Original post by Christopher Rothera on June 11th, 2017
The past two weeks have flown by, and with a lot of progress made in these two weeks, the finish line is starting to come into sight! Our team continue to work very hard, and I am ever thankful to them all for their contributions to the Seawater Greenhouse project. Hassan Aadam, Awil, Mohammad, Endo, Sandhere, Hassan, Feisal, Mousse, Jamma, Yusuf, Abdihakiim, AbdulRahman, Mustafa and Hassan have been keeping the project on track!
Sadia, Amsale, Jon and Abdiasis are continuing to keep the project flowing smoothly in-country, and we are grateful for all of your hard effort to seeing Seawater Greenhouse Somaliland become a reality.
Week 3 saw the major four structures being constructed, however, though they may be standing, they are all far from being finished! Week 4 began the task of fitting these structures out; for the Work Building, this involved getting the doors on.
For Christopher Strange this was fast work!
In week 4, the salt shed had it’s tables finished, that will eventually hold our salt trays; Somaliland Sea Salt will soon be on its way!
Solar Panel Prep
With the doors on the Work Building, and the two containers on site planned to be removed later in week 4, it was time to empty the 20 ft container and organise the PV array and its components.
We slowly organised and arranged the panels, batteries and accessories into one of the waiting empty rooms; ready for use when we install them on the roof.
This solar array provides 10 KW of power, allowing our Seawater Greenhouses to operate completely off-grid. The array will power everything from the desalination system, to the evaporator walls, to charging your phone in the office.
The Nursery Seawater Greenhouse
Prep work was done on the Nursery Seawater Greenhouse for the Evaporator Walls; the first mounting timber runners were installed.
Towards the end of week 4, work was also done in preparation for the large galvanised water storage tanks; frames were built for each to create a sand layer base.
The four tanks, each will hold water of varying salinity concentrations; from fresh, to seawater, to brine, to maiden brine.
Bye - Bye containers
The end of week 4 saw the removal of the two containers that we have had on site since the beginning of construction. With them gone a big change in dynamic came to the site; a subtle milestone signalling the progression made and how much closer we are getting to completion.
Having the containers gone gave us some ample opportunity to do some site clearing, and it was another chance to put the pickup to some good use.
Week 5 brought us into June, and with it came a very sudden change of weather; the temperature has gotten slightly hotter, (and it’s climbing!), and the wind changed direction. The wind, which used to come from the sea throughout May, is now blowing from inland, and with it comes the dust, so it has been goggles on ever since.
June has not only brought the wind, however, it has also brought the return of Karl Fletcher!
Karl has returned to Somaliland to help out with the site as we move towards the final push of construction. We are all thrilled to have him back with us!
Early Week 5 saw more work being done with the Evaporator Wall mounting runners.
And with the base runners done, the tops follow!
As well as the runners, early week 5 saw early morning trips with the pickup truck to some nearby dunes to collect sand for the tank base frames.
Some more nice hard work for the soul followed this when we dug out and fitted in the 6 open brine tanks that supply the Evaporator Walls. Nothing says technical work more than a spade in the hand!
Week 5 also saw the completion and grande opening of the compound toilette! A much welcome addition to the site.
The loo started with the block-work foundation to give the base some strength, with the main structure being built atop it.
The Salt Shed
With the tables constructed in the Salt Shed in the previous week, the final step to the external fit-out was putting up the fine mesh netting that will keep the dust out of the salt. Christopher Strange led the charge, throughout week 5 for this task; due to strong winds in the morning, we had to choose our moment to get the net installed. With lots of prep work done, over the course of a few days the netting was slowly put up.
And finally the Salt Shed building is complete.
Finishing the salt shed was the final bit of work done in week 5. It was an amazing accomplishment as we thank Adam Paton and Christopher Strange and their team for the amazing hard work and effort in putting up the two building.
Week 5 was Christopher Strange’s final week with us on site. He has now returned back the UK. Chris has been with us since the first full week of construction on the site, and through his hard work has seen it grow from the empty, arid land it was to the Seawater Greenhouse compound it has become. You will be missed, Chris, we appreciate all you have done for the site and Seawater Greenhouse.
Week 6 and a Ramadan Break
We are currently into the start of week 6, lots more to be done! June also has brought the start of Ramadan, and the end of Ramadan sees a 2 week break in Somaliland where no work will be done as families and communities come together to pray and reflect. As such, construction shall be postponed for this period of two weeks, and shall begin again in July. Week 6 is the last before the short break.
We are all excited for the work still to be done, and it’s moments like this on site that make working on the Seawater Greenhouse Somaliland site such a privilege. Stay tuned for more updates! Ramadan Kareem.