Friday, December 23, 2011

When we first moved in we wanted to be as "green" as possible, so we built a grey-water system to use the water that overflows from sinks, wash tubs, etc., so we could use it to irrigate our garden.  It never worked.  First we forgot about building a lid to keep children from falling in an then made one out of wood that rotted frequently.  The water stunk and made everyone around us unhappy.  Then we didn't have a way of getting it out of the cistern except by hauling buckets on ropes which was very inefficient.  Our first improvement was to put a metal cover on it and that only took four years.  Still, we had to empty it when the smell became too intense.  Today, John found a foot pump for about about $150 that works wonders, it works fast, it delivers high pressure and we can irrigate the whole garden.  We have stopped putting water with soap in it because that was killing the vegetables, but we get enough rain water and rinse water from the clothes to keep it full.  It worked so well, the whole staff wanted to work it.  John sees it as a way to help our churches that can benefit from a pump with a shallow draft -- about sixteen feet.  We will try to put in one a month as we find churches that can benefit.  They also have a hand version that will work better than the one we are currently using for our community well, so that's the next project.  Anything you can do here to help feed the people, provide safe water, and protect pregnant mothers and babies from malaria is a very good thing.  We are doing all those things and more.  John even has a project to get people to contribute for these pumps through PayPal.  It's a good thing when you can combine a good heart with ingenuity.
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