Social Inclusion, Malawian Albinos, 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:
More than 20 years on from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, many of the country’s older people continue to be affected by it in new and troubling ways.
Hundreds of thousands of people lost relatives or were separated from their family members. They are now reaching older age. But where they would have had support networks, many are now alone, isolated, jobless and neglected. This has had a significant impact on the mental health of older men and women.
Social inclusion ensures people of all ages are treated equally, have responsibilities within their families and communities, and are able to participate in decision-making. This increases a sense of value in a person’s life, which can help tackle depression.
Several Malawian albinos have come out to talk about their harrowing experiences with merciless body part hunters who are known to sell albino body parts to witchdoctors.
In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, the survivors and relatives of those who were not so lucky described how their encounters with body part hunters left them with permanent scars.
For example, one couple painfully remembered how their 17-year-old albino son, David Fletcher, went to watch a football match at a local school with a friend on a Sunday afternoon never to be seen again.
Farming is unpredictable at the best of times.
Too hot, too dry, too cold, too wet or too windy are all variables that can affect crop yields.
And that’s not to mention the uncertainty that farmers face over the price they will be paid at harvest time. Indeed, a good year for production can mean a lower price for crops because of over-supply.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the stakes are high. For millions of African families, farming can literally be a matter of life and death.
The United Nations Development Programme on Tuesday released its 2016 Global Human Development Index report, with Nigeria ranked low at 152nd out of the 188 countries surveyed.
The 2016 Human Development Report focuses on those communities that have been left behind, despite development progress over the last 25 years. It recognises that in most countries, certain groups remain acutely disadvantaged. These groups, according to the report, include women and girls, rural communities, and persons with disabilities.
The report, which was released in Abuja, saw the country retaining its 152nd position, which it occupied last year, with a human development index of 0.527 out of the possible index figure of one.
Charities like Wetlands International Kenya, with support from the government, are working with communities in Busia to protect their wetlands, while helping them develop alternatives to farming like beekeeping and eco-tourism.
They are also planting indigenous trees and bamboo, and using papyrus – a wetland plant – to make baskets and sandals.
“We need to strike a balance between the population’s needs and the need to preserve natural habitats,” said Robert Sanya, head of Eco Green, a Kenyan charity which campaigns on environmental issues.
For so long, Africans at home and abroad have condemned the international media for painting a wrong picture of the African continent by paying too much attention to negative stories of hunger, war, disease, poverty, and ignorance.
As a matter of fact, the African media bears the greatest responsibility for prolonging and propagating biased perspectives and stereotypes about the African continent.
An agency that will ensure water access in rural areas is in the offing, the Deputy Minister for Water and Irrigation has said.
Eng Isack Kamwelwe said the ministry has already embarked on modalities to establish the water agency which would operate in rural areas to hasten government efforts in providing clean and safe water to rural people.
Eng Kamwelwe was responding to a supplementary question from David Silinde (Momba – Chadema) who wanted to know when the government would establish a rural water agency that would focus on ensuring access of water in rural areas as is the case with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).