Sunday, December 07, 2008

Project Update

The following is an Update from Elliot:
Since my return to Tanzania in October many changes have been happening in the villages and many projects are being completed. The classroom and office at Ulonge Primary School are finished, painted, and ready for windows. The Ulonge borehole near the school is also finished and will provide this part of the village with a clean water source throughout the year. In fact, there is so much water in the Ulonge borehole that when we were pumping out the water to line bricks on the inside of the hole we pumped for two hours straight and still there was over 2 feet of water left in the bottom. We are currently building a borehole in a part of the village called Lusaula, although this project will be a little different because we will not be putting in a pump, only a well to be used with buckets. There is not enough water in Lusaula to support a pump because it is very hilly there. If we were to put a borehole in the lower elevations of Lusaula there would be a lot of water but it would not be clean as this is were many cattle are taken throughout the year to graze and drink. Near the Lundamatwe Primary School, where there are many shops and houses, we are going to construct another borehole as the first one near the school is overused. The classroom construction project at the Lundamatwe Primary School is also coming along well and is ready for a roof. The timeline for the completion of this project is before Christmas so it will be ready for the new school term in January. Work at the farm, which we have named Chogi Farm after a nearby hill, is also proceeding well. Some friends of mine from America came to volunteer and did some work both at the Ulonge borehole and at the farm. At the farm, they helped to complete the fencing and they helped to strengthen and support the roof with longer nails. They also started building the walls around the bathroom. We are hoping to have animals soon at the farm but still need to complete a few things. We did start trying to grow a small amount of broccoli plants, about 150 plants, and they were growing well until mice came and ate all of them. So, we will devise a new way of growing, probably bringing the plants inside every night (they plants are grown in buckets). One sad note in the village is the clinic. Currently the doctor is not coming because the District is not paying him. There is one village worker at the clinic who has minimal training to give shots and dispense some medicine but her skills of diagnosing problems is very limited. Now that it is the rainy season malaria cases are on the rise in the village. The clinic says they get between 20 and 30 cases a week now and medical supplies are dwindling. The District has not re-supplied the clinic for several months. When Project Kesho donated a few supplies last week, the clinic said they have not been re-supplied from the District since before Project Kesho donated supplies at the end of October. The clinic also experienced some structural damage during a recent storm that blew off part of the roof and left a gaping hole, which allowed a lot of water to get inside. The rain not only ruined the drop ceiling but also partially damaged the propane-powered refrigerator. While it still works, the dials have broken and some of the medicine and vaccinations were ruined. It has been several weeks now and the rains are still coming and the District has not yet fixed the problem, but hopefully they will soon. More news to come, Elliot Below is a picture of the new classroom and teacher office space at the Ulonge Primary School. The classroom is painted and ready for the new Standard 6 students in January! This is a picture of the new borehole in the Ulonge Community. The Ulonge School is in the background of the picture. This borehole is the only clean water in this part of the community: This is a picture of the new Lundamatwe classroom. A roof will be put on this coming week, and then it will be painted and completed before the opening of the new school year in January. A second classroom will be built in the Spring of 2009. Once completed, these two new classrooms will go a long way towards alleviating the overcrowding at the Lundamatwe School. This picture shows additional work done to the borehole near the Lundamatwe School. Bricks were added around the top of the borehole to keep water from washing into the top of the borehole. Water collects in this area during the rainy season and we don't want it to wash into the borehole and contaminate the water that is already down in the hole.