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Of deserts and districts II

“Money like water," conjures up images of abundance. A lack of water, such as in the desert, signifies scarcity. In the previous blog, we compared poor districts with deserts, where incoming money leaks away and initiative is lost. We saw that community development is like greening the desert. It is about diminishing patterns that reinforce poverty and nourishing patterns that create sustainable growth. It's about moving from vicious cycles to virtuous cycles. Life Aid 2.0 Readers aged forty and above can readily remember the images of Ethiopia’s famine in 1984/1985. The first pictures of this humanitarian catastrophe came from Tigray, a northern province, where an emaciated crowd was corner

Of deserts and districts I

Go figure. You want to bring a desert to bloom. How do you do that? The arid air and dry soil are hostile to new life and most of the precious moist evaporates quickly. Suppose that, with extra water and a lot of effort, you grow some green that frailly endures the elements. Can it survive without your help or even grow, or will the desert swallow it mercilessly? City Deserts Jane Jacobs, urban writer and activist, likened the dynamics of poor districts with the ecosystem of a desert. In daytime energy in the form of sunlight floods the desert which largely dissipates during the night. Similarly, deprived areas can’t conserve incoming energy: money leaks away through outside spending and ini

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