Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Plastic bag country

I just read this on KI media, a report from a woman traveling through Cambodia.
Thats a quote from her report:
Watching the landscape from my window seat, the thing that immediately caught my eye was the massive piles of plastic and plastic bags flying around the fields and roads.
Cambodia seems to be buried in heaps of plastic and whilst this particular road was tarmac, it was not the most pleasant journey I have experienced.
The second thing I noted was that there are endless numbers of children around; playing along the street, walking, hitchhiking and waving at the tourist buses.

Whenever me and my wife goes shopping, we use our cotton bags we brought from Germany. And whenever we say "No bag, thank you", then people are surprised (mainly they understand why we reject this free bag).

What we call dirty is common here. Wether its the city or the countryside: People don't care about the waste, as long its not covering some space they need to use. Then they burn it.

Later on she is talking about the kids in Phnom Penh:
if you want to do something for these kids you should gather them together and take them to dinner or lunch at any of the local food stalls.

You can feed ten kids for as little as US$3-4. There is also a lot of organised begging and book selling going on in the capital and I was not sure if the kids were actually able to keep the money or had to hand it to a superior.

Buying a book from either a landmine victim or a child is another option for putting some money back into the community - money better spent than paying the US$6 admission fee at the grand palace.

I don't agree. What people (children and adult) learn, is that there is always a foreigner helping them. Tourists are buying copied books, NGOs are running a big part of the health sector, education and social development. If there is no change in this, people wil beg for food forever. Note: 70 percent are under the poverty line of 2 US$ a day.

1 comment:

Benjamin said...

I just went to the 7Eleven yesterday after a meeting and bought a Snickers... the lady at the cashier really wanted to put this mini chocolate in a little white plastic bag.
its true, people look surprised if you reject those plastic bags... here nobody cares about the environmental effects.. people are just walking thoughtless through their big city lives every day