Thursday, 27 November 2008

The ecology of sheep farming

Post number 24

According to BBC reports (Farming Today, November 2008), 30% of sheep farming land has been lost and farmers quit their businesses. Figures used below are from Promar International reported by Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board Meat Services, AHBDMS for the year ending March 2008:

For an average Low Land Breeding Flock in England of 504 ewes, 1.4 livestock units require 1 hectare of grass land to forage in. The rate of loss due to sheep farming having become unsustainable is alarming. Total output per ewe of lamb meat is an average of £54.06 per ewe. Wool production, instead of contributing to income, incurs a cost of £0.47 per ewe to the farmer. This is in general agreement with the BBC report of an average loss of £0.30 per ewe where wool from one sheering is sold at £0.60 per ewe but it costs £0.90 to shear the animal.

The use of mutton for human consumption in Britain is not popular despite high profile efforts by HRH The Prince of Wales to promote its use in this very changing world. We will be going through some trying times in the next year or two with massive unemployment on the horizons. Mutton will provide a cost effecitve and tasty substitue for other expensive red and white meat. The use of wool for textiles and garments will help sheep farming become sustainable with reliable dry cleaning for after care in our urban societies.

Loss of grass lands to the nature will result in the upset of rural ecology when uncontrolled grass growth will upset the balance of flora and fauna as we know it. A sector of our income from tourism will also be lost if our country side is not maintained by mechanical means in the absence of sheep. Walking holidays contribute £1 billion to the national economy and this will be lost.

Bottle necks created by dry cleaning unfit of purpose, has had detrimental effects not only on a chain of businesses, but also on our rural environment and ecology. We can reverse the trend by investing in CCCC and partnering it. There is no better time than now to contribute to our economy and industry.


Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Young Entrepreneurs

Post number 23

Breaking News to Entrepreneurship week 17 to 23 November 2008

It is with sadness and humility to report that the clothes you are wearing are not clean by any means, if they are dry cleaned.

Whether organising a show for the young entrepreneurs, the chairman of Microsoft, Apple, IBM, a president – elect or an incumbent, you have been wearing dirty suits, skirts and neck ties for decades.

The story is too long to accommodate in this write up, but blog gives a detailed account and offers tried and tested solutions.

We are seeking young entrepreneurs, partners and investors to commercialise our 'old money' low tech innovations. There are projects galore to explore with powerful economic impacts and heavy doses of universal common sense, social responsibility and enterprise. We all remain unfit for purpose for whatever we do, as long as our clothes that we wear daily remain dirty, smell bad and look unattractive.

To the young of today and leaders of tomorrow: Get involved in whatever way you can and get cleaned up before you read the news, govern, innovate, bail out banks and AIG, impact stock markets ups and downs, or offer others democracies and better ways to live.

Mohammad Karim Ahmadzai,
Founder of CleanestClean Clothes Care (CCCC) Limited

Thursday, 6 November 2008

A Personal Profile

Post number 22:

Born in Kabul and raised in various provinces of Afghanistan until the age of 26, I graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Kabul University (School of Engineering was affiliated to University of Wyoming at Laramie) in 1968.

I then won a Fulbright scholarship and studied English and American Orientation at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and structural engineering in University of Wyoming in 1968/69. After a while, after travelling through Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran by road in an Opel Rekord settled back in Afghanistan and married an English girl. I then travelled to London and studied environmental/public health engineering at Imperial College, University of London with a scholarship from WHO/government of Afghanistan.

The coup de tat of 1973 deposed King Zahir Shah, and I became a refugee. My family of 3 by now and I saw no choice but to settle in England with protection by the British police against threats by the Afghan embassy to kidnap and ‘repatriate’ us to Kabul to resume my post as a WHO fellow and the director of rural water supplies at the Ministry of Health.

I joined consulting engineers SWH & P in Notting Hill Gate and helped design Sharjah water supply, Dubai sewerage scheme and swimming pools for the Ruler of Dhofar and a colonel in Sharjah. We then became adventurous and decided to go to Zambia and explore Southern Africa. I joined the government of his Excellency Kenneth David Kaunda and rose to the rank of Senior Executive Engineer with the Ministry of Works. I then joined Norwegian consultants Oestalndskonsult and Interconsult and worked on water supply projects for the governments of Zambia and Norway.

I rose to sufficiently dizzy heights that met the first Zimbabwe/Rhodesia government and helped set up our Harare office in 1980, shortly after independence. I once refused to rent a house from His Excellency Rupia Banda, the current Zambian president - elect because his house was substandard to our high standards. Even, his excellent salesmanship didn’t sway me to rent his house. Instead, I rented one of Dr Kaunda’s official residences on plot number 9 Roan Road (house for the chairman of ZIMCO properties of which His Excellency was the chairman), near State House in Kabulonga, Lusaka.

The house (a run down but huge bungalow where the boys roller skated from their bedrooms to the kitchen to fetch sandwiches) was on an acre of land, had a small pond where I fished for Sunday lunches. I hosted an ANC (fellow refugees like self) wedding (Victor and Temsy Macha of ANC press and health respectively) and may have met Thabo Mbeke as the guest of honour.

The Soviet Christmas day invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 made me a permanent refugee and I took issue with the Soviet embassy and encouraged the Zambians to boycott the Moscow Olympics of 1980. I was published on the front page of Times of Zambia (opinions column) and what saved me from getting deported from Zambia was my close friendship with The Reverend John Papworth, religious and economic advisor to Dr Kaunda who had drafted my publication for the Times of Zambia.

The American government approved of my one man campaign against the Soviets and gave my family and I American citizenship in 1980 that we have never taken advantage of till this day. Instead, the Zambian government agreed not to deport me when the Americans exchanged me (one of their own now) for 400 ANC political hot potatoes. America housed the latter group in various states to save from the apartheid police’s ambushes to Lusaka and killed them at nights while hiding in old graves and similar places. The Zambians allowed me to continue my work for their government and that of Norway. The Zambians extended my work permit only for the then current job.

My involvement on the Kalahari projects came to an end in December 1985, and we chose to settle in England as refugees instead of living in the US as citizens. My then English/Afghan wife and owning a house in Putney tilted the balance. The boys, 14 and 10 then were too young to have a say and express views.

Lower salaries in England (expensive mortgage) stopped my engineering career and I became a dry cleaner to clean clothes instead of water and waste. I saw parallels in the 2 fields, and these opened my eyes to the fact that dry cleaning doesn’t work or clean anything. That was 22 years ago, not long enough for me to convince the world, and her establishments. Cleaning (the politics of hygiene) is a powerful political tool and I took full advantage of its power to promote my business ideas.

This has been the wrong approach and on 17 July this year, I vowed to become 100% apolitical and follow business aims only. I am pleased to say this is working. All doors are opening now and it’s a matter of time only before investors will invest and I will attract all forms of partnerships to gain commercial realities.

Its been my life policy that I should become a citizen of the my country of domicile once I exceed staying there for more than 6 months (Hubbul watan e minal eemaan, or the love of your land is a part of your faith). That is why I volunteered to fight for America in Vietnam in 1968. My American parents, the late Briggs of Tucson and my white American girl friend at the time discouraged me from the idea.

In Zambia, I ‘defended’ the Zambians and Afghans against Soviet adventurism. In Egham, and Wandsworth, I defended Britain’s Intellectual Property rights over American arm twisting to launch CCCC from America. Britain has been home in preference to my other homes of Afghanistan, USA, and Zambia.

Despite heavy material, and emotional losses and a failed marriage, I have happily integrated in Britain and live alone away from the Afghan community and among the indigenous where there are almost no immigrants amongst us. My neighbours totally ignore me as if I didn’t exist. This suits me to the bone because I have no time for any of them. I thank them for leaving me alone to do my blog and stuff. I have truly become British despite not having a passport to prove it. I don’t need one yet. When I do, I will get one to expose me as a trouble maker (Ambrose Bierce in his ‘The Devils Dictionary) when I travel on CCCC business soon.

I have 2 adopted brothers who asked me to adopt them. Jag is a Sikh in Rugby, and I have 3 intelligent niece and nephews, and a wonderful sister in-law. Colin my English brother is so English that he treats his adopted Cumbria’s indigenous as foreigners! He lives there but has his bank account in London to prevent the local bank manager talking about him in the Cambrian community! That’s how English I am for Colin to accept me as one without actually saying so, I suppose, and if you follow the logic. With that, my English neighbours are all foreigners as far as Colin and I are concerned; with us 2 as the genuine articles, defending Britain’s interests, and I worth investing in and partnering with.

What are waiting for, Obama's treasury team to ansure investors? OK. Fair enough, then. By the way, didn't he do well, an apolitical observation, of course?


Monday, 3 November 2008

The secret world of haute couture and dry cleaning

Post number 21

Breaking news to the secret world of haute couture:

Unlike ordinary day wear most of which can be washed nowadays, haute couture solely relies on dry cleaning for it’s after care. At the same time, dry cleaning has continued to receive bad press for unreliability, environmental unsuitability, and poor quality for decades. Confidences in the fashion industry were eroded and business suffered lack of adequate growth even before Which? consumer magazine published its investigative report on dry cleaning.

The April 2008 issue condemned dry cleaning and called it ‘A Dirty Business’ on the front cover. Which? sought solutions from the dry cleaning industry, the chains and independent dry cleaners. The alarming news for the fashion industry is that to date (November 08), the industry and others have not offered explanations to Which?, and dry cleaning remains a dirty business. This must have caused further anxieties in the world of fashion, Saville Row and garment industries in general.

We felt responsible for the plight of all concerned and started answering Which?’s queries via blog Our innovative solutions have been in the making for more than 20 years and have the following unique features:

• It segregates dry cleaning in to garment and non garment sectors and we deal with the former sector alone
• Machines can be fine tuned to extract more soiling from garments. 5,000 times more efficient filtration can be achieved to eliminate odours, enhance/enrich colours, and improve feel to the touch
• Does away with polythene covers and reduces indestructible waste volumes
• Eliminates liquid wastes from spotting table practises
• Offers proactive home shopping as the ultimate in convenience to the 24 hour society, without using laundry and shirt service as a prop to attract dry cleaning work
• Simplifies stains removing techniques
• Provides healthier and cleaner shop air through the introduction of public health and hygiene principles in dry cleaning in cooperation with NISE of NHS
• Its care label friendly

We are in the process of raising funds to open our test bed in London and invite haute couturiers to try our work. In addition to this, we are seeking partners to develop a truly global business together with us.

Prices charged will be from 2% to 10% of purchase prices. Collection and delivery inside the M25 area will be free of charge

Mohammad Karim Ahmadzai,
Founder, CleanestClean Clothes Care (CCCC) Limited

Sunday, 2 November 2008

More on Perc and the environment and health addressed to lay people.

Post number 20

We are proactively promoting Perc afresh now that it has been given a new lease of life by world governments and local authorities for another 2 decades while search for alternatives continue.

As a practising dry cleaner using Perc for more than a decade from the late 80s to 2001, we are in perfect health and suffer no ill health effects of the types widely reported in the world’s press and media.

Here are some facts about Perchloroethelene:

• That Perc vapours (1.6 times heavier than water) settle a few centimetres above the shop floor and pose no risk to operators (unless lying down on the floor) in the event of any spillage or machine break down
• For the same reason, Perc poses no health risks to occupants in residential premises above shops. Exceptions are the use of Perc mixes and steam gun for removing stains. Such practises are outdated and not permitted by local authorities who strictly monitor emission levels
• That no health surveys of any depth have ever been conducted to assess the state of health of practising dry cleaners who are exposed to Perc 6 days a week and 8 to 10 hour shifts. All dry cleaning operators and staff in 25 shops we closely associated with over a period of 15 years were in a perfect state of health. This observation is diametrically opposing to reports in the press and media on the probabilities of risks to consumers if exposed to Perc for a lot shorter exposure periods.
• No pollution of soil and ground water resources have taken place in the UK in post 1980s installations where machines are fitted with steel trays to entrap machine spillages during accidents and break downs. These spillages are then mopped up with blankets, distilled in machines and pumped to storage tanks. Blankets are dried and ready for use during future accidents that are very rare these days with local authorities on the scene to monitor operations from October 2007.

We understand that California Cleaners Association (Dr Bob and staff) are going through hard times with State legislators and environmental lobbiests where Perc's use is banned beyond the year 2020 or thereabouts. Are Dr Bob's reported 3,500 dry cleaning members less healthier than UK Perc dry cleaners? Perhaps some one knows and will offer comments. Contributions are welcome for the benefit of public at large.

Mohammad Karim Ahmadzai, BSc civ. engng, DIC public/environmental health engng
Intermediate dry cleaning technologist, FCRA/GCL (UK) 1986,
Founder, CleanestClean Clothes Care (CCCC) Limited