Kathleen Baergen Speaks in Edmonton
On Saturday June 7, 2003, Kathleen Baergen spoke at a local fundraiser in Edmonton for the African Well Fund. She spoke about the water cycle in Africa, the effect on food and also the wildlife there and showed some slides taken when she lived in Zambia. She said that for 6 months of the year, the dry season, there was no rain whatsoever. Everything turns dry and brown. Then during the wet season, everything turns green, there is a lot of mud everywhere and the air is so humid that laundry never really gets dry!
She said that when the rain first comes, the air is filled with flying ants then in a couple of days their wings fall off and there are ants everywhere. The ants are eaten by frogs so soon, because there are so many ants for the frogs to eat, there are frogs everywhere. The frogs are then eaten by snakes, so now there are lots of snakes, and it's during the wet season that people have to watch out for snakes. This isn't such a threat in dry season.
In the wet season, people begin to grow food, maize, etc. Most people are subsistence farmers, who depend directly on their crop for food. If the rains don't come, then the people don't eat. Through the dry season, people depend on the food that they grew during the wet season.
She also spoke about the effects of cholera, diarrhea and some other water borne diseases and she showed some slides of people in the hospital that she worked. Many of them were sick due to unclean water and inadequate sanitation practices. A couple of them were small children, sick with diarrhea from drinking unsafe water. Clean water and education about sanitation could save many lives.