We have written before about the importance of mosquito nets and HUGS has funded the supply of these to our schools. But children still die of malaria. Sr. Demmy who runs the Lira Babies home has had a particularly tough time and she will be getting nets very soon.
But sometimes the well intentioned efforts of donors has a really perverse effect. Like the American celebrity who raised 1 million nets for the Central African republic. Fine while they lasted but all the local businesses making nets were put out of business.
And this story from Democratic Republic of Congo goes one step further .
Many lakeside villages in the mineral-rich province suffer from a high rate of malaria-induced child mortality. Sleeping inside these nets is the best way to avoid mosquito bites and malaria. But this laudable action created a human and ecological catastrophe.
An international medical NGO provided mosquito nets to a poor village in the Upemba region of Katanga.
As the mosquito nets were free and abundant, fisherman used them as fishing nets. Given their extremely fine mesh, not only were fish removed from the lake but all other forms of micro-fauna and micro-flora too. The lake gradually became covered with a black scum. Villagers lost their sources of livelihood and food supply.