The Wheelbarrow, development in Africa
Not so long ago I listened to a captivating development talk from Professor Hans Rosling from Gap Minders. He compared two pictures. An upright beautiful African woman with an African sunset in the background carrying a 20 litre plastic container on her head. The other picture, yet another beautiful African woman, this one pushing 3×20 litre plastic containers in a wheelbarrow. Each woman carrying water. Without too many words, he had made his point, the second picture showing clear steps towards progress and development.
Vad är då gränsen för att man ska förstå vad fattigdomsgränsen är?
“Jag tycker att den är ungefär så här. Det är att ha råd till en skottkärra, så man får hem tre gånger så mycket vatten. Så hon tackar den svenska industriella utvecklingen för kullagret. Det bäst placerade kullagret sitter i en skottkärra hos en afrikansk kvinna.“
Shortening time to collect water saves lives.
A recent article in MedicalXpress shows that more than a third of the world’s population does not have potable water piped into the home. In sub-Saharan Africa, that number jumps to 84 percent. The Stanford study analyzed data from 26 African countries, where it is estimated that some 40 billion hours of labor each year are spent hauling water, a responsibility often borne by women and children. The study goes further to show that shortening the time that women and children spend fetching water can save lives.
The value of a wheelbarrow in Africa can never be underestimated. Wheelbarrows are more than just tools to help with heavy burdens, they are forms of transportation, a symbol of progress and development.
I recently salvaged an old wheelbarrow that was destined for the garbage dump and made it into a garden feature. A gentle reminder of the toils of numerous women and a symbol of progress and development in Africa.
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