Natural calamity-dzud is currently at its peak, almost the whole territory of the country is covered with snow and the temperature has fallen to below -40 degrees. Nearly 1.5 million heads of livestock have frozen and starved to death due to the freezing weather and heavy snowfall, which makes traveling on many roads and mountain passes extremely difficult, cutting off herders from necessary supplies. Independent boards of local communities operating in Ulaanbaatar are arranging donation campaigns and are making big efforts to raise money to help zud-struck herders. Unfortunately, there is no news or information available about what the provinces and soums did on their own to stockpile sufficient stocks of forage and supplies to prepare for winter. Because since zud can happen at anytime; it’s not dependent on human factors, we have no choice but to try to prevent potential Winter calamities each and every year, by always preparing for winter during the warm times of the summer season.
Another form of zud I’d like to mention here, is the disaster of unaccountability which, conversely, does directly depend on human factors.
These are the consequences which have evolved naturally from a bunch of problems that continued to remain unsolved for long periods of time. Also it’s the beginning of a major (zud) crisis, or depression, likely to impact all sectors in the near future. It is the end-result of the fact that a group of people embezzled public property for many years in the name of their political party, by dipping into all administrative units and selling lands and estates that rightfully belonged to hospitals and schools, for their own ‘wallets’. It created an unplanned burden on the existing capacity of the city’s infrastructure. A recent example of this is the deaths of four newly-born innocent infants at the Central Maternity Hospital, where umbilical infection disease broke out because of a lack of hygienic care in the delivery service. Another fifteen newborn babies are now under intensive treatment at other hospitals due to being stricken with the same infection at the same hospital, four of whom are in critical condition. Had the necessary funds been there to maintain sufficient hygienic care, this tragedy probably could’ve been avoided.
According to responsible ministries, agencies and officials, a room devoted and equipped for the care of ten pregnant mothers is currently accommodating over thirty pregnant women. And authorities in the health-care system are not able to offer disinfectants because of municipal and district level red-tape, in which the authorities do not approve the budget funds necessary in a timely manner, and when it is approved, they trim from this budget for their own purposes.
The question is not a matter of having enough funds. It is possible to build a new maternity hospital with the money spent for buying luxurious BMW-7 and a Lexus for the Parliament speaker and the City Mayor, respectively. If we collect and sell all the vehicles used by other municipal and districts’ officials, we can build one more maternity hospital.
The money spent for the half-completed construction of the ruling MPRP’s headquarters building and the just-started new-construction of the Democratic Party’s headquarters building, is sufficient for building new maternity hospitals in all 21 provinces of the country. Government officials do not want to see the reality because they do not care about it. It’s like they’re having a party during the disaster, while asking for “aid” from outside sources every time a calamity occurs. Then if other countries, or organizations do not step forward with enough aid (to mend problems resulting from their own corruption and greed), they vigorously complain.
The Zud of unaccountability is basically caused by the fact that our law-making governance has completely eliminated the executive governance. The current governance, in which nearly 1/3 of all law-makers almost became cabinet ministers, is the creator of this kind of disaster. It is obvious that parliament members cannot impose any responsibility on MP-cabinet members. The replacement of six health ministers in the last eight years is a problem that not only exists in the health system, but also in all sectors. It is exactly like how the fish begins to stink from the head, first.
The guys in power apparently do not know that the country may see instability if they continue to not impose any responsibility on the relevant members, when people have already expressed their anxiousness about current situations, openly. Since there is no longer justice, economic relationships suffer deformation, unemployment is increasing, and the number of poor people now accounts for 35 percent of the country’s overall population. It is evidenced by the fact that the number of property plundering crime went up by 40 percent and contraband-related crime increased by nearly 90 percent in 2009.