Saturday, 13 November 2010

Behsud District Development Assembly

We attended our first Behsud District Development Assembly (DDA) to assess the level of governance currently operating in Behsud. DSG Israhulla gave a well considered talk about the importance of security and standing firm against poppy planting. From that point on the DDA chairman took over the meeting and turned it into something resembling a union hall "fire up against the man" speech, blasting everyone for "lack of development" in Behsud (when in fact millions of dollars have been spent here by numerous countries and development organizations) to his own national army involvement in a land dispute where a stalled computer center project stands 80% constructed. The meeting ended after his 45 minute diatribe, with no discussion of district planning / priorities. The DDA is actually the only local representative body interacting with Afghan government, and unfortunately this particular meeting did not inspire confidence that this representational body functions as intended.

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