Posted by: DHE Rwanda | August 8, 2012

Hall of Shame

One of the biggest challenges of working in Rwanda has been the inferior quality of materials and tools.  Tools that last a life time in the U.S. break within weeks here, sometimes after only a few hours of use.  With the exception of a single tape measure, all of the tools brought from the U.S. or Great Britain are still working.  However, we’ve broken countless locally acquired hammers, saws, machetes, shovels, generators, a caulking gun, and a jig saw.  The tape measures we buy here can be best considered as disposable.  When I first heard that our laborers were quickly going through hammers, I wondered how that could be possible.  After all, how do you even break a hammer?  Many ways it turns out.  The shaft can break, the connection to the head can fail, but most of all the iron or steel used in the head is of such poor quality that within a few days of use it shatters. 

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a jigsaw purchased in Kigali

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a pile of broken tools

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This caulking gun broke before we could even use it.  We fixed it with tie wire.

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two more broken hammers.  The hammer on the left broke within hours of its first use.

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