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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Days 13-16 – 4-7 June 2012


So I must apologize for my lack of blogging and being behind schedule. I am currently typing this on June 13th, and I’m not sure when I will be able to post this article. So in the interest of catching up, and because not much happened these four days, I’m going to lump these days together. So, sorry for any confusion.

When we returned from our cultural excursion, we began taking inventory of the tasks we still needed to complete. We concluded that our priority was to finish work on the tank. We wanted to somehow clean the inside of the tank, since someone had left the cover off during our absence. We also wanted to install some sort of overflow mechanism, so that if the pump was left running too long, the water could exit the tank without blowing the lid off. It is important to monitor the water level at all times, so we wanted to install clear tubing that would indicate the water level. Eventually we designed a pipe that could serve as an overflow and level indicator as well as include a valve for draining the tank.

Another priority was to prepare the business for startup. We needed to write manuals for each of the components of manufacturing so that whoever is employed could maintain these systems without us. We also need to establish systems for sustaining the day-to-day business operations by creating procedures for everything from accounting to cleaning the facilities. Also, at some point in our stay, we needed to purchase furniture and office supplies to transform our empty building to a respectable business.

In accomplishing these tasks, these four days weren’t very productive. One day we went to Kumasi to purchase equipment for the overflow pipe. We found most of the supplies but could never find any clear tubing. We decided to make do with 2 foot piece we had left over from the sachet machine installation. We would use about one foot at each end of 7 foot-long pipe so that we can at least see when the tank is almost full and almost empty. We assembled our pipe with drain valve but could not install it until the tank was drained. We planned to drain the tank on Friday. We chose this day because we could get Francis to send us supplies from Accra, and we had enough time to announce to the community that the well would be inoperable.  Until that time we prepared by assembling the pipe attachments, digging a trench for the access water in the tank, and making sure we had taken all precautions so that the communities water source could be functional again as soon as possible.

On a side note, our companion team, the Sawdust Initiative, would be leaving early Friday morning. Thursday evening, we had dinner with them and spent the night hanging out. We would see some of them again during the school year, however some of the graduates may never see each other again.

That’s about all from these four days. I promise Friday will be much more exciting.

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