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Saturday, October 8, 2016

It begins with 65 tons of material carried UP the mountain ... BY HAND!

Ian and Gil reviewing the plans to bring water down from the springs on HOPE mountain.
At long last I can write you with some really great news!  As I am writing this blog, Ian is finishing a meeting with our “water guy” discussing the day that we can start bringing the water down from the top of HOPE Mountain.  As you may have read, we are in the worst drought in recorded history, with the last big rain happening at Christmas 2014.

This has been a loooooong process involving researching every possible option and/or alternative to this expensive initiative, getting written “water rights” from the government, gaining local support from surrounding Chiefdoms, building a rough “tractor road” to the top and then finalizing a plan of action, complete with drawings and then negotiating the final pricing for the project. It is critical that we become "water secure" for our children, our staff and our animals to survive and for us to start growing food again. This project will even benefit people in our surrounding community when complete.

ONLY after all those things could be done could we in good faith reach out to our friends and family for funding.   The total project will cost approximately $800,000 USD ($1,100,000 CDN), but with as the exchange rate changes (daily) the cost rises.

On Wednesday we launched our “Water from the mountain” campaign and in two short days we raised $91,000 USD from friends in the US and Canada, which will allow us to get started, hence the meeting on our patio this morning.

The next step is to build two wiers, which in layman’s terms is a concrete structure that will adjust the flow of water to a pipeline that will bring the water down 5.7 miles.  One wier will be 9 feet wide and the other 15 feet wide and 9 feet deep. Unfortunately we cannot get heavy moving or digging equipment to the site so it will all have to be excavated and dug BY HAND!  This will all start in the next two weeks and I will be sure to post photos.

An example of what a wier looks like.
To make things more interesting (!) we can only get trucks to within 500 yards of the actual springs and from there everything will need to be carried up the mountain on the backs of strong Swazi men including:
o   32 tons of crushed stone
o   5 tons of concrete
o   28 tons of river stone
o   1 ton of rebar
o   Wood to build forms
o   A total of 65+ tons materials will be carried.

On average a man will be able to make 15 trips back and forth carrying a 25KG (55 pound) load each time.  65 tons divided by 55 pounds/load is 2,600 man loads or 173 days of carrying, if it were one man.  We plan to hire 20 strong men and have the materials up to the springs in 15 days and we are HOPING that the wiers will be built within a month… if all goes as “planned” (hahahahaha).

So, we are taking another step in faith to get this incredibly important and life-saving project underway, with the $91,000 already raised.  But we need another $710,000 to complete the project, and we need it soon.  Once the dam is dry, we have no options for water, and raising 139 children takes a lot of clean water.

Ian and I bought each other $250 of pipe to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this past week. It might not be the traditional “silver”, but the gift of water is even better! 

Will you join us in buying a piece of pipe for $25 TODAY?  Or ten pieces for $250?  Or 100 pieces for $2,500?  Or maybe you are willing to give a gift of $25,000 or $250,000 to help us bring water from the top of the HOPE Mountain?   Our lives literally depend on your support.

To make a donation in Canada please click here.

To make a donation in the US please click here.

Live from South Africa … praying for funding in a big way.


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