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Blog, Mission Possible Aug 2015: Deliver clean water Mission achieved.

26th August, 2015

It's Day 4 of the Mission Possible deployment to Tanzania and the water, health and sanitation team has completed the construction of a water harvesting system.

Volunteer Emad Choudhury describes the fulfilment, joy and humility of delivering a potentially life-saving project.

Today's the day it all comes together. Well, that’s what we’re anticipating. We went to the field with the idea that we would finish the rainwater harvesting system and, Alhamdulillah, we did.

All that was left was to put the mesh into the end of the guttering, place the tank and install the tap. This was all done fairly quickly to be honest. After this we had to test the system, hand out information leaflets and officially hand over the completed and working system to those in charge of the dispensary.

The next thing we did was test the system. At this moment it would be fair to say we were all excited about seeing our finished product. I use the word ‘our finished product’ with a great sense of fulfilment as the whole team including the builders kept us involved in every step of the way, so it was really a heartfelt, enjoyable, loving and humbling task.

Nasir went up to the roof and poured water into the guttering to check if the system worked. Halfway through, the water started to gush out as there was one bracket too short on the guttering which weakened the guttering pipe and the weight of the water was too much, causing it to bulge down and lose water.

Fundi Syed had it covered though - he climbed his ladder with that same smile painted on his face that we had seen every day and simply added another bracket to the guttering pipe. Problem easily solved!

Now we have a working and complete rainwater harvesting system. Every member of the team was filled with joy and happiness. This was simply a moment that we will all always remember, finally seeing the fruits of our hard work.

We folded the leaflets and had the individuals in charge of the dispensary in front of us for the final handover. The whole team was uplifted by this complete system because of what it meant to us. Not only was it a system which will clean water but to us it was like handing over a product to counteract the cause of malaria in Tanzania. Water is literally THE solution.

We spoke to Sulaiman who told us that the remaining two systems would need another day for completion so we would have to go tomorrow to inspect them rather than now. We decided to hand over the completed system and spoke with the new owners and beneficiaries of the tank, explaining how to look after the entire system and their roles and responsibilities in terms of maintaining it.

We also told them how much it meant to us to have had the opportunity to build the system. They expressed gratitude, explained what it meant to them and had us all close to tears. This was the moment that all the hard work and aches in our body over the past 3 days felt well worth it.

The smile and look on their faces just spoke stories. It’s something that one can only understand if you’re there at the time.  For us back in UK, it’s just a matter of twisting a tap and out comes clean, tasty and safe water, but for these communities it is a dream come true and a potential saviour for them.

Emad Choudhury


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