Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Greetings from Ghana!

Ete sen! (Hello!)
EWB Ghana Travel Team 2016

The first travel team (Anna Libey, Sejal Jain, Juliet Kirk, Paulina Babiak, and our wonderful mentor Joelle Freeman) has arrived this Saturday. The last few days have been very productive and we would like to share our discoveries!

For the unfamiliar with the project, the main goal for our trip is to implement two wells in Amanfrom, which will be located by the Amanfrom Primary School and at "Borzey's House," a point near the center of the village, that is easily accessible to the villagers. We are also on a mission to Obodan, the site of our previous project, to monitor the latrines built on the previous trips. Additionally, we are surveying Amanfrom for future projects.

From the start, Anna and Sejal (who coming from Mumbai arrived about 10 hours before the rest of the team) met with the Multi-Hydro Technique Ltd. in Accra to speak with them for the first time in person about drilling the boreholes for the well. They have informed us that while the hand pump is feasible, if the borehole becomes too deep, it might become too heavy to pump for children and women (the ones usually burdened with the task of retrieving water). They suggested using Submersible Pump (electrical pump which pumps all the water to the tank so people could access the water straight from the tank).

The next day, after the rest stragglers arrived, we have surveyed the sites obtained by a geologist on the previous trip, to make sure our coordinates match up, as well as show the sites to the new members who have not traveled here before. We have encountered an issue with the GPS coordinates, as the well that would be build on the Primary School premises did not match up. Immediately, we have checked the reports and contacted the constructor who performed the original survey to make sure the spot is correct (even 10 meters could make a huge difference in the well yield!).

The future borehole sites:

The "Borzey House" Site

Amanfrom School Premises Site

After the initial survey and sightseeing of the village, we had a meeting with the Council of Elders who officially welcomed us to Amanfrom. After renaming Anna to the Anan, we have presented them with our project, and insighted them with their responsibilities and the responsibilities of the community to preserve the well and make it last as long as possible. The Elders ensured us of their cooperation, and ensured us that the Water Committee will this time work to make the project possible. The meeting concluded with us taking some stylish pictures with the Elders. We plan to meet with them again next Sunday to update them on the wells, and hopefully to receive a Ghanaian names (I want one too!).

Officially handing over the project to the Village!

The Council of Elders, the Chief of the Village, and the Team.

The next day, we ventured out to Accra, to meet with Multi-Hydro Drilling Company, to drill out (haha) final details of the contract. They have agreed to just drill the boreholes for the well first, before signing a contract for pump. This allowed us to have more time to research the pumps, and contact EWB about change in our design. Our mentor, Joelle, our in country contact, Sammy, and the Multi-Hydro project managers headed to the sites to survey them for the feasibility of the track with the drill to come through. We were ordered to remove one tree branch to clear the pathway.

After the survey, we came back to Multi-Hydro and we signed the contract. MAY THE PROJECT OFFICIALLY PROCEED!

We are awaiting for the last wire transfer from EWB to start drilling.

All the best,

EWB Ghana Travel Team 2016

1 comment: