Right before school started up again, from August 19-29th, we started
the construction phase of the septic system. Having
spent all year designing, it felt like a miracle that the real labor would begin. It went
well overall... perhaps not as great as it could have been because of the hurricane, but
in the end, the septic tank and the piping network were completed. We also went around
to some surrounding communities that the clinic was sending teams of doctors to in order
to assess their needs for perhaps our next phase of the project.
On February 25th - March 4th, our chapter traveled to batey Cinco Casas
in order to monitor the roof completed during the previous trip and to assess what was needed
to complete a septic system during our next phase. The travel team consisted of four students
from Rose-Hulman as well as a faculty adviser and a professional mentor. The trip went will with
the help of the new BRA engineer who gave us a plethora of information about some of the tests we were
going to complete for the septic system.
On August 9-21, our
chapter traveled to Batey Cinco Casas in the
Dominican Republic to implement our design
for a hurricane and earthquake roof for the
medical clinic. The travel team consisted of
five students from Rose-Hulman as well as a
faculty adviser and a professional project
mentor. We were also accompanied by three
members from Architecture for Humanity. The
trip was a smashing success. The roof was
completed on time with the invaluable
assistance of the local workers and the
members of Architecture for Humanity.
In order to properly prepare for construction of a roof over the summer of 2010, this coming May RHIT-EWB will be sending a small team of students to the village in the Dominican Republic to gather
vital information for the project. Things such as local prices and availability of construction materials and skilled laborers, collection of soil and water samples for
testing, and the overall feasibility of the project will be determined. The team of students will return with their findings and share them with the rest of RHIT-EWB, and
design and planning for construction will begin.
During the summer of 2008, we finished a trip to Obodan, Ghana in order to help improve the brooder house and continue working on the training center started earlier.
Below is a detailed description of all of the projects completed this past trip to Ghana.
The idea of building a model village was originally conceived by Bill Dickerson and Dr. Akunz (our contact in Ghana) in 2003, and they earnestly began searching for the ideal location.
Obodan was selected as such because it had the predetermined elements necessary for success. Their first project was to build a training center and they began construction early in 2004.
Unfortunately, Bill passed away shortly thereafter and the building was unable to be completed because he had been the primary source of financial support. This project involves designing
the unfinished structure, the roof, and assessing the previously completed foundation and walls to ensure that this building will be able to serve the village for many generations. The hope
is that this building will be a catalyst for the village, serving many needs for the village, from providing housing for Peace Corps volunteers to a center for education.
The brooder house that we designed and built in June 2006 has not generated the income or number of chickens that our EWB team and Dr. Akunz had projected. When we handed over the poultry house to
the village their council of elders designated one of the village members to manage all aspects of running the poultry house, from purchasing and selling chickens to feeding and raising them. We believe
that the poultry house has not met expectations because a viable business plan was not created. The village member managing it has not had formal training or past experience in small business management
and he has been unable to create the amount of positive cash flow that was expected. This team will investigate the problems encountered so far, provide advice to overcome these, and create an easy to understand business plan.
At the end of the 2006-2007 school year our club had a laptop drive and was able to raise seven used laptops for the village of. Unfortunately, many of these laptops were not functioning and will require significant work to make them useable.
This project involves fixing both the software and hardware. The laptops will then be loaded with a myriad of science, math, and English educational software programs. We will then donate the laptops to the boys and girls school in Obodan when we travel in 2008.
If you have any questions about these projects or would like more information, feel free to contact the EWB-RHIT presidents,
Alex Morelli, or Ryan Oliver.