees'. The country faces challenges with native trees not being heat-resistant and being affected by diseases and pests such as the oak processionary moth. By introducing a variety of plant and tree species, the risk of losing greenery is reduced.

At the entrance of Trompenburg, a Zelkova carpinifolia stands as a typical 'tree of the future'. Originating from Southeast Europe, it is accustomed to hot summers and cold winters. This species is thriving at Trompenburg, which even provides cuttings to tree nurseries, acting as a nursery for urban greenery in the Netherlands.

Zelkova carpinifoliaZelkova carpinifolia

About Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum

Located in the Kralingen district on the outskirts of Rotterdam's city centre, Trompenburg Gardens & Arboretum is a beautiful botanical garden with a large collection of trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs and tubers. The garden, which spans 8 hectares, is open to visitors in all seasons and is a refreshing green museum where it is always cooler than in the city during the summer.

How to get there

How to Watch Zomercarnaval Rotterdam: NPO 1 and YouTube series

How to Watch Zomercarnaval Rotterdam: NPO 1 and YouTube series

ROTTERDAM, 3 July 2023 – Rotterdam gears up for the upcoming Zomercarnaval, a vibrant celebration that will take place at the end of this month. The highlight of the event will be the Straatparade (Street Parade) on Saturday, 29 July. With a route spanning five kilometres, more than 2,500 dancers, 25 carnival groups, 25 music groups, and DJs will electrify the Rotterdam city centre, moving from Blaak to Coolsingel. The NOS (Nederlandse Omroep Stichting) will broadcast the evening's highlights live from a restaurant at Raadhuisplein. Additionally, a three-part series offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into the preparations will be available on YouTube in the weeks leading up to the event.

The Zomercarnaval originated in 1982 as an Antillean festival in Utrecht. Since 1983, Rotterdam has become its home, and it has since evolved into a tropical celebration of diverse cultures, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators who revel in the art of dance, stunning costumes, music, and cuisine.

Zomercarnaval on television

Hosted by Malou Petter, the NOS program will feature engaging discussions with guests and showcase the most captivating footage, accompanied by insightful commentary from Saïna Lucio, one of the Zomercarnaval's costume designers. Viewers will also be treated to reports about the spectators along the parade route, preparations such as the selection of the festival's King and Queen, and a segment on the crowning of the first Queen back in 1983.

The NOS Zomercarnaval Rotterdam 2023 program will air on Saturday, 29 July, from 9:21 PM to 10:11 PM on NPO 1.

Zomercarnaval on YouTube

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in preparation for the Zomercarnaval? The NOS has created a three-episode YouTube series that provides a comprehensive look into the event's preparations. Each episode, hosted by Salwa van der Gaag, will be approximately 10 minutes long and released in the weeks leading up to the Zomercarnaval. "On the Road to Zomercarnaval" will be available on NPO 3's YouTube channel.

Episode 1

Witness the process of selecting the King and Queen. The NOS will showcase the candidates' preparation, delve into the significance of this title to them, and explore their daily lives. The program will be present during the announcement of the winners and capture their emotions upon receiving the coveted title. Episode 1: Available online from Thursday, 13 July.

Episode 2

Discover what it takes to participate in the straatparade (Street Parade). From costumes and music to choreography, brass bands, and the jury, the episode will explore the intricate preparations involved. Episode 2: Available online from Thursday, 20 July.

Episode 3

The Zomercarnaval is a celebration that embraces many people and cultures. With the participation of 25 different cultures, the NOS series will delve into the importance of the event for each group, highlighting the symbols and rituals that characterize their respective cultures. Episode 3: Available online from Thursday, 27 July.

New initiative against poverty in Rotterdam

New initiative against poverty in Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM, 30 June 2023 – A new initiative to tackle financial worries, poverty, and debt among Rotterdam's residents has been unveiled. The plan, named 'Rotterdam for Everyone – United Against Poverty and Debt', is set to address these issues over the next few years.

Rotterdam's plan against poverty and debt

The rising energy prices and expensive groceries over the past year have affected many Rotterdammers, businesses, and institutions. An increasing number of Rotterdammers are facing financial worries or problematic debts. The city council, led by Alderman Enes Yigit, aims to tackle these issues with their new plan. The plan was presented on Thursday afternoon at Thuis in West, a community centre in the Middelland neighbourhood of Rotterdam.

Alderman Enes Yigit (Poverty Reduction, Debt Assistance, and Language) stated, “Together, we stand strong against poverty and debt. In Rotterdam, we have already embarked on the right path in terms of poverty reduction over the past few years. We aim to maintain what is good and add new elements. The priorities for the coming years are combating child poverty, making income support more accessible, and helping Rotterdammers out of debt. We cannot do this alone as a municipality, and therefore work closely with organisations in the city that prevent financial worries and support Rotterdammers in financial need.”

Child Poverty

The plan places the highest priority on addressing child poverty. The successful family approach will be continued. This term, the aim is to reach 1,000 families in Bospolder-Tussendijken, Crooswijk, Tarwewijk, and Carnisse. The family approach brings stability to the financial situation of families, improves children's wellbeing, and provides hope for the future.

Rotterdam Residents at the Centre

The plan also aims to assist Rotterdammers as much as possible and reduce referrals. The application process for schemes will be simplified. An online advice module will be introduced, allowing Rotterdammers to easily see which income support schemes they are entitled to.

Helping Rotterdammers Out of Debt

In 2022, 5,109 Rotterdammers approached the municipality for help in resolving their debts. The plan aims to receive signals from Rotterdammers who are in trouble even earlier so that they can be helped more quickly.

Strong Together

The municipality is not alone in tackling and preventing poverty and debt. An important part of the approach is the collaboration with, connection between, and support of various partners, organisations, and volunteers in the neighbourhoods.

Council Meeting

After the summer recess, the new policy framework will be discussed in the committee and council meeting.

Rotterdam startup Oyster Heaven secures funding for marine restoration

Rotterdam startup Oyster Heaven secures funding for marine restoration

ROTTERDAM, 27 June 2023 – In a significant stride towards marine restoration, Rotterdam-based startup Oyster Heaven has secured €800,000 in funding from Orange Wings Investments. The investment will bolster the startup's mission to regenerate lost oyster reefs on a global scale, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the realm of cost-effective marine restoration.

Oyster Heaven's mission

Oyster Heaven, established by George Birch in 2021, is pioneering a solution to a pressing environmental issue. Oyster reefs, once covering 20-30% of the North Sea, have been reduced to a mere 5% of their original extent due to overharvesting. These reefs are crucial to marine ecosystems, providing habitats for numerous species, filtering water, and naturally managing excess nitrogen, thereby combating climate change.

The startup's innovative approach involves the creation of a low-cost and efficient substrate for oysters, known as the Mother Reef. This natural reef system, made of clay and preloaded with baby oysters (or “spats” in Dutch), is designed to repopulate the barren sea floor.

The Mother Reef: A scalable solution

Following two years of successful lab and field testing, Oyster Heaven continues to validate the efficacy of the Mother Reef at Stichting Zeeschelp in Zeeland. Thus far, tens of thousands of baby oysters have attached to the Mother Reefs and are thriving, demonstrating the potential of this technology to regenerate oyster reefs on a large scale.

Mother ReefMother Reef

A sustainable model for ocean conservation

Oyster Heaven's approach uniquely combines ocean conservation with a financially scalable model. By partnering with local fishing communities to plant the Mother Reefs into the ocean, the startup is fostering a new circular economy.

George Birch, founder of Oyster Heaven, stated, “Sustainability has been the sole ambition of my career. Oyster Heaven is the opportunity to make this happen. Today, countries are in various stages of recognizing the value of ecosystem services. Oyster Heaven is leading the way, preparing for a society willing to pay for the services oyster reefs can provide.”

Shawn Harris, Orange Wings Investments’ founder and George Birch, Oyster Heaven’s founderShawn Harris, Orange Wings Investments’ founder and George Birch, Oyster Heaven’s founder

Future plans and impact

With the backing of Orange Wings Investments, Oyster Heaven plans to deploy 5 million oysters in Europe and the US in 2024, with a goal of regenerating 100 million oysters by 2027. This initiative is expected to significantly enhance marine biodiversity, water quality, and waste management across various industries.

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