28 October 2018

A very important event in Burkina Faso is the “Tour du Faso”. A cycling competition on the paved roads of Burkina. Cyclers have to be very careful  because of the many potholes. Here no question of cycling “head in the handlebars”.

Women harvesting red sorghum. To make them smile I always say “show me your teeth”. Many women then put their hand in front of their mouth to hide their missing teeth. I have to find another way to make them smile.

MAGGI broth cubes used to castrate bulls

The broth cubes from MAGGI are known to be very bad for the health of people. Many studies have been done on this, especially for the ones sold in Africa.

I have found out this week that the cubes are also used to castrate bulls. A few broth cubes in some water are given to the bull and it is done. Maybe women should be more careful preparing the meals of their husband using broth cubes! Or maybe not…..

I have also found out this week that shepherds who use a more drastic and very painful way to castrate their animals using wooden sticks, have a strange way to check if they have done the job properly. After the castration he checks the incisive of the calf. If they move, the castration is effective. Why? I do not know. May bethe animal is in such pain that he clenches is teeth very hard? Just joking.

Hidden corruption 

This a theme I write about often. Feasibility studies using expensive consultants is one way to take money out of a project without too much scrutiny. Often the consulting job is given to a company close to the people in charge of the project.

We support a village called Fon. This village has the blessing to have an artesian well providing water since 30 years without any pumping. So far nothing has been done with this free flowing water.

Several institutions have come to see what could be done with all this water (irrigation, distribution). Every time the institutions came and then disappear. The last project is being funded by the UEMOA (Union Economique et Monetaire de l’Afrique de l’Ouest). The original budget was for 5.4 billion FCFA (82.000.000 euro). Irrigation of 100 Ha for rice, irrigation for gardening, water distribution to about 10 villages in the area. This was several years ago at the beginning of the project. Following many expertises and counter expertises, the left over budget in 2018 is only 1.2 billion FCFA (1.800.000 euro). A few weeks ago a delegation of 10 big 4×4’s went to the village of Fon to confirm that nothing had been done so far. I guess this visit created something since the work has started, but for only 20 Ha irrigation and only 2 villages with water distribution.

Plastic pollution

Street around the corner of our house where I usually go walking.

Even so the plastic bags are forbidden by law, everybody is still using them. This creates a major pollution. They often end up in trees. Eugénie calls them the black flower of Africa.

Proverb of the week

You can drive out nature with a pitchfork but she keeps on coming back.

Vous pouvez chasser la nature avec une fourche, mais elle continue à revenir. Horace

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.     Lao Tzu

La nature ne se dépêche pas, pourtant tout est accompli.

Nothing about our project this week. They will be back on my next blog.

Until then,

Hervé

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