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Water, Capitalism and Africans

Ubuntu is a Zulu word meaning “humanness.” In Pan Africanism we call this quality “humanism” but it is even more down-to-earth among the Bantu. You can find examples of what is called ubuntu thru out Africa, not just among the Zulu. Almost all Africans have some version of it. It is a quality which must be used to bring us together both as Africans and as human beings across this planet.

So I have begun my own quest for spreading it globally. On FaceBook, I joined Sherekea Clean Water Project to recruit everyone of my friends to join. Having clean water in the Motherland is important. I think it is a key component to bringing peace there and slowing the depredations of capitalism.

A few words about the most important substance in creation. Water cannot be found just lying around unless it is trapped. Gravity alone is not enuf to keep water in one place; it will evaporate or precipitate out of the sky. Water erodes the hardest stone and bursts the strongest container. Water moves; water is the substance of life and that is why it moves and that’s why it is the most precious substance on earth.

And movement is the inherent tendency of all living things. To defy the conditions of a life’s existence, to spread life as far and wide as possible, we kno that life just isn‘t possible without access to water. But aint enuf water on moon or Mars to sustain life as we kno it and love it. Whitey might be on the moon, but we can’t get clean, accessible water in Africa, the place where humanity and civilization began.

So after joining FaceBook, I started blitzing for folks to join Sherekea Clean Water Project. It’s quite an addiction of mine, and this blog has suffered for it. I apologize to my readers, who expect original stuff. Well, this is part of it.

Dranunculiasis or guinea worm is one disgusting parasite (see pic, below). It is a nematode which enters the human body thru microscopic crustaceans. There it usually matures and migrates to the foot, where it creates an ulcer from extending its head (scolex) whenever the foot enters water. However, the guinea worm can emerge from the eyes, lips, arms or any body part. It is extremely painful, potentially crippling. If it migrates to the brain, it remains dormant there in a cyst.

Well, that racist ex-prez Jimmy Carter suggests people use a rag to filter water to prevent guinea worm. This will never prevent disease and will doubtfully eradicate guinea worm. Why propose a rag when the US has companies like Calgon, Coca Cola and Budweiser which filter enuf H2O to provide clean water for Africa. Yeah, I sed it. Jimmy Carter is a racist who calls for a reactionary stop-gap measure! Capitalism is racist. It will not do anything unless a profit-motive exists. Jimmy Carter should call for clean water so women and children don’t have to walk miles. He should advocate clean water so that people no longer have to worry about river blindness, guinea worm, shistosomiasis, infantile diarrhea and countless other diseases! Jimmy Carter is not that stupid. He knows Americans aren’t that stupid. But as a liberal he is that racist, and so is America to stand for such a suggestion. I hate to call people names, no, that’s a lie… But anyhoo, let me break it down for you.

Unlike Jimmy Carter and other capitalist apologists, natural parasites have no choice but to behave the way they do. For eradication of guinea worm, the Carter Center has received $40 million at one time from just Bill and Melinda Gates building a $55 million total, yet not one water purification plant has been built from that money. Okay, there is the profit motive for Jimmy Carter. After all, how much loot does it take to supply everybody in Africa with a cheap, dirty rag? It is such a lousy idea, it just might work.

Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia or snail fever, comes from a nematode (actually a “trematode”) that lives in fresh water and penetrates the skin. It is estimated to infect 200 million people worldwide. The worms grow inside the body and lay eggs. Schistosomiasis causes fever, chills, muscle aches, anemia, malnutrition, and can damage the liver, intestines, lungs and bladder.

Dranunculiasis emerging from a foot.

Dranunculiasis emerging from a foot.

River blindness is caused by another water-borne worm in Africa.

Infantile diarrhea is caused because of water which hasn’t been distilled, boiled or otherwise purified. It is a leading cause of infant mortality in Africa, where women daily walk miles to fetch water for cooking and drinking. So not only are people dying because of poor water, they also suffer because of lack of access to water. It is estimated that 70% of all hospital visits in East Africa are because of water-related illness.

Stop military aid to reactionaries like Yoweri Musaveni and Paul Kagame, and help people. Yeah, I sed it. Whenever you have a bottled drink, from a soda to a beer to any of the zillion of water-based drinking products on the market, just think how the facilities which bottled your favorite drink could contribute towards building water purification facilities in Africa. So that people could be liberated from water-borne disease. So that people can enjoy sanitation. So that women do not have to walk miles away from home just to provide drinking and cooking water for their families. Think about that for a moment. Then do something about it.

Remember Malcolm X.

Complimentary post: The Economics of Water