Wednesday, 11 March 2009

That's a Rash Idea

My imagination has been running away with me - again!

OK, so the idea is this - I don't remember suffering a fever at the time ...

On our plot in Kisii, Kenya, there is a two-room hut, not a cottage, not a bungalow, a hut, made of sticks, stones and mud. At least the roof is corrugated steel. There are proper windows and doors, with security grilles.

There is a corridor running front to back between the two rooms with doors to the outside at both ends.

As the hut is built on the side of a hill, the back faces a small cliff and there is an open passageway running between the hut and this cliff. There is also a small appendage which could be used as a "kitchen".

So, my idea is ... to live there for a while ~ no electricity, no running water.

But, while I am there, I want to carry out some minor improvements.

First off, I will install water, with a tank on the cliff behind the hut, to give a head. This will supply an outside shower and maybe running water to the kitchen.

Second, a home-made portaloo. I want to use the waste to collect the methane, which will eventually power a generator and a water pump (there is a river at the bottom of the plot).

Then there is the land itself. On top of the cliff, the land is a lot flatter than in front of the hut. It is very fertile and I reckon, from memory, there is enough to grow crops to feed all the kids on the orphanage register, with some left over to sell.

A by-product of the methane production is fertiliser. This together with composting will keep the soil rich, which will be necessary as I want two or three crops a year - it rains all year round in Kisii.

Linking into these improvements, I will be experimenting with using the sun to warm water for washing, and water filtration and purification. I also seem to remember building a food cooler when I was at school - but that was in 19 - yes well, it was a long time ago.

To finish off the place, I will make a BBQ out of ½ an oil barrel, so that the kids can sample the delights of a burger or hot dog (you know the type, burnt on the outside, raw in the middle).

What I had forgotten when dreaming up all this is that I am approaching 60, I am not the fittest person in the world, and I am mildly disabled. Further, Kisii is at 5,700 feet and oxygen is a bit thin.

Still, it will be an experience and it will allow me to tinker with the project designs and get them to work to their best effect.

Wish me luck!

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