Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pump Photos from April

The prototype pump has been in Haiti for some weeks now. Here you see Rick Land and a helper operating the pump on one of the first days there. This photo was provided by April Leese whose livejournal documenting her activities in Haiti can be seen at Readers are invited to stop over at April's to see what she's doing from time to time.

More of April's excellent photos of the first day of pump operation can be seen at

So, what's left to do? A lot. The pump is after all a prototype. Rick is using the pump, as are others, and Jim and I are receiving periodic updates as to what needs to change and what needs to be improved. Once we have the design more tuned than it is now, we intend to publish pump plans, and make them available to anyone. There is already talk under way about how to introduce the pump in Haiti, but that is still far from settled, and a much more difficult undertaking than designing the pump.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Pump Assembly On Site

Here we have Jenner, Winston, and Jobert standing in front of the disassembled pump. Winston is holding a photo of the assembled pump, I think. At Jenner's feet are the suction hose and 130 feet of garden hose that will be used to deliver water. Winston and his group hand carried the pump in it's suitcases and duffel bag through airports and customs.

In the second photo Winston provides instructions in the finer points of pump construction.

Next we see Jobert studying photos. Jim took photographs of the pump at each stage of disassembly. Viewed in reverse order, they form our instruction manual. That was the intent, anyway. Somewhere along the way, the guys hit a snag, and Kathy was called in to provide translations and what looks like a drawing. That's Rick in the right foreground.

Things are straightened out now, and the pump is almost finished. Jenner is installing a piston and it's seals into the cylinder. The last photo show Jobert and Jenner priming the now assembled pump by filling the cylinders with water.

Tomorrow, plans are to try the pump out at one of the project areas in the hills. Thanks to Kathy for the photos, and many thanks to Winston and his group for hauling the pump all the way from North Carolina.

The Pump is There and Assembled

I'm happy to be able to report that the pump was assembled Monday, and tested. That says that all the parts got there, nothing got lost, and those responsible for managing this have done a great job. Many thanks from Jim and me to all. It was reported that the pump when tested was estimated to produce ten gallons a minute. That's as it should be, for a low lift situation.

It's hoped that today, the pump will be moved to one of the project areas further up the mountains, and used there. We're also promised some photos, and I'll upload those and publish them as soon as they arrive.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

OT, sort of : Terraces and Vetiver Grass

This post is a little off topic, but this photo begs to be published. I've said this before, but readers should know that to enlarge photos for better viewing, they can click on the photo.

There are several points of interest. The first is the terrain itself. It's usually decscribed as mountainous. These aren't the rockies, but if you're carrying water or anything else on your back, or as is the custom there, on your head up these hillsides, they qualify as mountains. You'll also notice that there are no trees. The trees that used to cover these mountain sides have been cut and used for the most part to make charcoal. Much of Haiti's population, estimated to be as high as 8.7 million, uses charcoal to cook three meals a day. That's a lot of people demanding a lot of charcoal, in a small country, resulting in mountains denuded of any vegetation of any size. Haiti also enjoys periodic torrential rains as a result of passing tropical weather systems, ranging from tropical depressions to hurricanes. Over the years, these rains have carried away feet of topsoil, flushing it into the Caribbean Sea. One of the activities pursued by CODEP is erosion control in the form of terraces, or contour ditches. You can see one new terrace in the left foreground of the photo. The basin in the center of the terrace catches and conserves rain. The berm that forms the downhill lip of the terrace has been planted with Vetiver grass. This grass can form a dense hedge along the contours that hold and stabilize the soil, and filter the the rain water, preventing further erosion.

Photo Credit: Rick Land