Thursday, March 09, 2006

March - progress report on the building of Twabuka Community School

Pictures 1 & 2 - Show the original wood and mud school building. Inside the school teacher Romance teaches her class.

March - progress report on the building of Twabuka Community School

Here in Zambia we have had a good rainy season, but the last few days indicate that it could be coming to an end. Four days without rain means that the dirt roads are drying up, access to the site is becoming easier and the delivery of river sand might be able to resume.

Fortunately this had not held back progress unduly, the school is in a lovely elevated position, and although access has been very muddy, the site itself remains well drained. The purchase of Wellington boots for all the guys on site has also made things easier.

The main school building (which consists of two classrooms, a teachers office, a store and a strong room) has now reached the stage where the roof can go on. This is a tin roof supported by iron ‘spider trusses’. Our local hardware store has been making the trusses but a shortage of angle iron and a breakdown of the delivery truck on the way back from Lusaka has put this back by a week. In the meantime work has started on the rendering and sealing of the lower section of the outside walls.

Once the materials are on site progress on the roof should be quick and it is expected to be complete by the end of the month, reinforcing our hopes that the main school building will in fact be complete by the time Coopers’ School make their visit in August.

The construction of the pit toilets has been much more problematical. The pit itself requires digging to a depth of three metres but one metre down we struck large boulders, followed by solid rock. With no power tools available the rock has to be weakened by building a fire in the pit, this burns overnight and then work starts again the following day with pick axes. This process will have to be repeated until the required depth is reached.

The images below show the progress during the period from November 05 to the end of January 06

Picture 3 – Digging the footings in November 05

Pictures 4 & 5 – Foster, Situmbeko and Arthur dig the trenches
Mubiwa , Mubita, Kelvin & Felix make the concrete blocks

Pictures 6 & 7 – December, drilling for water

Picture 8 - Foster operating the newly installed hand pump after a deluge from the skies

Pictures 9 & 10 – As we enter the new year the building works come out of the ground, the rooms are set out and the floor slab starts to take shape.

Pictures 11 & 12 - The damp proof membrane and wire mesh is laid, followed by the concrete screed

Pictures 13 & 14 – Progress as of the end of January – The walls are up to window level