At the CEFA Center, the water tower was finally put to rest into its useable position. It was not easy to get the heavy tower raised up from the bed of the truck then settled into its final verticle position. Now, the solar powered pump needs to be installed and the distribution pipes put into place before any water can be used. We had one good rain over a week ago, but we are still in need of watering the important trees so that they do not dry up. This is also very timely as we are getting ready to begin construction on the general CEFA ag building that will be 14 meters by 10 meters. We will be making 3,500 cement block brick at first and that will consume a lot of water.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Kim Cone, Roy, and Benoit headed up to a Fulani refugee village north of Gamboula and found out that there were 3,600 of them in that area that need help in planting field crops, fruit trees, and vegetables. We also visited one of the five villages that CEFA is connecting with this year, Godawa, and met with the local officials and people to begin the process of estasblishing three development cooperatives in their village. With the other four villages, contacts have already been made and the questionaires distributed. Today, Benoit and Dieu-Beni have ridden up to Godawa to begin the teaching seminars on a well-functioning cooperative. This is not an easy task as the people in the area need to develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for determining their own level or standard of living. This must all happen before CEFA begins their projects with manioc, corn, beans, and peanuts.
CEFA has hired a new agricultural specialist to help with supervising the activities that Roy will be vacating when he leaves for the US in May. His name is Dieu-Beni which means "God-blessed" in French - and so far, we have been blessed by having him join the CEFA staff. Already he has gone out to the various villages to begin connecting with the leaders of the community that want to learn about becoming a development cooperative. He has also been supervising the gardening work out at the center, especially the preparation for planting the 15 ha of peanut, corn, and beans. Pray for him as he settles in to his new community and works hard at getting the new year's activities underway.