Headline Jan 10, 2016/ ''' NAURU ''' : *A PARADISE COUNTRY -ONCE*

''' NAURU ''' : 


LONG, LONG AGO on a little island far, far away, a very happy, happy people lived. Their island in the Western Pacific, Nauru, had everything they needed:

Coconut trees for food and drink, magnificent spreading tomano trees for shade, abundant bird life and an ocean full of fish. Two hundred years or about ago, an English whaling captain discovered Nauru and called it Pleasant Island. 

Another century passed before a piece of petrified wood, carried from Nauru to Australia as a souvenir, caught the eye of a chemist. He examined it and found it was quite valuable. An expedition was mounted to Nauru.

Sure enough, the natives living on one of the richest piles of phosphate rock on the globe. For most of this century, millions of tons of the phosphate   -the highest grade ever found  -were shipped to Australia and New Zealand, where they fertilized fields and farms.

Following the island's independence in 1968, the phosphate mines were nationalised, and the citizens of the smallest republic in the world joined the ranks of the wealthiest.

Today, however, these once self-sufficient people are caught up in a grim fairy tale. The phosphate is almost gone, and most of the money too. The heart is dug out of four-fifths of the island.

Tough Lessons.
**in a moving mea culpa of sorts, the president Kinza Clodumar once observed: ''What was once a tropical paradise was changed to a jagged, uninhabitable desert of coral tombstones.
Our sad history serves as a poignant example for the rest of the world of what can happen when humans disregard that good earth that sustains us.''**

There's another lesson too. ''Nauruan's decline has to do with human future,'' observes a Western Diplomat. ''It's what happens when incentives are taken away and people don't have to work.''

Nauru  {pronounced NOW-roo} lies between Hawaii and Australia just 35 miles south of the equator and miles from anywhere else.

A little over 8 square miles, it is smaller than a medium sized airport. The population includes  9,000+ Nauruan natives and 4,000*+ imported workers.

Disease Of Affluence.  
The most evident sign of prosperity is the number of cars. There may be only one road around the island, but the average  Nauruan family has at least two vehicles. Nauruans have also acquired a whole panoply high-tech gadgets: microwave ovens, stereos and multiple televisions per family.

Despite their wealth, many Nauruans live in modest, often run-down prefab homes built by the government. Initially the subsidized housing programs favored families having a large number of children. Today the average number of children is between four and five.     

The most noticeable sign of Nauruan wealth is the size not of the families, but of their members. According to Nauruan statistics, nine out of ten Nauruans are obese, and young men can push their scale past 300 pounds. Why?

Because their native diet was replaced by imported foods subsidized by the government. Meat brought from Australia more than 2,000 miles away is cheaper in Nauru than in Melbourne. Today Nauruans even import fish.

Their diet is doing them in. Life expectancy is only  55 years. Nauruans have many of the diseases of the affluence, as well as very high rates of hypertension and heart disease. They suffer from the  second-highest recorded rate of diabetes  -nearly 30%  of those over age 25 and about 50% of all older adults.

Hidden Debts: 
At the root of these woes is Nauru's government. For nearly three decades it has been taking half of the proceeds from all phosphate sales : more than $1 billion. As a result, Nauru should be one of the few self-sufficient debt-free governments on earth.

Its people assumed that this was so. But it wasn't. The government ran up huge undisclosed debts. For just 1991 to 1996 annual deficits totaled well over $250 million, money that had to be borrowed and is still owed.

Profligacy began with Nauru's  ''father of independence,''  President Hammer DeRobburt. He regarded nationalization of the phosphate industry as a time for Nauruans to cash in.

The Honour and Serving of  '' Governance Operational Research '' continues. Thank Ya for reading and see Ya all on the following one.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Nauru. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society:

''' Lessons Of History  '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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