AfrikaYetu

An upcoming public and policy engagement non-profit consultancy focusing on Social, Political and Ecological Justice issues in Afrika. We work and stand in solidarity with communities in mineral rich areas in Afrika and other global south environments.

Who is the Culprit? Shifting of Blames

Mosi oa’Tunya!

The world is now faced with what a number of people have termed as “the greatest threat of all time – Climate Change” but I have always wondered whether people take into consideration on what has led to this calamity befalling our beautiful universe. Let’s take the trip together to reflection world…

In the recent past we have heard of a number of pledges from countries, individuals for hefty amounts of money to curb deforestation and cutting down carbon emissions; right from the USA to the palace where Prince Charles sits and now we read,  “US pledges $275m to scheme for reducing deforestation and cutting carbon emissions.”

But there is an element that has been showing an ugly face since mid 2000. That is the shifting on blame where the pastoralism communities largely in Africa and the poor and marginalised communities in the developing countries are blamed to be the sole contributors to the climatic changes. I must state affirmatively that Cattle grazing in Africa has been more friendly to the environmental sustainability for ages that the mass growing of eucalyptus growing.

Craze for Cleaner Environment

Back in 2004 while I worked as a journalist in Tanzania, there were three big issues that emerged as concerns to the Civil Society Organisations (Religious and non-Religious). One was the obsolete stockpiles of DDT in Tanga region, reintroduction of DDT for indoor residual spraying to curb malaria (which I am against to my grave) and government giving out massive chunks of arable land to investors (also known as infesters) to grow plants that are rich in the production of Biofuel and ethane.

The alarm was raised after a number of comparative studies and consultations were conducted. The questions raised at this time which are still valid in my view to date are; who was going to benefit from the Biofuel production in Tanzania, Zambia and other countries in Africa where this project was taking off with the blessings of the international financial institutions? When Biofuel production begins, what type of fuel will be used in taking the work forward fossil fuel or the so advertised and glorified environmental friendly Biofuel? Where will the end user be – in other words where is the market and consumer?

With all these questions in mind, I would like us also to look at the current issue dominating the media limelight. The Northern countries who have played a negative role on the economies of the countries in the so-called ‘third world,’ led in atrocities against humanity and take lead on environment abuse now come around to say that the developing countries are causing climate change when in reality it is not for the safety and welfare of the whole world they are looking for but their own comfort at the disadvantage of the mass. Another question which comes out of all this is, “Craze for cleaner environment for who?”

Manage Your Own Mistakes

The political principles adopted by the Northern countries in terms of sovereignty, promotion of patriotism and holding to superpower-complex are interesting but tragic. The interesting part of this is that citizens of the countries involved in atrocities against humanity and abuse of the environment live in oblivion and are proud to be part of that kind of society, the tragic side of it all is the truth that has never been told but well known; that the safe havens and clean atmosphere in the Northern and developed world is founded on the blood of the innocent in the developing countries.

With this in view then, it is time for the western countries to manage their own waste and be responsible for their crimes. There is no point of blaming the pastoral communities for grazing in their own lands and call for reduction of the number of cattle kept by family units in Tanzania and or any other country where pastoralists have their roots just to cover the atrocities committed – led by the craze for superiority. Sadly, I heard my President Jakaya Kikwete at one point and at the wake of rush for land in Tanzania for Biofuel calling pastoralism a “backward tradition!”

Some Statistics

Let me turn your attention to some of the statistics which threw me off balance when I read and reflected on them closely:

  • 70% of the population in a number of the Natural Resource rich Countries lives in Poverty
  • ½ of the worlds riches is controlled by 2% of world’s population
  • 20% of world’s population consumes 80% of its resources
  • The World spends 12 times more on military than aid to developing countries (which has been looted      thoroughly by the developed world)
  • Nearly 1 billion people of the world’s population go hungry
  • 5,000 people die each day by drinking dirty and or contaminated water (a number as direct results of multinational investments in the Extractive and Agricultural sectors
  • 1 billion people worldwide have no access to safe drinking water
  • 50% of grain traded around the world is for animal/livestock feed and Biofuel
  • 40% arable land have suffered irreparable damage
  • 13 million hectares of natural rain forest disappear every year
  • ¾ of World’s fishing grounds are exhausted, depleted or in dangerous decline
  • 1 mammal in 4, a bird in 8, an amphibian out of 3 are threatened with extinction

Gaps and New Findings

When that remains to be the truth it will suffice also to say here that the gap between the poor and rich in the society is wider than ever before. Hunger is spreading, forests are depleted and arable land give for food for livestock while other land s are plundered for minerals which a number of developed world do not need but cannot let go of for the sake of vain glory.

There are new and emerging wars on Tar sands, Gold mining on and under the glaciers and undersea mining and oil extraction. There is more exploration and the most recent finding says that water has been found on the moon. What if they found Gold, Uranium and other extractable precious metals and stones on the moon?

It will definitely be a rush and the first ones to go there are the ‘first’ nations to take the loot while Africa and other developing countries take the blame. Let’s not forget though that all living matter is linked and what you do to one will certainly, affect all.

 

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This entry was posted on March 23, 2011 by in Integrity & Accountability, Politics & Democracy.

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