It is a few weeks ago that we showed the project site to our foreman Nilo. Together with him, we decide on the exact location for the water well after which the workers started digging. Because we were on Lilihan Hill anyway that day, we thought it was time to drive down through another route for once.
For the water system on Jori’s land we made great progress. Together with Jori and Kim, we ordered a 4 Amps, 12 Volt, submersible pump that will steadily pump up 6 Liter per minute into a tank on Jori’s land. We are really excited to hear about the performance of the pump but unfortunately, the device will be delivered just after we have left the Philippines. We do however know about the rest of the system. On the 21st of August, Jori, Kim and Hermen went to Cebu to buy all the necessary hardware for a pump on solar power and a bit of electricity for the household. In a car filled with a giant battery, a solar package, some switches and a couple of power tools, they arrived back on Poro Island after which, the installation of our solar system could begin.
In the meantime, we did not forget about the design of the house. We had two more meetings with Jori and Kim, including a meeting with Nilo to talk about all the connection details. We got all the information that we needed and we made sure that Jori and Kim know about all the aspects of the design. we promised to show the design so hereby you will see a few shots that explain the most important parts of the house.
Jori and Kim wanted a large veranda, so around the house there is 3 m wide, covered strip to sit out of the sun and enjoy the view. The house is built off the ground to discourage termites. Together with large openings in the roof and the walls, this also helps cooling down the place.
Since the Philippines suffer many typhoons every year, we designed a stiff frame for the large roof of the house. The bathroom and the kitchen are made from concrete and cement blocks because of the use of water. These areas will form the stiff corner stone of the structure.
Different structural elements were given colors in many construction drawings, in order to explain to our foreman what kind of sizes he should use.
The house has three rooms on the ground floor. Surrounding the entire perimeter, we left open strips (grey in the picture) to let the wind go through; all because of ventilation.
The ceiling of the ground floor is a stiff frame with a stiff support in two places. This frame will guarantee the stability of the whole house.
The roof gives space to an additional bed room. All around the attic floor there is a strip through which air from below can enter the space.
Our strategy for realizing the plan to provide tap water to the people in Gemelina, led us to a specific day in August; on the 25th, we arranged a meeting and a site visit with the mayor of Poro. We put a lot of effort in this moment. Preparations started on the 22nd of August when David and Hermen built the foundation for a foldable house of a Filipino student team that would arrive on the 23rd of August. The foldable house is where Jori and Kim will temporarily and it would nicely demonstrate the use of solar power for a small household. In the meantime, Juliëtte and Kim folded Nipa leaves for the roof of a traditional payak. There, we could sit in the shade during a lunch with the mayor.
The heavy work did not end once our backup of 5 students and 2 hired carpenters arrived. They had woken up in Cebu City at 1:00 in the night to load their house on a truck, take a ferry, and arrive at our place around 8:00. We quickly had breakfast and took them up hill, to the project site. Half way up, there has been a landslide that causes the road to be too narrow for cars. Therefore, everything had to be brought up manually. With some help from David, Hermen and their motorbikes, it took the group a whole day to bring all the parts of the house to the project location. That night, everyone slept like a rock after a few beers. Next morning, the group from Cebu Built their house and we did some tests on a nearby well, found potential locations for more water wells, and did groceries for our lunch with the mayor. That night, the students from Cebu slept in their own creation which meant that we could work through the night to finish our power point slides and our solar power box.
After some final preparations we met the mayor and a representative of the water association at 11:00 in the morning. Hermen explained the plan, the costs and the way in which it would contribute to all the stakeholders. We got the amazing answer that the municipal would sponsor the project! From the municipals budget, a water reservoir and pipes to the households in Gemelina will be built. Our plan is to invite a second team from TU Delft to use their ingenuity for filling the reservoir from local water wells by means of solar power. We all believe that we can provide Gemelina with water from the available sources and we hope that this approach can be an example for other areas like Cansa Busab and that solar power will become more widely used. After the presentation, the Mayor joined us uphill for a demonstration of the solar box that David had made and after that, a delicious lunch was served by caretaker Aneng, Juliëtte and Kim.
The last days on Poro Island were packed with work. David had to finish the 3d model of the house in order to properly explain to Jori and Kim, how it would be constructed. Juliëtte worked on a memento for our team; the water tank on Jori’s land will be cast in concrete so that will be a great space to leave our mark. Also, our deal with the mayor created more work. The responsibilities of different parties needed to be captured in an agreement. Hermen asked help from a lawyer in Cebu and set up a contract for Kim, the water association, the mayor and the project team. On the day that all parties were supposed to sign the contract, it became clear however that the water association cannot risk to take responsibility for maintenance, so instead, the municipal will take full control of the system. because of the change in the agreement, a new contract will be signed after leaving the Philippines which is why we authorized Jori to sign the new contract on our behalf.
Finally, we made yet another agreement; we are happy to welcome Rinnie Huizinga stichting on board who will be supporting Lilihan Buildup financially. This is a great start for any future student team. Besides our hard work until the end, we also made sure to celebrate our time in the Philippines. We organized a goodbye party for all the nice people that we have met. We served BBQ meat, homemade milkshakes and toasties. We had visitors of all ages and we did some classic Filipino style Karaoke. One day later, Hermen and Juliëtte said goodbye the Philippines while David was happy to stay a few more days in Cebu. This final update is posted from the Netherlands. We are back but our project is not yet done; we will spread the word about our project and we are going to do our best to form a great new group to tackle Gemelina’s water problems once and for all.
Thank you all for following us! We had a great time in the Philippines and we will never forget all the great people that we have met over there!
David, Juliëtte, Hermen