Friday, October 16, 2015

Proposals, Port-a-Potties and Plastic Chairs

So in week three it is my turn to write the weekly blog for the Bolgatanga TradeAID Integrated Team. We have hit the ground running with regards to organizing the Bolgatanga International Crafts and Arts Fair (BICAF). 

We started by going to see the Regional Commissioner for Police in the Upper East Region. We had a brief, but very friendly and informal chat about security for the BICAF. Zoe managed to woe the commissioner with a simple smile and a cheeky misunderstanding of a joke, which helped us to get him on side. Since then, as a member of the grounds and logistics team, I have drafted a letter to formally put forward a proposal for the requisition of 10 police officers for the event. While we were at the police station, Zoe, the little minx, managed to secure two, yes TWO, marriage proposals; one from a member of a Ghanaian royal family no less. 

I have also been busy organizing chairs, waste disposal units and canopies for the November 12th – 15th BICAF. I managed to secure a quote on the chairs and canopies which is a substantial reduction on last year.

Elizabeth, one of the in country counterparts, came with me to negotiate on the prices of the more vital requirements for the fair – toilets and waste management. We negotiated hard in the hot Ghanaian sun for a full 20 minutes, and managed to secure 40% off the price of port-a-potties and 66% off the cost of the waste bins and refuse collections. 

A 200:1 scale of Jubilee Park has been created, with detachable scale tables, toilets and waste bins, in order to help work out and calculate where everything should be placed for the day. The playlist for our fashion show is also starting to take shape, with many upbeat western and Ghanaian songs in the running.

James and Andrew have managed to secure the use of an up market hotel in Bolgatanga for a photo-shoot to help market the BICAF and for our other work in the INCOME project. Fingers crossed that the results do justice to the incredible work done by the crafts people in this amazing part of West Africa. But they both have a superb eye for photography, so I think it is a safe bet. 

Hannah, Zoe and Stephen have started creating an amazing new website for the BICAF and INCOME Projects, allowing TradeAID to advertise the wonderful works of its craft workers. It will also, hopefully, allow you to purchase Bolga Baskets and other craft work on our own website for the first time. 

Away from the charity, we had the opportunity to catch up with the other volunteers based in Tamale and Sandema. We had a fantastic trip to Paga crocodile ponds at the border with Burkina Faso last Saturday, followed by a walk up the sacred Tongo Hills, with a visit to the Tengzug Shrine. It was so good to catch up with everyone and see what they have all been up to. 

BREAKING NEWS!!!:- Jason Manford has been spotted in Bolgatanga. We would love to keep you updated, but a television company has imposed a gagging order on us.
That’s it for this week, but keep tuning in for the next epic installment of the BICAF preparations. Back to you in the studio Lenny.


  1. Great work guys, the craft people and the people of northern Ghana shall forever be grateful.
    Wish and hope to be part of this all important event. You should be there too!!!!!

  2. why not build some compost/dry toilets - little cost and useful manure! 'Poo is Food'! Sean x