Thursday, February 03, 2011

being poor in Africa

"Here's what its like for someone in Africa living on one or two dollars a day.

You live either in a mud brick house with a dirt floor or a straw hut with dirt or sand floor. There is no heat for cold nights and certainly no air-conditioning for hot days. You have no running water and no indoor plumbing. Water for drinking, cooking or cleaning has to be fetched from a neighborhood well or from a stream. More often than not, the water is not fit to drink, but you have no choice, which means that you and your children suffer frequently from gastrointestinal diseases. Your toilet is a hole dug in your compound. If you live on outskirts of town, you relieve yourself in the unoccupied bush. Breakfast is warmed up leftovers from the evening meal. During lean means when the food that you grew begins to run out, you may have skip lunch. Dinner consists of mush made of grain--millet, sorghum, or, if you're lucky rice. Getting to eat one chunk of meat is a luxury. Your children are frequently hungry. You have little if any medical care and so you and your children have to live with or die from intestinal parasites, skin infections, or upper and lower respiratory infections. If that's not enough, you probably have suffered from malaria and someone in your family is probably infected with HIV/AIDS. You are illiterate and while some of your children attend primary school and learn to read and write, dire economic necessity forces you to take them out of school and put them to work in the household or in the fields. This self-repeating cycle creates a system, a structure of poverty-- in which people die unnecessarily simply because they are poor."

Paul Stoller from here

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