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More tales from the Delta…

We have just returned from a busy week back in Laputta. I set out on Monday morning’s helicopter, provided by the World Food Programme from Yangon to the Delta regions. I arrived in Laputta to meet some of our Logistics Assistants and their motorbikes for a ride back to the office (only 10 minutes away).

I think I mentioned in my last entry that the market had returned to the river front in Laputta. Much to my surprise when I returned this week, it had again disappeared. Not because of a natural disaster this time, but because they’ve built stronger buildings to house the stalls further along the river. It’s good to see that local initiatives are creating safer environments and instinctively reducing the risks and impact of any other unforeseeable events.

I arrived ahead of our Regional Logistics coordinator who was attending a meeting about the new logistics responsibilities under the changing organisational structure. I had quite an intense afternoon checking, cross-checking and double-checking all our fuel records for the last month…the number crunching and problem solving was actually really fun! In the end things seemed to balance OK and we found some ways we could improve our reporting, so it felt like the calculator-tapping day had been worth it.

In Laputta we have contracted boats to take all the staff to villages for their work and now logistics is also managing the two cars we have in the town. Since funds are now lower than this time last year, we’re making sure that all the boats and vehicles are being used efficiently. In lots of cases now we can save some money by having fewer vehicles and planning better. The logistics teams in all of our field offices are luckily fast to learn, and evidently very flexible – essential skills to being a good logistician I think. My experiences so far are also giving me the chance to challenge and develop these skills for myself.

Logistics Team hard at work!

Under the new structure the logistics team is now managing the items that people use to help with their work – like computers, generators, phones etc,. Some time has been spent handing over the lists that already exist and comparing them with the actual items in the office. We made a trip out to our Water and Sanitation base an hours boat ride away to see what items they had there. We also took a quick peek at their stores of latrine building materials as they prepare to build hundreds of them for the schools in nearby villages.

This time next month I am due to head back to the UK. I hope to visit a few more field offices before I leave – there really is nothing better than seeing all the work on the ground and being part of the team making it happen in the best way possible.

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