Wednesday, August 22, 2007

serious south africa

The fourth MDG is to reduce the under-five mortality by two thirds from the 1990 figure.
Despite bold policies, more than 70 000 South African children die each year before their fifth birthday.
The reasons of death lead to: HIV/Aids (40%), low birth weight and other perinatal problems (15%), diarrhoea (10%), pneumonia (6%), malnutrition 4%). (www.mrc.ac.za)
The daily newspaper Cape Times says that all this originates in poverty and social and economic exclusion.
The main upstream causes of diarrhoea include lack of breast feeding and inadequate health and environmental services, including water supply, sanitation and hygiene, in particular hand washing with soap.
The author of the article ends it with the words: “government needs to focus less on economic fundamentals and more on the fundamental rights of its people”.

In Khayelitsha (which is a Xhosa name “new home”) live approx. 1 million people. Most of these live in informal settlements (shacks etc) without any water, electricity etc. supply. The people having a formal settlement have a possibility to use 25 l water per day…
Water issues are very important part for khayelitshians as many informal settlers use their water supplies which lead to big water bills, debts etc. There are also many leaks which is not repaired due to the fact that municipality don’t have so many resources or whatever and the people themselves have no means of money to do it themselves.
The City of Cape Town has come up with the idea of pre-paid water meters which has its positive and negative sides, but the memorandum is going on and it’s soon to be decided. This could be a way out for some people but for the others…?

And it seems to me that the whole situation of South Africa is either this or that, there is not an easy way to make a decision which is beneficial to everybody, the diversity of this country is still so big and the gap between rich and poor, woman and men, black and white is still huge.
But I’ll keep on digging in this society, just to be able to understand.

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