A few days outside of the Philippines were a good idea. Afterwards, everyone was good to go for another month of legal residence on Poro Island and besides that, we had some good stories to exchange.
David and Juliëtte stayed a bit longer in Cebu City before going abroad. The reason for this was that there were some issues with arranging tickets to Bangkok. They did manage to have a swim in the biggest hotel of Cebu City though under the name of Pietersen. Eventually, they went to Taiwan which turned out to be beautiful. Hermen went to Bali with a large group of friends which does not need much explanation. After a couple of days of rafting, mountain climbing and enjoying many Bintangs, Hermen arrived back in Cebu a few days ahead of the rest. He made use of this opportunity to get a fresh haircut and to catch up with some local friends.
After the group was reunited again it was immediately time for another business meeting. At the university we have visited before; Cebu Institute of Technology – University (CIT-U) we had met a project group that is constructing a foldable house for typhoon victims. They are looking for people to test their project by living in the building for a few months. As team we are constantly open for new possibilities so we visited them to take a look at their house. The main frame was already finished and depending on the delivery of the last materials, the house is scheduled to be done in the month of August. It looked professional and we made a deal that we would make our project site available for their project if they would take care of the transportation.
An important part of the project is to create support from the local government to extent the water system for the entire neighborhood. We drafted a plan for this purpose; From Jori’s water well and if necessary, from other wells, water will be pumped up with solar power to an extra water tank on a local peak in the area. From there, water can be distributed to all the surrounding households. Not only did we think of this system; we also developed a strategy to execute the plan and a way to raise funding. Collaboration with CIT-U plays an important role in the plan so when we first presented it to Jori and Kim, we asked them the following question; would you be willing to sleep in the foldable typhoon victim home for a few months during the construction of your own house? Jori and Kim said yes! The foldable house from CIT-U will arrive on the 24th of August.
After arranging the first official collaboration between TU Delft and CIT-U, we needed to talk to more stakeholders. The local peak where the water tank is supposed to be built, is partly owned by a man called Edwin. He is the chairman of Purok Gemelina, the borough that needs tapwater. We took the motorbike up hill to talk to him and after a long translation session by Kim, he responded that he would provide his land. A few days later we presented our plan to the water association of barangay Altavista. Altavista is a sub municipal of municipal Poro and Gemelina and the project location are part of it. The association manages the water system for Altavista but they don’t have enough money to invest in water supply for Gemelina. According to our plan, the association does not have to pay for the project. Once we presented the plan, including the part about finance, the head of the association agreed to deliver labor for the plan if we are able to get funding. Fund raising is still being worked on; hopefully we can tell more about it in the next update.
Besides our plans for the future, we made tangible progress as well. We investigated the land and chose the locations for a water well, a tank and a house. We took soil samples and found ground water at the location that we chose for the well. Besides this, we calculated pump discharges and storage capacities for a personal water system and an extension to Gemelina. All parts of the project will be executed by a foreman called Nelo. He is a well-known craftsman on Poro Island and he was recommended to us by multiple people. Nelo’s original plan was to start working for his old boss after his current job but by showing him the project and raising his salary with 75 pesos, we convinced him to work for us. From the 20th of August, he will start working fulltime on the water well and a tank after which he will start with the house. we are happy to have him on board!
This week we went to Cebu City once more. The main goal of our visit was to choose all pieces of equipment for the project. Therefore, we needed to visit many hardware stores. We have become very familiar with the horrendous traffic in Cebu City so we decided to rent scooters this time to prevent sitting in taxies all day. The rules of the jungle apply to the traffic in the city; we learned that you have to eat in order not be eaten. Driving around was fun and we collected a long list of product specifications and prices. On the second day we reserved time to go to our second local university; University of San Carlos. We visited the faculty of Architecture. A researcher showed us his typhoon proof temporary home design that had already been built more than 300 times by NGO’s in disaster areas. Also, we spoke to a researcher about building with bamboo. Both conversations gave us some final insights about Typhoon proofing our own design.
The conceptional design of the house is done by now. We are making a digital model to extract construction drawings and we plan to discuss all the connection details with our foreman once he has started on our project. We are making a document to explain all design elements and we plan to make a mockup to ensure that our work gets transferred properly. We will show our design to you once the model is completed. Furthermore, work has already started without Nelo. On the 13th of August, two local workers started with preparing the project. They will assist Nelo and his crew during the entire project but they are awaiting instructions for the water well. In the meantime, they are improving the access road to Lilihan Hill. On Friday the 17th we will meet Nelo and the local workers to start with building the well. This will be the official start of executing Lilihan Buildup.
Our next update will most likely also be the last update from the Philippines. You will get to see our design for the house, our progress on the water well and hopefully we will have some good news about financing the next step of the project.