No no no

I sincerely hope this comment was taken out of context:

“The problem of providing rural water around the world hasn’t been cracked,” said Philippe Dongier, World Bank country director for Tanzania. “You could say, ‘if that’s not going to be sustainable, why should we build it?’ But that could be said all over the world.”

That’s from Tom Murphy’s investigation into the World Bank’s $1.4bn failed water project in Tanzania. Alas I reckon Tom’s journalistic standards are likely to be better than the World Bank’s sustainability policies.

It’s with this kind of rubbish that international aid agencies shoot themselves in the foot. And yet they express bewilderment at the growing opposition to official aid by various right wing groups in donor countries.


2 responses to this post.

    I think this is related to corruption mentioned in the T Murphy piece.
    What I was thinking about was how much did each water point cost. This would give some idea about the value for money in the project. Hostility will say cost doesn’t matter as long as the people get water rather than more people could have got water with the same amount of money. I wonder also if more analysis would show up where added costs went to.
    But my main point is the World Bank could have sub-contracted this job to China on behalf of the government and got more value for money.


    • Hi am,
      That corruption scandal appears unrelated to the WB water programme.
      I suppose there is an argument which could be made that if the water points are very cheap that even if they stop working after a bit, the few years that they are working represents value for money. But I don’t see that argument being made and Tom Murphy’s piece suggests the cost is actually quite high. So my main point stands: what the **** is the WB doing paying out huge sums of money to projects which everyone expects to fail in a few years time, and then expressing amazement when criticised that no aid project would ever get started if that were the case. Because if that really were the case I would chosse the no aid projects option.


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