9 November 2012

Ghana: Kongo-Gorug Students Library Project At a Standstill

Through their little efforts and determination, students in the Gorug community, near Kongo in the Nadam District of the Upper East Region, in 2008, put up a mud structure to serve as a community library.

The efforts of the students were born out of very good intentions, with high hopes of attracting attention and support. Where the support was to be got from, was not known. But, one thing that stood high was the fact that the students saw the need to have a designated place to promote learning after school hours and during holidays.

The only library in the area is at the Mission House at Kongo, and, according to the secretary of the union, parents do not allow their children to go to the mission house for studies, with the reason that their children would engage themselves in social vices, especially at nights.

And so, in their efforts to find an alternative means of promoting learning among students of the community after school hours and during holidays, the students in the Gorug community came together to build a mud structure to be used as a library.

They completed the structure three years ago, but could not raise money to roof it, let alone furnish and stocking it with books. Till date, the structure is left unroofed.

Being a mud structure, the rains have also weakened it, as its upper parts have eroded and are showing signs of possible collapse. Domestic animals now also take rest in this same structure.

In an exclusive interview with this reporter at the project site at Gorug on Wednesday, November 7, Master Akuure-Tenga Jacob Bambil, secretary of the Kongo-Gorug Students' Union, narrated the strategies he and his colleagues adopted in putting up the structure.

According to him, they (the students) contributed some little amounts of money to support the project. They also appealed to parents to support them with roofing sheets, but that did not yield fruitful results, because their parents could not afford it.

He said when they later moved from house to house to solicit any items from individuals and households, some gave foodstuffs, which they used to feed themselves.

During the time of building, the students provided labour, the women fetched water, and a community member built the structure for them voluntarily. After the structure was raised, the community women came out again, and plastered it.

Master Bambil said after the completion, they wrote letters of appeal to the assembly, Member of Parliament (MP), and assembly member for support to roof the structure, but none of them has responded to their appeal.

Now, the students are appealing to individuals and organisations, the assembly, and corporate bodies to support them complete and stock the structure with books.

Mr. Christopher Ayil, assembly member for the Kongo West Electoral Area and Patron of Kongo-Gorug Students' Union, told this reporter he raised the issue at the assembly meeting, but it was not captured in the budget of the assembly.

He also added his voice to the students' plea for assistance to complete the structure, because he had seen the zeal and seriousness they put up during the construction.

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