With gratitude to all of our donors, the American Partners are pleased to announce that we have successfully raised sufficient funds to complete the Mwandi hospital water project! So first and foremost we want to send to HUGE THANKS to the 108 GlobalGiving donors who have made reaching our goal possible. Because we have met our fund-raising goal, we are deactivating the "Clean Water Improves Patient Care" project on the GlobalGiving site. All of the necessary equipment and supplies for completing the project have been purchased. Unfortunately, the final installation has been delayed due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Zambia and the installation team's current unavailability. When the team can travel to Mwandi, they will finish the support structure for the water tanks, raise the tanks to the platforms, assemble the water purification system, and link water lines from the tanks to the reticulation system that supplies water to the hospital. The American Partners will make sure that we inform you when the work on the project is finalized. We know that you will be delighted to hear that your donations have provided the Mwandi hospital and its patients with a reliable supply of clean water.
The American Partners are now focusing all of our efforts on the “Solar Project Saves Lives” project (GlobalGiving #58930). The COVID-19 virus has recently reached the rural village of Mwandi and the Mwandi hospital has been designated as the site that will provide care for all COVID patients in the district (about 30,000 people). Even before the influx of COVID patients, the Mwandi hospital had difficulty in meeting normal operating expenses, because of the rising costs of electricity and other services. Now more than ever, a reliable source of power is necessary for saving the lives of patients, those with COVID-19 and those suffering from other health challenges. Please consider making a donation to the Mwandi hospital’s solar project in order to combat the COVID virus in the Mwandi district and to insure that the health and well-being of all patients will be protected.
Since our last report, progress on the water project slowed because of delays in shipping of materials for the next steps of construction. We are happy to report that most of the materials needed to finish the project have now arrived in Mwandi or will be arriving shortly according to the suppliers.
Using materials received recently, construction of scaffolding for smaller tanks for staff residences began (see lead picture). Additionally, the foundations for the shelters that will house the filter system and pump sets have been completed (see picture below). Our project manager states that when the remaining materials arrive in Mwandi, the scaffolding for the main tanks will be erected, under the supervision of construction experts, and the tanks will be lifted to the top of the scaffolding with a crane. Once the tanks are in place and the UV filtering system and pump sets are installed in the shelters, the entire system will be connected to the underground reticulation system and the water will flow to the hospital! We are hopeful that this will occur very soon after the final materials arrive in Mwandi.
As always, we are most grateful for the generosity of our donors. We hope that our next report we will be able to announce that the new water system is fully functional and meeting all expectations for providing clean water to the Mwandi hospital. We are almost there!!!
The progress on the water project during the last three months focused on preparation of the site where the water tanks will be installed. The site by the Zambezi River was cleared and holes were dug for concrete footings that will support the steel scaffolding. A platform at the top of the scaffolding will hold four water tanks. The tanks, when full, will have an estimated weight of 160 tons. Because of the weight of the tanks, preparing a solid, strong base is critical. To ensure the concrete base is capable of supporting the weight of four full water tanks, eight concrete columns are supported by steel bar frames and are buried at a depth of 2 meters. A 150mm (6-inch) thick concrete slab connects all of the columns, providing stabilization and additional strength for the base. Both the concrete columns and the slab are cured to reach their maximum strength. Pictures of the steps involved in this process are attached to this report.
The construction of the steel scaffolding will commence as soon as the materials arrive in Mwandi. Once erected, the scaffolding will be topped by a steel platform and the tanks will be lifted to the platform using a crane. The tanks will be positioned for the best weight distribution and will be filled with water by a pump located at the river's edge. The pump will be able to fill the tanks in about 6 hours. The pumped water will be filtered for large particles before entering the tank and a UV filter will purify the water after it leaves the tanks and before it is delivered to the hospital.
If all goes well, the project will be completed by the end of January, 2020. Thanks to our generous donors, we have made great progress toward completing this project in less than a year! We look forward to sharing the pictures of a completed project in our next report.
The upgrade of reticulation system of pipes supplying the hospital with water is complete. Interestingly we discovered that the many of the old steel pipes that were replaced were first installed in 1930! So, it is not surprising that they weren’t efficiently delivering the needed water to the hospital buildings.
The bulk tank and treatment system were purchased in late July and have arrived in Mwandi from South Africa. The four large reservoirs will soon be elevated at the river’s edge on new steel pedestals which are now being constructed. Once the tanks are installed, the pump by the river will fill each tank. When full, the four tanks can hold enough water for two days of continuous use by the hospital, without the addition of more water. Because the elevation of the tanks will deliver water to the hospital without additional pumps and because of the tanks’ large capacity, the costs of pumping water to the hospital buildings will be greatly decreased.
By the time of our next report, we hope to have all tanks functioning and the new water treatment system installed. Pictures of the tanks being shipped and arriving in Mwandi are found below.
We wish to thank all of our GlobalGiving donors for supporting the American Partners “Clean Water Improves Patient Care” project. We hope to complete this project by the end of 2019! Under the direction of the American Partners’ Project and Site Manager, the project is making excellent progress.
Our progress to date:
The excavation of the old reticulation system began in late May. We anticipate completing the upgrade of the entire system by early August. The bulk tank and treatment system will be purchased in late July. These will be installed next to the river after the scaffolding for the bulk tank is complete in September.
In addition, we will install a water meter for the treatment system. The water entering the hospital and the electrical usage of pumps will be monitored for six months after installation to assess the amount of water being supplied to the hospital, the quality of that water, and the pressure of the water reaching the hospital taps. The elevation of the tank and its proximity to the river will only require using the pump to fill the tank and not to move the water from the river to the hospital. Therefore, the number of hours needed to run the pump will decrease. Our goal is to gradually reduce the pumping needs from 24 hours of running time each day to a targeted 6 hours per day after 6 months of operation.
Staff eagerly anticipate completion of the project
The acting Medical Officer In Charge stated that the decontaminated water anticipated with the improved water system will reduce incidence of diarrhoeal disease seen in patients. This is especially important for malnourished children who are subject to dehydration and secondary infections from contaminated water.
Further, the Nursing Officer explained that the new reticulation system will not only address the health needs of the patients but will impact the environment in which patients are treated. Without sufficient water pressure to the hospital, it is difficult to sanitize the bathrooms and wards. The new system will allow hospital staff to reliably sterilize equipment and maintain a sterile surgical environment. With proper storage of treated water and an efficient delivery system, water will be easier to conserve, thereby reducing the costs of hospital operations and medical treatments while improving patient health outcomes.
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