Wednesday 18 September 2019

Starving people betrayed by own rulers

I empathise with what Kevin Myers has written about the situation in Africa, particularly in regard to Ethiopia where I have lived for four years.

Once again, it is a very distressing situation, but it begs the question, why, once more, are we faced with so many starving people, a scant generation later from the last famine?

It is a most depressing sight driving through the country and seeing the landscape so devastated and the people so poor due to overpopulation.

It would appear that many people who criticise the stance taken by Mr Myers have never lived or even visited Sub-Saharan Africa.

In my 30 years of living and working in many parts of Africa and raising three children there as well, my observations are as follows:

- Most countries have brutal regimes led by greedy leaders who seem to have no interest in improving the welfare of their people.

- Corruption is chronic and deep-rooted at all levels of society.

- There is blind loyalty to leadership.

- There is an unwillingness from African leaders to criticise other African leaders.

- It is African governments who let their people down.

So, where does that leave us? The Irish people have always been a generous people and no doubt will continue to be so.

I have great admiration for certain NGOs and Irish missionaries and the roles they have played at community levels.

But I remain cynical overall and I confess that I do not know all the answers.

The big question is how to get the funds necessary for African development to the ordinary people?

DEIRDRE GRIFFIN

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA

Kevin Myers' article is both courageous and bluntly truthful. The long-term damage to that wizened baby we see on TV needs to be re-examined.

What happens to that wee mite who is protein starved and clinging to life in sweltering heat?

The future is invariably an agonising existence in a ghetto-refugee camp totally dependent on aid from Western agencies.

Your inner cities have managed to spawn an entire culture of knife-wielding thuggery -- imagine what horrors African refugee camps will produce?

DUNCAN MITCHELL

NAIROBI, KENYA

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