SO 206 week 6 assignment photo essay – Poverty in Africa

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Poverty in Africa






Poverty in Africa

Figure 1:Malnourished children, Africa

Figure 2: Child slavery and suffering

Figure 4:Lack of basic needsFigure 5: Women receiving relief food

Figure 6: Lack of food Figure 7:Poor housing

Figure 8:Children playing in front of their house, Manyatta

Figure 9:rural areas Figure 12: A smile of appreciation for the fistula foundation!

Figure 10 and 11: SOS Children’s home

Poverty is the state of having little or no money or little possessions. These can be economic,material, intellectual among several others. In this aspect poverty is seen as an inability to acquire the basic needs of an individual among other individual needs including food, shelter, clothing, accessible healthcare, poor infrastructure and low levels of education.According to the recent studies conducted throughout the world,seventy five percent of the world’s poorest states are found within Africa.These countries are listed to include the following; Liberia, Zimbabwe, Democratic republic of Congo, Somalia among several others. The term extreme poverty is used to define humans living below the poverty line(United Nations, 2012).

The poverty line is defined as any income below $1.25 per day. According to the World Bank, four hundred and fourteen million people were in this state in the year 2010. This accounted for approximately forty seven percent of all those living in that region at that time. This goes to say how bad the state is in those involved countries especially sub Saharan Africa.This explains why most cases of malnutrition and under nutrition. It is estimated that one in every three inhabitants especially of the states listed above are undernourished(World Bank, 2012).

It is further estimated that approximately five hundred and eighty nine million individuals in the entire continent live without electricity with majority of the population relying on wood, paraffin, solar, charcoal and biogas fuels in order to make their meals since these are the most affordable forms of energy. More than fifty percent of the inhabitants have no access to clean water. This leads to seasonal and persistent waterborne diseases such as cholera, bilharzia, and dysentery. Most deaths seen in the region are seen due to these water borne diseases which can be averted easily with the supply of clean domestic and industrial water for human consumption. Because of the high levels of poverty, the rates of education are thus markedly reduced. This leads to increased incidences of early marriages affecting mostly young girls and women and therefore the level of education is much lower in women as compared to men. The low level of education therefore makes these women more prone to contracting diseases such as HIV and AIDS. The high level of ignorance also makes them less aware of immunization schedules for their children once they deliver and the correct channels to take for a successful pregnancy with the best outcome.This explains the high maternal mortality rates and neonatal mortalities.Some of the children, especially those under the age of five die because of lack of access to healthcare centers especially from vector borne diseases such as malaria (Fosu, Mwabu and Thorbecke, 2009).

There are several organizations based either within Africa or outside the continent who work tirelessly to alleviate this social problem.These include organizations such as SOS Children’s’ village,Kids in Distressed Situations, International Rescue Committee, Interaction, International child care,Fistula Foundation among several others.The organizations of interest are the SOS children’s’ Village and the Fistula Foundation. The Fistula foundation is a non-governmental organization that donates funds and caters for obstetric fistulas. A fistula is an abnormal passage from one body cavity to another.Most obstetric fistulas occur at childbirth during obstructed labor. These then make those women to suffer from urine incontinence, which can then permanently destroy the woman’s life. With constant leakage of urine from their bladder,these women suffer from persistent smell with lack of control.The husband and relatives then shun her which may lead to marital issues and ultimately separation. A repair of this condition to these women without any financial help is close to impossible because of lack of funds.This is where the fistula foundation literally performs a miracle(United Nations 2012).

The SOS children’s’ village provides homes for abandoned children and those without any form of parental care. They literally create a new habitat for these children and transform their lives. They then give them education and bring them up as their own children. They offer protection, take care of those affected by HIV, malnutrition, family conflict, extreme poverty and disasters. The final photo was taken in one of their homes, it touches the soul(Gachocho, 1999).


Fosu K. A., Mwabu M. G., Thorbecke E., 2009, Poverty in Africa:Analytical and Policy. Perspectives, University of Nairobi Press

Gachocho M., 1999, Urban Poverty in Africa:Selected Countries Experiences, U.N Habitat.Schroeder R., Broch-Due V., 2000. Producing Nature and Poverty in Africa. Nordic Africa Institute.

United Nations 2012.Millenium Development Goals Report. U.N Habitat

White H., Killick T., Kayizzi-Muregwa S., 2001, African Poverty at the Millenium: Causes, Complexities, Challenges. World Bank publications

World Bank,2012,World Development Report 2011:Conflict, Security and Development. World Bank publications

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