With your help the people of West Africa have "a chance, not only to change their own lives and their own destinies, but to change the future of an entire generation".

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Field maintenance is just part of the job...

Rain is a funny thing here. Usually you get nothing for days, weeks, even months on end and then you get inches of rain in a matter of hours, with run-off and flooding, then within hours the ground is rock hard once again. This week we had a rare rain, in that it rained for nearly FIVE hours non-stop. At times heavily, at times mildly, it never drizzled - not once... Result: Mud Bath. Wet houses (rain comes through the louvre windows with the wind), wet workshops, wet everywhere... wet and muddy. Cars and people got stuck walking on the usually solid three km (nearly 2 miles) of mud tracks that are our transport routes at the site. It rendered the manoeuvring and runway areas totally un-walkable even.

It has been on the 'to do' list for a long time, so, the next few days became 'shovel stones' to key areas. We added stone stands for the cars to enable ingress and egress of the vehicles without slipping over and tried to patch the 'sink-holes' that eat the cars when they get sticky. All hands went on deck, and Lydia demonstrated that she can now handle a shovel as well as any other!

We would need about 30 truck loads of stones at over $400 each, then a grader at a few thousands of dollars to do a proper job on the tracks; so that is not going to happen, as it is a very low priority, very low in the scheme of things! We have coped for 6 years, we can cope for another 20, after all, this is what our communities have dealt with for centuries (granted, they don't have a car to get stuck in the mud)!

Our priority is to change lives, and that is where all of our funds are focused - others, not us. If that means that we have to put up with a muddy road, dig the odd car out and struggle for a few days here and there, so be it. We are only working on the areas needed for immediate safety, prevention of damage to assets and for the improvement in efficiency so that we can be more effective with everything we do.

Well done Lydia, well done all the ladies and an especially well done to Lele (the tall chap in a red T shirt) who is now our mowing and sorting out roads chappy!

No comments:

Post a Comment