Crappy Drainage: Redux on Dirty Dili - Building Markets

Crappy Drainage: Redux on Dirty Dili

by Building Markets
December 7, 2010

Well I got far more comments in the Dirty Dili posting than I would have imagined.  More than a few people made very sensible comments.   One anonymous friend suggested I was harping about the inadequacies of UNTAEt and that that was old hat.  He’s right I suppose.  So it made me look into old stuff from that era if only for reasons of nostalgia – here is Worldbank ’99 Joint Assessement Mission report. Boring. …

One commentator caught me me on the hop.  She posted a Government press release from 5 November in which it seems cash has been put together for a plan….  I should have done my research.  This is good surely?

Cash for a Plan!

Now I do not know much about the subject, clearly as per above.  So I dug around.  Came across the ubiquitous power point presentation put together by the Government and some international partners on the development of a plan.  You can even have a look at the entire power point here, its pretty impressive, 26 slides in lots of fancy colours. We mock the military for their infatuation with power points, but its a problem for the development hack as well.

The Powerpoint version of a solution.

Now for those of you who get bored with power points I have turned it into a movie[youtube][/youtube]

One thing that concerned me is that when I opened up the presentation I noticed that in the document properties, the “consultants” “appear” to have done much of the drafting….  who owns the plan?

Lack of local ownership?

Although to be fair one of the lead “consultants” was quoted in the Government press release as saying that “The success of the project will not only be determined by how healthy and clean the Díli environment has become, but also by the Timor-Leste people’s ability to build on the systems introduced by the Masterplan”. It would seem that he was listening to my anonymous friend who commented on the last posting with the words, “Dili has crappy drainage because of eight years of Timorese mismanagement and inability to let a proper contract.”  Now I am sure that there was some nefarious international consultant involved in the muck up somewhere, perhaps even me somehow?

However, it has the makings of a proper plan, it is after all stretched out over 15 years.  Much more sensible than a 9 month UNDP project pilot, or something akin to it.  Something to stick into the top agenda at the Timor-Leste Development Partners Meeting in April 2011?

There is some urgency.  On the Ministry of State Administration website they have a 2001 era Dili District Profile posted. Read it here. What caught my eye was the numbers… the sleepy little numbers. It says that Dili had a population of 137,00o ten years ago…. That means there is another 100,000 people in town today. Thats a lot of plastic rubbish, beer cans and other crap.

Population proliferation. Worse than nuclear proliferation?

Just imagine Dili in 2020 – with 350,000 to 400,000 people wading through the muck.

Then again, why not follow the Burmese precedent.  Move the capitol – Aileu, or Baucau?

Tags : Dili urbanisation WATSAN

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