|Local Situation In Tai|
The Countries in Sub-Sahara Africa face problems with development, public poverty and economy, with despotism and corruption, with war and natural disaster (bad harvests or floodings), with overpopulation, pollution, in public health system and with diseases that affect social and commercial life (e.g. Malaria or HIV/Aids).
Among the 48 countries belonging to the Sub-Sahara region, 35 rank among the poorest countries in the world. Côte d'Ivoire remains one of them (see UN HDI Report 2007).
Côte d'Ivoire has a surface of 322.500km2 and about 18 to 19 million citizens, with an unemployment rate of about 40%, 50% illiteracy among the adults and 17% mortality rate of infants. The country has more than 60 different tribes with more much more local languages. The main religions are Christianity and Islam, but a general belife in witchcraft and magic is common.
Yamoussoukro is the political capital of Côte d'Ivoire, while Abidjan remains the biggest city and the "capital of the business and economy" at least due to the biggest harbour in West Afrika.
Since 2002, the country undergoes a political crisis and is splitted into a rebel held north, while the south remaind under the control of the Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo. During the peace process, thousends of weapons had been burnt in a ceremony named "Flame of Peace"on Monday 30 July 2007 in Bouké. There is s big hope among the the population that the critical situation turns into peace at last.In 2000, Côte d'Ivoire spent 21% of its national budget on education and equally 4% on health care and military. The country is subdivided into different districts. One them is Moyen-Cavally in the southwest, with Guiglo the biggest city and about 80km south of it Tai that is directly located at the border to Liberia. The Tai National Park is named after this city and consists of a total surface of 4.540km2. The park represents one of the last remaining primary forest inCôte d'Ivoire and whole West Africa.
About 105.000 people are living in the subdistrict of Tai (80km between Zagné in the north and Ziriglu in the south) [national census in 2005], mainly under rural and poor living conditions. Tai itself is a small and few developed city without national power supply system, low sanitation level, undependable telephone line and simple substitutes in national health care and education system. The transport connexion to Tai city is not fixed and during rainy season it is difficult to reach the area. The bad road and the expired costs for transport increase the prices for consumer products e.g. rise, patrol and cement, while at the same time the proceeds for the local agricultural products like coffee and cacao are decreasing. This both had been the primary crops in the last decades and are successive replaced by rubber that promise a better income for the local farmers on long-term.
The health care system in Tai is represented by a small team (a doctor, two medics and a nurse) working in the national hospital. This team is supposed to provides health care for the population, giving treatments agains bacterial infections, parasits and malaria. In 2005 about 3000 people demanded for help and only 150 women (out of 2500 pragnacies) gave birth in the hospital with the help of the nurse.
The equipment and the material of the hospital like the fridge to cool drugs, the bicycles to go to the villages and the ambulance, the sterilizer (temporally out of order) and the 20 beds for sick people and women in childbed (not used for hospitalisation) are in a bad conditions. The medical drugs are regularly available in the hospital or in one of the three pharmacies of Tai, but often people by genericas on the black street market. There are no possibilities for special analysis in the Tai e.g. an x-ray or a lab for blood test are not available. Sick people are supposed to take the public transport system to go to Guiglo and this will take them a one-way trip the whole day and about 3500 FCFA (US Dollar).
The district of Moyen-Cavaly is the home for many people with different nationality and ethnic background e.g. refugees fleeing from the rebel held north of Côte d'Ivoire and from the civil war situation of Liberia, immigrant workers from Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Libany. Only 10% of the population are native Ivorians. The financial situation of the families is often difficult due to the missing industrial production and the low income, the high unemployment rate and traditional family structure.This situation leads often to child labor and different forms prostitution. Consequences are low education level of children and a dramatic disease dispersal among the sexual active population, due to polygamy and infidelity. This supports the young girls beliefs that prostitution or sex-service is a way out of poverty. The HIV infections rate in Tai region is unknown.
National parks in Ivory Coast, picture taken in the Banco National Park - Museum that is run by WCF.
Photo: Nadin Eckhardt