Monday, January 31, 2011

Beast Mode

Friday, January 28
The end stages of our work are at hand. The new tapstand at the Bakang crossroads is nearly complete; the adjacent wet well is in its foundation, piped from the tank. The pump is installed, as are the solar panels and rack. The excavation for our pipeline to the hilltop reservoir is going well but is a formidable task: each day the digging team starts early and works hard into the afternoon, yet it still seems that a lot remains. Two gaps in the long ditch have been across the dirt roads, because we don’t want to prevent the occasional moto or (rare) car or truck from passing. These sections also need to be dug a meter below the road surface to assure that any road work will not interfere with our lines, as happened with the previous road grading incident. So that’s one task for today, which will allow us to lay the polypipe and conduit lines from our junction box continuously up the hill. The first picture below shows the digging efforts up the hill.

We complete a lot of water testing from the household water filters, which were a major effort over previous trips. We visited six families using the filters and took samples of the water being filtered, plus two samples taken as water exited the filter. Turns out that the filters—even those that are not really operated to specification—do a reasonable job of purifying the water. There are two that have fecal coliform bacteria in the incoming water that is completely removed; the other filters are removing other types of bacteria that are in the water.
Our big morale problem is lack of water at the Mayor’s house. How ironic that we are bringing in containers of water from the well in Bakang so that we can shower at night. The situation has worsened as there has been no tap water at the house even late at night or first thing in the morning. We are looking forward to showering in Yaoundé so we are not too unseemly upon arrival in Philadelphia.

Friday night update:
Today was a big day in Bakang. We worked on finishing many small parts of the project and made our last trip to Bafoussam (hopefully), so things finally seem to be coming together. Wire and polypipe were dug under both roadways today, so almost all of the polypipe is connected, and the wire is all set out, and just needs to be connected. The wet well is all connected, unfortunately we already found a problematic connection but we think it is due to a lack of pvc glue rather than a problem with the fitting. Hopefully this will be an easy fix with more pvc glue. Early tomorrow morning we are testing the system. Hopefully we don’t find anymore leaky fittings and everything runs smoothly! The picture below shows Nicole and Shannon working on putting the pump into the wet well.
This picture shows Amy and Raoul working on the tanks at Bakang.

Digging the roadway was a really exciting part of the day. While the ditch was dug the road was impassable.. or so we would think. Instead of taking a huge ditch in a road as a sign that they should drive the other way around the community, the drivers of taxis and motos decided to drive over the ditch instead. The workers set down rocks for the taxis to drive over. Guy decided our SUV was too good for the rocks so we just drove over the ditch. Now we have a flat-ish tire. When we finished our work in the ditch and filled it back in with dirt everyone was pumped. There was a lot of cheering and celebrating.. one big step done!

This picture shows the solution to cars coming down the road - large rocks! This worked surprisingly well for the couple of cars that came through while the digging was going on.

This picture shows the completed excavation across the road along with the completed pipe installation!
The team.

1 comment:

Taylor said...

You guys are so beast!