Water Work Begins
We have had to revamp our schedule. Today we will refurbish two wells. One at Nabbanda and the other at Mangaba. The Nabbanda well has been down for months. It was an experiment by the council. The put plastic pipes (PVC) in 8 months or more ago. That only worked for about a month. I secured funds to replace the plastic with the regular metal. That was put in but after about a month it stopped working as well. I have not been able to get a worker to come and look at it. So it has not produced water for months now. There are two wells in Nabbanda which has a population of about 3000. Two wells are needed. Yesterday we found out why. It looks like the cylinder had come apart. When they got to the end of pulling everything out most of the cylinder and one pipe fell into the well. We were able to replace them and the well is now producing water. This will significantly relieve the pressure on the other well. With everyone using it they are required to begin drawing water at 3 in the morning because so many are drawing there.
Everyone was quite happy to see the well producing water. As we were leaving women were already coming to draw water. It is really good to see that burdern removed. The ladies are happy.
The well at Mangaba has not produced water in a while. I was not able to find out how long. But even a day is a hardship here. We pulled everything out. The pipes were mostly good. We replace three of them. But the problem was with the cylinder. We replaced it. We have what is needed to rebuild the cylinders so we will look at that later. When we replaced everything the water began to flow.
The challenge of these wells is how deep they are. They were 16 and 17 pipes. About 20 or so is the maximum for hand pumps. But that also means that the full number of pipes is quite heavy. Since they are pulled out by had you see some of the problem. Add water to that if there is water in the pipes and it is heavier still. The system is simple but it works. Great care needs to be taken because once you start pulling pipes if you are not you can loose it all into the well. It then needs to be “fished” out before you can proceed. Sometimes that proves very difficult. You also need to know what you are doing and have the talent for doing it.
Travel in Zambia has its challenges. It is hard on tires so punctures are a problem at time. On our way yesterday we had a flat in Lusitu. That was fortunate because they have a tire man there. He was able to patch it because the spare is not good (really not good). That delayed is a couple of hours. But that same time went flat on the way home. It is finished now. Tomorrow (today now) we will have to seek out some good used tires. Ah well…we move forward.
More to come…