On November 8th, 2018, the new staff house was ceremoniously opened at the Health Center Buniadu of Riverboat Doctors International e.V. (RDI). In almost seven months of construction, also the kindergarten of the project was extended by one classroom and new water supply tabs for the community and for the local mosque were installed. “Today is a big day in the history of Buniadu,” said Ousman Camara of the Gambian Ministry of Health during the opening ceremony. “Running a health center is a good thing by itself, but providing staff quarters is really magnificent and worth recognizing.” The state health service had to let many employees go because no accommodations could be provided, Camara continued.
The new staff house consists of a large common room and two rooms each for the two nurses of the Health Centre. A modern sanitary area with a shower is included and an African kitchen in the outdoor area. In the back of the building are two furnished rooms, a common area with kitchen corner and a bathroom for volunteers from Germany. All rooms of the house are tiled. Before staff and volunteers have lived in two very basic houses – one kilometer away from the Health Centre. Water had to be brought in with a donkey cart. The power of a small solar panel was sufficient only for the operation of a few incandescent lamps. The new staff housing is connected to the electricity and water supply of the Health Centre. The solar system of the Health Centre has been enlarged, new batteries installed.
The extension of the kindergarten by one additional classroom makes it possible to look after about 100 children now. At the same time, the three classrooms were equipped with used school furniture and boards – donated by various elementary schools in Germany. Also the playground of the kindergarten was renovated and expanded by a large nest swing.
On the outer wall of the staff house for the villagers four water supply points were installed, which are connected to the well of the Health Centre. The entrance area in front of the local mosque next to the Health Centre has been tiled and equipped with four water tabs and a tiled bench.
Construction works began in April 2018 and was organized by Project Aid The Gambia, the Gambian partner of Projekthilfe and RDI. Since the beginning of 2017 Project Aid The Gambia also manages the projects of RDI in The Gambia. For the construction, 5,000 concrete blocks were produced by hand on site and 220 square meters of tiles were laid.
The construction costs amounted to approx. 30,000 euros and were funded with donations Projekthilfe Gambia (staff house, solar batteries), Friedensdorf International (kindergarten), RDI and the German-Turkish Günes family (water points, mosque area, solar system), to name but a few.
A Gambian TV station, a radio station and several newspapers reported on the opening ceremony.