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July 9, 2020
Nawaz Khan Memoirs

The donor puzzle – examining USAID/EUAID/DFID presence in Africa – Part IV

This section explores one spectacular success – and the reasoning behind it – it was demand driven, not supply-driven.


A ‘Pull-me Vs Push-me’ approach. From Supply Chain Management Theory.

“Supply chain strategy determines when product should be fabricated, delivered to distribution centres and made available in the retail channel. Under a pull supply chain, actual customer demand drives the process, while push strategies are driven by long-term projections of customer demand.” Borrowed from internet.


The term “White People” refers to ALL Colors from UK, USA and EU, they are defined by their hand-sanitizers and Apple Macs/iPads/i-everything, in their earnest, zealous endeavors to “save the Afreekian”. Daniel Deng and Parek Maduot (Two black men – are typical of “white people”)… it is NOT a racist/color thing.

So: What is missing from this equation?

The answer was Grandma Pumpkin’s answer “Market”. Those simple words: Where will I sell them? (If she grew 100 pumpkins).

Now – whether DFID’s SDP, GTZ’s Aweil Rice, USAID’s FARM or SNV’s SSPARK – they were all “Supply driven projects”. Yes really – Govt announces $$$ or £££ for overseas aid… some PhD’s in ivory towers design the project that will “quench Afreekia’s thirst”, some NGO or company of charlatans like ASI will bid for the work… say it is water and Food – ASI will form an acronym WTI (Water {for the} Thirsty International) , another will form FHI – Food (for the) Hungry International.

Photo credits: DFID file images
Photo credits: DFID file images

Also Interesting: http://kuchorea.com/why-are-we-poor-in-africa-we-never-learnt-to-hoard-part-iii/

WTI and FHI roll into town – with big budgets (Marv Koop – a wonderful man who ran a tight ship for AECOM had USAID give him $110Mn, simply because he was not screwing things up as royally as CBT!). USAID comes with $100Mn, DFID comes with £10Mn, EU with €50Mn or so. “Lanes Ma Fren”.

Now – JICA – are spectacularly successful-ish – because they just come, look at a problem – and build a road or a bridge or a water station or a power station. No loans, no big names – just come and build bridges. I say “Ish” – they do not think through their projects – they are always incomplete – because they KNOW the Govt of Afreekia will carry out its bit…
So WTI and FHI will roll into town, WTI will see a river, buy huge pumping machines (from Holland) and start pumping water uphill, then gravity feed 100K to 200,000 acres – or some few towns.
FHI will decide to plant rice/wheat in Narok – Maasailand, because they did a soil test and have seen Mwarabus growing wheat, and rice will grow if they just build a few dikes to trap the water a few months.
Now in detail.
WTI: They have two MASSIVE 650BHP Cummins QSX15 engines – connected to commensurately large pumps from Euro-land. The engines run 48-50 hours non stop (4-day shifts) then the other and so on till each hits 250 hours and is serviced.. The water is muddy – and they have dug out a massive holding pond on top of the hill, where the mud settles, then the water is gravity fed to various towns and settlement schemes.

Now, the QSX15 is state-of the art… computerized – with seriously expensive nozzles and fuel pump.

The water in the pond has a heavy silt load, so the Euros import a de-silting barge from Euroland – it sucks the muddy silt water and pumps it over the edge, off the hill, to be carried down by gravity and rain. It is powered by a Deutz Engine, and an ABB water Pump.

This system works fine for the 12-months training and handover period, they pat themselves on their collective backs, and fly off. Fuel is bought from Shell/Total – and is high quality. Ole-Kamau at base is a hardworking chap who takes pride in his job. WTI is assessed by USAID/EU/DFID and gets 5A’s in its M&E assessment – the highest possible.

Now – Omondi the chief engineer in Nairobbery HQ, needs to marry his daughter – gets together with a local charlatan – a home-grown version of ASI – these guys will do anything – they buy local adulterated fuel, paint a truck in Shell colors and start delivering cheaper dirtier fuel. Each trip he is paid a kickback of 30,000/-. ($300). He further discovers that if he signs an LPO for 30,000 litres and only delivers 27,000 litres, he gets a further $1,500 per shipment.

Ole Kamau needs to run the engines as a priority, or townsfolk get thirsty and so shuts down the de-silting barge. One QSX15 develops injector and pump issues – and so they run the other 24hrs for 250hours non-stop. The injectors and pump go to the Cummins dealer – Simba Colt or Car and General – and they have none in stock, and the replacement costs $20,000 – so an LPO requisition goes to Min of Waterworks – who query the cost. It gets approved after 4 weeks, the parts get orders and 12 weeks later, QSX15 No2 comes back online. QSX15 No1 has developed a front crankshaft oil seal leak – as a result of running under load with over-thin oil (sometimes engineers took a few days off and left it running to 300+ hours before a service.).

Photo credits: DFID Sight-savers program
Photo credits: DFID Sight-savers program

Also Read: http://kuchorea.com/the-saying-good-old-days-is-outdated-and-this-is-why-the-new-times-are-hundred-times-better/

This oil seal – also – needs to be sent to Cummins dealer and LPO, blah blah another 12 weeks.
In the meantime, the de-silting barge is no longer working – the mud has risen too high and blocked the water pump inlet, in trying to start the de-silter, the ABB pump strained and broke the coupling between engine and pump. This is 14 weeks away (who is the dealer for ABB in Kenya? Does anyone know?)… now muddy water is coming and flowing directly into the pipes (water capacity reduced) and so towns people get muddy water – disease spikes up., before the water pipes clog up completely.

The De-silter is dead.

The two QSX15 engines are now no longer operating, and so the engineering team decide to “recycle parts for sale” – starter gets replaced, alternator, ECU, modules sensors get sold to “people in the trade” that need parts urgently.

This is how XXXX Irrigation scheme was killed – doubt me – climb to the top of the hill that “HUT” is the de-silting barge’s cabin – the rest is buried in mud, ossifying. This was a Govt of Wakandya project, maybe it had funding – maybe not – they are worse, much worse than donors.

Now in detail.

FHI: They have decided to plant wheat/rice in Narok, go and build a rice factory, and dig trenches, irrigation channels and dykes to trap the water…

They plant 10,000 acres, start the rice factory, 4 x Mercedes trucks transport the milled rice to Nairobbery City, the capital, where it sells. Handsomely.

GTZ (Whoops did I mention GTZ?) now gets assessed, and gets awarded 5A’s, much partying and drinking and celebration, there is a handing over and a symbolic “Golden Key” to the factory is given to the Governor. They fly off. Everyone looks around and a few foreigners (Mwarabus Muhindia) come and lease the land and start farming.

DFID program in West Pokot, Kenya. (File image)
DFID program in West Pokot, Kenya. (File image)

6 months later…

the Maasai’s look on – cattle keepers and nomads… they initially skirt around the dykes – and when they see full heads of wheat/rice – they walk over and their cattle eat it. This is their land – and a hungry cow – is a hungry cow. The private farmers are not allowed to fence the land… it is a county prerogative… County has no money… and so the Indians and Arabs go back to Mombasa and Nairobbery… the land lies fallow – the Maasais continue grazing their cattle…

You doubt GTZ is that stupid? Come to Aweil… or shall I tell of a Pizza project by a German company with ingredients IMPORTED from Germany – funded by GTZ?

YET, YET, YET – in the midst of all this gloom, stupidity ineptitude and sijui nini – best encapsulated in the work “Miasma”… there is a sparkling success.

Why? Michael Joseph. The few times I have referred to him, I simply refer to him as a Business God.
Sharp as a sword? No – more like penetrating analysis like a laser-chromatography (if such a thing exists – it is MJ).

So Michael Joseph is tasked with playing catch up to KenCell – and decides to “Go Low” and catch the common man… and sees “traders in North Eastern” are using Safaricom Credit as a proxy currency. You, employed in Nairoberry can send a trader in Garissa 1,000 airtime – and he gives your unemployed relative 900/- and sells that credit for 1,000/- over several transactions.

MJ speaks to DFID and Stanbic, Stanbic agrees to host them on the banking side, DFID gives MJ/Safaricom a £1Mn grant. It was piloted then launched slowly… today Mr Zuckerberg, Gates et. al. come to see the wonderful golden-plumed goose, that lays the golden eggs, that is M-Pesa. Why has MJ not been made a Baron? Baron Joseph of Westlands? (Where Safaricom has its many HQ’s.)

Doubt me? Ask John Ngumi… then of Stanbic… they had just raised $40Mn for Safaricom’s expansion as a corporate bond… to finance the catch-up drive.

Now – WHY the difference between Safaricom – which is a £1Mn NGO financed project – and the dismal failures of CBT/DFID/EU which are 100x larger?

Ans: Demand Led, Vs Supply Led.

Those of you confused here:

Demand led: “We need Maize” cry the hungry Afreekians (who eat white maize)
Supply led: “We have Yellow Maize” cry Amreekians – here it is – shiploads!

Which do you think will be more successful?

Now in both cases WTI and FHI have been awarded 5A’s in their M&E Assessments – and flown away – leaving behind rusting edifices for their $60Mn efforts.

And Michael Joseph’s baby is now fully fledged, more a golden eagle, looking to attack, eat and take out Ethio-Ug-SoSu-Rwan-TZ Telkom companies and transform their economies… I can buy maize on the side of the road and pay the maize vendor 20/-. I can also pay for an air ticket (remember air travel, when people willingly entered metal tubes and sat with random, untested strangers and ate food handled by strangers?) on Mpesa, groceries, electric bills, shopping and well – tax, register a company etc.

Thank you “Baron Michael of Westie” for transforming life in +254.

Also Read: http://kuchorea.com/the-end-of-foreign-aid-as-we-know-it-usaid-euaid-dfid-and-reasons-for-their-pathetic-failures-part-ii/

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