Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 4 - And One Day More.

Hello to All!

"Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.."
So that dirty water we talked about yesterday in the Duck-Tilapia Eco-system, how do we make that water suitable to drink? 
Water, the most essential component of physical survival, and yet much of the water around the world is contaminated causing life threatening diseases - especially in children under 5.
What are some practical solutions?

1. Water collection: just getting water can be a huge struggle in rural areas...

Variety of PVC water pumps

Pumps can be used to gather water from lakes, ponds, rivers and from wells.
Catching rainfall from the gutter.

 Another easy and practical solution in areas where rainfall is relatively frequent.

A crank pump using old wheels
A treadle pump

This pump uses a stepper mechanism to pump water from the ground to the surrounding crops. 

It's definitely exercise! But it uses the strongest muscles in your body, so you will be able to pump a lot more water than a crank or rowing pump using your arms. 

2. Sedimentation, filtration and decontamination...
Filtration system you can make at home

This water filtration is easy to make and relatively effective, but must be replaced every 5 years.
It involves a large bucket with 16 inches of coarse sand and a layer of gravel on the bottom. The pvc tube must be at least 2 inches taller than the top of your sand layer, and you must still have room at the top of the bucket for pouring in water. 

**Family or Hall Dorm Project: try making this bucket filter together and ONLY using water you've filtered for a day, a couple days or even a week! It might change the way you view your faucet.
Pray for the people of Gabon as you filter!
The process is a good lesson in patience =) I'd recommend staying ahead on your water supply.**

Water filter options.

 Left: ceramic candle filter (used frequently by the International Workers in Gabon)
Middle: system for purchase using local business- a local skilled worker in ceramics or clay would need to make the filter inside, particular specifications need to be followed. A layer of colloidal silver can be added for disinfection of the water.
Right: This filter can be purchased for about $75-100 and will last for decades. It is effective for all three steps of water purification (sedimentation, filtration and disinfection) and the filter is small enough to protect against even viruses.

Not Wasting Waste....

Four year old Johnny comes running, "Mommy! Mommy! I watered the flower beds!" 
All you mothers out there know Johnny didn't have access to a watering can....

But maybe he's being more of a help than you think (as long as you're not in Central Park or something =).

A dry waste latrine on the ECHO farm (and yes we did have indoor plumbing this week =)

This latrine separates waste into dry and liquid components (using the throne shown below). This method not only has less flies, less odor and less chance of water table contamination, but the waste can be collected for fertilizer. 

Urine has very nutrient rich properties including Phosphorus and Nitrogen (I might just stay clear of the lettuce bed), and of course all our noses can testify to the use of manure. 

I can almost hear the laments of protestation and disgust, but stay with me if you will =)

In a country where we can run to a store to get food 24 hrs/day it's easy to not really see a need for such a resource.  But in a place where natural resources, even rain, is limited, and crops are the only food you have to feed your family for the next 6 months, not wasting even your waste seems pretty important.

   A new friend...
Jodi and Myself

Jodi is one of the other nurses I met this week at ECHO.
We found out we'll both be at the same language school in Albertville, France in January pending financial support!
Jodi is going to a hospital in Togo to teach Nursing students and set up their OR.
I'm going to a hospital in Gabon to teach Nursing students and set up their ICU.
Who would have thought we'd run into each other in Fort Myers Florida?
I'm continually amazed at God's faithfulness in the details as I prepare for Gabon...

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Pvbs 3:5-6

Love from -one more day in- Florida,

'Mixed' Lagos Spinach - (well, the flowers of the spinach - I love the purple =)

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