Work on the Mairo Primary School is at a new stage! Last August, Astrid Rohde Wang and Lunde Arneberg from the Oslo School of Architecture & Design, and I visited Omilling to meet with the villagers. The Traditional Authority has approved the building plan and the community has already taken the ownership of the project.
The two volunteers visited the donated plot and measured the site where the school will be built. The villagers gave a helping hand, and also assisted in searching for the red soil discovered near the house of the local chief, and certified by the government builder as “a good quality soil” suitable for building. The volunteers collected the red soil sample in the bottles for further analysis in Oslo. The school will be built by soil block, which will reduce the building costs and time by 65%.
To build 4 class rooms only 95 bags of cement (50kg – each) are needed to produce 8000 soil blocks, including the foundations and the ring beams. The soil block needs 4 hours to cure and to start building. To cure the soil blocks there are no need for fire and woods. Only water! A team of two workers can produce 500 blocks a day. One bag of cement (50-kg) mixes with 8 wheelbarrow of red soil produces 105 blocks in one hour.
The commissioner of Magwi County, H.E Ochilo Peter, gave his approval to the project when we met in his office.
The school will be built in cooperation with Omilling Traditional Authority, local chiefs, and all our donors. It will provide a much needed opportunity for the pupils from the local villages. We are hopeful the building project will start in November 2011.
The primary school is the focal point of the community which understands the importance of education, and Hope Ofiriha is keen to improve the standard of education by constructing the primary school through overseas and local volunteers. We also want to recruit volunteers who would be able to give training to the teachers locally in Omilling to make learning fun and interesting for the children.
Our hands are open up with these current changes. Not only did we have Astrid and Olav this time, Silje has connected Hope Ofiriha to the Inovati, which is considering helping with one of our needs. Good news!
Thanks to both Astrid and Olav for traveling to Omilling and for re-designing the Mairo primary school.