We explore the local bamboo resources and visit a bamboo farm near Chira, about two hours’ drive from the project site.
We meet the head of the “International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation” (INBAR) in Ghana and sign an agreement on further cooperation.
After a long search for a suitable plot of land for the bamboo training centre, we were able to acquire two plots at the end of November. The new project site is located in the small rural village of Wuraso and is ideally suited for the construction project.
Our third board member, Christoph Brummelte, is also heading to Ghana for a three-week visit. In the south of the country, we visit the Hadwua Arts and Culture Institute in Apam together. The impressive bamboo structure was built in 2015 by an interdisciplinary group of students from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, in collaboration with performing arts students at the University of Ghana.
The first inspection of the project site in Fiaso unfortunately brings the realisation that the land is much smaller than assumed. There has been confusion here in the past between the units of measurement feet and metres. In addition, the land is difficult to access and has a steep slope, which is unfavourable for the planned development. However, the Fiaso land is perfectly suited for bamboo cultivation courses! We will have to look for a new site for the construction of the training centre.
Feet: 171.1 x 91.6 x 169.0 x 91.2
Metre: 52,13 x 27,92 x 51,51 x 27,80
Rabea Schürmann and Johanna Liekmeyer travel to Ghana at their own expense for their foreign assignment of several months. In their home there, they conduct their first experiments with bamboo. In the process, they quickly encounter the dreaded “powder post beetle”, which likes to turn untreated bamboo into dust.
February – July 2021
Rabea Schürmann takes part in “The Bamboo U Online Immersion”, a comprehensive course on bamboo. As part of the course, she begins working with Federico Antonelli, a young, ambitious architect (MArch) from Italy who has made sustainability the guiding principle of his professional career. In the module “Bamboo Model Making”, ideas and designs are created for the workshop and seminar area, as well as the treatment facilities for the bamboo training centre in Ghana.
Our Project coordinator Wilfred Dery participated in the Inter-Africa Ghana Bamboo Study Tour (26th – 30th April, 2021).
November – December 2020
The wall pillars are ready. The next step is to insert bamboo poles as intermediate elements, but they must be treated beforehand. Because bamboo is on the menu of some small crawling animals that love it for its sugar content. This can be remedied by treatment with boron salts, which are not really toxic, but make the bamboo inedible for the animals. In this way, bamboo can be preserved in an environmentally friendly way. We were finally able to procure the borax and boric acid components required for this (last picture). Now it is time to prepare for the treatment of the first bamboo culms … an important milestone!
September – October 2020
The start after the Corona construction stop is delayed due to continuous and heavy rainfall. There are no paved roads leading to our project site yet, therfore accessing it is very difficult at the moment. Unfortunetely the truck with a delivery of wall stones got stuck… Fortunately, there were many hard-working helpers who picked the stones from the truck which could then be pulled out of the mud. The wall stones were finally transported to the project area with a smaller vehicle. They will be used to finish the masonry part of the wall. Very soon we can start with the bamboo elements!
June – July 2020
The corn grows and ripens! It’s a win-win situation: A local family uses the project site for corn and cassava cultivation during the construction stop. The harvest gives them food and income. While farming, they care for the land and keep it clean of weeds. This saves us expenses for clearing the land again.
The family is already looking forward to the first harvests and thanks our project coordinator with real treats: grilled corn on the cob – yummy, you’d love to be there yourself!
Rainy season and Covid-19 force a construction stop: In the meantime, we release the project site temporary to the “locals” for corn cultivation.
Stone on stone: The property wall is built.
The wildly overgrown land is cleared and prepared, building materials are organised and transported to the project site. Blocks are moulded and trenches for the wall foundation along the property boundaries are dug. All by muscle power and manual labour of the local workers!
It is time! Two adjoining plots of land in Fiaso are bought, or more precisely, leased. In Ghana the land always remains in the possession of the government, one can only acquire it through a lease contract up to 99 years with the Ghana Land Commission. This lease period can be extended upon expiry.
With a stream adjacent to the land, the site offers optimal conditions for the cultivation of bamboo and thus enables training in bamboo cultivation, care and harvesting on the project site.
Wilfred Dery and representatives of the Bamboo Farmers Association visit various local communities and meet the community leaders to recruit them as project partners. The location for the project has been chosen: Fiaso, a rural community in Bono East Region.
Project coordinator Wilfred Dery organises on behalf of GROW Colourful Ghana e.V. a meeting of the Bamboo Farmers Association to further organise the network of bamboo plantation farmers and to inform about the developments and progress since the last meeting in January 2019. The meeting was led by Mr. Awudu Yakubu and Secretary Yahaya Adam, the leaders of the Bamboo Farmers Association. A total of eleven people from five communities close to the project took part.
A pilot study on the bamboo project in Ghana: local bamboo stocks and their owners are identified and included in the project planning. There is great interest and enthusiasm for the project!
The “Bamboo Farmers Association” is founded, which offers bamboo farmers and other project participants a platform for exchange and networking.
In order to expand the network in the local bamboo sector, we meet with the head of the Ghana office of the International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR), Mr. Michael Kwaku. With his wealth of knowledge and experience in the bamboo sector, he provides further valuable input for the project.
Thanks to all who have been involved in the successes so far!
Keep going, keep growing!