Local Press

During the Handover ceremony a reporter from the national ‘Nation’ newspaper carried out a few interviews with myself and the university Vice Chancellor. Bellow is a copy of the article which appeared in the Nation newspaper on the Friday 17th 2 days later.

A Mzuni student reporter also published a small press release which was displayed around campus the following day.

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The Nation Article

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The student publications article

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Final Building Photos

After the Handover ceremony I spent some days photographing the completed building. Hopefully the album of photos bellow give a good impression of all the exterior and interior views and new spaces. The photos are displayed to give a fairly sequential series of views on how people would enter and move around the building.

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View from key pedestrian route to the west side of the new clinic. This path is mainly used by students passing between the main campus and student dorms

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Approaching the clinic entrance (via phase 1) from the covered walkway

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The front elevation

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Entering the new, expanded waiting area in the phase 1 building

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The newly expanded internal waiting area

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Looking back to the entrance

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Mrs Nyasulu, the acting snr sister at the newly designated prescriptions dispensary

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The completed new reception desk, replacing the clumsy records area previously added into the corner of the waiting area.

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The new reception desk leads visitors out towards the new building

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The previous main consultation room has now been converted to the clinic ‘bed resting’ room, for patients waiting to be transferred to Mzuzu Central Hospital.

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The new dispensary in the previous nurses office

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Chance the Lab technician in the newly refurbished waiting area

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One of the new lab spaces

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Another of the new lab spaces, now used for samples collection

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January, the painter with his great umbrella!

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The khonde now connecting the phase 1 and 2 buildings

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Further view of the connecting khonde

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East elevation and slot windows into the new waiting area

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Front elevation seen from the phase 1 khonde

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The new semi-external waiting area

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New waiting area looking back to the phase 1 building

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Circulation within th new waiting area

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Some portraits of people using the new waiting area

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Morning light coming through the new slot windows in the waiting area

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The rear elevation, which is also accessed via the same level khonde

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Typical vertical louvered window detail

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Looking back along the khonde on the same elevation

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The drain and new flower bed give a pleasant buffer to the podium/khonde

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West elevation and student path

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One of the 2 new consultation rooms, now being used

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The other consultation room

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A treatment or ‘dressings’ room

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A new stores and Auto-claving machine space

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An examination room

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Further views of one of the consultation rooms

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The dressings room

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View through the building looking back to the waiting area

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A new tree planted in front of the building to replace the one we removed at the start of the project

Handover Ceremony

The Handover ceremony was marked by a formal ceremony with the University Council, Deans and Heads of Department. There were a number of speeches followed by a ribbon cutting. It was a really enjoyable occasion, with representatives from across the whole university, including students and journalists.

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Photo taken at the new building with the clinic staff, the ribbon waiting to be cut in the background!

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The Vice Chancellor and other members of the university council being given a tour through the refurbished existing and new spaces

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Moving out towards the new building

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The Chair of Council being shown the new internal clinic spaces

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The speeches ceremony

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The head table

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Bill Mvalo, the Trust Fund Manager

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The Chair of Council giving his speech

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It was great to be able to pay my thanks to the university for my sabbatical experience and to the RFF for funding the project

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The ribbon cutting ceremony with the Chair of Council

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Group photo with all involved

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A final photo with the student representatives

Final Preparations

A round-up of photos from the final 2 weeks leading up to the handover. A final push to finish all the existing clinic refurbishment works and re-organise the clinic spaces in time for the ceremony. We just about managed it in time and in the end it was just great to see the clinic staff moved across into the new building and seeming so delighted with the new spaces and newly arranged existing buildings.

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Making a start on the new reception desk, having created the new link door and taken down the existing office wall. It’s great to see the lovely big windows on this side of the building bringing the previously blocked light and views back to life

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5 courses up, 4 to go. We set the SSBs on a line of recessed ‘header’ burnt bricks in order to create a nice skirting detail and water-resistant (mop!) base.

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January the painter and Saddock smiling as ever whilst getting on with the refurbishment works to the new Lab spaces

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Henry helping out with skimming the top of the new reception desk in preparation for the new timber work surface

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A few days later I took great pleasure in carrying out the long-awaited work in removing the ridiculously placed previous records area in the corner of the waiting area, which was again covering the 3 lovely big windows.

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The new bright and open corner space to form part of the new waiting area now brought back to life.

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The brighter new entrance sequence

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The new more open and light waiting and reception area

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Dan working on the refurbishment work to the new Lab spaces. Creating a new ‘hatch’ between the Lab technicians office and waiting area

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Morning light in the waiting area

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Finally applying the thick black bitumastic paint to the entire perimeter of the elevated khonde

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I couldn’t resist a spot of paint graffiti before completing the bitumastic paint on the south side!

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January the painter and his amazing rainbow coloured umbrella

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Dan and Saddock finishing off the carpentry to the reception desk. We even included a DDA compliant step down section for children and wheelchair users, and of course a nice recessed shadow gap between the flush SSB brickwork and timber counter top

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people starting to drift into the new waiting area and use the new bench. I was delighted to see it!

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Morning light in the new waiting area

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People enjoying the new courtyard space, now formed by the existing and new buildings

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We even managed to remove the project timber workshop/temporary shelter in time for the handover. Dan and Saddock were delighted to be able to take all the re-cycled timber home with them to start making things for themselves

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Emily, our cook, preparing a final lunch of chicken and rice – no nsima for this one!

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We planted a new tree in the courtyard in front of the new building to replace the one we felled at the start. It’s a Kasha tree, which will grow a lovely big shady canopy and produces a bright yellow leaf which should sit well with the timber on the new clinic

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Mr Masosa and Chance the Head clinician and Lab technition helping make the shift into the new building and preparing the buildings for the handover

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Two of the clinic nurses helping clean the floor tiles before the ceremony

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We managed to carry out a degree of landscaping also around the building, just in time, which has already helped the building sit into its surroundings better.

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The completed new reception desk

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Lots of activity on the khonde as the clinic move across

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A well loaded truck carrying the left over timber back to the carpenters houses for their use.

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Lots of activity; cleaning, moving and sweeping, at the front of the building the day before the handover ceremony

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Chance enjoying his new office in the separate new Lab building

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Two of the nurses settling into the new spaces

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Mr Masosa already started seeing patients in his new office before even handing over, i thought this was great!

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Preparations for the handover ceremony

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A final photo with some of the clinic staff moments before the handover ceremony. I will be sad to say goodbye.

Refurb Works Begun

Along with finishing off final works to the main building; wall tilling, painting, mastic sealing, cleaning etc… I’m delighted to be able to push on with works on the existing buildings, which will really leave the clinic with a succinct and fully operable clinic scheme. Saddock and Dan have been helping with this. On Monday (a national holiday here also) we removed the small partition – revealing our new link door and creating a now fully visable link to the new building. We have started today building a new reception desk in here leading people to the new building. We can then move the existing patients records area, inserted haphazardly into the corner of the waiting area over to hear, making use of a secure room – the previous examination room. At the week-end we will dismount this, opening up this area as was originally planned.

We have also started remodelling the very original clinic building to convert this into the new Lab spaces and new waiting area. Myself, dan and saddock taking our hammers to this yesterday. The existing lab space in the phase 1 building can then operate as either a new Snr Nursing Sister office, or as suggested yesterday, the new HIV testing space

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Removing the lightweight partition, added post completion of Phase 1,opening the waiting area up once again to the lovely big windows here. Once the records space is moved, the lovely large windows on this side will also bring further more light into the waiting area

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Removing the stud partitions and re-locating doors in the original clinic building, to become the new Lab space. Chance, the Lab technician is certainly looking forward to the upgrade from 1 small room, to 2 larger Lab space, an office and a waiting area!

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Saddock swinging his hammer

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Dan, cutting the removed panels from the phase 1 building partitions to re-use here

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A quick sketch for the clinic to sell them the idea of a new reception desk to make a more welcoming entrance space. there were very much in favour. Mentioning my visits to some of the private clinics which I saw when I first arrived, helped them envisage a more modern ‘Medical Centre’ environment.

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The new waiting area to the right and Lab office adjacent.

Cycle to Usisya and Easter on Likoma

I haven’t generally been covering non-project excursions, but I thought i’d provide a quick insight into a recent bike ride and trip to the Lake islands over Easter. Myself and my friend Tom managed to get hold of some slightly better bikes (compared to our attempt on the Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay road) and set our sights on the 60km Mzuzu-Usisya road, which we knew would be hard going in the baking heat and a definite set up from the Nkhata Bay road.

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About 20km down, ‘Tumbuka-Tom’, chatting with residents in the Chikwena district whom he has been working with through the NGO Temwa.

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Local children

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As ever, we were fed fresh fruit/veg along the way. In this instance half a juicy cucumber. The photo was the best of a bad bunch taken by the local children! I’ll try and get some better photos to upload off Tom, ‘saddled up’, but sadly not in my undersize FCB Bike club top.

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After about 50km of hard going on very rough roads – but at least with better bikes this time (from Monkey Business in Nkhata Bay), we were finally confronted with the view and final descent into Usisya, a perilous downhill to the lakeshore. We set off together and I was down in about 10 minutes. At the bottom I turned around for the first time, but no sight of Tom. unfortunately he had got a puncture just after we set off (no chance of repair with a fully exploded tube) and he had to walk most of the way down!

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After a few nights in Usisya, I took off for the islands. First stop in the early evening was the smaller Chizumulu island, where the Chilemwe boat was mobbed by local fishermen selling huge bundles of fish to the local arrivals. The islands are generally known for their high quality and abundance of fish, which is transported and sold on the mainland, for as I understand, very good profits.

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View from the top of Chizumulu over the lower lying areas

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Local clothes making/repair industry

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The local hairdressers

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Over to Likoma and a typical lunch on a scorching hot day. Half a Butterfish, beans and nsima (with lots of nali – chilli)

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Larger Likoma on the right and Chizumulu to the left.

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The Likoma mission built in 1904 is certainly the finest building I have seen so far in Africa. A real feel of the great English cathedrals, huge naive with strong, thick columns, a beautiful cloister and various chapels added at later dates. Some lovely stone carving and detailing, generally attributed to Likoma’s proximity to Mozambique and the availability of Soap stone.

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It’s a shame the roof could not have lived up to the elevations and been built from stone/cement, using cross or barrel vaults. It would have certainly helped the internal temperatures, which with a full metal sheet roof radiating heat into the interior spaces, made the internal spaces unpleasantly hot.

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The front towers clearly built or extended at different times give an unusual asymmetric elevation, with the cloister alongside and additional chapel buildings.

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The beautiful Illala arrived on Friday for a local music festival which was taking place on the island. the Illala has sadly been out of service for a number of months now, replaced by the (not so sadly) high-speed Chilemwe, which literally sends the local boats flying in its wake! The Illala along with the Chauncy Mauples are the 2 oldest boats on the lake, brought here in the 1930’s and still providing the much-needed, yet limited service up and down the lake.

 

Emerging Views and Spaces

Here’s a collection of photos from the start of this week (6.05.15) covering works from the last 2 weeks, after returning from a week off over Easter. The week before Easter was a frantic push to get as much finished as possible; finishing all the floor tilling, installing the khonde drains, fitting all doors and varnishing these, final concrete/skimming works to the Khonde, fitting the sluice sink/carcass and fitting skirtings. I left Dan in charge for a week, which I think he really enjoyed and was in fact good experience for him.

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View from the carpentry workbench. I enjoyed observing yesterday how this primitive shelter has evolved into quite an active and well used space. The first bay for carpentry, with the above bench, the second bay full of ‘3-point’  brick stoves where all the university day watch-women cook their lunch and socialize and the third bay as shelf stacking for the remaining timber.

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View through the trees from adjacent ant hill (not such a common view, but I liked the elevated position!)

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View from the East end

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View of the front elevation. I’m waiting for a dry spell this week to slop the black bitumastic paint onto the fronts of the khonde to protect these. I’m also working on building some flower beds around the edge of the Khonde and to get these planted asap. I’ve met a lovely man Roy here who is the ‘head gardener’ and seems really excited about supplying us with some interesting species.

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The ever presence of the university security guards. The love to congregate around the temporary shelter, which is more of a ‘cook’ space than a carpentry workshop these days.

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‘January’ the painter has done a brilliant job of decorating all the internal walls and waiting area. No one accepts white walls over here, but we agreed to go with ‘soft white’ in the end. As usual the colour on the colour chart was totally different to the end result, but the soft yellow tone I think looks great and sits very well with the light oak varnish of all the surrounding timber.

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The waiting area with the new yellow/amber colour glass installed on the slot windows and the newly completed bench

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Window, bench, floor detail

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SSB walls with brick sealer applied

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View from Consultation Room 2 of the new waiting area. The external floor tilling now all complete and pointed and looking really smart.

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View of the end treatment room out across the site

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Expanded view of the same room. The freshly painted walls looking good

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The central treatment room on the north side, filled with natural light from the clearstory windows/vents

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Similar conditions in Consultation Room 1

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Expanded view of the new waiting area, windows and bench

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The same area looking back to the Consultation Room entrances

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Tilling and drains finished on the main khonde

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I can’t resist another photo of this guys used car parts stall in the hardware market. It always feels like stumbling upon an artistic installation of bits and pieces, as if each piece has been painstakingly arranged in harmony with the next. It deserves to be in the Tate!

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Classic hardware market art, this guy finishing off the twin socket

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Due to time and sourcing difficulties, the clinic have now agreed to proceed with the Chitenge curtains as a temporary measure, at least to enable them to operate in the next few weeks. I imagine they may just remain longer term. And and FCB building would not be an fcb building without some green somewhere.

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The drain to the north and tilling performing well in heavy rains

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the drain to the south also performing well

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Other drains around campus in full flood