Burning Water Tanks

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Getting Involved in the Village

One of the volunteers, named Chris, offered for me to help with his engineering projects in the village. So after a few days of getting to know the village I decided to work with him. That’s how I started working with the water containers. Chris is installing a large water tank for one house in each cluster. It allows the people in the cluster to have cleaner water because the rainwater will be collected and fill up the tank.

A Method to Our Water Tank Madness

When installing a water tank, you first need to bring all of the materials to the water tank site. Then you build a pipe system from the gutters of the house to the water tank. There will be an area for dirty water to flow out, then afterwords the clean water will flow into the tank. But to make the hole in the tank, Chris had to climb to the top of the tank while the rest of us made a fire and heated up a metal pipe. Then we would hand Chris the pipe, and he would grind the hot pipe into the water tank, slowly and carefully melting a hole into it. Afterwords, we would connect the pipe system to the hole. We usually had about ten to thirty kids watching us at a time, laughing at us as we worked.

Unusual Souvenirs

Before Chris developed the hot metal pipe idea, he tried sawing, knifing, and (most likely) gnawing. But now he has found a method that works well. I like to keep the circles of plastic from the tanks, like a hunter would keep deer heads on his wall.

When Chris asked, “What can you do with them?” I said, “They could possibly be coasters.”

Chris replied, “Those would be the worst coasters ever.”

Why This is the Job for Me

Another job that there is to do with the water tanks is drilling two holes in one or two of the bricks on the building. Then you will clamp the pipe there by putting two pressurized screw holders into the holes. As you turn the screw, the casing gets more pressurized, which makes sure that the screw will not come out.
I like having this job in the village. Working on the water tanks is definitely better than mulching trees with spiky grass. There isn’t a lot I can do at livestock without repeating the same job twice, and there is always plenty of work at the water tanks. Also, helping Chris with his job is fun because you get to make/play with a fire, make a pipe burning hot, and I get to keep the circles of plastic from the water tanks.

A Few Negatives

Sometimes I dislike that the job isn’t consistent- like today. Normally we would work until lunch, but today Chris has a meeting with Sister Mary and the sustainability manager, so we can’t work on anything right now. The only other thing I don’t like about it is carrying the heavy equipment, like the pipes, tool box, metal pipe (heavy and rusty), and other supplies.

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Posted on: November 12, 2010 | Categories: Countries, Global Issues, Kenya, sustainability, Water, Well for HIV+ Village- Kenya



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