Author: Adrian

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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Library Chairs have arrived

The chairs have arrived.
Twenty chairs for twenty readers.
Just waiting for the books which will soon be at Tema.

Alavanyo Kpeve’s library is almost finished. The books are on the way. Huge thanks to everyone who has been involved in this project either by donating money, time, skills or even quiet support. All have been appreciated.

Alavanyo Wudidi and Hohoe Wegbe Communities have asked if we can help them renovate and stock their ‘libraries’. Book Aid International have agreed to provide a stock of books. We and the communities just need to make the rooms fit for purpose. The communities are filling in the forms for the books they want. Community Action Ghana is busy looking for donors to help fund the furniture, paint and other essentials.

Outside Alavanyo Wudidi’s library.
Inside Alavanyo Wudidi’s library.

Alavanyo Wudidi’s library needs rather a lot doing to it. Furniture, books, a lick of paint, a ceiling, upgraded lighting and fans. The windows look as if they could well do with being replaced by glass.

Outside Hohoe Wegbe’s library.
Inside Hohoe Wegbe’s library

As you can see this library in Hohoe Wegbe is reasonably set up but needs books and furniture.

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Face masks & soap for sale

Face Masks Providing Employment
Community Action Ghana are selling beautifully handmade face masks to help fundraise for our projects, building toilets and libraries. The masks are made by Charlotte, a Seamstress from Alavanyo in the Volta Region of Ghana. She chose the fabric and patterns and has handmade 200 masks. Not only is this generating an income for the charity it has also provided Charlotte with work.

To Order
You can purchase the masks via Just Giving. Once you have chosen from the four beautiful patterns and made your payment please email us with your contact details so we can post them to you. They are a perfect gift for Christmas!

Handmade Soap
We are also selling 100% natural soap, made by our Chair of Trustees, Adrian. You can order this through the same Just Giving page. Another lovely Christmas gift!

Sewing the facemasks.

Mask A
Mask B
Mask C
Mask D
100% natural soap, no additives or perfumes

Order via Just Giving. All proceeds go directly towards building toilets and libraries in Ghana.

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Library Windows and Floor

The library is being painted and generally cleaned up for the books arriving at the end of the year. But the windows, if you can call them that, are in rather a state of disrepair. I think you will agree, they need replacing. The floor has also started to disintegrate and needs a new thick skim of strong cement. If you would like to help repair these you can either donate directly or nominate Community Action Ghana as your Amazon Smile Charity or as your Easyfundraising nominated charity when you shop online.

These louvre windows have seen better days.
This floor needs some TLC.

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Library Books Scheduled to Arrive

What would a library be without books? Well with financial contributions from Community Action Ghana the community of Alavanyo have almost finished renovating their library, putting in a new ceiling and making furniture. The WONDERFUL Book Aid International is getting ready to ship 2,000 books for them. The library in Tafi Atome that Community Action Ghana initiated in 2010 will also be getting 1,000 books to restock their shelves.
The books should arrive in December or January 2021. What a wonderful New Year Present. Thank you Book Aid.

Tafi Atome Library
Book cases ready for the books in Alavanyo Library

Making the tables in Alavanyo Library

Ceiling fans installed in Alavanyo Library

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Digging the Pit Continues

For the last couple of weeks the community volunteers have been working on a water project for the village. But now they are back on the toilet block project. We really need to congratulate the workers who are still digging out the pit. When finished it will be 40′ by 10′ by 8′ deep (12m x 3m x 2.5m). That is about 100 tonnes of soil that needs digging out and as you can see it needs pickaxes to soften the laterite (the reddish iron and aluminium rich soil) .

Pickaxes hard at work
Only about 5′ (1.5m) to go!

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The library ceiling goes up

The first job in renovating the library for the communities of Alavanyo is to put the ceiling up. All of the holes allowing bats to get into an enclosed ceiling space are now blocked so the ceiling can go up. In mitigation of depriving the bats of a comfortable roost we are investigating the possibility of using any left-over pieces of wood from the furniture building to make some bat boxes to put up in the school grounds.

Does anyone have the dimensions needed for a bat box?

Measuring ceiling strips
Cutting the strip

Fitting the first strip

The first strips are fitted in small pieces as the ceiling is wider than the full length of the strips. The full length strips will then cover the rest of the ceiling.

Fixing the holder for the main ceiling strips
The strips then go up easily.
The ceiling is finished

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Donations are rolling in

Two of the Trustees, Adrian and Heather, celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary and to help them celebrate people donated to the current projects. Here is a short clip from Alavanyo from a volunteer at the toilet site and students at the library site thanking everyone.

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