The "Tanira" pump was stolen. Police will not return it until after the court trial, which may take years if at all.

Private well producing the worst water Ive seen. See green water below. The septage pit in the background is less than 5m from the well. The pit is 5m deep, the well 12m deep. The owner assures me it is water proof. I disagree.

Abandoned "Afridev" pump. There are no spare parts available locally to fix these pumps. Spares are expensive and have to be sourced from Dar es salaam - which might be equivalent to us taking a trip to Bali.

Happy school kids at the only decent working pump that is producing ok looking water.

Private well showing the broken pump that used to be installed above it.

I arrived back from the villages last night. I spent the first 3 days in the village of Idete. First up was a meeting with the village chairman and executive council. I gave them a presentation and everybody seemed happy. Over the next few days I visited as many wells and water points as I could with Edwin Mbugi, one of the locals who came to Njombe in April for training. Edwin really proved himself over the week. He was very energenic and engaged all the local people he met, telling them about the project, water treatment in the home and all about the rope pumps. We rented bikes and I got to cover a lot of ground. There a actually around 5 or more public hand pumps but only 2 I saw were in working order or producing water fit for consumption. All of the pumps bar one need urgent maintenance. The management system for these free pumps is not working. Users are supposed to pay a monthly usage fee to a community management team. Either they dont pay saying they have no money, or when the do pay the money is not spent on maintenance (ie the money vanishes). Also, the replacement parts for these pumps (Afridev and Tanira) have to be sought from either Ifakara or Dar es salaam and cost far more than what is raised through the monthly payment scheme. The best water points that I saw were wells that were privately owned and were selling water by the bucket. It is my opinion that the best management system for water in these villages is through groups paying for a pump and borehole and selling water as a business. This may be a contraversial statment, but it gaurantees the water point is managed and maintained, creates business and sells water at an affordable price - about 10-20c for a bucket. The local people seem more willing paying small amounts multiple times, but baulk at having to make larger upfront payments.


Clean water from a private well. 20c a bucket. The well is only 1 year old. There are pig pens about 15m away. It is possible that this water will decline in quality over time.
Milk water. I assume (guess) the colour is from rainwater infiltrating through surface clays and minerals.

Poo water. At least most of the users from this well boil the water or use waterguard. Still, would you pay 10c for a bucket of this?

There are 3 types of water that I saw in Idete. There are a few wells that have clean, clear water that has no history of health problems. There are many that are producing a milky coloured water, I believe the colour comes with the rains infiltrating through clays/minerals just below the surface and this water passes into the wells. Then there is green/brown water that is clearly contaminated by organic matter ie poo. There is a real problem in that the well walls are not sealed properly. They are using a 15:1 sand:cement mix that after time crumbles and falls to the bottom of the well due to the moist environment. Water freely seeps from the upper contaminated layers into the wells, mixing freely reducing the ability to draw cleaner waters from the bottom of the well.

On Friday I went to Namawala and hooked up with Maurusu, another Njombe trainee. He is also proving to be a real asset to the project. He is a very bright guy and has taken ownership of the knowledge he has learnt so far. On saturday morning he confidently addressed his community and did a fine presentation covering the project and informing the people about the issues they face regarding access to clean water. I was very impressed. I managed to borrow a motorbike to quickly move back to Idete for their community meeting. Edwin did a similarly fine presentation and the village people were very interested in the clay filter pot that was on display.


Council meeting Idete. The chairma is the gentleman in the stripped shirt.


Edwin Mbugi MSABI team member educates local village people on safe water.

Conclusion of Idete community meeting with executive council

Maurusu with captive audience at the Namawala community meeting.

Maurusu explaining a point about "safe water" at the community launch of the MSABI project in Namawala. You can see my laptop in the background.

Tomorrow Edwin and Maurusu join two young well diggers from Namawala to spend a month doing work experience / training in Njombe. They will come back with knowledge on how to find water, locate wells in suitable areas, how to drill deep wells using hand drilling techniques, how to intall a sanitary seal and boreholes, and how to install rope pumps.