I am writing to the response of an article called “Life is so hard” which was in your paper on Tuesday last week. The response in question was written by I. Amok. I found the letter to be misleading and some of his points and views are not necessarily true or supported by statistical evidence or case studies.The comment Mr Amok made in the first paragraph about “Poverty isn’t that bad.
Only a few people are really poor” is quite false. These people in Africa aren’t even getting the bare essentials that we humans need, like clean water and shelter. This kind of poverty is called absolute poverty.
Another comment that was made “There are lots of people in this country who are poor” this comment is true but it is relative to how poor African people are. This is called relative poverty. Also Mr Amok said, “Not everyone in this country can afford a car” it is not essential to own a car and is nothing compared to having dirty clothes and no shelter.Mr Amok then went on to talk about a safari holiday he had in Tanzania and he didn’t see anyone who was starving and the food in his hotel was excellent. He then went on to say “I am also told that they don’t have enough clean water, yet we had a lovely pool and the water was changed every day” the reason Mr Amok didn’t see anyone starving and didn’t see poverty is probably because he stayed in a posh resort which was far away from the real world in Tanzania.
The reason the hotel was so good was probably because the government funded it so they could attract tourists. This is not good because they could have used the money for things like healthcare and food, also they could have used their natural resources better instead of making sure tourists get a clean swimming pool every morning.The letter then goes on to say about “that its up to the individual to stay healthy” and “they should take the doctors advice and eat healthy food and stop smoking” this is all about the lack of education and bad governments. If people in LEDC’s were better educated about what to eat and what to stay away from then it would be all right but the government hasn’t got the funds and resources to educate all their country.
He then goes back to the absolute and relative poverty issue by saying their “housing isn’t bad its just different from ours” and “they only need rickety huts because the weather is so good” these people would have better houses but they have a lack of resources and when the weather is bad imagine what its like in a rickety hut.I couldn’t believe it when Mr Amok went on to say that “they’re always going on about droughts or floods, we had a drought in 1995 but we managed, can’t they do the same” I was amazed that he said this. The drought that we experienced in 1995 was nothing compared to what people have to suffer in Africa and South America. The drought we had we couldn’t water our garden.The droughts that these people suffer from thousands of people are killed from dehydration.
Ours is nothing compared to what these people go through regularly. Also to organise themselves they would need money, the poor countries are in debt so they can’t pay for raw materials and resources like our country can. If the debt was cancelled it could be a way forward to helping a lot of the LEDC’s.A couple of sentences Mr Amok wrote in his letter really shows his ignorance to the less financially worse people. As he says “There are only a few really poor people, there is no evidence to show poverty really exists today and those who are poor are poor because they are lazy” this is silly how can you say that poverty doesn’t exist, do you think people are dying of hunger and thirst for no reason. Also most poor people in Africa and South America who are cash croppers, which most are work really hard to get good crops, all their hard work comes to nothing when MEDC’s pay peanuts for their crops.
They then struggle to feed themselves and their family.On the subject of cash cropping and terms of trade, I. Amok said that “poor countries have a lot of land” which is true but your tourism hotels and resorts take up valuable land, so people can’t grow crops on them. Also he said “many African countries grow millions of crops, so why don’t they grow their own food and feed their family, nobody has to trade, it’s a free world” this again comes down to MEDC’s coming in and paying nothing for trading. Also they do try and feed their family but it might not be enough and they would need money coming in as well.Also people grow things like coffee and cotton, which they can’t feed their family with, so they have to trade with other countries.
Mr Amok talks about “How the British Empire helped these countries by buying what they produced and are still buying at a fair market price” for starters the British empire just used to take over countries and take their resources like gold and jewels, and persuaded them under their rule to produce goods like sugar, coffee and rubber so they could buy these goods at dirt cheap prices. I wouldn’t call 2 days pay for a weeks work for farmers in Tanzania growing coffee a fair market price, would you?Another comment Mr Amok made was that “These countries keep saying they don’t want free handouts, but they already owe us, the only way that these people can be helped is for them to help themselves” the reason that they don’t want free handouts is because it hardly ever reaches them and when it does some governments put it to bad use. There are problems with aid such as there are problems with distribution and aid doesn’t always reach the needy.Mr Amok is even culturally stereotypical saying that “they should stop having so many children and plan their families as we do, they should realise that over population is a threat to us all” not all poor people have large families and if they do it is because more children can help bring money in because they can work as well.
Also you haven’t got much to do when you’re poor so they can pass time by having sex!I am pleased with Mr Amok that he gives money to the NSPCC but he could give to other charities like Oxfam and Red Nose Day, even though he doesn’t like the television coverage the money does get to were it should go and that’s the poor people and don’t forget that children are dying in poor countries as well so if you gave to the NSPCC then maybe you could give for kids in LEDC’s as well. I hope that this letter has changed his views and any other people’s views on this debatable issue.