Construction VS Rainy Season

Work didn’t stop for the monsoon rains of Sierra Leone during July August and September! Construction of the Magbenteh Community Boarding School accommodation continued with the building of pillars and beams to support the roof, although even this phase was disturbed by rain as you can see in the photos!

Virginia, the SSLDF Building Engineer, and her team worked throughout rainy season, although occasionally could only manage half days. Their stamina and demanding work is admirable and we are so grateful for their dedicated to this important project.

By mid-August we finished with the roof, allowing for some shelter from the rain, followed by the construction of the divisions for the first-floor bedrooms and verandas. In September, the team started on the iron safety window guards, adamant to stick to their strict schedule.

This is Virginias second rainy season in Sierra Leone with the Swiss-Sierra Leone Development Foundation: “Having arrived in Makeni in April 2016, completing the Magbenteh Community Boarding School and now half way through the accommodation buildings, it is tremendously rewarding to see the children in which it serves looking so happy in their classrooms every day.

In general, it is difficult to work on a construction project in Sierra Leone; people are extremely hardworking and love to learn but on the other hand it is very challenging to work with mud blocks. This requires much more effort and more accuracy, as we do not plan to plaster the walls. And therefore, no mistakes can be hidden! Furthermore, storing substantial amounts of material is very stressful in rainy season combined with the increased price of items and the constant fluctuation of the Sierra Leonean economy.

We hope to finish the first floor completely by the beginning of November and the start of dry season and sunshine!”

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