Starvation and cholera: this is Zimbabwe, says Cathy

With courage, fortitude and profundity, Cathy Buckle provides an indispensable account of what’s really going on in Zimbabwe in her weekly email newsletters.

This Saturday she summed up things as follows:

In supermarkets, the majority of which are not allowed to trade in US dollars, the shelves are empty. There are no staple goods, no dairy products, no confectionary, no fast foods, no tinned or bottled products, nothing to eat at all. From all over the country there are first hand reports of people barely surviving by eating roots, wild berries, beetles and insects. Is this what the world’s respected Elders were not supposed to see and why they were denied visas to come into Zimbabwe?

Hospitals without disposable gloves, medicines, drips, bandages or disinfectant. Nurses who cannot afford to come to work. Toilets and taps without water. A growing cholera outbreak in all areas of the country with 300 people already dead. Raw sewage flowing in the streets of high density areas. Dustbins which have not been collected in urban residential suburbs since July in my home town. Men, women and children collecting water in bowls and buckets from swampy streams and murky pools. No soap to buy in the shops so no chance of preventing the spread of cholera by washing your hands with soap and water.

This is heartbreaking. Something has to be done. The world must act before any more innocent lives are unnecessarily lost.

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