Post Number: 1537
|Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 03:08 am: |
This is the world that "I" Kola
come from and remember.
"African Mothers Brave
Croccodile Attacks to Feed Children"
By Peter Apps MPONDE, Malawi, Reuters
Malawian women are risking crocodile attacks to fetch water lilies for food after a sudden rain failure early in the year destroyed key crops leaving 7 million short of food across southern Africa.
Compounding the ravages of AIDS, an unexpected dry spell in February and March as the staple maize crop ripened left some areas of Malawi with no crop at all. Villagers face a hard year living on sparse food stocks and whatever else they can scavenge from the land if they are to survive until the 2006 harvest. "I go to the river three times a week," said 20-year-old Ruth Piso who walks some 20 km (12 miles) to the river to fetch water lilies to make a porridge for her three children, even though crocodiles have cost other villagers their lives.
"We are worried, but we are forced to by hunger."
Last year, local leaders say two people died of hunger in a neighboring village, and they fear this year may be worse. Aid workers say the limited crop harvested in recent weeks will not last long even though it should have lasted a whole year. In Piso's village in the southern Chikawa district, many children are listless and visibly malnourished after years of shortages, and locals say this year's crop is already exhausted.
"This should be their time of plenty," said Penelope Howarth, who runs the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) operations in southern Malawi, as she drove past dead maize plants and parched fields where locals had hoped to grow rice.
"We rely on the water plants, but it is not our usual food," local mayor Benson Kamangira told Reuters. "The problem is the crocodiles. They eat many people. Last year, they took two people from the village and one from the neighboring village."
HERE IS THE HEAD of a "cheetah"
that was attacked by a Crocodile
"Crocodile Attacks on
the Rise for
Nile River Mothers"
Sudan, June 2nd, 2005
A woman and two young children were eaten by a crocodile on the banks of Sudan's Blue Nile River, last week.
The woman and two children aged 3 and 5 were attacked by the crocodile as they were walking along the bank in search of food.
The scene was witnessed by a school teacher who said that the woman, 42 years of age, had gone to fetch some water from the river where she used to wash the family’s clothes. Making the family’s tragedy worse, the two girls were her daughters.
The crocodile has been attacking goats, pigs and oxen drinking at the site in recent weeks. Despite their clumsy appearance, crocodiles can reach speeds of up to 35 km./hour in short bursts on land, a fact unknown to many who allow them to get too close. A favourite ploy by the crocodile is to approach silently, in the water, and suddenly charge up the bank or shore, dragging its prey into the water, where it is torn apart before it is devoured.
Although the eastern flank of Sudan has been
relatively safe and peaceful for the South's black
mothers, authorities say there's been a rise
in Croc attacks on the Blue Nile as Sudanese
women experience a severe man shortage caused
by the civil war between Sudan's Arabic North
and its ancient Southern tribes. With their
husbands missing in action and their sons either
drafted into militia bands or crippled, the
women are forced to seek food to feed their
children, and are not often familiar with the
dangers that lay outside the villages.
Mpuma teen snatched by croc
Posted 10 May 2005
The search continued on Tuesday for 15-year-old Fanyana Mthetwa, who was snatched by a crocodile in the Malelane district on Saturday, Mpumalanga police said.
The missing girl had been fishing with other young mothers on the banks of the Crocodile River on Carbonka Farm when a crocodile lunged from the water and grabbed her, Inspector Leonard Hlathi said.
She reappeared from under the water three times but then disappeared. Employees of the Mpumalanga Parks Board and the police have been searching for Mthetwa since then.
According to Hlathi, that stretch of the river is infested with crocodiles making it impossible to enter the water in the search, but the young mothers who brave the waterway say they have no other way to feed their children.
Limpopo woman killed by crocodile
Posted 09 June 2005
A woman died on Sunday morning after being attacked by a crocodile at the Letaba river outside Giyani in Limpopo, police reported.
Police spokesperson Captain Moatshe Ngoepe said the woman was fishing with several other mothers from the bank of the river when the crocodile grabbed her and pulled her into the water.
Her friends ran back to the village for help.
The crocodile bit the woman on the neck and hand and tore flesh from her buttocks, said Ngoepe. It then let go, but when villagers arrived and pulled the woman from the water, she was already dead.
It was not clear whether she died from blood loss or from the bite to the neck, said Ngoepe.
THIS FOOTNOTE IS SHOCKING:
Desert-Adapted Crocs Found in Africa
for National Geographic News
June 18, 2002
The discovery of several small communities of crocodiles living on the southern edge of Africa's Sahara in desert conditions has astonished scientists.
Crocodiles rarely venture far from water. But the crocodiles in Mauritania are living in caves, burrows, and under rocks, near wetlands that dry up and disappear for months at a time.
"It's a really unusual, unexpected, and quite special find," said James Perran Ross, executive director of a crocodile specialist group of the IUCN-World Conservation Union and a research scientist at the Florida Museum of Natural History.