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Visitors from Denmark

Last week I received preeminent guests from Denmark, namely, the project leader Per Jacobsen and the new senior member coordinator for EWB-DK Svend Åge West.

Both guests had their own agenda, but the top priorities for their visit were to meet with the preferred contractors, visit the construction site and sign the contract with the contractors. Apart from the top priorities the visitors also had the opportunity to visit the university in Freetown and the poly technical institute in Kenema to find out whether they are interested in a cooperation with EWB-DK and how we can help them.

The photos were taken during the visit in Sierra Leone.

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The meeting with the contractors at the Kenema office.

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The visit in community (construction site) 

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World Water Day 2017

The project was officially launched on world water day in Gandorhun Niawa Chiefdom, where the community and the stakeholders gathered to officially initiate the water supply project. Among the guests, were the head chiefs from the nearby communities, representatives from the ministry of water resources, the EWB-SL team and the chief and community members of Gandorhun. The photos below show the launching in Gandorhun.

The audience gathered in the community hall during the launching.

The video shows women calling for the gathering in their traditional way.

During the Launching, I presented sketches of the project which is to be implemented in the community as there are no project drawings yet. On the picture below, the sketches are showed containing all the components of the water supply system.

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The water supply system principle sketch.

Apart from water supply and sanitation, IUG engages in other projects in Kenema district. Last week I had the privilege of visiting the Opportunity Center in Kenema. A center for disabled people, where they gather and engage in different professions such as tailoring, welding and mending electric appliances. Through these professions are the disabled people in Kenema capable of taking care of themselves. Though their daily work is not without obstacles, and this where they need IUGs help. Their main priority is solar, to be able to work when the power supply is off, which is very common in this part of the world. The photos below were taken during my visit at the center.

The blacksmith workshop.

Windows made by the blacksmiths.

The tailors workshop.

The electricians workshop.

The next steps

The next step in the pilot project was including the authorities as it is, and has to be part of the procedure in such projects. The inclusion of authorities in such projects from the beginning makes the handover process easier for us, and prevents the authorities from neglecting the project after it is handed over to the community.

On the pictures, you can see the visit together with the authorities in Gandorhun for site selection/ approval of locations for the water supply system components.

The visit kicked off with a gathering for introduction in the community hall.

As the photos show, women are highly represented in the meeting because of their role in the community.

Women and children usually fetch water in the communities, which is why they must be included, when the sites are being selected.

During the visit with the authorities, the stand posts locations were approved, though the water tank was allocated to another place. Despite of this, the water system components still remain in favorable positions considering the needed water pressure at the stand posts.

The following map shows, what came out of the visit.

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The map of Gandorhun showing the approved locations of the water system locations.

The ongoing construction of hand wells is still proceeding, and the following photos are taken from the well in Komende, where the lining and the casing has been done.

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The lining completed in Komende.

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The well cover.

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The casing completed.

The next steps in the construction will be sinking the well, then backfilling before covering the well, and at last do the water quality tests.

The drawing shows the different parts of a hand well for a better understanding of the pictures above.

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A hand well drawing.

My first week as an intern in Sierra Leone

My name is Peter Kasozi and I’m the new intern in IUG.

I have a bachelor in structural engineering from Aalborg University Esbjerg, January 2016. After my bachelor, I got job at Ingeniørgruppen Varde a consulting firm, which has offices in both Varde and Vejen. I was part of their team and worked until February 2017, where I got to work on many different projects with focus on structural analysis of concrete, steel, timber and geotechnical structures.

I have always been interested in voluntary work, more precisely in what it does for the beneficiaries. The timing for the internship at IUG couldn’t be better. I am at a point of my life, where I have time and set to take on new challenges.

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The project

IUG has given me the opportunity to help in solving water and sanitation obstacles in communities around Kenema district in the Eastern part of Sierra Leone. My role is to assist the EWB-SL team in administrating and implementing ongoing projects in Kenema district.

The most important project I will be working on is our pilot project in a holistic design of a water supply system. The system includes a submersible water pump, solar panels, a water tank, water pipes and stand posts.

Roles of the different components of the system.

  • The submersible pump pumps water from the drilled well to the water tank.
  • Solar panels supply power (electricity) to the submersible pump.
  • The water tank is used to store water.
  • Water pipes transport water from the water tank to the stand posts.
  • Stand posts are equipped with water taps, where people fetch water.

The project is under the starting faze, and I have visited the two communities, which were contending for the pilot project. Through the sat up parameters, most importantly the need for clean water, the community in which the pilot project is to be implemented has been chosen, and the choice fell on Gandorhun Naiwa Chiefdom. The photograph below shows the village.

Gandorhun Niawa Chiefdom 

The table below shows the population of the village according to the latest population census and the main occupation of the inhabitants

Gandorhun Niawa Chiefdom
Population 2080
Main occupation Farming

Designing the system is the next point on the schedule, and at the moment we gathering design data from the community such as the location of the water tank and the stand posts, as it is vital for the entire project. In the photograph below, you can see the location of the components the village.

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Location of the water tank and the stand posts

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My first visit at the community, where I was introduced to the town chief beside me on the right, by our mobilizer Helen Furthest on the left.

This is the community’s main source of water during the dry season

At the water source, they wash clothes, bathe and even drink water from it. This is not proper hygiene! Which is why, it is very important for the community to get access to clean water.

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The only functioning hand well in the community is only in use during the wet season, when the water level rises in the well.

The next picture shows one of the many unprotected wells in Kenema district, where people fetch water and in the video you can see how water is drawn from the wells.

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One of the unprotected wells in Kenema

Watch the video of the well here

Omvæltningen…

Vi er netop hjemvendt fra en fantastisk måned i Sierra Leone. Turen gav os to nyuddannede en unik mulighed for at bruge vores læring til at gøre en meningsfuld forskel. Det vil vi gerne takke Ingeniører Uden Grænser, deres medlemmer og deres donorer for.

Den sidste uge inden hjemrejse var ret hektisk. Den bød på både et dusin møder og en afskedsfest der inkluderede en, “lige-på-stedet” slagtet ged.

Tiden var nemlig inde til at forlade Kenema, og derfor havde vi en del høflighedsvisit og farvel-møder der skulle klares inden vi skulle til Freetown. Det er en vigtig del i udviklingsarbejde, da man vil løbe hovedet imod en mur, hvis man ikke har introduceret og opdateret samtlige interessenter. I sagens natur er de dog ikke de mest spændende, så vi brugte meget af tiden på at se frem til fredag – vores afskedsfest med kollegaerne.

Vi havde aftalt, at skulle sendes hjem med et smil på læben, så vi hjalp vores kære kollega Wuyata med, at forberede til aftensmad. Derfor drog vi sammen afsted på det lokale marked og købte diverse lokale afgrøder. I mellemtiden havde vi bestilt en hel ged udefra en af landsbyerne, som IUG opererer i, og den skulle så transporteres til Kenema på en motorcykel!

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Rune følger spændt med i det moderne Arikanske køkken.

Vi blev ligeså overrasket over geden, som med grasscutter (jungle-råtten) – i Afrika bruger man nemlig alt kødet, intet går til spilde. Det betyder at kødudskæringsprocessen er meget rustikt. Når man får et stykke kød, aner man ikke om det er leveren, nyren, hjertet eller et stykke af benet – fordi det hele er blevet hakket sammen og blandet. Noget af kødet er lækkert, og andet skal du derimod tygge en 35-40 gange.

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Vores chauffør Santos viser sin nye fodboldtrøje frem fra hans yndlingshold, FCK!

Santos stod for at slagte geden, og kvinderne kogte suppen. Aftenen forløb med dans og god mad, hvor særligt en sang hittet på repeat – hør den før din nabo! Det var en dejlig aften, og en rigtig god måde at slutte vores Kenema-eventyr af på.

Søndag morgen drog vi så til hovedstaden Freetown, hvor vi kunne slappe af på hotellet inden mandagens vigtige møder. Disse møder skulle foregå på ministeriet, hvor vi eksempelvis havde fået opsat et møde med Landbrugs Ministeren, Mr. Monty Jones, hvilket vi så meget frem til. Ministeren synes at køleprojektet var spændende, og gav sin fulde støtte, og kom med idéer til forskellige opsætnings-modeller. Mødet varede dog kun 20min, da han sagde han havde en ekseptionel travl dag. En halv time senere fandt vi så ud af, at det fordi ministeren havde fødselsdag – det havde vi godt tænkt os at vide inden vi kom til mødet!

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Sådan ser Ministeriets bygning ud, ældre og slidt.

Turen hjem gik smertefrit, selvom vi havde 6 timers ventetid i Bruxelles. Det var noget af en omvæltning, at komme hjem til et Danmark med snestorm og minusgrader, når man var blevet så vant til grus, støv og 35 graders varme. Det har været en hel fantastisk oplevelse på rigtig mange niveauer, og vigtigst af alt så har vi fået konfirmeret, at behovet for kølefaciliteter er ekstremt vigtige i et land uden adgang til elektricitet eller opbevarings faciliteter.

I den forbindelse vil vi nu indsætte jagten på, at få den krævede funding for, at et pilot-projekt kan blive en realitet indenfor den nærmeste fremtid. Derfor har vi sammen med IUG lavet et lille seminar, hvor I kan høre mere om vores tur og i kan komme med idéer og sparing til projektet. I kan læse om aftenen på IUG’s facebook side eller her.

Vi er overbeviste om, at det bliver en rigtig værdifuld og hyggelig aften, så kom endelig og få en bid brød, lidt til ganen og en god snak.

Tilmelding kan ske her.

Til slut skal lyde en stor tak fordi i gad følge os på vores rejse, dele vores opslag og alle de pæne ord vi har fået med på vejen.

Rune & Christopher

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En smuk afslutning på en fantastisk oplevelse. Solnedgang i Freetown.