Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Attended the WASH (water & sanitation) meeting today and it was useless. None of the
leadership were there and the man who conducted the meeting is being transferred on
Friday and could care less about what was happening. The NGO's attending were cruel
to the organization Engineers without Borders. Engineers without Borders has the
same philosophy as the Church does which is - let's make people take ownership of the
project so they will take care of it. We do that by requiring them to participate in a
small way to the project. For example: When we build a spring box and set a Milla
Tank or two next to it, we require the community supply the piping connecting the
Milla Tanks to the Spring box and/or require them to buy the submersible pump. When
they have some "skin in the game" they take care it. This has been a great asset to the
sustainability and success of the project. The rest of the NGO's only want to give the
people what they have to offer without requiring anything from them. Which has been
the system here forever so the people do not take care of what they are given. They
spoil it and that is OK with them because another NGO will come in eventually and fix
or replace it. This system has enabled the people of West Africa and they are now an
We had a short meeting with the young man representing Engineers without Borders
and requested we meet with the owners who are from Denmark and are here until
tomorrow morning. He will call us later.
We went out to the Jimmy Street Bridge to see the final work. The bridge is wonderful
and it was built very strong. While we were there two men approached Don and
timidly told him they had not been paid yet and wanted to know when they would be
paid. We paid the contractor who was suppose to pay the men. We went to the
contractor's house and Don asked him about paying the men. He got very upset. He
said he gave the money to his lead man who was suppose to pay the 15 men. We got in
the truck and drove over to where the lead man lives only to be told that he "has left"
and they don't know where he is. The lead man's buddy was there and he told the
contractor that he and the lead man kept the money to do a project and that the lead
man still has the money. Needless to say the African's have there own justice system.
The lead man will be found and payment will be extracted, the money will be returned
and the men will be paid. A lesson learned.
We met with a Sierra Leonian who represents Engineers without borders here in Sierra
Leone (or as the natives call it Salone). Don would like to partner with Engineers
without borders. His idea is to let them do the entire project and then we will do a two-
year maintenance and training program. They are very interested. As Don told them,
"this is a new idea and I have to run it by my boss to see if the Church will even think
about doing this".