Back to basics

I spent the day today assisting others, mainly family members, sort things out with regards their homes and property after the earthquake. One of the big issues here in CHCH is the lack of sewage – most of the sewage pumping stations are out of action, and all residents have been asked not to flush toilets as this will back up in the system and eventually cause chaos.

The image above shows some of the long-drop toilets I built with my brother today, to distribute to family members – next task is digging the holes in gardens and back lawns and constructing some sort of privacy around them 🙂 We’re told it could be a month or more before the sewage system is repaired, such is the damage, so I want to be prepared.

And it’s not over – with the aftershocks still happening more damage is occurring. As I sit listening to the news in the background we have breaking news of 12 streets being evacuated in Sumner where falling rocks from a cliff are threatening homes. And with a number of schools seriously damaged, it could be some time before our kids are back at school.

I can’t help but reflect on how, in times of adversity, our focus returns to the basics and the things that are really important – something Maslow had right really!

6 thoughts on “Back to basics

  1. Derek, Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. It is so hard to believe how so much can change in such a very short time. Life is soooo precious. Stay safe!
    Anne K

  2. Thanks so much for the photo. That’s a great idea. Now I’ll just have to see if Mitre ten are open. Great to hear family and CORE staff all ok. Regards

  3. Firstly I am sorry Christchurch is facing this disaster at present. I am really intrigued with the outside loos. It strikes me as the most essential of needs and you two have been very resourceful. After the last quake my class and I discussed how to be prepared for a disaster. The loo situation remained a mystery to us and we couldn’t work it out, apart from the port a loo. They say have big plastic bags but we still weren’t sure how that worked!

  4. Great initiative and you are obviouslty a fine cabinet maker.

    Just a thought. Are there any health issues in putting raw sewage into the ground where liquefaction is a problem? If there are more quakes, might it all just be forced back out again? How deep a hole do you need under it to avoid that possibility?

    If you are interested in composting or worm farm designs, this is a good page that might have some ideas.

    Good luck and huge congratulations on the initiative.

  5. We’re all thinking of you, and wish you the best for recovery from a devastating event. If your long-drop construction is a guide, you will get through it all with flying colours!

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