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The East African : Dec 12th 2015
20 The EastAfrican OPINION DECEMBER 12-18,2015 LAST WORD F≥om China with love — and th≥ee million kilos of human hai≥ China has been in the Illustration:Patrick Gathara Joachim Buwembo We hate climate change, it’s d≥ying up the ≥ive≥s of NGO funding... W e hate climate change. I mean we the African elite who have spent the past two to three decades attending seminars and workshops (whatever the difference is between the two), writing project proposals and working on paper projects that don’t waste much effort on the ground. HIV/Aids for instance, has been such a wonderful epidemic; a great source of private investment funds. Many shopping complexes, apartment blocks, nice cars and commercial matatus are direct proceeds from Aids projects. But this climate change is so complicated we are yet to locate its mammary glands to milk them. It is really frustrating to hear people talking billions of dollars at those COP meetings when the process of diverting a couple of millions to your department you spend the project money on increasing the housing stock (which is also in acute shortage), because you can always explain away its non-performance. For example, you could say the patients died because they did not follow the instructions for taking their ARVs. Consequently, you give the donors a supplementary budget for training patients in the proper administration of the lifesaving drugs. You give the mini project a catchy acronym and the donors also send an expert to help manage it. HIV has thus been beneficial in more ways than one. But this talk of carbon credits is just dizzying and disturbing our heads. How do these people expect us to access their climate billions when it is so complicated? If it is to build robust infrastructure that can withstand the vagaries of extreme weather variations, do they realise this is not possible with the normal budgeting process where a reasonable percentage must be taken by different players? If it is to replant a forest, where do they think we shall put all the voters, sorry encroachers, who occupy the former forests? With HI, if they say they are earmark- r e - mains so unclear. Unlike HIV, for which you could create an NGO in one day to cater for people living with the virus, to provide proper nutrition for afflicted children, to provide school fees for orphans and or any other idea that came to your head, this climate change is so dry I am yet to see a person who has bought even a secondhand car from it, let alone built an apartment block. And the beauty with HIV is that it is very difficult to pin you down when ing a billion dollars for a certain programme, the relevant African ministry writes its proposal and the minister’s nephew is put in charge of managing the new project. A hundred million dollars is wired to the project account and housing projects, shopping malls start coming up as more 4WDs are bought to grace our streets and highways on weekends. But this climate change! Especially Illustration: John Nyagah the carbon emissions business — Africa only contributes some 2 per cent of the greenhouse gases. So how do we claim funds to cut emissions? Fine, we have the carbon sinks in the name of forests to preserve. But that is difficult; moreover, failing to replant forests cannot be explained away like an Aids patient failing to recover. Once again: We hate climate change! news, having offered $60 billion in assistance and loans to boost development in Africa; however, what some African countries imported from China last year has been raising eyebrows. Benin imported $411 million worth of false beards and hairpieces. A hefty three million kilogrammes of the “human hair” were shipped to Benin, with many of those wigs finding their way to neighbouring Nigeria. South Africa was the continent’s biggest importer of Chinesemade male underpants at $16 million, comprising 88 per cent of South Africa’s imported pants. Kenya was Africa’s biggest importer of plastic Chinese toilet seats in 2014, spending $8.2 million. From Paris with love, a death-dealing missile From Paris with Love! That was the inscription on the American missiles bound for Islamic State strongholds in Syria. This was in response to ISIS accepting responsibility for the recent Paris killings. The message, has apparently been written by members of the US military in an act of solidarity with those affected by the Paris attacks. Leaving graffiti messages aimed for those targeted by missiles has been a US military tradition since the Second World War. Why even activists need good tailors… A Croatian human-rights activist was left red faced after his trousers fell down just as he was receiving an important award from the country’s president. Ivan Zvonimir Cicak reached out to take the certificate from Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic when he lost control of his lower garments. Cicak, the head of the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, was photographed looking embarrassed as his trousers slumped around his ankles, before defiantly picking them up again and carrying on. Luckily, Cicak’s dignity was saved by the fact that Grabar-Kitarovic was holding the large award in her hands, preventing anyone getting a glimpse of his underwear. The award was presented to Cicak and the committee in Zagreb for their work ahead of International Human Rights Day on December 10. ...And why real gents never pay their tailors The famous British war prime minister Winston Churchill died without paying $18,000 he had accrued with tailor Henry Poole & Co. Despite the arrears, the tailor had continued to make clothes for Churchill, said James Sherwood, a historian who has examined Poole and Co’s archives. “Churchill said it was for morale, it was good for us [Henry Poole] to dress him and he wasn’t aware we were short of cash. He never did pay, and never came back – he never forgave us,” Sherwood added on Poole’s website. Carson can’t find his ancestors with both hands Attempts by Republican US presidential aspirant Ben Carson to boost his flagging popularity backfired when he got his geography wrong, saying the Turkana — his purported ancestors — live on the border between Kenya and Tanzania. It appears that his tour of Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia will not boost poll numbers after all. Yet, he can take solace in the fact that his target audience are little concerned about the countries he is touring. See you late≥, alligato≥ — A bu≥gla≥’s swan song A 22-year-old man suspect- ed of breaking into homes in Florida was killed and partially eaten by an 11-foot alligator after he waded into a lake, apparently to avoid detection by police. His body was found 10 days later float- ing in the lake. The police chased Matthew Riggins of Palm Bay and another suspect with dogs after residents in the Bay community reported two men walking behind their houses.
Dec 5th 2015
Dec 19th 2015