Hello y'all, I am now into my third week at Plan working with water and sanitation in 14 IDP camps. I will extend my contract to at least the end of January and see how the work progresses from there. The work has continued to be challenging with long hours. The situation in these camps is anywhere from desperate to pitiful to ok but has only gotten worse with the rains. Although it rained a bit last week it wasn't that big of a downpour. Yesterday was the first big rain and it has started to cause some real problems especially in the Jardin and Metinaro camps. Sanitation and Drainage is and will be big problems in the quickly approaching weeks. The security situation has been the same but could change as the rains become more frequent. Yesterday the rains started to cause some tension as some people had there tents and house washed away with all there belongings in Metinaro. My boss at plan, Dinesh, has left on vacation and another foreigner has come in as his replacement. Ian has been here a couple days already and is great to work with. Just like me he feels more at home in the field then sitting in an office so we are dividing up the work with more of a focus on the priorities in the IDP camps, which is great. Now the amount of work for one is more manageable. I think I start getting more sleep at nights at least.
One big success we had this week was cleaning out and pump testing a well I identified about 5km from the camp which proved successful. We now have plans to truck water from this well to the camp rather than from Dili which is the current situation. We will develop a system for filling a truck to deliver the water in the next week or so if everything goes well and can begin to bring the IDP's in metinaro a larger supply of drinking water.
Today I will start living in my ex-boss's house closer into town as he is off to New Zealand for a couple weeks to get married. I will be keeping an eye on their cat, busa, which means cat in Tetun. It will be nice to stay in a proper house for a while as theirs is well decorated and even has a couch. Take care. Happy holidays. lv jesse
Water and Sanitation Engineer
flipflop...not a shoe...a lifestyle.