Luke and Steph visit Ifakara

Tanya and myself have said good-bye to our good friends from Australia - Luke and Steph.  This was their first trip to Africa and we hope that they enjoyed their time here.  We had a couple of days in Ifakara, and went on a day trip to the villages of Idete and Namawala to see the work that MSABI has been doing.

Young Idete MSABI team leader Hashim explains to Luke and Steph how we construct an open well.  He is holding rocks removed from the bottom of the well.

Steph peers down the open well.  MSABI initially drilled a borehole at this exact site, but was impeded by rocks at around 10m.  The drill team spent 3 days to penetrate only 20cm!  A pump test revealed water, but unfortunately not enough to provide adequate water to the 14 local families that contributed $200 for MSABI to help them access safe water.  In consultation with one of our team members, Helman, who is an experienced open well digger, we decided to enlarge the same borehole to increase the surface area for ground water inflow and also increase the storage capacity.

MSABI team member Helman has dug this open well by hand.  The finished depth is 10.2m with an inflow rate of approximately 800L/hr and a storage capacity of over 7500 L.  In this picture out of sight at the bottom is Helman who is finishing the well by constructing a brick ring from bottom to top.

Water must be regularly removed so that Helman can work.  Bricks and mortar are dropped down in buckets.

Later in the day we travelled 10km outside of Namawala into the "bush" to visit my Sukuma friend.  Here Mr Garugwa greets Luke and Steph.

On the way out we passed a dry creek bed where local people have dug a shallow well to provide water.  Don't be alarmed to know that people rely on this for their drinking water!  Unfortunately it is also shared by grazing animals such as cattle and goats.  October is the end of the dry season and a very difficult period for many people to access water - let alone safe water.

We took out some photographs taken of Mr Garugwa's family from a previous visit.  The whole family was very excited.