Just read a comment by kass-cole on Le DÃ©fi Media website following the terrible events of yesterday in Port-Louis:
“dans moris mank dimune competent,et bane ki competent zot pas gagne zot chance et tous bane protezÃ© et bane non competent ki gagne travail dans bane secter important […] ab li normal nous bizin xpect bane defaillance .”
and, a few minutes ago, the Minister ofÂ Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport & Shipping,Â Anil Bachoo, said the following on radio (I’m quoting from memory…):
“anyone who has an idea why Port-Louis is flooding and can help to find a solution is going to be heard. For the time being, we don’t have a solution.”
I was having a conversation with some friends yesterday on that very topic : the lack of competency. And I think, as kass-cole observed, that there is an element of politics in it. It’s not normal to nominate incompetents.Â But, when I think about it, most competent people in the country, and they are a lot of them, suffer from being unknown to the public and, by extension, to those above.
Do you think that, if those with competencies were better known, they would have been invited to join committees and participate in the running of our Republic?
Or is Mauritius doomed?
(Image courtesy ofÂ mayukichan on deviantart)
Sadly I don’t think that competent people really want to be heard here in Mauritius. The attitude behind the ministry of public infrastructure’s declaration says it all: it’s the fault of the rain, there is no solution!
For example, I doesn’t take an engineer to observe that there are not enough parkintg places in Ebene, that drainage system is nonexistent, that the roads are too narrow and the list goes on…
Try getting an appointment with a minister and if you do, try suggesting stuff. Most of the time, he is either busy or did not have time to read your email . Some of us are willing to help or just have a chat but we need to be given the chance to do so.
Eddy Young says
Actually, it was already solved in Port-Louis since colonial times, but nowadays the open drain canals are left unmaintained and even built over in some places (Jardin Compagnie, Pakistan Hotel in Plaine-Verte). The Ministry is staffed by incompetent people, that is why they can’t find a solution and can’t even take the right approach to finding the solution (public appeal when there are so many engineers who can be paid to come up with a plan?)
Much more competent people than one thinks in Mauritius -never mind whether they come from abroad or not.
Politics, ‘copinage’ and self-interest protection makes competence irrelevent to the point where whosoever could bring value gets discouraged from even getting involved.
Mauritius is not doomed. Mauritius is simply still a third-world country – though more advanced than many other – where public affairs are clogged by personal and comunautarian interest.
no i don’t think that competent people will be heard. you have to show your true colours, i mean your political colours to be taken into consideration. in some of the public administrations, and i know that there are a lot of them, there exist the problem of incompetency. i have personally witnessed that , and sadly indeed, i felt that it is terribly difficult to change the system.
competent people are very much present in the mauritian private sector scene, im sure many will agree on this. why they prefer to steer away from the public sector is obvious. Consequently, there is a lack of real thinking heads at the decision making point in our public administration. Let us take a look at the top of the hierarchy. our dear ministers! are they really competent for what they do. do they have the acumen to lead their department , and by extension, the destiny of mauritius?
Yeah talk about competency…
1 Poorly planned roads. Look at ebene!
2 50 mil for a bloody website that doesn’t even work properly.
and the list goes on…
Le gouvernement a bien fait de conceder un conge public ; le pays en a besoin.
Ceci dit, un conge public ne lui coute pas grand chose et ne peut que l’aider pour les prochaines elections. Un vrai acte de valeur et de courage politique serait de faire le menage avant que la catastrophe ne survienne. Malheureusement, les reflexes de republique bananiere, encore bien presents au sein de notre classe politique, nous demontrent une fois de plus leur mediocrite de pensee…
I forgot to mention that we don’t require any competency to know that in March 2013 we’re having floods but by the end of 2013 we’re having certainly water supply interruptions because of drought.
11 dead….and counting! How many were injured? What is the total amount of costs for damage incurred and loss of property? Will the insurance companies pay up? WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE????? THE PM, BACHOO, MUNICIPALITY, THE METEOROLOGICAL CENTRE????
…..what do you call it when you kill people?….is the rain going to be blamed and be left at that?
Jochen KirstÃ¤tter says
Well, this topic is really interesting, and I spoke about that on several occasions with friends and family. Honestly, there are so many topics that leaves me only by shaking my head or giving face palms to the responsible bodies. But one thing for sure that I discovered is simply the fact that it isn’t about competency at all. It’s simply about “copinage” and putting money in your pockets.
Just to mention a few topics:
– Cyber Island: Since years simply a joke and recent article in the news confirms it. Rank #131 out of 183 countries.
– Ile Durable: Very hot topic as it involves everyone. There is absolutely no consciousness in the population to handle water, energy and fuel properly. It starts in every single household by educating the children to throw their rubbish into the bin instead of on the road or the drains. The availability of solar energy panels is almost zero, or extremely expensive. There are no rain water collection tanks. If you have a look at other island nations, like ie. Bahamas it is compulsory that every house collects rain water. Ask anyone on the street about what recycling is… You’ll be amazed by the answers!
– Mauritus, c’est un plaisir: After spending millions of Rupees into the PM’s company in UK, that slogan was silently changed into ‘Simply divine’ to avoid to build up an image of loathering and entertainment.
– Airport Terminal: Actually, I’m not referring to Nandinee but the initial phase where the construction company was literally pushed to ‘import’ chinese workers as Mauritian fellows were either not capable or simply unreliable to do the job. IIRC, we are talking about approx. 6000 positions in craftsmanship. Especially in the south with lowest level of infrastructure and highest level of poverty in this very country.
– Motorway M3: Tunnel or Flyover to bypass Port Louis? What a question! Well, now that various phases are done, when is the tunnel going to be ready. At the current state, it will take at least another 2 years until completion.
– Draught: Just last week I saw a very interesting documentation about the sugar cane industry on Hawaii. I would say almost 100% identical climate and infrastructural problems. They came up with an ingenious solution and constructed an artical drain system to connect the rainy mountain slopes to the dry plaines on the other side of the mountains. It’s a small tunnel system of more than 25km. Knowing the fact that most of the rain does not find it’s way into the Mauritian reservoirs. Why not channel the rain water?
– gov.mu: 50m for a web site? Simply outrageous and it falls into the category of putting money in your own pocket.
And the list goes on and on and on…
Don’t get me wrong anyone, I simply love this island and even though that I am not a native I suffer watching, reading about or listening to quite a lot of the BS that is coming from those ‘competent’ public bodies. Especially, when someone blames global warming as reason for the flooding incidents in February and March. As if Mauritius doesn’t know how to deal with cyclones anymore…
And guys, please leave the MET in peace. Weather is hard to predict and even that they warned about torrential rain falls, it is the local conditions of the terrain that caused the problems. Since the construction works and enlargement of the motorway the problems started. Or did we have this kind of flooding during the past years, even during cyclones? Well, at least not that I am aware of…
Just my two cents, JoKi
And i agree with what Jon mentioned about those in power having blinders on and their obstinate refusal to consider what “unknown” ppl/professionals have to say. The big guys are not passionate about what they do and they only care to enrich themselves.
As for the general mauritian population, i sense an overwhelming feeling of lethargy. Complain n complain but no actions. Albeit it seems to subsides on occasion, as seen with the no to coal project and azir moris. But we need way more than that.
Avinash Meetoo says
What does Mauritius really need according to you?
reply to your q: Nothing less than a social revolution!!?? Bahaha lol.
No but seriously. For such a broad question, I dont have a clearly defined answer but here is what i came up with:
We need organized projects with clearly defined short term and long term goals, each led by competent and passionate individuals (when i say competent, i am in no way limiting this to academic professionals or scholars with impressive diplomas).
We need to rediscover our sense of community. What has been loss for the past 3 or 4 decades. The importance of the greater good over personal benefits. (But is this possible in our capitalist country? I like to believe so).
And for that, we need engaging and effective propaganda dispersed through the society and to educate kids starting at the elementary level, all throughout secondary.
And lastly, ‘new blood’ in mauritian politics. It’s high time the oldies step down. Not because they are old but because they no longer have clear goals and vision and they are corrupt to the bone.
Obviously, there are institutional snd political reforms, all carried out in small increments that are needed…but i am not getting into that.
I want to know your opinion. What’s your take on your question???
Avinash Meetoo says
My opinion is that it’s always the same who get asked to do things. I’m sure there are a lot of ‘unknowns’ in our country with the required skills and aptitudes needed to make Mauritius better. The major difficulty is how to make them aware of each other so that they can make things move. In my opinion, technology can play a role here. For example, Twitter allows like-minded people to coordinate to make revolutions :-)
Why do you think that “it’s always the same who get asked to do things”?
I completely concur with technology having a significant role. Not just Twitter, but blogs too!! I recently jumped on the blog bandwagon, and it amazes me to see how many people share the same “fed up” and “let’s do something” sentiments.
I also think there are lots of competent “unknown” people in the country but again they need to be heard.
Unfortunately , the contracts or jobs always go to the same people. There was a guy at the last ICT event who demoed a disaster prevention mobile app. I wonder if he ever showed it to the ministers. Am sure that would have helped.
Avinash Meetoo says
This is something I’ve experienced. Those who are interviewed, invited to talk at conferences and talk on radio are always the same (including yours truly :-)
If something is done about this, I’m sure things will get better.
I also think that culturally mauritians tend to be very passive. Maybe we need do something about this.
Avinash Meetoo says
We are very passive compared to, say, people from France who are not afraid (1) to massively protest on the street whenever they don’t like something and (2) create something as subversive as Les Guignols de l’Info.
I’ve noticed that many Mauritians have started to be very vocal on social networks towards some arrogant incompetents.
Agreed , but we shouldn’t take the French as an example and protest whenever we have the chance . This slows down the progress pf the country. We need to find the right balance.
Jochen KirstÃ¤tter says
Unfortunetaly, my posting from a couple of days didn’t make it as comment here. Might be due to length restrictions. I put it online on my blog for further discussion.
So much has already been said. Even the non-expert can discern the reality in this country. Take one example: the pedestrian tunnel between Rogers bldg and Caudan Water Front. You do not have to be an engineer or architect to know that an open tunnel so close to the sea is a potential danger risk, never mind about flash-floods. I can think of a few Irish jokes that fit the mentality here but things have gone beyond a joke now.
Avinash Meetoo says
@JoKi For some reason, your two comments went into WordPress’ spam folder… Sorry about that.
You’re right. We’re as competent as our education system makes up become. And as our Minister has said that the education system is bad…
I agree for the education part.
Someone from University told me that UOM is exactly like high school. I.e if you are late in class, the lecturers won’t let you in. “This is not high school anymore”. Young adults need to assume their own responsibilities. I also heard that the final year compsci projects are restricted and students can’t come up with their own projects. Is that for real?
Beside that we are too focussed academically. There’s so much more to life than scoring 100/100 or being able to derive some complex formulae.
There’s a nice book called “Justice” by MIke Sanders which I feel could be taught in High school and universities.
How can young adults assume their responsibilities when adults and those in charge of the country are sly and run away from theirs on a daily basis? RE: the PM blaming the March 30th on climate change…What a joke this country has become. I realize that a lot of people are not like that, but it just seems that all the negative stuff happening just overshadows the good stuff – and this is due mainly to the mauritian media’s news coverage.
I would suggest a clean up of these old scumbags and their allies – no more dirty politics, no more greed for means. We DO HAVE competent people – we just need a solid mass of EDUCATED people who can actually challenge and thus oust these relic politicians. Damn, they need to get a life through a nice family trip to Flic-En-Flac and never to be seen nor heard again.
For years we have been enduring the same old hags and codgers lusting for power and “nek rempli poss” policies. We eradicate them, we eradicate a whole bunch of filth – themselves, their criminal lawyers, their unqualified deputies, their barbaric henchmen etc.
Bodies in Mauritius against corruption, child abuse etc are like Eunuch Bodies. They can just clap hands but do not have balls.. Just scan the acronyms and you would be amazed about the number of “Bel Bel Nom kumadire fim Hollywood” that entails.
The whole Law and Order is a tasteless joke.
Mauritius on the tabloid looks sensational unless it’s about murdering foreigners :P
Mauritius needs to be revamped and taken in good hands.
Do you have what it takes?? Some already do – check out this article – http://www.lexpress.mu/article/diksha-poteeram-l%E2%80%99%C3%A9toile-montante
Anyone else out there? COME FORWARD AND LET’S TAKE OVER!! WE NEED YOU!!
Mail me –
Back to the competency stuff. My landlord was having some problem breathing and was in critical condition. Called 911 engaged…. called 114 SAMU, I get a bloody voicemail. It took them 30minutes to send an ambulance.
Lack of infrastructure?