In the state of Borno, in north-eastern Nigeria, there is an uncommon war being waged. Teachers, students and schools are on the front lines as Boko Haram, an al-Qaida-linked jihad group, wars against Nigerian security forces purposed to defeat the influence of western education, the Guardian reported. This past February, 59 students were murdered in this conflict. World news has been virtually silent.
Ten days ago, forces broke into a schoolhouse in Chibok, Nigeria and kidnapped 200 school girls during their exam. Thirty of the girls managed to escape while the rest disappeared as captives into the Nigerian forest. Parents racing to find their daughters before dark were unassisted and still the world news is virtually silent on this abduction but fixated on the ferry tragedy in South Korea. The indifference to humanity in Africa is glaring.
The indifference is not new. It was not so long ago that vital aid was provided to Africa with the pesticide dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (“DDT”). DDT wiped out malaria here in the U.S. and was impacting the malaria epidemic in Africa until environmentalist Rachel Carson wrote Silent Sprint in 1962. Notwithstanding Dr. Paul Müller was credited with discovering its application as a pesticide in 1939 and awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine, the pesticide was banned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1972 on the hypothesis, not fact, the drug caused cancer and destroyed wildlife in Africa. The EPA says, “DDT is classified as a probable human carcinogen by U.S. and international authorities. This classification is based on animal studies in which some animals developed liver tumors.” (Notice the weak case here.) It takes more effort to open up a business in California than it does to institute a pesticide ban that virtually wipes out a population. I cannot make this stuff up.
By and large, Africa is disproportionately impacted by the unsubstantiated findings that DDT is harmful. Since 1996, a global ban has been placed on the use of DDT through the United Nations Stockholm Convention on POP’s (“persistent organic pollutants”) and now over 50 million, that’s right, 50 million, are purported to have died on the continent and 100,000 children die each year in Africa because DDT, now only allowed indoors, cannot be used outdoors where the mosquitoes actually live and breed. It is frightening to appreciate the complete disregard for humanity by those who worship environmentalism.
While every life is precious and my heart goes out to the 238 missing and the 64 confirmed dead from the sinking of the Sewol ferry, when will we also mourn for Africa’s dead children and demand the protection of those there who can be saved? Hello—are you there?
Photo credit: IFRC (Creative Commons)