Almost Done

After the building of the second source, it was then time to connect the pipes for the second phase of the project. Connecting these pipes was not very easy because we decided to do it during the week when the number of people working is not enough. But the amazing thing is that we connected the pipes from the source to the tanks in one day! That is more work than we’ve done on a weekend with a lot of people. I was very happy with this progress. The following day people located near the second source were able to get water.
However, with the problem mentioned earlier on about the first source having a little bit of a shortage of water during the winter season, we decided that one tank from the second source should supply water to some of the homes from the first phase to avoid draining the first source dry. This is why during these last few days we have been working tirelessly with building a new trench. This last trench will be the last ‘big job’ we do for the project. Its almost done!

Since the connection of the first line of water supply, I have seen some signs of community empowerment. On one homestead I have seen building of bricks from sand due to availability of water. Many people have been talking about how they want to start up gardens now that water is close by.

PS: Pictures are definitely coming in on the next blog.

Progressing on with work

Requests to builders around the area were eventually successful. We secured three of them in one go for one of the weekends and the work that they did was very fast and of very good quality. With everything ready in the second site of the water source e.g. bricks, cement the building of the dam took us only one weekend. The second source (2.3m x 2.5m) is slightly smaller than the first source (4m x 2.5m). An advantage of the second source is that its water never runs out, it has more supply of water than the first source which has a considerable decrease of water during the winter season.
Whilst building the second water source we had another group working on installing ball valves into the tanks. These floating valves help to regulate water flow into the tank. Once the tank gets full the ball is pushed up closing the valve to stop water from flowing into the tanks. This prevents overflow. And once the water level drops, the ball falls down allowing full access for water to flow into the tanks. Before the installation of these valves, we had assigned a family that lives near the tanks to open and close the valves attached to the pipes whenever there was an overflow or shortage. This was troublesome because the family would sometimes not be available or simply forget to do so and people would have no water. Also the valves on the pipes were susceptible to children playing with them because of exposure.

PS: Pictures will be posted soon!

–Welile

Bad Weather

Since the last blog, the weather has not been giving us much opportunity to work outside. There have been rainy and cold days. On the days that we could get outside to work we cleared an area for mixing the concrete and gathered the sand we’ll us for the concrete. The concrete we decided was going to be used to even up the rock where the two tanks are going to be placed. The sand totaled up to 10 wheelbarrows, which will be mixed with 2 bags of cement.
On another day we cleared another area we had earlier decided was going to be for one of the tanks. This particular area had a lot of tall grass, to speed up the process we decided to burn the grass before digging on to it to make a flat area for the tank. But since this area was near a forest in a deserted place, it was decided that we don’t put the tank there with fears that it may be sabotaged and destroyed by strangers.
On Monday, the already running water line had a water shortage because (its suspected that) one of the joints in the main pipe was opened by strangers and emptied all the water in the tank. We dedicated a day to dig in all the pipes so that they are all secured underground.
During the weekend we had a builder available who helped with mixing the concrete and we leveled half of the rocks where the two tanks will be placed. More sand was collected today to continue the leveling of the rock for the tanks.

PS: Pictures will be uploaded soon!!!!

And here we’ve come to the final week

It’s even hard to say. Word’s gotten around that the summer’s coming to an end, and people have started asking me when I’m out of here. Most of the time it’s easiest to keep it as cheery as possible, and be real with folks when I say that it’s not a choice at this point–I’ve got to go back and finish school. Nonetheless, it’s always hard to anticipate leaving when there are barely 5 days left for me in el D.F.

So what’s been going on lately, you might ask. Let’s let the 1000 colors do the words for the talking:

Beautiful work in the jewelrymaking workshop, as always.

We’re decking out (read: starting up) the silkscreen workshop! Custom cut glass for the screens.

And custom painted dark room.

I’m having some technical difficulties with the computer and internet at the moment, so consider this post a draft that will soon be returned to. But not too soon, because tomorrow morning we’re getting up early to work on the greenhouse and then head to a meeting of another collective to the west of the city, then coming back to the house to prepare for 2 theater performances in the evening.

Full day full house full heart full night’s sleep.

Much love,
alizarin

More Sheets, Please.

Hello good people,

Over here in Accra, we are still trudging on with the SUPS 1-4-7 and enjoying the process. This past week we were able to complete the roofing of the structure, which was our main aim. The community is absolutely over the moon about it, and so are we! I don’t have any photos of the completed roof yet, but I’ll share some photos taken the day before.

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The front of the school that has been fully roofed.

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By the end of the day, we found that we needed about 10 more roofing sheets to complete the roofing ….

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… So we went to our trusty roofing store to pick up the remaining sheets.

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I will share some photos of the completed roofing in the next post.

Until next time,

- Dubie, ’16

5 classrooms roofed!

Greetings from Ghana! Thanks to a better modem, I can share some more photos from the last three weeks. We have usually started our days with a trip to the roofing company, where we pick a batch of roofing sheets, roofing nails and ridge caps. Then we make our way to the Sakyikrom, taking in the beautiful scenery along the way. Before we could really kick off the roofing, we had to make sure the structure was properly reinforced, which involved a lot of rendering with cement. For that, we had to gather water from the local water pump to make sure the masons had enough to mix cement. Though we were mainly put on water duty, we desperately wanted to help out with the rendering. The masons did not trusts our skills with that part, but taught us how to mix cement, so we could help with that.

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Now to this week. It has been a mild and rainy week in Accra and in Sakyikrom. The cool breeze has been good for us, keeping us cool on-site. It is the third week on the project and we have made tremendous headway. As of today, reinforcement is well on its way, 4 out of 5 classrooms have been roofed and the frames for the windows have started to go up. It is the third week on the project and we have made tremendous headway. As of today, reinforcement is well on its way, 4 out of 5 classrooms have been roofed. The frames for the windows have started to go up.

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The view from the far end of the school.

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Newly framed windows.

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This is what have left with regard to the roofing.

 That is all for this post, folks. For more pics, please join our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/816078315070486/?fref=ts.

Until next time,

- Dubie, ’16