Hazel’s Footprints have donated £13200 to African Promise to help in the construction of new classrooms and girls loos. Here’s their update on the project.
Current status – building-by-building/
Nursery school – decorating has recently been completed and the glazer is now on-site fitting the window glasses.
Office – decorating was completed before Christmas and the glazer is now on-site fitting the window glasses. Timber shelving and cupboard doors need to be fitted. We will use furniture from the existing staffroom and offices.
Library – decorating was completed in November. Now that decorating of the nursery and office is complete, the window glasses are also being fitted here.
Classrooms – three blocks of four classrooms are currently under construction. In the two that we started at the very beginning of the project, we are fitting steel shelving brackets in the store rooms and decorating is just underway. Construction started on a third block in October last year and we are now constructing the roof. With little heavy construction now going elsewhere around the site, we are able to have a large team working on this element of the project.
Sanitation – 26 sanitation units have been located strategically around the school – behind the office, behind the nursery and just beyond the main primary school compound.
Furniture – the furnishing of all the buildings will represent one of the final stages of this project. We have around 400 tables/desks and 670 chairs to make for the nursery and primary classrooms, as well as bookshelves, tables and benches for the library. All this furniture is being custom-made at a small welding works in the nearest town.
General – as major construction work nears completion the community can start landscaping around the new buildings and school compound, clearing away building rubble and levelling uneven ground, then marking out pathways and flowerbeds.
When will this project be finished?
It is easy to underestimate the magnitude of this project and the amount of work involved. Unfortunately we have long ago overrun our targeted completion date which, with the benefit of hindsight, was overly ambitious. Our most recent completion date target of the start of this current academic year on January 7th has also passed.
Our revised completion date for the end of the Easter holidays is also approaching quickly. We do believe that the final drop of paint will have been coated and the final window glass fitted on ALL buildings in 3 months time. We are less sure about how long it will take for all the furniture to be manufactured, delivered and painted.
What about rainwater harvesting and an eco-kitchen?
It was originally in the plan to install rainwater harvesting and storage capacity, as well as a modern kitchen with energy-efficient stoves. The lack and infrequency of rainfall over the last couple of years in Kisimenyi however has led to us question whether fitting guttering and supplying storage tanks is the best solution.
Solutions to address the shortage of water in the wider-community are being tabled by other developmental organisations and we are involved in these discussions in order that we can ascertain the best long-term solution for the school. A shortage of food for school lunches (the school no longer receives maize from the government through the World Food Programme) means there is currently little justification to invest heavily in the construction of a new kitchen.
As an organisation we do not have the financial capacity to support an on-going feeding programme for the 600 plus pupils at Kisimenyi, nor for the nearly 2000 other pupils at the other schools we support. Finding ways for the schools to become more self-sufficient in this regard is part of our current programme, but availability of water clearly also plays a fundamental role here.
Has it cost more than anticipated?
Unfortunately and rather inevitably given the much longer than anticipated implementation period, yes it has.
The work that we have or will have completed by the end of the project was budgeted at £130,000 (£150,000 including the rainwater harvesting and eco-kitchen – see explanation above). We anticipate the final cost will be approximately £22,000 more than budgeted.
The increase is largely accounted for by the additional expenditure on labour but inaccuracies in the survey, increases in material costs and unexpected expenditure (particularly on transport of locally available building aggregates, which has had to be sourced from simply too far away for the community to have been expected to have carried them from) have also contributed.
Where has funding come from to meet this over-spend?
Overspends on on-going work and any shortfall in fundraising has been and/or will be covered with funds from our unrestricted fund. Nearly £125,000 has been raised in donations restricted to the Kisimenyi project.
Here are some pictures of the development work.