Friday, 26 March 2010

Kilemo foot bridge shura

These pictures show the shura (Afghani for meeting) held in the Manogai district center with the Kilemo village elders, a contractor, our civil affairs team led by Captain Park, and Manogai District acting governor SherBahadir (to CPT Park's left) for the construction of a new foot bridge in Kilemo. Each party brings their own set of responsibilities - the government and civil affairs does the budgeting, contracting and quality assurance, the contractor discusses the project specs and timeframe, and the village elders assure the security of the contractor and the workers. These shuras are of the utmost importance, assuring each party has a clear understanding of each other's obligations - "transparency" - thus minimizing the opportunities for corruption, sabotage, shoddy workmanship, etc. The contractor hires locally, helping assure community ownership, decent paying jobs (around $5 a day for the unskilled labor, pretty good pay in country with a per capita income of about $300 per annum), and safety. Contracts are signed and records kept in case disputes arise.

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