Happy new year! The new semester has started and we are all back on track for this year’s exciting projects. Check out the video below made by DEID Durham, which is a brief summary of the project and served as part of a grant proposal.
We are very excited to know that the 2 buildings our Uganda team started to build this past summer were just recently roofed and the local vocational school is already using them as classrooms and storage rooms! Check out the photos below taken by our community partner in Uganda.
Today, October 25, 2014, DEID tabled at the Parents’ Weekend Pratt Engineering BBQ! We were very excited to meet some parents, talk with them about DEID and showcase our new posters and brochure! The new brochure is also available here. Also, check out our new T-shirt in the picture below! They have finally arrived and are on sale for $15 each. Contact us at email@example.com if you want one!
Last Friday, October 3rd, DEID hosted the annual E-Oktoberfest with ASME and the German Club! We served some delicious roasted corns and had great discussions about our projects this past summer! Thanks to everyone who made it despite the light rain. Here are some pics:
All past and future photos of DEID have been and will be uploaded to the photo albums on our Facebook page. Specifically, photos from the 4 projects implemented this past summer have just been uploaded! Click on the links below or on the individual project pages under Past Projects and check them out!
This past summer was amazing for DEID. All our 4 implementation project teams travelled to their corresponding communities and implemented their projects. Now they are all back at Duke safe and sound! Check out the pictures below.
DEID-Brazil travelled to the community of Santo Amaro, Brazil to implement a rainwater catchment/ storage system for a therapy center and four residential houses in the community. The team constructed one 10,000-liter tank and one 3,000-liter tank, modified existing gutter systems and built pipe networks to route water into the tanks, and installed piping from the tanks to bring water to the toilets of the therapy center and nearby houses.
DEID-El Salvador designed and built a water storage tank, as pictured, and also a water filtration system on the way from the water source to the tank. They made a huge impact on the local community by providing them with clean water!
DEID-Rwanda designed and constructed a pedestrian foot bridge (as pictured) in cooperation with Bridges to Prosperity (B2P). They also participated in designing another bridge nearby after finishing the construction.
DEID-Uganda travelled to the community of Kyongera, Uganda, and constructed two buildings of classrooms, storage rooms, etc for a local vocational school. The first building was built up to roof level and the second 7-8 levels of bricks above ground. The local workers will finish them as soon as possible. Once finished, the buildings will benefit the entire vocational school, which is very likely to expand over the next few years.
As in all the pictures, we help celebrated the 75th anniversary of Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University! To make it even better, DEID as an organization is also celebrating its 10th year! Congratulations to both Pratt and DEID, and we hope to have more impactful and meaningful projects next summer!
This past week went by really quickly.
We continued leveling the classrooms for both buildings, moving dirt from one place to another. We are basically done leveling all the classrooms in the first building and have also removed all the berms around it. For the second building, we’ve leveled the two small rooms and are still working on the other rooms.
We also moved a lot of bricks to both buildings this week. The first building is built all the way up to the level of the bond beam (top of the windows and doors). On Friday, all the forms were set for the columns of the first building and we helped to mix and pour concrete. By the time we left, we were done with 5 and a half columns.
This weekend is our last weekend in Fort Portal so we got a couple of souvenirs. We also took group pictures at the site so we printed copies for everyone we worked with. We’ll be staying in Kaihura next weekend so this will be the last update from me in Uganda.
Beginning of the construction of the classroom walls:
The Uganda DEID team at the equator:
We are actually in Fort Portal for the day. We were supposed to be in Mweya (AKA the safari) this weekend for our halfway point. However, last weekend there was some tribal violence in a town that we would have to drive through to get there. The town is at least an hour away from Kaihura and we haven’t heard about any other events since Tuesday. To err on the side of caution, Dr. Schaad decided that we would delay our trip to Mweya by a week and that we would continue to monitor the situation this upcoming week.
Also on the topic of safety, I’m sure some of you have heard about the warning that the US embassy issued for July 4th at the Entebbe airport. We are staying 5 hours away from Entebbe, and have no intentions or plans to be going into Entebbe until we leave on August 9th. So please don’t worry we are all safe.
As for updates on our progress, we are officially constructing two buildings, each building consists of three classrooms and a storage room. For the past two weeks, we’ve made a lot of progress. Speaking in terms of the weeks we’ve been here, during the third week we leveled the trenches in the second building and then worked on the first building for the rest of the week. We started mixing concrete and filled the trenches with 3-4 inches of concrete for the strip footing (foundation for the walls) and also poured the spread footing (foundation for the columns). After that we mixed mortar and started constructing the foundation walls (laying bricks). After the foundation walls were done, the locals set up the form work for the columns and we poured all the columns with concrete. At the end of the week, we started back filling the trenches with the clay and soil that we dug up. We also moved bricks to different areas of the building from the brick pile (the bricks are unloaded off of a truck).
This past week (the fourth week) was a little slower. We’ve basically been moving dirt from one place to another the whole week. We’ve continued to backfill and level the classrooms, moved bricks for the second building and mixed more concrete. Despite the slow week, our team got a nice treat – we had lots of materials delivered on Monday and Friday so we were able to take the truck back instead of bike back! Both times we had to wait till at least 5pm (we usually leave at 4pm) but it was definitely worth the wait, we were all really happy, especially because the bike ride back to the house is much worse than the bike ride to the site (a lot more uphills).
Measuring our progress in terms of one building, we are behind schedule by a week, however, measuring our progress in terms of two buildings, we are two weeks ahead of schedule. Part of the delay is also due to the broken water pump, which was fixed just today (or at least hopefully), so optimistically we will finish leveling the classrooms for the first building, begin walling (laying the bricks for the walls above the foundation) and finish the foundation for the second building.
The next update will either be in one or two weeks depending on if we go to Mweya/ make another day trip to Fort Portal.
Eunice (DEID co-president and project leader for Uganda)
We are back in Fort Portal for the weekend. I just got access to Internet and we will be leaving this afternoon and this time we won’t have internet access till 2 weeks later.
Last week we finished digging the foundation. We did most of the digging Monday through Wednesday and then made final adjustments on Thursday.
Since our building is on a nominally 7% slope, we had to have our foundation in 4 steps. With a 4 step/level foundation, we had to dig different depths at different locations. However, the local engineer we are working with had the Ugandans dig 3 feet at the lowest elevation, when we only needed 15″-18″ there. Because the foundation must be level, that meant we had to dig more than if it was done correctly.
The biggest challenge this week was definitely working with the locals and having everyone agree on a certain way of doing things. For example, we had to insist that the foundation must be level. Also, since we had to dig so much, by Thursday, we were all tired of digging.
The next step is to mix concrete, set the columns and set the foundation. Since the water pump was broken (we need water to mix concrete – and it should be fixed by now), and we didn’t want to start digging the second building, we took a day off on Friday. On Friday, some of us went to the school, the orphanage and the clinic.
We’re all excited to start mixing concrete next week!