During my last report to Globalgiving, I mentioned that the foundation for the library was almost complete. Well, I am pleased to report that the foundation for the library at Mprumem has finally been completed as of December 2008. Work had been slow but we are now ready to commence with the next phase of construction. Pictures have been mailed to me and I will post them online as soon as I receive them.
The need for a library at my area was poignantly brought home to me while I was catching up on my daily news about Ghana on the internet. Under the title: “Books piled up, no room for library,” books donated by an expatriate to Gomoa Onyadze, one of the communities to benefit from this library project, have been left sitting somewhere because there is no room for the books. On Wednesday, January 21, 2009, the Ghana News Agency reported the following:
Books meant for a library at Gomoa Onyadze near Winneba Junction
have been locked up in a small room due to lack of a suitable building
for the purpose.
About 2,000 books were donated by some expatriate volunteers who
rendered services in the town to use to stock a library but the structure
has not been built. Mr. Issah Badugyan, Chairman of the town's unit
committee, said this at the inauguration of Nana Kobina Gurah IV and
Nana Ekua Gurabah I as Chief and Queen Mother respectively of the town.
Mr. Badugyan said the volunteers realized that the inability of pupils to
read was the bane of their poor performance in examinations and decided to
support the community with books to establish a library to help pupils to
cultivate reading habit. He said the volunteers honoured their promise but
due to financial constraints the community had not been able to fulfil their
part of the agreement which enjoined them to provide a structure for the library.
As a result the books, which were presented to the community nearly two years
ago, have been locked up defeating the purpose for which they were donated.
He appealed to the Member of Parliament for the area the Gomoa West District
Assembly, donor agencies and benefactors to help the community to solve the
problem. Nana Gurah, Executive Secretary of Mbofra Foundation, a non-
governmental organization, pledged the support of the community to investors
who want to do business in the town. He said a land bank had been created to
make it easy for investors to acquire land and promised to make education his
priority. Mr. Francis Kojo Arthur, MP for the area, appealed to the people to put
the acrimonies of the past election behind them and unite to develop the town. He
said they could only see him as an effective MP if they were prepared to unite and
help the community to develop.
This report and many more like it are found throughout Ghana and the reason why several years ago I proposed the Mprumem library project to avoid such sad stories. Books may, in fact, be donated but if there are nowhere to put them for the benefit of school children and the public in general, then the good intentions and efforts of donors go to naught. For this reason I appeal to all those who may read about project 1290: A Library for 1,500 Students in Mprumem, Ghana, to redouble their efforts so as to bring project 1290 to a successful completion.
Expenditure since January 2008:
June 2008…………………….10 bags of cement………………………………..$100.00
September 2008, ($70 payment to mason; $ 35 each for two supervisors)……...$140.00
November 29 ($100 for filling, 10 bags of cement $110, Mason $40)………… $250.00
December 26, 08. ($150 for iron rods) …………………………………………... $150.00
Anthony Ephirim-Donkor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor & Undergraduate Director
Department of Africana Studies
Binghamton University, State University of New York
P. O. Box 6000, Binghamton, New York 13902-6000
Phone: 607 777-4248; Fax: 607 777-6547; E-mail: email@example.com