Infrastructure Challenges

Building computer network is fun, but to keep Prosfygika a livable place, we have to face severe technical challenges. And face them quickly.

Most of technical problems we can solve on our own, provided equipment, materials and funding will be available. What we need badly are skilled people to lead and coordinate work, and to turn our unskilled people into another skilled people.

On average, squatters do not pay a lot of attention to infrastructure, once bare minimum is provided.  In single building squats the whole infrastructure is in, so it is at least visible and people have chance to check it easily. In Prosfygika, as it is a cluster of squatted apartments, there is a lot of “in-between” pieces, which are not properly maintained.

As the technical group, we focus on that part. Helping people in their individual spaces as much as we can, we decided that shared infrastructure is our priority. Because  without it, there will be no neighborhood any more.

So, calling all techies! See our short list of challenges (the long one has no end) and consider coming for help!

Here is a visual list of more spectacular cases (I run out of disk space here, so I could not include it directly)

Infrastructure challenges at Prosfygika, Athens, Greece. A horror show.

  1. Electric network.
    Last major overhaul happened 3 years ago. Since then, guys here were fixing what was broken, but no coordinated maintenance or development was done. Which resulted, as this winter came, in a series of more and less spectacular breakdowns.  One of unseen problems, however, is the lack of grounding. Now we have the tension of 19 V between “ground” and neutral in block #2. Enough to make a shower quite thrilling experience…
  2. Water delivery.
    At a macro scale, quality of water in Athens is getting worse every season. At a micro scale, we have a problem of thin and inadequate pipes (low pressure) and a huge leak from under Block #2 (broken cut-off valve at the trunk pipe). On the long run we will have to introduce filters and rainwater harvesting, as we expect growing problems, especially with the quality of water.
    There is also a need for mass replacement of old cut-of valves (1-3 per flat), that are ancient, painted over several times and leaking hopelessly if anybody touches them. So we need to replace them with new generation ones.
  3. Sewage and draining system.
    As far as my survey is adequate, it is mostly the case of clogged pipes, what can be solved by calling a professional service (money!) to waterjet them. As soon as we raise some money (fundraising and sustainable economic projects to be announced soon) this can be taken care of.
    We also have to start replacing ancient iron sewage trunk pipes, as they are cracking and the content starts seeping into the walls. Again, we have gathered materials for the first job (one trunk line), but we lack skilled coordinator.
  4. Woodworking and glazing.
    Innumerable windows are missing or just glass-less. In newly opened flats and sections, front doors are usually broken (makes sense) and need at least decent, padlockable bolts. We have adequate woodworking equipment and a source of material. Now, we need a Mistress or Master Woodworker to organize the line and to teach people how to make stuff.
  5. Structural problems.
    Water seeping through the roofs, crumbling plastering inside, cracked tiles and all possible signs of dilapidation are not a problem for seasoned squatters. However, if they endanger integrity of the building, we need to address them. As the list — in practical terms — has no end, we need help to establish priorities and go ahead with them.
  6. New projects development.
    We are NOT in a defensive survival mode. We have to keep the infrastructure going to build upon it. There is an open list of proactive projects, waiting for workaholics to move them ahead. And the list is open-ended, so bring your own ideas if you wish. But to start doing unbelievably advanced things, we have to keep our village alive. This is the first step.

So, if you are keen and able to help

  • as a short- or long-term volunteer (free shelter and cheap food provided, with excellent company to boots)
  • as a remote technical consultant
  • as a storyteller, ambassador, fundraiser or a barker
  • in any capacity we overlooked and you see useful

just let us know!

Contact.
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email: petros.polonos@myself.com