The second issue that is plaguing our globalizing world is the Need for Green. We are realizing that our way of life is killing the world. As you have hopefully noticed, in the last year or so, there is a growing sense of urgency to clean up our act and try and make our way of life environmentally sustainable. Businesses are promoting green products, grocery stores trying to use less bags, ect... While we are a long way away from having that happen, I am glad that we are starting to realize that issues like the environment are CRUCIAL and cannot be ignored any longer. What people haven't realized though, is that the rich countries are not the only ones killing the world. Poverty and environmental degradation often go hand in hand.
We are killing the world because we have the money to care, but we don't. The poor countries are killing the world because they cannot afford to save it. Most people here do not seem to notice the implications of individual actions towards the environment. For example (and everyone here does this), after finishing a coke or candy bar, people here just throw the can/wrapper on the ground. EVERYONE. I have noticed more litter here than most places at home. And the first problem is education. Its not that people do not care, its that people do not know. Since we are struggling with the repercussions of our offenses against the environment, when we see someone litter so blatantly its shocking. However, in Zimbabwe, people have no idea what the implications are of littering. Already, goats are dying from eating the litter on the ground.
The second problem is with the infrastructure. At least in Nyadire, there are no alternatives to throwing the trash on the ground. There are no real garbage services (at least not here, I'm not sure about the cities). So people either throw their trash on the grounds or burn it. Everyone has a trash hole behind their house in which they burn the days trash. Everything. Plastic wrappers, coke cans, paper, ect.... This is not only a little dangerous towards peoples health, its terrible for the environment.
The third and fourth problems are an ineffective government and individual poverty. When the electricity is out, the only way to cook food is my fire. Fires need firewood. And to get firewood trees need to be cut down. So treecutting is a decent business here. However, there are no regulations to how many trees you can cut down, where you can cut trees, or how many trees you have to replant. I mean, there are laws, but the fines are so minimal they are essentially a small tax on the business and do not discourage people from cutting down trees willy-nilly. Most individuals cannot really be blamed though. If you are making $100 a month, you would not stop cutting down trees for the sake of the environment. Feeding yourself and your family comes first. So I understand. However, something needs to be done. A bunch of department heads here understand the need to save the trees and went to the police stations last week to report some treecutters who had decimated the area around their houses and were now infringing on Nyadire property. The police would not come. Why? The world cup was on.
I am going to abruptly end the post with that story because that is as Zimbabwe as you can get. If there is one story to sum up my stay in Zimbabwe, that is it. The law stopped because soccer was on.