Brown countries get dry flood coverage from West
America was swept up in the madness that was 24/7 coverage of the Harvey Hurricane. But our fellow humans on the other side of the world from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Uganda, Sudan and Niger were all devastated by floods that received minimal coverage compared to Houston.
This is because of the Western perception and representation of eastern countries poverty that entire countries are impoverished and underdeveloped. Because of that perception, the addition of trauma and disaster is typical and not news worthy. The “if it bleeds it leads” moniker is not applicable to countries that house a majority brown people.
In southeast Asia, Nepal, India and Bangladesh were hit with floods because they are in the middle of monsoon season. The damage, by comparison, was tremendous. Over 700,000 homes perished in Bangladesh alone. Just like in Houston, their farmland was greatly affected by the floods.
In India, more 32 million people experienced flooding, which will go on to affect the entire Indian sub-continent because of where it hit — Mumbai. That city houses their financial center, and it is the most populous city in the country with 18 million people.
More than 1,000 people have lost their lives in southeast Asia since the floods swept into the neighboring countries.
With even less coverage come these disaster-stricken countries of central Africa: Uganda, Sudan and Niger.
On August 22, in Uganda, more than 2,000 people were displaced from the floods, which started when a river overflowed. Two people are missing, and a landslide reportedly killed a young child.
In Sudan, more than 100 homes were destroyed. One of its historic, 100-year-old domes, Sheikh Ismail El Wali, was destroyed, too. On August 20, rain started to fall. The families who were displaced took refuge in public schools. From earlier rainfall, 300 cottage and 200 homes completely collapsed.
The worst of them: In Niger, 219 homes were destroyed, leaving more than 1,000 people homeless. The rain came into the capital on August 26 and left over 39 inches of rain. The floods killed two people.
These countries had remarkably less coverage compared to other places that flooded at the same time, even though Africa has a history with bad floods. So much so that a website exists to track all of Africa’s floods each year.
Some of the brownest places in the world experienced major flooding at the same time as Houston but coverage lacked because of how Westerners view their trauma. These countries have had internal issues, like government corruption and weak economies, just like every country on Earth. Yet there’s no sense of humanitarianism, especially from Western civilization.
There has been no mention, no fundraisers and not even basic reporting to bring awareness to what is happening around the world, especially to Africa.
The Western world, especially the United States, likes to be the world’s police force by helping foreign nations with their country’s issues. However, they only do this when it benefits them, especially by means of war.
If you want to monitor the world, then you cannot choose when and where your services are needed. To be the people police, you have to protect people for the sake of being human beings.
Opinion Editor Dana Jones is a print journalism junior and can be reached at [email protected]