Greeting AIDers and readers!

I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday!

While we are braving the colder temperatures in the Northern hemisphere the other half of the world is in the middle of summer.  This means the wet season for many tropical nations.  The wet season is a natural and necessary time period for the many Africans who follow an agricultural way of life.

However lately countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Mozambique have been inundated with more water than they can handle. The BBC reported on Monday that in Mozambique alone approximately 100,000 people were forced to relocate and the food shortages that followed affected over 250,000 people.  The New York Times reported earlier today that the most destitute of African countries, Zimbabwe, ruled by the corrupt and greedy Robert Mugabe, has suffered further damages to struggling economy by heavy losses in livestock and farms.

The flooding of tropical Africa is not an unheard of event.  Throughout history there have been cases of unexpected excessive rains.  Then, just as now there were flood victims, depressions to the local economy, and overall regional instability.  However in recent years tragic weather events such as flooding have been occurring at a higher rate.  In 2000- 2001 in particular the region suffered severe flooding coupled with rampant cyclones.

Following the 2000 flooding Mike Hulme reflected on the African plight.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2000/mar/15/mozambique.guardiansocietysupplement

The facts are that temperatures have been rising around the world.  With it we have seen an increase of violent weather; Katrina as an example of how Americans are directly affected by this.  There are those who will protest that a rise in temperatures cannot be directly held responsible for these events.

Global warming is occurring, although the causes of it are disputed depending on who you talk to.  Some say that the earth is bound to go through warm and cold spells.  History shows us that we have always waved back and forth.  This, however, is not likely the whole story.  The human impact on this earth is not invisible.

While we sit on the fence undecided as to whether or not global warming is responsible for an increase in these types of natural disasters, already impoverished people are being displaced.  Countries that already were unable to feed their populations now face even more shortages.  Impoverished countries with few rescue resources and money scramble to help their population.  Mozambique, for example, has one helicopter at its disposal.  Yet every time, after the floods, the people return to attempt to rebuild. 

The wet season is not over yet and we can expect to see more tragedies coming from tropical Africa.

“This place is our home.  We don’t know anywhere else” Domingos Manuel, Struggle to Aid Mozambique Flood Victims BBC News 1/14/2008

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