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’88 Prempeh College year group rescues Alma Mater with water pumping system

PumpThe 1988 Year group of Prempeh College in the Ashanti region have gone to the rescue of their alma mater to provide students with a water pumping system, a move hailed as a great relief to their juniors.

The 31,000 water pumping system saves students a half kilometer walk to fetch bucket full of water from the school field. Water supply to the school had become so erratic.

Under the leading role of the Team Leader and 1988 Year Group Coordinator Snr. Kwame Attrams – Team and the Group Secretary Snr. Gabriel Engmann who is also a Consultant Hydrogeologist, the students who completed 25 years ago have made a significant contribution.

Members were then asked to contribute a minimum of GHS 500 each towards the project which began in November 2013 and ended March 2016.

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A parent of the school, who works at the Electricity Company of Ghana Mr. Agbenyega, also facilitated the process of connecting the Pump House to the National Grid for power. The construction and installation phase of the project came to an end on April 11, 2016.

A pump test gave the yield as 150litres per minute. It takes about 6- 8 hours to fill the Central Water Reservoir and serves the whole school for about 2 days.

For the past two months, the water situation in the school has considerably improved with regular supply of water from the borehole project – ‘Project Sound Mind Restoration’.

Staff and students alike attest to this. The bathhouses are neater and smelling fresher, students worry less about fetching water from distant places to bath, and quality of water used for their activities is also very good.

Official handing over of the project to the school is set to be done Saturday July 23, 2016.

Full report by the Amanfoo 1988 Year Group is as follows

A REPORT ON THE WATER PROJECT – PROJECT SOUND MIND RESTORATION UNDERTAKEN BY THE 1988 YEAR GROUP OF THE PREMPEH COLLEGE OLD STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (AMANFOO ’88) FROM NOVEMBER 2013 – APRIL 2016.

On the 25th Year after completion of the O’level examination, every year group in Prempeh College is tasked to undertake a social intervention project at the school and to assist in the organization of the Speech and Prize Giving Day for that year. Year 2013 marked the turn of the 1988 Year Group.

In March 2013, Snr. Kwabena Kesse, the National Coordinator of the National Executives Council of the Prempeh College Old Students Association (Amanfoo) contacted Snr. Kwame Attrams and Snr. Gabriel Engmann of the 1988 Year Group to take up this assignment, after having consulted with Snr. (Dr.) Joseph Ofori Kuragu (1988) and Snr. LeBenee Tagboto (1990). The two were invited to the General Assembly’s meetings at the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) Club House in Accra to receive a proper briefing on the task and their expectations of the group in 2013.  Snrs. Attrams and Engmann thus became De facto Group Leaders and have played the roles of Group Leader / Coordinator and Group Secretary respectively to date.

Two projects were proposed for consideration as being critical to the needs of the school from the General Assembly in Accra. They were the provision of water and upgrading of the school’s Computer Laboratory. Snr. Alec Wobil, who is a member of the year group and an IT Consultant was tasked to get in touch with the school to do an assessment of their ICT needs while Snr. (Dr.) Ofori-Kuragu also contacted the Headmaster, Mr. Yeboah, to inform him of the year group’s agenda to assist in the organisation of the 2013 Speech Day.

Meantime, a Group Facebook page – 88 Year Group, and an Email Account had been set up to discuss the two projects proposed and a Draft Constitution of the Group. A group bank account was also opened at the Agricultural Development Bank, (Labone branch) for members to pay in their contributions and donations. As many of our year mates that could be contacted for the assignment, were then linked up and the discussions began in earnest. The Accra Chapter held its first meeting on April 20, 2013 at Afrikiko Restaurant, Accra, while the Kumasi Chapter met on Prempeh Campus, same day. Both meetings started off small with less than 10 people in attendance at both places. Much later, a Whatsapp account was also set up and all these improved participation and contributions towards the project over time.

After much discussions and visits to the school, it was decided that the water project was more critical and would serve a greater need in order to restore the dignity of the student at Prempeh College. Water is life, and a sound mind in a sound body performs exploits well beyond what anyone can imagine. How then would the Prempeh College student be able to live out his utmost potential possible if he was compelled by circumstances to hold his excreta within and be economical with a good bath each day?

Water supply to the school had become so erratic and far between that, students were forced to fetch buckets of water from the school field, which was about half a kilometre from the nearest house to bath and flush toilets. Barrels had thus been placed in each of the bathhouses to flush the water closets whose bowls were almost constantly overflowing with solid matter. Many students were driven to survive by doing ‘free range’ instead of ‘SOS’* thereby degrading the environment all around. The school field was the worst victim of this sad state of affairs, and the surrounding vegetation cried for redemption. Our team that was selected to assess the situation just could not stand the stench emanating from the bathrooms. Indeed, the school’s administration had been forced to seal off the entrances of the Bathhouses that opened onto the corridors close to the Administration Block, further worsening air circulation in the bathhouses and plight of the students.

Hydrogeological and geophysical investigations were commissioned at two different sites; the school field and behind the Katanga Classroom Block. Water supply at the School Field was estimated to be better in terms of yield but would cost about GHS 50,000 whereas siting the project at the Katanga Block would cost about GHS 36,000. This entailed drilling a borehole and connecting it to the Central Reservoir, at the School Bell up the ‘Apian Way’. The water would then be supplied to all houses everywhere from there. We opted for the Katanga Block site.

Members were then asked to contribute a minimum of GHS 500 each towards the project. Sponsorship letters were also sent round to some institutions and other individuals. Only one institution responded favourably to our request and that was Ash Cell Gh. Ltd – agents of MTN in Kumasi. They supported the project with cash and 3 MiFis capable of signing on 25 users each at a time and loaded with Credits for the Staff Common Room and the Computer Lab. The rest of the funding was from within. Members contributed handsomely.

The project finally got underway in November 2013. Messrs Jabus Construction Ltd was awarded the contract to drill the borehole and connect to the Central Reservoir, while a crew from Ghana Water Company in Kumasi were commissioned to detect and fix some blocked channels and choked pipes connecting the Central Reservoir to the rest of the School. Two key challenges were realised during the implementation phase of the project – funding contributions came in slowly and connection of the pumping system to the national grid took a while but through dint of perseverance the group overcame and came through. Mr. Agbenyega, a parent of the school, who works at the Electricity Company of Ghana, also facilitated the process of connecting the Pump House to the National Grid for power. The construction and installation phase of the project came to an end on April 11, 2016.

The Total Project Cost was GHS 31,000. A pump test gave the yield as 150litres per minute. It takes about 6- 8 hours to fill the Central Water Reservoir and serves the whole school for about 2 days.

For the past two months, the water situation in the school has considerably improved with regular supply of water from the borehole project – ‘Project Sound Mind Restoration’. Staff and students alike attest to this. The bathhouses are neater and smelling fresher, students worry less about fetching water from distant places to bath, and quality of water used for their activities is also very good. Official handing over of the project to the school will be done on July 23, 2016.

At this point we wish to acknowledge the project team that did most of the groundwork for their relentless efforts at seeing the project through. They are:

  1. Snr. Kwame Attrams – Team Leader / 1988 Year Group Coordinator
  2. Snr. Gabriel Engmann  – Group Secretary / Consultant Hydrogeologist
  3. Snr. Michael Brobbey – Member
  4. Snr. (Dr.) Joseph Ofori Kuragu – Member
  5. Snr. Alec Wobil – Member
  6. Snr. Yaw Asotia Boakye – Member
  7. Snr. Ohene Kwame – Member

Special mention is also made of members who actually drove the campaign to a success. They are:

  1. Snr. Justin Addo
  2. Snr. Frederick Tawiah Peprah
  3. Snr. Emmanuel Asamoah
  4. Snr. Richmond Kyei-Fordjour
  5. Snr. (Dr.) Evans Kyei-Nimako
  6. Snr. Stanley Adom Yeboah
  7. Snr. Opambour Agyeman
  8. Snr. Reuben Tortoh
  9. Snr. Isaac K. Maafo
  10. Snr. Yaw Agyeman Atwereboanda

Others worth mentioning are:

  1. Ash Cell Ltd, agents of MTN, Kumasi
  2. Mr. Jerry Otchi – GM, Ash Cell Ltd, Kumasi
  3. The Prempeh College Administration and Staff
  4. Mr. Yeboah – the immediate past Headmaster
  5. Mr. Abu – the School Plumber
  6. Mr. Agbenyega – ECG, Kumasi
  7. Snr. Kwabena Kesse – the National Coordinator, Amanfoo National Exec Committee
  8. The National Executive Committee of the Prempeh Old Boys Association.
  9. Mr Adarkwa and Mr Ibrahim, Ghana Water Company Ltd

All credit finally, goes to all members of the Year Group for their unflinching support; networking and contributions that helped us see this Project through.  Proverbs 13:19a “A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul’

Kwame A. Attrams                                                                Gabriel Engmann

Group Leader / Coordinator                                                           Group Secretary

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