There’s a Perfect Storm Brewing over South Central Africa.

27 thoughts on “There’s a Perfect Storm Brewing over South Central Africa.”

  1. Well this is the best writeup/report setting out the realities of the situation I have ever read. Well done Mike. It should be sent to each and every President and MP in the region. Problem is that they probably won’t understand it as they have been placed there by friends and have no mental ability to comprehend the true. What a crying shame.

    Prayer is good, we have to continue to ask for those miracles, as that is exactly what is required. We have to have a daniel or Joseph experiance. These two guys were exalted to the top and with the blessing of God found favour with the Leaders of the day and were positioned to run the country. This was totally unexpecxted and divine. That is what I am praying for as without this miraculous intervention Southern Africa is screwed. We must be real and truthful. Screwed!!! Period.

    I for one will try get to the top to try effect those miracle as we cannot sit and do nothing.

    A great report Mike. I will forward to senior government member as much as I can.

    Keep praying!!!

    1. This is a very good article, thank you Mike. We try to stay positive here in South Africa, and despite the governance situations, South African people work quite well together.

      Myself and my daughter are starting a campaign to raise awareness of pollution and the importance of green belts. We will also be planting trees and vegetation. Especially in industrial areas and developing areas. We have started development on our first metropolis, which is almost complete, in fact. We want to asses this area and make sure that there are enough trees and vegetation to sustain the pollution that comes with industrialisation.

      My goal with this is to grow the team with South Africans from all different cultures and races, because together we can make a difference in South Africa.

      Mainly, I want to bring our people closer, we are a colourful nation and colourful is good. Our skin tons are human, and beautifully blended. We shine!!!

      Thank you for reading,
      Louise Croukamp

  2. And I couldn’t see any mention of the delays in the Zambezi – Matabeleland water pipeline or the facts that a) Kariba has only enough water to generate power safely for another 4 months, and b) the dam wall is going to collapse if they don’t get the remedial work on the spill pool moving soon.

    1. Thanks Richard – my opinion on the Zambezi-Matabeleland pipeline is that it is a fantasy that will never happen. With an electricity deficit how will any country afford to pump water up over that distance? How many decades has this been planned and its never happened? I have it on good authority that repairs on the wall are going to start soon. But the imminent collapse of Kariba dam wall is also one of those things that have been discussed for 30 years without anything happening. My article focusses on short term problems. What I left out was the long term consequences of this crisis. More uneducated people, a growing entrenchment of corruption, failure to build institutions with a memory and a history of good governance and undermining those that already exist, environmental devastation which has always provided an insurance policy for poor people who need to go back to their rural areas to feed themselves. As I see things now the only hope for revival is political change in SA so that Botswana, Namibia and SA provide a counterpoint to the example of Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent Zambia, Malawi and Moçambique. If South Africa continues along its current path then we are looking at a Congo-like crisis of governance, economic growth, institutional collapse and possibly violence for most of south central Africa. It may take another 20 years to get there, but it will happen.

  3. not even a mention of Mozambique.
    That’s pretty funny.
    Mozambique is a shocking country. It is a place where the citizens wake up in the morning and forage in the bush just like Baboons.
    Africa faces mass deaths through starvation caused by selfish and idiotic despot Governments. Complete unaccountability. Idiocy. Debauchery you name it.
    It’s a socialist crash ole and the inhabitants will receive what they’ve been working towards for hundreds of years.

  4. I pray that the right people read this article. It is frightening that no one seems to be taking any notice of things like the vast amount of wood being used for charcoal etc. It is also worryng in Zambia that so many new expats seems to be coming in from all over the world taking jobs that really should become available to young Zambians,. Do the politicians close their eyes to the amount of really young children wandering the townships of places like Lusaka with no access to education etc.

    1. Dear Mike,

      Well written, as most commentators have alluded to I doubt it that this good and informative piece will ever be read. Praying alone is not enough, but we need to flood summaries of such papers to our youth, our hope for the future.

      Sustainable management of our resources is the only way. I wrote a Thesis on the Middle of the road economic crises of Zombabwe instituded by.ZANU-PF, my fondings are obvious.

      1. Thanks John. I think you are right. The people who need to hear it either won’t or can’t hear it. They may as well be deaf.

  5. A solid report, Mike….. If I was directing you I would now want to highlight the outcomes being experienced today rather than projections. With your investigative and writing ability the next article on the role of the police, their efficacy and impact would paint o picture of what happens next and in fact what is happening today.. The rise of new political parties that rail against the mismanagement but don’t offer solutions…..will they eventually be perceived by the masses as the solution and what will be the result of a party, for example The EEF in South Africa that has no idea about policy and governance… might be a lot worse than you think Mike……thank you……..Iain

  6. Very good analysis! I do agree with everything else except the point made by Lynch. Does he/ she mean that skilled Zambians who have been working in the diaspora can not come back and help rebuild the country and pass on the skills to the younger ones? What are these new experts referred to? If it’s foreign expats then I agree. You see countries in the region being discussed have experienced skill flight. We train only for other countries to grab them……. Nurses, doctors, teachers, scientists e.t.c. We need everyone, young and old.

    1. Chileshe, for your information the professionals are leaving Southern Africa because of bad governance etc

    2. Chileshe
      There is a serious skill-mismatch in Zambia. Most technical and trade colleges have been transformed into universities as if “artisans” are not needed in our industries.
      Visit the road construction projects and see the number of Pakistanis operating earth moving equipment, Indoneasians working at FQML as bricklayers and Capenters, and the list goes on.

  7. excellent article, only thing missing is the taboo population control topic – UN states largest human population growth will be in Africa – the continents actual sustainable carrying capacity was exceeded years ago, sit back and watch africas diverse ecosystems being obliterated, can leaders with big brass balls please step forward onto the firing step and force change before its too late

  8. Has this article been seen by African intellectuals, what papers are being written about the environment from African universiries?

    1. Mark I hope it has been seen by African intellectuals – unfortunately African governments don’t pay much attention to African intellectuals. They’re more like to be imprisoned for speaking out. African universities have very little money to do research so most of us who work on African environmental problems are based at universities outside Africa. But we are doing what we can.

  9. African governance dilema or tragedy? Thats a cake baked by patriaco states which eventually become failed states. Euphemisim is the pot in which patriaco state broth is cooked mixed with ignorance the test of the broth is decieving. You are spot on Mike and one can say no more. Climate Change has been sung over and over with cocktails hosted but who cares? most African leaders are busy rewarding each other very sad indeed, this has lead to the brains taking a back seat as no matter what advice on gives carders bundles the Ideas out. Look at how we vote here chalatans take center stage and because of high poverty levels the belly takes center stage. Its not an insult but take a look at our majority decision makers ill informed and often assend to power or elected by chance and mob pshcology. Thats the price we pay and the status-quo iis bound not to change. What we need is radicalism but I am afraid no one at the moment is ready for that because those who can do that have recoiled into their safty zones. Unfortunatly even those to take over have the same syndrom you can tell from the people they have surrounded themselves with. Birds of the sme feathers flock together and with despararion to ascend to power people can use anything.
    Climate change is real and a development mechanism is in place that is Community forests Protection under REDD. For me the critical issue here is to try and manage and conserve forests to mitigate climate chnge. Seek first cilate chnge mitigation and the rest will be added unto you. Our scenario in sub saharan Africa is that desater is looming and we need to address this urgently and support or put in place mechanisms that will help.

  10. Thank you so much, Mike. As a 21 year old university student, and South African citizen, it is great to have someone put everything in perspective. Young adults in South Africa are either bred in ignorance or lack a strong example of what a good citizen looks like. I urge you to try and reach out to young adults, and university students especially. I think if the next generation’s intellectuals could be rid of outdated grudges and ideas, tomorrow might just be a little brighter. The silver lining of this whole screw-up is that young adults really really want to make a difference. The sad part is that this goes unseen by those in power.

  11. So 50 Years on, The Africans can not read or fathom an idea! If drought hits this country (Region) where do we go? We are born here. We will adapt. In Ethiopia in 1986, millions died due to the effects of drought. Today Ethiopia is a Lush Green country and the Famine is forgotten. In 1986, Kariba lost a Turbine and there was massive Power outages we survived. In 1991-1993 we had severe droughts and even imported maize from Zimbabwe and we ate Yellow maize from USA but today we are exporting Maize. We can not prepare for doomsday and stop living! We need to intervene on Charcoal burning, Massive Urbanisation and grow Environmental Awareness, that is true. But, not let us condemn leaders because they are African (Black) and we are wiser because we are of European (White) heritage. NO TWAKANA!

  12. ”When industry starts depending on cutting down trees for fuel, you know you have big problems. ” …

    ….Or maybe big renewable energy opportunities! The future belongs to those who make life’s bitter lemonade sweeter.

    ”“Although numerous studies on charcoal and firewood use have been carried out over the past decades, a vast majority of these studies continue to provide a regressive narrative on a “woodfuel crisis” that – despite significant population increase and increased woodfuel demand – never materialized in most instances and is also not supported by most recent assessments of woodfuel supply-demand simulations. ” remarked Klas Sander of the World Bank. In contrast, the value proposition of future research needs to accept wood energy as a genuine commodity and analyze technical and political challenges with a focus on solutions and opportunities rather than the continuation of emphasizing problems. ”

    1. Thanks for your comments. I’m not sure I trust the opinion of the World Bank on environmental issues. This is the same World Bank which is proposing to fund the Batoka Gorge dam and ignoring its own findings on the impact of large dams whilst sidelining the very renewable energy opportunities you mention. I agree there are good long term prospects for decentralised renewables. However the problems that El Niño may bring will focus priorities on food and very little else.

  13. Mike, thanks for your good experience and making it known.
    My biggest worry is the amount of contamination to all our water sources due to no future planning of sewage treatment. .

  14. Part of the frustration with an article like this, is the fact that there is a social dimension, little addressed keeping the politicians in their jobs which goes as follows.
    We tend to have a real population pyramid in this part of the world, whereby half the population is under the age of 15 years old..People tend to become politically aware in their late teens and early adult life. Most children are unaware of the struggles facing their parents when they are being raised, or the conditions prevailing politically in the country, until this period of political awakening.
    As a result, the only people who may be called upon to “remember when things were better” have to be in their forties. This, as you can imagine, is now an insignificant part of the voter-pool as there are statistically twice as many voters 15 years younger then they are who are eligible to vote, and who can be blind-sided by politicians as they were not around to remember when things were run better.
    There is this myth in Africa that “this is how it has always been”. This is NOT how it has, and we should expect better from our Governments and institutions, but the majority of voters are actually too young and naive to know better.

  15. Thank you for your ramblings. It is a much bigger picture than most of what is available out there. There iis so much focus on one or two variables when referring to the environment in Southern Africa and sustainable development , when it should be obvious that the key theme to be engaged is solution orientated BALANCE. Please keep it going. I hope more people eead your blogs and the right energy and focus spreads

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