Just a quick update on the rainwater catchment and filtration system at Ekatsombero primary school. After a month of hard work, problem solving, and minor issues with construction, I am glad to say that the rainwater catchment system is getting closer to completion. Watching the 16,000 liter tank lowered into a 15 foot deep hole in the ground was something else considering Kenyan construction and engineering techniques. The process took nearly five hours and was quite entertaining.
The last few parts and pieces were delivered yesterday by Haikal Investments, the contractor working with us on the project. The delivery included the last few PVC parts needed to finish up the plumbing from the 5000 Liter tanks into the sand filter, which will then filter the water into the 16,000 Liter holding tank. They also supplied us with PVC gutters and began to install the pump so that concrete can be poured.
It has been a challenge coming to a new place, getting used to “Kenyan time,” learning a whole new system for construction, and being thrown into a project manager position my first time here. It seems like the trip has been too short, and I can’t help feeling like I haven’t made enough progress while working here at Ekatsombero. There is still a lot to be accomplished, but over the last week of my stay, a lot of the remaining parts have been purchased and construction can resume. Currently, we’re hoping that the project can be finished by the end of August.
I wish I could have seen things finished personally, but with the inevitable minor setbacks, this being EWB’s first-ever rainwater catchment system, we’ve found ourselves forced to learn by making mistakes as we go. All I can do now is be positive and leave Matt Smith, who will be staying in Kenya into the fall, with the necessary information to complete the project on time.