Water to wine in Africa – no miracle

I caught the tail end of a piece on NPR about a place in Africa with a dilemma that brings up some interesting points about the growing pains of development. I can’t remember the program I heard it on and I can’t remember the place. So, if anybody knows about this shoot me a link.

Anyhow, the mayor of this city is in a real bad situation. His city is incredibly poor and the wine industry is one of the few industries in town. One problem – the area has an extreme water shortage. His people are going thirsty while most of the water is being used to make wine.

In this city, converting water to wine isn’t a miracle; it’s a curse.

The mayor hopes that the inflow of money from the wine industry might improve his city’s impoverished condition. But, thirst is immediate. The wine industry might eventually change the city for the better tomorrow, bringing with it the proper infrastructure to supply water for everyone, but what about the thirsty people today?

Should these people have to sacrifice for the promise of a brighter future? Can the industry provide that future?

I’m just posing questions. I don’t have a clue. As I wrote in the comment thread on 8/24, “I don’t think it’s fair to say that all industry is good. Just as it’s not fair to say all social movements for the workers are good.”

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