17 May 2009

Not just undeveloped, but undeveloping

"I am the mayor, appointed by the transitional government in Kinshasa. But I have no contact with them because we have no phone, and I can pay no civil servants because I have no money and there is no bank or post office where money could be received, and we have no civil servants because all the schools and hospitals and everything do not work. I would say I am just waiting, waiting for things to get back to normal. 
- And when was the last time things were normal? 
The 1950s. From what I hear, that is when this town was last normal."
That is from Tim Butcher's account of his mad overland trip through the Congo in 2004, "Blood River."

Later this week GoSS is bringing the Executive Directors of all 70-odd counties in Southern Sudan to Juba for a planning workshop. I wonder how similar their stories will be?

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