We’ve just finished one of our biggest ever projects – the construction of a clinic (our third) on the northern road to Aframso. The Chiefs of Ankamadua and Amoaman villages allocated land at the borders of each one’s territory, so half the building was situated on each side. People from both villages carried out the unskilled work, while the women provided food for the workers.
The clinic is staffed by a midwife, medical assistant/staff nurse, two nurses and two community health nurses.
Where there is no medical care, people can suffer considerably, dying quickly of snake bite, for example. Women experiencing a difficult childbirth are often taken by motor bike to their nearest clinic, sometimes dying on arrival. During the course of the project Nicholas Aboagye, who supervised the work, drove one woman to the clinic, who gave birth in the back of his car.
It’s no wonder, then, that everyone was so happy to have a clinic near to hand. A big opening ceremony was organised, as you can see from the photos.
Some years ago we bought a cornmill for the village of Adutwam on condition they eventually paid us back with interest. The idea was a sort of collective microcredit. The women of Adutwam already had microcredit loans from us so the village was familiar with the concept.
Adutwam have never once defaulted on their payments, and also started saving surplus profits in the bank. Recently they decided to use their savings to buy a second cornmill – and here it is in the photo. This only goes to show what an intelligent and well-managed village Adutwam is.
What’s everyone talking about in the villages? Well my guess would be that it’s the grand durber that Brengo village held a few days ago to celebrate their new household latrines plus a new borehole, overhead tank and water fetching point. All these were sponsored by the Christadelphians, to whom the Brengo community and Ashanti Development are incredibly grateful.
Brengo already had one borehole, but it didn’t supply nearly enough water for everyone’s needs and there was a constant queue of buckets beside it, waiting for it to refill. The villagers knew that borehole water was much safer to drink than stream water, and would get up in the middle of the night to move their buckets up the queue and make sure they didn’t lose their places.
Now, there’s plenty of water, and it’s easy to collect from the overhead tanks. No wonder that the Guest of Honour at the durber was Martha (in the photos, she’s got a ginger-coloured dress and a white headdress), along with the MP, and District Directors. People came from as far away as Kumasi to join in the celebrations.
The rains are not far off now, so in Ashanti they’re trying to fast track latrine projects. Here are some photos of Ohemaa-Dida village (Dida means we eat here, we sleep here – not sure about Ohemaa), where they’re busy digging, and constructing masonry slabs and moulding mud bricks for the buildings.
We were asked to bring latrines to Ohemaa-Dida by the Queen Mother, who believed it would help her village gain good health. Sadly, she died before we’d raised the money. She’d have been so pleased to see it all happening.