My big assignment has been 'mapping' retailers and producers in Ghana by taking photos and tagging them using the GPS function of my camera. I spent the first couple of days in the office getting to grips with the GPS function on my camera and how I could use it in order to create the network map of Gyapa cookstoves.
We went to Makola and Madina Market where we met various retailers of Gyapa cookstoves. This was my first experience of a Ghanaian market, having spent the last 4 and bit years living in Brighton, England with their famous South Lanes, I was fairly accustomed to narrow, weaving alleys and walkways, but Makola & Madina Market are on another level. With stock towering over you I’m not sure if someone with claustrophobia would be able to cope. For me, however, it was a great experience.
In Makola Market we met two wonderful retailers, Susie and Evelyn, and both gave fantastic interviews. While Carole Lundgren was interviewing them for a supply chain video project, I took photos, which allowed us to post updates on Facebook and Twitter about what we are doing before all the editing is complete. After finishing the interviews with both Susie and Evelyn we went across the city to Madina Market where we interviewed two further retailers and a commercial user. It was great to hear people say such positive things about Gyapa cookstoves, and we will definitely be able to make some cool videos out of the footage we got. We finished the day by going to visit two end users of Gyapa and got interviews with them. It was great to hear opinions of Gyapa from end users, which are not affiliated with the scheme. One of them gave such an amazing testimonial, we couldn’t quite believe it: "Gyapa is the best for every household."
On Friday we took the 2 hour journey to Winneba, which is to the west of Accra, to visit Ekem. Ekem produces the clay liners, and this is what makes Gyapa so fuel efficient, as it retains the heat so users do not have to use as much charcoal. It was really interesting to hear what Ekem had to say, as he has worked with Gyapa Enterprises for 10 years and so has been there right from the beginning. He described in great detail the processes behind making the clay liners, which is a critical part of the Gyapa cookstove.
I also used this opportunity to gather GPS points. The aim is to plot where all the producers and retailers are, and the aim to plot all the retailers and producers so we can see the distribution of the stoves. It is a great way for everyone to see the impact the programme has had, and is embedded into our website, so that everyone can see that faces of Gyapa!
It’s been a great time here in Ghana. I've had some great experiences meeting the various people that are a part of the Gyapa network. I am looking forward to more visits to retailers and producers, because it is these amazing people that make the Gyapa cookstove network so great.
See Issy's GPS Google map project on our Impact page: http://www.gyapa.com/impact.html