Hi its Cai

This is my first blog entry. My name is Cai and I’m a Mechanical engineer from the UK here with thanks to EWB like Alison above. I carried out research on the rope pump during my penultimate and masters years of my degree, I have also worked on the rope pump in Malawi and back home outside of uni. I have therefore, unsurprisingly, been put in charge of rope pumps but also the drilling at MSABI. I have been here for a very hectic month now (I have no idea how Dale and Raphael did it with just one manager).

My second week here was spent with Maurus (our drilling supervisor) and Haji (one our most enthusiastic drillers) in Njombe on the other side of the mountains at the SHIPO training centre. There we learnt a very intriguing new drilling technique that is not only cheaper and faster but can drill to greater depths. The technique is called Baptiste Drilling but further work (and details for you) will have to wait as I am currently fully occupied managing our drillers, store rooms and rope pump finances. I am therefore in the process of setting up robust procedures and resources that can be utilised by our local employees to enable them to run the majority of things independently and accountably (boring I know!).

I have completed building storage structures in our Ifakara store to increase its capacity (see suspiciously posy insert above) and am in the process of modifying our procedures for management in all our stores. We now will have store ledgers, twin item containers (to ensure there is always stock; because when one is empty, an order is made) and individual responsibility with sole access.

I have modified our quality control procedure for pump manufacture. It is now more focused on preventing the causes of many of our minor maintenance issues but more importantly it is now hopefully more easily understandable by the welders employed by our manufacturer, John. I think I am going take it as a compliment that John and his guys have started calling me inspector Cai and John now uses me as a measure/target/joke on jobs unrelated to MSABI.

I am currently having fun with our accounts and learning access but more of that enticing story later (or maybe not).