Sunday, August 19, 2007

Going Somewhere?

Yes, we are. Or I should say the treadle pump is. After such good results from the testing described in the previous posts, it was decided that the pump is ready for field trials.

We've located a group going to the CODEP project (, in early September and they have agreed to take the disassembled pump as part of their luggage. A member of the group helped to number the parts and disassemble the pump so he'll know how to reassemble it when it gets to Haiti. As you can see, the pump and hoses are packed in three suitcases and a duffel bag. The only part that has to be made there is the mast, which is 60 inches long, and won't fit in the bag. We still have to collect a few parts and fittings, so there won't be problems attaching the pump to the hoses on site when it arrives. We also have to burn a CD with all the pictures Jim took during the disassembly process. So, the next post will hopefully show the treadle pump being reassembled and used in Haiti.
Update: I've received word that the suitcases made it through the various airport security checks, and customs in Haiti. So far, so good.


Daniel said...

I was just wondering if you ever heard of Amy Smith (Mechanical Engineering Professor at MIT?

Here's a quote dated May 14, 2007 from the MIT News, "An instructor at MIT's Edgerton Center, Smith co-founded the International Development Initiative, which provides MIT students with hands-on experience in community and development projects. She and her students work in poor nations to find design solutions that are inexpensive, use local materials and are culturally sensitive and relevant."

She and her students have developed a means to make charcoal out of sugar cane "bagasse". What perked my ears was that she has been working with people south western Haiti. I wonder if anybody in CODEP has met her. More importantly, her students have been working on a variety of projects to help develop technology that can improve the lot of poor people in 3rd world countries.

Here's a link to the article:

I wonder if her students could help you refine the pump?

Daniel said...

Here's another link:

It also describes Amy Smith's work with D-lab

Smitty said...

Thanks for the links, Daniel. As of this morning our prototype pump is in Haiti, reassembled and waiting field tests. I'm certain there will be additional design requirements. I personally find the work that Professor Smith and her students are doing with charcoal production from agricultural plant wastes particularly interesting. Deforestation as a result of charcoal production is a huge problem in Haiti.