"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Friday, February 18, 2011

Task 1: Fundraising Efforts

The success of this project depends on the success of our fundraising efforts. Afren, a pure play African independent oil and gas company, has generously agreed to donate $28,000 to  PUC Ghana Sachet Team. This contribution amount is substantial but is based on a preliminary budget the group developed. We have since then found needs that were left out of the budget. The team is currently developing a detailed budget to ensure all funds necessary for the project are accounted for. In order to raise the funds needed in addition to the $28,o00 already received, Kelsey Koszela, will be leading the fundraising efforts to generate activities the team can participate in. These efforts include:

  • Grant proposals to foundations and corporations
  • Letters to friends and family requesting donations
  • Music benefit at SXSW
  • BBQ at the park
Task 2: Sachet Building

The structure to house the sachet machine will be built in April and May by the community, prior to the team's arrival for the implementation trip. The Ghana Sachet Water Team will determine specifications as to the dimensions and design parameters after researching the sachet packaging equipment. Nana Yaw Kwakye will oversee the construction of the building. During the reconnaissance trip, the student travelers will meet with Nana Yaw Kwakye to go over the specifications of the building and organize a building crew and schedule for construction. The building crew will comprise of community members established by Pastor Kofi. Also during the reconnaissance trip, the student travelers will identify an electrical consultant, potentially from KNUST, the local university, to oversee the electricity needs of the building. The community will also be responsible for digging the trenches to run plumbing from the existing well to the building. During the implementation trip, the student travelers will run the plumbing to complete the building and prepare for installation of the sachet packaging equipment.

Task 3: Sachet Packaging Equipment

In order to ensure the team purchases and installs appropriate and cost-efficient equipment, much research will go into sachet packaging machines. Greg Iles will lead the efforts of this research by spending time conducting research on the Internet, contacting manufacturers, and meeting with UT professors and faculty who are knowledgable of water packaging equipment. Also, during the recon trip, the student travelers will visit sachet packaging sites, including Nana Yaw Kwakye's to research machines that are currently being used.

Once the team has made a decision on which sachet packaging equipment, we will purchase the machine, arrange for its delivery in Patriensa, and request an operations and maintenance manual. We will review the manual before our implementation trip to ensure a successful implementation. Once installed, the system will need to be tested and monitored before handed off to the community and the local Advisory Council. The Ghana Sachet Water Team will ensure that the water quality meets the standards outlined by the World Health Organization before operating at full capacity.

Task 4: Business Plan Implementation and Testing

Francis, an emerging leader in Patriensa and law student, will assist the PUC team in creating a business model for the sachet packaging enterprise. Tim Bailey is currently enrolled in a course that should assist him in leading the efforts of completing this business model. The business model will be structured around having the oversight of Advisory Council. The council will be made up of leaders in the community and employees of the business. Pastor Kofi will assist in the identification of these members. During the implementation trip, the student travelers will meet with Francis to discuss the details of the business model and meet with the potential members of the Advisory Council and employees of the business. As of now, the business will be modeled as follows.

The Advisory Council will:
  • Ensure maintenance of the well and the sachet machine
  • Make decisions about use of the profits from the enterprise
  • Guide decisions for future expansion of sachet production
The administration of the enterprise will be made up of an operations manager, well water attendant, and delivery and distribution staff.

The Operations Manager will:
  • Manage daily operation of the water enterprise
  • Order supplies for sachet production
  • Be responsible for the accounting of funds for the enterprise
  • Manage the staff
  • Keep the business licensure current for enterprise
  • Package and allot the number of sachets per day and maintain the sachet machine in the beginning until a packaging staff can be employed
The Water Attendant will:
  • Notify the manager if the well needs maintenance or repair
  • Collect funds from community members for water distributed directly from the well
And the Delivery and Distribution Staff will:
  • Drive water out to nearby villages to sell in bulk
  • Deliver water to any local business where a contract is set up to carry water
The sachets will be packaged and dispensed in one of two ways:
  1. They will be sold to women in the village who will sell them to the community for individual drinking purposes
  2. The Delivery and Distribution Staff will take them to surrounding villages
The business will be monitored for the remainder of the time in Patriensa and alteration to the plan will be made if necessary to further the productivity and efficiency of the Sachet Water Enterprise.

Task 6: Sanitation and Recycling Education

It is estimated that in Ghana, waste produced from plastic packaging amounts to 270 tons per day, adding up to 22,000 tons in one year. It is common in Patriensa, for community members to simply throw the used sachet packages on the ground with no regard for the impact this has on the environment. In order to counteract this social and environmental issue, the PUC team will attempt to educate the community on the importance of recycling. The PUC team also intends to provide educational materials regarding sanitation and the importance of washing ones hands and drinking clean water. Over the next few months, educational materials will be developed for the student travelers to bring on the implementation trip including:
  • Pamphlets with facts regarding sanitation and recycling
  • Skits to perform in front of younger students
  • Puzzles and worksheets for older students
  • Microscopes to bring to the school to show students and community members bacteria that can not be seen with the naked eye
Red Cross, Engineers Without Borders, and Peace Corps will be used as references for these educational materials.

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