The donors – USAID & DFID have failed – Terribly, Pathetically – “paucity of Applicable IQ”
Well, we all know DFID, USAID, EUAID (Is there such a thing?) GIZ – as a DEVELOPMENT Agency – needs to be shut down, or at least – reduced to one woman writing cheques and a team of M&E experts – external.
Pre-qualification: *the term “White People” refers to ALL colours 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.
Case Study 1-10,074 (they are pretty much all along the same principles)
June 2009 – Arkel Hotel – we see USAID’s FARM project roll into town – $75Mn given to CBT to “develop agriculture” in SoSu – the world’s darling new-born child…
I will hide names – because – well – they are still alive – and they were sent to fail… obviously USAID did not want food security in SoSu… If USAID wants the names – they can send their rep to meet me in Nairobbery…
So we see “Chuck-Travis” from Texas – big talking, big drinking – they set up residence in Arkel Hotel (where I was a regular and ended up buying it a few years later, owning it for 4Hrs 45Min – I was charged with ATTEMPTED double-Murder!!! a story for another day) … His Deputy was a mild mannered man, very shy and soft spoken. Call him Bob.
Chuck was a big talking, big drinking Texan, early 60’s, short, fat – and a racist heterosexual… this was going to be interesting… heterosexual I say again… this was the first time in my life when I understood that Whores/Kanjris – I am referring to real whores and Kanjris, not Uncle Muneer the Choor (He who steals from the Punjabi Muslims in Kenya) – again – … this was the first time in my life when I understood that Whores/Kanjris provide an essential service, but this man was a racist – and no “white-paleskin UN Chiquette was going to look at him TWICE” – means back home – local paleskin whores were providing essential services… but here – the essential service providers were decidedly darker, from Kenya and Uganda, perhaps a few Ethi-trean waitresses moonlighting on the side. NO Russians…
So Chuck-Travis – one evening, after a week surveying Juba, seeing eggs are imported from Uganda, says to me – You Kenyans don’t know shit, we are going to put 250,000 layers on the ground by December… (remember we are now in July 2009, he is talking of Dec 2009)…
Me: We, Kenyans, do not know? And you think we have not put chickens on the ground because we are stupid?
Chuck Travis: No, you do not understand large-scale business, Juba needs eggs, South Sudan needs eggs, and so, we will put 250,000 layers on the ground, by December we will have started production of at least 20,000 eggs per day.
Me: seeing as this was turning into a pissing match between me – driving a 1989GX and a $75Mn budget holder… how do you tell him he is an idiot? I simply said: “Wow – that is impressive”.
Incubators, brooders, feeders were brought in – and eggs by the pickup load from Uganda… were ordered to be brought in… and the project “almost started”… but for a human flaw…
Now – USAID is useless at pretty much everything except dishing out copious amounts of $$$ to Amreekian based companies… but the one thing they ARE GOOD AT – is stopping predatory sexual behavior amongst their staff and contractors.
Chuck Travis said to me one evening “You know Nawaz, we Travis boys are not racist, but we just do not go with black girls”… again I looked around – the white women NGO workers – were not even glancing at our table… Travis of CBT had a budget for $75Mn – so what? Aecom had $100Mn+, DynCorp $100Mn+ Louis Berger $900Mn+… UN Budgets were bigger – much bigger – Crown Agents was overseeing $5Bn… and for a fact – every UN employee was making about $10K per month salary… so… what do they need an “old pot-bellied-Amreeki-man for”?
The story changed… RAPIDLY… Chuck Travis discovered the Black Diamonds of +254 and +256… Wueh – he began the TRUAG routine very vast (Temporary Revolving UnderAge Girlfriends – for you see, under UN/USAID rules, girlfriends are allowed, prostitutes are not. So Uncle Muneer, you are NOT allowed to be seen with USAID and UN Staff)… Next thing we knew, Chuck Travis was fired, and he was seen on a Google-Group offering the equipment he had ordered for sale – so he could stay in SoSu a bit longer and enjoy the Black Diamonds on offer…
But I am an ass… 6th or 7th Jan – when Juba reopened, I went to Farm HQ and asked the receptionist – “I’d like to buy a tray of eggs please?” The receptionist looked up at me and asked me what I meant? “Chuck Travis tole me you would have 20,000 eggs per day by December 2009, towards a target of 250,000 per day, this is January 2010, can I have an egg-tray, full of eggs laid in Juba please”? The FARM receptionist (Kenyan, elderly) looked at me and smiled, and said “Mr Khan, you know these white people like to talk a lot”…
And thus died the chicken project.
Now, his deputy obviously knew nothing about eggs… and had a real girlfriend from +256 – shady Trixie… and so Bob and Shady Trixie – essentially wrote projects that meant she could procure the stuff from UG, get paid and skim money… one time – the bicycles were in FARM’s compound being assembled BEFORE the tender even closed… another time they specified Chinese hand held tractors – why? That was available in +256… forget their legendary short-lived-ness, no spares, no mechanics… the tenders were “what Shady Trixie” could arrange a commission on in Uganda!
So – after a few years – and a $10Mn extension: Total increased agricultural output in SoSu? 40 tonnes per year – of Cassava – something every Afreekian Granny knows how to grow.
A DFID led consortium called CBTF: Community Based Trust Fund: Essentially they Hired ASI – Adam Smith International – to make up a working Government Press – amongst other tasks – water blah di blah…
ASI – Are a bunch of useless liars – capable of achieving pretty much nothing… except fake reviews of themselves…
The SoSu Govt Press:
1) Incorrect equipment.
2) Mixed Voltage Equipment. – Germany, India, Japan.
3) 2nd hand equipment.
4) Generator too small – in practice – when the cutter demanded power, the voltage dropped, the motors sagged, power fluctuations, paper-jams – requiring a shut-down and many hours to re-set the paper, rollers… Genset was 150Kva – needed 250Kva to cope with the massive current draw of a heavy-duty paper cutter, when already running under load… “Practice and Experience Vs Google-Knowledge”… Google-ASI says 150Kva – I say 250Kva, guess who got proved right?
Now: the CBTF got A’s and I think one B from the M&E (Monitoring and Evaluation Officer sent to do the M&E.
Also Now: Me to Phares (Dir of CBTF) Phares, since ASI left, how many times has the Govt Press run? Phares: “Never”.
How is this possible? DFID Back home sees A, A, A, A, B = almost perfect project surely?
On the ground – SoSu Govt Press does not work, they grow maize around the Big Genset, and run the small genset to do their private work and play Solitaire on their Windows systems.
No3) Project worked, just their choice of car was silly to the point of stupidity!
EU Airport Security project (Skodas)
Juba airport – was a mess… security was lax – so lax, that there was actually a duty officer in Nairobi whose job it was to sort out the mess when a South Sudanese passenger disembarked with a gun… For a fact – I used to walk in (through the proper security measures though…) to buy Coke Zero when ONLY Jit Duty Free had it… the privilege of being well-known…
So the EU decided – we needed more protection at the airport… (??? We, so crazy, need protection? From whom? The devil?)
Now take a step back. South Sudan SoSu – is a Toyota Country. There is no other country SO dominated by Toyota… except, well (Aus, Som, Chad, etc. etc. you know what I mean!). When asked by many people – “which car should I buy”? My answer was always: “One of three choices, Toyota, Toyota or Toyota”. The reasons are myriad, but it should suffice to know that the following Ambassadors: US, India, China, UK Germany France ALL use Toyota as vehicle of choice. I well remember arranging an NGO with EU funding to buy VW pickups from Brazil (re-badged Toyota Hiluxes)… thus in a stroke, ensuring reliability as well as EU bosses happy they were buying VW!
And so EU came, with which choice of car? Skoda! A car with zero spare parts or service parts in SoSu… Kampala was the nearest for spare parts – and even there, the population is close to zero… After their 6-month training stint was over – the white people fly off… where to buy the Skoda oil filters? Some were jerry-rigged with “almost well-fitting” Toyota filters, small leaks… air filters were modified… then 3 months later – all were grounded due to a simple fact: Brake pads… fuel filter, track rod ends, and blah sensor… not a single Sleek Blue Skoda made it past 12 months.
Now in all fairness, the training was well done, security improved at the airport.
No4) The GTZ (Now GIZ) Aweil Rice Scheme Project was doomed to fail (Like DFID’s SDP Goat milk project, which I predicted was going to fail, and the impending JKUAT Snail-Slime Project, which will fail in the next few months) – I also called this one out, before it started, watched it succeed (whilst the Germans were there) and went to see it a year after the “white people left”.
So – Aweil – is a wonderful place – for agricultural activities. Grasslands as far as the eye can see – flat – perfect for rice farming. Rice farming was carried out by the Arabs of the North till the 1980’s when rebels like Paul Malong made life too dangerous and they fled, leaving abandoned ricefields, which turned into grasslands – and were grazed upon by Dinkas and their long-horned cattle.
30+ years – this is grassland – Dinkas are cattle-keepers – nomadic-ish – they follow the grass – and it is not unusual for cattle to walk 1,800km a year – with the herders following for security… (more on work ethic later).
So a white man in Germany reads about Aweil Rice scheme in the 1970’s and decides – yes HE DECIDES – the black man in Aweil needs help to grow rice. Yes, you can see where this is going… so when the tender for equipment comes up – I was alarm-ed – this has to be pronounced alaram-ed – and went to see the ambassador – this was a waste of money and effort – the money could be used elsewhere – (growing chickens for USAID – just kidding) – it turns out the budget was $65Mn. Anyways – the ambassador was unmoved by my pleas… and so I stated – that project will fail.
So – the white men got brand new Caterpillar machinery delivered from Khartoum, and built a new rice mill… generators… graders, bulldozers – and somehow $65Mn was used up – rice flourished – then the white men went away. I flew up to see Governor Malong, and was taken to see the rice fields – well back-to-grass fields – less than 24 months after the GIZ team left. The magnificent new grader – one wheel missing – WHERE were you ever going to use a grader tyre in Aweil? At home – for a bouncy castle?
I was summoned for a meeting with some Aweil elders – where no less than 3 past Governors (Including Cleto Akot, who had gotten over his distaste and mistaken belief that I slept in my car – my car was as messy still – but there was money to be made from me as a farmer), one former Finance Minister and some random VIP asked me to go to Aweil and grow rice “with them”. I was merciful – and told them bluntly – you are Juba politicians – if you go to Aweil to grow rice, you will lose all your money. I am many things, but entering a sure-to-fail project – is not what I do. It was a short meeting.
Again GTZ gave themselves A, A, A and A. for their $65Mn – how much rice does Aweil grow currently? Less than 100 tonnes.
I then happened to meet the German Ambassador – at a social function – and asked him – he was the same man – politely – “Your excellency, after spending $65Mn, how much rice are the Awelians growing?” He mumbled something… me: “Your excellency did anybody ask these cattle-keeping Dinkas if they want to grow rice”? He mumbles something again and rushed off to refill his ¾ full glass of wine… Why the fuck am I calling a complete imbecile – yes the German Ambassador was an imbecile – “your excellency”???
No5) SNV from Dutchland came to see me – with their project (I think they were sent by “Kate the Fearsome” from CBTF) called SSPARK. I looked at it, and said – this will never work, it has fundamental flaws. I can tweak it and make it work, if you want. The same answer – designed in Dutchland by Prof Gruitenhuis (who has seen Tarzan the movie 14 times, therefore KNOWS Afreekia)…
I met their country director at a social function, (their target was 500XYZ) after two years Ms L.S – “so LXXXXX, did your project fail, or did your project fail”? LXXXXX just looked at me and smiled that enigmatic smile of a loser, who knew she was going into a losing fight, and lost, and yet, was still here, trapped by an enormous salary. Did you even manage 20XYZ? “No she said”… and thus died SSPARK run by SNV… like growing trout in the desert… it was never going to work even with the white people present… normally bad by SNV…
No, NO No6)… The French? They do not even qualify in this league of losers – they have to improve, to become a loser!
Why the disconnect between M&E Grades and reality on the ground?
Let me explain in detail, an almost-real project – I can see will be conceived again, and will be carried out to perfection again – this one will get Straight A’s again… and yet…
DFID decides that GoSS MUST have a working Press, and so decides to start a new Govt Press to publish the laws that will be written (SoSu cannot write any laws – because the number of legal draftsmen in SoSu? 0.00. Educated Ministers draft their own laws… which, well, will be full of flaws… well-meaning, but flawed) Governing SoSu is done by a series of Ministerial or Presidential orders – the early laws were drafted by legal eagles like Bill Kosar… and a host of legal experts paid for by USAID… hosted at AFEX)
And so the hire CFHI (Charlatans for Hire International) – like ASI… someone with a track record and ticks all the right boxes.
And so the come and do an assessment:
6 months building.
6 months equipment sourcing and installation.
6 months training and handover
18 months project – 10 staff – $1.2Mn equipment, $3.6Mn salaries for expatriate staff on contract.
$4.8Mn project budget. 1.2Mn on the project – rest salaries and expenses for Expats
And so CFHI (Charlatans for Hire Int) come, set up in a 5-star hotel, hire a contractor, make the building – in the meantime the consultants are scouring the internet for cheap-machinery – and get the main printing press from India (someone is selling a good one 2nd hand), the slide-to-plate equipment from Germany, the massively powerful cutter/guillotine from Japan and the Generator from UK.
The manuals show a total power consumption of 140Kva, and so a 150Kva Prime, 165Kva standby genset is sourced. Should work, correct? NK says no… needs 250Kva Prime due to “starting current draw surges from the Guillotine/paper cutter” and genset governor’s ability to maintain correct frequency/voltage when already loaded at 80% plus. (Can explain about motor starting currents etc., in a separate post).
They order the equipment – and realise later – Japanese voltages – are different to UK, and the Indian press has a broken main frame … so some fast modifications – a power unit to allow a UK Genset at 240V 50Hz to power a Japanese motor – 100V 60Hz (these are single phase voltages) the mind boggles!!! More so when that unit blows – how will they replace it? They cannot buy Skoda filters from next door – how will they source a power unit from Japan?
So anyways a new frame is ordered, the power unit is ordered, the units assembled, the presses run, on a full load test – the guillotine causes the voltage to drop, the momemtum causes a paper jam… 2-3 hours stop, undo jam, reload paper – run again – this time – NO guillotine to run when main press us running!
After some weeks training – literally of random black people – they do a test run – not so good… and so – this is the truth – go to Nhial Bol Aken’s Citizen newspaper, pay him to print the 1st issue of the Govt Gazette a a3-4 page advertisement, buy a few hundred copies, cut out the advert, send it to DFID as a sample – and get the hell out of dodge city, leaving Phares & Co (Phares was DG of Govt Press) scratching their heads – as to what to do to turn this pig’s ear into a functioning press!
NOW – remember – ASI – CHIF – lied… but now comes the Monitoring & Evaluation expert:
Q1) Was the Project within Budget? Yes = A
Q2) Was the project finished on time? Yes = A
Q3) Was the project training completed and was the project handed over – as a TURN-KEY project to the Locals? Yes = A.
Q4) Is there a copy of the actual Govt Gazette printed – available for DFID to see? Yes = A.
So – back home in London – a man smoking a pipe in a tweed suit and a posh accent sees “A, A, A, A” and says “Jolly Good Show Chappies, What-What”. Closes his office, and walks to his West-End flat to his loving wife and dutiful doggie – or was it dutiful wife and loving doggie? – I digress – he knows he has done his duty for Queen and Country, and helped the Black man better his life somewhere in farflungistan, Africa. He went once, with the queen on her visit in the 1960’s, you know, it was very promising back then, all those topless girls with their ostrich feathers, one didn’t know where to look!
Back in South Sudan – Phares and Co – look at this mish-mash of machinery, and put in a budget for GoSS for modification, streamlining and functionality…
Min of Finance: “BUT YOU JUST GOT A NEW BUILDING AND NEW MACHINERY! You must be trying to defraud us!”
And so – back to playing solitaire and using external presses for whatever jobs parliament needs printed… luckily there are no laws being drafted… because there are no legal draftsmen to draft the laws… just a series of presidential, ministerial and National directives – being fired off Ad-Hoc…
Now the Missing Questions:
Q5) Were the locals involved from Day1?
Q5) Will the project be sustainable and ongoing in 2 years after handover?
Q5+24Mths) IS THE PROJECT STILL ONGOING? Yes = A. No = 24 months suspension of ASI-CFHI from DFID.
In London – a bearded man in his 60’s with several awards from the Queen and a chauffeur driven Jaguar is smoking his pipe – he leans out of the large window in his west end flat – even in winter, because his wife does not allow him to smoke indoors… he is still wondering “those darned Afreekians” – we have spent so much money and still, they have achieved nothing!
Don’t believe me? Go see that massive cracked frame of the Indian Press at Govt Press Juba… go round the back and see how many chickens roosting inside the 150Kva Generator housing…