At the crux of this project’s success will be how well Goodneighbors members are able to run the co-op and get a net positive turnover from the added facility. For that reason, Team 2 met with Emmanuel, the co-op president, other GN committee members, and some community members for further discussion about the purpose of the storage facility and other pending issues during construction. This discussion was organized to first align each members’ goals with the rest of Goodneighbors and then with EWB-Rubaya team’s goals to ensure that everyone is on the same page. May and Ethan asked thoughtful questions to gain insight from GN members on their hopes and aspirations from the project and potential future projects that EWB-NY can possibly help with.
Key points from the discussion are listed below:
Purpose of the building: Some GN members thought the facility was to be used as a retail store to sell maize to the Rubaya community. May and Ethan, with the help of other GN committee members, explained the purpose of the facility is to buy maize from GN members plus the community to sell in bulk to schools and large mills.
Door placement: The original design had the door located at a side access road because the building is at an elevation 1.5 meters above the main road. After deliberation between May and Emmanuel, it was decided to move the door to the main access road and GN will construct an access road from the main road to the door. This alteration was made because the side access road is actually private property owned by others and GN we were worried access to the maize facility would be blocked in the future.
Phase II: The Rubaya team’s next goal is to implement Phase II of the project, which is the construction of maize flour mill. A new building with milling equipment is very expensive and so the option of turning the storage facility into a mill was discussed. A prerequisite for the Rubaya team to move forward with Phase II is for GN to provide tracking data for a year at least to prove their capability at managing and operating the storage facility. May and Ethan established this prerequisite in the meeting to confirm all members know the bottom line for moving to the next phase.
Possible future projects: Clean water: The community does not have enough water. There is a stream of clean water flowing from a mountain but it is not a perennial source and often depleted during the year. Only 40% of the Rubaya community has access to this water. Vocational school: A need for a vocational school to learn crafts such as welding, carpentry, and masonry was identified. Having a specialty skill would provide community members with a sustainable source of income.