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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 07:53 AM
Original message
Their Animals Are Dead, The People Are Next
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 08:03 AM by RestoreGore
This crisis is being faced from the United States (predominantly in the Southwest),to the United Kingdom, to China, the Middle East, South America, and especially in Africa. In Kenya, the water crisis has passed crisis stage months ago. Yet, there does not seem to be any amount of outrage regarding the fact that these people are literally dying for lack of water. Water, a substance of life that is a HUMAN RIGHT. Water, the one resource NO ONE should ever have to be without in this world. To see areas like the Arctic melting (which is drowning polar bears) and then read about animals dying in the heat and drought of Kenya because of lack of water, it surely shows the imbalance of this world caused by man, and it is a human rights outrage.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1784611,0...
Their animals are dead. These people are next

Drought is set to plunge East Africa into a famine after the rains failed. Tracy McVeigh reports from northern Turkana in Kenya where neither charities nor governments are prepared to save nomadic tribes from starvation

Sunday May 28, 2006
The Observer

Drought in Kenya.

In conference rooms and in academic papers, the experts call it 'pervasive pre-famine conditions'. In the village, squatting on his brick-sized wooden stool in the red dirt of east Africa, Lokuwam Lokitalauk calls it a death sentence. His curses ricochet round the quiet village and his glaucoma-misted eyes dart off, surveying the stick-like spectres of children drifting listlessly about. 'When I had my cows, I could afford three wives and I have 20 children,' he said. 'The drought has killed my herd. All my cattle have died of thirst but I still have the wives and children, and now I can't feed them. I should be out there with my cows grazing.' He waves a hand behind him to the crisp, cracked plains without turning his head: 'But, here I am, I am weak now; I'm waiting to die.'

And if the rains fail again later this year, he and his people face death. The ghost of famine hangs over the Turkana nomads of northern Kenya. The short rains failed last November and the long rains of April and May have arrived only as the occasional shower that just keeps the vicious thorn bushes and the few camels alive. The cows and sheep on which about 250,000 pastoral people rely for food and milk are now all dead. Over the whole drought-hit area, stretching into southern Ethiopia, southern Sudan and east into Somalia, people who spend their time moving with the weather from the valley-floor grazing sites to the springs in the hills have lost almost all their livestock. Animals are everything to these people - their food, their wealth, their insurance and their savings accounts. Eight million people in this dry triangle are hungry.

Herds of cattle hundreds strong have been wiped out, their skinny corpses not even any use as meat. The lucky families have a few thin goats left and spend most of their waking hours searching or digging for water to keep the spark of life in them. The children are malnourished and sick, their parents are weak and helpless. There are no old people. There is some grazing land still to the west in Uganda where the rain has fallen a little more, but the once-friendly tribes there have turned protective and attack anyone who attempts the long walk to the border.

Half an hour's drive from the village of Lopiding, where the old men sit in despairing solitude while the women queue for hours for a turn at the well that reluctantly squeezes out a bowlful of water from deep in the earth, two-year-old Lokaalei cries and cries. He has not eaten for two days. Lokaalei was orphaned in the last week of April. His young parents - Nakatorot and Ekal - were part of a group who had been digging for water. Some of the wells they dig with their bare hands have reached 40ft: that means 10 people standing from top to bottom passing up gourds of water from the shrinking water table.

More at the link.

Also see:
African Medical and Research Foundation: http://www.amref.org/uk
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yet, there are those who would say this is normal. Those who dismiss the climate crisis exacerbated by deforrestation and the greenhouse effect that is contributing to the droughts we see not only in Africa, but Northern China http://www.scidev.net/News/index.cfm?fusea...2868&langu...
South America, Great Britain http://www.channel4.com/news/special-reports/water/, Mexico, and in our own country. There are those who think that because we live here, we are not responsible for the Lokaaleis of this world...And they would be wrong. DEAD wrong.

The global water crisis that is gripping our world today is leading to wars over water. It is leading to terrorism. Economic instability. Famine. Political unrest. Corporate privitization in the takeover of public land which in turn is serving the rich over the poor, making more Lokaalies in this world who will be left to die because they cannot pay for a life giving resource that should be theirs for FREE.

And this crisis is not something that just happened. For years people such as Dr. Vandana Shiva have been warning us about the signs of this crisis. Doctors and scientists have predicted that by 2025 (not so far away) that over one third of our world will be WITHOUT WATER. That means , NONE. Just how precious is water to you? Could you live in Kenya now in the heat of the midday sun, watching your herd fall on the dry patched red ground as your child cries for that life giving force that heals all with none to be found? To have to get down on your hands and knees scratching in the dirt as far down as you can, hoping you will reach water? Even enough for a handful? To have to get any water you can get from a poisoned feces ridden river after walking two+hours just to get there to collect it? And to then have to wonder if you will even make it back home alive?

Something must be done for these people, and it must be done now. And to facilitate that, we all must make as many people as we can aware of this water crisis in our world, and stand up to those who would take this resource and use it for their own economic gain at the expense of the Lokaalies who will die because they have none. This is the moral issue of our time, and our response to this crisis will surely show what we are made of.

In previous entries I noted links to sites that provide aid to countries suffering from water insecurity and scarcity. And while they are doing a good job in alleviating much suffering, this crisis is getting away from them as well. Again, should we not heed the warnings, we will pass the point of no return. Droughts are a direct repercussion of extreme climate change, and Africa is feeling those effects worse than any other continent.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4504244.stm

So the logical lead in to this is, what can we do? Are we to simply sit and watch while more people in this world die because our politicians are too busy with their own needs to worry about it? Here are a couple of things you can do to hlep bring this issue out:

*Write, call, or fax your Congressional representatives http://clerk.house.gov/members/mcapdir.html

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senat...

and tell them that the global water crisis is something that needs our utmost attention. This is not only an environmental issue, it is a NATIONAL SECURITY issue and a health issue. War also only exacerbates this crisis, and our current policies are not properly addressing this crucial situation that is also leading to war, famine, and political unrest. It is time in our Congress tos ee REAL legislation on this climate crisis! As Al Gore has stated as well, the science is in, and it is REAL. And it is killing people... That then means it is our MORAL DUTY to act.

*Write to the American Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya http://usembassy.state.gov/nairobi / ,and express your outrage that this human rights abuse is not being addressed by the State Department. In reading the report from 2005 there was NO mention of the current water crisis facing Kenya, nor any attempts on the part of our State Dept. regarding any solutions to mitigate this crisis. Not In Rice's statement regarding their 2005 report, nor in the report of Ambassador Bellamy. We need to know why. It is all well and good to throw around phrases like, "freedom and Democracy," but quite another to see it in action.

*Support an organization such as Water Partners International, http://www.water.org / that is doing all it can with the resources it has to alleviate the suffering of those in this world who go without this precious resource every day.

*And yes, be more aware of your own usage and become aware of where your water comes from. It DOES make a difference.

And above all, keep hope. We CAN help these people if we really put our minds and hearts together, and continue to push our leaders. It is no longer a question of do they have the will. This is something that they must do for all of the Lokaaleis of this world NOW who have no one else to speak for them.

Thank you.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hope it works here.
http://www.channel4.com/news/special-reports/water /

Very strange. The links work before I place them here, then I have to go back and replace them because they don't work.
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. The GOP Leadership has spoken...
if they remain in power they WILL DO NOTHING about global warming. They will sit back and let the PLANET DIE. How's that for a culture of life platform?

When you pull the lever for a Republican in November, you are pulling the lever for global catastrophe.

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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I agree to a point...
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 08:09 AM by RestoreGore
We already see that Congress is useless on this, but what the hell, I included the links anyway because we have to let them know we are out here and we expect change. However, where are all of the Democrats running for 06 who are talking about this? I haven't seen nor heard ONE of them address the global water crisis. Have any of them done so yet? Just saying they saw Al Gore's movie doesn't cut it either. This shouldn't be used as a partisan political issue, and from what I have seen, neither Party has really addressed this issue as it should be addressed.
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I agree...
Democrats need to get out in front of this issue, I believe it was Blount who actually came out yesterday and said that Republicans would do nothing if they remain in power. If the Democrats were smart, they'd jump all over this.

My cynical side says that the corporate overlords who pay their bills will keep them in check on this.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. And not just jump on it for political gain
Jump on it because it is important and because they care for all effected by it regardless of politics. I need to see that above all else before I am convinced that Democrats really want to do something concrete regarding this issue on a national scale...and not only at election time.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
5. "national security issue"
I understand the point but I find it sad that 'national security' has to be the boggy man used to get any attention on an issue.

This crisis is to national security as a tsunami is to the problem of someone's basement flooding. It's a "humanity security" issue.

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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. When it concerns governments using it to gain power...
And to gain access to resources through war (such as water) it is a national security issue. It wasn't used as a bogeyman on my part, but I also agree that it is definitely a humanity security issue.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. I understand...
and sympathize with your point it just can't help but see the absurdity of fighting wars (killing each other) over resources...like ants fighting over 'ownership' of a particular pepple. Only through peace can we survive the challenges we've made for ourselves.

But as I say I understand you have to make the point and it is a reality in the world.

And welcome if someone hasn't already welcomed you, and thanks for the links and info.

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adriennui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
8. the african leaders are killing their own
where is the revulsion?
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
10. k&r
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
11. kenya is creating water problems for itself by diverting it to
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 04:16 PM by elehhhhna
MASSIVE flower farms that have sprung up there. It's an ongoing nightmare--the farms attract desperate poor people who need work...there aren't enough (crappy low-low-low-pay, btw) jobs available, afd thus the poaching of fish & game for cash & sustanence is now approaching epidemic proportions.

If you knew the real cost of those dozen roses, you'd never buy them. More info here in the August issue of Vanity Fair.

Excerpt:

A FLOWERING EVIL

Last January, acclaimed naturalist and wildlife filmmaker Joan Root was gunned down with an AK-47 in her bedroom. Four men have been charged with attempted robbery, but some friends and neighbors in Kenya's "Happy Valley" believe it was a contract killing. Traveling to ecologically endangered Lake Naivasha, Mark Seal learns how an impassioned crusade may have made Root some mortal enemies.

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