Sunday, July 27, 2014

ngo's

StrategyPage has a long article on NGO's.

The red cross is the "oldest" NGO, but they note:

 Actually, the Catholic Church could be considered one of the first major NGOs, as it organized large scale charity efforts over a thousand years ago.
 ah but the problem?

 Several decades ago, the main thing these outsiders brought with them was food and medical care. The people on the receiving end were pretty desperate, and grateful for the help. But NGOs have branched out into development and social programs.
These new activities caused unexpected problems with the local leadership. Development programs disrupt the existing economic, and political, relations. This is especially the case if the NGOs try to change the way things are done. The local leaders are often not happy with this, as the NGOs are not always willing to work closely with the existing power structure. While the local worthies may be exploitative, and even corrupt, they are local, and they do know more about popular attitudes and ideals than the foreigners
so although one sees a lot of criticism of churches that push religion with aid, a lot of NGO's push western ideas with aid instead.

. NGOs are no longer seen as just charitable foreigners come to help. The local leadership often sees the NGOs as a potential threat. While the material aid the NGOs bring is appreciated, the different ideas are not. And there are more NGOs showing up with more agenda than physical aid

Pushing birth control as part of the agenda is a big thing: I had to laugh when the flooding in Manila left many taking shelter in schools, and the UN came and gave out condoms...the locals were insulted, because it implied our women were sex crazed and couldn't refrain themselves. Then the UN defended this by saying it was because of rape, which locals got even more upset, since it implied Filipino men were sexually crazed rapists.

of course, if the aid is given to local politicians etc. a lot of it ends up in their pockets.

Yet paying huge salaries to western aid workers increases the overhead cost too.

 Often more than a third of it disappears into the pockets of government officials, their kin and friends. But letting the donors, and NGOs (Non-governmental organizations, like the Red Cross), handle the money also sees about the same portion lost. (italics mine)

This is because these donations often come with requirements that much of the money be spent on goods and services from the donor nation. This particularly bothers the locals as it means a lot of highly (especially by local standards) paid Western aid workers are supervising whatever is done in in the aid receiving nation. The higher NGO pay standards are very visible because the Westerners tend to live much better than locals.

StrategyPage is observing, not criticizing. Without the NGO's and church charities, the place would be worse, especially in times of disaster.

Crossposted from my main blog

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Africa update

Mugabe is throwing out the last of his "white" farmers.
Well, they stole the land fair and square so expect them to yelp.

But the rest of the Africa headlines are furthur north, where the war on terror is brewing a religious war (actually a war between the farmers and those who herd cattle).

And now, Ebola.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Nigerian troubles

a good story on locals vs the terrorists  from the WAPOST


In fact, residents said a riot did break out briefly between young Muslims and Christians near the market after the blasts, but community leaders quickly helped police contain it and the tension subsided. “There will always be youths who drink or take drugs and act out, but I think we have reached a level of understanding among the leaders,” Begu said. “They know that Boko Haram is not made up of local Muslims.”
On Wednesday, as rescue workers and survivors picked through the rubble of more than 200 destroyed shops, a pall of horror and grief lingered in the smoke-
tainted air. Muslim-owned carpet stalls lay in ruins next to Christian-owned appliance shops. Hajjia Aisha’s snack stand was a charred shell; so was the Father X-Mass shoe shop next door.
Gabriel Ucheodum, 32, pointed to blackened yams and oranges in front of his electronics shop where a pair of elderly women had been selling produce when the bombs exploded. The first woman’s head and legs were blown off in front of him, he said shakily. The second woman was torn in half.
“I can barely believe God let me live,” Ucheodum said. “I saw such horrible things and I lost so many neighbors. Some were Christians like me, some were Muslims, but none of them deserved to die like this.”
Nearby, Muslim trader Alhajj Harun, 55, fingered his prayer beads and peered into the blackened shops. He said he had lived through some of the area’s ugliest sectarian clashes and then helped work to overcome them. He proudly mentioned that he had been to Jerusalem as well as Mecca and that he had three daughters in college or in professional jobs.
“There were problems between us, but everyone has worked hard to manage them, and things have been calming down,” Harun said. “None of us want to have our religion and our country blamed for these terrible things. If these barbarians want to divide us, let them die trying.”
© The Washington Post Company

Monday, May 12, 2014

ANC wins election inSouth Africa

One party state: what could go wrong?

Al Jezeerah link here.

Boko harum

The elites in the US just noticed them, and the Islamophobes are upset that the press there doesn't dare say they are radical Islamicists.

Uh, yes, and like other radicals wanting to impose Islam from the 8thcentury, they kill "moderate" Muslims, not just Christians... and the prophet would disown them too.

and they are so bad that even AlQaeda has disowned them.

Full background at StrategyPage includes this snippet:

Nigeria uses Britain as a model for its military, as Britain was the former colonial power in the region and helped establish the Nigerian military half a century ago. But the corruption that is endemic to the region eventually had its way with the armed forces. Leadership and training have suffered. But U.S. training teams (to improve peacekeeping and counter-terror skills) have been in Nigeria during the last decade, and report that the armed forces are not completely demoralized and debilitated by the corruption, and with some intense training, and elimination of the most corrupt officers, combat capabilities would be much improved.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A new tool to fight the tsetse fly


After 10 years of effort, a team led by scientists at Yale has finally decoded the genes of the tsetse fly, a bloodsucking scourge of Africa. With that knowledge, they hope to find new ways to repel or kill the insects, whose bite transmits sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease that, like rabies, drives its victims mad before they lapse into a coma and die. The flies also carry nagana, which weakens or kills cattle and renders whole regions of Africa inhospitable to most livestock.

it is a major cause of disease, but the real benefit would be to open large amounts of land so that it can be farmed.

Get rid of the tsetse fly and bring in irrigation, and Africa could feed the world. which is why China is buying up farmland and investing in Africa.



Tsetsefly collars for cattle? this Xinhua news story of a European funded initiative to stop cattle deaths:

Since time immemorial livestock farmers in most parts of Kenya have been forced to lighting fires to smoke away tsetse flies every day.
The well to do farmers have been using drugs (trypanocides) to help repel the flies away from the grazing fields and within the homesteads.
Because of this circumstance, the farmers have been forced to graze their livestock late in the morning hence completely avoiding early and late evening grazing everyday when tsetse flies, a routine that is hard to keep given that livestock especially cattle feed a lot.
But in a bid to help farmers solved this menace, the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) has developed a repellent collar that is tied around the animal's neck and in the process repels tsetse flies.
"The repellents have been identified from odors of animals avoided by tsetse, like the waterbuck, a big antelope species that is common in tsetse-infested areas of eastern Africa but which is rarely fed on by the flies," the Principal Investigator of the project Dr. Rajinder Saini said.
He noted that these repellent collars slowly dispense the chemicals in them, thereby protecting the animals and their herders from the flies.
Saini observed that the disease levels in protected cattle had been reduced by more than 90 percent and that repellent collars performed better than traditional traps that had been used by the institution in areas such as Lambwe Valley in Homa bay County.
and that story notes why this is important


These flies carry the trypanosome parasites that cause human African trypanosomosis, commonly called sleeping sickness, and the livestock disease nagana.
The problem of tsetse and trypanosomosis thus lies at the heart of Africa's struggle against poverty.
About 60 million people are at risk of getting sleeping sickness in Africa and more than 300,000 are infected yearly, of whom 95 percent do not receive any treatment because of the remoteness of the affected areas.
Trypanosomosis currently causes annual losses of some 1.5 billion US dollars and over the long run has had the effect of limiting Africa's agricultural income to some 4.5 billion dollars a year below its potential level.
About 3 million cattle die annually due to the disease. The flies are one of the main reasons why 80 percent of the continent's land is still tilled by hand due to the absence of draught-power.
Few livestock also implies less availability of manure that could be used as organic fertilizer, consequently leading to lower yields of crop and fodder plants.
Almost more than any other disease affecting people and livestock, trypanosomosis thus straddles the ground between human health, livestock health and agricultural production, and thus rural development.

radiation has also been used to control the fly. from the VOA



After the sterilization, a plane spreads thousands of non-productive tsetse flies every Wednesday in various parts of Ethiopia, especially along riverbed breeding grounds. So far, more than a million laboratory flies have been released. Now sterilized flies outnumber fertile flies, eight to one.

Sacrificing children to get ahead.

BBC article on child sacrifice 


sigh. When I worked in Liberia, newspapers reported about two mangled bodies were found and one teenager managed to run away and talk to the press.

When HIV started hitting the elites, many went to these shamans (not witch doctors: witch doctors DIAGNOSE witchcraft...those who do things like this are witches).

headsup TurtleBay and beyond blogspot, who note that Americans and Europeans have no problem sacrificing children so they can succeed...the difference being, of course, that Americans and Europeans sacrifice their own children before birth.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Central African Republic

It's not a "religious" war unless it is pay back for previous atrocities.

From StrategyPage

Most of the mayhem is in the largely Christian south and especially in and around the capital, where most of the Moslems are in the south. This all began when the capital was captured by Moslem rebels in early 2013. That was followed by rebels engaging in extensive looting and other crimes. Most of their victims were Christians. This included some deliberate attacks on churches. That resulted in Christians forming militias to fight the rebels. In the last year over 2,000 people have died, most of them in the last six months. Now the Moslems remaining in the south are arming themselves and fighting back at Christian civilians. This caused the number of refugees in and around the capital to go from 20,000 to over 200,000 in March.
The Christian militia are also angry because the peacekeepers failed to curb rebel violence against Christians last year. The general chaos of the last few months has caused over a million people (a quarter of the CAR population) to flee their homes
 
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