The scope of works that MSABI can perform continues to grow as some significant donations are starting to come our way.
A huge cloud high thanks to my friend Craig Masterton who has personally donated a massive $2,500. That's a big donation for someone who's only 21. Most guys his age are out riding motorbikes or spending their money on booze! So thanks Craig!!!
Over the next few days I will consider all the options that this additional money can be used for. I have some breathing space now to increase our scope of works without worrying about going into debt!
This week I have been busy catching up on paperwork and putting together a teaching plan for schools. I have also being doing lots of reading and research on the clay pots and hydrogeological surveying.
Yesterday I had one of those rare magic days in Africa where everything runs smoothly! Highlights included a meeting with the District Water Officer, a man of importance who took some winning over, but after persistence he was really interested in the hand drilling and rope pump technology. He has offered use of one of their engineers specialising in hydrogeology, plus any maps and regional data they have - though I'm not sure when this will happen... Next was a meeting with PLAN International. They are involved in water projects in the region. The water project coordinator was very interested in collaboration and excited about the new technology options. However, he has to get authorisation from his superiors in Dares Salaam before committing to any collaborative arrangements. I invited both the Government and PLAN to attend the 2 week training course that MSABI will hold in June for the "Rota Sludge" drilling and the building and installation of rope pumps. What was interesting to learn is it costs PLAN around TSH10,000,000 per new water point installation. That's huuuge!!! Basically, my budget would be blown after 2 water pumps! My estimated budget for a new water point, based on real expenses for SHIPO in Njombe, is only TSH500,000. That is 20x less than what PLAN budgets for now!!!
Yesterday I also organised a location for the rope pump construction training in Namawala village. Basically, a new welding and fabrication shop has to be built. Luckily one of only 2 people in the village with a generator is interested in starting a welding business. His shop should be finished in a few weeks. We have a list of equipment needed for rope pump construction. We also have the use of a qualified welder/fabricator from Ifakara to help set-up the facility. MSABI will assist in purchasing some of the tools for his shop in exchange for free usage of his facility for training.
Lastly, I had a meeting with George, our resident pottery expert. He has already drafted some sketches for a pottery kiln for the clay filter pots. I hope to post the plans here soon.
Tomorrow I am going back to the villages to complete interviews for the water teams. I will also be launching the MSABI subsidy scheme. Basically, groups of village people are invited to submit applications for a new deep borehole and rope pump water point. They are encouraged to commit funds to the project. The water point must be accessible to the public and they can not charge above 10c/10L bucket or 20c/20L bucket. Yes, I am encouraging private ownership of wells. I have no doubt that such water points will be better managed and maintained than public wells. Further, it is encouraging a sustainable business (both supply of safe water and creation of new water points) that has the potential to expand when MSABI's funds are gone. MSABI has the right to select candidates - based on contribution, location and need.
If there are no submissions for the subsidy program then MSABI will commit to at least 4 new free public water points.
The subsidy scheme will also extend to new septage pits, encouraging biosolids reuse strategies.
As you can see Ive been kept busy. I have to go now, off to take a look at the site where we plan to build the pottery kiln.