Sunday, 12 August 2012
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Here are the interactive panoramas as promised.
Click on an image to open the viewer in a new window.
Sunday, 5 August 2012
This will be my last update from in-country. Below are the panorama photos of the Wells.
Once I'm back in the UK tomorrow I will upload the full panoramas & also have a go at adding Berega and the hospital to Google Maps.
Saturday, 4 August 2012
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
Today we visited the three wells that BREAD sponsored this year. It was very heartening to see them being well used (excuse the pun) and very much appreciated. Whilst at the first well, which is furthest away from the main village, a group of women went past to collect water from the river. This mystified me, why would they use river water in preference to the cleaner, better tasting well water? Their reply was humbling. " There are about a thousand people using this well. It's water is precious and so we only use it for drinking and cooking. We use the river water for washing".
The story was similar at the other two wells. Everyone we spoke to expressed their gratitude for the well and the difference it has made to them. Our guide for the visit, Mr Jonahas, told us that water bound diseases such as cholera and bilharzia are common in Berega because people have to use the water from the river. These wells are helping around two thousand or more people to avoid these potentially fatal diseases.
At each of the wells it was the children and women who were fetching the water, watching them swing the 10 litre full buckets (about 10kg or 22lbs) up on to their heads with grace and little effort was amazing. For most of them there was a good long walk ahead of them and this would be repeated twice a day. The second well we stopped at, which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere was, we were informed by Mr Jonahas, dug there specifically to make sure the children from the nearby (about half a mile away) Primary School had clean water to drink.
It is difficult to sum up how I feel about the wells. On one hand it is delight and gratitude that by the generosity of others we have been able to help a lot of people in a small way. On the other hand it is frustration that I can't do more. Knowing that so many struggle to have enough of the most basic commodity for life is heart-wrenching.
Tuesday, 31 July 2012
As Gary said in the first entry, I've been taking photos and videos of Berega to make a promo video for BREAD. While I'm here I've also been making a number of 360° Panoramas to allow people to experience something of what the hospital and the village are like.
Below are all the panoramas I have take so far in flat image form. If you click on each one it'll take you to the flickr page where you can view the image in different sizes.
Although the internet here is amazingly good when you think of where we are it's not quite meaty enough to withstand me uploading the full immersive panoramas (similar to Google StreetView). Once I'm back in the UK next week, I will upload them from there and make another post once those are available.
240 Volt mains electricity is getting ever closer for Berega. There are now Power Poles in the village (No NIMBYism here) with cable running between them. Sadly they are not connected to anything yet! It's hoped that by December this year it will be connected and the hospital at least will be able to enjoy the mains supply backed up by the new generator, which will switch automatically when the mains fails.
That is if the hospital can raise the Tsh 5,000,000 (About £2.5k) required to complete the wiring. They have been given funds from an American charity to pay for the connection to the mains and wiring of the Out Patients Department, the Laboratory and the RCH (Reproductive Child Health) area. This leaves things like the wards, operating theatres and the School Of Nursing without mains supply. It is hoped the money can be raised as soon as possible to enable the hospital to benefit from the introductory discount. They would also like to connect the staff houses and enjoy the same discount offer but again funds do not allow this.
There is no doubt that the installation of mains electricity heralds the dawn of a new era for Berega, let's hope and pray that it brings great blessing to the area.
After a lazy Sunday, attending the 09:30 service at Church (which started at 10:15!) and a gentle stroll up to the airstrip, Monday was just the opposite. An early start and a 2 hour drive to Morogoro where we met with the Bishop of Morogoro, Godfrey Sehaba. It was good to hear from Godfrey on the different ways in which BREAD has made a difference in Berega and the wider community and also to catch up on news of his family.
Then it was off to the market and shops to get all the project equipment and food for the team of young people coming to Berega on Friday. We bought enough paint to cover the Severn Bridge, actually the Out Patients Department and offices in the hospital and all the associated parafinalia needed.
Food shopping was an interesting experience as it spanned over several markets and shops and many miles! Seemingly there is no such thing as a "One stop shop" in Tanzania. Eventually the Land Rover was filled to the gunnels, including 2 pastors we gave a lift to and several items on the roof. The journey home seemed even slower than going but thanks to mobile Internet I was able to do my emails whilst travelling. The really rewarding thing was to see the face of Frieda, who is cooking for the team, when she viewed the fare. The rice got particularly high praise as it is apparently of the highest quality, I'm looking forward to eating it, that's for sure.
Saturday, 28 July 2012
Out with the old........
And in with the new. The new generator has been installed at the hospital and is providing uninterrupted power between 18:00 and 22:00 every night and for emergencies duing the day. The old one had become very unreliable and was beyond economic repair. It is vital to have a reliable power source as failure during an operation can be fatal, so BREAD was glad to be able to help through the generous donations of its supporters in purchasing this new generator.
This is one of three water tanks that BREAD supporters have sponsored in the past year. It provides clean fresh rainwater direct to the ward, this one is for Ward 2, which helps to alleviate the strain on the rapidly diminishing aquifer of the Hospital bore hole and tastes much better!
The Maternity Waiting Home is now fully operational and bringing great benefit to mum's who may need special care prior to and during their confinement. The recently published annual report for the hospital shows a marked reduction in maternal deaths, some of which may be due to the additional pre natal care enabled by the MWH.
We finally arrived in Berega after 30 hours travelling to a warm welcome from Isaac and Dani and a very welcome meal from Frieda. With only minor delays due to "technical difficulties" (men with screwdrivers and worried looks working at the emergency exits) we made it safely and are thankful to God for travelling mercies.
We have been made immediately aware of one of the major problems here in Berega, the shortage of water. With reduced water table and problems with the solar powered pump means we have no water in the tank at our new home "Korintho" Fortunately there is still some rainwater stored so we can make a cuppa! However, great care has to be taken with this precious resource so baths and long hot showers are out of the question.
It is a good reminder to us when we moan at how much rain we have had of late in the UK that it is essential for life and we should be grateful. It's also a real encouragement for the team that is coming from home and for supporters of BREAD at just how important the rainwater harvesting projects are in helping with this problem. We are looking forward to checking out progress on the new rainwater tanks that are being installed around the village, thanks to people's kindness.
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Sitting in T3 Heathrow with thousands of others keen to get away from the mayhem!
I have just 3 weeks in Berega and hope that I will be able to carry out a review of BREAD's projects over the last two years and spend time with all key people in the village to discuss the projects effectiveness and what our future involvement might be. Our plan as a board of Trustees is to have regular trips to the village and use these as a springboard to the next years round of projects The idea is to help people like Isaac, the Hospital Director, to plan more accurately.
I've been joined on this trip by Simon Pain who will, amongst other things, being filming and editing a promotional video for BREAD.
In addition to the BREAD meeting I am coordinating the visit starting next week of a team of 10 young people and 5 adult leaders from Merland Rise Church and Holy Trinity Redhill. It should keep me busy keeping them busy!
Im very much looking forward to meeting up with friends old and new in Morogoro and Berega tomorrow.
I'll keep you posted.