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N°: 3360

Emergency conservation of Patakro Bonsam Asante traditional building

Ghana
State Party
29,580 USD
Approved amount
12 Sep 2022
Decision Date
For Implementation
Process Step
Applying mud to wooden framework © Ghana Museums and Monuments Board | Francis Kwarayire | Image Source: Final report from State Party
Objectives

The Patakro Asante Traditional Building was adversely affected a rainstorm in May 2022. Structural components such as roofs, walls and bas-reliefs were damaged as a result. This rainstorm proved to be the most destructive amongst the series of similar occurrences at the property over the past decades.

The objectives of the project were to:
a) restore the structural integrity of the Patakro Bonsam Asante Traditional Building.
b) repair damaged traditional motifs and reliefs.
c) improve security of objects at the site.
d) improve participation from local actors in the preservation of the site through hands-on training.

Results

The Divisional Council of the Akrokerri Traditional area provided local support for the ongoing works at the Patakro Asante Traditional Building. A total of 29 people were trained: 6 Ghana Museums and Monuments Board staff members, 11 craftspeople on wall repairs and wall reconstruction, 2 craftspeople in the conservation of bas-reliefs, 3 craftspeople in roof repairs, 7 people in mud mortar preparation for repairs.

  • Replacement of the damaged roof. A thorough survey was conducted by the project team to understand the root causes of the recurrent detachment of roof sheets due to wind storms. The findings led to the determination that the installation of a fascia board at the eaves was necessary to function as a windbreak, thereby safeguarding the integrity of the roof sheets. The eaves were also extended such as to protect both the mud walls and mural designs from the rain, while preserving the overall structural integrity of the roof and adhering to its original architectural style.
  • Reconstruction of collapsed walls. A thorough survey of the Asante construction methods was undertaken by documenting works in some villages where the local construction was still active. The 2 main construction methods identified were the wattle and daub locally called “Ntadan” or “Nnuadan” and the monolithic mud (cob technique) locally known as “Atta- Atakpamé”. The "Ntadan" technique produces very strong walls but could be susceptible to termite attack if the wood species is not carefully chosen. Atta- Atakpamé walls can last for decades due to their relative thickness although they cannot resist forces created by ground movement. The final choice was to use wattle and daub technique for repair of the collapsed walls and Atta Kwame for reconstruction of ruins. Although mud brick construction was used at the site before, it was decided to avoid it as it is very fragile and it is not a typical Asante traditional construction technique.
  • Consolidation works. For this, it was crucial to redirect the surface water away from the buildings' foundation. This was achieved by incorporating laterite and compacting the soil along the eroded and exposed sections of the foundations. This approach, although not a permanent solution, has demonstrated its effectiveness in mitigating erosion issues as exemplified by its successful application at Besease in 2004 and Edwenase in 2020.
  • Repair of bas-reliefs. All soft or loosed spots at the affected areas were removed and the surfaces watered before filling up them with the processed clay that had been extracted from the original source. It was discovered on this occasion that this source of key material deposit was losing its function and would cease to exist if not protected from development pressures. The capacity building organized by CRAterre in 2003 on revival of bas-relief technique in Asante decoration was very instrumental for keeping them till now. However, the last beneficiary of that training programme passed away in 2021. The search for such a skilled person was very challenging and quite expensive. It would be very beneficial to organize a training programme with robust strategy to sustain the repairs of bas-reliefs.
  • Wooden doors were also repaired and floors resourced.
Amount Requested: 30,278 USD
Type of Assistance: Cultural / Emergency
World Bank: LIC
N°: 3360
Decision: Approved
Decision by: Chairperson
Approved amount: 29,580 USD
Decision Date: 12 Sep 2022
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