At the end of February we celebrated the opening of the new BUSOMA factory at Kibuye. It turned out to be a lovely facility that we hope will serve the hospital, Church, and community for generations. This factory has certainly been a product of teamwork starting back in the 1980s when Dr. Frank Ogden began researching a local solution for a high-protein flour to serve to malnourished patients. Thus was born BUSOMA, a flour made of two parts corn, one part soy, and one part sorghum (BUrundi – SOrghum /SOy – MAise). BUSOMA production has been a staple at Kibuye for over 25 years now.
With the implementation of the Kibuye Hope Hospital Master Plan (our integrated plan for the next 20 years) we wanted to continue and even increase the production of BUSOMA. The Friends of Hope Africa University pursued and obtained a grant opportunity through the Herman Miller Cares foundation for this new facility. The grant also included funding to serve a cup of BUSOMA porridge each day to all the patients at the hospital and their caregivers, as well as all of the kids who come to our malnutrition clinic.
The factory was designed around the process of making the BUSOMA flour. Carlan Wendler sat down with Fidele, our BUSOMA manager, to figure out the details of the process in order to come up with an efficient design that will allow production to increase. The new facility also takes advantage of rain-water collection for grain washing, includes both covered and uncovered drying areas so grains can be dried in all weather, and greatly increases the sanitary conditions of the entire process. In mid-September, a few weeks after my family and I arrived in Burundi, I was given this design and construction began. Through the efforts of our dedicated construction team, the factory was completed in less than 5 months. It was a joy to be a part of something that has had such an impact at Kibuye and will continue to do so for years to come.
|Jason and our Medical Director, Dr. Wilson, cutting the ribbon|
|All were invited to tour the new facility|
|Dr. Gilbert offered a prayer of dedication and thanksgiving|
|In celebration all hospital employees and construction workers enjoyed a soda and a delicious meat-pie at the canteen!|
In an effort to illustrate the process of Busoma production:
|Grain is delivered by the trusty Busoma truck to the loading dock.|
|The grain is stored in tightly-sealed rooms to keep the vermin out!|
|The grain is sorted by hand to remove impurities. Notice the rainwater collection tanks on the left and the Busoma truck in the loading dock on the right.|
|John receiving careful instruction on how the grain is then washed with rainwater|
|The grain is then dried under the sun on nice days....|
|...and under a covered area on rainy days.|
|The grain is then roasted which produces a lovely aroma throughout the area.|
|The grains are mixed in the correct proportions and milled|
|The flour is then packed and sealed for distribution|
|The porridge being enjoyed by this young patient|