** Hi Everyone! **
-- So we haven’t had an update in awhile because we got stuck in a paperwork limbo for a while and I (Erica) didn’t think paperwork was too exciting. However, it has been brought to my attention that people want to hear what is going on even if it just boring paperwork ☺
-- I start by saying that we have many people looking out for us as we endeavor on this project and without them our work wouldn’t be possible! Thank you to all who have supported and are currently supporting us in many different ways!
Now, rather than just take our money and begin construction, our construction manager, Fode Abdoulay Camara, asked us if we had obtained a “Titre Foncier” (a land title that permits construction). Of course, we didn’t know what this was at the time. We learned that if we did not obtain this document from the government, they would have the right to come to our property and bulldoze any construction that was completed without it. We have been told that the government is strict about this process and enforce it regularly. Others have unfortunately learned this the hard way. Therefore, we are very grateful to have been told that we need to have this paperwork done before any construction can begin.
-- Obtaining this document has been a tedious process because it included getting more paperwork done in the local area where the land is located. The local area has had to validate the proper sale of the land to us and verify that the land that is listed on our paperwork matches the physical location of the land. This took some time because one family owned the land for a very long time, long before there were clear, official records kept. This meant that it also had to be verified that the owners were selling land that was theirs to sell, which could only be done by working with the chief, land surveyors, and other village elders.
-- Many document and processing fees and transportation costs later, we have finally completed the process for our local paperwork and all of it has been dropped off at the ministère de l'habitat. We are now waiting to receive the Titre Foncier. While this process has used up most of the money we had planned to use for construction materials, we are glad to have this done right the first time! So, this is where we are for now. We await our Titre Foncier!
-- Please continue to donate and share our cause with others who may be able to support us in anyway. Our work hasn’t stopped; it is just in a less exciting paperwork phase at the moment!
A special thanks to Ibrahima Dakino Camara for traveling back and forth, helping us take care of this paperwork!