Our field activity plan is done


Phew! What a mess. We need to get cracking on the field because the seasons wait for no man and no health crisis. However, as men and women, we are very well aware of the dangers that face our teams and those who come they into contact with on the ground. The situation that exists these days is similar to those that existed during the war. If we had been tasked with carrying out agricultural activities with a civilian population on the FDLs around Kilinochchi during early 2009 we and those we plan to work with would not have been in any greater danger than we are facing now. The only difference is that during a conventional battle, all life threats on all sides are seen and identified and at the very least, a few bullets could be dodged. Not in this case. The killer is known but not only is it unseen but it exists in a cloud akin to a swarm of locusts around the nation. Not only won’t we know who attacked us, we won’t know where or whence we caught that viral bullet. Could we put the communities we work with in danger when our work is defined by the “do no harm” principle? No and not only “no” but we never imagined that the do no harm principle may need to be applied in this context. Yes, workarounds can be sort but most would be suboptimal because agricultural practices require everyone to literally get their hands muddied. Not easy. While we live with hope of an easing of the situation, we shall act  at all times with pragmatism as our norm, working always within a red light culture based on Murphy’s Law and not a green light culture that go into battle with a cavalier and uncharted attitude only to grin inanely like a bunch of buffoons when things fail and fall.

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