Sunday night. All consuming!
Today we finalised plans and discussions with land owners to build a kiln for the production of filter pots. The local potters will have ownership of the kiln and we aim to assist them in learning how to operate it as a business. The kiln will not only ensure quality production of filter pots, but also open up new business opportunities for the potters because new types of pottery of higher quality can be made. George the Swiss potter will assist in the construction of the kiln and provide training for pottery production. George has already produced some detailed plans and cost estimations. We aim to build the kiln for less than $500. A similar kiln in Europe would be worth $3000-5000. The build quality of the kiln will be difficult. George has included a number of arches, but he will be on site to ensure "swiss precision". We will start ordering material this week and begin construction next week. In return for a free kiln the potters have agreed to provide the first 100 filter pots for free.
Also, this week the MSABI education water team starts work. Tomorrow, the Idete team will come to Ifakara. We will do training and planning for the community education program. The team will ride home on their new MSABI bikes. MSABI has sponsored 50% of the purchase of a second hand bike for each team member. The other 50% is salary sacrificed. Bikes are necessary to travel to all of the sub-village areas. The bikes cost $100 each.
We also have a new water "fundie" or mechanic who will start tomorrow. His job is to visit every water pump in the Idete region and do a detailed condition report. He will pull up each pump and provide a list of items that need repair or replacing. Later this month we will return and aim to fix the existing broken pumps. There are around 5 of them.
I was in Namawala on Friday to complete interviews for the water team there. I will be trianing 3 staff over the next 2 weeks to form the education team. I only have money to employ 1 or 2 at a stretch, so they have to prove themselves! It is worth noting that Namawala, whilst bigger in population than Idete, has significantly less access to official water points. They only have one working hand pump at the moment, one stolen pump, and one broken pump.
The MSABI "fundie" team working down in Njombe are doing fine and will finish their first well next week.
I also have to travel to a new saw mill factory this week. The Kilombero Teak Company need some help setting up a water quality program to meet their ISO requirements. In return for my help I am hoping they will donate money to the project.
I'm definitely keeping busy, no time to think! Karibu sana (welcome) to anybody who is thinking of coming over and lending a hand.