In Ghana, Samsung partnered with the government, local health services and international stakeholders including UNESCO to set up a sustainable project for a selected community, Volo in the Volta Region.
The plan was to build a compound within the village that would use solar energy to improve healthcare delivery and education. It was also to help local traders develop their businesses through the use of the sustainable and low-cost alternative energy source.
The Digital Village was to comprise of a Solar Powered Internet School (SPIS), Solar Powered Tele-Medical Center (SPMC), Solar Powered Health Centre (SPHC) and Solar Powered Generator (SPG).
Harry Park, Managing Director of Samsung Electronics West Africa( unconfirmed if still is ), said the company expected these facilities to “have a positive impact on education and healthcare delivery in Volo and the surrounding communities.”
On the 4th of May 2015 the project was launched. The ceremony was attended by interested parties and the MP for North Tongu Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, representing the government. At the launch, it was stated that Samsung was working to ensure that the Volo community takes ownership of the Digital Village and received adequate training to optimise use of the facilities.
2 years later, Award winning health blogger, Kobby Blay of the Ghana Health Nest visited the healthcare facility and the pictures he posted on Social Media site; Facebook is nothing to write home about.
They showed a compound that looks abandoned with weeds growing and sheltering reptiles. The fence wall is not in good shape and the main facility was on lock down. The structure had started to develop rust due to no maintenance. The images showed expired consumables and the equipment that have not been touched in a long time. Some of them still wrapped in plastic.
This situation raises the question on how sustainable good projects by the government to help people in rural communities are and what should be done to keep these running and maintained.
The people or the government, who is to be blamed?