Monday, March 27, 2006

FAS - The Cape's Social Disaster

Beneath slender mountain peaks, the immaculate vineyards of South Africa's Cape are the green jewels of the valleys. This is the idyllic heartland of one of the world's biggest wine industries, attracting tens of thousands of tourists and contributing £1.5 billion to the nation's economy.

It is also the scene of what experts call a "social disaster" - alcoholism has become a way of life for the mixed-race farm workers who tend the vineyards.

Their children suffer from the highest recorded rates of foetal alcohol syndrome in the world. A recent survey of one town in Western Cape Province found that eight per cent of all primary school children suffer from this condition and almost 50 per cent have an alcohol-related birth defect of some kind.

But there is virtually no education about the dangers of drinking. The workers are largely "Cape Coloureds". They have the blood of many races in their veins, rendering them the most marginalised group in society. Telegraph

No comments:

InternAfrica is a not-for-profit organisation addressing the Cape Habitat Crisis through education of sustainable green building methods as demonstrated here on HouseIT