Original post by Chrisopher Rothera on August 11th, 2017
Construction of the Seawater Greenhouse Somaliland Pilot has been hard underway since returning from the Ramadan break at the start of July. It has been wonderful to re-unite with the team and to be back on site. Sadia, Amsale and John of team PENHA have worked diligently to see the project continue moving smoothly and as such, everything was ready for us to continue construction the day we arrived back into Somaliland. Much has happened with the construction since the previous update and, now in August, we are into the final stages. The Solar PV Array has been installed and the whole site has been wired up and now has a source of renewable power, the Seawater Greenhouses are prepped and ready for netting, our seawater well is finished, plumbing is underway and the RO system is being put into place!
Final Shipment and Solar Panels
Week 6 saw the arrival and unloading of our final container of materials; everything that we need to fit out our entire site,
and not least our shade netting, which will help to keep our entire site cool!
Work on the Solar PV array began this week, with the first step installing the mounting brackets on the roof of the work building.
The brackets were fiddly work, however were quick to assemble as a routine established itself
With the brackets up the panels followed in quick succession.
With all hands on deck the panels were up in no time.
Turning the Light On
The seventh week of construction saw the arrival of Opubo Igobo, of Aston University. Opubo joined the team on site for a week to wire up the office and connect the Solar PV array. Opubo’s visit was short, but amazingly productive; it was great to have him with us.
It all started in the tech room, putting together the consumer unit and control units.
Then wiring the solar panels together in the correct series.
And then finally moving on to wiring up the site
When the first light came on for the first time the whole team cheered; it was an amazing milestone!
One of the next big milestone jobs that has been accomplished was installing the 3 large water storage tanks, that shall be storing our seawater, RO fresh water and irrigation water.
The tank bodies came together fairly quickly, and it was motivating for the team seeing the quick progress.
The whole team came together to setting up the tank liners and fittings.
Before long all three tanks where installed with all valves fitted.
With the tanks installed, we hired a local water truck to ballast the tank liners and test for any leaks.
A major part of the work that has been done recently has been trench digging. This has come in two different forms; Seawater Greenhouse netting trenches that will anchor the netting in the ground, and then channel trenches that carry the plumbing and electrics throughout the site.
The shallow channel trenches spider-web across the site between the greenhouses, tanks the salt shed and the work building, whilst the netting trenches wrap around both Seawater Greenhouses.
Working in Somaliland on a project such as this requires a large team, from security, to labour staff, to management and support, food and transport. We have a great team here in Somaliland, with everybody working together to see this project come to life. It has been a long journey and we are now coming towards the end. I am very grateful to everybody involved who has helped bring us this far, and I look forward to carrying on working on the final stages with the team as we bring the Seawater Greenhouse Somaliland project to a success.