Flood relief pumps for the United Nations in Djibouti
Djibouti, located on the Horn of Africa is amongst the hottest and driest countries in the world. Surprisingly however, in recent years the country has been hit by heavy rainfall and floods. The consequences for the population are enormous and therefore the United Nations has decided to invest in mobile emergency pumps and piping systems.
At the end of last year, UNDP - the United Nations Development Programme – investigated the critical flood sites in Djibouti. In total, thirteen “hot spots” have been designated where temporary pumping installations need to be installed in order to prevent further loss of lives in the event of future heavy rainfall.
BBA Pumps, partnering with the South African based African Generator Company successfully responded to the tender which was published in February. The tender requires the supply of mobile emergency pumps including pipes and accessories. In addition, the project also placed a high emphasis on the delivery of a comprehensive testing and training program for the local people.
An amazing African experience
The containers carrying the needed equipment finally arrived in the modern port of Djibouti at the end of August. At the invitation of UNDP, we were warmly greeted in the surprisingly small but strategically located country on the Gulf of Aden. In total, about twenty enthusiastic people (local firefighters and civil workers) were available to participate in the three day BBA Pumps training program.
BBA Pumps started the training with a classroom session in the UNDP head office. Professional interpreters were also on hand to support the French-speaking people. After the basic pump technology course was delivered all the further topics related to mobile emergency pumps were discussed. This included issues such as logistical handling, installation and maintenance work and storage advice.
The highlight was the Site Acceptance Test which took place at a recently constructed artificial lake with enough space for an extensive demonstration. The turnout was fantastic, almost fifty people including a camera crew from Djibouti television and the minister of the interior were present to see the pumps at work. With an outside temperature of 45°C, the water stream delivered by the BA150E pumps was a welcome relief!