Friday, 26 March 2010

Watapor District development meeting

The top pictures shows (L-R) CPT Park, Mike (the civil affairs interpreter), Watapor district sector officer, Gul Khan, and Public Health director Dr. Mir Zaman. The other picture shows district prosecutor Mohammad Ghani and Ag director Mir Weis. The Watapor distict government is in the fledgling stages of establishment and there is considerable mentoring going on between civil affairs and the civilian development team. Much of the meeting focused on trying to get line directors away from asking for handouts that have very little to do with development and focused upon the true needs of the people. Talked a fair amount with the public health Dr. about infant mortality and its causes - neonatal septicemia, naval infections, pneumonia, malnutrition - and what could be done to reduce it. He concluded much of the problem is related to sanitation and agreed to start a series of radio announcements talking about the relation between sanitation and disease. If he follows through on this I'm hoping it will at least get people questioning their practices and perhaps doing something about it! Tackling issues like human malnutrition are complex and link to the sad state of nutrition in the food animals - and the line directors are more used to asking for "stuff" than participating in complex strategic planning. I'm hoping to demonstrate the inter - relatedness of the line directors' work resulting in greater cooperation and project planning that actually meets basic human needs. We'll be meeting with these folks weekly and it will be interesting indeed to see how far they get come December...

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