africa

March 15th, 2006 Posted in Advocacy, General Stuff

A couple of days ago I made a donation to the kona bike africa project to basicaly sponsor a bike that will be used to deliver medicine and information to hiv and AIDS patients in Botswana. Apparently, this will increase the range, and number of people who can be reached quite a bit. I have been following a few bike projects in Africa for a while, thinking how cool it would be to go somewhere and help improve peoples lives with bikes and I suppose, have a bit of an adventure as well.
My lovely girlfriend Tiff dragged me along to a doco tonight called Darwin's nightmare. I thought it was going to be an environmental doco on how Nile Perch destroyed the local habitat by eating all the native fish etc. Words can not describe the images in this film. It is utterly soul destroying.
There is a town on the giant lake Victoria, Tanzania, where fisherman bring in these enormous Nile Perch to Indian owned processing plants, which get filletted and flown to Europe in planes that look like 747s. 55 tonnes a flight to feed 2 million europeans a month. There is a famine in Tanzania. Street kids sniff glue made from melting the foam fish boxes. Men die from AIDS, the pastor can't reccommend condoms because it would be reccomending adultery, the women all seem to turn to prostitution. One of the prositutes is killed by an Australian. There is a scene in this massive fish drying paddock, where a woman says how happy she is now that she has a job. Her job is picking up piles of fish carcasses from the mud and putting them on hellish drying racks which people later buy to eat. The camera pans down to her feet which are crawling with maggots. The planes from europe arrive full of illegal guns which get distributed to the war torn areas in africa. Figures are thrown around about 4 million people dying in the wars in Angola and Congo in 5 years. There is absolutely no hope.
Lucky we live so far away in Australia eh?