Pouring Cement for Tank Foundations
Dear Friends, Alumni, Donors, and Members,
Thank you as always for your incredible and continued support. We had an incredible summer implementation trip thanks to your support and loyalty, and we truly cannot do it without you!
Our summer implementation trip went splendidly. We had three main goals, the largest of which was to build a fourth rainwater catchment system with three tanks. We came in ahead of schedule and under budget, which is more than we could have hoped. The community with which we work was spectacular, and we are even more confident in our relationship with our Rwandan partners moving forward. We worked for nearly the full five week trip on the construction of the site, ending with a few days to spare and go over the system throughly to check our work. We started by sourcing materials from the local area and transporting wood, sand, gravel, cement, and a whole host of construction tools. We began construction almost immediately and poured foundations for the tanks and columns in the first week. While those were setting, we constructed three trusses out of eucalyptus wood and prepared all of our materials to construct the roof. After the foundations were set, constructino moved quickly and we got a total of six columns built in a week with the assistant of local masons. The masons and other workers on the site all worked quickly to put up the trusses, create crossbeams, install the roof, and finally place and pipe three 10,000 liter tanks over the next several weeks. Both our team and the local community were very happy with the final result!
Our second goal was to add two water tanks to a previous system. One of the three systems a previous team constructed was so effective at collecting water that there was significant overflow that was causing erosion in nearby agricultural areas. Toward the end of our trip we added two tanks and piped them to the existing ones, and we are already getting reports that the tanks are functioning as expected as our community approaches the rainy season. We were very excited to both provide the community with more water storage capability while reducing the negative and unforseen impacts of the initial implementation.
Our final goal for the trip was to select a fifth implementation site, planned for two summers from now. We were able to work with the community to find a location that was very technically feasible for us and met the needs of the local community. The site was selected exclusively by the community vision board members and was approved by the local committees established for many of the smaller communities within Cyanika. We look forward to working with this community next summer when we begin an official assessment, and we are already looking towards improving our design for the coming years.
All four members of our travel team, as well as our professional mentor, had an amazing and very positive experience. We spent a lot of time hanging out with local children and mothers, playing games and having translated conversations when we could. We will be sending another trip of 3-4 students next summer, but until then we can't wait to look at the data we gathered from the trip, focus on our elementary school engineering outreach here in Boulder, and continue to build our team as the semester gets started.
If you would like more information on our travels and more pictures than you could hope for, you can find the blog here: http://ewbrwanda.blogspot.com/
Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about our work in Rwanda. Again thank you so much for your continued support, we so appreciate it!
All the best,
Local kids helping out by packing down dirt
Travel Team with the Completed System
Preparing to install new tanks at old site
Assessing one option for a future implementation