Friday, January 30, 2009

So will you Kick The Habit UNEP?

Not so long ago a few people in cyberspace began to scratch their heads confused about why it was ok to drive big gas guzzling SUVs but not ok to use an electric alarm clock according to UNEP.

For a while the blogosphere was abuzz with queries and investigations into this oxymoron with the likes of Rob Crilly sharing UN branded donkeys (much more fuel efficient than the grounded SUVs!) and Nick Wadhams providing regular Humvee Alerts and of course our dear Kenyan Pundit providing a space for others to wonder and comment. (apologies for all the hyperlinks but the lord knows we scream and shout!). Do you think it is possible we are making a mountain out of a molehill? Hmmmm....:

Actually it turns out that for some this has been a subject dear to their heart with Rob writing in the Times Online as far back as 2007. Alas, the Nairobi Star were considerate enough to save our hopeless queries to today in hope that perhaps all the great custodians of our Environment currently meeting at UNEP headquarters might pick up the paper as they sit in their aircon SUVs caught in Nairobi's traffic. And just in case they miss it or want to share the story with their kids when they get back home (can someone at UNEP advise me what their carbon footprint is from flying across to Kenya to save the planet?)

But does anyone out there really care? To rephrase: does anyone who get's paid a salary to save the planet actually really really care??

7 comments:

Rob said...

The United Nations has the sort of brand that any company or NGO would die for. Before I moved to Africa I thought the whole thing was run by saints. But the closer you get the more you see the problems. Just like any big organisation it is riddled with inefficiencies and is full of career politicians interested more in their next promotion than actually making a difference.

Of course, there is lots of good work done and I deal with lots of real professionals who are making an impact. But I am often astonished by the lack of quality in the UN's employees

Paula said...

I saw that Hummer at ABC Place! I guess UNEP is a bit like the Kenyan government, full of people who once had principles!

Maina said...

I thought I should let you know that your blog, sukumakenya, has 'persona non grata' status in UN compound in Gigiri. I am told that trying to access it returns this error "Access Denied - Hate/Discrimination"

They are burying their heads in the sand.

By the way, I photographed a Prius Hybrid with UNEP plates...meaning that not all UN staffers are bad. I will post in my blog soon

Maina said...

Oh, on previous comment, I someone clarifies that your blog may have been barred not because of Humvee but due to the Jamhuri Day occurrences. The ban occurred just after those occurrences.

Sukuma Kenya said...

Thanks for letting me know Maina. Whether it was after Jamhuri or related to asking them to pull the log out of their asses, I guess I should have known that it was a no freedom of speech zone at Gigiri.
Interestingly, they have finally responded and I have received a couple of emails from them. I will ak them if I can share their response on this blog.
Paula, the red hummer is nothing compared to the yellow one going around town. Nick Wadhams finally got him on the phone and he was very proud of his "original" model that probably costs more than their entire 'greening UNEP' budget.
Rob, it astounds me everyday how so called intelligent people sleep at night. Well, I guess if Bush can sleep at the whitehouse for two terms what hope is there anywhere...

Anonymous said...

You can really improve this blog and get a more constructive response if you avoid vitriolic comments like "so called intelligent people" ...the blog reads a bit like gutter press, you need to be professional in your approach to get serious readers, and a serious response.

Sukuma Kenya said...

There was nothing vitriolic meant about "so called intelligent people". Was meant word for word. And besides issues that belong in the gutter can only be treated like they are in the gutter but thanks for the advice anonymous...

ShareThis