Water supply for Fakinah Hospital in Banda Aceh

On Friday, January 7, the MSF team in Banda Aceh installed a new emergency water supply system for the patients of Fakinah hospital. Some of the wounded people evacuated from villages along Aceh's west and east coasts are brought to this hospital by MSF helicopters or vehicles that are being used to investiage the east and west coats where there has been the greatest devastation following the December 26 tsunami.

Water and sanitation expert Delphine Mortier, who oversaw the operation, describes.

"Water is being trucked daily to Fakinah hospital by the New South Wales Fire Brigade from Australia," said Delphine Mortier, an MSF water and sanitation expert. "We have put in place a 15 cubic meter - or 15,000 litre - bladder on the ground. Ideally, we would have put it on the roof - so the water can stream downwards easily - but we are not sure whether the hospital has been damaged by the earthquake. It could be quite risky to have such a heavy load resting on its roof and walls. So instead we have put a two cubic meter tank on the roof and pump water to it from the bladder."

This tank feeds a tap stand on the ground level and guarantees enough water pressure. The water from this stand is for the staff, patients and their families. The capacity should be sufficient as the bladder is actually rather large for a hospital.

There was a separate system already in place for providing water to the emergency unit and the surgical ward. It pumped the water from the pond on the other side of the instruction rooms into another tank on the roof, this one with a capacity of three to four cubic meters. As the water from the pond is not clean, the tank from that system has been connected to our bladder as well.

One of the doctors along with the maintenance man from Fakinah hospital helped with the construction and will be managing it on a daily basis. It is more or less a standard system for water supply, urgently needed for this hospital that on average will house around 100 patients.