"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Day 6 – 28 May 2012


 Monday was a slow day.  We started the day at 9 am waiting for Pastor Kofi to pick us up to go to the bank. He was two hours late, but fortunately he had already taken care of the withdrawal with Nana Kontihene, so instead we just went to the market. After getting a few things from the market, it was already lunch time, so Pastor Kofi dropped us off for lunch at AATI. After lunch we walked to PPE to see if any construction was taking place.  There wasn’t. We were expecting Francis to arrive later that day, so we knew we wouldn’t have anything to do until then. We decided to walk into the village center to watch the Sawdust at work.

The Sawdust team is another branch of UT PUC who has a project in the village. Originally, there mission was to use sawdust to from local sawmills to create briquettes (like charcoal) for people to cook with. However, about a month before the implementation trip, they completely changed their scope to making stoves directly from sawdust, without any processing. After simplifying their project, the team has seen a lot of success. The stoves they build comprises of materials that people can get for free in the village. They use cement or clay bricks that are lying around everywhere in the village. They mortar the bricks together with clay they make by just saturating the ground with water. The lumber mills have an overabundance of sawdust that allows people to take freely since they would have to burn it anyway. The sawdust stoves are great because people in the village don’t have to spend money on charcoals or spend time harvesting and chopping fire wood from the bush.

After helping the Sawdust team build a stove for a woman in the village, we headed back to PPE to meet Francis. We were still lacking a few supplies to begin the pump changeover, so Francis was working to finish connecting some pipes at the community tap and the well.  The pump changeover is the critical point in our project where we remove the hand pump and replace it with our new electric pump. This is a delicate moment because we are taking away an old and proven component with new technology the community is not completely familiar with. During the pump changeover, the community cannot retrieve water from the well, so we need everything in place before it takes place. While Francis did that, we decided to unearth the pipes that were not satisfied with. We worked hard with shovels and a pick axe to un-dig about 20 feet of the trench.

After a few more hours of work, we decided to call it a day. We planned to leave early the next morning to drive to Kumasi to buy the remaining equipment. 

That's all for now.

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