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Something To Ponder: Where Is Africa’s Dump Site?

  • 3 min read

For years, African countries have been complaining about the dreadful actions carried out by the industrialized world on the African soil. From electronics to atomic waste material, these countries will load ships and send them to dump their unwanted waste on the African territory.  Sometimes, these waste material will be disguised as cheap refurbished machines, computers, and such which have been sent to Africa to be disposed of at a seemingly cheaper price. Unfortunately, few African governments have the clout to say no to these dumpers and send their rubbish back to where it came from.

Lately, our continent has become the dumping site for unwanted foodstuff, quite literary taking over our own home-grown products. The results? Farmers who cannot sell their produce, sometimes and often lower quality products like cheap and low-quality fertilizers that degrade our soil are sold at high prices. This results in locally produced food becoming expensive meaning the people have to dig dipper in their pockets to afford what was more easily available locally only a few years ago. A case in point is the currently alleged dumping of chicken in Namibia and South Africa.

According to the South African Poultry Association (SAPA), the rate at which the insidious dumping of chicken from Brazil is spreading in Namibia is alarming. The association has come out in support of Namibia’s efforts at resisting the dumping of chicken from Brazil. SAPA claims that the once-thriving chicken industries in other African countries have been wiped out by this intentional predation. What this means in simple terms is that, in some other African countries, the farmers can no longer profit from selling their home-grown chicken because the market has been flooded with the Brazillian chicken. This, SAPA feels is something that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency by Southern African countries who should stand together against this onslaught from Brazil.  The South American country is one of the biggest exporters of chicken in the world and is now targeting the Southern African region with bulk exports of its unwanted chicken.

The problem as I see it is that chicken is just one of the products being dumped on us. Other countries have been complaining that their farmers have sugarcane rotting in the farms because local sugar producing factories can no longer compete with the sugar coming from outside, maize millers cannot buy from the farmers because they are getting cheaper maize from outside which governments are buying instead of buying from their own farmers. The rice farmers also have nowhere to take their produce because the imported rice is flooding the local markets.

The sad thing is that politics, corruption, and greed are at the root of all this evil. Those in high places, the untouchables with connections are the few who are holding the lives of the majority at ransom. They enrich themselves through well-organized cartels while literary condemning the majority of honest, hardworking farmers and their families to poverty.

SAPA is right. South Africa and Africa have to stand up and say no to being turned into the dumping ground for the rest of the world. When everyone looks on our land as a dumping site, where do we take our stuff that we need to dump?