Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Living Off Rats to Survive in Zimbabwe

My father grew up under Nazi occupation in Greece and remembers villagers being so hungry and desperate that they picked lice out of their hair and ate them in order stay alive.

Jeff Koinange is a prescient journalist--his reports from the African continent are among the finest aired in our country--and he bravely and consistently works to impart attention to the poorest regions of the world. Countries afflicted with "stupid poverty", as Bono calls it.

In his latest piece for CNN, Koinange unveils how citizens of Zimbabwe are eating rats because their food supply has evaporated:

Living Off Rats to Survive in Zimbabwe

By Jeff Koinange

(CNN) -- Twelve-year-old Beatrice returns from the fields with small animals she's caught for dinner.

Her mother, Elizabeth, prepares the meat and cooks it on a grill made of three stones supporting a wood fire. It's just enough food, she says, to feed her starving family of six.

Tonight, they dine on rats.

"Look what we've been reduced to eating?" she said. "How can my children eat rats in a country that used to export food? This is a tragedy."

This is a story about how Zimbabwe, once dubbed southern Africa's bread basket, has in six short years become a basket case. It is about a country that once exported surplus food now apparently falling apart, with many residents scrounging for rodents to survive.


Jeff Koinage's CNN bio:

No comments: