Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
The King will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." .......Matthew 25

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A floating school in Boeung Rial? Yes, it can be done!!

We are excited because as we learn more and more about the geography of Boeung Rial and the surrounding environs, as well as the various options for a floating classroom, we are increasingly convinced we can put up a floating school.

It is quite clear that the lake cannot take a deep hulled structure, such as what we saw in Prek Pra. We were however, told there was a floating house up river from Boeung Rial that Juhan was looking after that was built upon a deck floating on bamboo. We were not aboe to view this floating house, but a day later we were able to view from a distance, a similar floating building.

North of Kampong Thmor, two tributaries of the Tonle Sap cut across Highway 6 - Steung Chinit and Steung Tang Krasang. Just off the bridge at Tang Krasang, there was a floating office of the Fisheries Police. It was the perfect model of what we think a floating classroom might look like. The deck floats upon what seems to be large bundles of bamboo running lengthwise. The building itself is the size of a classroom, and there is a skirting platfrom around. The bamboo floats appear to be supported at strategic locations by oil drums.

We were not able to get close enough to view the actual structure, but what we saw gave us cause to be hopeful. For one thing, there seems to be local expertise to build a shallow hulled floating structure that could serve as a classroom. Other considerations are that the materials used are relatively cheap locally available material, that can be easily maintained and replaced should they deteriorate.

Ps Samreth and Kea will now go and do their homework to identify the contractor and to cost the building of one floating classroom.We think we should do just one classroom first, and then add on in modular form, the other classrooms as the need arises.

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