Sunday, April 25, 2010

They Told Me there was a God, He must be Busy Today, By Sharon Powell

Africa’s current population stands at more than 1 billion people residing across a geographical land mass of 11 million square miles or more. Of the four major languages and twenty-five unclassified language dialects ruling the country’s political leaders, it should be no surprise as to the social stressors experienced within the country including recovery efforts of famine, poverty, and a need for unification and education. Conditions associated with diverse language practices and cultural beliefs shared among its people ultimately create suffrage for the less fortunate of society, many of whom are mere peasants. Pictured above are the realities of famine and social weaknesses found throughout parts of Africa; many of which have existed since the beginning of time. .

Agriculture & Industry
Regions of Africa are about three times as large as the United States while the country’s economy is largely based on agriculture and the raising of livestock. Some researcher’s find it troubling those scientific innovations in farming and industry are still far below the means needed for supporting the country’s population. Many researchers seek positive resolutions for improvement.

For thousands of years, the continent has overcome many barriers such as rain forests, drought, and large desert conditions creating problems for the inhabitants. Although the value of commodity resources such as oil, gold, coffee, and cocoa provide jobs for millions of Africans, there are still those suffering far greater hardships than should be allowed. Reports from the standards of the Commission for Development and Humanitarian aid efforts stress the need for change.

Areas plagued by deforestation create additional problems for the country’s inhabitants, causing drought, a rise in temperatures and a reduction of animal life.  Africa's climate creates desert like conditions making it virtually impossible for crops and livestock to survive. Currently the Sahara Desert occupies more than 3 million square miles of land supporting less than 2 million Africans.

 Africa’s climate poses additional threats for the control of disease. Warm temperatures not only reduce crop production, but also speed the growth process of bacteria and infection, causing sickness and the threat of widespread disease throughout the continent. Poliovirus found in contaminated water or sewage, and infected saliva or feces remain a threat to the thousands already suffering from the conditions of famine. Reports of poliovirus outbreaks are common today and can quickly spread throughout the continent.  Polio enters the bloodstream through the mouth attacking the central nervous system and may cause paralysis of involuntary muscles that help us breath.

Threats of Aid Distribution
Today, many starving Africans are facing political challenges associated with the distribution efforts of aid. Reports involving the purchase of guns and weapons targeted in the Ethiopian province of Tigray are controversial issues for government officials. The challenges felt by Law enforcement  working to overcome the devastating effects of political chaos, are burdensome. Neighboring countries such as Iran and Afghanistan who are currently experiencing civil wars, terrorist acts, and Taliban movements place a serious threat to African society; in addition to programs for the development of establishing world peace efforts. Those suffering the most in Africa are women and children who depend on aid provided by programs such as UNICEF and the International Federation of Red Cross workers.  These programs supply grain, rice and medicines for those in need.

Dating as far back as 1984 and 1985, Ethiopia experienced mass conditions of famine due to climate conditions, killing more than one million people. Reported again in 2002 the continent faced yet another challenge of drought. According to Louis Michel, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, the country was experiencing severe conditions of famine. Representatives for the BBC news, World Edition, reported more than 15 million people would face famine by 2003.

Uniting in Aid Efforts
Programs much like UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Fund) and the Red Cross support the 90% of African children stunted by the effects of malnutrition. Programs in effect help to supply vitamins and clean water while educating Africans of the importance of supplementation of micronutrients, which are invaluable tools for the success of future generations. Other societies collaborate with UNICEF and work toward eliminating iodine deficiency, which is one of the primary causes of mental retardation and brain damage in countries where malnutrition is high.

The efforts of one man are not enough to save a nation of starving children, but the voices of those from around the world can perform miracles. Perhaps it will someday be your voice who cries out, uniting others in strength; generating the power to make a difference for humanity …….S. Powell, 2010.


1.) James B. Kracht, World Explorer; Teachers Edition, Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ 2003.
2.) Elisabeth Gaynor Ellis; Anthony Esler; World History, Prentice Hall, Indiana Teachers Edition;Peasrson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ 2010.

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