Category - Case studies

1
The richness of the Kukra region has declined in recent years because of the deforestation
2
Where’s Diffa?
3
Nicaragua lacks manpower
4
Ethiopia: one of the richest countries in water reserves, still has lots of people without drinking water access
5
Cocoa, the Nicaraguan hope
6
Disease against children

The richness of the Kukra region has declined in recent years because of the deforestation

In “La Aurora”, in the Kukra River, the difficulties to cultivate and eat are increasing day by day. Deforesting has reduced pastures and has provoked increasingly complications for the population to cover their basic needs. The natural richness of the region has declined substantially in the recent years.
This video presents a documentary about the situation in the region and its inhabitants:

Languages: Spanish and English. Catalan Subtitles.

On Monday, the 2nd part!

Where’s Diffa?

Diffa is a region situated in the southeast extreme of Niger. Its capital it’s also called Diffa and it’s near the country’s border with Nigeria. In 2010, the region had a population of 473,563 people, 51 % of men; in a country where the same year the population was more than 15 million people.

Niger is a relatively young country, the average age in 2011 was 15 years. This is due to the fact there is a significant number of children per woman in the country, 7.1. The mortality rate is no one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, as life expectancy for both men and women is around 60 years.

The economy of Niger, and also Diffa’s Region, is primarily agricultural, based upon pastoralism and farming. The major crop, grown both for subsistence and sale, is Millet, especially drought tolerant varieties.

Nicaragua lacks manpower

One of the majors Nicaraguan newspapers, “El Nuevo Diario”, published today about the hard situation the Nicaraguan coffee is going through. According to this paper, the coffee growing in Nicaragua has now another enemy than the rust fungus: the lack of manpower. Now still remains to be harvest up to 45% of grain production in the 2012-2013 cycle. Farmers and industry professionals warn it can provoke millionaire economic losses.

“Investments are leaving, the coffee is falling and the quality is losing. Nicaragua has a bigger problem than the rust, we have 40 to 45% of the crop still in the bushes and there are no people to pick it up” warned Henry Hüeck, one of the most important coffee producers of the country.

According to producers, the lack of manpower in the coffee is due to several reasons, among which are mentioned the migration of lot of people to Costa Rica and the heavy rains which doesn’t stop in the north of the country. It prevents the cutters to go and pick up the ripe coffee.

Ethiopia: one of the richest countries in water reserves, still has lots of people without drinking water access

Yegobecha is situated in the North of Ethiopia, in the Southern Nation Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) Region. This is a very poor region in a very poor country which only the 38 % of a more than 90M population has access to drinking water. This is one of the main problems in Ethiopia, although it is a country rich in water reserves (86% of the Nile River’s flow is originated in Ethiopia and there are abundant underground water basins). The problem is the lack of material, financial and human resources to construct infrastructures allowing water extraction from subsoil and, thus, making it available to the entire population.

Families in Yegobecha have an average number of 6 children and live from subsistence agriculture. Many men must migrate to other areas in search of extra work, as they don’t get enough income from work in land to buy basic goods. In this cases mothers take on the role of family chief, with 6 children in charge, besides doing household tasks, getting water and working the land. This supposes an overload of work which has different consequences, including that they are forced to take their children out of school to help with household tasks.

Also, 50% of the population lives within 10 km away from any basic services centre (health centres and schools). This means 2 hours by walking, as they do not have any other transportation facilities.

Cocoa, the Nicaraguan hope

The growth of cocoa exports from Nicaragua to EU have been experiencing a strong growth since 2007, 45%, but aren’t still enough. This shows there is a strong demand and consolidated into Nicaraguan quality cocoa, instead it must be increasing because the poverty in the region is strong.

The Republic of Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central America isthmus. It has approximately 6 million multi-ethnic population. There are conflicts between the population of ethnic diversity and the origin of many of its inhabitants (exrefugees in Costa Rica after the Civil War in Nicaragua), with a consequent territorial conflict. This, coupled with inequalities, lack of training and skills, sexism, individualism and violence, causes a lack of social cohesion that prevents the development of these regions. Added to this is extreme poverty, scarcity of resources among producers, low production and basically meant for home consumption, and the lack of capital for relevant changes. In addition, the natural environment is deteriorating due to poor farming practices that advances the agricultural frontier with the use of “slash and burn” (burning of forests for cultivation, instead of making rotational crops), and the very harmful chemical use.

Thus, the increasing in the cocoa exportations is one of the best ways to change the actual situation in Nicaragua.

Source: Trade Map

Disease against children

Noma is an easily curable disease but, regrettably, it’s fearfully reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it may be on the increase in various African countries.

Noma (cancrum oris) is an acute and ravaging gangrenous infection affecting the face. The victims of Noma are mainly children under the age of 6, caught in a vicious circle of extreme poverty and chronic malnutrition. It starts with ulcers in the mouth. If the condition is detected in the early stage, progression can be prevented with the use of mild antibiotics and immediate nutritional rehabilitation. If left untreated, as happens in most cases, the ulcers progress to Noma at an alarming pace. The next stage is extremely painful when the cheeks or lips begin to swell and the victim’s general condition deteriorates. Within a few days, the swelling increases and a blackish furrow appears and the gangrenous process sets in and, after the scab falls away and a gaping hole is left in the face. It is estimated that the mortality rate reaches up to an alarming 90%.

The WHO estimates that 140,000 new cases of Noma occur each year and of these, a mere 10% survive. That means that 126,000 die each year, mainly in sub-Saharan countries from Senegal to Ethiopia, a region known as “the Noma belt”.

Source: The WHO.

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