Our project to build 2 additional classroom blocks has been delayed while several very important events take place:
1. The community continues to gather their portion of materials such as sand and small rocks, but more earthen bricks are still needed. We want to be sure these materials are in place so that once construction begins, the project can move quickly and not be delayed in process. This is also very important so that the community continues to feel involved and take ownership of this project.
2. We needed to make sure that all needed agreements were in place before construction begins so that all duties and responsibilties are clear amongst all parties involved. Most of this has been done in August and September.
3. The contractor who built the first 2 classroom blocks still needed to complete some minor finish work on those first two buildings before submitting a final bid on the next 2 blocks. We are happy to report that this work was finally completed in September.
Now it is rainy season in northern Uganda. Because of this, we expect to delay construction until December when it should be dry season, and when the children are on their two month holiday break between the school years.
We were in Uganda in June and July and inspected the current status of materials gathering by the community. The bricks already made have been tarped so they don't spoil. We are looking forward to beginning construction before the ending of the year! The school has continued to increase its enrollment, and the 2 blocks are greatly needed. We appreciate your continued patience on this very important project.
I have just returned from a month in Uganda visiting Agwata village and talking with our construction contractor who will be working on the 2 classroom blocks for which we have almost completed our fundraising. The contractor is ready to begin work as soon as we give him the go ahead and as soon as the community completes its portion of the work. The community is finishing its brick making and the gathering of the sand and small rocks needed for the construction. They had to wait until the dry season (January and February) to do this.
The community has divided itself into various worker teams and each team is assigned a certain day to do its work. Another volunteer, Michele, and I were excited to see all the activity taking place, making the bricks. Soon there will be enough bricks made that they can be "burned" so they are ready to be used in construction.
We have spoken with the community leaders regarding when the needed bricks and other materials will be ready. We expect that construction will begin sometime in late March or early April. Another Nursery teacher has already been hired, and the new Nursery class is presently meeting in the existing mud and thatch building until the new classroom block is completed. In early March, the school parents will re-thatch and re-mud portions of this building so it is secure by the time the rains begin later in March.
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