The Sixth Construction Phase
March – May 2018
After about two and a half months, the sixth construction phase is also behind us. We can proudly announce that the first earthquake-proof classroom is complete! But not just a classroom was built. In this post, you will learn what has happened in this relatively short period of time in Haiti.
In March, ten motivated team members flew to Haiti to successfully fulfil all the tasks of this short construction phase. The goals on site were:
- The new wood construction of a classroom
- The installation of the sewage system for the girls’ residential buildings
- And preparing the ground work for the construction of the canteen and the cistern
The biggest focus was on the construction of the first classroom. After long periods of measuring the terrain, it was possible to start preparing the ground. The spontaneous use of an excavator on our premises played a significant role for our ground work. Only due to the use of this heavy machinery was it possible for our team to master the task under the given conditions. Meanwhile parallel to this, the production of the reinforcement cages took place. For this, the steel was bent, cut and then tied to baskets. After completing the four baskets, they were inserted into the finished excavated, gravel-filled and properly compacted foundation trenches. This was followed by the concreting in three sections: foundation, base plate and pedestal. After this, piece by piece the wooden structure of the classroom was built. First, the wooden skeletons for the walls were made, followed by roof trusses, wind bracing, reinforcements in the ceiling and roof level as well as roof battens. Unfortunately, after the circular saw failed, the inner wood paneling was left as a task for the next construction phase. Finally, the remaining corrugated sheets were finally attached to the wooden trusses and our team could say with pride that the main task was a success.
Parallel zum Bau des Klassenzimmers war eine weitere große Aufgabe der Anschluss des Mädchenwohnhauses, welches in Bauphase 5 errichtet wurde, an das Abwassersystem.
We are talking about our filter bed. This is a natural filtration system based on a multi-chamber system in which the solids settle first. The remaining greywater is then fed into our filter bed in stages. Here, the nutrients are absorbed by reed-like plants and the remaining dirty water is filtered through various layers of sand and gravel. Finally, the purified water seeps into the ground without harming the environment. In order to ensure adequate filtration, the particle size and layer thickness of the granulates is of particular importance.
The first step was to finish the 70 m^3 excavation that had already begun in construction phase 5 and to level the ground. Then the filter bed enclosure was bricked and the drainage pipes laid. This was followed by filling the bed with different layers of gravel and sand, and planting seedlings on the surface. In the final step, mesh and feed pipes were mounted, attached and connected to the Chatodoos (water tanks).
As well as that, a small amount of work on the girls’ residential building was left over from construction phase 5. This included the installation of the doors, the grouting of the bathroom and the installation of the toilets. Our goal here was also successfully achieved. For the upcoming construction phase, only the interior needs to be completed, so that the eight girls can finally move into their new home.
In addition to the tasks mentioned above, a lot of time in this construction phase was spent on the preparations of various buildings and facilities. This includes, on the one hand, measuring the canteen and, on the other hand, preparing the cistern system. In the latter, the locations for the PAULs (membrane water filter) were determined. thus height requirements were measured, the ground was leveled and a brick wall was built.
Furthermore, not to be neglected is the maintenance work, which our team took care of during their stay. These include, for example, repairs to the latrine (lighting and installation of new doors) or regular testing of the water quality of our PAUL filter.
During the sixth construction phase a lot was achieved, but there is still much to do. We know that our commitment and motivation will continue to grow and look forward to furthering our project in the next construction phase. We would like to thank all those involved for their commitment. On the one hand, a lot of praise goes to the team members, who were always ready to help as much as possible from Germany and also did a great job in the planning in advance. On the other hand, a big thank you to the people who were there and gave their best every day. Lastly, we would like to thank all our Haitian friends for their hospitality and welcoming us with open arms. Merci ampil!