The clinic at Gyetiase is pretty well finished. We’re looking for a part time eye nurse and a part-time optician to screen a short list of cataract patients. Dr Peter Osei-Bonsu, the Komfo Anokye Hospital eye surgeon, will then visit twice a month to operate.
Meanwhile, Nana Ab Roy (see his picture below) is starting to collect secondhand spectacles in a big way. We plan to buy in lenses of different strengths and set up a little workshop to glaze these into the old frames. Unless they’re very poor – and I don’t know how we’ll determine whether they are or not (suggestions welcomed) – people will be asked to buy their new spectacles for a very small sum of money.
We expect people to come from far and wide to get their spectacles at the clinic, and we’re hoping the money they pay for them will make a substantial contribution to staff costs in Gyetiase.
One of our biggest projects right now is to develop the borehole drilled a couple of years ago in Tadiesa village. It provides enough good quality water not only to meet the needs of Tadiesa, but also to be pumped uphill to supply Gyetiase too. The photo shows (no, not another household latrine…) the pump house at Tadiesa, and next to it you can see the beginning of a tapstand.
We are very sorry to announce that Mr HK Marfo, otherwise known as Master, died ten days ago in Kumasi Hospital.
Master was Ashanti Development’s first volunteer in Ghana, and worked for us for many years, initially with no pay. At first he was responsible for all our work, from building the ground floor of the clinic at Gyetiase, to acting as line manager for staff, organising free school meals and looking after incoming volunteers. As a former headteacher, he was always specially concerned about improving education in the villages and delighted when we began to try to address this problem.
Master’s role as Ashanti Development’s representative in Ghana was sometimes difficult, but sooner or later he won everyone round through his steadfastness and persistent good humour. He was 100 per cent honest and reliable and always did exactly what he promised. In all these ways, he gave Ashanti Development a flying start in life. We shall miss him greatly in the years to come and never forget him.
If you would like to send a message to Mrs Marfo, please do so below and we will see she gets it.
Four friends recently joined forces to sponsor the neighbouring villages of Dadease and Mpenya in Ashanti. Ashanti News 19 tells the story of how, having funded household latrines, they set up a small jewellery-making business for the women in Dadease and are now selling bracelets and necklaces in the UK.
It’s hard to think of a practical way of providing clean water for these two villages. Boreholes are unlikely to be successful and rainwater harvesting is extremely expensive. The four friends are now experimenting to see whether local people can be persuaded to use filters for their drinking water. This is certainly not a perfect solution, but it’s a lot better than drinking polluted stream water and if the experiment is a success we’ll apply it in other Ashanti villages.
Finally, two of them, Dawn Williamson and Paul Bloch, plan to ride tandem through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam following the Mekong, starting in January. They have set up a page www.mycharitypage.com/mekongtandem to raise money for their villages. They would really appreciate any contribution you could make.