At the end of the Volta River is a small Island with a big heart. The only access is by local boat, and these are not without danger. Our boat was slowly leaking throughout, resulting in some frantic bail out as the water neared the edge of the craft.
We joined Robert and Evans from Heart of Ghana for an introduction to the community and Island chief. They were typically Ghanaian in their warmth and friendly nature, and within minutes of our arrival we had almost 100 kids and adults joining in an almighty game of Duck Duck Goose.
We were lucky enough to visit the school and the recently constructed library. This is the only place on the Island with power, and this doesn’t last long. Amazingly it’s powered by a kid’s roundabout outside the building! As the kids spin round the current produced is stored and used for lighting.
There are many dangers here threatening the inhabitants daily. Malaria is rife, and with no money or access to medicine it can become extremely serious fast. Medical care in general is sparse and expensive, with the nearest clinic over the water and down the road; it’s not something everyone can manage. Sadly two days before our arrival a boy had died as a result of falling from a tree. The fall caused internal bleeding, but with no medical knowledge locally, and the Islands isolation it claimed his life.
Poverty is their biggest risk, and has the Island in its grip. With no economy and tiny opportunities for commerce of any description, the local residents have to focus simply on surviving. Long days fishing and selling at the market guarantees no success, and often provides only enough to live to try again the next day.
Both The Flying Seagulls and Humanitas teams immediately felt we could offer something to help the people of Azizakpe, and we are already in talks to launch what could be life changing projects later in 2014.
Thank you to Heart of Ghana for introducing us to the community, and the Chief of the Island for his warm welcome.