Viewpoint: Eco-imperialism invades the modern environmental movement and hurts the most vulnerable

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Public statements made at the U.S Embassy in Kenya. Credit: U.S Embassy in Kenya
Public statements made at the U.S Embassy in Kenya. Credit: U.S Embassy in Kenya

Activists in the developing world and their allies in the West assert that developing countries must be permitted to chart a new course without the cultural interference of the West.

Yet the West continues a form of colonialism in Africa: eco-imperialism. Because the West’s progressives like this kind of imperialism, we rarely hear anything about it.

In Kenya, for example, DDT was deployed to curtail the spread of malaria, until the demise of this policy in 1990 at the behest of a government inspired by Western propaganda. Fortunately, for Kenya, the insights of some bureaucrats resulted in the resumption of DDT use in 2010. As the then head of Kenya’s malaria control unit, Willis Akhwale, reported in 2009: “New studies have shown earlier accusations of DDT to be largely incorrect. The pesticide is safe for use in malaria control, if like other chemicals it is used responsibly.”

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It is illogical to oppose Western imperialism yet accept eco-policies crafted by the West that are antithetical to Africa’s progress. Essentially, adopting the rhetoric of environmentalists may esteem African leaders in the eyes of their Western counterparts, but unfortunately, their constituents will be rewarded with poverty.

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