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South Asia Monsoon Crisis Presents An Opportunity To Learn And Prepare For Future Crisis.

by Open-Publishing - Wednesday 15 August 2007

Edito Water International Health Catastrophes Brian McAfee

by Brian McAfee.

Is the South Asia monsoon a harbinger of things to come and will we be ready next time around? The perennial monsoon floods that have devastated parts of Bangladesh, India, and Nepal are said to be the worst in 30 years.

The death toll has surpassed 2,200. meanwhile, the event has made over twenty million people homeless and has
resulted in massive crop failure, ensuring hunger, poverty and homelessness for millions of men, women and children in South Asia for some time to come.

The flooding is particularly dangerous for children. With many completely
cut off from clean water. Ingesting flood water was unavoidable, and
drinking and cooking with flood water laden with contaminants has resulted in widespread diarrhea. Diarrhea is one of the most deadly and common killers of the poor.

Aside from the three nations impacted from the initial monsoon, Pakistan has also been hit, though a bit later, with 22 deaths reported. The monsoon season goes through September and more flooding is expected. Some criticism has been lodged against the governments of South Asia, particularly India, for not having been prepared for an entirely predictable situation.

This years YEAR’S flooding could and should be a wake up call. With global warming
now an obvious reality and the gradual melt of the Himalayas, the rising sea
level displacement of people is a fact, and governments not preparing for it
can only be construed as cruel, selfish, or foolhardy.

The U.S., as the richest and most developed country in the world, has a
moral and humanitarian obligation to the poor regions of the world. The U.S.
should, of course, scrap their "war on terror", their its militarism that
benefits the arms industry, and solely represents attempts to control oil
and other resources
outside of the United States.

The war on terror should be replaced with a Global War On Poverty. A part of
a Global war on poverty would be troubleshooting predictable events like the
South Asia monsoons so that we would be fully prepared ahead of time. And
furthermore such a goal would
counter the current U.S. penchant for unilateralism. This new Global War
On Poverty, meanwhile, would involve all effected countries in dialogue and
activities for natural disasters. Other areas of a Global War on Poverty
would be hunger/starvation related issues, education, agriculture and

The regions hardest hit in India are the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh,
Assam, Kerala and Orissa. Forty percent of Bangladesh was flooded as well as
the southern part of Nepal. The apparent "Saints" in the South Asia monsoon
have been the varied aid agencies that have responded to the disaster.
Oxfam, AmeriCares, World Vision, among other aid agencies, are doing their
best under all too often dire circumstances.

Oxfam has been providing water and shelter while AmeriCares has been
providing water purification tablets and medicines to combat dengue fever, another flood related killer. These and other aid agencies have spread across the flood area, but more is needed and will be needed in order to address the numbers of people affected.

Related websites that I encourage people to check out are:
www.reliefweb.int , www.oxfam.org , www.americares.org , and www.worldvision.org

Please specify whichever project is the one to which you would want your money to go tif you choose to donate. There are, of course, other aid organizations, but whatever one you choose, you must do your
homework as some are less legitimate than others. in any case, please do try to become involved in some matter or other. your help is critically needed!