Monday, July 19, 2010

A logistical post (nothing to do with statistics, sorry Chris)

So, we realized that we might not have fully explained the project to everyone. We just keep talking about all the other stuff that has been going on, but we’re not sure if we fully explained the project in detail.

Originally, we wanted to do a well, but that proved to have too many problems. With the help of our Tanapa friends, we decided to put a rainwater collection system on the primary school buildings. The primary school was chosen because it is now completely new, and the roofs don’t have any paint on them.

For the project, we have purchased 8 sim tanks. Each tank holds 5000 L, so we’ll be able to provide the village with 40,000 L of clean water. To catch the water, we are putting gutters on the building, and funneling the water to the tanks. We have been told that one good rain will fill them up pretty quickly.

After three days, we have completed all of the gutters, and we’re working on building the stands for the tanks. We are going to have four stands, each stand will have two tanks. This is why we’re digging the holes. We’ve dug these holes down two feet in the ground, then filled them partially with sand. After that, we put large square cinder-like blocks in there around the edge of the circle, and cemented them together, then put another layer on top. We’re not sure, but they might put three layers. After they put the three layers, then they’re going to fill the middle of the circle with the sand/cement mixture to make the stand.

The reason that we are digging, and putting sand in the holes is because the ground around here changes a lot between dry and rainy season. In the rainy season, the ground expands, and during the dry season, the ground contracts, cracks, and gets smaller. If you build without a foundation of sand that provides a buffer to these changes, the structure (building, sim tank stand, etc) will get cracks in it’s when the ground changes. Within a few years, you will have to tear it down and rebuild it because the cracks will cause it to be structurally unsound.

We’re currently working on three of the stands right now. The fourth will be built on top of the foundation of the old school, so we don’t have to worry about that one. After we build the sim tank stands, we should be finished. We’re hoping to be finished in the next week or so, and after that we’re going to have some vacation time in Zanzibar and in Mwanza on Lake Victoria in Western Tanzania.


  1. Haha. Logan made a funny.

    PS: I am in a room with Paul Farmer right now! He was just on a panel for HIV/AIDS post-earthquake in Haiti. I am trying to stake him out for a picture, but I'd settle for shaking his hand.

  2. Actually, it looks like it was Monica with the funny.

  3. Yes Chris, it was indeed Monica who made the funny. Thanks for giving Logan all the credit. I see how it is. >:|

  4. Thanks for explaining the holes, Monica! (See, I give you credit!)