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Poverty in Zimbabwe

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Jon Doe

on 26 February 2015

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Transcript of Poverty in Zimbabwe

Poverty in Zimbabwe
South Africa's Role Model
Background/History
The Republic of Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers
Declared Independence on 11 November 1965, but it didn't gain universal enfranchisement and sovereignty until it was recognized in April 1980
According the UNDP Human Development Report 2013, Zimbabwe’s HDI value for 2013 is 0.492, positioning the country at 156 out of 187 countries
Estimate population of 12,973,808, with over 7,760,000 living in rural areas
In 2011, poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines was 72.3% of the population [1]
Zimbabwe's official currency is the US Dollar; due to hyperinflation, the Zimbabwe dollar became the least valued currency in the world
Main Causes of Poverty
The government demanded that all white farmers vacate the land or risk being arrested. [28]
The government’s land reforms dismantled the existing system of land distribution and severely damaged the commercial farming sector, which was an important source of exports and foreign exchange, and which provided employment for about 400,000 people in rural areas [27]
The land that Mugabe seized was given to “government ministers and other ZANU-PF supporters for their patronage”
Most of the laborers the land was given to lacked the knowledge and equipment to farm the land properly, quickly degrading the soil while production fell dramatically [4]
There was a mass exodus of most of the white population, who left Zimbabwe because of violence against them in retaliation for years of repression
When white bureaucrats and politicians left, it created a power vacuum in multiple executive, municipal and business branches that were filled in mostly with unqualified replacements or appointee's
Very rapidly roads, electricity, food production, hospitals/health care, sewage, water, and the judiciary all deteriorated due to lack of care or oversight
Water
Until the late 1980s, Zimbabwe had a functioning water system, with access to potable water for 85 percent of the population [2]
Most residents have little access to clean water and sanitation services [2]
Communities are particularly prone to outbreaks of disease such as cholera, malaria, diarrhoeal diseases and typhoid [3]
Most households in the region have to travel between two to six hours every day just to reach a safe water point [3]
Many residents said that the lack of household water forced them to wait for water at boreholes for up to five hours a day; one-third of boreholes tested by Harare Water showed contamination [3]
(Plenty of) Government Action/Inaction/Corruption
On paper, Zimbabwe is a republic with a presidential system of government, but is a repressive dictatorship for all intents and purposes
Robert Mugabe was the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980-1987; In 1987, Mugabe assumed the new office of executive President of Zimbabwe. He was re-elected in 1990 and 1996, and in 2002 amid claims of widespread vote-rigging and intimidation.
In the 2008 elections, Mugabe was "re-elected" after there was a run-off with the opposition party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai; when it became apparent the race would be close, Mugabe suspended the rules and declared himself president once again. [15][19]
Elections have been marked by political violence and intimidation, along with the politicization of the judiciary, military, police force and public services. [13]
Members of the opposition are routinely arrested and harassed, with some subjected to torture or sentenced to jail. [14]
Since 1998 Mugabe's policies have increasingly elicited domestic and international denunciation. They have been denounced as racist against Zimbabwe's white minority. [16][17]
Between 1999 and 2000, in an effort to regain popularity with the black majority, he devised a plan to seize property of the wealthy white minority and transfer it back to black ownership in a process he described as 're-indigenization'. This process did virtually nothing to benefit the average Zimbabwean, as most of the land was parceled to Mugabe's friends and allies. [18]
(Lack of) Health
In 2006, Zimbabwe had one of the lowest life expectancies according to UN figures – 44 for men and 43 for women, down from 60 in 1990, but this has since recovered to 53 and 54 respectively [7]
Zimbabwe was and still is one of the countries that is strongly afflicted by HIV/AIDS
One in five children are orphaned due to HIV/AIDS – making an overall number of approximately 1 million orphans due to AIDS in 2011 [7][9]
The health system has more or less collapsed. Three of Zimbabwe's four major hospitals have shut down, along with the Zimbabwe Medical School. Due to hyperinflation, those hospitals still open are not able to obtain basic drugs and medicines [7]
After a cholera epidemic struck large areas of Zimbabwe in August 2008, 10,000 people were infected; the outbreak was declared to be a national emergency [7]
Education
Zimbabwe has the highest adult literacy rate in Africa, which in 2013 was 90.70% [9]
The education department has stated that 20,000 teachers have left Zimbabwe since 2007
Teachers were also one of the main targets of Mugabe's attacks because he thought they were not strong supporters. [12]
School education was made free in 1980, but since 1988, the government has steadily increased the charges attached to school enrollment until they now greatly exceed the real value of fees in 1980 [7]
Half of Zimbabwe's children have not progressed beyond primary school [10]
Environment
Bibliography
http://data.worldbank.org/country/zimbabwe [1]
http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/11/19/zimbabwe-water-and-sanitation-crisis [2]
http://www.redcross.org.uk/en/What-we-do/Health-and-social-care/Health-issues/Water-and-sanitation/Water-and-sanitation-in-Zimbabwe [3]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malnutrition_in_Zimbabwe [4]
https://www.wfp.org/countries/zimbabwe/overview [5]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_in_Zimbabwe [6]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwe [7]
http://www.our-africa.org/zimbabwe/poverty-healthcare
http://www.everyculture.com/To-Z/Zimbabwe.html [8]
http://theafricaneconomist.com/ranking-of-african-countries-by-literacy-rate-zimbabwe-no-1/#.VOPc-vnF9WV [9]
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/09/25/zimbabwe.schools/index.html [10]
http://harare.usembassy.gov/zimbabwe_educational_profile.html [12]
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6566919.stm [12]
http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr92.html [13]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Zimbabwe#cite_note-3 [14]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Mugabe [15]
http://www.blackcommentator.com/51/51_zim_egbuna.html [16]
http://mathaba.net/news/?x=598608 [17]
http://www.plaidavenger.com/leaders/profile/robert-mugabe/ [18]
https://library.tulane.edu/journals/index.php/TJIA/article/download/135/129 [19]
http://allafrica.com/stories/200803190031.html [20]
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880999001565 [21]
https://openlibrary.org/books/OL3291142M/Zimbabwe [22]
http://rainforests.mongabay.com/20zimbabwe.htm [23]
http://www.thestandard.co.zw/2013/04/07/zimbabwes-river-system-heavily-polluted/ [24]
McCracken, Kevin, and David R. Phillips (2012). "Global Health: An Introduction to Current and Future Trends", p. 234. Routledge, New York. [25]
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/aug/01/zimbabwe-food-shortages-aid [26]
http://www.ruralpovertyportal.org/country/home/tags/zimbabwe [27]
http://www.economist.com/node/9475943 [28]
Food
Zimbabwe is faced with recurring droughts [22]
Misguided resettlement programs by the government have resulted in environmental degradation and soil erosion, while reducing agricultural yields. [21]
Deforestation and woodland degradation, combined with over-grazing and agriculture, have led to further erosion, which is causing desertification in some areas. [23]
One of the major origins of water pollution is Zimbabwe’s mining industry; although it is a profitable method of income for Zimbabwe, it is responsible for the many causes of water pollution. [6]
During the process of mining, small amounts of zinc, iron, nickel, copper and cobalt metals are released into the environment; an excessive amount of these metals in water deteriorates the health of humans and animals [6][24]
Culture/Society
At the independence of Zimbabwe, the whole governing structure and almost all of the available jobs were taken by the Shona majority, at the cost of the Ndebele minority
Before and well after Mugabe's rise, there was a sustained, methodical series of attacks and murders of farmers to instill fear and drive them off of their land
When black laborers were unable to successfully cultivate farms, many of them abandoned their land and went to cities to look for jobs
A decade of political turmoil and high levels of unemployment (estimated at more than 60%) hinder large-scale foreign investment [26]
Water
Main Causes of Poverty

Formerly the "Bread Basket of Africa", now survives off of subsistence farming
Mugabe ordered the seizure of white-owned farms in 2000, which lowered the agricultural production, thus lowering the internal economy of Zimbabwe and access to food [4]
Cereal production in Zimbabwe has fallen by 67% since 1999-2000, according to the WFP
The ZimVAC report identified approximately 6 percent of the rural population—equivalent to 565,000 people—will be in need of food assistance between January and March 2015 [5]
Due to Zimbabwe's chronic and persistent rates of undernourishment, one third of Zimbabwe’s children are stunted, or short for their age [5]
Agricultural production in general has suffered as a result of weak support services and severe shortages of essential inputs such as seeds, fertilizer and fuel. In drier areas water scarcity is a major challenge for farmers. [27]
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