Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Summer 2015 letter

Water for life and health.

We are working on our hospital's water security. Currently, it is very insecure! The hospital has a daily need of around 65,000 liters and is barely receiving a fraction of that during 2 hours of running water from it's old bore hole. For example, maternity ward has one trash can for the entire antenatal and labor suite that is filled and a bathtub for the rest of the ward. 25 women who are rationed just that amount after the lovely mess of "giving light," as they say in Portuguese.

Part of the difficulty is with old, leaky and out-of-date water resevoirs; a weak pump from the one bore hole we have since 1976 does not manage to fill the tanks; and a spring water source off the property that is dry for at least 7 months of the year. In addition, the pipe system leaks like a colander. And we do not have bathing or latrine/toilet facilities for most patients.

Minne Prins, a Dutch businessman whose ministry is to develop Angolan businesses and infrastructure, has taken on the task to evaluate the current water system at Kalukembe and develop a proposal for renovation. He came to Kalukembe about 15 years ago to help with refugee camps and restoration of the hospital. The last time he was at our house, he tells us, cows were grazing between bookshelves! He's seen much change and is very experienced with customary practice, but gets things done with high quality.

If you are interested in participating in this water project, let us know and we should be able to get more information to you soon. 
Filing water tank for OR with well water - often empty anyway and buckets are carted into the building for hand washing and sterilization. 
Local laundry at Kalukembe 

water used for bathing and washing and irrigation just below hospital. Plenty of malaria breeding happening here!

Deluxe staff bathroom on Maternity ward. None exist on Mens or Womens wards, and the one for the ICU is at least a toilet. . . without a seat. No running water in either, note blue trashcan used for flushing.

Zeke, Eli, Naomi