HOA Civil Affairs, Dikhil District Water Teams Partner for Seminars
U.S. service members from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, or CJTF-HOA, Joint Civil Affairs Team, or JCAT, partnered with the Dikhil district water office in Dikhil City, Djibouti, to conduct a basic generator maintenance seminar for local citizens Oct. 4, 2012.
A total of eight generator security guards, or "watchmen," and generator mechanics came from villages throughout the district to attend the morning's seminar, a second of its kind, which took place in the city's technical trade school.
Today we conducted the seminar to share best practices about generator maintenance basics, according to U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Jerome Jackson, team leader for the JCAT in Dikhil. The goal is to share these basic ideas so local citizens can prolong the lives of the village generators.
The basics taught at the seminar included how to check fuel, oil, air filters, battery connections and fuses on both a gasoline- and diesel-fueled generator.
The importance of the seminar could not be understated.
"It's their lifeline to be able to use the generators [to] pump [water out of] the wells," Jackson said.
Youssouf Moussa, a generator mechanic within Dikhil district, shared similar thoughts.
"We are from small villages so we need this kind of training and teaching to help us get water," he said. "This is important for me because I'm responsible for the generators and I'd like to pass along the information I learned here to the other people in my village."
The generators are also each village's primary power source, according to Jackson.
Aside from generator maintenance, the seminar allowed U.S. service members and Dikhil residents the opportunity to strengthen their relationship.
"The reason why people come together and become really close is by helping," Moussa said. "If somebody helps you when you really need some help then you end up being close to that person. Every time I see Americans I always [share greetings]."
Nearly 20 generator maintainers and watchmen have been trained so far. The team plans to hold another seminar in the coming months.