Friday, October 17, 2008

Time To Do The Right Thing - Zimbabwe Civil Society
By Ephraim Nsingo
HARARE, Oct 17 (IPS)

- At least 5,000 people are expected to gather inChitungwiza today to demand improved access to water, sanitation and healthservices as part of the Stand Up, Take Action Against Poverty campaign.The event in this sprawling satellite town about 30 kilometres south ofHarare is under the auspices of the National Association of Non-GovernmentalOrganisations (NANGO), which brings together all humanitarian and civilsociety organisations registered in Zimbabwe.Because of the political polarisation in Zimbabwe, this year the Campaignhas chosen to reach out to the population through a seemingly neutralagenda -- environmental sustainability. Hundreds of schools and corporateorganisations have already been recruited to take part in tree plantingevents.This campaign, coordinated worldwide by the Global Coalition AgainstPoverty, has long been active in Zimbabwe. The results on the ground havehowever not been so encouraging. Poverty continues to ravage the southernAfrican nation, once referred to as the breadbasket of Africa. Close to halfof Zimbabwe's 12 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.Set to feature prominently in this year's activities is the water situation,which has deteriorated unabated in Harare and other major centres. Theever-worsening humanitarian conditions, the country's world-record inflationof 231 million percent, and the plight of orphaned and vulnerable childrenwill also be under the spotlight."Zimbabwe is no exception to the scandalous condition of poverty in anopulent world. At the event, we will stand in unity with the rest of theworld sending a message to our leaders that we can no longer tolerate theinjustice of poverty," said Fambai Ngirande, who is coordinating the StandUp and Take Action Against Poverty Campaign. He is also the advocacy andpublic policy manager for NANGO.

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