Another busy week down. We are now drilling at the Namawala Health Clinic. They have no water - a serious problem for a health clinic - a place where babies are born! At the end of the week we are at 12m and again we have hit soft rock, but we have a very good aquifer from 6-11m with clay from 1-5m.
This week also saw a return of Mr Laban, our friend from SHIPO Njombe. He came for a short visit to see our progress and to provide some further training and feedback for the team on what we are doing well and where we need to improve. His help is much appreciated - he has a real repore with the Tanznanian team. So much so that I have invited him to return next week and act as the MSABI operations manager for a period of 1 month. Myself and Laban are very excited and happy for this collaboration. Laban will assist with improving the quality of our rope pumps from the local "fundie" (workshop), as well as helping MSABI transition from one drill team to three!
We continue to have some teething issues with our "Fundie". The quality of work is not the best, but he is improving with each batch of pumps produced. This week he is finishing off the construction of the tools for two drill sets - so that we can expand to the three teams. Busy times lay ahead!
On Saturday Laban and myself traveled to the Sakuma land and put the finishing touches to their first rope pump well. The pump is now up and running and they are very excited and thank-ful for receiving "safe" water. There is no way the government or any other NGO would be able to provide such a service to such an isolated area. We are in discussions to install another new borehole and pump in the local village of this area - at no cost other than the community must provide labour to help drill, and food for the drill team.
We are also hosting two special guests who are linked with an NGO based in Cambodia - Abundant Water. Abundant Water is focusing on the production of water filters. They are interested in collaborating with MSABI to design methodologies for the production of a low cost, simple water filter that can be made by local potters. Vicki Sherwood has over 30 years experience in Africa having spent a great deal of her time working on agricultural extension for the UN. She is accompanied by Cherry, a young lady with a development degree who is keen to see development projects in Africa. Tanya and myself are more than happy to host and share ideas with our guests. We are discussing options for the direction of MSABI 2010.
The following week will include finishing the drilling at the health clinic, finalising construction of the new drill sets and preparation for Laban's arrival. Next weekend I will also travel to Dar es Salaam to attend the "Goat Races" Charity event, where MSABI will receive a TSH6 million grant.