Travel report of the working visit of Agnelo Spinola from 11 October to 12 December 2012
This time my stay in Cape Verde was marked by the different trips between Praia and San Filipe, which I needed to make to organize the transport to Fogo of the contents of two containers. Due to the renovation and expansion of the port of San Filipe, no shipping was possible from Praia for three weeks. Furthermore, the construction of the second floor of the extension of our technical school caused the necessary problems.
Course of the rainy season
This year the rainy season on Fogo went less smoothly compared to last season. Only the end of August the first rain fell and in September it rained too much and too hard. The young crop could not cope with this abundant rainfall. On the other hand, it was much too dry in October, so that the crop, which had grown considerably in the meantime, received too little water to be able to expect a good harvest. The corn in particular has risen badly this year, which will result in a lower yield. Fortunately, a lot of rain still fell in November, but for some crops this unfortunately came a bit too late.
The functioning of the technical school
In 2012, the programs have unfortunately been virtually silent. This is due to a shortage of subsidies received from the IEFP by foreign donors. Here the influence of the European crisis, especially in Portugal and Spain, plays an important role. There is also too much technical education on Fogo. The aluminum department was tried to work on a commercial basis with 1 or 2 staff. But there were not enough orders to be able to continue working continuously. Sometimes there was 2 weeks of work, but then again for a while nothing. But the salaries simply continued. So we stopped here. We first have to organize better with a permanent administrator and a system of salary payments. We have also tried again to restart the woodworking department with 1 man. After five months, this has not gone any further.
The course of the construction of the expansion of our technical school
The construction of the ground floor and the first floor has gone more or less smoothly. The shortage of sand has slowed construction a bit and the sharply increased price of the sand is becoming worrisome. When I arrived in Ponta Verde for the first time in mid-October, I was surprised that there was only a small skeleton on the first floor. In a conversation with Ir. Canuto turned out to have a misunderstanding with regard to the way in which the construction budget was drawn up. Canuto had only included the construction of the ground floor and the 1st floor in its cost estimate, while we assumed that the building sum of 138,000 euros was the total price of the extension of the building, as it was on the drawing by Sarah Krivanka. A solution to this problem had to be found quickly. The Portuguese construction company, which worked on the expansion of the port, was at my request prepared to relinquish two trucks with sand and two with gravel and the necessary wire for reinforcing the concrete in order to be able to continue the construction of the second floor. let it begin. Canuto happily cooperated and promised to continue the construction and then to make the budget for the extra costs. In the meantime, almost the entire building is finished with the last finishing touch, as can be seen on the photos, which I made almost every day. It has become a beautiful building with large spaces and lots of light.
The Cape Verde construction company, which is building a new lycée in Ponta Verde, asked us if we could help them with our aluminum machines to adjust all window and door frames. As a thank you for the commitment, they helped us in moving our container and pouring concrete for the construction of the 2nd floor.
Sarah Krivanka of Peace Corps taught English to a group of women at the time. This good initiative is now being continued by a Cape Verdean lady who has just graduated in the English language. The group has now expanded with students from our school in Ponta Verde and has about 70 to 80 people in three classes. This is how our technical school is still being used.
Visit to the new mayor of San Felipe
As a result of the results of the last municipal elections, a new Mayor has arrived in San Filipe. I was invited by him for an interview, in which he expressed his appreciation for the work of Ass. Agua para Viver at Fogo and he promised to help us as best as possible. An example of this is a declaration of General Usefulness, where the Ministry of Finance to ask to be exempt from paying import duties. This proof is issued by the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. The Mayor of the municipality in which the foundation is located must first issue a statement of the activities that we do and have done. He has issued it without any problem and the application form has now been processed in Praia and our “ANBI” declaration has been published in the Government Gazette. The previous burge-master did not want to give the required explanation.
Interview with the Borne Fund
In a meeting at the office of the Danish Borne Fund, I was informed that the aforementioned Fund will leave Cape Verdie by 2017. But until that time they want to continue to help us. They want us to organize more courses. E.g. English, Cooking, Cooling and Music. Also with the CRP (Fight Against Poverty) in January / February will be talked about support to use our technical school as good as possible.
Activities in Praia.
The containers eventually arrived at the port of Praia and were cleared by customs after 5 days on payment of a deposit of 400 euros, which we could get back later. Unfortunately, the containers had to be emptied, because the boat to Fogo could only leave in 3 or 4 weeks, because of the construction activities at the port there. We had to look for another storage space. I have rented a container and 2 trucks to move all things. Part of it went to the new house of Anildo, who together with his two sons helped enormously well in this big job. I have made a financial overview of all the costs associated with this (about 2500 euros), which could be happily paid from the proceeds of the sale of computers and flatscreens in Praia. Peace Corps also ends its activities at Cape Verdie. During a visit I received five boxes with textbooks for our new library in Ponta Verde. I thanked them for all the help we received from Peace Corps in recent years. We have no longer expected financial support from the American Embassy. It was said that there are many Foundations that have less than Ass. Agua para Viver.
Conversation at the IEFP in Praia,
The hr. Varga said that the system of subsidy will be changed in the near future. In order to qualify for a subsidy, we must request official recognition from our technical school at the Ministry of Labor. The form for applying for this accreditation has since been filled in and sent to the Ministry of Labor, so that the procedure is initiated.