Sunday, 24 March 2013

Alpha 2 update

Helen's week with Alpha 2

I was lucky enough to spend just over a week with Alpha 2 in the beautiful village of Bulud Batu in the Pitas district, which is in the north of Sabah.  Alpha 2 are installing a gravity water feed system into the village, which will provide clean drinking water to over 100 villagers who currently get their drinking water  through rain collection. In a very dry climate the supply of water can be very inconsistent.

The head of Bulud Batu is a lady called Rhodia (affectionately known as Aunty). It’s very unusual to have a female head of a village as this role is usually passed through the family to the eldest male. However, in this case Rhodia was democratically elected by her villagers because of her passionate desire to protect the land in her village.

The weir

The gravity water feed in Bulud Batu involves the building of a weir around a stream which will collect the water which will supply a water feed through a series of pipes to the homes in the village. The water source is higher than the houses and uses gravity to force the water through the pipes.  During phase 1 the group did a great job of constructing the weir and installing header tanks which will collect the water and build up pressure to feed it through the system.

In the first week of phase 2, Alpha 2 have been finishing the weir using concrete, as well as digging trenches around the header tanks for the outlet pipes which will take the water down to the village. They have also been working hard to distribute the pipes around the village that will eventually be rolled out to cover almost 2km to take water to the furthest parts of the village.
Cementing the weir

The header tanks
On Wednesday they began unrolling the pipe.  With a length of 100m for each roll this takes a lot of team work to get it in the right place. However, the group has already managed to cover 300m of the pipe route and this was a very rewarding task as it brought the idea of delivering water from to the weir to the houses closer to reality.

The pipe

Walking the pipe route

As well as the work on the gravity water feed, Alpha 2 have also been working on their camp, building a radio shack so they don’t get wet when it rains, seats around a campfire, and a shelter for the PMs to meet in, which we loved.

Alpha 2 listening to Radio Raleigh in the radio shack
It hasn’t all been hard work though. Last Friday we held a Jungle Black Tie dinner, with fancy dress, canap├ęs (thanks to Asher for the flatbreads), mocktails and dancing, and on Saturday we held an afternoon tea for Aunty’s birthday.

Jonny, Lou and Helen in jungle black tie

James, Sabrina, Jonny, Lou and Aunty
as she was presented her birthday cake - made by Helen and Shirley
I’m looking forward to meeting up with Alpha 2 at the next changeover to hear what they have been up to. They are hoping to be able to start to turn on taps in the first few houses this phase so I hope that they manage to do it.

Alpha 2 - Harry, Jonny, Davin, Salman, Mitchell, Asher, Shirley, James, Eline, Sabrina,
Helen, Catriona, Lou and Morgan


Anonymous said...

message for Kathryn Barclay Alpha 4 in Maliau Basin

Hi Kathryn Good news you have got an unconditional offer from Liverpool University for medicine!!

Congratulations we are delighted and I know you will be jumping for joy.

No word from Queens as yet dont think they have given any out yet.

I have told papa,jen val and nor and we are all so pleased for you. have a good celebration in the junglexxx love mum and dad

Anonymous said...

Message for Jake Bunday - currently in Alpha 6.

Hi Jake
Not sure how long it's taking for my letters to get through to you so thought I would try this method! How's it going in the jungle - hope you're enjoying counting frogs! I can only imagine how beautiful the sights and sounds are. I'm soooo jealous. I hope you're taking loads and loads of photos. We're all fine here - term finished on Friday - thank God! Dad is knackered! but we've got our holiday to look forward to!!! Did I tell you we were going on holiday!!!!!! Hee hee !!!!! Ru came home yesterday - well limped home as his car isn't well. We met him in Bath and drove home in convoy. Hope it's not too serious/expensive!!! He's currently watching Wales Vs Fiji in the 7s finals in Hong Kong. Hannah William's boyfriend Jason is in the team - but i think on the bench as he's not playing. Needless to say Fiji are winning (19-26) but it's the first time Wales have ever got in the finals (check me out - I know so much!!!!), which is good!!!
Off to meet B&B in a minute for a pub lunch - haven't seen them for ages.
Anyway enough waffle - pls try and text me when you're next back in base camp just to let me know how things are. Oh yes, and you might be interested to hear that James has got into Cardiff. He didn't improve on his History grade but he passed his Grade 8 theory - so L&C will be happy!
Take care - keep enjoying yourself and I can't wait to hear all about it and see photos! Big hugs from us all Mum, Dad, Ru & Digby xxxxx

Mel and Dan said...

Davin Chandra (Alpha 2)

Hi Davin! We just saw the Alpha 2 update on the blog. It's so good to see you looking well and happy! And working with cement and pipes ;-)!!
Your group are doing a great job...keep up the hard work!
All is well at home. Nan and Grandad read the blog and said to tell you that they're very proud of you, as we all are!

Quick update for you: England beat San Marino 8-0 in the world cup qualifier earlier in the week! Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix today (Sunday 24/03) defying team orders and controversially overtaking Webber! Hamilton came third for Mercedes.

Guess you'll be back at Basecamp by the time you read this. Enjoy the next phase of your amazing adventure! Looking forward to hearing all your news... Miss you loads. Stay safe. All our love, Mum and Dad xxx ps We've had snow again so may have a 'white Easter'!

Anonymous said...

Hi Naveed yam how are you and Navroz Mubarak to you. We are so proud of you honestly looking at your pictures I frel like going on this expedition please myself you are very luck make the most of it and your photos are lovely and looking forward to hear all about it and everyone sends there regards to you and have fun we all love you very much lots of love from ali masa and nanu masi and tje whole family.

Wibble said...

To Mitchell Wodcke Alpha 2

I've just read the blog post about your gravity water feed project, it all sounds like it's going to plan, and was really nice seeing some more pictures of you! :)
I'm currently away with my mum at the moment having a nice relaxing time doing not very much :D Although once I'm back I have a super busy two weeks! I managed to find a hospital that I could volunteer at, so on Wednesday I've got an interview for that although they've already signed me up for an induction course so I think it's more to talk about what I'll be doing there and everything. Then I'm shadowing at the care home the rest of Wednesday and Thursday, and then it's Easter wahoooo! My favourite holiday :D But then after that I have my induction course and a post-offer open day for nursing and then I'm starting work. And this hospice I talked to a while back about volunteering also got back to me last week with a monthly vacancy so I have to try and fit in an interview for that somewhere as well. Everything's happening at once! But I'm not complaining, I'm so glad I've managed to get some hospital experience cos I seriously didn't know if it would happen or not but it has so yaaaaaay!
Hehe everybody looks very warm in the blog pictures. But at least you actually get to see the sun where you are, I can't remember the last time it was sunny here, it's been so depressingly grey for aaaaaaaages. Nevermind, I'm sure it'll brighten up soon, hopefully in time for when you're back. Just over a month to go now, I seriously can't wait until I see you again, it's gonna be the best day ever :)
Love you loads and loads!
From your Wibble xxx

Family Cox said...

Hi Rach,
This looks like another amazing project. You'll be so skilled when you return you can help finish the house extension.Easter is soon and it's still very cold here. No real feel of Spring yet,only a few daffodils out.We could do with a bit of Borneo heat.Lucy is home and sends her love as does Maddy.Isla and Jazz are fine as ever. Love you Mum and Dad xxxx

Stan Sedman said...

For Alex Williams Apha 3
Hi Alex
Have waited patiently for a blog about your current project and hope that we should get something soon. I hope you are enjoying life in the village installing water and seeing how the local villagers live their daily lives. The weather here is bitterly cold and we have had three days of non-stop snow. Nana has a really bad cough and hasn't had a voice for four days. Hope you are still taking the photographs. We will look forward to seeing which project you do next - all of them seem really interesting.
Love from us all. Grossvartxx

Anonymous said...

To Sabrina Hoong - Alpha 2

Not sure if you got my last blog message, so i am just going to send you another one hihi. I'm so happy for you you got alpha 2! you must be enjoying yourself so much! you look great with the bunny ears haha. i enjoyed my days in KK a lot and I ate nasi lemak and roti canai, DELICIOUS! absolutely loved it :).
i miss you! if i'm not going to KL this summer (i still don't know), i want to visit you in london next year (if you will be studying there), because it's only a 1 hour flight for me. it would be great to see you again.
sweetie, time must be flying by for you so ENJOY! I hope you will get a lovely last project.
Lots of love, Carlijn