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Jun 25, 2020

Filling of the Nyitawuta Well

Dear Donors,

Today we want to share with you the amazing results of the well at Nyitawuta. In our last report, we shared photos from the digging of the well, which left a deep empty space with dirt sides. Now that we're in the midst of the rainy season, the well has filled up completely with water. You can see what the well looks like in the photo we've attached above. A member of the Nyitawuta community sent this photo to Barbara recently. Due to ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately Barbara has been unable to travel out to the community to visit with them and assess progress in person, but the community members continue to stay in touch and keep us up-to-date on how things are coming along with HOCAP's various projects in the community.

Without your generous help, we never would have been able to make this dream a reality for this farming community. Now the members of the village will have a wealth of water to draw upon during the drier seasons, to keep their crops growing strong throughout the year. Thank you again for your support, and we hope you understand how grateful the community is for this well that you have been able to make a reality for them.

Now that the well has been completed, we expect to be closing down this fundraising project within the next quarter, so please be on the lookout for future opportunities to support the long-term goals of HOCAP in the weeks and months to come.

Best wishes,

Barbara & Melissa

Links:

Mar 1, 2020

Nyitawuta Well News

Construction Equipment
Construction Equipment

Dear Donors,

We have great news to report in our second project update! Barbara was able to marshall HOCAP's resources and the Nyitawuta community and get the well completed before the rains came and made it impossible to dig the well. This update will provide an overview of the work that was accomplished and what remains to be done to ensure that the project is completed and achieves full funding.

Well Building

HOCAP employed a superb engineer to orchestrate this project from start to finish. Attached here you should find a PDF of his draft assessment to prepare for the project. Although technically a draft, the work was all completed before the well was dug, so the data itself is final, so he agreed that we could share this version with you. The report provides an incredible about of detail into what types of information are needed prior to undertaking a massive project of this size.

The work to complete this assessment and dig the well kicked off on January 20th and lasted until February 12th. You can see the scale of this feat through some of the photos attached to this report. First the road leading to the Nyitawuta village was cleared more fully in order to allow the construction equipment to be transported to the site. Simultaneously, some more land for the demonstration farm was cleared to achieve project goals in that area. At the beginning of the project, the engineers estimated that it would take approximately one week to dig the well, based on the soil samples and ground conditions they had assessed. Unfortunately, the ground turned out to be much harder than expected, so the work was extended out a second week in order to complete the well in one outing. It would have been much more expensive to send the excavator to the site again, so instead it was kept out there and the well was completed.

Funding Goals & Next Steps

As you can imagine, the extra week of work threw off our initial budget estimates by quite a bit. The work was quoted at $10,000, which is what we have been fundraising towards. However, the final total came to $17,000. HOCAP has had to reach into reserves that were intended to cover the entire year's activities in order to get the well completed. While the organization is happy to have been able to complete this project, we hope to be able to refill some of the original budget after completing the original $10,000 of funding for the well.

As of today, our well project has raised $8,061 from 82 donations through GlobalGiving. Our next steps will be to raise the remaining $1,939 needed to get us to the original project goal of $10,000. Please consider supporting our efforts through one more donation to help us reach that goal as quickly as possible, and by spreading the word to others you know who may be interested in what we have accomplished. Once we have raised that $1,939, we will send out one final project report to update everyone who has supported this project. HOCAP will then pivot towards raising funds for a more long-term operational fund that will replenish the accounts impacted by the extra costs for building the well. We hope to continue raising funds on other specific projects like this well periodically in the future.

Thank You

The entire Nyitawuta community is overjoyed at the completion of the well. Now that it has been dug out, it will be able to fill up during the upcoming rainy season and will be available for use by all farmers in the community going forward. Thank you for your part in this adventure; it would not have been possible without the generous support of our entire community of donors.

Barbara and Nyitawuta members stand in new well
Barbara and Nyitawuta members stand in new well
Zoomed out view of Barbara exploring the well
Zoomed out view of Barbara exploring the well
Nearby community's well that inspired our project
Nearby community's well that inspired our project

Links:


Attachments:
Dec 3, 2019

First Project Update

The Nyitawuta well project has been live on GlobalGiving's website for almost three months to the day. We had a very successful Accelerator experience, where we were able to meet the minimum of $5,000 from 40 unique donors within the first two and a half weeks. GlobalGiving's bonus matching day garnered us $194 in matching funds for raising $2,020 in that one day. Thank you for your support--you've helped us become a permanent partner organization on GlobalGiving.

Project Planning

As of today, December 1, 2019, our project has raised $6,231 for the Nyitawuta well. We have been exploring how to maximize the use of these funds and ensure we can bring this well to the community as quickly and efficiently as possible. We were originally working with an engineer who quoted us a price tag of $25,000 to complete the well, from start to finish. Recently, however, we have switched to a new company that will be able to build a comparable well for 60% less than the original quote.

There are a couple of reasons for why the same project can be completed for $15,000 less than originally planned. The new engineer owns his own equipment for conducting the work, so rather than paying tremendous sums to rent large construction machines that can be brought to the community, he just has to transport his own machines and pay for the labor. The previous quote also called for a larger well than what the new engineer has assessed is necessary to meet the needs of the community.

Weather Conditions

Nyitawuta is located in eastern Ghana, a region that is now well into its minor growing season, or mini-rainy season. Even though these rains aren't as substantial as during the main wet season, it still affects the roads to Nyitawuta. When Barbara traveled out to the community on a recent trip, the road was so flooded that she was forced to park and stay in the next community over. She rode a motorbike to get into Nyitawuta for her visit.

For the time being, the roads are impassable, to the extent that heavy machinery cannot be transported in at this time of year. Even if it was possible to get to the community on a day of good weather, the soil would be so saturated with water that the machinery would get stuck trying to do any work. HOCAP will therefore wait until the rains stop and the soil is easier to work with before beginning work on the well. Of course, community farmers don't need the well right now, anyway, since the rain coming down in this season is sufficient to keep any growing crops irrigated throughout the season.

We hope to reach the $10,000 goal by the end of the year so that we can begin planning the specifics on constructing the well. A big piece of that fundraising will occur on #GivingTuesday two days from now. Your support has been so valuable to us already--if you are able to support us on this important day by donating or sharing this report with friends, we would be very grateful. (I'll include a link to the project site)

We'll provide another update once the project is fully funded and we are able to start planning the next steps for the project.

Links:

 
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