Author: Adrian

Terrific Donors + Reliable Partners = An excellent year.

We have just finished the accounts for the year and everything adds up. The accounts show what a good year the charity has had despite the constraints of the global pandemic. They also show what reliable, trustworthy partners we have in Ghana.
Through your donations, adding up to £9,851 we have been able to:
* fund huge progress on building the Alavanyo Agome toilet block, and have sufficient in hand to finish it

* totally renovate the Alavanyo Kpeve community library

* facilitate the donation of 3,000 books from Book Aid International
and
* fund a successful Geological survey finding a good source of potable water for Gbedema Kofi

All in all a superb effort made possible by donations from all over the world
Thank you all so much

Of the £9,851 donations we have spent £183.50 on running the charity.
Which means we have only spent 1.8p from every pound donated on admin and running costs. Leaving 98.2p for the charitable works.

The charity is run entirely by volunteers which is why nearly every penny raised can go straight to Ghana. Thank you so much to everyone who has volunteered for us over the past year and especially to the lovely students from the London School of Economics who have devoted their time to Community Action Ghana – we couldn’t have done it without you.

In the coming year we hope to be able to finish the toilet block in Alavanyo Agome, renovate a library in Alavanyo Wudidi and one in a suburb of Hohoe as well as provide the borehole, pump, water tank and tower in Gbedema Kofi.

We can only do this with donations.
If you know of any individuals or organisations we could give talks to about our work please give them our details and let us know.
Thank you all again for your kind and generous support.

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Alavanyo Agome Toilet block progress

After a short break the community is working on the toilet block again. We were wondering why they were progressing so slowly. We found out that the community work day was being used to improve facilities in the primary school and sadly attend funerals of prominent members of the community.

The organisation of the community work is impressive and as everyone does their bit it is recorded. One of our final tasks is to give all of the participants a certificate of appreciation for their work. These records of the participants allow us to do this.

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Research based Geological survey gives new water project green light.

The geological survey paid for by the wonderful fundraising efforts of the Student Leos in Cambridge High School New Zealand has been done.
Two very promising sites have been identified.
So now we really need everybody’s efforts to raise the almost £4000.
This will let us
drill the borehole,
put in the pipes and pump,
build the water tower,
put the 5000l tank on,
plumb it all together.

Which means that people will no longer have to do this

or this

For the techncally minded here are some photos of the survey being carried out and the full report. In the report the bluest places are where the possible drilling sites are.

Click anywhere on the photo to load a pdf of the report

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Glorious Leos from Cambridge High School New Zealand contribute.

A group of students at Cambridge High School in New Zealand have joined the international charity. The Leos are a junior branch of the Lions Clubs. Their main aim is to do charitable works for others in society. For the last three years they have chosen to help with three of our projects in the Volta Region of Ghana. They have raised funds to help towards roofing two toilet blocks and now to pay for the geological survey to identify where to drill a borehole so the community of Gbedema Kofe, near Ho, can access clean water.

Here is a series of slides showing who they are , what they do and how they help.

Thank you Leos for supporting us.

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How to build a sustainable toilet.

Part one The Holding Tank

The Kumasi Ventilated Improved Pit latrine (KVIP) and is the epitome of sustainability. No water, and a lifespan of at least 20 years without any maintenance except cleaning of the cubicles. This is the type of sustainable toilet we have built in Tafi Atome, Alavanyo Dzogbedze and now are building in Alavanyo Agome.
The most important part is the Pit or the holding tanks. All of the toilet deposits go into these tanks.
They are designed to be very well ventilated so no, or little, smell goes back up into the cubicles. Any flies that follow their noses onto the poo are cunningly trapped in the tank until they die. If the flys could escape they would carry germs on their legs and bodies. They can’t excape so this stops them spreading diseases.
Each tank is designed to hold about ten years, YES TEN YEARS, worth of deposits! Then the second toilet in each cubicle is opened up to start filling the neighbouring holding tank. After about 20 years the contents of the first tank have thoroughly composted killing any pathogens. This holding tank is then emptied and the process starts again. The tanks need to be very strong to survive these many years of use.

Cross section of KVIP showing how it traps flys

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Sparkling plaque thanking all involved in the library project.

A huge thank you to the people of the Alavanyo community who under the leadership of Clemence Kitsi renovated the community library.

They made new tables with individual carrels and more shelving. They replaced the termite eaten wooden louvered windows with glass windows. This has made the whole room light and airey. They put in a termite proof plastic ceiling which not only insulates the room from the heat but allows people to work when the rains hammer on the corrugated metal roof. To help with making it even more comfortable they installed ceiling fans and better lighting. We bought new chairs and painted the whole room.

Building the bookshelves.
Desks and bookshelves all ready.
Delivering the chairs.

A library to be enjoyed.

To recognise all of the people and organisations involved a plaque has been put inside and outside the building. The major donors are mentioned but sadly we couldn’t fit in the names of everyone who has individually donated to Community Action Ghana. A big thank you to everyone involved.

A library is not a lot of use without books so a final thank you from us and the people of Alavanyo to Book Aid international who provided a powerful injection of books.

Inside above the new shelving and books.
Outside in the corridor.
Windows, shelving, paintwork, new books and ceiling visible here.

Major donors
Viktoria Luis Gymnasium, Hameln, Germany
Q’antati Weltladen, Hameln, Germany
Botley Windscreens, Oxford, UK
Book Aid international, London, UK

Students and teachers enjoying the books.

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Imagine this is how you got water.

This morning I expect you got up. Went to your indoor bathroom, did your number ones and twos. Flushed the toilet had a wash, shower or bath. All without leaving the comfort and warmth of your own house.

It’s not like this for many people in the Volta region of Ghana. The pictures below show what the Gbedema Kofe community near Ho have to do to get the water they need to wash, prepare their food and in some cases drink. This community has sent us a request for help to drill a borehole, and build a reservoir tank with a couple of taps so they do not have to collect the water from this stream.
It was International Womens Day this month and most of the women in this community spent it collecting water from this source. They had to walk away from the village and carry the heavy containers back home. This is a cause of anxiety as this is where they might meet snakes and other predators. They are not asking for the world just a safe source of water.

How much? The estimates are that if Community Action Ghana, with your donations, put in £4,000 the village contribute £2,000 in labour and materials, they can have this in a matter of weeks.

Please can you or an organisation you know help. We will willingly give talks to individuals or groups anywhere in the world (using video links). Please help us fulfill this simple request.

Many times each day I collect water.
I bring my son or daughter to help.
That blue bucket of water weighs 5kg. It is too much but what can I do?
This is what your donations could provide.

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How to turn the Pit into the holding tanks

The people of Alavanyo Agome have now started to line the pit that will form the base of the community latrine. Ladies carry water from a supply 200m away and sand from a stockpile 400m away. Using the smashed up rocks excavated from the pit, sand, cement and water the men mix the concrete by hand. Masons supplied by the village development committee then get to work. The first task is to get a level base. Getting this correct is vital for the strength of the whole construction. Because they are working directly on bed rock they do not need to dig foundations. The cement blocks that were made last year have cured and are really strong, but heavy!

All of this labour is provided by the village as their contribution to their community toilet.

Sand and water being carried to the site
It’s always amazing to watch the accuracy of pouring the water into the drum

This sand seems to be defying gravity.

Concrete mixing by hand. Hard work.
The blocks made last year are now going to make the walls of the holding tanks.
Getting the level correct

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Collecting all the wonderful Library Books from Accra.

Clemence got up at 1.00 am to start the journey to get the books donated by Book Aid International from the Ghana Library Authority in Accra.
After some difficulties surrounding getting funds transfered to him in Accra and packing up the vehicle they set off for Alavanyo finally reaching it late into the night.
They unloaded the 84 boxes of books and stored them in the library we have renovated for the Alavanyo community.

Loading up the minibus at Accra.
Arriving at Alavanyo and moving the boxes into the library.
Stacked ready for sorting and stamping.

The next week a very willing group of students set too and stamped all of the books with both the Book Aid International stamp. They sorted ghe books and those for the Alavanyo Community Library were given their stamp. They reboxed the others so they could be transported to the community library in Tafe Atome.

Sorting.
Stamping.
Teachers and students reading the books at Alavanyo Community Library .

Why books? Well they don’t need any batteries, data, or internet connection. We are extremely grateful to Book Aid for this donation and to Clemence for all of his hard work to get them to the communities. To help us reach more people through providing opportunities to read and learn please donate today

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The huge Pit – finally Conquered

Digging the pit for the toilet block had ground to a halt because the soil was too compacted.
As they dug deeper the volunteers came to a layer of rock.
Pick axes made absolutely no impression despite the strength and commitment of the workers.
Drastic actions were called for.

Extreme force arrived

And started work

The excavator worked all day long and into the night until finally the pit was ready.

Day digging

Night digging

This is what the finished pit looks like.
Nothing will be wasted, this heap of broken up rocks will be used for the concrete bases.
As in Alavanyo Dzogbedze, the larger rocks will be smashed up by hand to make the gravel.

A one hundred tonne hole

And rocks ready to be broken up and used in the concrete

The next stage of the project will be to line the pit using the blocks made earlier and put on the superstructure.
Clemence is discussing this next part of the project with the village volunteer masons.

Watch this space.

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