Here is a photo of one of the recent ‘community sensitisation’ meetings at Pentem and Ongwase, neighbouring villages with a joint population of some 1,200. The villages were told that sponsors had offered to finance the materials for a latrine for each household, and they learned about the benefits latrines can bring, eg less sickness, fewer deaths among babies etc. The communities then committed themselves to digging the latrine pits and doing the unskilled labour.
Apparently both meetings were very well attended despite a heavy downpour in the middle of one of them. The communities responded to the news of the sponsorship “by expressing their joy about the project, and promising to give of their best to support it.”
The situation right now is that most of the sand and stones needed to build the latrines has been moved to the site – they needed to get it there quickly before the main rains started. And work on the latrines will now start as soon as possible.
A few years ago, the Rotary Club of Leigh sponsored the village of Bimma. They gave it enormous benefits, including clean water, latrines, school buildings/equipment/playground/computers, free school meals, a farm support scheme and gari plant (which is used to make long-life cassava) and microcredit. This transformed the village and the lives of its inhabitants.
The farm support scheme involves giving a few farms loans and agricultural training (other farmers often come and watch the training and apply it themselves). Each year, the loans must be repaid with interest, but can then be reissued to the same farmers for a maximum of three years, after which the scheme is extended to other farmers.
The latest batch of farms are apparently applying all their training well, as you can guess from the photo, which is of Nana Yaa’s green pepper farm.
Here’s an extract from a really nice email from Friends of Tafo NGO in the Volta Region. A couple of years ago Ishy set up a microcredit scheme there for us, and here’s what they say about her latest report:
“Thank you very much for this excellent and concise report, which I will have great pleasure in relaying to the Progress Council and Nana Tafohene.
“Your total of 90 women seems remarkable (ie Ishy’s got 90 women signed up for loans), and I want as many people as possible to know what wonderful work you and your small team are doing.”
Here’s a pic of Ishy, thoughtfully assessing the quality of the yams!
We’ve got a lot of books in Gyetiase that aren’t really appropriate for the children. So recently we invested a bit of money in books recommended by our librarian, Alex Adjei. Here’s Alex receiving them from the Adontenhene, Nana Adu.
After umpteen years and no end of energy, Gyetiase finally has a clean water supply. The water comes from a borehole which the MDA drilled at Tadiesa. The District let us take it over, and Nicholas and Clement have just finished organising pipes and pumps to take it uphill to an overhead tank just where the road from Tadiesa turns into Gyetiase.