Introductory Water Training Course

Sorry for the long delay in posts. I have just returned from a weeklong trip to Njombe, in Southern Tanzania – stopping on the way home over Easter at Ruaha National Park.

The weekend before Easter was spent searching for suitable village people to take to a water training course operated by the NGO SHIPO. After selecting 2 village people each from Idete and Namawala we headed off on local buses to the southern highlands town of Njombe. Whilst the day long bus trip (including me sitting 6 hours in the aisle) was no joy, thankfully the training course was great.

The 2 day introductory course covered topics including hygiene, sanitation, water collection options, water treatment options and borehole drilling technologies. SHIPO is a small NGO who have developed a number of smart water technologies aimed at poor rural communities. I chose them for training because the options they provide are low cost, simple, easy to use, utilise local materials, and can be built, maintained and fixed locally.

The training proved a real eye opener for the Idete and Namawala team! They had the opportunity to see a range of options to assist with their problem of poor water quality and sanitation. They enjoyed being able to see and use each technology option. It was very pleasing to see their interest, asking lots of questions and writing lots of notes. They were very thankful and promised to pass the message on to their village community. Hopefully the course has enabled them to see that there is a path to manage their water problems without reliance on others.

The attendees particularly like the following:
  • Rope pumps- so simple, reliable, easy to build locally and very affordable (about $150/pump). They liked the idea of cost sharing a pump between say 10-15 households. Able to install over existing hand dug wells.
  • Ceramic/clay filters- robust, easy and cheap without affecting water taste.
  • Solar UV disinfection (plastic water bottles placed on iron roof sheeting in the direct sun)- they could see the potential of this “free” treatment technology, though doubt its effectiveness during the rain season.
  • Tippy tap- cheap way to wash your hands without contamination.
  • Hand drilling technology (“Rota Sludge”)- affordable, business opportunity, able to access water to depths of 70m.
I will do a blog update describing these technologies soon.

It was nice to receive a call today from one of the attendees to say he has organised a meeting with the village leaders this Saturday.