This article by AP highlights the extreme case of Zimbabwe, where the collapse of the society, along with a drought, have brought the country to a near-standstill.

What I found interesting was the passivity of the people, who line up at the public wells, waiting hours for their ration of water. They are angry at the government, who they believe should supply the water – somehow.

Claudius Madondo, chairman of the residents association controlling the line, said nearby wells were no longer functioning, forcing the rationing. Some of the people waiting heckled him.

“Nothing is working in this country, how do we survive?” Hatineyi Kamwanda, another resident, said. “We can’t even use the toilets, the children are not going to school because of this and now we fear cholera is going to hit us again.

“The president should treat us as human beings, we voted for him.”

The idea that a vote should translate into favored treatment is common to many of the Impoverished Helpless.

Bloomberg blames government mismanagement, that makes a normal drought situation worse – MUCH worse.

Zimbabwe is in the grip of a nationwide drought that’s depleted dams, cut output by hydropower plants, caused harvests to fail and prompted the government to appeal for $464 million in aid to stave off famine. It’s disastrous for a nation whose economy has been driven to the brink of collapse by two decades of mismanagement, meaning the authorities can’t afford to effect repairs, let alone extend water access to a burgeoning urban population.

For more detail on the post-Mugabe era, see this link.

Naturally, blaming corrupt government is NOT a tactic that will further Leftist aims. So, what else can they do?

Blame Climate Change.

“Climate change does not see boundaries or borders,” said Tich Zinyemba, head of the public weather service at Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Service Department. “Some of the things which we are seeing now such as prolonged droughts, dry spells are as a result of climate change.”

This paper on the historic droughts provides more background, but still is heavily reliant on government intervention and top-down projects.

Few of the available sources have alternative remedies to begging, demanding, and pleading with 1st world countries to pony up the dough to get Zimbabwe out of the rut it’s in. What is NOT generally considered is the effect that intervention at the “boots on the ground” level might have.

In drier areas, scanty rainfall for a few years can kill vegetation permanently and poor land-practices only make it worse.

Heritage has some figures about the problems of the country, but few solutions.

Surprisingly, the most thorough treatment of Zimbabwe’s condition, both past and present, is Brittanica. A surprise to me was this stat:

Zimbabwe has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa, with nine-tenths of the population being able to read.

Keep in mind, what 3rd world countries consider literate can mean something as basic as: can write own name. I’m not kidding about that; when I was in college, I had opportunities to talk with many non-Americans. In that process, I learned about the vast differences between official statistics and reality in many parts of the world.

But, Brittanica has (somewhat buried near the bottom of the entry) acknowledged the impact of dispossessing the landowning White population.

…a law was passed in 2002 that allowed Mugabe to pursue an aggressive program of confiscating their farms, forcing more than half of the country’s white farmers to relinquish their property and rendering tens of thousands of black farmworkers homeless and unemployed. As was the case in the 1990s, property was often claimed by politically connected individuals with little or no farming experience rather than by the landless peasant farmers or war veterans who were supposed to benefit from the redistribution program. The government’s lack of forethought in forcing out the white farmers and not replacing them with experienced farmworkers contributed to a significant decline in agricultural productivity; this, as well as drought, led to severe food shortages.

Perhaps his most famous piece on that subject, is Let Africa Sink.
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