I feel like I’m getting spoiled taking all these helicopter rides. Aerial footage is definitely worth the effort if you can take the wind burn and the pilot’s bill that comes along with it. Drones work well too, yes – just not when you have 200 square kilometers to cover. Here I document the Millennium Challenge Corporation‘s Senegal Compact, which has rehabilitated highways and markets in the north and south and brought renewed farming abilities to the Senegal River Valley through an irrigation infrastructure overhaul. MCC is a foreign aid agency established by the US Congress that applies new philosophies to the implementation of development assistance with the aim of increasing economic growth. Rogue states and kleptocracies need not apply. Countries must pass a number of indicators including control of corruption, civil liberties, and trade policy to be eligible for a compact. Senegal, being one of Africa’s most stable democracies, had[…]Read More
Post Tagged with: "mcc"
See what’s been happening lately in my work and life. Special thanks to Andrew Ladson from MCC for the photos of me from Namibia, and to Lauren Matthews for the wedding video.Read More
Throughout the world people migrate to large cities in search of better services like education and water. In Jordan, however, when your city is located in the desert, getting enough water for your daily needs can still be a constant challenge. It’s a bit ironic that Jordan, named after the river that makes its western border with Israel, is one of the driest countries on the planet. Living conditions are especially hard in Jordan’s second-largest city of Zarqa, just north-west of Amman. Here residents experience all the hassles and discomforts of a limited and antiquated water system. Not all houses have running water; if you are lucky enough to have it, you probably have it for only a day or two in a given week. In the above video, residents talk about their struggles and hopes for Zarqa’s water system. Precious drinking water is wasted because many municipal pipes, seemingly[…]Read More
For at least part of my recent assignment for the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Morocco, I had the opportunity to be a tourist. Well, kind of. Tourism is one of this North African country’s major industries, but also one that has not reached its full potential. In the medinas (old quarters) of Fez and Marrakech, MCC has helped bolster tourism with the installation of cultural walks through the ancient winding alleyways. It’s also provided training and improved workshops for some of the cities’ artisans, whose workshops can be seen farther below. These projects are in step with the organization’s principle of reducing poverty through economic growth. MCC also has other programs in the fisheries and agriculture sectors. Also, some of my earlier work for MCC was just published in the Guardian today.Read More
Get this: 80% of Burkina Faso’s population attempts to make it’s living in subsistence agriculture while only 19% of land is arable. That makes farming kind of like a guy getting a date in a country where men outnumber women four to one. Poor soil qualities, fluctuations in rainfall, and topsoil erosion all contribute to the country’s crop production woes. Recent work is displayed here from the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s agricultural programs in Burkina Faso. MCC, a humanitarian arm of the US State Department, is boosting production and access to markets for small farmers in this West African country, however. The programs shown here document the organization’s efforts in sustainable agriculture, livestock vaccination, fertilizers, and agro-forestry, as well as ground-breaking, innovative initiatives. In the Market Information Systems program, agents use cell phone technology to publish regional market prices for a variety of commodities. Farmers who subscribe to the database can[…]Read More
This is big-picture stuff. No, I’m not talking about the number of megapixels on my Canon 5D Mark III, I’m talking about the work of US development organization, MCC. The Millennium Challenge Corporation works to impact developing nations and their economies on a macro scale. Part of this work means renovating the infrastructure on which a nation operates. While certainly not the most emotionally gripping topic, infrastructure is key to any country’s economic development. Build a solid enough foundation, and a nation will have the tools it needs to provide for its own citizens. Above, a main artery stretches through the city of Nampula, in Mozambique, where MCC is rehabilitating roads and renovating the city’s municipal water system. The country’s grueling civil war ended in 1992, but much of its infrastructure has yet to recover, even now. Below, workers construct the Nacala Dam in northern Mozambique, which will supply water[…]Read More
A couple of times in the past I’ve gotten flack for giving credit to former US President George W. Bush here my blog, though it’s not because of any particular political persuasion I hold. On the continent of Africa, no other leader’s legacy endures more so than that of President Bush–trust me, I live here. From the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Program (PEPFAR) to his efforts to combat cervical cancer on the continent, Mr. Bush’s initiatives have saved millions, yes, millions of lives here. So, just as I always ask for a photo by-line from my clients, I won’t refuse to give credit where credit is due when talking about another Bush-founded agency dedicated to aid in the developing world, the Millennium Challenge Corporation. My most recent work with the Millennium Challenge Corporation has so far taken me to the African countries of Burkina Faso, Tanzania, and Mozambique. Many[…]Read More