Fodei called two days ago to say that Chief Mambu Mansaray, the town chief of Gbeworbu, had passed away this week. The chief was always very welcoming to me when I was in the village, and he was a strong supporter of the work being done to improve the town. He lived a long life, and from my perspective here, he became a better and better chief as time passed. So I will miss him and am sorry he will not be there when I am able to visit again.
There will be the traditional 40 days mourning period before the town chooses a new chief. From our perspective, of course, we hope the new chief will be as supportive of Africa Yes, and as open-handed, as Chief Mambu.
This is the latter part of dry season, and the construction projects are moving forward at a steady pace. The foundations for the three big projects – school addition, clinic addition, and rice mill – were completed about two weeks ago, so walls are now rising.
The village received a last-minute visit from the Ministry of Health three weeks ago. We hoped that would mean that the staff of the clinic would start receiving their salaries from the government, and/or that more medicines for adults would be provided, but neither of those things have happened yet. The visitors were pleased to see the continued progress and have decided to make the clinic one of their HIV outreach centers. So the clinic addition will include a small room for the outreach team. According to Munir, there are no persons in Gbeworbu known to have HIV.
Of the 40 houses being built this year in 8 villages, all are finished or in progress. Three of those villages will complete the first phase of their participation in the housing project this year, and make way for the three new villages on the waiting list. In the meantime, during rainy season and into next year, they will move into Phase 2, plastering the walls of all the new houses. We will provide cement for the plastering, and the homeowners will provide sand, water, and labor.
Fodei and Munir send their warmest greetings to all.