The Hazards of Immoral Investments in Africa Belayneh Abate

September 25th, 2014 Print Print Email Email

The African singers’ effort [1-3] to inform the world about Africa’s land robbery should be replicated and rewarded. I wish singers utilize their talents to promote humanitarian deeds like Miriam Makeba instead of using them to glamorize women’s breasts and men’s chests.

Watch out humanitarian singers! Words matter! The land snatching in Africa is NOT land grab: It is LAND ROBBERY. Although the land belongs to the people, the grabbers do not buy it from the people; they snatch it from the robbers-the slave tyrants. The slave tyrants sell the African resources for bribes, and brag about investments.

Although many have discussed the economical impact of these immoral investments, few have addressed their hazards. The hazards include immediate massive death, acute and chronic diseases including cancer, disabilities, birth defects, infertility, and mental retardation. These industry related hazards have been seen in Asia and Latin America.

After World War II, the economical and social structure changes compelled industrialized nations to expand investments in developing countries. Companies from industrialized nations rushed to developing countries in search of cheap labor and operating costs. Similarly, some developing countries competed to attract international companies. [4]

India was one of the developing nations that attracted foreign companies to invest since late 1960’s. A Chicago based corporation, Union Carbide (UCC), built pesticide producing plant in Bhopal, India. UCC’s operations were regulated in USA; but not in India. As a result, the Bhopal plant exploded on December 2, 1984, and clouds of fumes, gases, vapors and other toxins covered the land and the sky. Thousands of people died, and tens of thousands of people sustained serious injuries. The authorities tried to cover up and underestimate the dead since lives in developing countries have never been considered equal to the lives in developed nations. At any rate, the unofficial death estimates range from eight to sixteen thousands. Time Magazine called the explosion night “The Night of death”

The hazards of the Bhopal disaster were not limited to immediate deaths. The stillbirth rate soared to 300%, and neonatal mortality rate increased to 200 %. [5] Thousands of people suffered from eye, lung, brain, skin, and psychological diseases. People still die from those industrial toxins related diseases.

If these kinds of disasters occur in countries lead by elected governments that fear the voices of people, what types of disasters should we expect in Africa, where countries are ruled by irresponsible slave tyrants. What sorts of environmental pollutions should we anticipate in Africa where corruption is a norm; regulatory agencies are absent; healthcare systems are dysfunctional; and investigative journalists are treated like terrorists?

Foreign companies are salivating to invest in African precisely because they can buy the resources cheap, and they can operate under no regulations. Through these illegal, immoral and unethical operations, companies stockpile their profits; thieves amass bribes; but the African people contract industry related deadly diseases.

Africans are at risk of physical, mental and social disorders from unregulated working conditions and industrial waste disposals. In addition to injuries and displacements, Africans are at risk of developing acute and chronic diseases related to fertilizers, pesticides, solvents and other industrial processing material and waste products. Some fertilizers and pesticides cause skin, eye, brain, lung, heart, and kidney diseases including cancer. Many other farming and manufacturing chemicals are linked to abortions, still births, infertility, birth defects, mental retardation and cancers.

Some industrial chemicals dwell in the soil for decades, if not for centuries. Therefore, this unregulated bribe- based investment would further affect the health of future generations. In other words, the coming African generations will inherit the curse of death from the slave tyrants.

The heartless investors mislead naive people by showing workers wearing bright personal protective equipments (PPE) such as gowns and gloves. PPEs are ineffective for African workers for the following reasons. Firstly, PPEs need intensive training, which is unthinkable in a continent where literacy rate is dismal. Secondly, PPEs are scares in Africa; and thirdly PPEs are the least effective exposure controlling methods.

In summary, the Africans are at risk of industry related deaths, abortions, congenital malformations, infertility, mental retardation, cancer, disability and other chronic diseases. In order to control this insurmountable risk, intellectuals, religious leaders, journalists, writers, poets, singers, runners and others should expose the immoral-investment covenant between slave tyrants and greedy investors. Thank you.

End Notes: (All accessed on September 23, 2014)

1. Major African Music Artists to Perform Pro Bono for PLAD’s STOP Africa Land Grab Concert — Sunday, September 21st at the Warner Theatre in Washington, DC
2. Hanisha Solomon; Africa Unite
3. Hanisha Solomon,
4. Weir, David. The Bhopal Syndrome: Pesticides, Environment, and Health. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco. 1987.
5. Eckerman, Ingrid (2005). The Bhopal Saga—Causes and Consequences of the World’s Largest Industrial Disaster. India: Universities Press. ISBN 81-7371-515-7. (about neonatal mortality rate

Similar articles:
1. Land Grab or Land Robbery in Africa?
2. The investment covenant between slaves and masters.

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