When it rains it pours. There has been a late rainy season in Tanzania this year. This has been welcomed by the farmers of the district still recovering from last year’s drought. However it has caused some delays with getting the construction of the Girl’s dorm underway. Kevin has also found himself needing to source alternate suppliers for materials like gravel for concrete as the local supplier has been unable to crush rock whilst the rain persists. But Kevin is not letting these matters stop him from building. At the end of May, Kevin and the team finished casting the first floor slab of the upper section of the building. The foundations and subfloor retaining walls have been completed and preparations of that section are going on to allow for concrete to be poured on the lower larger floor slab.
Power tools. As a gift to Katoke Lweru Secondary School from Murgon District Baptist church Kevin arrived with a kit of battery powered tools for use on the building and they have been very useful even at this stage with quite a number of power cuts. The ‘fundies’ (local tradesmen) have thrown away their handsaws and accepted these tools eagerly.
Blockmaking. Kevin reports that the blockmaking machine, purchased following some very generous donations from Australia, is going well allowing for the manufacture of 8 inch blocks to use on the external walls of each section once the slabs have been poured. Blockmaking of the 5 inch blocks for internal partitions is due to commence in early June.
Teamwork at its finest. Kevin is working to a tight timeframe so has enlisted the help of two separate contractors and their teams to simultaneously work in different areas to get the slab and frame completed ready for roofing. Kevin reports “I am glad of the culture here that prevents the younger man from challenging the older to take all of the shovels and wheelbarrows. When I suggested no fighting, I was told by the younger, he is my father, which I take to mean his elder. That is a 40 something year old respect for the 72 year old elder contractor!”.