Things have been moving along well with the building. The only disadvantage of having the second building so fast up (less then 2 months) is that the funds for the building are finished before we could put the roof up. Last year the building went more gradually and we were able to follow with the funds and also two months ago we had to pay about 8.000 Euro taxes on the land in order to make Paam Laafi the final owner of the land. The latter is very good news but this means a serious break on our budget and work. We now hope to finish the first building properly and build the workshop consisting of two containers and a big roof above it. Arjo, our Dutch friend, will be here untill the 15th of December and we hope sufficient funds will be available to help finish this stage of the work.
In order to finish the first building to be ready to use, we will need to put in water (hence the big tower on the roof of the first building) and set up the sanitary installations. We are also looking for a small solar unit to power the place. 3kVA will be enough for now. In combination with a small generator we already have, we will be able to cover the electricity needs for the first year at least.
We were very blessed with the help of Adri de Vroome, Arjo’s wife, who helped us make an inventory of all the medication we have gathered over the years. For many medication the expire date is still far away, so we have a good supply to get started in spring 2012.
You might ask yourself : why did the medical work not start yet in that first building? Well, in order to open the medical center, we need permission by the ministry of health and a convention with that same ministry and in order to get that permission to open the medical center, we need a building permit, and in order to get the building permit, we need the final attribution of the land to Paam Laafi, and in order to ….
We hope to get our building permit before the end of this year and we already have a convention with the ministry of health. That means we will be able to file for the opening of the hospital in January 2013 and probably will be able to start working there, be it a bit low key. If the ministry of health does not get back to us in three months after the file is brought in, we automatically receive the right to run the hospital. So this brings us to March or April 2013. We will plan an official opening around that time and a general assembly.
Another important step for Paam Laafi will be to get the NGO status. That is important as it opens possibilities to better collaborate with the local authorities and be exonerated for taxes. This will be more and more important as we will have to import medical supplies for the hospital.
It is amazing the enormous heap of paperwork that needs to be done. And the time frames are not always respected and procedures are not always well known. We are proud to work with a great team of Burkinabé people who have taken it upon them to help is through this paper mill. And the nice thing is that everything will be officially recognized and thus secure the status of the Paam Laafi projects. We also had a financial expert work together with our accountant and he confirmed that Paam Laafi has a healthy finance department.
Please keep praying for the region. That peace and security may prevail.
Peter and Ineke