Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Flood relief, or a sociseconomic honesty index?

I've been meaning to blog about the flood relief funds that the Oman Charitable Organisation distributed on behalf of the government after Cyclone Gonu.

We were pretty badly flooded here. We live in one of the worst-hit neighbourhoods in the capital, though we were lucky because most of the furniture was salvageable, and we had already moved the rugs upstairs by the time the waters hit us. the flood cost us about fifteen to twenty thousand rials in material losses, though much of what we lost we just haven't bothered to replace, because really, we owned waaaay too much shit.

I am calling it the most expensive summer cleaning ever. Anyway, I digress.

When the guys came by the house to account for our losses, we didn't expect to receive anything from the government. Why should we? We chose to be uninsured, My Husband is well employed, and it's not like the entire house got washed away. we still had a roof over our heads. I was completely honest about what we lost, and I didn't claim a single item that could be repaired. I have come to understand, from others I've spoken to, that I am perhaps the only person in the entire country who did not exaggerate her losses.

What I expect the government has done (unknowingly) is that they have collected a really interesting set of data on cultural and socioeconomic honesty. I would love to have a rake through the data and see what, if any information we could extract. Does anyone know if the data is available anywhere? We could compare Male to female, compare by race, neighbourhood, weather the house is owned or rented, and square meters of the dwelling. Seriously, any SQU students who want to write a paper on this with me?

I also suspect that a closer look at the data might reveal that there were certain communities that were underrepresented in the reporting. Does anyone know where we could get our hands on the data?

A few weeks ago, I finally wandered down to the Wali's office and picked up the first check, which is to cover the household losses. We got 500 rails! I am thrilled, honestly, I expected nothing.

Sometime this week I'll go pick up another check, which is to cover the cars. Since all our cars are Old-Shit-Cans, I figure I'll show up and they'll be like "Suburban... you get diddly squat. The cyclone did us all a favour by removing your stupid cars from the road, and improved the overall aesthetics of your front yard considerably. You should be paying us."

Tomorrow, a rant and rave about how motherhood totally does not suit me.

4 comments:

Per Your Request said...

I would love to get my hands on that data.
what gov't entity conducted the survey?

Suburban said...

PYR,

I had you in mind when I posted this. we've missed your commentary bud! I have assumed it was the municipality but I'll ask when I go to see about the car cheque.

I think the rusults would be really enlightening. Like the sort of thing those guys who wrote freakonomics would study.

Per Your Request said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Per Your Request said...

yes!
School has been keeping me busy, but hopefully will return to blogging soon.