Aren’t our disasters ‘sexy’ enough to attract attention?

EVERYONE is horrified and saddened by the suffering, loss of life and destruction caused by the recent tsunami in parts of Asia and Africa.


As is often the case i

n most disasters, it is the poor and vulnerable social groups like women and children that suffer most.


We should all be grateful that the international community, including some African countries, have mobilised resources quickly to avoid further suffering and the spread of diseases in the affected regions.


The British public donated millions of pounds and put pressure on their government to give more.


The United Nations and multilateral financial institutions chipped in with some assistance.


Racing champion Michael Schumacher, footballer David Beckham, the cricketing community and non-governmental organisations came in handy while television stations — CNN, BBC and Sky News — still keep the disaster in public focus. That is how it should be!


One cannot help but wonder why such generosity and compassion for fellow human beings is not reflected in Darfur and was not evident in Rwanda.


In southern Africa, more than 160 000 people are infected with the deadly HIV every day. More are dying daily. Isn’t that disastrous enough for the same scale of resource mobilisation, compassion and media focus as we are seeing with the tsunami disaster? Aren’t our disasters “sexy” enough to attract attention?


Perhaps I am being too optimistic. Look, when disaster struck in that region, there were rich tourists from all over the world enjoying some fun in the sun. Besides, it is a natural disaster that happened at Christmas, a time of giving.

Ever wondered why animals were not affected by the disaster? Who told the animals to rush to higher ground?


Frank Chokwadi,

Harare.