The Busy Weeks Continue

This week has been very busy. The MSABI team have finished drilling their second borehole and removed broken "foreign" pumps on 4 existing boreholes and installed new rope pumps. Of the six pumps we received from the Ifakara workshop last week we have zero left. We are waiting for the next batch of 10 pumps to be completed - demand is outstripping our abilities at present - which is a nice feeling.

I have also been working with the potters to make filter pots with different clay/rice husk ratios for our first test burn of the kiln next week.

Tomorrow we commence drilling in a remote area of Namawala where there is a Sukuma tribe who have never had access to clean\safe water.
A picture diary best explains what we have been doing this week:

Filter Pot Demo
Local children lend a hand to pulverise clay for filter pot production
Mixing clay powder and rice husk
Adding water
Shaping the pot in a bucket mould
Tending to the pot after it has been removed from the mould.

2nd Borehole Final Stages
The team is learning from each new borehole they drill. This borehole was hard work, but we completed a pump test today and found ample water - more than 600L/hr. We drilled to a depth of 14m - having to stop after hitting very hard rock and breaking a specially made rock drill bit - at least this time we were able to recover it! We already knew we had aquifers at 7m and 11m, but we are interested to learn as much as we can about the hydrogeology in the area - hence the reason to try and drill deeper. We have a nice clay layer at 4m. After adding gravel pack to 5m depth we plugged with concrete up to 2m to provide a safe sanitary seal - preventing water above the clay layer penetrating the aquifers below.
Removing the drilling equipment. You can see the drill weight and drill bit.
Adding gravel pack.

Existing Borehole - broken pump - Replacements with new Rope Pumps
Kisegesi village - This SWN pump has been out of action for many years.
One reason why it is not working - the piston assembly is in pieces. Replacement cost for this piece alone is $600, and you have to travel by bus all day to buy it. The cost is over 6x the total cost of a new rope pump!
Removing the pump and smashing out the SWN pump conrete mounting block.

Packing the base with gravel.

Additional re-inforcing, including recycling the anchor bolts from the SWN pump!
Setting the pump. Note the string line and weight used to align the pump.

The completed pump - finished in one day, including renovating the apron.


Commencement of another pump conversion at Idete Village.


Recycling the concrete apron to construct a soak pit.
Lunch provided by the community.
Concreting.
The installed pump with MSABI team members Treephone, Hashim and Edwin.

Another pump conversion at Idete.
Inspecting the concrete apron. This apron is in poor condition and requires substantial renovation. The water table is less than 1foot below the ground here!

To complicate matters the pipe casing installed over 15 years ago has a hole at the bottom that allows sand to enter and fill up the casing with more than 4m of sand. How do we know this - because we removed 4m of sand last week only to find it is back this week. arrgh. So now we will remove the sand again, install a new smaller 3" casing inside the existing cracked 4" casing and fill the annular space with gravel pack. Additional time and cost but worth it.