Children of the Ambororo nomadic tribe in south Darfur carrying water in plastic containers for their families. Juba, Sudan
Photo Credit: UN-HABITAT
In my article 2007 article FOKO and the Burning Forests of Madagascar, I criticized the misguided efforts of FOKO, four Malagasy bloggers whose mission was to help the people from Madagascar improve their quality of life without destroying the rain forests.
I pointed out that unless their program resulted in fewer births, their efforts would be futile. I wrote:
What Madagascar and in general Africa desperately, humanely, precisely needs is less medicine and food and more sterilizations. With fewer people, they just might be able to get by with their meager resources.
The trouble with truth is that it sometimes hurts. Instead of addressing the problem, ignorant people lash out at the messenger. One of the bloggers involved with the FOKO project, Lova Rakotomalala, told her readers to ignore my "message of hate."
The Malagasy dwarf Hippo Blog, Do not associate FOKO with your misguided agenda.
One misguided website used the name of our project and our banner to make the very sad and idiotic point that Madagascar and Africans in general would be better served if our people were sterilized. the author figures that somehow that would be the solution for ending deforestation and health care problems. All of you have figured that this person's diatribe is not worth spending more of your time. We also thought so. However, we could not stand the fact that our new cherished project would be associated indirectly with a message of hate, an insult to all Africans and mankind in general. Advocating for letting Africans die is not acceptable and we will not stand for Foko to be in the vicinity of such idiotic rethoric. So we ask one more time that the author of the post removes our name and our banner from his website. If as he claims, he really cares about Africa, he would do us a major favor by just ignoring FOKO, the project we pour our hearts and minds into. We would gladly return the favor and ignore your incoherent perspective on Madagascar and Africa in general.
That's the problem when a white person gives advice about blacks: the easy thing is to ignore the advice, no matter how good it is, and hurl an invective accusing him of racism or hatred. Nowhere in my article did I write that I hate blacks; and in fact, backed up my arguments with citations and news articles.
I responded to The Malagasy dwarf Hippo Blog leaving the following comment:
In many parts of the world it is considered humane to keep the population of deer or bear or any species of animal to environmentally stable levels for the benefit of the animals themselves so that they have enough food and space to live well.
Of animal welfare people who wanted to keep them to a sustainable population size, would you say they hated animals? Obviously not. So why would you say I hate Africans when it is obvious that I want less misery and suffering?
The suffering of Africa is because its population is exploding with more people than Africa itself can afford to feed or care for. Africa does not need more Africans. Sounds harsh?
In any other realm of modern civilization, if one had an infected foot that threatened the entire body, there would be no hesitation in cutting off that which could kill you. There would be no cries or anguish that the doctor hated the foot, but rather loved the patient.
Africans: this will be harsh for you to hear, but just as a doctor has to be honest to save his patient: you are making yourselves and your fellow Africans miserable. The solution to not enough food and not enough land is LESS people. And just as the patient does not want to hear that his foot must be removed, you refuse to see that the proper medicine, the right solution to the problem of Africa, is fewer Africans.
I do not say it because I cannot abide Africans, but because I cannot abide human suffering. How is it that I, thousands of miles from all that misery, feel the pain of Africans, and yet you, you who suffer there, close your eyes to the obvious?
I have been writing for years that Africa will only get worse if we continue to send food and medicine. Now I learn that I have been understating the case. In less than a dozen years Africa will be facing a catastrophic shortage of water. At the present population levels the western world can barely keep up with sending food over to Africa; we certainly will not have enough water to ship over as well:
People & the Planet Blog, Freshwater: lifeblood of the planet
Africa also faces serious water problems. Currently, some 206 million Africans live in water stressed or water scarce countries. By 2025 the number will rise to about 700 million, as population continues to grow rapidly. Of these, roughly 440 million will live in countries with acute water scarcity (less than 1000 cubic metres per person per year).
By 2025 there will not be enough water for water-children, see photo above, to save Africa.
If over the next decade we, the US and Europe, continue to flood the African continent with food instead of condoms, then there will be an unimaginable humanitarian crisis of our own making. Instead of millions of starving Africans asking for our help, there will be hundreds of millions dying of thirst. Does not wanting that to happen make me a hateful racist? If so, then there is no hope for Africa.
Fortunately, the FOKO website and their project is now dead, I have a Wayback capture of it here.