Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 4: A Lot a Bit of Everything

     Our first full day in Obodan proved very productive as we started working more extensively on our projects. Given our large travel team size, we were able to split up throughout Obodan to work on different tasks.

     Mira, Steve and Sammy went to a meeting in the morning to discuss the construction for the water distribution system. In mid-August, we are scheduled to dig trenches and lay pipe for the system across the Nsawam-Aburi road, which connects two larger cities in the Eastern Region of Ghana. While we got permission to close parts of the road, we also found out that we cannot close them for as long as we had planned. However, we were told that there is a strong possibility that the Municipal Assembly can offer us money and assistance for this task since it is a service to the community.

     Meanwhile, Kabir and Caitlin went to the satellite village of Akawupom to monitor the progress made to the latrine there. The water had been removed from the wet pit and both pits were successfully sealed to prepare the latrine for use. We expect that in the near future the finishing touches will be put on this latrine, which include backfilling around the foundation and connecting the remaining pipes. The community members seem very excited by the prospect of having the latrine ready for use in such a short period of time.

     Elsewhere, Kerri and Andrea finished conducting surveys in the remaining villages, Anoff and Alatta. The people there are also very eager for the completion of the latrines, since their only option at the moment is to use unlined pits which are not very private nor sanitary. They also raised our attention to the fact that they receive a lot of their water from a small stream as the boreholes in Obodan are a long walk away. Regardless, they all found value in the water distribution system and while they would like a tap to be installed in their own villages, they also said that having taps in Obodan would attract them to get more water there. We hope this will increase their use of safe water for drinking and reduce their use of stream water.

     On that note, in the afternoon, we took water samples from both Borehole 1 and Borehole 2 in Obodan to bring to the Water Research Institute in Accra for testing. While past field tests have indicated that water quality is good, we want to be more accurate in our tests for hardness, metals, alkalinity, pH and e-coli. We expect our test results to be ready next week.

     To finish off our day, our team supervised the pumping of water out of the latrine pits in Kwasi Doi. Since its pits' access doors were never installed, the latrine collected several feet of water runoff from the nearby dump. Minimal amounts of water remain after pumping and the pits should be sealed in the coming days. In conjunction, will continue putting the finishing touches on the Alatta latrine this week.

     Tonight, our team plans to cook our first dinner at home as we eagerly await the arrival of our last two teammates, Christine and Mike, who are due to fly into Accra in the evening. We certainly have a lot to catch them up on!

All the best,

Mira, Caitlin, Andrea, Kerri, and Kabir

Kabir pumping water in Kwasi Doi for priming the water pump.
Our mentor Steve setting up the pump to get the water out of the Kwasi Doi pit.
Mira and Caitlin carry a bag of cement for the construction of the Anoff latrine.


  1. aww caitlin's got flowers in her hair hahaha. and dang, closing roads down, that's intense. you guys sound like you're being crazy productive though :] yay ghana! glad to read it's a good time

  2. Awesome work team,looks like you are making a real positive impact there, keep up the good work, love the Yankees cap! Cait yet another country you can say you worked with cement in........... :)