MOYERS: In Senegal today, the optimism has evaporated. There is a crisis in the farmlands. And women here bear the brunt of the changes that began more than two decades ago.
WOMAN: I only harvested 5 bags of millet which we ate in 2 days. Now, if I don't ask my neighbors for millet, my family doesn't eat.
MOYERS: What little millet they can grow, girls grind into couscous by the traditional method of pillaring.
WOMAN: We have nothing to eat, let alone money to pay for school, $180. Without school, my kid's life will be just like this.
MOYERS: There is also a crisis in the cities. Twenty per cent of Senegal's population lives in the capital city of Dakar. More than one million people are crowded together in just one suburb, Pikine.
1st PILLAR: I've been here close to ten years. I spend all the money I make. How would I save anything? I send all the money I make to my children. I send them clothes, shoes, money, whatever I can afford.
2nd PILLAR: I support my children, my husband, and my mother. My mother doesn't have anybody to support her but me.
MOYERS: The men can't find jobs. The women, who have come from the villages, do the work they know to help their families back home survive.
2nd PILLAR: I'm only counting on this. If it sells, well great. If not… It all depends on how well it sells.
FALL: If you go in areas like Pikine where I grew up, you will see women carrying water on their head in this day and age. Girls being pulled out of schools because they do not have access to water. They have to go to fetch water for their mothers and for their families.
MOYERS: When Yassine Fall was a girl, she, too, fetched water. Back then, in the years just after Senegal's independence in 1960, nine out of ten people were illiterate. But the new government set out to invest some of its money in human capital building schools and hospitals, providing medical care and education. And that gave Yassine a chance.
FALL: I can see that going to Pikine today is a very, very, very disadvantaged situation compared to when I was growing up. Where I grew up in Pikine, the chances and the opportunities I had, being a young girl in Pikine, those young people who grow up in Pikine today will not have that chance. Because I went to school, to public school. They don't have that luxury. That makes me angry.
MOYERS: Many other women of Yassine Fall's generation were educated in the public schools.
TOURE: My father has young children to whom he tried to give the same opportunities as he did for me, but without success. The reason is that between the day I was born and the day of their birth, something fundamental happened the IMF and the World Bank came into our house.
MOYERS: What brought these two powerful financial institutions into the house was a crisis. Like other new countries, Senegal was encouraged by western banks to borrow money to develop and it did. Too much, too fast. When the global recession of the late seventies arrived, these countries began to default on their debt payments.
That threatened the international financial system. So from Washington, the World Bank offered loans to help keep Senegal afloat. But on the condition that the International Monetary Fund, the IMF, would direct how Senegal should re-structure its economy and set its financial house in order.
For more than two decades now, the World Bank and the IMF have worked together to shape economic life here. Senegal accepted financial terms known as "structural adjustment." And that meant people were charged for medical care and education. Farmers lost their subsidies. State-owned enterprises like electricity and water were sold off. This way, Senegal could balance its budget. Foreign capital would come to invest. Investment would create growth. And that would eventually benefit the poor. It hasn't worked out that way.
TOURE: If there had never been structural adjustment policies, there would be poverty in Africa. But the structural adjustment policies have contributed very, very, very much to an increase in the number of poor people.
MOYERS: Budget cuts meant the rudimentary public school system was virtually dismantled. In Pikine today, three or four children crowd together at desks built for two. There is only enough money for a half day of class most days of the week.
FALL: Going to school, I was able to have access to books, to have access to notebooks, to have access to chalk, all the school supplies - and to have access to good teachers.
MOYERS: Now, the government spends less than seventy dollars per child per year. So parents must scrape together the money for notebooks, for chalk, and for fees to send their children to school.
FALL: When there is a choice between a girl and a boy to go to school, it is the girl who is left out and it is the boy that's supported to go to school. So any policy that does not keep into account that if I cut on expenditure on education, or if I make poor families pay for education, it is girls that are going to pay the cost, because it is girls that are going to be left out.
MOYERS: The World Bank's own studies argue that educating girls is key to pulling developing countries out of poverty. But that conflicts with the budget balancing demands of the IMF.
HEYZER: The cost is not just to the girls. You are removing the capacity of upward shift and mobility of a whole population. And, therefore, you'll find that the generation of the middle class is no longer possible in a way that it was possible during our generation.
MOYERS: Today, just over half the girls of primary school age are getting an education.
FALL: These countries were not given the time to really build their social infrastructure. And if you do not have a good social infrastructure, if you do not invest in your human capital in these countries, the most valuable asset is their human capital then you are bound for failure.
MOYERS: In the seventies, the health care system in Senegal was considered a model for emerging countries. Now, it's more nearly a national disaster. Budgets were slashed. And that meant hospitals and clinics were closed; doctors and nurses laid off. Now, the poor must pay not only for what care they can find, but also for needles, operating kits even gloves for the doctors and nurses. And take the case of Didio Diom, whose son Hablaye was paralyzed in a hit-and-run accident.
DIOM: I can't take him to the hospital anymore. We don't have the money. I have to take care of him on my own. That's the only way we have. They told me about a device for him, but it was too expensive. Fifty dollars. I don't have that much money.
MOYERS: Because she stays home to care for her son, she cannot help her husband earn money to buy what Hablaye needs.
DIOM: I don't sleep very well at all, because I think about him and his health. He's in my heart, I just want him to be healthy. He's my son.
MOYERS: Because there is no money, her daughter's future is also at risk.
DIOM: If I can't find the money to pay for school, then I will have to take her out. I just don't have the money. I'm tired, very tired. I want her to get a job to help her father and me.
HEYZER: In the southern African countries where I have visited, what I found was that many women are, in fact, being pulled out of the productive sector and they, in order to take care of the sick and the dying because there is disinvestment in the health care system, because there's a cutback, because of structural adjustment programs and so on.
And not only will they suffer by being pushed out of those services, no only are you not giving them those services, but the caring work of women is, in fact, being used as a shortfall for what the government and the international community is taking away. And they, in turn, pull their daughters out of school to help them.
MOYERS: So it's a vicious cycle?
HEYZER: It is a vicious cycle.
MOYERS: Like many poor African nations, Senegal borrowed more each year from the World Bank just to make token payments against its old debts. The loans came with strings attached. Under the bottom-line approach imposed from Washington, Senegal was instructed to sell off its water system. Providing free water cost too much money, the World Bank said. The market would be more efficient. That's not the view of those who have long worked with the rural poor.
SECK: From our point of view, water must not be privatized. It's a public good.
We need to examine water policies to make them work better for the people. If we don't, people will never be able to overcome their poverty. But it is the international policy that water should be privatized.
Privatization means the government no longer provides Senegal's water. It sold that right to a multinational water giant which charges for the service. The French company Bouygues Saur controls most of Senegal's water supply. The company owns more than 15 per cent of the world water market, including systems in five other African countries.
FALL: In poor countries in Africa, people are living on less than a dollar a day, paying five times, ten times more than you in Washington, D.C. or paying more water than a citizen in Tokyo. That's outrageous. That's outrageous. That is scandalous.
MOYERS: The water that flows from privately owned pipes costs more than most families can afford. So women and their daughters must walk further and work harder to fetch water from hand-dug wells. And that well water is untreated and unsafe, even in urban neighborhoods like Pikine.
1st WOMAN: The water is polluted. Look at our kids, they are sick all the time.
2nd WOMAN: Look at the well that's out there. People are drinking from that well. We need help getting good water that we can drink.
TOURE: They said that they want to install democracy, they want to install a free market. There is no state, just the market. But the market does not make education, it does not make health care, the market does not bother with safe water.
SECK: It's always about money. It's always about money. If I loan you money, you must do whatever you have to do to pay me back. Like every Third World country, we're poor, we're in debt. We pay. We pay. We don't know how long we have to keep paying.
MOYERS: The global economy is also changing the lives of women in a community called Mbao, just up the coast from Pikine. Here, foreign fishing trawlers now dot the horizon. A European consortium has bought the rights to fish Senegal's waters for four years. The price: 63 million dollars. And there is no limit to their catch.
SECK: My great grandfather and my grandfather were fishermen. The men fish and the women sell the fish, fresh or dried or salted.
1st FISHERWOMAN: This is our job. May God help us! This is our way of supporting our family.
2nd FISHERWOMAN: We get the fish from the boat and we bring it here. Then we smoke the fish.
ANA: The government knows we depend on fishing, but now these other fishing boats have come. So I think they must have signed some sort of agreement with other countries. And that makes it very difficult for us.
MOYERS: The women have always sung songs to pass the long hours it takes to salt and smoke the fish. But now there are fewer fish, and so fewer days when they salt and smoke or sing.
SECK: There used to be regulation of fishing. The holes in the nets had to be made to let the small fish escape. That the fish stock could regenerate. Because of the fishing agreements, the big fishing boats come from other countries and take everything. And when the little Senegalese boats go out to sea, they find nothing. And the women don't have any fish to sell in the market. And it's not only Senegal. It's all of west Africa's Atlantic coast.
MOYERS: Once again, it's the daughters who pay.
3rd FISHERWOMAN: If the waters have no fish, we have nothing to give our families. We have to send our girls to get jobs as maids. There's no other way.
1st FISHERWOMAN: Basically, that's all I have to say. We need help. If we can't make a living with our smoked fish, we won't have a job.
TOURE: In some villages, there are women who have made up songs. Songs to speak about the World Bank. One of them says: "The World Bank is coming to our country. The World Bank came to our country. Soon, we will be hungry."
HEYZER: Poverty and wealth are not automatic. They are not things that just happen. There are processes that create poverty and processes that generate wealth. And these are choices that can be made. And until we make these policy choices, we are not going to facilitate the reduction of poverty worldwide.
MOYERS: In Washington, the IMF touts Senegal as a success story. Inflation is down. The budget deficit smaller. In Senegal, the people call it capitalisme sauvage savage capitalism.
FALL: When I go in Senegal and I see the number of beggars in the streets of Dakar, compared to 20 years ago, that makes me very angry. It makes me angry because I had thought that our communities, our people have invested a lot of sacrifices to build a nation. To educate the people. And in the end, they have no jobs. It has regressed and regressed to be among the poorest, poorest countries today in 2003. That makes me angry.