Saturday, December 6, 2008

Poor Zimbabwe!

I know this is not an art-related posting, but I am feeling desperate for the poor people of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe used to be the land of plenty and was called "The bread-basket of Africa". Now they have no clean, drinkable water and the water is now contaminated with the Cholera bacteria. The government has run out of water purification chemicals and much of the capital city of Harare is without running water. They have little electricity and cannot find fuel to boil water, (I think all the trees have been cut down for fuel already). Raw sewerage is running in the streets and food is scarce.
The sick and dying are being taken to hospitals that do not have the resources to help them, these hospitals are lacking in staff and medicines.
The whole infrastructure has collapsed.
This is one of South Africa's neighbours and the government here is doing little to alleviate the situation. The Zimbabwe has collapsed and millions are going to die if something is not done soon. The International Red Cross & Crescent is trying desperately to help these poor people. The amazing group Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors without Borders are trying to do their best in an almost impossible situation. Please go to this site to see what they are doing in Zimbabwe.
These poor people are going to have a very bleak Christmas!


Kim said...


Thank you so much for your post about this. We have been hearing about this here, as well, and I understand aid is being organized as best as possible. I can't even begin to imagine what is happening there. I will be watchful of what is happening and what can be done from here.

Thanks Dianne!

Dianne said...

Hi Kim, I know the USA is very good when it comes to aid, even in this ecomonic climate. I just wish something could be done about Mr Mugabe - it is time for him to retire!

Lynette said...

This is just heart-breaking and I saw a report about this on the world news tonight. They were giving out a hot meal to the people there, but weren't sure where the next meal was coming from. :( The MSF are angels.

Dianne said...

Dear Lynette, yes, what would places like Zimbabwe do without these amazing MSF angels?

Art with Liz said...

Hi Dianne,
Whenever I think about Zim, I want to cry. It is God's own country and that tyrant has absolutely destroyed it and the gentle people who live there. I just hope the food SA is sending gets to the people and doesn't end up in the hands of the armed forces. My memories of Zim are untainted by the current mess - one day it will be like that again.

Think too, of Carol, who still has her mom living in Harare. My relatives have moved on.

soulbrush said...

this has been going on for donkeys years, the slow erosion of that wonderful place. we all know what we would like done to mugabe! the problem is the helplessness we feel against such a tyrant. thanks for this post and the reminder, we must all do our best to give!

Dianne said...

Dear Liz, yes, I hope the food-aid being sent there reaches the people. I spent 7 years of my childhood there, what a special place it was! Poor Carol, she must be so worried about her Mum.

Dianne said...

Dear Soulbrush, there is a helplessness regarding Mugabe, all the African leaders just stand around and hope things will improve. Because he is the oldest statesman in Southern Africa, they all pander to him. The tribal ethos is still very strong and autocratic - the chief is all powerful and nobody will go against him.

Suzanne McDermott said...

Hi Dianne,

I'd posted a comment but must not have entered it properly. Anyway, I'm glad that you brought this up. It's unforgivable what some "leaders" allow to happen to their people and their country. It's beyond unacceptable what's been allowed to happen to the water supply in Zimbabwe. I've been writing about Virunga on My Great Day blog and one of my recent paintings was inspired by the conflict there. I'm sending profits from the sale of that painting to the park. I think it's vital for artists to discuss and incorporate on their blogs what's happening in the world at large - at least to a certain extent. Thanks for bringing this up for discussion.

And thanks also for the mention of and link to Medicins Sans Frontieres. What would the world do without them?

Carol said...

Hi Di
This is a subject very close to our hearts. We spoke to my Mum in Law yesterday and they have food and water at the clinic she is in, in Bulawayo. The supply of both electricity and water is erratic but better than it is in Harare.

Unfortunately Mugabe could not survive without the protection and support of the South African government, which has allowed him to continue with his brutal and oppressive rule for far too long.

Too much well intended foreign aid is diverted by his government and selectively used to buy support using his web of patronage and corruption.

Food parcels and Rands donated by relatives in South Africa are the only things keeping most Zimbabwean families afloat. While the country dies, Mugabe and his cronies still appear to be able to flit around the world staying in luxury hotels and attending international conferences as accredited leaders of Zimbabwe! Did he not recently lose an election?

There is a link on my blog to Cathy Buckle's newsletter from Zimbabwe if anyone is interested.


Dianne said...

Hi Suzanne, I visited your My Great Day blog and thoroughly enjoyed reading the posts and watching the video's. I was trying to think how we artists can put ourselves behind the causes that move us and you have come up with a very practical solution - sending the profits from the sale of a painting - great idea! I would also like to create paintings, inspired by those causes and maybe raise awareness in that way.

Dianne said...

Dear Carol,
Thanks for updating us! It must be awful for your Mum-in-law, they must wonder how this is all going to pan out, where is Zimbabwe going from here?
While people are starving on the streets, Mugabe is living it up!!
Thanks for the link on your blog, will go there and have a read.

Cestandrea said...

Hi Dianne, thank you for bringing this nearer to our minds and hearts. I feel very concerned about this bad situation and think that all the persons working in MSF are doing such an admirable job there and in the whole world were they are needed.
Thanks for the link, and it is also interesting to read the other comments here!

Dianne said...

Dear Andrea, thanks for your input! Who knows how this situation is going to develop?
I found the MSF site very interesting, I learnt quite a bit from their articles.

Carol said...

Talking about MSF and their wonderful work - has anyone read Three Letter Plague by Jonny Steinberg? A must read for anyone living in Africa

Dianne said...

Hi Carol, thanks, will look out for this.

Cathy Gatland said...

Dianne, I hope you don't mind - I have linked to this post today. I mostly avoid doing 'politics' on my blog, but I agree it's important to raise awareness of these atrocities any way we can, so thanks for the nudge.