The Obama administration lately has demanded much from American soldiers, who now face possible reductions in the number in their ranks as well as higher payments toward their health benefits. That’s in addition to duty in Afghanistan, or worse.
In the latest slap to the face of U.S. Department of Defense personnel, Obama now is asking those soldiers to oversee the digging of toilets at a girl’s school in Kenya, his “home country,” as First Lady Michelle Obama once publicly put it.
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command is tasked with coordinating the endeavor, involving the construction of a building containing 16 female “dry-pit latrines” for the Mpeketoni Secondary School, according to project Statement of Work that WND discovered during routine database research.
WND has provided unparalleled reporting on the “exponential growth” of U.S. assistance to Kenya in recent years, as founder and CEO Joseph Farah recently pointed out in an editorial.
That coverage includes an exposé of a sophisticated, advertising industry style scheme – which the administration subsequently covered up – to sway journalistic opinion in its favor.
Emblazoned with the Kenyan and United States flags side-by-side, a temporary outdoor sign at the school-latrine facility will announce “In cooperation with the Kenyan Government, funding for this project is provided by the U.S. Government,” according to construction-plan specifications.
Four weeks prior to project completion, a “dedication plaque” will be affixed to the building at spot offering “optimal visibility.” Final wording on the plaque remains undetermined, the SOW says.
This female-friendly project comes at a time when the Kenyan parliament has passed a rather controversial – and female-unfriendly – bill that would enable men to marry as many women as each pleases, according to an Agence France-Press report via the Guardian newspaper.
The article says polygamy already is “common among traditional communities in Kenya, as well as among the country’s Muslim community, which accounts for up to a fifth of the population.”
On Kenya’s polygamy bill, Katherine Pfaff, the Department of State’s press duty Officer, wrote, “We don’t have a comment on this.”
The administration has made gender equality a priority, often contractually obligating federal vendors to weave gender-specific corrective measures into individual foreign-aid projects – regardless of the otherwise primary focus of those assistance actions.
State Department visa regulations, however, differentiate between polygamy – “the historical custom or religious practice of having more than one wife or husband at the same time” – and bigamy, which the U.S. views as “a criminal act resulting from having more than one spouse at a time without benefit of a prior divorce.”
Visa applicants under these rules can indeed be rejected if it is suspected they intend to practice polygamy while in the U.S.
The U.S. Agency for International Development separately is deploying a Public Financial Management Adviser whose duties it will equally divide between Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, and Washington, D.C.
The adviser will guide the USAID/East Africa team on efforts across the border in Somalia, where the U.S. seeks to help reverse the effects of a two-decade absence of a functioning finance system, central bank or tax collection system.
USAID likewise is assisting the Somali Federal Government – which is “unable to attract investment or pay debt” – by helping it build a “durable, transparent public financial management system.”
Despite this “political progress,” USAID deems the Somalia initiative as a “non-presence program” managed by a staff of 16 in Nairobi.
Also slated for funding on the continent is school-based sex-education, where in South Africa USAID will spend up $24 million on such initiatives.
Initial focus will be on grades 7–9, encompassing the 13- to 15-year-old demographic, but eventually will span from grade 3-12.
“During adolescence, children begin to form their identity, experiment with sex, and search for acceptance by peers, who influence their behaviors,” according to the SOW governing the South Africa School-Based Sexuality and HIV Prevention Education Activity.
“High quality, school-based programs for sexuality education and HIV prevention can give young people the knowledge, self-efficacy and skills to delay first sex, and to protect themselves from HIV and unintended pregnancy once they initiate sexual activity.”
See the Kenya plans: