2009-09-12: Rain


Today is the third day of water rationing after a full day
and half of rain last Saturday/Sunday. 
Thankfully the community received a F$30,000 grant from Fiji Water to
provide rain catchment tanks.  Fiji Water
is providing 24 poly tanks, each with a capacity of 5,200 litres.  This is a much welcomed blessing as the rain
water is very pure and safe to drink while the water from the stream is very
cloudy and suspect even after boiling.  A
few rain catchment tanks were provided by the government over a year ago and
one was installed at our house. 

 

Although the water is very pure, it can be made even safer
by installing an initial run off tube to catch the first flush of rain off the
roof.  It is made of a 6 foot PVC pipe
the same diameter as the down pipe with a cap at the end.  The initial run off drains into this pipe and
fills quickly.  After filling the clean
water passes by and drains into the tank. 
By making a small hole in the cap the run off water eventually drains
out well after the rain is over.  There
are currently no first flush systems installed on the tanks currently in
operation.  Next time we go to Taveuni I
plan on buying the materials to convert our tank as an example for the
community.

 

In our efforts to see more of the island we’ve been spending
each week exploring the many trails.  We
hiked about 6 miles today.  We’ve been
trying to make it to the ‘red sand’ area the past couple of hikes but the
trails are hard to find if you don’t know where to go.  Today we made it to the ocean but
unfortunately almost walked in a circle. 
The scenery was beautiful and pristine nonetheless.  The highest elevation recorded on my watch
was about 500 feet but I think some of the peaks we haven’t explored yet are
much higher.

 

The hikes are good as we see the farming methods, streams,
many different types of plants.  We also
get a feel for just how hard it is to get around the island on foot.  I have no idea how some of the farmers muster
up the energy to walk a hard 2.5 miles, farm all day, and then walk back with
their harvest on their shoulder. They definitely have my respect.

 

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