Can you hear my cry?

Macdonald Chirara

I have been crying for so long. Please wake up from the stupor of greed, my children, and see what you are doing. Your atomic bombs have laid waste to billions of precious lives, even the most fragile life forms and micro-organisms, across vast swathes of silent desert and open ocean. You have cut down and set fire to my flesh and poured toxins all over my body.

You have sliced me out to search for fossil fuels, gold and bauxite. Your Industrial Revolution saw the large-scale use of fossil fuels for industrial activities. More and more land that was covered with vegetation has been cleared to make way for your houses.

All this has contributed to a rise in greenhouse gases in my atmosphere.

Your nuclear power plants and factories of chemicals and steel have released radioactive waste into my waters and poisoned me. My body reeking and twisting with pain has brought forth storms and tornadoes, floods and hurricanes. I am a living earth and my quakes and volcanoes express my life-force and my pain.

In North Africa, the 2001 disastrous flood in northern Algeria resulted in about 800 deaths and economic loss of about $400 million. In Mozambique, the 2000 flood (worsened by two cyclones) caused 800 deaths, affected almost 2 million people of which about 1 million needed food, 329,000 people were displaced and agricultural production land was destroyed. This affects me as much as it affects you.

Today I am suffocating in the deep waters of Zambezi and Nile. What terrible poisons have you poured in my waters?

Industrial wastewater, oil pollution, municipal wastewater, agricultural pollution, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, are being continuously dumped in water bodies. Aquatic life such as fish are also crying for your help.

I am now spreading to thin. Our fates are intertwined.