Rural Law Enforcement, Rural Exodus and Other Reports
Every week, RuralReporters.com collate reports on development issues in rural Africa and its environs.
This report includes some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, blogs, and in-depth articles, carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues.
Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:
There has been another farm murder, this time in Glendale Heights, near Ballito, on the night of July 27.
The victim, 80-year old local farmer Bob Gawler, was a much-loved husband, father and grandfather.
This scourge must be stopped. Despite President Zuma having called for the re-establishment of specialised units within South Africa’s police service, rural security does not seem to be a priority. These attacks are not limited to commercial farmers. They include farm workers and surrounding rural communities and are often under-reported.
According to Eastern Cape Thuthuzela Care Centres provincial manager Mkhuseli Jokani there are numerous challenges in rural areas. Although they have ongoing campaigns through which they engage with the Department of Health and the Department of Education, people in rural areas remain unaware of the services available to them and are still not coming forward to report their cases and access help.
“In some instances families resort to a gentleman’s agreement, which is basically a discussion of rape cases at home rather than in court, generally resulting in the withdrawal of charges. The most critical part is people in rural areas believe in following their customs and traditions, and so some cases of rape end up being discussed in traditional councils by traditional leaders without the intervention of the relevant government departments,” Jokani said.
In a country where about 45 percent of the 28 million people live in rural communities miles from health clinics, with no reliable form of transportation, the government began deploying thousands of CHWs in 2016 to bridge the gap in access to health services. Trained in basic health care, the CHWs assist in emergencies and also — as important — take steps to prevent those emergencies from happening.
“We believe,” said Nathaniel Ebo Nsarko, who heads Ghana’s chapter of the One Million Community Health Workers Campaign, which is helping coordinate the deployment, that “this is the answer to universal health — to send in people to their homes to engage them, to share what they must do and what they mustn’t do to stay healthy.”
A leading health figure has called for an increase in rural training for medical students, saying the experience resulted in more doctors choosing to practise in rural areas after their graduation.
“We found that the academic performance of students who trained in decentralised, rural areas was often similar to or better than those not involved in rural training.
“The experience also led to improved practical skills, higher confidence levels and better workforce retention of doctors in rural areas, which is critical considering our resource constraints,” says Stellenbosch University’s Professor Marietjie de Villiers who is also vice chair of the African Forum for Research and Education in Health (AFREhealth).
One of the many results of repeated drought in Kenya is that when crops fail, women turn to cutting trees to sell as firewood in order to feed their families. They make a little money from it, but say they have no choice.
But around Kobolwo, in western Kenya, men have banned women from cutting down the few remaining trees near the village, where maize crops have been decimated by the drought.
So Gladys Korir, a 54-year-old mother of six, and 50 other women have come up with another plan to survive: Using donkeys, they now fetch water from the Mara River near Kobolwo and carry it to distant landowners in exchange for the right to access their land to cut wood.
“We no longer have trees (near home). The few trees that are available are not supposed to be cut. My husband will not allow it,” Korir said.
Kenyans are eager to go home and vote.
According to agents who work for different transport companies, they have seen an upsurge in numbers of passengers forcing them to hike their prices, as established by Capital News.
Dominic Ondari who works as an agent with Guardian – a local company that operate buses that plies Western Kenya routes – confirmed that Kenyans are indeed travelling en-masse. “Many people are travelling up country. Since July 30th, we have seen an upsurge in numbers of passengers forcing us to hike our prices,” he said.
With just a day to the general election, the usual hustle and bustle in the city was no more. The parking lots were almost empty yesterday. Philip Ng’ang’a, a parking attendant within the central business district, said the number of vehicles in the city had reduced significantly in the past few days.
“The number of vehicles checking in for parking has reduced in the past one week, and the parking areas are almost empty,” said Ng’ang’a.
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, is championing the transformation of the rural economies of African countries as the fastest way to lift millions of people out of poverty.
“We have to make sure that agriculture, which is their basic source of livelihood, is made a business, not a way of life. I don’t believe that agriculture is a way of life at all. It is a development activity. This is where Africa’s wealth will come from if we do it the right way. Agro industrialization has to play a very big role in what we do,” he said.