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Damaged School Classroom Block to Be Torn Down

Cracked Wall After Wind Storm
Cracks around windows and doors throughout the classroom block at Dagbamete Basic School indicate structural damage caused by a severe wind storm in early May was more serious than first thought.
By Conrad Richter
June 18, 2017

Structural damage to the main classroom block at Dagbamete's primary school caused by a severe wind storm in May is much more serious than originally believed. A damage assessment revealed there is evidence of cracking in walls throughout the classroom block, leaving the building in a weakened state and likely to collapse unless major structural repairs are made.

Davor Wonder, an engineer from Dagbamete but now living and working in Kade, in Eastern Region, said that the structural damage is serious enough that he will recommend to the Chief of the village, Torgbui Klu Agudzeamegah II, that the building be torn down and replaced with a new classroom block. Even with all the visible damage repaired, the building will still be left in a weakened state and could suffer further damage and even collapse in the event another storm of similar severity.

He said that a new building will not cost much more than the cost of repairing the damaged building. He estimates that the cost of materials and labour to repair the damaged building would be GHS 80,000 ($18,400 USD). The materials for a new building will be about GHS 60,000 ($13,800 USD), and if the community pitches in and provides most of the labour, the cost of labour will be kept to a minimum. If labour has to be hired he estimates the cost will be much higher, about GHS 300,000 to 400,000 or more. But Davor is optimistic that the community will rally around the project at the behest of the community leaders and will do much of the work as a service to the community.

Damaged Roof Beams
Bent roof beams that would need to be replaced.

Davor said that of the seven classrooms of the building, six suffered extensive damage including roof damage and cracks in the walls while the seventh has multiple cracks around the windows and doors. If the building were to be repaired, the walls would have to be demolished down to the window level. Other repairs required include replacement of the roof beams and replacement of the concrete floors of the veranda.

The cost of demolishing the damaged building and removing of the waste material is not included in the estimates. As in the case of the construction work, Davor believes that the community will provide most of the labour at little or no cost.

Cracked Walls
Cracking around doors and windows is extensive throughout the classroom block of Dagbamete Basic School

Asked whether the Ministry of Education would bear the cost of rebuilding the classroom block, Davor said that in his experience requests to repair or rebuild schools can sit on someone's desk for three of four years before anything happens. He said that the community does not want to wait and jeopardize the education and safety of children while officials sit on the paperwork.

Anyone wishing to donate to the rebuilding effort may contact Sammy Davor at sammydavor22@yahoo.com.


Wind Storm Rips Through Dagbamete

Wind Storm Rips Roof Off Dagbamete School
Roof of Dagbamete primary school badly damaged by winds in a storm that swept through in the beginning of May.
By Conrad Richter
June 6, 2017

A fierce storm with high winds swept through the village of Dagbamete in early May causing severe damage to the local primary school. Its metal roof was ripped up, exposing classrooms to the elements. Because the storm occurred on a Sunday when the school was empty, no injuries were reported. Some classes have been cancelled and children are at home unable to continue their education.

The Chief of the Dagbamete, Torgbui Klu Agudzeamegah II, and the Queen Mother, Mama Adjorhlor III, have asked friends of village to donate money for the repairs. The repairs are expected to cost GHS 80,000 ($18,400 USD). According to Professor Kwasi Dunyo, who has been assisting in the efforts to raise funds, the repairs will require more work and materials than just replacing the damaged metal. The underlying structure that supports the roof needs to be replaced and strengthened so that the new roof will withstand wind storms in the future. Torgbui Klu has appointed Sammy Davor, an elder of the village, to collect donations.

Wind Damage to the School Roof Was Severe
Extensive damage to the roof has forced the cancellation of classes while the village raises funds for repairs.

The school was built by the village without government assistance, although it is operated as a government school. In Ghana, especially in rural areas, the government does not provide the all inclusive funding and support for schools that is common in developed countries, and communities often have to take the initiative to build and maintain schools on their own in order to ensure adequate education for their children. Dagbamete is notable for the support its citizens have given to various development projects in the village, the most recent being the building of a community hospital two years ago.

It is hoped that the repairs will be completed before the beginning of the school year in September. Anyone wishing to donate to the repair effort may contact Sammy Davor at sammydavor22@yahoo.com.

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