What exactly is going on at the Food for People construction site in Otinibi, Ghana? I wanted a nuts and bolts update. Who better to ask, I figured, than the Project Manager, Emmanuel Kojo Adjei.
Thanks to the wonders of instant Skype communication, I had Emmanuel on the line less than twenty-four hours later. His clear voice speaking in perfect English with a distinguished British accent sounded like it came from around the corner.
Emmanuel told me he visits the FFP construction site on average every other day. His construction company is building the facility at cost. He spends the balance of his working hours earning a living. While at the site, Emmanuel answers questions from paid workers and volunteers, directs the work flow of the project, and ensures that the quality of the work meets a high standard.
Emmanuel reports that the foundation for the building is now complete as well as the concrete slab base for the floor. Concrete pillars are also now in place. Next, concrete blocks will be stacked in between the pillars to form rooms.
After the shell is complete, gable work will begin to build a slanted roof. Emmanuel said he is considering installing solar energy panels on the roof as a backup power system. After the roof is completed, the interior finish will begin, including plastering, tiling and carpeting, ceilings, painting and electrical wiring. Finally, a fence will be erected around the property. The project is scheduled to be completed in mid-November, 2011.
Emmanuel said volunteers have worked at the site on three occasions. The next volunteer session is scheduled for July 23. Support from the Otinibi community is increasing now that the villagers see the facility rising out of the ground.
I asked Emmanuel if the villagers had seen videos of the other FFP facilities in operation, thinking this would also serve to inspire them. Emmanuel kindly reminded me that many of the villagers live in mud huts without electricity and access to the Internet.
It occurred to me that, in one sense, it might not be such a bad thing that the villagers have not seen a Food for People facility in operation. I can hardly wait to see the wonder, joy, and surprise in the eyes of the children when the Ghana FFP opens.
Photos Courtesy of TPRF Staff