Development in the construction of the Science Lab - Jacaranda
It has been very complicated to launch this double story building construction, but we have been very firm in our decision to do such a building, because it is the right thing to do for the future of Jacaranda School. We lack space on our compound and the double story will totally transform Jacaranda. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter, as it is the first time we have been running into such issues and delays. Actually patience has been one of the first virtues we had to develop in Malawi, especially Luc as he is based all year round in Malawi. It's a different rhythm here. But regarding the approval process, we were also aware that things got slower than normal, as bureaucrats are experts in the art of suggesting cash hand outs. One of our principles, as Jacaranda, is to absolutely refuse any kind of corruption, and this is one of the consequences we have to endure. We are successful in the end, but we have to be patient.
As you know, plans have been approved, construction plans, but we then also had to get engineers plans done and approved, which happened a month later. Digging foundation could not start without engineering plans approved. Another key issue we had to solve was to transfer the name of this part of the land from Marie Da Silva and her family names to Jacaranda Foundation in Malawi. We did this simultaneously as the approval process, and it is also a solved issue. We felt it was very important because in case of family conflict, property rights could have been disputed. We had to make sure Jacaranda's future was protected.
Digging of the foundation has been going on for almost four weeks now. It's a large site, and foundations have to reach 2 meters deep in 16 areas, where we build the columns. As you can see on the pictures attached, all the work is done manually. End of this week, the builders will start laying down the footing of the foundation (concrete, made with cement, sand and quarry stones). This will take 3 weeks. Then we will put in the steel and build each of the 16 columns. That should take another 2 to 3 weeks. Then it will be time for building the walls up to second floor slab level. We do not have the exact calendar of the construction process, but it is underway, well underway, and we will be successful. It is a big project for our school, since we have never built a double story before. But we are extremely happy and confident. And we thank you again for the funds you raised for this project.
We truly hope Roviralta Fundacion can understand the process we go through, after realizing that things in Malawi can take a much longer time than in Europe. Obtaining a simple official letter answering a query from a government office in Malawi can literally take months. We experience this in many different areas, not just building applications.
Please let us know if you need any more detailed information, we can also send you the engineer plans (technical designs) if you think it can help. Or more pictures of the foundation's footing being built this week.
Thanks a lot again for all the help and support,
Marie da Silvia