Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The effective utilisation of water

Our proximity to the river will also ensure that we have a source of water. The Zambezi is a fresh water river and thus drinking water is readily available. Unfortunately at this time many villagers on the shores of the river have to run the gauntlet of crocodiles and hippopotamus’ in order to collect water. It is our aim at ZIGS to provide drinking water for our neighbours as well as our own community. We envisage the use of a combination of sand dams and sub surface dams both of which can be built using local labour and materials and thus prove to be cost effective. These dams are especially cost effective as once constructed they require very little maintenance and produce a high yield of water.

Furthermore, we will also seek to harvest and store rain water on our campus. Given our proximity to the Zambezi this is a necessity but as part of our model of sustainability we wish to demonstrate that peoples do not have to be dependent on bore holes and/or wells for their water as more than enough rain water falls within Zambia, and across Africa, on an annual basis for peoples to be able to harvest and store water during the rainy season, for use in the dry season. In order to demonstrate the principles of water harvesting in order to be a model for other communities we will roof some of our building with treated corrugated iron sheets. This will allow for a run of f of water that can be channelled into underground covered tanks for use across the year. Most water in this part of the world is lost to evaporation so hence the need for covered tanks. Again this is a relatively low cost method of collecting water as low cost materials are used in the construction of the storage tanks and catchment surfaces.

For more details on water harvesting and storage visit the wateraid website.

For more specific and detailed information on Water Harvesting.

Of course waste disposal will also be a priority at ZIGS. We will seek to recycle water and to utilise grey water in line with the ‘Earthship’ model that is popular within the ‘green community.’ Furthermore, we will seek to use modern eco friendly waste disposal technology in order to preserve our model of sustainability.

All of our buildings at ZIGS will be built from local materials and by local tradesmen. We will ensure that materials that have to be transported by road to our site are keep to an absolute minimum. The area is awash with timber (we will of course plant ten trees for every one we use in building) and stones cover the landscape. Naturally enough these will be the core materials with which we build! Of course we will have to go outside of the community for some materials such as glass but we will seek to minimise the distance that raw materials have to travel in order to reach our site.

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