Saturday, 23 April 2016

Clean water and Sanitation- What about women and girls in war zones?

For more than three decades Africa  has been in serious  war challenges  due  to various  political  , social and economic reasons. Many people have died in the whole  war and  cheap military drama . Have we ever thought as a continent   about the plight of women and girls in war zones? Women due to the nature of their creation    require a maximum  of two times bath a day . I don’t imagine a war situation giving such  a  chance to our women running away  with their lives  from war zones. They will be no time and even that dirty water to bath what more of toilets and sanitary pads in   war bases and bushes.

This article is written by Mbizo Chirasha

 women and girls in war zones
Picture by nairaland.
It had been a tough time for Chibok girls in Nigeria , those   kidnapped by the BokO haram, Sudan and DRC are other examples  of such   challenges .
Women are human species that require maximum hygiene and care.
In Sudan they travel miles and miles through stretching deserts to Algeria and other countries to seek refugees and peaceful lives . Some do not reach the intended destinations due to the challenges mentioned above. Most of them will use bush leaves as  sanitary pads during their menstrual cycle  and wash  their  with  long-time stagnant water  resulting into serious diseases like cervical cancer  , bilharzia and other . Some of these   water bodies contain poisonous gases emitted by industry during peaceful times. The health of women is  at stake  and some die because of  thirstiness , dehydration and heat waves because of changes in climatic patterns that have been caused by various negative effects in  the atmosphere that  also  include deforestation and the use of   fossil fuels and impact  on the ozone layer hence  climatic  and weather problems. Other war refugees are flooded by   raging   floods due cyclones, especially when they flee from war during the rainy season. Climate might also be   one most affecting challenge or  major factor in  the situations of war , because most people will be always travelling and mostly outdoors because their shelters would have  been destroyed by war.
Several young girls and women in Chad and Central died because of various water borne diseases, dehydration     and other  ailments . Diseases  like dysentery ,  cholera , diarrhoea , tuberculosis  and cervical cancer are   endemic in  these war zones due to air pollution, poor water  and the absence  decent  sanitation facilities.
In  Beitbridge , the border capital of Zimbabwe . Young women and girls running away  from the  sweating economy also suffer the same fate  as  their counterparts  in warzones of west , east and central Africa. The women in gold panning communities of  Zimbabwe like kadoma , shurugwi  , kwekwe and bindura suffer the same brunt as well as others. The water they use in severely polluted by chemicals used in sifting gold . Thus the water they bath and drink   . Sanitation pads are rare in such areas for those areas do not have proper infrastructure for health  of well being . Zimbabwe is in  an economic war that even vendors  in cities and mothers /girls  in villages  do not afford sanitary pads. So imagine if this happens   in such at least better areas what about areas in critical war conditions. Unicef  and International  Migration Organization are always at  a difficult spot  because they cannot catch up with  everyone especially deserters who run away  from  both political , religious and economic wars. So the victims will die without any help   and unknown and we loose precious lives.
Its time  to think  how we need to stop  and eradicate  war zones forever and mostly these wars are perpetrated by fossil fuel barons , mostly oil barons who cash  with oil  and invoke  wars that are endless. The United Nations Assembly should move a step forward in taking these concerns seriously.  We have a Women body in the United Nations which should be able to find measures to protect women and girls  in political , military, religious and economic warzones.
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