Sunday, August 9, 2009

Design Approval, Vendor Agreements, and Scheduling, August '09

We are making a lot of progress and maneuvering our way through several final design and scheduling issues now.

First, I want to share some great news with you.
  • We have a donor who has contributed in the past and was so impressed with our partnership with Rotary and our ability to turn a few dollars into a large project, that they have promised another $5K if we can find a matching donor! Let us know if you have any ideas for this.
  • Also, we won a Rotary International President's Award, for Most Cooperative Project! This was presented to the Rotary Clubs of Manhattan Beach and Bamako. Once we have the certificate, I will post it here!
  • We are now up to $64,700 in funds for this phase, see the new thermometer volunteer Bob Kasai added to our website and BLOG margin to track this! , Thanks Bob!~And volunteer Jeanne Beesley got us prepared for the upcoming fund raising opportunities, with posters and brochures, Thanks Jeanne!~

The topics we have been spending most of our time on are: final designs and EWB approval, vendor agreements, community MOUs, project management structure and tools, funding paperwork, marketing materials, and project budgets. I'll share some details with you here on each............

We just completed our EWB-LA and EWB-USA design reviews last week and got some great feedback from many expert engineers, both in our local chapter of EWB and the national team. Thanks EWB!~ Some of the items they encouraged us to work through, which were all pretty minor, are:

  • including concrete mix specs for tap stand, topo drawings for the pipeline, converting to metric measures for translations

  • connection detail for solar panels to the roof, and correction of a solar side view diagram.
  • the most significant issue, which we were already aware of, is the available head from the reservoir for flow to the tap stand. The local engineers did not get the same height calculation our engineers did during our assessment trip, so there is a chance we will have to lift one or both of the reservoirs. We have funding for this, but are hoping it is unnecessary, as the school fencing is turning out to be much more than planned. We will start in Zouera which has the best chance for water flow success, based on our measurements, and put a contingency plan in place if water does not flow. The planning for raising the reservoir will take some time and care, so this will not happen on the first implementation trip. We will plan to do a detailed assessment for this while there. Fatima and Hamadi were very helpful in ironing this out with the local Mali engineers, to assure we are all on the same page, Thanks Fatima and Hamadi!~
  • Clearly our lesson learned is to plan for elevation survey equipment on our next assessment trip.
Volunteers Ed Andrews, Alan Kwan, and Tony Haske are leading the charge to finalize all designs and include them in our vendor agreements. Thanks Ed, Alan, and Tony!~
The vendors that have been selected are all experienced in the area, and come with good references, they are:
  1. Project component: Farach & Zouera Hand Washing Stations (Water Pipeline + tap stand)
  2. Project component: Farach & Zouera Solar Lighting
  3. Project component: Farach Solar Copy / Print Center
    IESC Geekcorps Mali
  4. Project component: Zouera Millet Grinding Machine
    Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Tijani
  5. Project component: Farach & Zouera Project Management / Status Reporting
    Adjmor / ONG
  6. Project component: Farach & Zouera Raising reservoir (ON HOLD)
    Direction de l'Hydraulique Timbuktu
We are in process of finalizing the vendor agreements and translating them to be signed.
Hamadi is in Farach and Zouera this week to have meet with each community and update them on our progress, as well as to have the MOU's signed. Thanks Hamadi!~
We have settled on a hosted version of Sharepoint for our project management tool and document storage, and Skype and DimDim for our web conferencing tools. We are getting very organized! Our team got together for brunch two weeks ago, to meet everyone face to face and get to know the team more personally, we will do more of these I hope! Seems I make a mean frittata! Michelle has taken over our project management and coordination, and is helping us make better use of the Sharepoint site, Thanks Michelle!~
Aliyah Levin and Donn Ennis, our Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach sponsors, submitted all the necessary Rotary funding paperwork and all the Rotary Club contributions, so the project account should be funded in a few weeks now. Thanks Aliyah and Donn!~
All for now.................