Drip Irrigation…solar power for the well and hopes of an orchard


My friend Randy, who has been a real dynamo this past year, has been carrying out yet another project.  Funded by a donation from a friend of his in the U.S. he has been installing a drip irrigation system for the vegetable garden at the orphanage as well as engaging in the repair of doors, locks and other items.

Prior to his efforts with the irrigation project the orphanage was using way too much water through inefficient irrigation techniques.   Water is a precious commodity there as they rely on a well and some water drawn indirectly from the river in the summer.  It never rains there and the land upon which the orphanage sits is the most arid that I have seen.  Wasting water is not a reasonable option.

Below are a few photos of a portion of the irrigation system that Randy has installed so far.

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The vegetables and fruit that the orphanage has the ability to grow are far from sufficient for the daily needs of more than 100 residents, but it is a small help.  One of their wishes is for a large fruit orchard that would contain apple, pear, mandarin, banana and a variety of other trees.  This would be a major project involving land preparation, additional irrigation and a lot of labor.  The viability of such a plan is now being studied.  If we can be assured that the available water supply will be able to handle the additional load, and that there is the ability on the part of the staff to maintain a large orchard, then the effort to raise funding will begin.  You can see in the photo below the intended location for the orchard.  It is extremely arid and desolate.  If this can come to pass it will be a huge benefit as the children have very minimal access to fresh fruit at this time.

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Solar power…….all electricity for the orphanage is currently supplied by solar panels.  The existing system, however, does not provide the power needed to pump water from the well which is located on a separate piece of property at least 500 meters from the water cistern.  A large diesel generator is used for  this purpose at a cost of over $1,000 per month in fuel.   Our goal is to replace the generator with a solar panel system and solar pump.  This would be an ideal solution to an expensive problem and permit the orphanage to put that 1,000 plus dollars per month to better use.  We realize that this will be an expensive project and sincerely hope that the funds can be raised.

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