More Maintenance!

team water break copyOne Saturday morning in December, Tim and I drove to the northern edge of Lusaka.  We live in the southeast part of Lusaka, and the hospital is just north of the city.  Across the street from the hospital is the Olympic Youth Development Centre, team water break copywhere the children of Zambia can go to practice sports.  There is a track and field, several swimming pools, a weight room, football (soccer) fields, etc.  The hospital has a football team, made up from various departments – maintenance, reception, kitchen, laundry, etc.  We went to watch a match – great fun!

The hospital has numerous opportunities for maintenance.  While Tim doesn’t usually do the work, he is very involved in the process.  Reviewing the potential tasks, setting a budget, arranging for the procurement of parts and tools, assigning the men, checking the progress – he is a project manager in many areas.

IMG_1212Last fall, it was determined that the incinerator needed a new smokestack.  This IMG_1214incinerator is used to burn the hospital’s medical waste.  About four months earlier, a smokestack had been made on site, using a thin sheet metal.  The corrosive smoke eroded the smokestack, and it was clear that a IMG_1301 copyreplacement was needed. After watching the football match, we walked across the street to the hospital to watch the installation of the new smokestack.  The new smokestack was ready-made, and made from a thicker gauge metal than was previously used.  It also was painted with paint, to further protect it from corrosion.  The maintenance workers removed the old stack and a new one was welded into place.  This smokestack is holding up much better than the earlier one!





IMG_1644 copyJust recently, the hospital had to move its large water tower.  This is a 50,000 liter storage tank, on a 10 meter tall metal tower.  Water is pumped up out of the borehole (well) and stored in the tower, then it is pumped down into the hospital, through a series of pipes.  The hospital has seven main buildings, plus a Guest House, smaller buildings, landscaping taps, etc., so there is a network of underground pipes supplying these locations.IMG_1640 copy

While the large tower was being emptied, cleaned, moved and refilled, we used a smaller tank connected to the same borehole, and hooked up to the same underground pipes.  IMG_1648 copyThe larger tank was moved to a different place on the hospital grounds so new pipes had to be laid to connect it to the existing network.IMG_1646 copy  This is all done by hand, with trenches being dug with pickaxe and shovel.  When the time came to hook up the water, we had to borrow a large wrench (“spanner”) from the IMG_1638 copycompany that moved the tank, to connect the giant pipes.  All of this work had to be coordinated with the surgery schedule, patient and staff needs, as well as the crane rental company.  Later, sand filters were added to both tanks, to correct for the amount of silt that accumulates – up to 12 inches/month!