Of Zimbabwe: Final Report

The European Union Election Observer Mission presented its final report on the Zimbabwe July 30th harmonised elections… and their verdict is although the elections were largely peaceful and markedly improved from previous electoral processes, they did not quite meet the standards…..

So what happens next:
In a post where I tried to explain what consists FREE, FAIR and CREDIBLE elections, I also included how people placed unrealistic expectations on election observer missions, what they mostly do is: Observe, Document and Offer recommendations, they do not have legislative authority to do anything else.

Priority Recommendations

  1. ZECs independence needs to be strengthened, free from governmental oversight in the approval of its regulations.
  2. ZEC must provide effective and timely information on all steps of the electoral preparations, making all information of public interest, including ZEC resolutions and verifiable polling station level results, immediately and easily accessible.
  3. Voter registration needs to be enhanced in “under registered” districts of the country to ensure universal and equal suffrage.
  4. Legal measures should be introduced to mitigate abuse of the advantage of incumbency and abuse of state resources
  5. State-owned media must abide by their legal obligation to be impartial and provide equitable treatment to all political parties and candidates.
  6. The results management process needs to be more coherent and fully explained to all stakeholders well in advance of the polls in order to enhance transparency, verifiability and integrity of the results process.
  7. The process of aligning the Electoral Act with the 2013 Constitution needs to be pursued and completed.
  8. Develop regulation of political party financing to promote accountability and transparency and as a key step towards creating a level playing field between political parties.
  9. Procedures for the security of the ballot from printing, deployment to polling stations and on Election Day should be reviewed and procedures clearly announced for future elections.
  10. Multi-Party Liaison Committees should be a regular feature of inter-party dialogue throughout the entire electoral cycle, to be an effective conflict resolution tool for political parties and to provide an effective forum for reporting on non-compliance with the Code

And how did the state controlled newspaper react?

EU Poll reads like MDC script

EU poll report reads like mdc script MDC being the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change, which to date even after a Constitutional Court judgement on the elections still contests the results.
And besided who needs EU EOM opinion when the African Union Observer Mission to Zimbabwe issued a preliminary report which declared the elections largely a success although they cited a few “issues” and had recommendations they were also offering

Whats this all mean?
What do I know? I am like Jon Snow, I know nothing except that the democratic process in Africa has serious problems and these revolutionary governments need to stop supporting each other in bad politics and policy and patting themselves for doing things they as responsible governments should already be doing and they really need to pay more attention to their citizens, after all they are the ones who voted them into power if you will believe the polls….


“Aint nobody but ourselves that can free our minds”

~B

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Annual Blog Awards 2018

https://twitter.com/Beatonm5/status/1041247963153137665

The Britchy One nominated my blog in the best blog category of the Annual Blog Awards 2018…… ♥♥♥♥♥ I really dont even know what to say:

Best Blog 2018

This was a horrible choice to make. Initially I was overwhelmed because really – how DO you choose? I thought about HOW to choose rather than just having blog names gallop past and all became clearer. I decided to vote for a blog that changed me. One that opened my eyes to stuff I knew nothing about. That taught me about how lucky I am and what I take for granted. That taught me how there is a beauty in simplicity and of lands where beauty and chaos are eternal bedmates. That taught me how much impact exquisite writing could have and of posts that linger in my mind months later. There’s only one Beaton and he’s Becoming The Muse

Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

Nepali-Australians Annual Blog Awards 2018

I found this on Laura’s blog and naturally, I can’t wait to nominate the blogs I love so much too! It’s very hard thing to choose.. Pretty impossible in fact – but I wanted to both participate AND go a little further.

I’ve lost a lot of people in the last year and one thing I’ve learned is never leave important stuff until tomorrow. I don’t want to regret not telling people how I feel so not only will I cast my votes here HERE – I’m making this post about why I’ve voted for everyone I have nominated.

Win or lose, in my eyes it’s the nomination and the reason behind it that counts. I don’t follow blogs I don’t enjoy and these choices were hard. How do you pick only one?!

I hope you enjoy and maybe, see a blog you should take…

View original post 576 more words

Of A Website Being A Conversation

A website is a conversation

A Website is a conversation

Well if Code Is Poetry……Then A Website is A conversation.

I am a story-teller I come from a line of story-tellers  its in my blood we used to sit round a fire and tell stories and now, we gather round our devices in this digital age stories are immortalized on the pages of the internet, I start digital fires.

Screenshot (53)

A Website just like a good story, tells not just a story but it’s a conversation; it captures the mind, it engages your audience and they ask those four words every story-teller loves to here…. And Then what happened next.

So you have a website its perfect everything is on fleek. The design is flawless, the seo is optimized so is the device compatibility….

Screenshot (54)

And then what happens next? What comes after:

Screenshot (56).png

The internet is where websites go to die, buried in the digital grave of the information superhighway… Here is how you keep it alive:

  • Keep it up to date

Screenshot (57)

Have you ever visited a website only to find that content on it is all outdated?  Everything was uploaded and edited probably on the day the site went live and then never again. You scroll along, nothing new to see here, and they just lost a reader or client or potential stream of revenue.

  • Consistent content

Content is king

Schedule a content calendar, so you always know what and when you are posting.

Social media has changed the way websites are treated. Your site must be RELEVANT and  RESONATE with the audience and is also CURRENT.

relevant

*Cant find a word for current or up to date that begins with R

Whats worse than a site that is irrelevant and does not resonate with an audience …. Well I would have say one where you cant find the contact details. Maybe removed because they don’t want emails flooding inbox telling them how out of touch the site is…..

  • Contact Details

contact details

Contact details should be easy to find. If you include an email address, make sure it’s a working email address,  and please respond to your emails, you might want to even keep an eye on your spam folders too.

  • Interaction

Like I said a website is a conversation, and a conversation means you are not just talking to or talking at but you a talking with someone.

A website is a conversation

Make it easy to engage with you. Don’t add sign up procedures that require one to create an account and chant incantations on a full moon night, maybe howl a little, then verify they are human by making a small sacrifice……

A website is a conversation, engage with your audience if you get an email, reply, if you get a comment reply to it. You might want to have links to your social media visible on your website and likewise your social media pages points to your Website.

Interact

I visit a lot of websites, blogs mainly, the ones I keep going back to are the ones where I feel my presence is appreciated and will probably respond to the call to action from them, than have you ever read a post on a website and then left what you felt was a comment that needed a response and the site owners just ignored you… its like a blue tick message on Whatsapp.  And chances of me coming back or subscribing…. low

Here is protip for bloggers who want to build their readership, its ridiculously easy….When a fellow blogger reads and comments, go to their site and read and comment some of theirs. Read other blogs go out there and find them, read to see how other people write or interact with their audience, and read to find out how to not write, if you go to a website and find things about it that you don’t like then you learn to not do that on yours……..

  • Be classy

Make sure that your call to action is not over powering. You click on a website and the first thing that fills the screen is this:

Call to action

A large pop up window covering everything else, telling you to subscribe to the newsletter….. why should I subscribe when I don’t even know what you are about, I don’t want you in my emails I don’t know you like that, the conversation hasn’t even started……

I might probably close the page entirely without proceeding further, I really might and my chances of subscribing if I do proceed are slim…..On my tiny screen its easier to close the site entirely than to try and press the x to close the pop up window.

A Website is a conversation….. what does yours say?

~B

This was part of my presentation at the WordCamp Harare 2017 you can find my presentation slides here: A website is conversation 

 

 

 

 

Of Taking One’s Leave

large.jpg

saying goodbye

Why is it so hard to say goodbye? Separation anxiety is real, put effort in how you say goodbye……

You know how when the parent has to leave a child behind, they have to employ various tricks, cons, promises and sometimes downright threats.

Scenario 1 For the strong:

You ask someone to hold the baby. “Goodbye” you say firmly, as you walk away, not looking back not even once, you don’t turn around because you don’t want to see them breaking and because truth be told you really aren’t as strong as you are pretending to be.

little-girl-crying

Scenario 2a For the chicken:

You distract the child with a treat or toy and while they are playing you sneak out of the house and out of their lives (but not forever right?, only till you come back…)

toy

Scenario 2b For the chicken

You send the child to go play at the neighbour’s house and while they are away, you make your escape.

kids playing

Scenario 3 The Promise Breaker:

You tell the child “We are going together. We are leaving as soon as you finish bathing and put on some nice clothes” or “Go put on your shoes and we can go” And while the child is dressing you take your leave, child comes back and you are gone, and the water works fill the hole you left.

shoes

This scenario might be the reason kids grow up to have trust issues right there.

Scenario 4 The Bully

You tell the child you have to leave and they start crying you shout at them and tell them you will beat them, even threaten them with the branch of a peach tree as a whip, plus that you wont bring them back anything when you come back

Scary mom

Scenario five For the little grown up

You explain you that you must go but that you will be back and tell the child not to cry and they are grown up now you even entrust them with looking after the house and ask them what they want you to bring them back when you come back… when they tell you a pony, that’s when remember they aren’t quite the grown up you like to think of them as “ok sweetie ho about some chips instead

vector-silhouette-family-on-white-260nw-189150053

Of course all these methods are put into use depending on the age and ability of the child to comprehend language but one thing is always common you bring back treats when you come back.

Once we had real drama with a nephew when the child over heard the mum telling me that she would bring me “something” as a bribe thank you for looking after the kids. The mum comes back gives the child Charhons chocolate coated biscuits which is quite a level up from the normal sweets and corn snacks

charhons

but the child threw a tantrum throwing away the biscuits demanding that they want “something” too. Their logic was that if they got biscuits and uncle (that’s me) got “something” then “something” was better, bigger testier and more expensive…. Go ahead good luck trying to explain what something is.

After a certain age though the child understands that the parent must go and that the parent will be back, they actually understand a whole lot more too; like when you explain you cant bring them treats when you come back because you don’t have any money to spare, basically you have no money at all because the economy is….well no need to cause unnecessary alarm and despondency…

mother-daughter-goodbye

Just when you think you have dodged the bullet they reply:

I know how I can help you make some extra money, if I pull out all my teeth and put them under my pillow, the tooth fairy will come and leave me lots of money and I will give it all to you

Bless their little hearts

mother-daughter-welcome-home

~B

PS Which methods have you employed or been used on you and any alternatives I might have missed

PPS when you start dropping them off at school or kindergarten or creche thats a whole new level up…..

Day 26 Africa stories from home

 

 

Of Coffee, Combis And Other Things

If you were having coffee with me, I would greet you by fist bumping you, it’s not a new secret greeting, its just that well, we have a nasty outbreak going on. Reminds me of what one conductor said that he just might get a wooden cooking stick to collect people’s fares with.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the president made his first State Of The Nation Address at the official opening of the 9th Parliament.

Sonazw

justices

League of extraordinary justices

I have always wondered though, when they do these things, what is the purpose of inspecting the guard of honour? What’s with the horses, ribbons, the medals and whats up with the swords and the robes?.

dneye_puyaesfxn

dndlrktu0aa0wz2

Can the reason we have problems with democracy be that we are simply playing pretend at things we have no idea how to handle, simply doing what others did, no rhyme no reason no explanations?

If you were having coffee I would ask you if you had a look see at my last post about the public transport system of minivan taxis in Africa and the funny stories that happen there. This one time a fellow commuter said he did not have enough fare for the trip and the conductor said he could pay what he had but he would have to seat paKadoma and face the nation which is the space behind the driver and front seat passengers before the first row passengers (named after Kadoma a town halfway between Harare and Gweru)

pakadoma

When the gentleman was seated or rather perched by the spot, he proceed to buy a packet of Lays potato chips from a vendor. The conductor was not amused, saying if he could afford to buy nice snacks like that, he most certainly could afford to pay the full fare and demanded a full payment and of course that did not stop him from dipping his hands into the passenger’s packet of lays chips saying “who doesn’t want nice things

It might have been a hilarious episode but looks like commuters might need to start negotiating to travel with insufficient fare. Commuter omnibus operators are hiking the standard fare from 50cents to 75cents another indicator of the rising cost of living, or rather the failing economy, as the fuel queues start getting longer and basic foodstuffs slowly disappearing from the food shelves.

dntxi3uxoaiq7iu

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you how the government used the cholera outbreak to remove the vendors who had practically invaded the city streets. As I was walking in the CBD I was actually surprised that city could be this neat, walking on the pavements without danger of accidentally stepping on or knocking over someone’s wares.

harare

However simply forcing vendors of the street is not the solution, as its like the government telling them to Just Die and its no surprise that we now have a situation where vendors are now in running battles with the riot police. Walking in the CBD is now rather unsettling you never know what will begin where, wear sensible shoes, the weather forecast is tear gas with chance of running.

That’s  been my week crazy right, whats going on in your neck of the woods?

Here’s to an awesome week

~B

Day 21 of my blog everyday challenge themed Africa: Stories From Home

Photocredit Guard of Honour @globaltimesnews

Opening SONA OpenParlyZw

 

Of The Purge: Facebook Edition

I logged into my Facebook after a very long absence from the Blue Matrix and I could hardly recognise my newsfeed and the people on my list of “friends”

matrix

 

Why haven’t I been on the Blue Matrix? Well, I discovered WordPress 8 years ago and moved all my eccentricities to somewhere I could breathe, I write to breathe. While  I was figuring out the options to share my blog posts with rest of the interwebs I stumbled upon Twitter, I logged in and have never logged out.

The are two kinds of people Twitter People and Facebook people, which one are you?

pill

To pick twitter is to go down the rabbit hole……….

But who are all these people on my Facebook?

facebook friends

Looks like I went through a phase when I was randomly sending and receiving requests from anyone with a Facebook Account and an internet connection and have come to that moment that I realise I need to do The Purge. 

The Purge is just like an avenging dirty of old smiting down with righteous vengeance generations of sinners but this involves systematically going through your list of Facebook friends and “unfriending” all those who do not bring value.
It would be prudent for you to begin with the following people:

facebook unfriend

The People You Need to Unfriend on Facebook by ME

>1 The Serial Liker
The crazies out there; liking every status, picture and post on the internet. No one person can actually be interested in so many different things every single day. They could be a
serial killer trying too hard to blend in…….

>2 The Capitalist
People love to get and receive compliments on Facebook, but nobody likes that person who goes overboard about it especially those who use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS

3 The Serial Poster
It’s cool that people like to share what’s on their minds. But you don’t have to post updates every single time on every single thing, oversharing and crowding the timeline, maybe you should be on Twitter and not on Facebook or start a Blog.

>4  The Stalker
They comment and drop like on posts from 10 years ago, and ask you about people from back in the past they seem the type a google search away from winding up underneath your bed, naked.

>5 The Serial Inviter
Everybody loves cool parties and events right but nobody likes getting invited to “Help Clean Up Harare at 4 a.m. This Saturday”
or “Pinda muSmart: Rockin’ Abstinence and Circumsicion Celebration.

6 The Hustler 

This one never talks to you, except to message or tag you and generally bug you with links to supporting their hustle, by listening to their mixtape and watching their YouTube channel.

7> The Ghost

They are just there seeing all, reading all and never talking. Are they even there? 

 If going through your list and you come across someone whom you have no recollection of ever liking or commenting on anything you post and you go to their wall and find the only post there is your birthday greeting to them from five years, it’s probably best that you’re not up to date on each other’s business. 

N.B please also watch out for the FB friend you see everyday in real life who never posts anything but will come to you during lunch break and clap you on the back and say “I love the stuff you post”, what happens on Facebook stays on Facebook.

>8 The Zone Trespasser
You might also want to consider unfriending collegues classmates your Boss Your Lecturers your landlord, parents and anyone who you don’t want reading your private public social media life……

The Purge is a process it will take time but fortunately FB can make it easy for you there is a special feature that will each day suggest for you people you must unfriend or not unfriend,….. its called Birthday Notifications. Every birthday notification you get, you can get to decide who stays and who goes and in a year your Facebook will be streamlined to just the basic.
And if one day you find that somehow your friend count has dipped without you unfriending make sure you stop doing whatever silly things you’ve been doing on Facebook.
You are welcome…..

~B

Watch out for the guide on how to do a Twitter Purge…… coming soon.

Day 16 of my Blog everyday challenge

Of Nyami Nyami: A Zambezi River God

victoria falls

Bound not only by history and the majestic Victoria Falls; Zimbabwe and Zambia share the Zambezi river as a border between them including the common legend of a River God fabled to patron it, the Nyami Nyami.

nyami nyami

The Nyami Nyami  is a River God said to look something like a cross between a snake and a fish with varying accounts as to its actual size and appearance, I am surprised that no one has added being a shape-shifter to its list of abilities.

clip art nyami nyami

As legend would have it told, the Nyami Nyami lived under a large boulder that jutted out from the Kariwa gorge where the present day Kariba Dam wall was built, and any mortal foolish enough to venture close to there got trapped and dragged under water never to be seen again. This is how Kariba Dam got its name from the word Kariwa/Kariva which means trap. The Dam construction project might also have been explained to the locals as being a “Water Trap” to hold water from the river.

The Tonga people used to live a simple life sheltered from the outside world on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. In drought times the Nyaminyami would let the people cut off pieces of itself to eat, and no matter how much they cut, would never get finished. The name Nyaminyami could be from the Tonga phrase meaning pieces of meat: nyama yamaninganinga.

Then civilisation invaded in the 1940s. Shattering their simple lifestyle, as they were relocated from areas that would flood upon the building of the Kariba Dam and its Hydroelectric Power Station to supply electricity to Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Tonga folk let themselves be relocated but they held the belief that the Nyaminyami would never let the dam project be completed.

building kariba dam

Almost true to the Tonga’s expectations the Kariba dam project was plagued with unparalleled flooding of the sort that is supposed to be witnessed only once in a thousand years, but yet happened consecutively for three years

Eventually they would turn to the Tonga tribal elders and spirit mediums to intercede on their behalf…..

lake-kariba-dam-pic

The dam was completed in 1958 and started generating hydroelectric power in 1960.

Kariba Dam Opening

Sir Duncan, Queen Elizabeth at the official opening of the Kariba Dam on Tuesday 17th May 1960

its still generating power for Zambia and Zimbabwe today.

kariba electricity

The End?

 No, not quite. See when they completed the dam wall, they separated the Nyami Nyami from his mate. The earth tremors that are frequent in the area are a result of the River God trying to break down the dam wall and reunite with his mate. The Tonga people believe that one  day Nyaminyami will break down the wall and they will return to their ancestral homes on the banks of the Zambezi River.

Update: Someone shared an interesting theory with me that: IF the Nyaminyami is there we might be mistaken about its appearance (well, personally I think it shapeshifts) See, the dam was built by an Italian consortium Impresit and its highly likely they drove their Italian made Alfa Romeo vehicles. Take a look at the logo of the Alfa Romeo vehicle and tell me it does not remind you of some legend?:

alfa romeo logo

What do I think? I think that deep in the murky waters of the Zambezi there is some creature there, something,ancient, uncommon and unknown. I heard an interesting story about how separating the Nyaminyami from its mate was actually a calculated move, they did not want these creatures breeding, dealing with only two is trouble enough……

The Nyami Nyami River God myth or real, what do you think?

 

~B

Day 14 of my blog everyday challenge Africa: Stories from home

Photocredit www.victoriafalls-guide.net

Of Coffee in a time of Cholera

Of Coffee Outbreaks

If you were having coffee with me I would greet you by bumping your fist instead of shaking your hand. “Big Up” I will say and its not a rasta thing even though I will shake my locks and do a little dance.

fist bump

Big Up

beatonm5

We have a cholera outbreak you see, there’s some hand sanitizer by the door for your convenience.

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you that, when the label on the sanitizer says kills 99.9% of bacteria what do they mean and shouldn’t we walk around being worried about the 0.1% This hardcore die hard germ that is hard to kill like the main actor in an action movie of old but instead of being the good guy it’s the One  bacteria rule us all, one bacteria to find us, One bacteria to bring them all and in the darkness bind us all…….

hand sanitizer

Now that you have finished disinfecting your hands, try not to worry about the One Bacteria that would survive mordor If you were having coffee with me I would offer you some French toast, its basically toast that went to a French I made it myself its surprisingly easy to make I actually wonder why I don’t have it more often.

bakers inn bread

Too bad the leading supplier of bread, Innscor Africa Bread Company, Bakers Inn has increased their price for the standard loaf by 10% to $1.10. Trying not to be alarmist about it but is this another symptom of our ailing country alongside the shortages of fuel and other things?

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that we have a cholera outbreak which has been declared a state of emergency by the government. A lot of finger pointing is going on, as the responsible authorities toss the blame around each other, as if it’s a hot potato which no one wants to hold.  A cholera outbreak is a symptom of bigger issues; from lack of access to clean municipal water, to a broken sewer system contaminating wells and boreholes. People have been complaining that the government spent a lot of money doing “other things” and now require crowdfunding to help deal with the cholera outbreak showing their gross mismanagement.

dnhghorwsaulf_l.jpg

 

cholera outbreak

Harare City council blames vendors invading the city center to sell their wares at undesignated areas and have started a campaign to clean out vendors from the streets of Harare CBD. But in a country with 90% unemployment this is the only way some people can make a living and simply forcing them off the street is going to be an ugly mess after the city council had seemingly let them overrun the city streets, again another symptom of bigger problems with country.

harare vendors

vendors harare cbd

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council raid  harare cbdclearing vendors harare cbd

police raid vendors

If you were  having coffee with me I would tell you that the conductor in the public taxi I used today dramatically put on a pair of surgical gloves before handling the taxi fare people were handing him. He made a joke about how you never knew where the money you got came from and he did not want to catch cholera. People were even reluctant to pass the fares of the other passengers as they normally do; those at the back pass to those in front, till it gets to the the conductor. This time he had to stretch out and reach, people individually, I tell you, you cannot make this up.

How has your week been? Whats good whats really really good?

~B

Day 13 of my blog every day challenge Africa: Stories From Home

Photo credit: bakers Inn bread: OfZimba 16 interesting facts about bakers inn

Photo Credit Brezhmalaba

  Zppinfo visetinfo

Of ThrowbackThoughts: TV From yesteryear

Of ThrowbackThoughts

The first TV I remember watching was a black and white television set. The kind of TV that contained itself within its on wooden cabinet with doors that when shut would cover the TV screen. When you switched it on, the screen did not light up instantly it took several minutes while a humming noise was one of the tell-tale signs that it was on. If you were an enquiring mind such as myself and crawled beneath the TV you could see the capacitors light up through the ventilation slots on the belly of the TV while you waited for the screen to power on, first came the sound then later the picture.

Black and white TV

The first programme I remember watching on TV was a something called Button Moon. When I ask people about it, no one seems to remember it and I almost feel like I imagined it along  with its theme song:

We’re off to Button Moon!

And we’ve followed Mr Spoon,

Button Moon! (Button Moon!)

Button Moon! (Button Moon!)

The characters were puppets made from what looked like empty bottles with wooden spoons for hands, they flew around in a spaceship that looked suspiciously like a Heinz baked bean tin, with a funnel on the top and of course the moon was a giant button. That’s pretty much all I remember and I am fairly sure I did not much like watching it.

Then there was Worzel Gummidge, I remember watching this in colour. The scarecrow who came to life and got himself into various pickles trying to impress an Aunt Sally doll and Mr Crowman sir who would put him back together

worzel gummidge

worzel and aunt sally

“….a bird has two legs and a sheep has four legs… that’s about all the math a scarecrow needs to know…”

“you need more than a handsome head you need to be beautiful on the inside”

“but on the inside I only have straw, twigs and a robin’s nest.”

voltron defender of the universe

And then there was Voltron, defender of the universe. But of course most people are familiar with this one since our national broadcaster kept showing the reruns over and over again for close to two decades; that even the opening monologue (narrated by Peter Cullen the man behind the voice of Optimus Prime in the Transformers) is burned into my memory:

“From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend. The legend of Voltron: Defender of the Universe. A mighty robot, loved by good, feared by evil. As Voltron’s legend grew, peace settled across the galaxy. On Planet Earth, a Galaxy Alliance was formed. Together with the good planets of the Solar System, they maintained peace throughout the universe until a new horrible menace threatened the galaxy. Voltron was needed once more. This is the story of the superforce of space explorers. Specially trained and sent by the alliance to bring back, Voltron: Defender of the Universe.”

Young me found Voltron fascinating only the first couple of times then I started asking the question(s) why didn’t they form Voltron as soon as the bad guy’s robeast attacked them and when they did why did they not just form the blazing sword and chop up the robeast. Well obviously the cartoon would end in thirty seconds or less but what was the point if the good guys always won, you knew no matter how dire the situation looked they would win they always did.

It was thinking like that that also made me not care much for Captain Planet another favourite from my childhood. There’s a post on Life With Dimples with a list of the other 80s and 90s cartoons which I also grew up, watching, its an interesting stroll down memory lane.

The other programming we used to watch were some UK , Australian and New Zealand television series such as Skippy, Danger Bay, Tomorrow is Saturdee, Miror Mirror, Halfway across the galaxy turn left, The Odessey, Under the mountain, Round The Twist, Miraculous Mellops.

Do any of these sound familiar to you, connected across time and distane by TV programmes from yesteryear.

~B

Day 11 of my blog everyday challenge: Africa Stories from home

Of Zim Cholera Outbreak: How To Prevent & Save A Life

A week ago I posted an article titled Of Someone Else’s problem, about how we tend to turn a blind eye to problems until they fester into something affecting everyone, and made a brief mention of the poor service delivery in the sanitation and waste disposal department……. Now here we are its our problem now.

outbreak

The government has declared a cholera outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe a state of emergency due to the rising number of cholera infections; over 2300 recorded cases and the death of 20 people since the beginning of September. When your house is burning its not the time to find out who started the fire, first thing is to put out the fire. The last time we had a cholera outbreak 4000 people died, 2008 was a really bad year.

because Knowledge may save a life:

What is cholera?

Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine by the bacteria Vibrio cholera.

vibrio

computer generated image of the vibrio cholera bacteria

The cholera bacterium is found in water or food sources that have been contaminated by faecal matter from a person infected with cholera. Cholera is mostly found and spread in places with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and inadequate hygiene.

Cholera can be life-threatening, with death resulting in hours if untreated but it is easily prevented and treated

Symptoms of Cholera

  • profuse watery diarrhoea, described as “rice-water stools,”
  • vomiting
  • rapid heart rate
  • loss of skin elasticity (when you pinch skin it stays bunched up)
  • dry mucous membranes
  • low blood pressure
  • thirst
  • rapid weight loss
  • muscle cramps
  • restlessness or irritability

**Symptoms typically appear in 2-3 days after infection.

symptoms of cholera

The diarrhoea and vomiting cause rapid loss of body fluids leading to dehydration, severe electrolyte imbalance and shock. Untreated, severe dehydration can rapidly lead to shock and death in hours.

Treatment:

Death by Cholera is due to severe dehydration, rehydration will save a life. Once symptoms detected, immediately start taking an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) while you seek out medical attention. Cholera can be simply and successfully treated by immediate replacement of the fluid and salts lost through diarrhoea. Severe cases may require intravenous fluid replacement.

Antibiotics shorten the course and diminish the severity of the illness, but they are not as important as receiving re-hydration. 80% of cholera cases can be treated simply by rehydrating

How to make your own ORS at home:

home made ors

  1. 1 litre clean water (boiled to be sure)
  2. 6 level teaspoons sugar
  3. Half level spoon salt
  4. Stir till it dissolves

Mild and moderate cases can be effectively treated simply by taking this ORS drink 3l a day

*even simply having sips of safe plain can help with the hydration while you seek medical attention

Infected persons, when treated rapidly, can recover quickly, and there are typically no long term consequences. Persons with cholera do not become carriers of the disease after they recover, but can be reinfected if exposed again.

Prevention

  • Drink water only from trusted sources. bottled, boiled, or  treated water and bottled. When using bottled drinks, make sure that the seal has not been broken.
    • To disinfect your own water: boil or and add 2 drops of household bleach/Chlorine (Jik®) or water purification tablets.
    • Disinfect minicipal tap water
  • Wash your hands often with soap and clean water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner, especially before you eat or prepare food and after using the bathroom.
    • If no soap is available, use ash.

CHOLERA-1.jpg

  • Use bottled, boiled, or treated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food and rinse fruit and vegetables
  • Eat foods that are packaged or that are freshly cooked and served hot.
    • Do not eat raw or undercooked meats or raw or undercooked fruits and vegetables unless they are peeled.
  • Dispose of waste in a sanitary manner to prevent contamination of water and food sources.
  • Avoid shaking of hands

*No cholera vaccine is 100% protective and vaccination against cholera is not a substitute for standard prevention and control measures, including precautions for food and water as outlined above.

Prevention of cholera is dependent on access to safe water, adequate sanitation, and basic hygiene needs.

lets prevent cholera

If you have any other tips and helpful knowledge do share in the comments below

 

~B

Day ten of my Blog Every Day Challenge Themed Africa: Stories from Home.

UPDATE:

According to statistics from Ministry of Health and Child Care, cholera deaths since the beginning of the month are now at 25 and 3 766 cases reported.