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Councilmember Lends Expertise to Kenyan Community

February 9, 2015
Clarkston Councilmember Dean Moore with children of the Reuben Vision School in Nairobi, Kenya after the water system had been restored.

Clarkston Councilmember Dean Moore spent two months in Kenya last year, from March to May. It was an experience that has augmented his city service.
 
Moore is a self-taught construction superintendent by trade, originally from Northern Virginia. His forte has been to accept the challenges of unusual projects from building new operating rooms and CAT-Scan rooms to church buildings including a sanctuary, parish hall and an education/administration building. He has built a Starbucks on Monroe Drive in midtown Atlanta and the modern copper clad townhomes, Plexus on Ponce, in Northeast Atlanta.
 
“My best two jobs before Kenya were renovation of the Zoo Atlanta gorilla habitat public observation area, where I spent two months with one-inch glass separating me from the silverback fami­lies, and the renovation of the Shake­speare Tavern in downtown Atlanta,” Moore explained.
 
After the 2013 election and the start of his second term, Moore was discuss­ing his numerous projects with a young Georgia Tech Civil Engineering gradu­ate, Ibrahim Sufi.
 
Clarkston Councilmember Dean Moore at a project site in Kenya.
“Sufi and another Tech engineer were planning to go to Nairobi, Kenya to prospect providing water infrastruc­ture systems in impoverished areas,” Moore recalled. “Sufi’s business partner had been in Chile working on similar projects with their company, TOHL (Tubing Operations for Humanitarian Logistics). Their original funding came from awards for an innovative method to rapidly deploy flexible tubing from a fresh water source to devastated areas such as after an earthquake.”

Sufi showed Moore the TOHL trial run video on the organization’s web­site, allowing Moore to see how flexible pipe could be deployed over one kilo­meter of rough terrain in nine minutes. Moore was hooked, wanted to get in­volved with the organization and asked to join the TOHL team in Kenya.
 
“I saw it as a once in a life-time op­portunity,” Moore said. “I wanted to be involved in a project that would have a big impact. Of course, I checked with our city attorney and city manager to see if I could go and still remain on the council. My first sense of duty is to the people of Clarkston.”
 
While in Kenya, Moore served as a project manager. On one project he led a team to replace a water tank that had just been destroyed by fire at the Reuben Vision School and BioCentre, and install a new water treatment sys­tem at the campus. Moore and his team were able to install piping in less than a day. Within 48 hours, Moore and his team had completed the project, which restored drinking water and bathing fa­cilities to their original capacity for the more than 300 children and orphans that attend the school.
 
“The children were so precious,” Moore said. “They really sprang into ac­tion sweeping out the BioCentre and cleaning up while we were restoring their showers and facilities.”
Growing up in the Washington, D.C., area and 17 years in Clarkston’s diverse community has enriched Moore’s life in ways that made his immersion in the Nairobi communities an easy transition.
 
“I believe my experience as a coun­cilmember helped me to navigate the bureaucracy of Nairobi’s planning and water authorities,” he said. “I often met with elected officials and community leaders and successfully gained their support of the TOHL projects.”

Back home, Moore now has an even greater appreciation for the compara­tively stable maintained infrastructure here in Georgia and a broader under­standing of conditions in other coun­tries that many members of the diverse Clarkston community have left behind.
 
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