Sakuma Borehole

View looking into the Sukuma compound


Their current drinking water well. Only 1-2m deep and disgusting.

We have finished our second borehole and are now drilling at a very remote location, 10.3km (as measured by my motorbike odometer) from the village centre of Namawala. This is really in the sticks! We are helping out an extended Sukuma Family. They are living in a compound with approximately 100 people. They are primarily pastoralists and are forced to live very far from the townships as there are conflicts between their land use for grazing and those of the majority town folk who are agriculturalists. The Sukuma compound is very nice. It consists of a few houses, a spiritual (witch doctor's house), and various shelters for their animals - goats, sheep, cattle and pigs.

The water table in this area is very high - at 2.5m and there is so much water! But the water is not suitable for drinking - and is prone to contamination from the surface - particularly from all the waste from their animals perculating downwards through very permeable sand. The family leader told me they are constantly suffering from stomach pains. I am told that in the wet season the water table is only 1 foot below the ground!

Anyway, we used our Guta's (tricycles) to transport our drilling equipment to site. We had a lot of difficulty drilling through the surface sand layers as the borehole kept collapsing. However, after some thinking and consultation we are now succeeding by using a very thick drill fluid made from cow manure and clay. This mixture stabilises the wall as we drill down. After a long and frustrating first day we are currently at 4m.

The Sukuma people are very welcoming and trustworthy people. They are also known for their strength as their diet consists of meat and milk - much like the masaii people. They have requested that we stay and live in their compound next week so as to finish the drilling quickly.

We use this tool to help flush the inside of the borehole pipe to stimulate the gravel pack and clean the filter screen.
Back washing the new borehole.

Constructing the concrete apron. We keep the apron small because it is easier to keep clean and saves money and construction time.

Thank-you Roche Products for a $2000 donation.