Electricity, joint venture and New life

16th May 2015 | Posted in Latest News, Nigel's Blog

Can you imagine 10 days and no electricity. Here to keep things going you buy a generator (though of course most of the population cannot afford one). Our brand new generator has broken down 3 times. The Lister Petter turns out to not be of the standard expected. The shop owner has kindly agreed to replace it, but with a cheaper type! Very interesting man who had built runways in Afghanistan and Uganda, was born in Sierra Leone, educated in the UK and USA and build a huge business in Dubai. Yet here he is committed to business development as he sees the opportunities in this country. Amazing who you meet.

Met up with Andrew and Angie Sesay of Iris Ministries. They lead a church and who group of people with land about 2 miles form us. Their goal is to move out there. Andrew has been very helpful and encouraging in all we do. They opened a shop in the village recently as he noted there was no shop for 32 villages in the area so people spend a lot on transport to get food, especially bags of rice. Again recognising we have to build approaches that are sustainable financially.

Then down to New Life City and introduced Katherine to Susan (in our video) and a number of those in the settlement. Interesting that 2 years on from when bulldozers destroyed people’s houses there is no development and more people returning to squat on the land. In this area they are keen to learn more and help us design our approach. Still some of the blue tarps adorn the shacks that we gave sat that time.

Visited Nassit which is the government’s pension agency. One of the few groups with cash to spend. They have to invest and are keen to do housing from affordable to high end. They have done a number of high end but have no clear plans on low cost. They were most welcoming and keen to do a “joint venture.” They have land and would want us to deliver houses as a price which on the surface could mean we could build one free house for every house we build for them. So worthy of some more conversations. They have many tiers of management to approve anything though.

Everywhere we go we are greeted with a warm welcome as simply no one else seems to have any practical plan to help the poor and their housing.

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