Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 6 part 2

Okay everyone, so here is the moment we have all been waiting for... the implementation of the irrigation system. I have been waiting for this moment for over a year now, since we first came up with the idea for RISE. After the town meeting was completed and our message was communicated to the chosen farmers, all that was left was to show them how to system worked. Now, I want to clarify something. As I stated in the last post, Project RISE, phase 1 will initially include using an irrigation system to develop 10 farms for 10 farmers for dry-season farming. Unfortunately, the dry-season in Ghana does not start until around mid- October, so it did not make much sense now for us to go ahead create the 10 farms now. Rather, we thought that it would be best that we make a demo farm now and use 1 pump and some pipes to display how the final system would work. Now, first we had to transport the supplies over to the site.

Next, it was time to go to work. 

When we got there, some of the members of the community were still working on clearing land for the farm. This labor was part of the deal that was established during the initial Project RISE proposal, and of course, the members of the community were more than happy to help. When I got there and saw the work being done, I asked one of the guys to give me a hoe so I could put some sweat in too. Everyone got a good laugh in as the American had to bend down low and struggled to move the ground around. 
After the land was cleared, we started setting up the system. The system was pretty basic. On one side of the pump, we stuck a green pipe with a filter at the end into the body of water. On the other side, we attached the blue pipe that would transport the water to the farm site. Once everything was set up, all that was left was to switch the machine on. We gave it a yank and saw it go to work. We all watched with anticipation as we saw the blue pipe quickly fill up as the line went towards the farm. A bunch of us ran down to the end of the line to see the final result, and with joy, we saw the water pouring out of the pipe onto the land. The irrigation system worked. I wish I could describe in words how good it felt to see that water flow but I'll probably never be able to. Project RISE was officially working.

(Flow water, flow)

(Here's a video of me following the system from the source down to the farm site. I guess I got a little excited at the end haha)

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