3 06 2011

“So how’s it going – saving the world?” I joked to the public health doctor this afternoon.
“Not very well” he replied. “We cannot address more than eight people without having police permission. If we send a person out to educate a group of people on HIV/AIDS he (or she) is immediately seen as partisan to a political party and reported. Our funding only lasts until the end of 2012” he said pointing to the logo of a branch of the UN on the side of his truck “and we are just standing still. There IS going to be an election this year and the (political) temperature is rising.”

I told him that yesterday I’d had a meeting with another branch of the UN which had a project going in rural Zimbabwe and wanted me to quote on a large order of onion seedlings. It hadn’t sounded very well thought out to me so I went along to discuss it. The manager of the project really wanted to get it going quicker than the 8 weeks it would take us to grow the seedlings so I suggested that they did it the old fashioned way with seed beds. I asked why there was such a rush to be told it was to keep idle young hands out of the way of the Devil – metaphorically speaking. I addedto the doctor that the last NGO order we’d done was sent out to the rural areas overnight to reduce the chance of being intercepted and disrupted.

“Why do we have to put up with this?” said the doctor, getting into his pickup. “Why can’t we just do as we like?” he added as he drove off.



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