With our projects in Prolit gathering more and more momentum, over the past couple of weeks MaD has taken stock of some new equipment which will be of invaluable use to our rural development work. First off we have our new vehicle: the MaD Tuk Truck.
Even before we started work in Prolit we knew that getting to and from the project site each day was going to be a major challenge, especially during the rainy season. However, the road has turned out to be even more difficult to navigate than we had estimated! When we first started work in the dry season we found ourselves having to take half the amount of materials that we needed for the day simply because our motorbike wasn’t capable of pulling the trailer stacked with the full amount of materials across the bumpy, sandy and pothole ridden road! Things quickly deteriorated once the rains started coming down and the road is now getting more and more difficult to drive across with each day that passes.
The solution was to buy a more powerful motorbike. In Battambang they have tuk tuks which are pulled by 150cc motorbikes instead of 110cc mopeds. The back two wheels are also powered by the engine and so they are much more powerful than their Siem Reap counterparts, especially when it comes to driving across dodgy terrain. So last week we went out and bought one, took it back to Siem Reap and the stripped down the Tuk Tuk part so that we have a large trailer on the back. The Tuk Truck will enable us to carry more materials on a bigger trailer and will be able to drive across the rough terrains on the way to our projects carrying these materials, which will be a huge help to all of our rural development work. We’re still hoping to find the funds for a tractor in the future, which will completely eliminate all of the aforementioned problems, but for now this is certainly a good step up from our old tuk tuk! A big thanks to Emma and Ryan who applied for the Google Grant which paid for this vehicle when they came and volunteered with us!
Our second new toy was actually something that was ordered about 4 months ago. However, it had to be imported into Siem Reap from Taiwan which, in typical Cambodian fashion, took forever! Last year we bought a collection of health education DVDs covering a huge variety of topics such as clean water, basic hygiene, nutrition, diarrhoea, HIV and many more.
The DVDs are all in Khmer and are fully interactive so that at the end the audience have to answer a quiz to test what they have learnt. They had all gone down very well with all the people we had shown them to, which left us trying to find a way so that we could show them to the beneficiaries of our projects. The solution came in a battery powered TV/DVD player: a piece of equipment that we would be able to take anywhere and show anyone as it would not need a battery to run. So after months of waiting we finally received it and we took it our for its first try a couple of weeks ago, when we took it Prolit to teach the beneficiaries a pump we had recently installed about the importance of drinking clean water. As expected it went down really well and it has been in heavy use since! So we have a massive thank you to say to Ali Berman and Anna Tarnoff who donated the money to buy this great piece of equipment, sorry it took so long to actually start using it!!
The final piece of equipment which we have recently invested in is a high pressure drilling pump. This is far superior to the pump which have been using in the past to drill boreholes to install new water pumps. Soth (our rural development director) reckons that we will be able to cut drilling time down by half by using the new one, which will be fantastic! It’s being taken out to work on drilling for some new water pumps this week, so we will be able to report back soon as to how it goes!
You can view some pictures of all of the new toys in the slideshow below!