India is suffering from overpopulation, which is causing less job opportunities as well as little to no land for people to live on, as a result is causing a high percentage of homelessness. Nigeria is suffering from a different type of poverty that includes the lack of sanitized water, and hygiene. Sadly, without sanitized water many Nigerians get sick, and of course they have no money to afford the proper health care, that often results in an increasing death rate. Americans may not be aware, but we are indirectly, and directly being affected by these living conditions. These effects are why it is time we get involved to help not only Nigeria, and India, but all of the countries suffering from poverty, illness, as well as overpopulation. Taking a minute to help could change a life time of problems.
When people think of the word poverty, the lack of money comes to mind, but many countries would disagree. World Poverty has become a huge issue in today’s society yet, has caught minimum attention. Americans are often consumed with social media, politics, and money while, our neighboring countries can barely survive. It is time to speak up, take action, and make a positive change, we need to be the voice that makes this issue known. If we as a nation utilized our platforms to inform people of the problems in underdeveloped countries, the poverty rate would decline tremendously.
Water & Sanitation in Nigeria
To begin with, Nigeria’s children, and women are suffering tremendously because water, sanitation, and hygiene play a huge part in our everyday lives, and they are lacking all three which classifies them to be suffering from water poverty. Water is the most important thing our bodies need to function, and survive so, for Nigerians the problem comes in because they do not have clean water to drink, bathe, or wash dishes with. They are constantly forced to operate with muddy water that is filled with animals, bacteria, or even feces. This has caused a great amount of illnesses, and deaths throughout Nigeria because families have to spend a lot of money to simply fight off diseases that were in the water. And the amount of money being used on prescription drugs takes away from the money needed for food causing children to become malnutrition. “Other attendant problems caused by lack water and poverty are healthcare costs. This global cost is due to the diseases that affect the people combined with poor hygiene. This causes the death of children under the age of five and contributes to up to 50% of malnutrition. Around 700,000 children die each year of diseases. Families spend a lot on purchasing drugs.” (Ablude & Fagbayide, 2018). Living without hygiene has to be one of the hardest parts for teenage girls, and women because our bodies go through a lot of changes that we have to manage. Without the proper hygiene it is possible to get many infections as well as sicknesses for instance, during a woman’s menstrual cycle there are many products needed to not only stay clean, but to also smell fresh, and that main product is sanitary napkins. In addition, oral hygiene products, deodorants, etc are needed for not only women, but children, and men as well to maintain a healthy hygiene. By lacking these products, they are more prone to diseases which would revert back to them needing medical attention that is either too expensive or not provided. A small act of people simply donating these products or even money to get these products could help make a positive change.
Overpopulation in India
Next, India’s struggle with poverty is quite different because in contrast to Nigeria, India is struggling with overpopulation, limited land, and unemployment. According to Dr. Shamshad (2014), “Poverty is viewed not only in terms of lack of adequate income, but as a state of deprivation in socio-economic and political aspects. In absolute terms, deprivation reflects the inability of an individual to satisfy his/her basic minimum needs of the life and it prevents people from participating in the development process.” The root problem that has caused this to happen in India is the large population they have. Many people are probably wondering how a huge city of people can cause poverty. To start, as I previously stated it has caused a significant amount of unemployment, which alone can associate one with great poverty. With there being so many people living in India it is hard for the economy to supply each person with a job, resulting in homelessness. Believe it or not homelessness can result in a decrease amount of homes to accommodate everyone as well. The people who are homeless tend to be forced to live on the streets preventing more homes to be built for those who are able to afford places to live, causing even more homelessness. Dr. Shamshad calculated the results overpopulation had on women, and children , and concluded that the outcome of student ‘t’ test and scatter plot matrix elucidate that the percentage of population below 6 years to total population, illiteracy rate, female illiteracy rate, birth rate, death rate, infant mortality rate, percentage of main workers engaged in agriculture as laborer, percentage of rural population to total population, 35 percentage of marginal workers to total working population and percentage of beggars & vagrants to total non-working population are the main causes of high level of deprivation and poverty among the states and UTs of the country.
Causes & Agricultural Effects on Poverty
Despite there are a million ways to classify poverty, and it’s meaning, Dr. Pogge wrote a very detailed analysis on what truly causes poverty. According to Caranti’s reflection on this article (2010) “The empirical analysis of global poverty is far from reaching much agreement on causes and remedies. And, partly as a consequence, philosophers are very divided concerning who (individuals or groups) might be responsible. Humanity can map its own genome, cure the most insidious illnesses, extract energy from the most diverse sources and yet is unable to solve the greatest problems it faces” (pg 37). This is where the thought of we are failing one another as a nation comes in, because as he stated we are able to cure many diseases yet have no way to solve poverty. Poverty may not need as much scientific research as cancer or aids does, but honestly it is killing around the same percentage of people as these diseases are. Many researchers often hypothesize the cause by mentioning climate change, availability of resources, politics, economics etc. When in reality, these all have played a role in poverty in its entirety, and sadly some countries face one or multiple of these at once. Caranti (2010) later adds “we need to reach a shared ‘causal chart’ that depicts which factors create poverty and their interconnections. And we need to identify not only which factors create poverty, but also to attribute specific weights to each cause” (pg 37). Many are unaware, but these problems can be fixed by Americans using agricultural technology directly as well as indirectly.
“The direct effects help the adopters gain as opposed to the indirect effects that assist with lowering food prices, creating more employment opportunities, and overall creating a decline in hunger. As demonstrated by the experience of the Green Revolution, which led to a doubling or tripling of yields for the major food grains in the 1960’s and 1970’s, technological change in agriculture can be a powerful force in reducing poverty” (De Janvry & Sadoulet ,2010). With this contribution poverty would decrease because this technology allows the amount of crops growth to multiply which creates a great amount of food. Of course, there are some countries where crops would not survive in those climates, and that is where employment opportunities come in. This creation is able to possibly help plant as well as apply a genetic agent to multiply, but human hands are needed to pick, and ship the foods from one place to the other. By making this invention a worldwide tool, many people would not only have more foods, but more jobs as well. As a community they can come together to divide jobs such as washers, crop pickers, and shipment movers. If there is not enough money to pay the workers, taking food home to their families or villages could be a nice alternative. For the farmers who already own land and have their own crops could benefit because there could be a raise in welfare for the ones who are poor that adopt the innovation.
Some people may disagree with these resolutions and start by saying that using platforms to help provide donations will only be a temporary fix, as well as that there are too many people in a set community to receive a decent amount of donations to bring them fully out of poverty. Next, India would be one of the hardest places to help decrease poverty, simply because there is no way to force people to leave their city nor community without leaving family behind. It would also be a repeating problem because if large amounts of people agreed to leave to find employment, land, and living opportunities elsewhere, in the years to come the problem would arise again due to reproduction. Lastly, the agricultural invention could go either way, because what are countries to do that cannot afford this innovation? “The problem emerges if the technological innovations ( choice of crops and bias of technological change) used to achieve these two effects are not the same, implying tradeoffs in the allocation of public research budgets between these two effects, or biases in the impact of privately released technologies on these two effects” (Dejanvry & Sadoulet, 2002). Constantly running into these problems, the issue with world poverty will never end.
To conclude, many countries are suffering from world poverty, some more than others, but the problem still exists. Ending world poverty will not be an easy overnight fix as some may think. This process will take hundreds to thousands of people that are not afraid of confrontation with upper authorities who are unwilling to look into this case. Donations are definitely a small, yet positive way to start the process of change. If right now, each person in the world went to their social media, and made a video or post discussing what is going on in just one country it could catch the right person’s attention. Even taking a moment to text a group of friends and talk about going to the local food bank to give food to ones in need could start a revolution. Another huge problem Americans have, is overlooking the biggest problems our nation is facing. Politics, and economics tend to be the root of everyone’s conversation, but what they do not know is world poverty fits into both of those categories. Economics probably plays a larger role because it relates to money, healthcare, and employment which are what can end poverty. Petitions, graphs, videos, photos, social media, billboards are all simple ways to get the world to acknowledge the issue world-wide. Let’s start today!
Abulude, F. & Fagbayide, S. (2018) Water, sanitation and poverty in the changing world. Case of Nigeria. Department of Geography, Tourism & Territorial Planning, 28 (1), 91-96
Caranti, L. (2010) The causes of world poverty: reflections on Thomas Pogge’s analysis. A Journal of Social & Political Theory. 57 (125), 36-53. 18p. DOI: 10.3167/th.2010.5712503.
De Janvry, A. & Sadoulet E. (2002) World poverty and the role of agricultural technology: direct and indirect Effects. Journal of Development Studies. 38 (4), 1-26. Charts. DOI: 10.1080/00220380412331322401
Shamshad, J. (2014). Incidence of poverty and level of socio-economic deprivation in India. Journal of Developing Areas, 48 (2), 21-38. DOI: 10.1353/jda.2014.0031.