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Today’s Wells

Today we went for the 3 wells that we were approached by the group of headmen on Monday. Two of them had the problem of too few pipes for the water level plus cylinder problems. We added two pipes to each of these and rebuilt the cylinder. The third was mainly a cylinder problem. The result was the same…little water was coming out.

Loading and unloading the truck is always part of the task. We need to take materials that might be needed (we don’t always know) to the well site. If there is plenty of labor help then the work can go smoothly.

There is always a group working and another group standing around and talking about the work being done. Sure enough, this well at Kangwenda (B) was barely in the water. At this time of the year the water table is dropping before the rains come in a month or more. But in the end we get things going. There should be no problem with water level now.

From this site we move to the well at Lusumpuko. This well was drilled in 1958. It was the first one put down after the Kariba dam was built. The building of the dam displaced a lot of people to this area and caused a good bit of fuss and upset among the people.

This is the oldest well in the area. Everything else came afterward. So we get to work.

I have been working on learning the cylinder and all the ins and outs of repairing it properly. I think that I have it pretty much mastered, more or less. This repair goes smoothly and we are done in less than 2 hours. The water is flowing.

On the way to the last well we stop by the headman’s home and he provides us with a meal. Typical village fare…shima, cabbage and instead of chicken a guinea fowl. It was pretty good and welcomed. The last well is Kangwenda A.

As it turned out the problem with this well was that the cylinder was really clogged up with what looked like a combination of rust and dirt. It took a while to get it cleaned out and the insides refurbished.

When the repairs were completed we talked with the head men about the well area. The apron needs repaired and a fence or wall placed around it to keep the animals from the well head. The sluice to water the animals also needed some repair. They said that they will make blocks and have them finished by the 27th of September. I said that if I come and see the block and sand standing by I will furnish them the 6 pockets of cement required.

We headed for home. It was a long day in the sun. The shade at this time of the year is not much since the trees mostly do not have leaves on them.

Thus far this year we have repaired 14 wells. Conservatively we have provided drinking water for 10,000 to 14,000 people. In Lusumpuko we talked with an individual who was interested in the church. We left some printed material and got his phone number. Looks promising for the future.

Tomorrow is preparation for our trip to Mufulira in the Copperbelt. We will spend 4 days away.

More to come…

Mushale kabotu!


Siavonga, Zambia