Monday, April 17, 2006

Water project update

Last week Heather and I drove out to see the progress on the water project. It was so exciting that tears literally came to our eyes.

We originally began thinking we'd just do water collection (from rainwater coming off a roof) and storage. That was a very weak solution to the need for water. Then Heather learned of a drilling method whereby expensive drilling equipment didn't have to be rented. It uses all human power. (I was one of the humans, for a short time.)

A tripod is the pivot point for a rope that goes down into the hole. At the end of the rope is a heavy bit that drills through rock or whatever, using gravity. After a significant amount of soil or rock is loosened, a bailer is put down the hole to pull up the muck.

The team has been making about 10-20 feet of progress a day.

If you're interesting in giving to the project, here's the link. (Thanks!) Currently there are enough funds to pay the salaries but not pay for the actual pump. Again, the fresh water will benefit the widows and orphans of that area. (Those are people who lost family members to AIDS.)

You may be wondering, didn't we count the costs before we began the project? The answer is how the project changed from just water collection into digging a real well.

p.s. If you look in the left-middle of this photo, you can see a grass-roof hut. There are still some traditional homes in the area. (Grass roofs are actually cooler during the hot months. Also they are quieter during rainstorms.)

p.s.s. The photos don't work with the text very well. I'm too lazy to play around with this post to get it right. But you get the idea.

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