Last week I got to stay a few nights in the village of one of the translators who currently relies on the helicopter for transportation. There is an airstrip near the village, but it is low-lying and has a river going around 3 sides, so floods regularly, making maintenance a big problem. Due to the softness of the ground, the airstrip has been closed for some time.
|The current airstrip|
|The site of the new airstrip with some of the trees cleared|
We set out to walk the new site and see what work would need to be done to turn the bush into a place suitable for an aircraft to land.
|The ridge which it is hoped will be the site of the new runway|
|This gully will have to be filled in|
The second problem facing them is that, whilst the ridge won't suffer from flooding, the ground there is still soft.
|Digging down to test to firmness of the sub-soil with the 'pogo stick' in the foreground|
|Tree roots around here are no small thing!|
|This means the airstrip will have to be extended into more bush|
|And that there is another big gully which needs to be filled in|
|The stick in the foreground had its bark cut to indicate the runway's path|
|A meeting (inside the new literacy building) where the local community affirmed their commitment to the new airstrip|