Commentary: Tragedy unfolds in Zimbabwe

This editorial appeared in The Sacramento Bee.

Difficult as things have been in the United States, with job losses and home foreclosures, they are immeasurably worse 10,000 miles away in Zimbabwe, southern Africa.

There, people sift through garbage for morsels of food. Children scoop water out of street puddles to drink. Others die of cholera, a water-borne disease. Women collect non-nutritious berries and beetles to eat. People mix cow dung with food to make it go further.

Schools and hospitals have closed. Hyperinflation – 100 million Zimbabwean dollars buys three loaves of bread – makes basic necessities out of reach for most people. Life expectancy for men is 37 years; for women, 34.

The New York Times reported earlier this week on a family of six that gathered enough meal to make a loaf of bread, their one meal of the day. Five got two slices each; the 2-year-old, one slice.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.