After visiting the two MSABI pumps in the Mngeta village area, Bahati directed me on a 27km trip through bush tracks to a very remote part of the Kilombero Valley. There are no roads - just bicycle tracks. Here lives a mixture of Sukuma and Masaii tribes. They are forced to live in remote areas as they are herdsman and their activities conflict with the local villagers who predominately deal with agriculture. MSABI has drilled 4 boreholes here so far. The work was arranged by a leader in the area – and various family groups contributed $250 for each new water point. They also contributed bricks, gravel, sand and transport of our equipment from Mngeta. Further, they supplied 6x persons for labour and housed and fed our team of 4. So you can see the community contribution is significant! The MSABI subsidy for each new water point is around $400 (assuming there are no difficulties). So you can see we can change lives for a very very low cost input!!!!
The first new borehole that I visited was donated by Ms Vicki Sherwood and is in memory of her mother Ms Maggie Sherwood. Drilling of the borehole was completed that morning. Each of the 4 boreholes is to 20m, and there is too much water!!!! This area is a large river delta. The water table is between 1-5m below the ground depending on the season. On each borehole we put in a concrete plug at a separating clay layer – usually around the 4-8m level, thus separating the surface aquifers from the deeper (cleaner) aquifers. This particular borehole is for a young Masai family who will be sharing their resource with surrounding Sukuma families. It is great to see the Sukuma and Masai working together resulting in improvements to them both! The four pumps are located within a 5km radius of each other – there is still a lot of area to cover in the future.
This young Masai family will benifit from this new MSABI water point donated by Vicki Sherwood, in memory of her Mother. GPS point S08 24 47.2 E036 12 24.4
Masai Family, local workers and MSABI drill team pose for a picture. The borehole was completed the morning I visited and the pump was to be installed later that day.
The second borehole I visited was donated by Thomas Conere for his parents Tom and Ethel Conere. I am told Thomas is a young guy who does not have much free money lying around – so it was a honour to help him deliver his Christmas present to his parents. Furhter, Thomas has helped a large Sukuma group access clean water. Most of the family were out working when we visited, but they are very grateful for their new pump. It had been operating for a few days and they are making the most of the new water source! Their biggest problem they have had was their cattle tried to knock over the pump to get to the water! So they, and now the owners of the other 3 pumps, are building fences around the pumps. It is a good idea, because during some parts of the year elephants and lions pass through. An elephant would make short work of a pump if it though there was water hiding in there somewhere.
Sukuma women stand around their new water point. Note the fence in the background.
This pump was donated by Thomas Conere for his parents.
GPS point S08 24 20.0 E036 12 42.7
The third pump I visited is from family friends back in Australia – the Soich family from Wurtulla. The Soich family have been a big supporter of MSABI – and for that we are very grateful. This new water point is for a communal group of Sukama – the Sukuma live in compounds consisting of numerous family groups. This pump is in a very beautiful setting, open rolling fields with a mountain range as a backdrop.
Newly completed installation with fence for animal protection
Donated by the Soich Family - Wurtulla Australia. Thank-you for your support!!!
This Sukuma family will benefit from access to clean safe water.
GPS point S08 24 00.9 E036 12 51.2
The last pump I visited was donated by the Dar Goat Races – a charity event that sponsored MSABI TSH6 million. We have completed 4 installations for the Dar Goat Races so far. This installation was for another Sukuma Group. They showed me where they were getting their water from and it is disgusting!
Donated by the Dar Goat Races. GPS S08 23 45.3 E036 12 28.5
Happy children give some sort of Sukama high five.
This is what they were drinking before their new MSABI water point! No wonder children die.
On the way back we passed a frontier settlement. We stopped to look at their water hole that they are using. It is a hole about 4m deep. The water is a milky/gray colour and I’m not sure animals would drink it! When the rains start this water has a high potential of becoming contaminated with life threatening bacteria and viruses such as cholera and tyhoid. It is open to surface run-off and a rising water table will increase the likelihood of well/pit latrine mixing, and also faecal contamination from animals. Another serious risk is that young children or even adults may fall in the hole whilst playing or collecting water. I doubt anybody would know how to swim. The people of this settlement were very interested about our work and say they will try to collect money to get their own water point. On the way back to Mngeta we were stoped twice by other groups living in the area who had heard or seen our work and were wanting their own new water point. We have only covered a very small area in a very large region.
At a nearby frontier village they are taking their water from this shallow well. This is how the majority of people in these areas take their water.
A dangerous job. What if she fell?
All that work for a bucket of dirty water.