Sometimes you need a plumber!
The Misuuni Water Project is planning to replicate its successful installation of a rainwater harvesting system at another primary school this year. But this time, the school has nearly twice the number of students – over 800 as compared to 275 – and a water/sanitation situation equally as dire. Improving the water and sanitation situation at these schools is one way to help keep children and their families from being ground down under a yoke of poverty and disease while they work towards better things to come. The team knew that an experienced plumber would be ideal for pulling together materials and for oversite of the piping installation. Having recently learned of Plumbers Without Borders (PWB), the team decided to reach out and see if such plumbing expertise was available on a volunteer basis.
Indeed it was. Carm and Domenico Di Gregorio at PWB very quickly pulled together a list of veteran plumbers with overseas experience who were available to volunteer. The skillsets were so amazing the team had quite a difficult time picking just one. But a decision had to be made and we ended up calling on Jeff Morgan. Jeff is not only an experienced plumber with overseas experience, he has social media expertise. He recently retired as owner/manager of Morgan Miller Plumbing and is now available for the Misuuni Project. We couldn’t be happier.
Starting the last week of July this year, we will see David Montoya and Kohinoor Mahi head to Machakos County, Kenya to start the civil construction work. David is a veteran of the Misuuni construction process from last year’s implementation. Mahi is an environmental engineer and native speaker of Swahili. In addition to construction management, Mahi will continue the community liaison work necessary to bring the community’s integrated water resources plan together.
While the concrete foundation pads cure, the EWB-NY plumbing team will arrive on the job to begin setting up the tanks, piping, and appurtenances. The plumbing team, consists of Jeff Morgan (see above) and Teja Jonnalagadda, a professional mechanical engineer here in New York. The complementary skill sets of an experienced plumber and mechanical engineer are exactly what is needed to do great work. There will be a day or two overlap of the civil and mechanical teams which is all we need.
Of course, the real glue which holds the project together is the Misuuni Development Self Help Group (MDSHG). Their Chairman John Ndolo and their network of community workers and business contacts make the project go. It is their project, after all.
Morgan Miller Plumbing: https://www.morganmillerplumbing.com/
Mira Armstrong and the Community Engineering Corps (CEC) team visited Jackson Forest Community Garden this month to meet with community representatives and perform additional surveys. The team surveyed and laid out the proposed pathway to confirm design elevations and convey its dimensions to community representatives. They also dug test pits to evaluate subsurface conditions and tested some solar lighting equipment for future installation.
The team presented their work in “What’s in my backyard”, a talk describing the journey from seeking out local partners to working with a community garden, and setting a precedent for EWB chapters in New York to take on much-needed local work in the vast network of community gardens throughout the city. The session included a Q&A afterwards, where audience members from other states discussed their domestic project histories and Priscilla Harris, a representative from the Jackson Forest Community Garden, spoke on the need for EWB’s involvement.
For more information or to get involved, reach out to CEC lead Mira Armstrong by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.