Sunday, 11 May 2008
Do you remember Musu? She is the lovely Liberian lady who used to help Sally cook and clean and look after the kids when we lived ashore in Liberia. She is 67, and has been a widow for nearly 30 years. She has given birth to 12 children, but only 5 remain alive today - the others have died of disease or were killed in the war. She lives in a one-bedroom mud-block house, 13 feet deep by 20 feet wide with her extended family of 11, with no toilet, running water, or electricity. At the end of this month she is being evicted from the house by the owner, who wants to live in it himself, so we are helping her to build her own house on some land she already owns. She has already paid for the construction of a frame out of sticks. Sally and I agreed today that we will pay for the corrugated steel roof, tarpaulin walls and cement floor. Once she is settled, we will encourage her family to make mud-blocks to build proper walls and a latrine, which can eventually be rendered with cement to make waterproof. After 18 years without her own toilet (and using the bush), we hope she will have one by the time we leave Liberia in December. The whole undertaking will cost about $800 (£400), and is by far the biggest undertaking we have committed to so far. Can you help? Olly.