Paving at Engeye

Written By: Joe Freeman

In Ddegeya, it has been raining for nearly two months. The village needs the rain for crops, but at the clinic, dirt is turned to mud and mud gets on everything. The clinic is well equipped with multiple buildings but the amount of durable surfaces between them is insufficient. The grass can only take so much traffic before it gives up trying to live in the highest traffic areas. As we see around 800 patients a month, we need to plan for the future and protect what has already been built.

We are currently making concrete paving bricks and installing them in the highest traffic areas at the clinic. The highest priority areas include the driveway, the walkways between the buildings and along the verandas. With the help of several local laborers, we are able to make 1,000 paving bricks per week.

After they harden for 1 to 3 weeks, these bricks can be placed on graded and compacted sand to form a permanent, elegant and low cost surface. Our goal is to cover approximately 2,000 square feet of dirt and mud with about 8,000 of these bricks by Spring 2013. The initial work around the lower clinic buildings looks great and has directed drainage out of the main compound to a natural rain garden in the field below the clinic – instead of into puddles at doorways.

We have also built several small retaining walls to prevent erosion between the bunkhouses and the main clinic building. These walls are allowing us to level the land and plant grass where erosion has reduced the surface to a muddy mess. A few small flower garden spaces were added into the design and the plantings are well on their way to improve the appearance of our compound. Having a cleaner compound outside the buildings will keep tracked-in dirt to a minimum, which allows for cleaner buildings inside.

The upgrade in appearance will also give a better first impression of a clean, orderly organization where great care is given to our patients. If you would like to help Engeye move forward with this and other important projects please consider a donation to the general fund or becoming a monthly sustainer.