Tuesday, June 19, 2012

GENERATOR MAN: In Iraq, a Paradox of Plenty (Aljazeera Witness)

"When I was a child I had dreams. I used to dream about being a director of a company or a factory...I used to dream about being an important. When I grew up....I stopped dreaming. Our circumstances, what happened to us....don't give us the chance to dream"- Hadi

According to Aljazeera: Nine years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq's national power grid struggles to provide more than six hours of electricity a day. But now a new type of entrepreneur has sprung up to fill this gap. We follow Hadi, a 'Generator Man' who owns two generators but finds that being on call for hundreds of people all desperate for power means that his life is no longer his own. He wanders the backstreets of Baghdad to talk to some of his customers for whom power - or the lack of it - has become the most important factor in their day-to-day lives. Of the many ironies of post-conflict Iraq this is perhaps the starkest: how a country afloat on a sea of oil and in receipt of $5bn in US investment since 2003 cannot yet guarantee power for its people.

Watch this compelling video. 
With respect to the big picture- How do we escape this 'Oil Curse'; this 'Paradox of Plenty'? However, in the short term, how do we achieve real solutions to the Iraqi power situation? I wish I could proffer some solutions but I realize that I am Nigerian...; as they say, you can't give what you don't have...and power is at the top of that list in my home country.

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